Navigating Urban Mobility: Evaluating Infrastructure Strategies for Enhanced Energy-Efficient Access for Micromobility

Shivam Sharda, Christopher Hoehne, Sailesh Acharya, Michael Allen, Venu Garikapati, Ambarish Nag, Yantao Huang

Research output: NRELPoster

Abstract

Cities and communities continue to expand pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure as part of their sustainable mobility and post-pandemic recovery plans. However, the emergence of micro-mobility (e.g., electric bicycles) has created new challenges for urban transport planning. As the popularity of micro-mobility modes has grown, so have safety concerns due to rising injuries, thus challenging many cities to come up with regulatory measures that enable efficient access while minimizing negative impacts from micro-mobility. Leveraging the Open-Source Tool (Mobility Energy Productivity metric), powered by an open-source dataset (OpenStreetMap), and enhanced through the incorporation of perceived discomfort (level-of-traffic stress), this research study focuses on evaluating the accessibility implications of infrastructure planning and regulatory measures for micro-mobility. Five scenarios pertaining to level of traffic stress, sidewalk access, traffic calming, and bike lane coverage were tested in the Denver-Aurora region in Colorado. Maximum improvements in energy-efficient access are realized when allowing sidewalks for micro-mobility use. Cities and planning agencies could leverage this information to assess sidewalk use policies for micro-mobility, while ensuring pedestrian safety and ADA access. Results indicate that expansion of bicycle lane coverage yields 11% accessibility benefits for micro-mobility compared to implementing traffic calming measures yielding 3% accessibility improvements. Further, it was observed most of the population in the Denver-Aurora region is experiencing lower accessibility in-part due to presence of a high-stress connections in the network. Although not generalizable, the use of open-source data and access calculation methodology, make this analysis reproducible and transferable to other locations.
Original languageAmerican English
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NamePresented at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 103rd Annual Meeting, 7-11 January 2024, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5400-88269

Keywords

  • infrastructure planning
  • micro-mobility accessibility
  • OpenStreetMap
  • perceived discomfort

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