What: Critical Transport Scholars Fall Kick-off, with research presentation “Access to Everything: Accessibility Metrics Reconsidered from Within the Central City”
When: Wednesday October 9, 5 – 7 p.m.
Where: Room 5414, CUNY Grad Center 365 Fifth Ave on the 5th floor. Please bring photo ID to sign in the front desk. If you have trouble finding the room contact Hector: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will cover some logistics at the beginning of the meeting, including updates on the website and conference proposal but the bulk of our meeting will be devoted to a talk by Alexis Perrotta, a fourth year PhD student in urban planning at Columbia who will be presenting the draft of a presentation she will be giving at the Urban Affairs Association this coming February. A brief abstract is below:
Access to Everything: Accessibility Metrics Reconsidered from Within the Central City
In transportation planning research, accessibility metrics are primarily used to analyze the reach-ability of specific, formal destinations such as employment centers or hospitals. The social exclusion literature, however, suggests ‘informal’ destinations may be critical to social network development and social inclusion more generally (Cass et al 2005). These may include places of worship, the homes of friends and family, and recreational spaces. Since important destinations can be anywhere, it becomes relevant to learn the ‘accessibility of everywhere’. For more sparsely settled areas, this kind of overall spatial accessibility can be indicated with the conventional measures of vehicle availability and land use. For the transit-dependent living in densely settled cities, accessibility indicators must also include the location, speed, and networked extent of the public transportation system. This paper manipulates a dynamic online mapping application using geographic information systems tools to measure the geographic coverage of public transportation. The metric is applied to a sample of origins in four counties of New York City. The result is a simple summary measure of transit station proximity, and transit network extent and quality (i.e. speed and frequency). An analysis discusses the utility and limitations of the metric for assessing the equity of a transit system’s operational characteristics. This paper raises questions regarding the limits of the study of accessibility in the aggregate, the role of trip purpose in transport planning, and the potential for expanding the use of qualitative methods in transportation research.
We look forward to seeing you next week and continuing our collaborations from last spring. Please feel free to forward this information to other critical scholars who may be interested and do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.