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Gulsah Akar, PhD

  • Associate Professor, PhD Program Chair, City and Regional Planning Section
234 Knowlton Hall

Gulsah Akar is a Professor and Ph.D. Program Chair at the City and Regional Planning (CRP) Section of the Knowlton School. She holds a courtesy appointment with the Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering Department (CEGE). Professor Akar conducts research on transportation planning and policy with a focus on travel demand forecasting, travel outcomes, sustainable mobility, equity and access.

Professor Akar’s research has received grant support totaling $1.1 million from various sponsors including Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), NSF and internal sources. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles. She is currently the Editor of Journal of Planning Literature. Professor Akar is currently a faculty research lead at OSU’s Sustainability Institute (SI), providing direction for research on Smart and Resilient Communities across the university. 


  • N. Chen, G. Akar, S. Gordon and S. Chen (2020) “Where do you live and what do you drive: Built-environmental and spatial effects on vehicle type choice and vehicle use”, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, DOI:
  • K. Wang, G. Akar, K. Lee and M. Sanders (2020) “Commuting patterns and bicycle level of traffic stress (LTS): Insights from spatially aggregated data in Franklin County, Ohio”, Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 86, DOI:
  • K. Wang and G. Akar (2020) “Will Millennials Drive Less as the Economy Recovers: A Post Recession Analysis of Automobile Travel Patterns”, Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER), DOI:
  • K. Wang and G. Akar (2019) “Effects of neighborhood environments on perceived risk of self-driving: evidence from the 2015 and 2017 Puget Sound Travel Surveys”, Transportation, Vol. 46. 6, pp. 2117-2136, DOI:
  • Y. Park and G. Akar (2019) “Why Do Bicyclists Take Detours? A Multilevel Regression Model Using Smartphone GPS Data”, Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 74, pp. 191-200. DOI:



CRPLAN 3100: Analyzing the City
CRPLAN 5700: Urban Transportation Demand Forecasting 
CRPLAN 6500: Plan Making and Analysis Techniques 
CRPLAN 7300: Planning Dissertations and Theses from Start to Finish

Recent Work

"Tracking Bicyclists' Route Choices Case Study: The Ohio State University"

There is increasing interest among colleges and universities in ways to reduce local congestion, contributions to greenhouse gases, and provide leadership in sustainable transportation. This study analyzes campus transportation patterns, identifies the factors associated with bicycle trip generation and bicycle route choices using state‐of‐the‐art data collection techniques at a large university campus, The Ohio State University (OSU). The origins, destinations and routes of bicycle trips are collected through a smart phone app: CycleTracks. This app is developed by SFCTA (San Francisco County Transit Authority) to collect data on users’ bicycle trip routes and times, and display maps of their rides using smartphone GPS.

Selected Publications

K. Wang and G. Akar “The perceptions of bicycling intersection safety by four types of bicyclists” Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour, accepted (August 2018).

K. Wang, G. Akar and Y‐J Chen (2018) “Bike sharing differences among Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers: Lessons learnt from New York City’s bike share” Transportation Research Part A, Vol. 116, pp 1‐14.

K. Wang and G. Akar (2018) “Street Intersection Characteristics and Their Impacts on Perceived Bicycling Safety” forthcoming, Transportation Research Record

M. Blau, G. Akar and J. Nasar (2018) "Driverless Vehicles' Potential Influence on Bicyclist Facility Preferences." International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 12:9, 665‐674

Y. Park, N. Chen and G. Akar (2018) “Who is Interested in Carpooling and Why: The Importance of Individual Characteristics, Role Preferences, and Carpool Markets” forthcoming, Transportation Research Record.