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Wen Cheng has more than a decade of experience analyzing California’s transportation design and crash data to make California’s streets and highways safer through transportation design. His multivariable analysis of traffic data for each of the state’s 58 counties and 540 incorporated cities allows government agencies to detect the most effective traffic safety measures as well as any rising issues, and allocate money for traffic safety improvements effectively.


In 2023, he received the Traffic Safety Excellence Award by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for that work.


In addition to the rankings, Cheng and his team have worked on several traffic studies for the state, including models predicting the likelihood of hit-and-run crashes, crash frequency models and the identification of intersections that are hotspots for collisions. He is currently the principal investigator on a $1.4 million, multi-year study to improve traffic safety performance rankings of California cities. He has won various research awards at international, national, regional, and local levels.


Recent Grants and Fellowships:

  • Principal Investigator, State of California Office of Traffic Safety / U.S. Department of Transportation, “Statewide Collision Data Analysis, Research Studies and Ranking Program-CSU Northridge,” $24,394 (2020-2021)
  • Principal Investigator, U.S. Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “California Statewide Traffic Safety Ranking via Empirical Bayes Method,” Goal: Enhance accuracy of safety performance rankings of counties and incorporated cities in CA, $1,405,136, 2013-present
  • Principal Investigator, Caltrans, “Development of Active Transportation Safety Performance Functions in California,” Goal: Enhance active transportation safety in California, $175,000.00, April 2018 – present
  • Co-Principal Investigator, California State University Transportation Consortium SB1 Program, “Enhancement of Multimodal Traffic Safety in High Quality Transit Areas,” Goal: Improve multimodal transportation usage while enhancing safety of such modes, $75,000, May 2019 – April 2020
  • Co- Principal Investigator, Cal Poly Pomona Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Grant Program, “Promotion of Active Transportation in High Quality Transit Areas,” Goal: Improve active transportation mode usage while enhancing safety of such mode, $16,200, June 2029 – May 2020
  • Co- Principal Investigator, 2018 National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) and National Flight Academy (NFA) initiative, Goal: Enhance the interests among current high school students in pursuing transportation careers in the future, $69277, June 2018 – July 2018
  • Co- Principal Investigator, CPP RSCA from Chancellor’s Office funds “A Pilot Study: Cal Poly Pomona Campus Transportation Plan,” Goal: Investigate and evaluate various traffic circulation plan on campus, $5000, Jan. 2018 – Nov. 2018
  • Principal Investigator, sub-award to UC Davis, “Santa Ana Mountains to eastern Peninsular Range Conservation Connectivity Infrastructure Planning Project for Interstate 15 and Closely Associated Roadways,” Goal: Identify best engineering alternatives for wild life connectivity across Interstate 15 in CA, $40,000, March 2018 – June 2019
  • Co- Principal Investigator, Southern California Association of Governments, “Advanced Research on the Built Environment and Collisions,” Goal: Identify the collision hotspots by different transportation modes and the correlation of surrounding built environment with the different types of the hot spots in southern California, $50,000, June 2017- Oct. 2017

Selected Publications:

  • With M. Singh, D. Samuelson, E. Clay and M. Cao; “Development of Pedestrian-and Vehicle-Related Safety Performance Functions Using Bayesian Bivariate Hierarchical Models with Mode-Specific Covariates,” Journal of Safety Research 
  • With G. Gill, J. Zhou,  J. Ensch, J. Kwong and X. Jia, “Alternative Multivariate Multimodal Crash Frequency Models,” Journal of Transportation Safety and Security, 1-25, 2019
  • With G. Gill, M. Dasu, and X. Jia, “An Empirical Evaluation of Multivariate Spatial Crash Prediction Models,” Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention, 119, 290-306, 2019
  • With G. Gill, T. Sakrani, D. Ralls and X. Jia, “Modeling the endogeneity of lane-mean speeds and lane-speed deviations using a Bayesian structural equations approach with spatial correlation,” Journal of Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 116, 220-231, 2018
  • With G. Gill, T. Vo., J. Zhou, and T. Sakrani, “Use of Multivariate Dirichlet Process Mixture Spatial Model to Estimate Active Transportation-related Crash Counts,” Journal of Transportation Research Record, 0361198118782797, 2018
  • With G. Gill, J. Zhou, T. Vo, and X. Jia, “Comprehensive Assessment of Temporal Treatments in Crash Prediction Models,” Journal of Transportation Research Record, 0361198118782763
  • With M. Xie, M., G. Gill, J. Zhou, X. Jia and S. Choi, “Predicting Likelihood of Hit-and-run Crashes Using Real-time Loop Detector Data and Hierarchical Bayesian Binary Logit Model with Random Effects,” Journal of Traffic Injury and Prevention. Vol. 19, Iss.2, (10.1080/15389588.2017.1371302)
  • With G. Gill, J. Ensch, J. Kwong, and X. Jia, “Multimodal Crash Frequency Modeling: Multivariate Space-Time Models with Alternate Spatiotemporal Interactions,” Accident Analysis and Prevention, 113, pp. 159-170, 2018
  • With G. Gill, Y. Zhang and Z. Cao, “Bayesian Space-Time Crash Frequency Models with Mixture Components for Spatiotemporal Interaction,” Accident Analysis & Prevention, 112, pp. 84-93, 2018
  • With A. Lee, W. Lin and G. Gill, “An Enhanced Empirical Bayesian Method for Identifying Road Hot Spots and Predicting Number of Crashes,” Journal of Transportation Safety and Security (Accepted for publication, 2018)
  • With G. Gill, S. Choi, X. Jia, J. Zhou and M. Xie, “Comparative Evaluation of Temporal Correlation Treatment in Crash Frequency Modeling,” Journal of Transportmetrica A Transport Science, Volume 14, Issue 7, 615-633, 2018



B.S., Civil Engineering, Tongji University

M.S., Roadway & Traffic Engineering, Tongji University

M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Arizona

Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Arizona State University


English, Chinese (Mandarin)

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