UO student wins top prize in national competition
EUGENE, Ore. -- Kory Northrop is a third year master's student studying environmental studies at the University of Oregon, and he recently won the grand prize in a national competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation. He will be honored at the 2012 Transportation Research Board's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. from January 22 until January 26th.
The competition challenged students to create the best graphic presentation of a transportation policy issue.
Northrop's project, "Bicycling Commuting Trends in the United States," analyzed government data and compiled it into visual presentations consisting of interactive maps and graphs.
Northrop's project looked at nationwide and statewide trends in cycling and infrastructure. He said the more money the government has spent on programs for bikes and pedestrians, the more people use them. At the same time, the rate of fatalities on the roads decreases.
"A lot of people believe a barrier to get more people to use the bicycle as a mode of transportation is the perceived safety. So if you can show people that it's getting better every year, then that can hopefully get people to go to that which would have a snowballing effect," he said.
Northrop says he used geographic system software and other computer programming to create the interactive maps and graphs.
"I'm just taking the numerical data that the government has done. They collected it, and I'm just showing it in a different way that people might actually look at it," said Northrop. "Otherwise, its just a tabulated spreadsheet of numbers."