Pedestrian Environment Around Schools and Traffic Safety: Social Disparity Issues in Child Pedestrian Crashes in Austin, TX
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Pedestrian safety from the motor vehicle traffic crash is one of the major concerns of the transportation planning and public health fields. Especially, school-aged children are more vulnerable to being struck by a motor vehicle than other age groups. Many American cities have devoted time and effort to improve the pedestrian safety, providing a desirable pedestrian environment to their neighborhoods. However, there are some controversies about the unequal distribution of the benefits from a quality pedestrian environment. Thus, we investigated: 1) whether school neighborhoods provide safer pedestrian environments than other neighborhoods in terms of school-aged child pedestrian crashes, and 2) whether there are social disparity issues in the safe pedestrian environments around schools in Austin, TX. Using both bivariate and multivariate analyses, this study also examined differences in contributing factors of child pedestrian crashes across neighborhoods with contrasting socio-demographic characteristics. Results show that child pedestrian crashes occur less frequently near school neighborhoods. However, those school neighborhoods with higher proportions of Hispanic populations and lower-income households showed higher likelihood of crashes than their counterparts. Also, this paper identified that significant contributing factors of child pedestrian injuries varied by neighborhood characteristics. These findings suggest that planners and policy makers should pay more attention to the provision of safe pedestrian environments and the equitable distribution of their benefits to ensure the social justice.
Hwang, Jinuk (2016). Pedestrian Environment Around Schools and Traffic Safety: Social Disparity Issues in Child Pedestrian Crashes in Austin, TX. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from