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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.Read more
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GPS use in travel behavior studies has seen increasing acceptance over the past decade, with more than 15 travel surveys conducted since 2000 including a GPS subcomponent. Similarly, accelerometers have become the gold standard for collecting objective physical activity data in health studies. Since 2003, GeoStats has been involved in studies that have deployed both devices in tandem to collect second-by-second travel and physical activity data never before available. This seminar will cover the use of these technologies to address key research questions facing transportation and health professionals.
Dr. Jean Wolf is the president and co-founder of GeoStats, a company specializing in the application of GPS and GIS technologies for the collection, analysis, visualization, and reporting of transportation data. Since the launch of GeoStats in 2000, Dr. Wolf has led all GPS-enhanced travel surveys and physical activity studies conducted by the firm (with more than 20 studies to date). Dr. Wolf has extensive project management, technology, and logistics experience, including 10 years at UPS as an industrial and systems engineer, which makes her uniquely qualified to run complex GPS studies that depend upon the integration of numerous processes and data flows to produce highly detailed and accurate GPS deliverables. Dr. Wolf is a member of the TRB Travel Survey Methods Committee,...Read more
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A major aspect of transportation planning is understanding behavior: how to predict it and how to influence it over the long term. Transportation models typically emphasize policy variables such as travel time and cost. While clearly important, we hypothesize that other variables may be just as influential, namely, variables related to environmental consequences such as greenhouse gas emissions. This work is motivated by several factors. First, there is evidence from behavioral economics in non-transport domains that providing personalized information regarding environmental impact can significantly modify behavior. Second, applications to transport appear to have potential as many studies find that environmental consciousness influences transport behavior. Third, there are a growing number of transportation websites that are reporting environmental savings. Finally, smartphones provide the technological means to provide real-time, person-specific travel information regarding trip times, costs, and environmental impacts. Results from a computer laboratory experiment will be presented, which indicate that providing informing regarding environmental impacts significantly increases sustainable behaviors. Further, the experiments suggest a “value of green” of around 44-84 cents per pound of CO2 savings.