Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Geography

Major Professor

Jayajit Chakraborty, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Graham Tobin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

M. Martin Bosman, Ph.D.

Keywords

automobile accidents, urban planning, hazards, transportation, scale

Abstract

Though often taken for granted, few everyday activities involve so much genuine danger as the hazards associated with motor vehicles. Urban areas are built, modified, and/or deconstructed with motoring in mind. Also true is that few are at as much risk, as are those pedestrians who dare to cross paths with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, all too often, pedestrians are casualties of encounters with the ubiquitous automobile. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has recently been deemed, by one study, to be the nation's second most dangerous MSA for pedestrians. Using information on pedestrian/motor vehicle accident sites, sidewalk location and density, and U.S. Census demographic data, this project focuses on Pinellas County--the most densely populated county in the state of Florida. Issues that were investigated in this case study include: (a) the spatial distribution of pedestrian accident risk within the county, (b) the relationship between the presence of sidewalks and Pedestrian Related Motor Vehicle Accidents (PRMVAs), and (c) the environmental justice implications of these PRMVAs. This thesis seeks to identify spatial and socio-economic trends associated with pedestrian accidents and thus provide an improved understanding of the nature of the danger experienced by pedestrians in the heavily motorized world of west-central Florida.

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