NCBW Newsroom - The Research Beat
-> According to a Dec. 12th Walk Boston E-Newsletter article, "Open Data Discourse invites the public to interact with open, public data portals, develop insights about the data, and create new content to inform policy. To accomplish this ODD will host a series of competitions with non-profit and government agencies, starting with a month-long Street Safety Challenge about accidents including pedestrian, cyclist, and motor vehicles in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts (http://bit.ly/1GP7AAb).
"Participants in the Street Safety Challenge are encouraged to engage with open, public data about street safety and use their talents and skills in data visualization, art, design, and storytelling to inform public policy making. Open, public data on traffic accidents involving cars, pedestrians, and cyclists that occurred in the City of Cambridge from 2010 to 2013 are made available by the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts on their Open Data Portal (http://bit.ly/1zviDNi).
"$2500 in cash prizes will be awarded for the most creative and policy-relevant submissions. Opportunities for art installations and fellowships to continue developing your project may also be available..." [Deadline: December 30, 2014, 11:59 a.m. ET]
-> According to the abstract of a Dec. 12th Journal of the Transportation Research Board article, "With cycling on the rise in many U.S. cities, it is important to consider how other travel modes-especially transit-interact with bicycling. Some transportation experts worry that new bicycle trips substitute more for travel by transit than for travel by automobile; however, bicycling and transit may be more complementary than supplementary. Most research on these connections focuses on multimodal integration: cycling to, on, or from transit. This body of knowledge misses another key component of bicycle-transit synergy: potential long-term complementarity made possible by short-term substitution. A solid transit system provides options and security for bicycle riders to optimize daily mode choices; shifting some peak passenger loads to cycling may make transit service more reliable and entice new users.
"This study investigated those unexplored synergistic relationships between bicycling and transit use. Exploratory analyses were performed at two scales. First, changes in bicycle commuting in large U.S. urbanized areas between 2000 and 2010 were related to transit levels. Second, logistic regression models used data from a household travel survey in Portland, Oregon, to estimate how transit use affected the odds of cycling by households and individuals and on trips. Results generally supported the research hypotheses: transit and cycling were short-term mode substitutes, but might be long-term complements. Increases in urban area bicycle commuting were positively associated with transit ridership. Although cycling individuals were more likely to live in transit-using households, residing in such a household decreased one's odds of cycling. More research is needed to examine causality and the policy implications of bicycle-transit synergy."
-> According to a Dec. 10th CMAP article, "The Active Transportation Alliance surveyed driver behavior at 52 marked and unmarked crossing locations around Chicago and in neighboring suburbs to better understand the relationship between compliance with the state law requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and crosswalk type or design. (Illinois Drivers Must Stop for Pedestrians Law: Observational Study of Motorists' Compliance: http://bit.ly/1z2XL2j)
"The study involved crosswalks with no pavement markings, crosswalks delineated by traditional pavement markings (two striped lines defining the crosswalk), and crosswalks with additional safety features such as in-road "stop for pedestrians" signs, textured or colored surfaces, raised crosswalks, or flashing beacons. The survey found that compliance was lowest at unmarked crosswalks, where only 5 percent of motorists stopped for pedestrians. Eighteen percent of drivers stopped for pedestrians at traditional painted crosswalks. Compliance was highest at the crosswalks enhanced with other safety features, where 61 percent of motorists stopped for pedestrians."
-> According to a Dec. 9th US Access Board article, "A study funded by the Board was recently completed on how the roughness of pathway surfaces impacts wheelchair travel. This research, which was conducted by the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh, assessed the impacts of bumpy and uneven surfaces on people who use wheelchairs, including power chairs, by measuring the resulting body vibrations. While there are ways to measure and analyze surface roughness for roadways, none are capable of being directly transferred to pedestrian pathways...
"Based on the test results, researchers recommend sidewalk roughness index thresholds for short and long distances (1.20 inch per foot for distances up to 10 feet and 0.60 inch per foot for distances above 100 feet). They also offer recommendations for a method and protocol to measure surface roughness, including the design of a measurement device. In addition, they provide suggestions for advancing development of an industry consensus standard for sidewalk surface roughness through ASTM International..."
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