Visual Study of the Detroit People Mover

Bernasconi, Claudia, Utpal Dutta, Veronica Allen, Carrie DaVia, and Blake Hills

A study is being conducted on environmental and design characteristics of the Detroit People Mover (DPM). This project is geared towards the understanding of which elements of the urban environment and the transportation system mostly influence public perception and understanding of linkages between perception of safety of the DPM and environmental and design characteristics of the system. Attitude and behavior towards the transportation system have been captured through a questionnaire. Pictures portraying significant characteristics of the urban context and of the DPM stations have been categorized and organized in panels. Public preferences for characteristics have been captured through the ranking of pictures. 

What can designers and planners do to improve feelings of safety and attitudes towards the transportation system? The understanding of the impact of specific design and environmental factors on public perception can help the planning of new systems and the update of older ones and can promote increased public acceptance and usage. The study was made possible through Internal Research Funds and is being conducted with assistance by the Detroit Transportation Corporation staff. Two undergraduate students and one graduate students from the school of Architecture are collaborating with the PI and Co-PI. The description of the project and preliminary analysis result will be presented in the poster.