Transport Findings -> Findings

An announcement from FindingsPress:

October 19, 2020 AEST

You may have noticed that Transport Findings has become Findings. We believe the core idea of open access, peer-reviewed, short form research articles that is central to Findings has applications well beyond the transport domain, and we don’t want to limit ourselves (or you). We could have started a lot of small journals, but it is more cost effective, and probably also more beneficial, to keep everything under one journal name, with multiple sections and editors.

So everything we have published to date is in the section Transport Findings, as will undoubtedly be many future papers. But we are pleased to announce that we have opened up a new section Urban Findings, edited by Somwrita Sarkar, which will be launching soon. Urban Findings welcomes submissions following the Findings model of short, to-the-point research findings in the broad field of urbanism. You can see the Editorial Board here:

So at this time we are about Findings in the domains of Transport and Urbanism, because those are the practical limits of our current expertise, but we see no reason in principle that there should not be other sections.

If you have ideas about a topic area that you would both like to see articles for, and are willing to edit, please let us know. Editors of the new section would have to help recruit an editorial board, solicit articles, find reviewers, and, of course, make editorial decisions.

Unfortunately, we can only pay you in social capital, but those rewards are enormous, you will be helping assemble the knowledge of humanity, brick-by-brick, finding-by-finding.

Roderick Distinguished International Webinar: Jennifer Whyte from Imperial College London on `Infrastructure projects and digital delivery.’

The University of Sydney’s First Roderick Distinguished International Webinar is scheduled on Thursday, 19 November 2020, from 6-7pm via Zoom.

In this webinar, we will hear from Prof. Jennifer Whyte from Imperial College London. The talk will focus on Infrastructure projects and digital delivery.

Please CLICK HERE to register at your earliest convenience.

Speaker
Prof. Jennifer Whyte is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London, and holds the Royal Academy of Engineering and Laing O’Rourke Chair in Systems Integration. Her research is on the delivery of major infrastructure projects, and on the integration of systems, modular and digital delivery strategies. As a member of Construction Leadership Council in the UK, she has strong links to industry and policy, giving advice based on her research. She has been visiting faculty at Stanford and is Director of the Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation at Imperial College London. She is the incoming Head of the School of Project Management and Director of the John Grill Institute at the University of Sydney.


Title: Infrastructure projects and digital delivery
The talk will focus on how is the delivery of major infrastructure projects transformed by pervasive use of digital technologies and digital information? This lecture will explore how the practices of delivering infrastructure are changing, arguing for the need for focus on systems integration and the realization of value from projects. It draws on research on London megaproject, Heathrow Terminals, London 2012 Olympics, Crossrail, Tideway, High Speed 2.

Transportist: October 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of The Transportist, especially to our new readers. As always you can follow along at the  transportist.org or on Twitter

The New Normal

While VMT in the US is back to normalpublic transport levels are not.

It will be a while before, if ever, that public transport returns to the pre-virus normal, even in places like Sydney which were not nearly as severely hit as China, the US, and Europe.

There are several reasons public transport demand will remain low, and these changes are perhaps permanent:

  • more people work from home at least a few days a week, especially CBD office workers who would otherwise be packed both onto trains and into hot-desked offices.  
  • people are instructed to avoid trains and buses to ensure distancing, which people who can will voluntarily do anyway.
  • unemployment rates are higher than previously.

Substitutes like walking and biking are likely to pick up some of the slack for those who work in the CBD, though more needs to be done to facilitate safe bicycling in and around Sydney (and most other English speaking cities), in particular following the lead of other global cities in instituting a much larger network of separated and protected bike lanes.

Research 

  • Cui, Mengying, and Levinson, D. (2020) Internal and External Costs of Motor Vehicle PollutionTransportation Research Record. [doi]On-road emissions, a dominant source of urban air pollution, damage human health. Emissions increase air pollution intake (and damage health) of travelers (internal costs), and of non-travelers (external costs). This research constructs a framework modeling the microscopic production of emission cost from the vehicle and link level and applies it to a metropolitan road network. It uses project-level Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) simulations to model link-specific on-road emissions, and then employs the RLINE dispersion model to estimate on- and off-road concentrations of pollutants from vehicles. The internal and external emission costs are measured accordingly by counting the health damage costs of travelers and gen- eral population because of exposure. The framework is applied to the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) Metropolitan Area as a proof-of-concept. The estimates show that highways have higher emission concentrations because of higher traffic flow, but that the internal and external emission costs per vehicle kilometer traveled are lower. The emission costs that commuters impose on others greatly exceeds that which they bear. This modeling process is replicable for planners and practitioners assessing emission costs in other regions.

Walk Sydney

  • After a year at the helm, in a peaceful and planned transition of power involving neither vote fraud nor Supreme Court intervention, I transitioned from being President to being an ordinary Committee member of WalkSydney this month. Good luck to our new President Barnaby Bennett.

Transport Findings

  1. Hassanvand, Mina. 2020. “Long-Distance Person Travel: A Cluster-Based Approach.” Findings, September.
  2. Roy, Avipsa, Daniel Fuller, Kevin Stanley, and Trisalyn Nelson. 2020. “Classifying Transport Mode from Global Positioning Systems and Accelerometer Data: A Machine Learning Approach.” Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14520.
  3. Zimny-Schmitt, Daniel, and Joshua Sperling. 2020. “Quantifying Airport Employee Commuting and Related Energy Use: A Comparison of Six US Airports.” Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.16663.
  4. Fischer, Jaimy, Trisalyn Nelson, and Meghan Winters. 2020. “Comparing Spatial Associations of Commuting versus Recreational Ridership Captured by the Strava Fitness App.” Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.16710.
  5. Aldred, Rachel, and Anna Goodman. 2020. “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Car Use, and Active Travel: Evidence from the People and Places Survey of Outer London Active Travel Interventions.” Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.17128.
  6. Chen, Peng, and Jihao Deng. 2020. “Integrating Affordable Housing with Transit: Where Are the Transit Deserts?” Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.17244.

News & Opinion

Books

Internal and External Costs of Motor Vehicle Pollution

Recently published:

On-road emissions, a dominant source of urban air pollution, damage human health. Emissions increase air pollution intake (and damage health) of travelers (internal costs), and of non-travelers (external costs). This research constructs a framework modeling the microscopic production of emission cost from the vehicle and link level and applies it to a metropolitan road network. It uses project-level Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) simulations to model link-specific on-road emissions, and then employs the RLINE dispersion model to estimate on- and off-road concentrations of pollutants from vehicles. The internal and external emission costs are measured accordingly by counting the health damage costs of travelers and gen- eral population because of exposure. The framework is applied to the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) Metropolitan Area as a proof-of-concept. The estimates show that highways have higher emission concentrations because of higher traffic flow, but that the internal and external emission costs per vehicle kilometer traveled are lower. The emission costs that commuters impose on others greatly exceeds that which they bear. This modeling process is replicable for planners and practitioners assessing emission costs in other regions.

Figure 6. Emissions cost estimates (cents/vehicle kilometers traveled): (a) internal and (b) external.

Transportist: September 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of The Transportist, especially to our new readers. As always you can follow along at the  transportist.org or on Twitter

Plants vs. Animals

I posit, as a first order approximation, humans are going to bifurcate as a species into plants and animals. Plants work from home and have everything delivered. Animals have out of home jobs and travel.

A quick Twitter poll shows nearly 2/3 of my followers admit to being plants, disturbingly high.

Books

  • 30-Minute City: Designing for Access is now Open Access

I am pleased to announce that you can now download a PDF version of The 30-Minute City: Designing for Access from the University of Sydney eScholarship Repository. (Free)

The 30-Minute City by David M. Levinson
The 30-Minute City by David M. Levinson
VIEW/OPEN
DATE
  • 2019-12
AUTHOR
  • Levinson, David M.
METADATA

This book describes how to implement The 30-Minute City. The first part of the book explains accessibility. We next consider access through history (chapter 2). Access is the driving force behind how cities were built. Its use today is described when looking at access and the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan for Sydney. We then examine short-run fixes: things that can be done instantaneously, or nearly so, at low budget to restore access for people, which include retiming traffic signals (chapter 3) and deploying bike sharing (chapter 5) supported by protected bike lane networks (chapter 4), as well public transport timetables (chapter 6). We explore medium-run fixes that include implementing rapid bus networks (chapter 7) and configuring how people get to train stations by foot and on bus (chapter 8). We turn to longer-run fixes. These are as much policy changes as large investments, and include job/worker balance (chapter 10) and network restructuring (chapter 9) as well as urban restoration (chapter 11), suburban retrofit (chapter 12), and greenfield development (chapter 13). We conclude with thoughts about the ‘pointlessness’ of cities and how to restructure practice (chapter 14). The appendices provide detail on access measurement (Appendix A), the idea of accessibility loss (B), valuation (C), the rationale for the 30-minute threshold (D), and reliability (E). It concludes with what should we research (F).

URI

Research 

  • Ji, Ang and Levinson, D. (2020) An energy loss-based vehicular injury severity model. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 146 October 2020, 105730. [doi]

How crashes translate into physical injuries remains controversial. Previous studies recommended a predictor, Delta-V, to describe the crash consequences in terms of mass and impact speed of vehicles in crashes. This study adopts a new factor, energy loss-based vehicular injury severity (ELVIS), to explain the effects of the energy absorption of two vehicles in a collision. This calibrated variable, which is fitted with regression-based and machine learning models, is compared with the widely-used Delta-V predictor. A multivariate ordered logistic regression with multiple classes is then estimated. The results align with the observation that heavy vehicles are more likely to have inherent protection and rigid structures, especially in the side direction, and so suffer less impact.

This study focuses on path flow for road network, as the sum of individual route choices from individual travelers, associated with specific path type for each cost factor of auto travel that finds the optimal route with the minimum cumulative cost from the perspective of the corresponding cost analyst interest. The considered cost factors include time, safety, emission, and monetary costs, as well as their composite, internal and full cost of travel. We further explore the extent to which each cost factor explains the observed link traffic flows given an estimated home-to-work demand pattern. The results of the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area indicate that flows from multiple path types, associated with internal cost components, additionally to the factor of distance, provides the best fit.

Transportist Blog

Traffic Safety

On August 6, I was on ABC Radio Hobart at 09:35 AEST talking traffic safety https://abc.net.au/radio/hobart/live/… with Leon Compton @abchobart. I was later interviewed for ABC-TV on the same subject. I was talking about my blog post: 21 Solutions to Road Deaths. Apparently there has been a recent spike in Tasmania. My key talking points:

We use the term “crash” not “accident” as “accident” implies no one was at fault and lack of intention and crash is more neutral. Crashes have causes.

The safety community likes to say “Safety is a shared responsibility”, and the responsibility lies with drivers, road engineers, vehicle designers, public policy, and others. [Though I think it is often about shirking responsibility and putting it back on the victim rather than taking it themselves].

Every crash has individual causes, but there are trends.

Australia-wide, there were 484 total fatal crashes (January through June) – down compared to the same period in 2019, which saw 572. https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/downloads/dynamic/nsw-road-toll-monthly.pdf

The Lockdowns associated with COVID-19 are a factor. A study from Ohio State Univeresity found that COVID, which decreased the amount of automobile (and all) travel saw an increase in Speeding.

Speeding is a known cause of crashes. Higher speeds have two major effects: 

  • 1. Speeding reduces the available time for drivers to react to events, increasing the likelihood of a collision. 
  • 2. Higher speed increases the severity of impact, increasing the likelihood of fatality.

Solutions include better driver training and testing, more rigorous enforcement, keeping intoxicated drivers off the road, better engineering of roads, lower speed limits (which are both enforced, and designed into the road).

Walk Sydney

Transport Findings

  1. Roy, Avipsa, Daniel Fuller, Kevin Stanley, and Trisalyn Nelson. 2020. “Classifying Transportation Mode from Global Positioning Systems and Accelerometer Data: A Machine Learning Approach.” Transport Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14520.
  2. Young, Mischa, and Steven Farber. 2020. “Using Wait-Time Thresholds to Improve Mobility: The Case of UberWAV Services in Toronto.” Transport Findings, August. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14547.
  3. Du, Jianhe, and Hesham Rakha. 2020. “Preliminary Investigation of COVID-19 Impact on Transportation System Delay, Energy Consumption and Emission Levels.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14103.
  4. Branion-Calles, Michael, Kate Hosford, Meghan Winters, Lise Gauvin, and Daniel Fuller. 2020. “The Impact of Implementing Public Bicycle Share Programs on Bicycle Crashes.” Transport Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.16724.

News & Opinion

Books

An energy loss-based vehicular injury severity model

Recently published:

  • Ji, Ang and Levinson, D. (2020) An energy loss-based vehicular injury severity model. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 146 October 2020, 105730. [doi]

How crashes translate into physical injuries remains controversial. Previous studies recommended a predictor, Delta-V, to describe the crash consequences in terms of mass and impact speed of vehicles in crashes. This study adopts a new factor, energy loss-based vehicular injury severity (ELVIS), to explain the effects of the energy absorption of two vehicles in a collision. This calibrated variable, which is fitted with regression-based and machine learning models, is compared with the widely-used Delta-V predictor. A multivariate ordered logistic regression with multiple classes is then estimated. The results align with the observation that heavy vehicles are more likely to have inherent protection and rigid structures, especially in the side direction, and so suffer less impact.

 

Shortest paths, travel costs, and traffic

Recently published:

This study focuses on path flow for road network, as the sum of individual route choices from individual travelers, associated with specific path type for each cost factor of auto travel that finds the optimal route with the minimum cumulative cost from the perspective of the corresponding cost analyst interest. The considered cost factors include time, safety, emission, and monetary costs, as well as their composite, internal and full cost of travel. We further explore the extent to which each cost factor explains the observed link traffic flows given an estimated home-to-work demand pattern. The results of the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area indicate that flows from multiple path types, associated with internal cost components, additionally to the factor of distance, provides the best fit.

dif_full_2

Sydney’s bike network stuck in the slow lane | Sydney Morning Herald

Nigel Gladstone at the Sydney Morning Herald writes: “Sydney’s bike network stuck in the slow lane“. My quote below:

Sydney University Professor of transport engineering David Levinson said bike network plans are “unambitious” because the government seems reluctant to face any backlash from the loss of car parking.

“What’s the most valuable use of road space: moving people or storing cars?” he said. “The alternative is turning over more footpath space to cyclists, which creates a different set of conflicts and footpath space is a lot scarcer.”

Dr Levinson said judging demand for bike lanes under current conditions is like trying to “judge the demand for the harbour bridge by the number of people swimming across the harbour.”

The City of Sydney has installed 6 temporary cycleways as it makes bike riding a transport priority in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
City of Sydney Bike Network, including Pop-up Cycleways. The “Local Bike Network” is not even sharrows, and some links are shared footpaths..

The 30-Minute City – Open Access

I am pleased to announce that you can now download a PDF version of The 30-Minute City: Designing for Access from the University of Sydney eScholarship Repository. (Free)

View/Open

Date

  • 2019-12

Author

  • Levinson, David M.

Metadata

This book describes how to implement The 30-Minute City. The first part of the book explains accessibility. We next consider access through history (chapter 2). Access is the driving force behind how cities were built. Its use today is described when looking at access and the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan for Sydney. We then examine short-run fixes: things that can be done instantaneously, or nearly so, at low budget to restore access for people, which include retiming traffic signals (chapter 3) and deploying bike sharing (chapter 5) supported by protected bike lane networks (chapter 4), as well public transport timetables (chapter 6). We explore medium-run fixes that include implementing rapid bus networks (chapter 7) and configuring how people get to train stations by foot and on bus (chapter 8). We turn to longer-run fixes. These are as much policy changes as large investments, and include job/worker balance (chapter 10) and network restructuring (chapter 9) as well as urban restoration (chapter 11), suburban retrofit (chapter 12), and greenfield development (chapter 13). We conclude with thoughts about the ‘pointlessness’ of cities and how to restructure practice (chapter 14). The appendices provide detail on access measurement (Appendix A), the idea of accessibility loss (B), valuation (C), the rationale for the 30-minute threshold (D), and reliability (E). It concludes with what should we research (F).

URI

The 30-Minute City by David M. Levinson