Incorporating Use Inspired Design in Providing Safe Transportation Infrastructure for RITI Communities

In this project the research team demonstrates the feasibility of extracting pedestrian infrastructure geometries, sight distances and other human scale features relevant for pedestrian safety from LiDAR data collected annually for roads managed and maintained by the Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT). Pedestrian safety is a critical public issue for the State of Hawaii and Hawaiians, with 43 pedestrian fatalities statewide occurring in 2018, of which 27 of these were on Oahu; this number is up from 15 pedestrian fatalities statewide in 2017 (Honolulu Civil Beat 2019). Evaluating pedestrian behaviors, including gap acceptance and sight-distances for crossings, is required for facility design. However, these behaviors depend on human interactions with built environments and pedestrian infrastructures, such as the curb ramps, sidewalk quality, visual obstructions, and other human scale factors. From a policy standpoint, satisfying the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan and investing resources requires HDOT to identify and maintain pedestrian infrastructure in a timely manner. To address this need, the research team investigates the feasibility of LiDAR data for extracting these features and their potential for community engagement and informing policies that provide safe accommodations for all travelers. The research team will complete the following main activities: (1) Processing LiDAR data for building a pedestrian infrastructure inventory for use in explaining observed pedestrian crashes through statistical modeling; and (2) Developing a framework for RITI (rural isolated tribal and indigenous) community engagement through data visualization. At the project conclusion, the team will provide guidelines for using LiDAR data to extract pedestrian infrastructure features unavailable from 3rd party vendors, such as the Roadview Explorer online platform adopted by HDOT, including the accompanying analysis workflow and necessary tools, such as open-source options. Additionally, to support statewide pedestrian safety planning, the team will leverage these visual products to engage RITI (rural isolated tribal and indigenous) communities in educational activities related to roadway safety.