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Pedestrian Level of Traffic Stress (PLTS) Application and Validation

Project Description

Many of the existing methods to evaluate pedestrian and bicyclist suitability require a large number of inputs, some of which are not available in typical roadway inventory data (e.g., pavement condition, on-street parking coverage, heavy vehicle proportion), making them impractical for most agencies to apply. Some of these methods also require statistical modeling expertise or specialized software to run, further putting them out of reach for many agencies. Occasionally, their outputs do not make intuitive sense. Our Year 1 CPBS project created a well-researched, standardized version of a table-based, Pedestrian Level of Traffic Stress (PLTS) tool. It incorporates many of the most important and easy-to-collect roadway factors associated with pedestrian suitability from a) existing pedestrian suitability methods and b) the pedestrian safety literature. This Year 2 project will build on our previous effort to apply the method in at least two case study communities (including the City of Milwaukee, WI) and validate the PLTS categories in a sample of locations against real pedestrian stress ratings from public surveys and police-reported pedestrian crash data. Our goal is to establish a validated, practical PLTS method that agencies across the country can use to estimate suitability and stress for pedestrians in various contexts, ultimately leading to safer and more enjoyable walking and rolling conditions.

As done for the BLTS in 2012, the research team will produce a final technical report that includes a description of the PLTS method. This report will include PLTS tables and example PLTS maps from communities where the method has been tested. The final report will discuss how well the PLTS method works for practitioners and matches with public perceptions of pedestrian stress and pedestrian crash locations.

As done for the BLTS in 2012, the research team will produce a final technical report that includes a description of the PLTS method. This report will include PLTS tables and example PLTS maps from communities where the method has been tested. The final report will discuss how well the PLTS method works for practitioners and matches with public perceptions of pedestrian stress and pedestrian crash locations.

Outcomes / Impacts

Since local pedestrian transportation experts will be involved in reviewing the PLTS tables and maps, technology transfer will start by sharing the Year 1 PLTS method. However, we will continue tech transfer of the PLTS method by posting the report and including an updated PLTS application spreadsheet on the CPBS UTC website. We will also share updated tables and maps with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Institute of Transportation Engineers, State DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinators, and other professional network e-mail lists, and present the tool to at least two major conference audiences.


Finally, the updated PLTS method will be taught in the UWM Urban Planning Department graduate Pedestrian & Bicycle Transportation course and in the Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate Urban Transportation Planning course and graduate Methods of Transportation Analysis course.

Dates

06/01/2024 to 05/31/2025

Universities

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Principal Investigator

Robert J. Schneider, PhD

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

rjschnei@uwm.edu

ORCID: 0000-0002-6225-3615

Project Partners: 

Nick Ferenchak, PhD

University of New Mexico

Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering


Research Project Funding

Federal: $89,112

Non-Federal: $20,738

Contract Number

69A3552348336

Project Number

24UWM05

Research Priority

Promoting Safety

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