Michelle Podeszwa has joined LandDesign as Director of Transportation, bringing with her over 20 years of experience working in the transportation industry. Beginning her career as part of NCDOT’s training program, Michelle was exposed to various facets of transportation—from design and construction management to community engagement—in relation to the NC public roadway system. After five years working as an Assistant District Engineer in Wilmington, she relocated to Charlotte and transitioned to consulting within the private-sector, leading a wide variety of transportation improvement projects throughout the Carolinas.
With experience working in both the public and private sectors, Michelle has a unique perspective of the importance of transportation in shaping our communities. She believes that “transportation infrastructure is a basic necessity in today’s society as it supports access to employment, healthcare, civic, and cultural centers.” Michelle understands that while the means and methods of travel—walking, cycling, driving, or public transportation—may look different, integrating these transportation systems are crucial to the success and economic vitality of our communities.
Throughout her career, Michelle has witnessed the evolution of transportation corridors becoming integral components of open space networks. “Transportation systems are becoming a place to play,” Michelle remarks as she reflects on the role of greenways, linear parks, and streetscapes in accommodating art, nature, and recreational activities rather than just means of travel. This change of mindset in the transportation industry is a result of integrating Complete Streets and multi-modal features alongside roadways as their own facilities and are a significant part of how Michelle is approaching the planning and design of transportation infrastructure, today.
At LandDesign, Michelle will grow the firm’s transportation services and be a valuable resource pertaining to transportation design. LandDesign Partner Nate Doolittle says, “our firm has provided services associated with active transportation, parks, and open spaces to our communities for over 40 years, as well as public roadway improvements in relation to private development. The intent of Michelle’s role as Director of Transportation will build upon this expertise and expand our services to encompass all aspects of transportation improvements.”
In addition to growing a dedicated transportation studio, Michelle will collaborate closely with LandDesign Principal and Director of Greenways, Parks, and Open Spaces Beth Poovey, weaving together their combined expertise to elevate our public-sector portfolio. “Michelle plays a valuable role in expanding the services we can provide our public clients and bolstering the way we think about infrastructure at LandDesign,” says Poovey. As the demand for comprehensive green infrastructure systems increases, our collective expertise in infrastructure planning, transportation, open space design, and placemaking will support our public clients in delivering projects that strengthen their communities and support their long-term success.