Pedestrian transportation project prioritization incorporating app-collected sidewalk data
MetadataShow full item record
Planners and decision-makers recognize that non-motorized transportation provides environmental, economic, and public health benefits. Recent technology advances, such as the widespread use of mobile devices and geographic information systems, enable the collection of disaggregate built environment and travel behavior data. To integrate pedestrian planning into transport operations at local and regional scales, it is necessary to develop systems to rank and prioritize zones and corridors for pedestrian infrastructure investment. Best practices for pedestrian planning suggest that jurisdictions prioritize pedestrian projects based on a variety of concerns, such as high pedestrian activity, pedestrian safety, accessibility to transit and mobility for persons with disabilities, children and older adults. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed and piloted an automated system to assess the quality of sidewalks, utilizing an Android™ App that collects GPS-enabled video, accelerometer, and gyroscope data. Researchers collected pilot sidewalk data within the City of Atlanta to evaluate the accessibility and walkability of pedestrian facilities. This research proposes a weighted ranking system to prioritize pedestrian projects using App-collected pedestrian facility data collected in the field using a mobile Android application, pedestrian safety indicators, pedestrian activity data and demographic data. The ranking system uses a set of block-level pedestrian potential and deficiency indicators to prioritize planning investments within a subarea of Midtown, Atlanta, Georgia, combining available data sources with app-collected sidewalk width data. The results of these rank-order prioritization analyses indicate that blocks near rail stations and Georgia Institute of Technology/Technology Square should be prioritized for pedestrian investments. However, further refinements are needed to extend the application of this methodology to larger geographic scales. Additionally, this research did not consider the cost constraints of pedestrian project alternatives within the study area. Future availability of comprehensive pedestrian activity and pedestrian network data will enable planners and engineers to prioritize corridors and intersections for pedestrian project implementation.