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Project Details

Title:Reassessing Child Pedestrian Mode Choice & Safety via Perceived Parental Risk
Principal Investigators:Wesley Marshall and Bruce Janson
University:University of Colorado Denver
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-557
RH Display ID:15669
Keywords:bicycling, children, elementary school students, fear, mode choice, parents, pedestrians, pedestrian safety, school trips, surveys, walking


This project will first evaluate existing rates of walking and bicycling to school for selected elementary and middle schools in Denver, Colorado. We will then measure the impact of parental safety perceptions – measured through a survey – and develop a mode choice model to estimate the number of active transport trips suppressed by road safety fears (Nevelsteen, Steenberghen, Rompaey, and Uyttersprot 2012). Lastly, we will reassess safety outcomes and attempt to identify unsafe areas that may have been neglected by traditional safety analyses. If child pedestrians and bicyclists are indeed safer now than in the past, this gives credence to the effectiveness of our current efforts. If our better safety record for child pedestrians and bicyclists has more to do with a system that has intimidated parents into chauffeuring their kids whenever possible, then it means that we have more work to do.

While these questions may be asked about pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages, children will be the focus of this work because of the critical role perceived safety plays in childhood mode choice and the important mental, physical, and developmental benefits that active travel provides for children. In addition, children's trips are typically regulated by parents and are often concentrated around select locations such as schools and parks, making them more feasible to systematically study at a large scale.

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NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050