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Washington State University National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life-Extension (TriDurLE)

Webinar: Evaluating Sidewalk Infrastructure & Prioritizing Investment

Webinar Title



Wes Marshall with Nick Coppola, University of Colorado Denver

Webinar Abstract

This project leverages advances in technology and increasing access to high-resolution remote sensing and spatial data to develop methods for inventorying sidewalk characteristics and static obstructions across an entire major city. In part 1 of this effort, we analyze city-scale sidewalk availability, width, and land coverage calculated from spatial data from aerial imagery (planimetrics). We then determine how much of a difference accounting for static obstructions makes when measuring the clear width of sidewalks in one city. Part 2 then combines planimetric sidewalk data with vehicle and pedestrian trip big data to develop a methodology to prioritize city areas in need of pedestrian infrastructure attention.

The results show an overall deficiency of sidewalks and indicate that deriving sidewalk availability, average width, and minimum clear width are feasible at the city scale. Moreover, the results suggest a significant decrease in the average clear width of sidewalks when accounting for static obstructions. Not accounting for static obstructions could lead to a gross overestimation of seemingly adequate sidewalks and an unrealistic assessment of sidewalk infrastructure and pedestrian accessibility. We then present a feasible and efficient method to prioritize pedestrian infrastructure in a city.

Primarily due to a lack of data, academic literature has scant research on sidewalks. In this project, we leveraged advances in remote sensing to bridge the data and research gap on pedestrian infrastructure in cities. These results will help cities that are lacking information rectify an unprecedented backlog of deteriorating pedestrian infrastructure.

About the Speaker

Wes Marshall is a Professor of Civil Engineering and affiliate faculty in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, director of the CU Denver Transportation Research Center, and co-director of the Active Communities/Transportation (ACT) research group. He is a Professional Engineer and focuses on transportation teaching and research dedicated to creating a more sustainable and resilient built environment, particularly in terms of road safety, active transportation, and transit. Other related teaching and research topics include street networks, parking, health, travel behavior, and scofflaw bicycling.  His recent book, Elements of Access, provides planners with the fundamentals of transportation engineering and engineers with the fundamentals of transportation planning. Having spent time in the private sector with Sasaki Associates and Clough, Harbour and Associates, Wes has been working on all this for the last two decades. A native of  Massachusetts, he is a graduate of the University of Virginia, the University of Connecticut, a recipient of the Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship, the Endeavour Fellowship, winner of the Wootan Award for Outstanding TRB Paper in the field of Policy and Organization, and winner of the Campus-wide University of Colorado Denver Outstanding Faculty in Research Award.

Waheed Uddin Faculty/Staff Diversity Award

Waheed Uddin Faculty/Staff Diversity Travel Grants 


In memory of Mississippi TriDurLE Site Director Waheed Uddin who passed away from COVID in 2020, TriDurLE will provide funding up to $1500 per award each year to four TriDurLE consortium university faculty or staff (postdoctoral researcher, engineer, coordinator, etc) who have participated in presentations/activities to enhance diversity. Grants are awarded post-travel (or virtual presentation) and receipts are required for reimbursement. Applicants will be required to explain how this travel helps the recruitment or retention of diverse students or professionals to the transportation infrastructure field and provide the number of people in attendance at the event.

Applications are open

  • These funding opportunities are available for faculty or staff from TriDurLE consortium universities only
  • All reimbursements will be allocated by TriDurLE and all faculty or staff who apply are not guaranteed funding
  • These grants are for reimbursement for registration and travel associated with academic or professional work related to promoting diversity, recruitment, and retention of students.
  • These are post-travel grants processed as reimbursements after you return from your trip (or virtual activity).


  • Conference presentations
  • Workshops
  • Professional/Career development


  • All TriDurLE consortium university faculty or staff are eligible to apply for a TriDurLE travel grant.
  • Each faculty or staff can submit more than one application per travel period or academic year until the applicant reaches the maximum funding cap per travel period or academic year.
  • Faculty or staff are permitted to apply for more than one grant in the same cycle if they attended two events (conferences, workshops, etc.). They may be awarded partially based on available funding per travel period.


Applicants must submit all original receipts (registration costs, travel receipts, etc.) and relevant information regarding travel; however for 2020-21 exceptions are allowed for this rule in the application process.

  • Registration fees
  • Transportation including airfare, shuttle costs, ground transportation, rental car, or personal cars per mileage
  • Airport parking
  • Lodging


  • Any expenses for travel companions will not be reimbursed by TriDurLE
  • Meal costs will not be reimbursed


The amount awarded is based on:

  • The quality and completeness of the application
  • The benefits of the activity to the recruitment and/or retention of diverse students
  • The quality of resume or personal profile

Application Materials

Application is considered complete if the submitted application form includes the following fields

  • Attachment of travel receipts (exceptions are allowed for this for 2020-21 in the application process)
  • Strength of the event’s and/or presentation’s focus on diversity, recruitment, and retention


  • When traveling, keep all original receipts and relevant information regarding your travel for reimbursement (This rule is applicable for 2021-22. If receipts are not available for 2020-21, exceptions are allowed)
  • Faculty or staff may submit as many applications per application period as they wish.
  • Pay attention to the funding cap of $1500 when completing more than one application.


Invited Speaker Webinar with Dr. Zhongren Wang, Ph.D., California Department of Transportation


“Implementing a Pavement Management System in California DOT”


About the Speaker:

Dr. Zhongren Wang is Chief, Office of Mobility Programs at Caltrans. He manages multiple statewide mobility programs such as connected corridor, operational improvement analysis and investigation, and project environmental impact analysis.

A registered Civil and Traffic Engineer in California, Dr. Wang has more than 30 years of experiences in transportation project development and management, program administration, and academic teaching and research. Dr. Wang serves on multiple TRB standing Committees including Geometric Design, Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics, and Pavement Management. Dr. Wang published more than 30 journal papers in various refereed journals and is now an associate editor of the International Journal on Transportation Science and Technology.

Dr. Wang graduated from the University of Tennessee, National University of Singapore, and Tongji University, Chin

 View the recording of this webinar

About TriDurLE

About TriDurLE

The National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life-Extension (TriDurLE) led by Washington State University is one of seven National University Transportation Centers (UTCs) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). TriDurLE was selected in the recent nationwide competition under the FAST Act. We serve as the only National UTC with a focus on the USDOT strategic priority of “Improving the Durability and Extending the Life of Transportation Infrastructure.”

The TriDurLE consortium includes:

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • South Dakota State University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of Utah
  • Washington State University

Each consortium member of TriDurLE brings certain unique strengths and credentials to this collaborative team and we collectively offer multidisciplinary programs engaged in innovative research, education, and technology transfer.

Center Vision

The partnerships underlying this National UTC is based on the shared vision of “cost-effective innovations and holistic solutions to enhance multimodal infrastructure durability.” TriDurLE will conduct multidisciplinary and multimodal research, education and workforce development, and technology transfer related to this vision, and will directly support the USDOT’s strategic goal of infrastructure durability & life-extension while providing secondary benefits for other relevant strategic goals such as safety, mobility, and environmental sustainability.

Center Strategic Goals

The National UTC TriDurLE is concerned with the following strategic goals, which will be the focus of the Center’s research, education, and technology transfer activities:

  • Facilitating innovations in data modeling/management, analytical tools, and decision-making related to infrastructure durability and life-extension.
  • Enhancing understanding of transportation infrastructure performance and asset management via condition monitoring and remote sensing.
  • Extending the service life of transportation infrastructure and addressing durability issues through new materials and technologies and best practices.
  • Leading the way in education, workforce development, capacity building, and technology transfer.