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Uses of Census Data in Transportation

Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice Concentration Zones for Assessing Transportation Project Impacts

Authors: Victoria, Isabel Cristina; Prozzi, Jolanda P; Walton, C Michael; Prozzi, Jorge A

Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board

Publication Date: 2006

Abstract:

Environmental justice (EJ) becomes a concern when minority or low-income communities (referred to as EJ populations) are disproportionately affected by transportation projects. The disproportionate impacts may relate to social, economic, or environmental burdens that EJ populations living in affected project areas will be forced to endure. An important component of any EJ assessment methodology is therefore the identification of EJ communities in a project area. The conventional approach classifies communities by means of threshold values into target and nontarget EJ populations. Research has demonstrated, however, that threshold values are largely influenced by the chosen community of comparison. In addition, the spatial distribution of target and nontarget EJ populations within the affected area changed when the scale of geographic analysis changed. Because it has been argued that effective EJ analysis should consider all minority and low-income population groups regardless of their size, this research presents an innovative approach to identify the concentration of EJ individuals in affected project areas. The approach consists of five steps. First, the spatial distribution of minority and low-income populations is estimated by means of census data at the block level. Second, local measures of spatial autocorrelation for EJ populations are computed for each census block. Third, the EJ concentration levels are conceptualized on the basis of spatial-cluster patterns. Fourth, the concentration levels of minority and low-income populations are combined into a single raster model. The outcome is a map in which each cell has a value that represents its concentration level. Finally, these values and specified spatial connectivity criteria are used to define EJ concentration zones. The objective of this paper is to describe the approach and to present the results from testing it.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Energy; Environment; Highways; Society; I15: Environment

Environmental impact analysis; Environmental justice; Low income groups; Minorities; Geospatial distribution; Raster data; Traffic analysis zones; Transportation projects

Availability: Transportation Research Board Business Office

Order URL: http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=7743

Find a library where document is available

Order URL: http://worldcat.org/isbn/0309099935

Environmental Justice

Evaluating Pedestrian Risk in Environmental Justice Areas

Authors: Cottrill, Caitlin D; Thakuriah, Piyushimita Transportation Research Board-500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

Transportation Research Board 87th Annual Meeting,

Publication Date: 2008

Abstract:

This paper evaluates pedestrian crash point data against census tracts with high minority populations and/or low median incomes (generally called environmental justice areas) to determine if there is a relationship between these factors. The potential for pedestrian exposure to risk, estimated here by including factors related to land use, population density, and a pedestrian environment factor, must be included in any estimate of crash likelihood, as increased pedestrian trips generally produce a greater number of pedestrian crashes. The Chicago region is utilized as a case study, allowing for the control of spatial autocorrelation. The paper indicates that there is a positive relationship between environmental justice areas and pedestrian-vehicle crashes.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Highways; Pedestrians and Bicyclists; Safety and Human Factors; Society; I83: Accidents and the Human Factor

Collisions; Environmental justice; Low income groups; Nonmotorized transportation; Pedestrian accidents; Pedestrian movement; Pedestrian safety; Pedestrians; Risk analysis

Availability: Transportation Research Board Business Office

Environmental Justice

Highway Expansion Effects on Urban Racial Redistribution in the Post-Civil Rights Period

Authors: Chi, Guangqing; Parisi, Domenico

Public Works Management & Policy

Publication Date: Jan 2011

Abstract:

Few studies have addressed how the expansion of an existing highway system influences urban racial redistribution in the post-Civil Rights era. This study uses decennial census data for 1970-2000 to examine the role that highway expansion plays in affecting the population redistribution of Blacks and Hispanics at the census tract level within the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metropolitan area of Wisconsin. The results indicate that the concentration of Blacks and Hispanics in neighborhoods in close proximity to highways that were expanded between 1965 and 1970 increased substantially between 1970 and 2000. Highway expansion promotes Black growth in nearby neighborhoods through its role as an amenity by providing easy access to the transportation network. Although highway expansion also promotes Hispanic growth in nearby neighborhoods, the expansion's role was primarily as a disamenity by decreasing housing prices in immediate neighborhoods. Limitations of this research and directions for future studies are discussed.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Highways; Society; I72: Traffic and Transport Planning

Census; Environmental justice; Ethnic groups; Highways; History; Neighborhoods; Population growth; Race; Urban areas; Urban population; Milwaukee (Wisconsin)

Availability: Find a library where document is available

Order URL: http://worldcat.org/oclc/34383369

Environmental Justice

Methodological Challenges of Environmental Justice Assessments for Transportation Projects

Authors: Hartell, Ann M

Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board

Publication Date: 2007

Abstract:

Executive Order 12898 requires federal agencies to conduct environmental justice (EJ) assessments to determine if negative effects from projects will fall disproportionately on minority or low-income populations. This paper uses a case study of a proposed road-widening project in Daytona Beach, Florida, to illustrate how the choices of the reference area, study area, affected groups, and method for determining the decision threshold for a finding of disproportionality have important implications for the outcome of an assessment. A further complication is the use of decision thresholds that are based on measures of centrality in the data, such as a mean value, when the data have a bimodal distribution pattern, as seen in data on the racial compositions of census geographic units. Simple statistical tests are applied to support the methodological choices and the findings of disproportionality for each population. This analysis demonstrates that rather than selecting the precise method a priori, the characteristics and distribution of the data should be considered, and the method that most fairly represents the data should be selected. Conducting genuine EJ assessments not only is required by federal regulations but can head off conflicts, better reveal the true costs of projects, and allow the more equitable distribution of costs and benefits by better targeting mitigation efforts.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Highways; Planning and Forecasting; Society; I72: Traffic and Transport Planning

Case studies; Decision making; Environmental justice; Evaluation and assessment; Low income groups; Methodology; Minorities; Programming (Planning); Transportation planning; Daytona Beach (Florida); Transportation projects

Availability: Transportation Research Board Business Office

Order URL: http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=8631

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Order URL: http://worldcat.org/isbn/9780309104395

Environmental Justice

Safeguarding Minority Civil Rights and Environmental Justice in Service Delivery and Reductions: Case Study of New York City Transit Authority Title VI Program

Authors: Reddy, Alla; Chennadu, Thomas; Lu, Alex

Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board

Publication Date: 2010

Abstract:

Federal civil rights and environmental justice (EJ) mandates require transit agencies to provide service without racial or income discrimination and to ensure meaningful access by individuals with limited English proficiency. EJ research generally focuses on long-range planning and capital investment decision making. However, for operating agencies, equity in scheduling, service planning, and tactical service delivery operations is critical to compliance with Title VI legislation and FTA Circular C4702.1A. In 2009, New York City Transit (NYCT) designed a service reductions package in response to the economic downturn. EJ considerations were integral to its planning. The use of ridership performance criteria for route selection resulted in fewer impacts on routes with heavily minority or low-income populations. Quantitative analysis ensured that protected demographics were not significantly adversely affected by proposed service rationalizations. Route and frequency modifications and service span changes were evaluated with statistical t-tests during programming stages, resulting in proposals sensitive to equity concerns. Operationally, NYCT actively monitors service using U.S. census, survey, and routine agency data. The t-test and the chi-square test explicitly demonstrate racial and income equity in all aspects of agency operations on the basis of service standards and policies. As an example, t-tests compared the observed load factors with published guidelines; no significant differences in service delivery between demographic groups were found.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Planning and Forecasting; Public Transportation; Society; I72: Traffic and Transport Planning

Chi square test; Civil rights; Environmental justice; Equity (Justice); Low income groups; Minorities; Race; Schedules and scheduling; Social factors; T test; New York (New York); Civil Rights Act Title VI; New York City Transit Authority; Service deliver

Availability: Transportation Research Board Business Office; Find a library where document is available Order URL: http://worldcat.org/isbn/9780309142939

Environmental Justice

Using GIS to Explore Environmental Justice Issues: The Case of U.S. Petroleum Refineries

Authors: Park, Jun Hyun; Fischbeck, Paul S; Gerard, David Transportation Research Board-500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

Transportation Research Board 86th Annual Meeting

Publication Date: 2007

Abstract:

A central issue in environmental policy that is emerging both in the U.S. and internationally is whether the deleterious impacts of development, including the siting of transportation infrastructure, disproportionately impacts poor and minority populations. This paper demonstrates how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to gather data and characterize potential environmental justice issues in the context of areas surrounding U.S. petroleum refineries. Specifically, the paper develops a national database of U.S. refineries and then integrate GIS with specially-crafted Census data in order to examine current demographic characteristics (e.g., population, percentage white, black, and Hispanic, average income, vacant housing) of neighborhoods surrounding U.S. petroleum refineries, and how those demographics have changed in the period 1980 to 2000. The approach facilitates two types of analysis. The first is to use GIS maps to explore demographic profiles for individual cases. The second is to use the GIS tool to gather and aggregate data to generate descriptive statistics and facilitate statistical analyses. These aggregation is possible in a number of ways, such as based on the refinery size (i.e., production capacity) or location (i.e., urban/rural). The paper finds that there are unquestionably environmental justice issues in certain areas surrounding refineries, but that drawing conclusions at a national level is much murkier.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Data and Information Technology; Economics; Energy; Environment; Highways; Society; I10: Economics and Administration; I15: Environment

Census; Data collection; Databases; Demographics; Development; Environment; Environmental impacts; Environmental justice; Geographic information systems; Infrastructure; Minorities; Neighborhoods; Petroleum refineries

Availability: Transportation Research Board Business Office

Order URL: http://gulliver.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=7286

Updated: 06/06/2011
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