Transportation Data Science Seminar Series: Daniel Piatkowski: Will We Ever Stop Driving? Aging, driving cessation, and autodependence in the US

Faculty Host: Xinyue Ye, Dept. of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning & Urban Data Science Lab

Abstract: Driving cessation is the process of individual physical and mental declines resulting in losing the ability to drive a car. Driving cessation in the United States, and the myriad problems it poses, tend to be treated as an inevitable aspect of aging. But the challenges imposed by losing the ability to drive are rooted in auto-dependence. That is, auto-dependence, and the limitations it imposes on accessibility and physical activity, can accelerate the aging process, creating a negative feedback-loop for older people. As the approximately 70 million “baby boomers” face the possibility of losing the ability to drive, the US may be at an inflection-point. Older Americans today may be more willing than ever to support policies that reduce auto-dependence for all (and they vote at higher rates than younger groups). However, it´s unclear if a generation raised in suburbia wants to stop driving. My research tests this assumption by examining attitudes toward driving, aging, and driving cessation using data from a survey conducted in the Midwestern US. Statistical analysis reveals a number of underlying attitudes toward driving and car culture, as well as correlations between these attitudes and the desire to continue to drive as one ages. Findings from this work will guide policies aimed at shifting transportation priorities in the US away from the automobile.

This seminar series is co-organized by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Transportation Institute, and Institute of Data Science at Texas A&M University. It is run by Texas A&M Urban Data Science Lab.

Biography: Daniel Piatkowski is an Associate Professor in Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning at OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University. He holds a PhD in Design and Planning from the University of Colorado as an interdisciplinary National Science Foundation – Integrative Graduate Education Research Trainee (NSF-IGERT) in Sustainable Urban Infrastructure. He also has a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning and a Bachelor’s in English (both from Arizona State University). In his research and teaching, Piatkowski considers how integrating land use and transportation planning, in concert with emerging technologies, can be leveraged to foster sustainable cities. Recent work includes: implications of autonomous shuttles, “carrot” vs “stick” policies in transport planning, social media tools and equitable community engagement, the role of bicycling in pandemic response, and the phenomenon of “scofflaw bicycling” – why bicyclists break the rules of the road and why drivers respond in aggressive ways to bicyclists. In 2017 was awarded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Excellence in Safety Research for Active Living award for his work on bicycle safety.

The Transportation Data Science Seminar Series is sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science. Please contact Xinyue Ye (LAUP), Michael Martin (TTI), or Xiao Li (TTI) for further information.

Link to pdf version

You can also click this link to join the seminar

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