Traffic Crashes and the Built Environment: A Case Study in Des Moines
Presenter: Dorcas Okaidjah, GIS certificate candidate, community and regional planning
Adviser: Monica Haddad, associate professor, community and regional planning
In 2018, there were 56,000 motor vehicle crashes in Iowa with 319 fatalities (IDOT). Existing scholarly work demonstrates that the built environment can affect the frequency of crashes. The objective of this study is to explore the relationship between urban traffic crashes in road intersections and the built environment in the city of Des Moines.
My study area includes low-income and wealthy neighborhoods in order to understand the built environment in these different contexts. Geographic information systems is used to identify hotspots of crashes in intersections and Google Street View is used to survey the built environment of the hotspot intersections. Built environment variables such as mixed land uses, crosswalks, number of lanes, number of bus stops, etc., are included in the survey.
My results will inform policymakers about strategies focusing on suitable traffic safety and design ideas to improve the built environment, preventing and reducing traffic crashes.
Part of the Spring 2020 GIS Seminar Series sponsored by the Department of Community and Regional Planning