(Center Identification Number: 79060-02-C)
Chicago has a national reputation as one of the best large cities in the United States for bicycling. The City of Chicago has achieved this goal by investing in biking infrastructure and promoting education, awareness and advocacy. The Chicago streets for cycling plan 2020 calls for a 645-mile network of biking facilities to be in place by 2020 to provide a bicycle accommodation. While case by case studies (mostly in local levels) have been performed to examine pedestrian and cyclists accessibilities to transit and provide guidelines to improve these facilities, no methodology has been presented to select sites cost-effectively among a pool of sites asking for accessibility to transit and safety improvements.
With this regard, the study proposes the development of a comprehensive framework to prioritize projects asking for improvement of walking and cycling considering safety and current conditions. This approach can provide a tool in the hand of decision makers to make costeffective and educated decisions to allocate budget efficiently. The study will select preferably suburban communities (e.g. Central or North Central Councils of Mayors) and compile pedestrian and cyclists crashes and factors affecting the utilization of these modes and accessibility to transit stations. Then, it will develop an analytical framework to discover key factors to be considered in the project selections.
Task 1: Review Literature – the project will review studies and practices performed in the local or State level by transportation and transit agencies (e.g. RTA, CMAP, CDOT) to comprehend fully the most up-to-date developments in the subject area. International and national studies will also be reviewed to learn practices and tactics to 1) prioritize bike and pedestrian projects; 2) identify critical parameters and modeling techniques utilized for the prioritization procedure. This task is expected to last two months. One full time student and one quarter of the research faculty time are dedicated to this task.
Task 2: Compile and Analyze crash data- Crash data and police reports have to be comprehensively reviewed to define causes of crashes in which pedestrians and cyclists were involved. The study of police report (for each case) declaring pre-crash events and crash contributing circumstances are essential. After compiling this information, analyzing crash contributing factors will be performed to investigate the potential relation between crash contributing factors and crash occurrences. This outcome will be essential for the execution of the upcoming task, the development of modeling framework. This task is expected to be concluded during a four-month period.
Task 3: Compile Pedestrians and Cyclists Requisites – To embrace current requirement mandated or recommended by American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and traffic operation requirements noted in the Highway capacity manual (HCM), the research team will review all required materials in order to compile all current requisites. This knowledge base will be essential to assess potential deficiencies which might be observed in the field visits. This task will be performed concurrently with Task 2 and expected to last one month.
Task 4: Sites Assessment – After calculating crash rates, high crash locations are identified and assessments of pedestrians and cyclists facilities and their conditions will be performed on a period that crashes occurred. Google earth will be leveraged to maintain this time consuming but a viable task. This task is expected to last three months.
Deliverable: At the end of this task, the technical memorandum will be prepared documenting all findings emerged from the execution of the project during the last 8 months and submitted to the sponsors.
Task 5: Develop Modeling Framework – Prior tasks will provide the robust foundation to execute the following subtasks; 1) identify significant parameters (e.g. physical, geometric, socioeconomic, and operation parameters) impacting safety and mobility of pedestrians and cyclists using statistical and analytical modeling techniques; 2) delineate significant factors altering the project prioritization considering the risks and economic merits; and 3) develop a reasonable generic framework to be utilized for the project prioritization. This task is expected to last three months.
Task 6: Develop a decision making tool blueprint -The developed modeling framework will be utilized to outline a decision-making system tool to be built by application developers and leveraged by city authorities to prioritize pedestrian/cyclist projects initiated to improve safety and mobility in their communities. The blueprint will design a user-friendly environment for managers, engineers, and planners to perform analytical assessments seamlessly. The blueprint will suggest different interfaces for users to input data into the system and perform analyses.
Task 7: Document Final Report-The project will be concluded with the documentation of all findings and the submission of the final report to the sponsors and city officials to collect professional feedbacks. The task is expected to last a month overlapping with Task 6. This duration considers 15 days reviewing cycle and revision period.
July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Total Project Cost $138,080