Alyson West

MCRP 2018 Candidate
Specialization: Transportation Planning
Hometown: Carrboro, NC

For 20 years Alyson worked in the music industry and lived all over the world, including places like Germany, Australia, and Portland. However, once she had a child she started to experience the built environment differently and began thinking more about traffic safety and the form of cities. This led Alyson to apply to Carolina Planning, which has taught her an immense amount about urbanism, policy, and transportation safety.

Despite being a full-time mother and graduate student, Alyson remains incredibly involved in the community. She’s a member of the Carrboro Bike Coalition, the Orange County Unified Transportation Board, the Bike Safety Task Force, and helps program Carrboro Open Streets. She also works for the Highway Safety Research Center as the Walk Friendly Communities research assistant, which she loves because it allows her to effortlessly combine what she’s learning in courses to work, and vice versa.

As a non-traditional student, Alyson is incredibly grateful to be part of such a supportive department, but her favorite thing about Carolina Planning is the curriculum’s focus on equity and planning for everybody. She likes that she’s constantly challenged to think about why things are the way that they are and pushed to do more for those disadvantaged by the built environment.