Analysis of Traffic Hazard Intensity: A Spatial Epidemiology Case Study of Urban Pedestrians

Computers, Environment and Urban SystemsComputers, Environment and Urban Systems, Volume 35, Issue 3, May 2011, Pages 230-240

Hoe-Hun Ha, Jean-Claude Thill

“Research highlights:

  • Intensity of urban pedestrian collisions is modeled through a spatial epidemiologic approach.
  • Environmental factors are significant drivers of pedestrian traffic hazard intensity.
  • Socio-demographic of neighborhoods are significant drivers of pedestrian traffic hazard intensity.
  • Young and adult pedestrian traffic hazard intensities follow rather distinct logics.
  • Intersection and mid-block crashes differ by their socio-economic correlates and spatial distribution.

“Traffic safety studies have underscored the hazardous conditions of pedestrians in the United States. This situation calls for increased public awareness of the pedestrian safety issue and better knowledge of the main factors contributing to traffic hazard for urban pedestrians. The purpose of this spatial epidemiology research is to gain greater insights into the geographic dimension exhibited by the intensity of traffic collisions involving urban pedestrians. Pedestrian crashes are studied in Buffalo, NY for years 2003 and 2004. Factors of hazard intensity are determined and compared for three age cohorts as well as for collisions occurring at intersections versus mid-block locations. Physical road characteristics and density of development, as well as socio-economic and demographic variables and potential trip attractors are examined. Spatial regression models are used to account for spatial dependencies. Econometric analysis underscores that all classes of environmental factors tested are significant drivers of pedestrian traffic hazard intensity. Results of the geographic analysis indicate that young and adult pedestrian traffic hazard intensities follow rather distinct logics. In addition, intersection and mid-block crashes differ by their socio-economic correlates, as well as their spatial distribution in the urban fabric.”