The role of walking in the development of healthy, livable communities is being increasingly recognized. In urban areas, intersections are often viewed as a deterrent to walking, as their operation primarily favors automobiles, leading to large and unnecessary delays for pedestrians. There is currently very limited research on accommodating and/or prioritizing pedestrians at signalized intersections in the North American context. Pedestrians are often considered as a deterrent to efficient vehicular traffic flow and therefore active efforts to include them in operational decisions at intersections have been lagging. This research aims to fill that gap by understanding factors that influence pedestrian crossing behavior at signalized intersections and developing cost effective and easily deployable signal timing strategies that could be employed at intersections, to increase efficiency for pedestrians.

Dr. Sirisha Kothuri is a research... Read more

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Joseph Broach, PhD candidate in Urban Studies, will discuss the results of his research, which models the propensity of children aged 6-16 to walk or bike to parks and school without an adult chaperone, extending existing work on children’s active travel in several ways: 1) focus on travel without an adult, 2) inclusion of school and a non-school destinations, 3) separate walk and bike models, 4) consideration of both parent and child attitudes and perceived social norms, 5) explicit inclusion of household rules limiting walking or bicycling.

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Steven Gehrke, Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University

Topic: An Activity-related Land Use Mix Construct and Its Connection to Pedestrian Travel

Land use mix is a central smart growth principle connected to active transportation. This presentation describes the indicators of local land use mixing and their association with pedestrian travel in Oregon’s Willamette River Valley. It argues that land use mix is a multidimensional construct reflected by the complementarity, composition, and configuration of land use types, which is positively linked to walk mode choice and home-based trip frequency. Findings from this study underline the conceptual and empirical benefit of analyzing this transportation-land use interaction with a landscape pattern measure of activity-related composition and spatial configuration.

Steven Gehrke is a Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. His research examines the transportation-land use interaction,...

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Summary: Researchers from the transportation, planning and health fields share the common goal of promoting physically active lifestyle. One challenge that researchers often face is the measurement of physical activity, particularly among children. This is because the sporadic nature of children’s physical activity patterns makes it difficult to recall and quantify such activities. Additionally, children’s lower cognitive functioning compared to adults prevents them from accurately recalling their activities. This presentation will describe the design and application of a novel self-report instrument - the Graphs for Recalling Activity Time (GReAT) - for measuring children’s activity time use patterns. The instrument was applied in a study of children’s risk for obesity and diabetes in a predominately Hispanic community in Milwaukee, WI. Time-use data for two weekdays and one weekend day were collected for various physical and sedentary activities. The data was then assessed against measurements of the children’s cardiovascular fitness, weight status and insulin resistance through exploratory analysis and structured equation modeling. Findings on GReAT’s reliability and new evidence on the impacts of time-use in...

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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...

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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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