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TRB 91st Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)
Environmental Justice, Transit, and Mobility
Jan 23 2012 10:15AM- 12:00PM
Hilton, Columbia Hall 5
Spatial Analysis of Income Disparities in Pedestrian Safety in Northern New Jersey: Is There an Environmental Justice Issue? (12-3705)
Environmental justice legislation has proliferated in the last two decades as a method for community activists to challenge federally-funded projects if they perceive that they may have a disproportionate impact on low-income communities of color. Recently, arguments have surfaced suggesting that disparities in traffic safety investments be included under the umbrella of environmental justice. This study reviews both the literature on transit-related environmental justice arguments and examines the relationship between pedestrian crashes and low-income communities of color (as well as a series of other factors). A negative binomial regression is estimated to determine if these associations exist in a three-county area of northern New Jersey. Low median income and high Black and Latino populations are two of several parameters associated with high pedestrian crash totals. An innovative use is made of Streetview® data to record road safety features (such as buffers, medians, and pedestrian control buttons) to examine their association with pedestrian crashes at the block group level. These features are also found to vary based on the median income of each block group, although the limited amount of data precludes firm conclusions on how they affect safety. Conclusions suggest that there is a potential environmental justice issue with how pedestrian-friendly road infrastructure is distributed.
Kravetz, Daniel , Rutgers University
Noland, Robert B., Rutgers University
Transportation Research Board. 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © 2012. National Academy of Sciences. All Rights Reserved.