COLUMBUS—State Senator Michael Rulli
(R-Salem) yesterday welcomed Pranav Padmanabhan to the Ohio Statehouse to learn about his innovative research on how to prevent pedestrian road trauma, utilizing geographic data analysis and machine learning. The project was a part of the Second Annual Ohio State University Undergraduate Research Day.
"I am blown away by the impressive work Pranav put into this research project, and was honored that he took the time to teach me a little more about ways in which we can keep our roadways and pedestrians safer," said Rulli, who serves on the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee. "As lawmakers, we rely on research and facts such as the ones he presented to make informed legislative and policy decisions. I have no doubt we will see him again in the future—not as a student—but as a leader in our community."
Pranav highlights a number of factors that may contribute to a rising trend in pedestrian fatalities, which his research shows have increased 65% since 2013. In low-income geographical areas, he cites a lack of sidewalks in residential areas, the widening of major roads, lack of access to reliable transportation, lack of well-lit areas, and a high volume of pedestrians due to lower car ownership rates.
¿"As a growing city and a hub of industry and culture, Columbus has the opportunity to implement innovative solutions to become a leader in safety and livability," said Padmanabhan.
During the event, 26 students, from 15 Ohio counties, shared their research with members of the Ohio General Assembly.