What do users tell you?: Considerations when collecting and analyzing opinions in traffic planning

Abstract: Users’ perceptions of their traffic environment are of interest to both researchers and practitioners within the realm of traffic planning. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to methodological considerations when collecting and analyzing users’ opinions on features in their traffic environment. Questionnaires were sent out to residents along four arterial streets in Malmö, Sweden, covering questions related to their respective traffic environments. The results show that respondents’ answers were dependent on how frequently they walk in the neighbourhood and how the questions were phrased. Further, the results emphasize the importance of contextual aspects in terms of physical and traffic-related features in the streets, and show that the respondents are quite able to relate to their surrounding environment when answering. The thesis also contains discussions on relationships between estimated occurrence and associated level of annoyance. Finally, conclusions are drawn from telephone interviews with practitioners, covering why and how collection of user opinions is executed in Swedish municipal planning. The results from the interview study create a frame for analyzing how the results from the questionnaire can be implemented.

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