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Project Details

Title:Learning from the Travel Experiences of Persons with Disabilities: Investigating Navigation Challenges Posed by Infrastructure
Principal Investigators:Manish Shirgaokar and Wesley Marshall
University:University of Colorado Denver
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-614
RiP #:01732550
RH Display ID:154557
Keywords:accessibility, infrastructure, mobile applications, persons with disabilities, regression analysis, smartphones, spatial analysis, surveys, travel behavior, urban areas


Vision Zero has captured the imagination of policy makers, arguably led by a large volume of research in the last two decades that focuses on bicycling and pedestrian travel. Yet most streets in the US remain inhospitable to sustainable transportation modes. For this project, we contend that if cities were to make streets safe for the most vulnerable section of our society, we would naturally extend these benefits to all other groups. We focus on persons with disabilities (PWDs) as a case and an exemplar. Our objective is to understand the micro-trajectories that PWDs take in the urban environment.

We will be relying on PWDs over 18 recruited from two advocacy groups in the Denver Metro Region for this study. We will design a smartphone application that can passively track movements. We will conduct one initial short survey to collect details about socio-demographics, socio-economics, and disability type along with opinions on perceived barriers. We will then collect movement data for two weeks each during the cold and warm months. Seasonal variations are likely to elicit distinctly different travel patterns for PWDs, thus indicating infrastructure limitations.

Our analyses will rely on identifying variations in spatial-temporal clustering of micro-trajectories. We will build accessibility indices for PWDs' travel and identify hot spots for design interventions. The practical outcomes of this study are to ascertain actionable items for ADA standards such as locations of bus stops. Finally, our regression analyses will aim to identify location and demographic effects for policy interventions.

Project Word Files

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