The Effects of Land Use Patterns and Street Network Connectivity on the frequency of Child Pedestrian-Vehicle Collisions: An aggregate analysis in Portland, Oregon
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The rise in childhood obesity rates have led to an increased focus on encouraging children to use active commuting, walking or bicycling, to increase physical activity levels. However, parents often cite traffic safety concerns for not allowing their child to walk to and from school. Unfortunately, risk of being struck by a vehicle is a prominent threat to child pedestrians. Pedestrian-vehicle collisions are the second leading cause of accidental death among children. Moreover, children represent a disproportionate number of pedestrian-vehicle collisions. Nationwide, children, ages 15 and younger, represented 25 percent of all pedestrian-vehicle collisions in 2009. Understanding the impacts of the built environment on child pedestrian-vehicle collisions can lead to policy aimed at reducing total number of child pedestrian-vehicle collisions as well as increasing active commuting among children. Previous research shows the built environment influences both pedestrian activity and rate of pedestrian-vehicle collisions. However, little is understood of land use patterns and street network connectivity and their impacts on child pedestrian-vehicle collisions. This study seeks to understand how land use patterns and street network connectivity affect child pedestrian-vehicle collisions using an aggregate analysis at the census tract level. Results of the study provide recommendations for land use and transportation planning.