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Using Innovative Methods to Measure Travel Sustainability

Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Manning (Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources)
Funding Agency: US DOT

Project Summary

Dr. Bob Manning of the RSENR and his team of student and staff researchers continue their partnership with the TRC to study travel on paths, roads and transit systems in tourist areas, including national parks. The group conducts surveys to assess if and when users experience crowding and congestion, while also tracking the impact of travel behavior on the natural environments and their carrying capacity. The results will help inform traffic management policies and program design in parks and other areas.

The innovative user survey technique developed by the Manning group uses photos to represent traffic levels and congestion to the research participants. In the example shown (left), volume increases over a series of pictures. While this is similar to the traditional "level of service" approach used in traffic engineering since the 1950s, the UVM method incorporates new variables such as user perception, comfort and enjoyment.

Documents: poster