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UCLA transportation study asks for Downtown participation

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013, at 11:21AM
Boarding the Metro Red Line at 7th / Metro Station Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

The new study focuses on "local" travel in downtown L.A. It asks people who live and work in the area to answer questions about how often they walk, ride a bike or take public transportation.

A new study out of UCLA is asking for the public's help in improving transportation in downtown L.A.

Researcher Michael Smart leads the study which asks people who live or work in DTLA to answer questions about their lifestyle and transit habits.

The survey is posted online and asks people about their daily routine, how they get to work, if they ride a bike and how close they live to their friends.

Smart, of the school's Institute of Transportation Studies, said Downtown is a neighborhood in flux and has seen a huge population growth and demographic change in recent years.

“My interest really is in neighborhoods that are changing rapidly and in neighborhoods where we might expect there to be a lot of very local travel," said Smart. "And downtown Los Angeles checks off both of those check marks.”

The study includes a "travel diary" section that asks participants about what they did the day before. The list includes "Where did you go?" and "How far was it (in miles or blocks)?"

Smart said that by studying travel patterns of people in Downtown he will be able to determine how well the current transportation system is working. He said it will also help identify how the transit needs of people in Downtown may be different from those in other Southern California communities.

Smart said he's hoping for at least 1,000 participants, because this type of study is more effective with a "medium to large" subject pool. Researchers will then take the information from the online survey and "use statistical methods to answer a number of questions about the transportation needs of downtown L.A."

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