Identification of Zones with High Pedestrian Activity Using GIS

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Title: Identification of Zones with High Pedestrian Activity Using GIS
Author: Letchworth, William Edwin
Advisors: Dr Joseph Hummer, Committee Member
Dr Billy Williams, Committee Member
Dr John Stone, Committee Chair
Abstract: The ability to forecast pedestrian trips is critical, but to date, methods to do so have been time consuming and subjective. This research identifies characteristics that are indicators of pedestrian activity, and develops a method to use the characteristics in conjunction with local GIS data to determine the likelihood of pedestrian activity in Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs) in Wake County, North Carolina. Such measures of the likelihood of pedestrian activity, often called Pedestrian Environmental Factors (PEFs), have been proven to be statistically significant in explaining travel behavior in Portland, Oregon and Montgomery County, Maryland. The method developed in this project can analyze zonal characteristics and to develop a PEF describing the pedestrian friendliness of zones in a regional model. This method is better than pooling the knowledge of local officials, in that it is less subjective, more thorough, can describe varying levels of pedestrian activity, and it can forecast effects on the pedestrian environment that changes in the zonal characteristics may have. Recognizing that specialized knowledge of the area is important this method includes a review of the final PEFs by local officials, but after the characteristics and thresholds have been adjusted to match areas of known pedestrian activity, those characteristics and thresholds can then be used to forecast the effects of changes in the characteristics without the need for professional review.
Date: 2004-06-09
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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