Transferability & Forecasting of the Pedestrian Index of the Environment (PIE) for Modeling Applications

This project focuses on making the authors' measures, models, and methods more transferable to other locations. Specifically, the authors re-evaluate, compare and test their pedestrian index of the environment (PIE) measure using data resources more commonly available to planning agencies across the country. Next, the authors test the results of PIE and its input data in models of pedestrian mode choice for stability of estimation results within a region (intraregional) and between regions (interregional). This research is the next logical step in the Model of Pedestrian Demand (MoPeD) enhancement and is critical to enabling its utility beyond the Portland region. The results of this project show that population density and pedestrian connectivity had the most consistent and strong relationship to walk mode choice across all of the authors' regions, which echoed the long literature on this topic. However, the other components of the built environment included in PIE had more variability in their ability to explain walk mode choice. Employment density and its subset urban living infrastructure (ULI), intended to capture retail and service access, had less explanatory power and stability in the cities tested. Based upon these findings, the authors provide several guidelines for the construct of walkability indices, including variables and spatial scales. Their findings raise questions about the relationship between walking and the built environment within a region and thus, the intraregional transferability of one walkability index is suspect. Estimation results suggest that there may be different responses to the built environment in lower-density vs. higher density regimes and that these relationships may be nonlinear. However, smaller sample sizes of travel survey data in high density areas in all of the US cities tested pose limitations to drawing more confident conclusions from these results. The interregional comparisons of PIE and walk mode share between Los Angeles and Portland showed promise for the use of the index in different regions. In these two regions, model results showed a similar walk mode share for the same values of PIE constructed at the block group level. This provides initial support that the PIEbg construct may be transferable between metropolitan regions, in part, due to population density's prominent role in PIE.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Portland State University

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, OR  United States  97207

    National Institute for Transportation and Communities

    Portland State University
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, OR  United States  97207

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Clifton, Kelly J
    • Orrego-Oñate, Jaime P
    • Singleton, Patrick A
    • Schneider, Robert J
  • Publication Date: 2019-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 42p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01705726
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NITC-RR-1028
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2019 8:33AM