Research

 

Current work

Pedestrian and bicycle safety: SafeTREC partners with California Walks to conduct workshops across California that teach community members how to identify pedestrian and bicycle safety problems and build community relationships to improve safety programs. Our research is measuring the short-term effectiveness of this program through surveys and participant-observation of the workshops. This work is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

School travel: With my colleague Ariel Bierbaum, we are exploring connections between school choice and travel choice for families in urban school districts. Some of the questions we’re exploring: How does school choice affect transportation choice, and by extension, the time, distance, and cost burdens associated with getting to school? How do these choices and their attendant burdens compare across students in neighborhood public schools and charter schools? For those choosing charter schools over their neighborhood public schools, what is the trade-off for their different travel burden; are they actually getting to higher quality, less segregated, and/or lower poverty schools or neighborhoods?

Affordable housing, TODs, and travel: This work speaks to whether living in TODs meets the needs of affordable housing residents in terms of evaluating travel affordability, access to regional employment, and access to other opportunities compared to other affordable housing developments. The research will offer an evaluation of a regional transit agency’s progress toward meeting TOD goals of more multimodal travel and equitable access of opportunity.

Pedestrian access to transit: Pedestrian infrastructure plays a critical role in public transportation networks, filling in the “first and last miles” between transit stops and the locations that they ultimately aim to serve. But transit agencies face many barriers to ensuring this infrastructure gets built, particularly because they do not typically have the authority to make land use changes. I am working with my colleagues Linsday Braun and Bumsoo Lee to understand the institutional challenges and opportunities to pedestrian planning in Northeastern Illinois and suggest short- and long-term strategies to addressing these issues.

Published work

Journal Articles

Barajas, Jesus M. Forthcoming. “Supplemental Infrastructure: How Community Networks and Immigrant Identity Influence Cycling.” Transportation. Post-print.

Barajas, Jesus M. 2018. “Not All Crashes Are Created Equal: Associations between the Built Environment and Disparities in Bicycle Collisions.” Journal of Transport and Land Use 11 (1): 865-882. Published version (open access).

Barajas, Jesus M., Asha Weinstein Agrawal, and Daniel G. Chatman. 2018. “Immigration, Income, and Public Transit Perceptions: Findings from an Intercept Survey.” Journal of Public Transportation 21 (2): 1-18. Published version (open access).

Report

Barajas, Jesus M., Daniel G. Chatman, and Asha W. Agrawal. 2016. Exploring Bicycle and Public Transit Use by Low-Income Latino Immigrants: A Mixed-Methods Study in the San Francisco Bay Area. MTI Report. San José, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute. Link.

Book reviews

Barajas, Jesus M. 2017. Review of Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All?, edited by Aaron Golub, Melody L. Hoffmann, Adonia E. Lugo, and Gerardo F. Sandoval. Journal of the American Planning Association 83 (2): 226-227. E-print. Article.

Barajas, Jesus M. 2014. Review of Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy, by Elly Blue. Berkeley Planning Journal 27: 110–12. Link.

Peer-reviewed conference papers

Barajas, Jesus M., Kate Beck, and Jill F. Cooper. 2018. “How Effective are Community Pedestrian Safety Training Workshops? Preliminary Findings from a Program in California.” 97th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 7–11. Extended abstract.

Barajas, Jesus M. 2018. “How Equitable is Bikesharing? Exploring Population Characteristics and Access to Employment.” 97th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 7–11. Extended abstract.

Barajas, Jesus M. 2017. “Bicycling Is Freedom: A Qualitative Analysis of Latino Immigrant Cycling Experiences.” 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 8–12.

Barajas, Jesus M., Asha W. Agrawal, and Daniel G. Chatman. 2017. “Immigration, Income, and Public Transit Perceptions: Findings from an Intercept Survey.” 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 8–12.

Barajas, Jesus M. 2016. “Disparities in Bicycle Crash Influences among Population Groups: Initial Findings.” 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 10–14. Link.

Barajas, Jesus M. 2012. “Built Environment and Demographic Predictors of Bicycle Access to Transit: An Investigation in the San Francisco Bay Area.” 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 22–26. Link.

Barajas, Jesus M. 2010. “Regional Bicycle Planning in Los Angeles County: Analysis of Bike-Transit Integration in the Metro Bicycle Transportation Strategic Plan.” 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 10–14.

Non-core research

Book Chapters

Barajas, Jesus M., Geoff Boeing, and Julie Wartell. Forthcoming (2017). “Neighborhood Change, One Pint at a Time: The Impact of Local Characteristics on Craft Breweries.” In Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of the Craft Beer Revolution, edited by Nathaniel G. Chapman, J. Slade Lellock, and Cameron Lippard. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press. Pre-print.

Dissertation

Immigration will drive population growth in the United States for the next half century, and planners concerned with sustainability and social equity need to understand how the trend will impact transportation needs. Using national datasets, previous research finds immigrants bicycle and take other sustainable modes more than their counterparts born in the United States, controlling for sociodemographic factors, immigrant neighborhoods, and some built environment characteristics. However, none have explored how small-scale built environment factors, personal preferences, or the social environment motivate their travel decisions.

My dissertation titled “Making the Invisible Rider Visible: Motivations for Bicycling and Public Transit Use among Latino Immigrants,” which earned the Wootan Memorial Award for best dissertation in transportation policy and planning, addressed the gap in scholarship. It is a mixed-methods study on what influences Latino immigrants to bicycle and take public transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Using a custom-designed intercept survey, interviews, and secondary spatial data analysis, I explored how individual, social, and built environment factors influence bicycling and how they vary between immigrants and people born in the United States. I find personal preferences and social networks strongly influence cycling among both immigrants and non-immigrants, though the effects of social connections appear to be stronger for immigrants. I find little evidence for an effect of the built environment on cycling as I measured it. The results suggest the need for planning to leverage the strength of social networks in cycling promotion.