Local or Neighborhood? Examining the Relationship between Traffic Accidents and Land Use Using a Gradient Boosting Machine Learning Method: The Case of Suzhou Industrial Park, China

In cities, road traffic accidents are critical endangerment to people’s safety. A vast number of studies which are designed to understand these accidents’ leading causes and mechanisms exist. The widely held view is that emerging analysis methods can be a critical tool for understanding the complex interactions between land use and urban transportation. Using a case study of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) in Suzhou, China, this paper examines the relationship between different land use types and traffic accidents using a gradient boosting model (GBM) machine learning method. The results show that the GBM can be used as an effective accident model for a variety of research and analysis methods by (1) ranking the influential factors, (2) testing the degree of interpretation of each variable as the complexity of iterations changes, and (3) obtaining partial dependence plots, among other methods. The findings of this study also suggest that land use types—including facility points—demonstrate differing degrees of influence at two geographical scales: local level and neighborhood level. In the ranking of relative importance at both scales, the variables of education institutions, traffic lights, and service institutions are all ranked high—with a more significant influence on the occurrence of accidents. However, residential land and land use mix variables differed significantly in both scales and showed a significant deviation compared to the other results. When adjusting the complexity of the decision tree, the local level is more suitable for measuring variables such as residential areas and green parks where pedestrians and vehicles have fixed mobility periods and moderate flows. On the contrary, the nearest neighborhood level is more suitable to a small number of variables related to public service facilities at fixed locations, such as traffic lights and bus stops. In the partial dependence plots, all variables, except educational institutions and residences, show a positive correlation for accidents in the fitting process. The results of this study can ideally help inform transportation planners to reconsider transport accident occurrence rates in the context of the proximity to various land use types and public service facilities.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01766739
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 5 2021 12:14AM