Here are just a few examples of empirical analysis, original research, review of the literature or practice that could comprise a final project:
- Using the NHTS, OHAS or some other travel data source, examine the amount of active transport that people engage in terms of total miles and minutes of activity. What percentages meet the minimum recommended amount for health? Who (by different demographic, geographic or other category) is getting the recommended amounts? What does this say about the possibility of active transport as a health intervention?
- Explore crash data available for Florida or some other location using various statistical analyses. What kinds of crashes appear to be the most prevalent? When? Where? By whom? By what mode? How severe are they? Based on your findings, what policies to your recommend to address these?
- Similar to the above, examine crashes by one particular mode or one specific demographic group to have a more in-depth and focused analysis.
- Review planning or engineering documents to see how they are responding to health concerns (generally, or a specific issue we’ve discussed in class). What cities are states are more advanced in their planning efforts? How might those lagging behind be encouraged to engage more with health issues?
- Of late, much has been made of Portland’s preparedness (or lack thereof) for “the big one” – a large subduction earthquake predicted for our future. What is Portland doing relative to other cities in the US and the world? How would you assess the innovation with respect to transportation relative to these other places? What opportunities exist to be better prepared from a transportation point of view.
- Much has been make of the link of our diet with our health outcomes. But the transportation connection is sometimes overlooked as a critical component, particularly for those with limited means. How might transportation and land use planning address this issue? What are the limits to how transportation policies might help? Is this only a problem that impacts those with transport disadvantage?
- We lack robust measures of risk exposure to unsafe conditions to help guide decision making, as planners/engineers and as individuals. This is true whether we are talking about traffic safety (how should we evaluate crash risk?) or exposure to poor air quality. Pick one health aspect and focus on what measures exist, how they could be improved and what kind of data, monitoring and dissemination is needed to address this deficit.
- Health impact assessments are potentially powerful tool to help integrate health into transportation and other types of decision making. But to date, there is no federal mandate to include health assessments in federally funded projects. Some cities, however, have made great strides, such as San Francisco. Review the practice and discuss how these tools could be used, their shortcomings and debate whether adding them as a requirement (federally, statewide, etc.) is a good idea.
Your final project or paper for the term should focus on a narrowly defined topic with a well-thought out research question or methodology that you wish to investigate. You are to research this question using a careful review of the academic and practical literature, empirical methods, and/or other appropriate approaches throughout the term. The form of the finished project is up to you: students may choose a more traditional term paper or project but innovative projects, such as computer programs, websites, survey designs, applications, etc, are also welcome but must be pre-approved. For those choosing a more traditional route, the following guidelines are required:
- The paper must be written in a consistent and readable font (≥11 pt) with 1.5 line spacing.
- All secondary sources must be properly referenced in the text and cited in a footnote, endnote or bibliography. The format of the citation is up to you but it must be consistent throughout the paper.
- There is no maximum page length requirement. However the substance of the paper must reflect the weight of a term project. In general, papers earning an A grade tend to be within 15- 25 pages, not including citations. Papers prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board serve as good examples for the length of a term paper. • Please number your pages.
- Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you have questions about the appropriate methods of citing others work, please consult with me or a writing reference. Any plagiarized work will be given an F for the final project.
- I intend to grade based upon the relevance of your research question, robustness of your ideas, and the thoroughness of your research. It is difficult to separate these criteria from the presentation of your work, in terms of the quality of writing, graphics and other techniques used to communicate your points. While this is not an English course, I do have high expectations and your grade will include an assessment of your writing