CAP Professor Awarded Presidential Initiative Grant to Study Travel Behavior of PWDsNov 2, 2020
Department of Urban and Regional Planning professor Manish Shirgaokar, Ph.D., is a grant recipient of the University of Colorado Denver Presidential Initiative on Urban and Place-Research and Creative Work. The winning project “Learning from the Travel Experiences of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)” investigates the travel behavior of PWDs focusing especially on barriers that they experience in the Denver region.
- Investigate the micro-travel (trajectory, mode of travel, speed, gradient) of daily trips undertaken by PWDs.
- Study the limitations imposed by the weather on the mobility of subjects.
- Advance knowledge for seasonal policies for the mobility of subjects.
- Collect baseline data during COVID-19 to compare to future data collection efforts.
Researchers know a great deal about the mobility and safety of the broader population. However, the micro-geography of travel of PWDs, who travel largely on infrastructure that is designed for those without disabilities, is not well understood. Using a smartphone app, this study’s primary objective is to map the travel patterns of volunteer PWDs and compare these trips with those of non-PWDs.
The project is partnering with the Denver Regional Mobility & Access Council (DRMAC). Shirgaokar and his research team aim to learn from DRMAC as subject matter experts and work with them to disseminate findings for identifying gaps and adjusting infrastructure standards in the Denver region and the Colorado Front Range communities. Specifically, the study wants to reassess standards for sidewalks and transit with a focus on curb cuts, transit stops, street furniture, and parking for micro-mobility devices such as e-scooters.
This project is also designed as a proof-of-concept to test within the Denver region and will seek funding for scaling up to other cities with more diverse populations (including older adults over 64 years), topography, and weather. The study will utilize key data collection methods including focus groups, surveys, and a smartphone app to track mobility.
Project Team (pictured left to right)
- Manish Shirgaokar, Ph.D., Urban and Regional Planning Professor
- Wesley Marshall, Ph.D., Civil Engineering Professor
- Ryanne Hilbert - Ph.D. Student
- Sohil Vaidya - Computer Science Student
The Initiative request for proposals is closed for 2020. Subsequent funding round will be announced in mid-2021. View all projects receiving grants in this round.