Professor Ralph Buehler, assistant professor in the Urban Affairs and Planning department in the School of Public and International Affairs and Faculty Fellow to the Metropolitan Institute, shared some of his background and research highlights recently.
Professor Buehler can often be found exploring the Alexandria, VA, area by bicycle.
Q: Please tell us a bit about your academic background.
I am from Germany originally, where I studied Public Policy and Management at the University of Konstanz. While getting my degree in Konstanz, I had the opportunity to live in London (UK), Paris (France) where I was an exchange student at the Sorbonne University, and in Germany’s capital Berlin. Moreover, in 2001/2002, I was an exchange student at Rutgers University, where I received a Masters degree in City and Regional Studies. In 2002, I returned to Germany to finish my Masters degree in Public Policy and Management. In fall 2003, I began my doctoral studies at the Bloustein School at Rutgers University. I finished my PhD in 2008 and my dissertation won the award for best dissertation by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 2008.
Q: What are your main research projects at the present time?
At this time, there are several research projects. One project focuses on the determinants of bicycling the Washington DC area. We use data from the regional travel survey and analyze cycling trends and policies in the District of Columbia, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County. There are two parts to this study. First we develop case studies for each jurisdiction looking at trends in cycling levels and policies. Second, we use multiple regression analysis to identify determinants of cycling and bike commuting. The model on bike commuting includes interesting variables about facilities at work, such as showers, lockers, or changing rooms. Additionally, my research assistant added the regional bike infrastructure network to the data. Thus, we can analyze if people living within ¼ mile of a bike lane are more likely to cycle.
For another project we have two great data sets to compare transit riders in Germany and the USA. Continue reading