Tulane-PRC-surveys-people-using-and-crossing-Lafitte-Greenway-linear-park

Tulane PRC surveys people using and crossing Lafitte Greenway linear park

As New Orleans moves toward 'complete streets', organizations are taking a closer look at non-motorized transportation. More bicycle lanes and walking paths are being installed throughout the city so it is important that pedestrians, cyclists and motorists interact with each other safely. Over the past year, a Tulane team of faculty, staff, and students, have been studying safety and use along the Lafitte Greenway, one of these multi-use paths.

The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that connects neighborhoods from Armstrong Park to City Park. With over 800 users a day and intersecting many busy streets, the potential for accidents is a concern. With her interest in the relationship between the built environment and physical activity, Jeanette Gustat, clinical associate professor of epidemiology and Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) faculty investigator, started the Greenway Crossing Project to evaluate the use and safety of the Lafitte Greenway for bicyclists and pedestrians. Friends of Lafitte Greenway, a partner with Tulane PRC, has been spearheading the Greenway's development since 2006 rethinking the city’s landscape to enhance livability, environmental sustainability, open space equity, and health. "We really support what they're doing," said Gustat. "They share our mission of improving health and the Greenway is a great opportunity to reach a lot of folks."

With a core team of students, Christopher Anderson, Amanda Zimmerman, Shana Zucker, and Skylar Lewis, interviews were conducted with 122 pedestrians and cyclists over a two-week span in July and August of 2017. Through these intercept interviews, they collected information regarding people's safety concerns and usage of the Lafitte Greenway.

Drivers are legally required to stop at crosswalks that are marked by large white stripes and flashing safety beacons on either side that flash when pressed by pedestrians and cyclists. In order to examine whether motor vehicles obey the crossing signals when pedestrians and cyclists are present, observations of crossings were conducted on December 1, 2017 with help from students in the Survey Methodology course within the Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine. Motor vehicle behavior in each lane of traffic was noted during each crossing episode. The observations indicated that the flashing crosswalk signals did not affect vehicle stops. Further details of the intercept surveys and observations can be found here.

Three major opportunities for improvements were identified as a result of this project: greater awareness is needed for motor vehicle users to stop fully at the junctions when crosswalk signals are flashing; both cyclists and pedestrians should be encouraged to observe, use, and respect the crosswalk signals; and signals should be easier to activate by cyclists. Read more here.

The Tulane team has analyzed these findings and the results are under review with an academic journal to disseminate these findings and strategies to help other cities understand better how transportation plays into the relationship between the built environment and physical activity. A summary of the Greenway Crossing Project has been accepted for an oral presentation at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting and Expo 2018 in November.

By Emily Szklarski, Graduate Communications Research Assistant
June 2018

Topics:   physical activity , community health , bike lanes , walking , built environment , sidewalks

Other Related Posts

Resilience-building-is-transferable-in-communities-after-a-disaster

Resilience-building is transferable in communities after a disaster

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Many recent high profile natural disasters have increased the urgency of need for successful examples of how to address behavioral health concerns in recovering communities. That's exactly what a diverse team of community health researchers recently examined in Case Study of Resilient Baton Rouge: Applying Depression Collaborative Care and Community Planning to Disaster Recovery. The article, e-published in the June issue of International Journal of Environmental and Public Health illustrates how in the context of…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Core Research Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

By September 30th of this year, we will begin the final year of funding for the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) in this 5-year cycle. It is difficult to believe that so much time has gone by so fast. It seems like just yesterday that all of the PRC faculty and staff were frantically involved in the preparation of the grant proposal for funding for the current cycle. We have done so much and made…

Read More

Community-Partner-Updates

Community Partner Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to recently! Click on the photo for a gallery of pictures, and read below for related updates. To find out more about our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. Brinton Family Health and Healing Center Photo 1-6 Tulane School of Medicine's Brinton Family Health and Healing Center has been staying busy with their regular wellness programming, including Krewe de…

Read More

Legislative-Updates

Legislative Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Tulane PRC goes to DC Jeanette Gustat, Tulane PRC faculty and Royliene Johnson, Community Service Director at Caffin Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church and Tulane PRC partner, took a trip to D.C. and met up with representatives from Dartmouth University and University of North Carolina's Prevention Research Centers to educate policymakers and national stakeholder groups on the value of the PRC network."We [PRCs] serve as the link between research and communities, clinics and communities. It is…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Keelia O'Malley, MPH, is the assistant director at the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). Her responsibilities include supervision of PRC staff, coordination of programs and relationships with community advisory board members and partner organizations, and assisting the director in identifying and implementing PRC activities within all of the key elements of the center. Keelia is a graduate of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where she received her Master in Public Health…

Read More

Active-Steps-5-Exercises-to-Keep-You-Active-While-Beating-the-Summer-Heat

Active Steps: 5 Exercises to Keep You Active While Beating the Summer Heat

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Summer means warm, humid temperatures that make being outside for more than a few minutes sometimes unbearable. Staying active is important year-round, so regardless of the summer heat, finding ways to keep moving and stay active is key. If it's too hot outdoors to get moving, try doing these 5 exercises indoors. These exercises can be performed outside as well. Regardless of being indoors or outdoors, remember to stay hydrated and always listen to your…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Summer-Food-Safety

Nutrition Bites: Summer Food Safety

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Summertime is a season full of outdoor fun and picnics! Barbecues are a popular way to celebrate the season. Even though eating outside is a nice way to take advantage of warmer weather, it is also when bacteria thrive and are more likely to contaminate food. The most common ways that food becomes infected with bacteria at picnics is by leaving food out uncovered, not cooking food to the proper temperatures, and cross-contamination of raw…

Read More

NOLA-LEADs-finds-positive-results-from-citizen-training-program-

NOLA LEADs finds positive results from citizen-training program

Education & Engagement Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

Published: April 10, 2018

Anyone can be a health leader and improve their community, if given the right tools and skills. That’s what the Tulane Prevention Research Center's two-year NOLA LEADs (Leadership Education & Action on health Disparities) citizen-training project has found since completing its work. Keeping with the project's goal of helping all who are concerned about improving the lives of their neighbors and the conditions of their communities, the team has put together a one-page summary to…

Read More

Closing-the-policymaking-gap-Tackling-barriers-to-improving-public-health-in-Louisiana

Closing the policymaking gap: Tackling barriers to improving public health in Louisiana

Education & Engagement

Published: April 08, 2018

When attempting to address Louisiana's consistently low rankings in national health reports, public health professionals can have a positive influence on the policy-making process through research and education, according to recently published work from the Tulane public health researchers. From 2013 to 2014, a team of faculty and staff at the Tulane Nutrition Program and Tulane Prevention Research Center explored strategies for improving public health in Louisiana by conducting policy research and educating lawmakers. The…

Read More

canary