The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting will take place next week, January 8-12, 2017, in Washington, DC. Over 12,000 transportation professionals from more than 70 countries will be in attendance. The New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center will be well represented. All papers, presentations, and posters from meeting sessions will be available online after the event on the TRB website. In the meantime, here’s a preview of the work BPRC will be presenting.
This year, Charles Brown will make a presentation titled Access Denied: Biking While Black and Hispanic or Latino in New York and New Jersey. It will take place on Monday, January 9th during the Bicycle Transportation Committee meeting.
Charles Brown and James Sinclair submitted a paper, Removing Barriers to Bicycle Use in Black and Hispanic Communities.
Research on identifying barriers to bicycling has become popular over the past decade. However, few studies have been conducted on barriers and solutions that are unique to bicycle use among Blacks and Hispanics. The purpose of the study was to ascertain barriers to and identify solutions to bicycle use among Black and Hispanic bicyclists and non-bicyclists. Primary data collection methods were intercept surveys of pedestrians in thirty-four geographically and typographically diverse municipalities in New Jersey and focus groups with exclusively Black and Hispanic participants. The intercept survey method was selected to obtain a high response rate that was representative of the selected municipalities. The focus groups obtained additional information that can be difficult to gather from an intercept survey. A total of 1,660 surveys were collected, and 16 Blacks and 10 Hispanics participated in the focus groups. These data show that the three biggest barriers to bicycling for all respondents are fear of a traffic collision, fear of robbery and assault, and pavement condition. Other notable barriers include fear of being stranded with a broken bicycle, and fear of being profiled by the police. Solutions for both bicyclists and non-bicyclists include bicycle lanes and off-street bicycle paths between their respective origins and destinations, and secure bicycle parking at their destinations. Key findings from the study are being discussed with select agencies and organizations throughout NJ. These findings have led the authors to conduct a separate study focused specifically on minority women bicycle access and use.
The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Research Center, also a part of the Voorhees Transportation Center, submitted a paper, Delays, Detours, and Diversions: Paths to Fully Executed Safe Routes to School Projects.
Periodically state governments solicit, review, and award Safe Routes to Schools grants to local governments and school districts seeking to make improvements that will serve students to better travel to and from school. Having endured the process of identifying a worthy project and successfully completing the grant application process, these local entities are faced with the prospect of executing the specified work. Many communities are successful in achieving this goal, but some are not. This research seeks to identify promising practices utilized by those entities that complete these projects (and have successfully achieved their goals) despite difficulties during the process. The research identifies ways that the grant fulfillment process breaks down and how these difficulties may be overcome.
If you haven’t already, check out the BPRC’s contributions to last year’s conference: