Student Presentations from TRB, Week 1: Smart Growth Neighborhoods & Real-World Cycling

Friday, January 20, 2017, 12:00pm to 10:00pm PST
Steven Gehrke and Alvaro Caviedes, Portland State University

View Steven Gehrke's presentation slides

View Alvaro Caviedes' presentation slides

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Student Presentations from TRB, Week 1: Smart Growth Neighborhoods & Real-World Cycling

Civil & Environmental Engineering: Steven Gehrke

A Pathway Linking Smart Growth Neighborhoods to Home-Based Pedestrian Travel

Land development patterns, urban design, and transportation system features are inextricably linked to pedestrian travel. Accordingly, planners and decision-makers have turned to integrated transportation-land use policies and investments to address the pressing need for improvements in physical activity levels via the creation of walkable communities. However, policy questions regarding the identification of smart growth indicators and their connection to walking remain unanswered, because most studies of the built environment determinants of pedestrian travel: (a) represent the built environment with isolated metrics instead of as a multidimensional construct and (b) model this transportation-land use relationship outside of a multidirectional analytic framework. Using structural equation modeling, this Portland, Oregon study identifies a second-order latent construct of the built environment indicated by land use mix, density, and urban design and transportation system features. Study findings suggest this construct has a strong effect on the household-level decision to walk for transport and discretionary travel.

Steven is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of civil & environmental engineering at Portland State University. His research explores the interactions between transportation and land development patterns, with a focus on active transportation. For his dissertation research, Steven is investigating the impacts of neighborhood land use mixing on pedestrian travel behavior in Oregon’s Willamette River Valley.

Urban Studies & Planning: Alvaro Caviedes

Measuring Stress Levels for real-world on-road cyclists: do bicycle facilities, intersections and traffic levels affect cyclists' stress?

This research effort presents a novel approach to measure cyclists’ stress: real-world, on-road measurements of physiological stress as cyclists travel across different types of bicycle facilities in various traffic volumes. This study addresses the question of how the characteristics of a bicycle trip affect stress levels using physiological data, specifically GSR. As detailed in the next section, GSR-based studies have been successfully employed for many years in the psychological field to recognize and associate emotions and behaviors to physiological responses. The three research questions examined in this study are: i) Does peak traffic impact cyclists’ stress levels? ii) Do intersections impact cyclists’ stress levels? and iii) Does facility type impact cyclists’ stress levels?

Álvaro Caviedes is an M.S. Student, Civil & Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. He is a M.U.R.P. Student, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban studies and Planning, has a B.S. in Civil Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, 2013, and currently works for PSU as a Graduate Research Assistant.