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Sustainable Mobility Series: The Moving Across Places Study (MAPS): Measuring the Influence of Light Rail Transit and Complete Streets on Physical Activity | May 21

The Office of Energy and Environment and the Center for Automotive Research have partnered to present the Sustainable Mobility Lecture Series. The May lecture will feature Harvey Miller, professor of geography, presenting "The Moving Across Places Study (MAPS): Measuring the Influence of Light Rail Transit and Complete Streets on Physical Activity" on Thursday, May 21 at 12:00 noon, in Scott Lab, Room E525.  Bring your lunch and enjoy this presentation and discussion. Beverages and dessert will be provided.

The Moving Across Places Study (MAPS): Measuring the Influence of Light Rail Transit and Complete Streets on Physical Activity

Lack of physical activity (PA) and consequent poor health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes and some cancers is a persistent public health issue. Planners and policy leaders often view public transit as a means for increasing PA levels. While there is evidence that public transit users are more physically active overall, it is not clear whether it is new or shifted from other forms of existing PA. The typically greater time required to use public transit relative to automobile trips suggests that users may substitute transit-related PA for other activities such as recreational walking and biking, attenuating the health benefits of public transit. Using GPS and accelerometer data from a quasi-experimental study of PA before and after construction of a light rail line and walkability enhancements in a neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah USA, we investigate changes in PA and explore disaggregate and spatial effects. Adult participants wore accelerometers and GPS loggers for approximately one week during pre-construction (Time 1) and post-construction (Time 2) of a Complete Street intervention involving a light rail line, new sidewalks and a bike path. Participants also completed surveys for socioeconomic, attitudinal and behavioral data. We examine 537 participants with complete accelerometer and GPS data for both time periods. Results suggest that transit ridership is associated with new PA rather than drawn from existing PA. This implies that public health benefits should be considered in public transit policies and plans.  

 

Harvey Miller
Ohio State Department of Geography

Miller is the Bob and Mary Reusche Chair in Geographic Information Science and Professor in the Department of Geography. His research and teaching focus on the intersection between geographic information science and transportation science. He wants to understand how people use mobility and communications technologies to allocate scarce time among activities in geographic space – a perspective known as time geography, and is also interested in the social dimensions of transportation, the relationships between mobility and public health and data-driven urban science to support livable and sustainable communities.

Read more about the Ohio State Sustainable Mobility Lecture Series.