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UW researchers drive around Seattle to document pandemic impact

Published on October 20, 2020

Pedestrians crossing 2nd Ave on Pike St, downtown Seattle.
Pedestrians crossing 2nd Ave on Pike St, downtown Seattle. Image Credit: SDOT Photos (CC BY-NC 2.0)

So much has changed since the start of the pandemic, and University of Washington researchers are hoping to keep track of all of those changes by driving around and capturing snapshots of Seattle.

“It’s a really unique dataset that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” said Joe Wartman, co-researcher and UW professor of civil engineering.

Video provided by UW shows how the data is being collected: every few weeks, researchers drive around in a car with a street view camera snapping images of what’s changed month-to-month.

“A lot of metrics that pertain to street life, number of cars in the road, number of buses on the road, number of pedestrians, number of bicyclists on the road and the number of people who are using parks,” said Wartman.

Wartman said researchers are looking at changes in the region across the year and a half study period, hoping to understand what is the nature and quality of the recovery as the area slowly emerges from the pandemic.

“We want to learn from this event, and we want to learn from this event in a way that can minimize the effects that should something like this occur again,” said Wartman.


Continue reading at King5 News.

Originally written by Brit Moorer for King5 News.
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