First Advisor

Christopher M. Monsere

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Cities and towns -- Oregon -- Portland -- Design, Traffic safety -- Oregon -- Portland, Land use -- Oregon -- Portland



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 100, [2] p.) : ill. (some col.)


Street layout and design, once established, are then not easily changed. Urban form affects community development, livability, sustainability, and traffic safety. There has been an assumed relationship between urban form and traffic safety that favors designs with less through streets to improve safety. An empirical study to test this assumed relationship was carried out for crash data for Portland, Oregon. This thesis presents an empirical methodology for analyzing the relationship between urban form and traffic safety utilizing a uniform grid for the spatial unit. Crashes in the Portland, Oregon city limits from 2005-2007 were analyzed and modeled using negative binomial regression to study the effect of urban form and street layout through factors on exposure, connectivity, transit accessibility, demographic factors, and origins and destinations. These relationships were modeled separately by mode: vehicle crashes, pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Models were also developed separately by crash type and by crash injury severity. The models found that urban form factors of street connectivity and intersection density were not significant at 95% confidence for vehicle and pedestrian crash rates, nor for different crash severity levels, indicating that high connectivity grid street layout may have comparable safety to loops and lollipops, in contrast to results in earlier studies. Elasticity for all models was dominated by VMT increases. Business density, population and transit stops were also significant factors in many models, underlining the importance not only of street layout design, but also planning to direct development to influence where businesses, employment, and housing will grow and handle traffic volumes safely.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Persistent Identifier