Pedestrian Observation and Data Collection Curriculum

Jennifer Dill, Portland State University


The purpose of this project is to develop two class exercises suitable for undergraduate and/or graduate students in courses related to travel behavior, traffic safety, urban planning and design, or civil engineering. Initially, this project will focus on developing pedestrian-focused exercises that includes elements of both traditional traffic counts and behavioral components, the latter of which are often lacking from current data collections efforts. The first exercise will likely be counting pedestrians at a sidewalk location. The second exercise will likely focus on pedestrian crossing behavior. By encouraging students to consider behavioral interactions of roadway users (drivers yielding to pedestrians crossing the street), the exercise developed through this project can provide field experience with the data that underlies behavioral traffic theory and agent based traffic models. Additionally, it facilities student experience with field research design related to traffic safety, while standardizing and collecting much-needed pedestrian data.

The outcomes will include the following:
• Readings, curriculum, data collections tools, and general research design that instructors can adapt to their needs, while standardizing the data collection method. This can enrich classroom learning and facilitate fieldwork experience
• The data collected from the exercise may provide a benefit to local agencies. Local jurisdictions are often interested in partnering with local university classes on data collection, but time constraints, particularly in the quarter system, can make planning and execution of projects time-prohibitive.

The second focus of this project is to explore the possibility of developing a website into which anyone using this exercise can enter the data, to give students experience with data entry, management, and analysis, and to build a database of traffic safety data that will then be available for a variety of data analysis opportunities, both for students and agencies and organizations interested in the data.

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
In Progress
End Date:
June 30,2017
UTC Grant Cycle:
Natl Education Round 2
UTC Funding: