Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Guiding Spaces Towards Inclusivity: How Roadway Design can Increase the Prevalence of Active Transportation and Catalyze the Propensity of Inclusionary Public Policy
by Gudz, Eric Matthew, M.S., University of California, Davis, 2016, 37; 10165932
Abstract (Summary)

With the goal of improving the integration of multiple travel modes into traditional roadway designs, many jurisdictions have considered road diets, characterized by reductions in vehicular traffic lanes and reallocation of right-of-way for other modes. Studies show that road diets can improve safety without slowing automobile traffic, but benefits for pedestrians and bicyclists have not been widely documented. Furthermore, the potential for our built environment, specifically roadway redesign, to promote the integration of more inclusive design remains open for further exploration. To address this gap, the effects of a road diet project in Davis, CA were examined. Data were collected on the number of bicyclists and pedestrians at key intersections and automobile travel times along the corridor before and after the road diet treatment. The analysis shows that every intersection studied experienced a statistically significant increase in the number of bicyclists during either or both the morning and evening peak periods. On average across all intersections studied along the corridor, the number of bicyclists using Fifth Street increased by 243%, but the change in pedestrian volumes was not statistically significant. Contrary to common fears about road diets, automobile travel times decreased a statistically significant amount during the evening peak. A nearly 10 percentage point change in bicyclist gender distribution was recorded after the road diet, providing insight towards an increased perception of safety and comfort among Fifth Street bicyclists and the expanded potential of roadway designs for inclusionary social planning. As demonstrated by this study, the reconfiguration of our roadways towards multimodality has definite potential to not only address health, environmental, and safety concerns but also to move roadways towards more balanced gender accessibility.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Handy, Susan L.
Commitee: Sperling, Daniel, Wheeler, Stephen M.
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Transportation Technology and Policy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Public policy, Transportation planning, Urban planning
Keywords: Bicycle planning, Complete streets, Gender equity, Local infrastructure, Road diet, Road treatment
Publication Number: 10165932
ISBN: 9781369203080