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.

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Topic: Skateboarding as Transportation: Findings from Exploratory Research

Bio: Tessa Walker is currently completing her thesis on non-motorized transportation and qualitative research methods with supervision from Dr. Jennifer Dill and Dr. David Morgan. For more information on her thesis research please visit the Skate Study PDX website (http://www.skatestudypdx.wordpress.com). Tessa has previously worked in town planning in Vermont, sustainability auditing in Massachusetts, and in bicycle and pedestrian transportation research with the Family Activity Study at PSU. She is currently an intern at the public opinion research firm DHM Research, and she will be a 2013-2014 Hatfield Fellow.

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Summary: The declining rates of physical activity among children, particularly adolescent girls, are well-documented, yet there has been insufficient research into the attitudes about health behaviors, particularly active travel, of the children themselves. Tara's research explores attitudes about active transportation among children aged 4-17 years and examines how perceived ability, self-efficacy, and sensitivity to certain environments or facilities vary across gender and age of the children. She utilises data from the Family Activity Study, a multi-year longitudinal intervention study in Portland, Oregon, in which 490 children answered surveys regarding their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors about traveling by walking, bicycling, or being in a car.

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