Category Archives: Robert Schulz

Bike Safety in Chicago – Research Statement

Danny Tirado, Rob Schulz, Kimi Oyama

“Bike Safety in Chicago”

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In the last decade, Chicago has majorly evolved as a bike friendly city . This may correspond to recent improvements in bike lane structures, or the newly implemented bike share program Divvy. Since 2000, the number of bicycle commuters has increased by 150 percent with an estimated 15,000 cyclists daily. However, growth in cycling has not come without challenges and tragedies. There has been an increased concerned about bicycle safety as motorists have been forced to share the road more and more. An average of 1,500 bicycle crashes are reported each year and that number has been rising. While crashes that result in major injuries or fatalities are reported, minor crashes are often not reported or recorded by the cyclist community. Although focused programs and efforts by the city to improve bicycle safety are underway, more can be done to highlight and reduce preventable hazards. By continuing to support and improve bike safety in Chicago, cyclists can be freer to enjoy the healthy, environmentally friendly trend of cycling in Chicago.

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Primary Research Questions:

1)   To Law Enforcement: Can traffic camera footage be pulled up to investigate hit and run cycling accidents if a specific time frame and location is given? (What is the standard procedure for investigating hit and run incidents involving cyclists?)

2)   To Cyclists: How many times have you been hit or doored by a vehicle this year? Out of those incidents, how many have you officially reported. How many were serious injuries?

3)   Whom or what is responsible for crash incidents? Motorists? Cyclists? Road conditions? A combination?

4)   What current initiatives or plans are in place to help reduce the number of bike accidents around the city?

5)   What neighborhoods of Chicago or specific intersections have the heaviest rate of bicycle accidents, categorized by fatality or level of injury?

6)   What times of the day are accidents happening the most?

 

“Critical Visualization” Response

While I found the reading, Critical Visualization by Peter Hall, perhaps a little confusing I believe it was the constant referral to the beliefs and views of that of Ware, Van Wijk, and Fry as well as Halls opinion that seemed to get blurred throughout the article. I found it hard to distinguish which views belonged to whom once I would get through a page. But alas! I did pick up on key features that would allow me to form my own opinion without seeming completely lost.

I found Ware’s five-point case for visualization to be simple however enlightening. They were all very understandable and reasonable points that show the value in the advantages that come with the ability to utilize the visualization of data. These points that no doubt that helped paved the road for the wide acceptance of visualization. What I found to be the most important aspect of this article was Hall’s three-part dissection of visualization.

Hall proposed that there are three parts to data visualization which include a technological approach that focused on effective use, a Scientific approach that focused on ways to reduce the complex data sets being displayed, and an artistic approach that focuses on the aesthetic value of visualization. While Hall states that only one or two of these parts normally ever work together his belief is that all three sections should work cohesively to which I strongly agree. I feel that for this ever growing tool we call data visualization to continue to prosper and thrive into new mediums and new techniques all three parts should be able to works together. What makes visualization so effective is the ability to take complex data and make it readable in an understandable and aesthetic manner. Its supposed to help tell a story rather than unenthusiastically state the information at hand.

Below is the outside visualization project I found.

journal.pone.0004803.g005

The chart shows the influence of humanistic fields on economics, which in turn influences production research and through production research influences manufacturing; and it shows the influence of the humanities on ecology, which in turn influences things connected to genetics and, say, animal behavior.

http://samizdatblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/research-in-humanities-intellectually.html

Secondary Research

Noise Pollution

Thesis:  “While airport noise pollution has always been problem in the Chicago land area , the O’Hare expansion project has threatened the vitality of local communities.”

Data:  Everyday approximately 2500 flights land and take off at O’Hare, with more than      66 million passengers passing through its terminals in 2012.

O’Hare currently generates 450,000 jobs and 38$ Billion in economic activity for Chicago and Illinois.

 

Thesis:  “With record breaking noise complaints hitting city hall, Mayor Emmanuel has issued an initial installation of 8 noise monitors in the areas surrounding O’Hare airport to measure the decibel level and to further consider a re-evaluation of the potential environmental hazards of high noise level surrounding the airport.”

Data:  The city received a record 29,493 noise complaints last year. Within the first four months of 2014 35,899 complaints were received regarding high level of noise from the O’Hare expansion project.

 

Thesis:   “The ‘L’ is often considered an acceptable noise hazard in the city. While the CTA lines are exempted from the noise ordinance in Chicago noise measurements show extremely high amounts of noise.”

Data:  The in a series of measurements, the brown line hit around 90 decibels whilke the noise ordinance declares 55 to be dangerous levels.

Transportation-Divvy

Thesis:  “The first full year of Divvy’s introduction has displayed promising expansion opportunities as the bike-sharing company reaches it 300th station which has given much data on which stations are the favorite and which gender rides the most and the longest.”

Data: In 2013, Women made 21% of the trips, which increased to 23% of trips in 2014 through June.

2/3 of Divvy Trips in the first half of 2014 were made by subscribers, up from 53% in the second half of 2013.

Women whom subscribe take longer trips then men. This year, up to June, female subscribers cycled on average of 14mins and 23 sec., while males cycled for 11mins. and 33sec.

 

Thesis: “Preparing for the demand of more stations, Divvy plans to site an additional 175 stations that will continue to reach farther from the loop. This has caused Divvy site planners to become more aware of areas with excessive potholes, manholes, and other unsafe road conditioned areas.”

Data: Of these new stations, about 20% will be “infill”, reducing the space between stations, and 80% will be “expansion”, increasing Divvy’s reach into new areas.

 

Thesis: “Divvy has now granted branding opportunities to Blue Cross Blue Shield which will bring in millions to the city.”

Data: Divvy has topped 1 million trips and 2.5 million mile marks.

 

Creative Project

The info-graphic displays the average amount of time it takes to commute to work in the UK by different modes of transportation. It shows the data separated by UK regions.