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"Linking UCTC’s Themes" Faculty Grant Abstracts

FY 2012-2013, "Linking Themes"

UCTC was recently awarded a University Transportation Center grant by the US Department of Transportation, with matching funding support from Caltrans. As the nation’s Region 9 center, UCTC’s research mission spans three important, and not unrelated, topics: environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness, and livability. Faculty research is being conducted at the six core UC campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Barbara) in these three areas.

To promote research that makes connections across these three areas and is multidisciplinary in nature, a new initiative – Linking UCTC Themes -- is being carried out this Fiscal Year. The aim is to build synergies across the three themes so that the whole of UCTC’s faculty research portfolio is greater than the sum of its parts. This initiative seeks to spawn cross-disciplinary research in two or more of the thematic areas.

For FY 2012-2013, "Linking Themes" research proposals from a combination of four California State University affiliated campuses (Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo) and three UC campuses (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Riverside) were funded.

Matthew Barth & Kanok Boriboonsomsin

ECO-Driving Technology and Behavior Research for Heavy-Duty Trucks

UC Riverside, California State University San Bernardino

Heavy-duty trucks are a critical component of the U.S. goods movement system; however, these trucks consume a large amount of fuel and emit significant pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. The trucking industry is always looking for any measure to improve their operations and reduce fuel consumption, including improving how the truck is driven. In recent years, there has been a big push for promoting “eco-driving” mainly for light-duty vehicles as a cost-effective means of saving fuel and reducing CO2 [1]. In general, eco-driving can be defined as fuel-efficient operation of a vehicle to achieve better fuel economy and lower tailpipe emissions while not compromising the safety of oneself and other road users [2]. The core of eco-driving programs is to provide drivers with a variety of advice and feedback to reduce fuel consumption. The advice and feedback can be provided through various means including websites, classes or training, and in-vehicle driving feedback systems. Evaluations of eco-driving programs for light-duty vehicles in Europe and Asia have shown fuel economy improvements on the order of 5 to 15% [3]. To date, there have not been any significant studies addressing eco-driving for heavy-duty trucks. In this project, it is proposed to develop and evaluate heavy-duty truck eco-driving technology and to study the behavioral impact eco-driving may have on truck drivers. This truck-based eco-driving research will build upon UC Riverside’s current research in eco-driving technology for light duty vehicles [4]. This proposed work also pulls in the heavy-duty truck research being carried out by researchers at Cal State San Bernardino and makes use of their recently acquired unique driving simulators. By combining these two neighboring research organizations (i.e., UCR and CSUSB), this valuable eco-driving study can be successfully carried out, providing important insight on how better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions can be achieved in the goods movement arena.

Budget: $145,413



Carlos Daganzo

Transit Access and Egress via Bicycle Sharing

UC Berkeley, California State University Pomona, California State University San Luis Obispo

The work will explore the benefits of designing bicycle-sharing programs to serve public mass transit. Given that bicycle speeds exceed those of walking, a transit system’s ridership can increase by promoting bicycle travel to and from its stations. And bicycle sharing may reduce transit costs, especially if the bike-sharing and transit systems can be designed in joint fashion. Researchers at UC Berkeley will use continuum approximation models to design these systems for a pre-defined set of idealized scenarios. Researchers from CSU Pomona will: (i) alter these idealized designs to suit real transit systems in California, (ii) estimate what would be the resulting added ridership for these real systems, and (iii) evaluate the altered designs using simulation. Finally, researchers at CSU San Luis Obispo will identify policies to promote the deployment of our ideas in real settings.

Budget: $136,380



David Ragland

A Comparative Analysis of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Around University Campuses

UC Berkeley, UCLA, California State University Sacramento

College campuses and their peripheries are mixed-use environments in which the academic center serves as the core and is surrounded by retail, entertainment, and high-density residential facilities. The result is a multi-modal environment with very high walking and biking in conjunction with high vehicle traffic, which increases the potential conflict between the different transportation modes and may create relatively high risk and discomfort for pedestrians and bicyclists. Our proposed study will provide a comparative analysis of pedestrian and bicycle safety in and around three different campuses with the explicit goal of identifying possible relationships between urban form and traffic characteristics of the micro-environment and the incidence of crashes. To accomplish this, we have chosen to focus on three different campuses: (i) University of California Berkeley; ii) University of California Los Angeles; and (iii) California State University Sacramento. Using approaches from public health, planning, engineering and urban design, we will examine crash data and urban form data from all three campuses and study the spatial and temporal distribution of pedestrian and bicycle crashes in each campus in order to identify whether characteristics of the built environment contribute to the incidence of pedestrian and bicycle crashes, and suggest design changes to improve pedestrian and cycling safety in these areas. Budget: $145,459



Akula Venkatram

Air Quality in Transit Oriented Developments

UC Riverside, UCLA

The objectives of the research program are to 1) develop a semi-empirical model to describe the impacts of building morphology and the associated micrometeorology on air quality within transit oriented developments (TOD), and 2) use the model to suggest TOD designs that minimize the exposure of TOD residents to emissions from cars and buses traveling along transit corridors. Our current understanding of the effects of urban structures on the air quality impact of these emissions is poor. We will improve this understanding by conducting field studies in selected TODs under a variety of meteorological conditions to develop a data base that will be used to develop the semi-empirical model. This research, the results of which can be used to help protect public health through better design of transit corridors, fits well into UCTC’s research topics: livability and environmental sustainability. The research will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team with the expertise required to achieve the objectives. Akula Venkatram (UCR), PI, will lead activities related to modeling dispersion in urban canopies, Suzanne Paulson (UCLA) will be responsible for air quality measurements, and J.R. DeShazo (UCLA) will provide expertise in urban planning and policy analysis.

Budget: $130,598