Center for Safety Equity in Transportation

rural • isolated • tribal • indigenous

Developing Pedestrian Safety Data Visualization and Analysis Tool for RITI Communities

  • Active

    CSET Project #: 2007

    Project Funding: University of Washington

  • Start Date: August 2020

    End Date: July 2022

    Budget: $191977

Principal Investigator(s)

Wei Sun

Dr. Wei Sun is a research associate in transportation engineering in the Smart Transportation Applications and Research Laboratory (STAR Lab) at the University of Washington (UW). He has a Ph.D. in transportation engineering from University of Florida (2019) and a bachelor's degree in transportation engineering from South China University of Technology (2014). Dr. Sun’s active research fields include Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), transportation data analytics, traffic operations and safety, and traffic simulation and software development. Dr. Sun has worked on a variety of research projects funded by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Center for Safety Equity in Transportation (CSET), Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans), Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Freight Mobility Research Institute (FMRI), and the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education (STRIDE). Through these projects, he has applied data analytics and statistical modeling to solve transportation engineering related problems, contributed in the technical transfer activities through developing several simulation and data analytical software programs, published technical reports and research papers, and presented lectures of research findings at conferences such as the Transportation Research Board Annual Meetings. Dr. Sun serves as review for the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Technology, Planning, and Operations, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Transportation Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Smart Cities Conference, and Transportation Research Record (TRR).

Yinhai Wang

Dr. Yinhai Wang is a professor in transportation engineering and the founding director of the Smart Transportation Applications and Research Laboratory (STAR Lab) at the University of Washington (UW). He also serves as director for Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans), USDOT University Transportation Center for Federal Region 10 and visiting chair for the Traffic Information and Control Department at Harbin Institute of Technology. He has a Ph.D. in transportation engineering from the University of Tokyo (1998), a master's degree in computer science from the UW, and another master’s degree in construction management (1991) and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (1989) from Tsinghua University in China. Dr. Wang’s active research fields include traffic sensing, e-science of transportation, big-data analytics, traffic operations and simulation, smart urban mobility, transportation safety, etc. He has published over 120 peer reviewed journal articles and delivered more than 130 invited talks and nearly 220 other academic presentations.

Dr. Wang serves as a member of the Transportation Information Systems and Technology Committee and Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He is currently a member of the steering committee for the IEEE Smart Cities and an elected governor for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI), scheduled to serve as president of ASCE T&DI in 2018. He is a co-chair of the Third IEEE International Smart Cities Conference to be held in Wuxi China in 2017 and the ASCE International Conference on Transportation and Development to be held in Indianapolis in 2018. He was a principal investigator for 75 important research projects with a total amount of funding over 51 million dollars. Additionally, Dr. Wang is associate editor for three journals: Journal of ITS, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, and Journal of Transportation Engineering. He was the winner of the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering Best Paper Award for 2003.

Project Summary

The research team has been well aware of the outstanding traffic safety challenges and issues of the RITI communities and one of such issue is pedestrian safety. The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation is one of the federally recognized tribe in Washington state.  Located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, the Yakama Nation is the second largest Native American reservation in the state with about 1,372,000 acres of land. Within the Yakama Nation reservation, there are approximately 1,200 miles of public roads.  Most of the roads are in rural agricultural settings and crashes happen every day on these roadways.  Of the land governed by Tribal Governments, Yakama Nation has the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in Washington State. Around hundreds of injuries and more than twenty deaths have occurred in the last ten years on US-97 alone in the reservation, according to the Yakama Nation Tribal agency. The research team have conducted a site visit to Yakama Nation and several teleconferences with engineers and planners of the Yakama Nation DNR Engineering department and recognized the pressing needs to improve the pedestrian safety conditions. Despite the urgent needs to improve pedestrian safety conditions, the Yakama Nation lacks the necessary tool to store, manage, visualize, and analyze the pedestrian safety data and support decision making. This proposal aims to develop the pedestrian safety data tool specializing to the needs of the RITI communities, which will benefit many government agencies and transportation practitioners that are facing similar issues as the Yakama Nation.