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Research assistantship for bike/pedestrian integration project

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  • Dayana Salazar
    Please conserve: Think before you print this email. This academic year, I am working on a research project with colleagues at Cal Poly in the Urban Planning
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5, 2009
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      Please conserve: Think before you print this email.
      This academic year, I am working on a research project with colleagues at
      Cal Poly in the Urban Planning Department. We will investigate best
      practices in the integration of bike- and pedestrian-friendly policies
      into the transportation infrastructure of small urban communities. My work
      will focus on the City of Palo Alto and the Stanford University campus. I
      seek a qualified and interested undergraduate or graduate student to work
      with our team as a research assistant this academic year. Pay will depend
      on experience and qualifications, but will likely be somewhere between $12
      and $15 per hour and total up to 100 hours. In consultation with me, this
      work could be combined with EnvS 194 or EnvS 285 units and fulfill
      internship and field work requirements for your major. An abstract
      containing further project details is below.

      I am seeking a self-directed, mature student with an interest and
      background in bike policy, field survey administration, and urban planning
      to assist us with literature review and survey administration in Palo Alto
      later this year. Good research and writing skills are highly desirable. If
      you would like to be considered for the position, please submit an
      electronic resume, cover letter of no more than 1 page, and writing sample
      of no more than 3 pages to me by Friday (10/9). You can also drop off a
      hard copy of the material in my box at Tower Hall, Room 207. Feel free to
      forward this message along if you know of a fellow student who would be a
      good fit for the position.

      Thank you,

      Katherine Kao Cushing, Ph.D.
      Special Assistant to the President and Director of Sustainability
      Office of the President
      Associate Professor
      Department of Environmental Studies
      San José State University
      One Washington Square
      San José, CA 95192-0002
      Direct: 408-924-6348
      Main: 408-924-1177
      katherine.cushing@...
      Lessons for Bike/Pedestrian Integration into the Infrastructure of Urban
      Communities

      With increasing concern about global warming, green house gas emissions
      and rising fuel prices, non-motorized modes, such as biking and walking,
      are gaining importance as viable choices in urban transportation. Having
      over-emphasized automobile transportation for so many years, many cities
      in the United States are not accustomed to addressing alternative modes of
      mobility. This over-emphasis is reflected in personal travel habits which
      include the fact that at the national level, more than 90% of work trips
      are typically made by the automobile, 5% by public transit, 2.5% by
      walking and a mere 0.5% by bicycle (Bureau of Transportation Statistics
      August, 2008). It is imperative
      that we increase the level of non-motorized travel to address the concerns
      about energy use and the environment.

      Even where alternative modes are addressed, not all US cities have taken a
      unified approach to promoting bicycle transportation because bike mode
      choice is dependent on such important factors as year round weather
      conditions, topography, trip purpose, and trip length. Even in cities like
      Davis, Palo Alto and San Luis Obispo, which have strongly promoted biking,
      there is the need for improved design and planning tools to assess the
      ridership, mode shift and safety impacts of expanding bicycle networks and
      facilities. These cities may provide important lessons to others on what
      is done right and
      what can be improved. The literature reveals quite a few design guidelines
      for bike lanes, but there are no specific indications which of the varied
      treatments in these guides work well for users. While some cities are
      highly acclaimed for deploying bicycle- friendly facilities, most lag
      behind and lack the resources to assess what is needed to integrate them
      with other means of travel.

      This study will emphasize policy lessons in the choice of infrastructure
      and types of operations; mode shifts away from the auto; and how to
      educate the public with the goal of improving the integration of
      non-motorized modes into the urban transportation infrastructure. To
      accomplish this, we will study three cases of cities that have become
      pedestrian- and bike-friendly by promoting bicycle and pedestrian
      transportation in order to:
      • Elicit transferable lessons for adoption by other cities in terms of
      treatments that
      users generally prefer, those that users or accident data reveal as wrong
      and
      treatments that could be improved
      • Identify program characteristics associated with high ridership levels
      • Identify key areas within the Master Planning process that should
      incorporate
      bicycling needs

      This project will combine primary data from surveys of users of
      non-motorized, public transit and automobile modes with secondary data
      from previous study efforts in case study cities to identify program
      characteristics associated with high ridership levels and what could be
      improved in bike/pedestrian planning in urban neighborhoods or
      communities.



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