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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) mission is the reduction of transportation-related injuries and fatalities through research, education, outreach, and community service. 

 

Founded in 2000 as the Traffic Safety Center (TSC), the Center was renamed in 2009 to more accurately reflect the mission to encompass safety and travel risk in a multimodal transportation system; a robust and diverse research agenda across multiple disciplines; and development and enhancement of curriculum, training, and outreach on the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as for professionals and members of the community.

 

SafeTREC is part of the University of California, Berkeley, and is affiliated with the School of Public Health and the Institute of Transportation Studies, with additional partnerships with the Department of City and Regional Planning, Public Policy, and Transportation Engineering. Our research is carried out by faculty at UC Berkeley with assistance from post-doctoral scholars, research staff, and graduate student researchers. We also help the California Office of Traffic Safety administer its Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Training workshops and support various safety initiatives from other California agencies, Including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). 

 

SafeTREC's three emphasis areas are:


Data Analysis and Data Tools is a necessity for understanding safety/mobility in transportation / land use planning in California.  SafeTREC will build on current large scale data efforts (geocoding 15 years of traffic crashes in California, adding pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure elements to the State Highway data base, building a statewide Tribal Road Safety Data Base) to construct state-of-the-art data analysis and mapping tools for use by government agencies, researchers, and the general public.


Technology for Road Safety, including crash warning and avoidance systems, smart infrastructure sensing systems, and automated vehicles. SafeTREC will be in the forefront of evaluating the benefits and costs of these rapidly emerging technologies. This emphasis area will also utilize technology for in-depth analysis of crash reports, data visualization techniques, and developing novel transportation safety management methods.


Policy Analysis and Community Outreach will continue to be a necessity to connect with California’s extremely diverse communities to improve road safety and encourage active transportation. SafeTREC will build on existing policy analyses (e.g., Safe Routes to School) and community outreach (e.g., Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Training, data analyses and presentations for local governmental agencies) to create a national model for policy analysis and community outreach.

 

SafeTREC Seminar 5/1/15: Interventions for Alcohol Related Traffic Injuries and Deaths

(2015)

Despite many decades of prevention efforts, alcohol related traffic injuries and deaths due to drinking and drunken driving remain major problems in communities throughout the US. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has recently sponsored an extensive study of the etiology of these problems across mid-size cities in California and is currently supporting an evaluation of community-based environmental preventive interventions intended to reduce these problems in 24 of these cities.  One of the primary concerns of these studies has been to identify the ecological causes and correlates of drinking and drunken driving in order to better tailor prevention efforts.  If we can identify the primary sources of drinking drivers in community settings, we can tailor prevention efforts to drinkers in those settings and develop effective behavioral ecological interventions.  The challenges are to develop a comprehensive representation of sources of drinking and drunken driving in community settings, and then use that information to guide prevention efforts. Progress on these efforts will be discussed. 

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SafeTREC Seminar April 10: Creating Space for Bikeways: Road Diets and Parking Removal

(2015)

The City of San Jose's Active Transportation Program is in the midst of a ten-year plan to complete a 400-mile on-street bikeway network. With more than 250 miles implemented to date, most of the easier projects have been completed. Increasingly, remaining projects are faced with constrained right-of-way without enough space to accommodate a quality bicycle facility. To create space for new bikeways, San Jose has turned to the use of road diets (removal of a travel lane to create space for other features) and/or removal of on-street parking.  These projects create a number of challenges including design, outreach, environmental clearance, and funding. John Brazil will share lessons learned from several recent projects including Hedding Street, Lincoln Avenue, Park Avenue, and Monterey Road.

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Applying UrbanSim to Transportation Issues in Cities

(2015)

UrbanSim(link is external) is a software-based simulation system for supporting planning and analysis of urban development, incorporating the interactions between land use, transportation, the economy, and the environment. It is the result of over 15 years of active research, and has been applied to planning processes of over a dozen regional governments and large cities. Recent improvements to UrbanSim include an accessibility engine to compute walking-scale accessibility metrics over a metropolitan area in less than a second, and the ability to run real estate pro formas on the complete set of parcels in a region to understand real estate development feasibility the way a developer might. The new methodology has also received interest from the travel modeling community, and a consortium of regions has funded a pilot to create an activity-based travel model using the same core framework.

Synthicity(link is external) will be releasing UrbanCanvas publicly in spring 2015. UrbanCanvas is a 3D urban design platform that allows the editing of proposed developments which can be used to create scenario inputs to UrbanSim, as well as to view UrbanSim outputs as prototypical buildings. Synthicity hopes that UrbanCanvas can become a transformative technology that allows planners and citizens to weigh in on proposed developments early enough in the process to positively affect social, economic, environmental, and aesthetic outcomes of future population and economic growth.

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Chinese Road Safety and Driver Behavior Research

(2015)

The seminar will begin with a brief overview of the Chinese road safety situation, including current safety problems, and then move on to discuss safety research including driver behavior, freeway operational safety, and infrastructure development.

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans in Post-War Suburban Communities

(2015)

Post-war suburban communities were designed for efficient vehicle travel with little consideration for walking and bicycling. Developing master plans for these communities requires a context-sensitive approach, a large toolbox, and broad outreach strategies. Jennifer Donlon Wyant will talk about recent master plan developments in California communities and the lessons learned.

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Tess Lengyel, SafeTREC Seminar Dec 12: Policy and Planning at the Alameda County Transportation Commission

(2014)

Tess Lengyel, Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Deputy Director of Planning and Policy, will discuss development of the local sales tax measure and the context within which it was developed; what it funds overall, including the significant amount of funding for bicycle and pedestrian investments, including safety educational programs; information about other long-range planning efforts that also support safety; information about BPAC and PAPCO – both of these community advisory committees address walking and biking and safety needs; what some of the differences were between the 2012 plan and the 2014 plan; and how the 2014 plan passed in November 2014.

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Cover page of Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection

Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection

(2014)

In this talk, an overview of the recently completed National Cooperative Highways Research Program project 07-19 will be presented. In NCHRP 07-19, research was conducted on a variety of methods and technologies for collecting bicyclist and pedestrian volume data. Research included a practitioner's survey, in-depth interviews with count program managers, and field testing and accuracy evaluation of six counting technologies. Counters were installed at roughly 15 different sites and evaluated for precision and reliability. The main product of this project is a guidebook on conducting counts of pedestrians and bicyclists, to be published in early 2015.

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Frank Proulx, NCHRP 07-19: Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection

(2014)

Abstract: In this talk, an overview of the recently completed National Cooperative Highways Research Program project 07-19 will be presented. In NCHRP 07-19, research was conducted on a variety of methods and technologies for collecting bicyclist and pedestrian volume data. Research included a practitioner's survey, in-depth interviews with count program managers, and field testing and accuracy evaluation of six counting technologies. Counters were installed at roughly 15 different sites and evaluated for precision and reliability. The main product of this project is a guidebook on conducting counts of pedestrians and bicyclists, to be published in early 2015.

  • 1 supplemental PDF
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Vision Zero, SF 

(2014)

Many of San Francisco’s streets are dangerous by design. Each day in the city, at least three people walking are hit by cars. In 2013, a near-record number of people were killed while walking and biking: 21 pedestrians and four bicyclists were victims of lethal traffic crimes–including six year-old Sofia Liu(link is external) and an 86 year old man who were both killed in crosswalks–the highest number since 2007. In response to increasing number of traffic-related injuries and deaths, Walk SF, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and a coalition of over 30 community organizations called on City leaders and agencies to formally adopt Vision Zero policies that include funding and implementing critical engineering, enforcement, and education efforts. This presentation will tell the story of year one of Vision Zero in San Francisco and where the City is headed in year two. 

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