Professor John Pucher, a car-less commuter from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, was the first fall OTREC Visiting Scholar and CTS Seminar guest on September 28, 2007. His presentation, "Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from Europe," was standing room only, and the audience enjoyed his photos of bike-friendly features in cities across Europe. Pucher examined a range of public health impacts of our urban transport systems and argued that the current car dependence of American cities is responsible for enormous environmental harm, social isolation, lack of physical activity, and traffic dangers. He described how improving the convenience, safety, and attractiveness of walking and cycling in crucial to overcoming these negative impacts. Pucher discussed specific policies and programs used in Europe, and advocates their widespread adoption in American cities. A lively discussion with faculty, students and members of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan Committee followed the seminar.
The video begins at 1:00.
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Why model pedestrians?
A new predictive tool for estimating pedestrian demand has potential applications for improving walkability. By forecasting the number, location and characteristics of walking trips, this tool allows for policy-sensitive mode shifts away from automobile travel.
There is growing support to improve the quality of the walking environment and make investments to promote pedestrian travel. Despite this interest and need, current forecasting tools, particularly regional travel demand models, often fall short. To address this gap, Oregon Metro and NITC researcher Kelly Clifton worked together to develop this pedestrian demand estimation tool which can allow planners to allocate...Read more
Summary: This session will describe the process and results of a NHTSA study that showed a change in driver culture of yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks on a citywide basis. The research won the Pat Waller award from the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board in January of this year. The approach to changing road user behavior focused on an integrated approach that include Enforcement, Engineering, and Educational efforts that were designed to be dovetailed together and that included a social norming component. Additional information will be provided on engineering solutions that can facilitate changes in pedestrian level of service and safety.
Bio: Dr. Van Houten is a Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University. He has worked in the area of pedestrian safety for thirty years. He is past chairman of the Transportation Research Board’s pedestrian committee and a member of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. He has published extensively in the area of pedestrian safety and recently received along with Dr. Louis Malenfant, Richard Blomberg and Dr. Brad Huitema the Waller Award from the Transportation Research Board for their paper on changing driving culture by increasing driver yielding right-of-way to pedestrians...
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For a number of reasons—congestion, public health, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, demographic shifts, and community livability to name a few—the importance of walking and bicycling as transportation options will only continue to increase. Currently, policy interest and infrastructure funding for nonmotorized modes far outstrip our ability to successfully model bike and walk travel. In the past five years, we have learned a lot about where people prefer to bike and walk, but what can that tell us about whether people will bike or walk in the first place? The research presented here is...Read more
RECAP: WEBINAR VIDEO + SLIDES
Missed the presentation or want a look back at the slides? Check out the video below or view the presentation slides here.Read more
The video begins at 1:20.
View slides: Foster Presentation (PDF)
View slides: Muhs Presentation (PDF)
View slides: Wagner Presentation (PDF)
Evaluating Driver and Pedestrian Behaviors at Enhanced Multilane Midblock Pedestrian Crossings: Case Study in Portland, Oregon This study examines driver and pedestrian behaviors at two enhanced midblock pedestrian crossings in Portland, Oregon. One crossing is on a five-lane arterial with a posted speed of 35/45 miles-per-hour (MPH) and features six rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) assemblies and a narrow median refuge. The other crossing is on a suburban arterial with four travel lanes and a two-way left-turn lane. The crossing is enhanced with four RRFB assemblies and a median island with a “Z” crossing, or Danish offset, designed to encourage pedestrians to face oncoming traffic before completing the second stage of their crossing. Approximately 62 hours of video have been collected at the two locations. A total of 351 pedestrian crossings are analyzed for driver compliance (yielding) rates, pedestrian activation rates, pedestrian delay, and conflict avoidance maneuvers. The suburban arterial...Read more