UNO researcher receives grant to study bicyclists and pedestrians

The grant will study statewide trends among bicyclists and pedestrians. | Contributed photo

Tara Tolford, a research associate at the University of New Orleans’ Becker Transportation Institute, has been awarded a $142,463 grant by the Louisiana Transportation Research Center to research the most effective and cost-friendly avenues for the collection of data regarding bicyclists and pedestrians on a statewide level.

Tolford’s first step will be to figure out how many bicyclists and pedestrians are on the road and where the heaviest amount of traffic for the two is.

“Understanding how many people are traveling on foot or by bicycle on Louisiana’s roadways is essential to evaluating safety outcomes relative to rates of exposure, identifying appropriate, context-sensitive complete streets infrastructure interventions and understanding overall statewide and location-specific transportation trends which will impact long-range planning and investment.” Tolford wrote in her research proposal.

Tolford has been part of an effort to estimate the amount of bicycle use there is in the heavier populated areas of New Orleans. This method has included students counting bicycles.

“You can’t really do that on a statewide basis. We are interested in figuring out how we can scale it so that we can collect data across Louisiana,” she said.

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