This has been the month of employment and transit! This morning the Brookings Institute held an event to release their report about transit connections to employment; an in depth report on the state of access in the United States. Additionally, the Center for TOD released two papers on the subject of Employment Centers and TOD and the Transit Space Race 2011 report that was released last month documenting new transit lines and the additional jobs and low income residents they would serve.
This paper examines how various land use factors such as density, regional accessibility, mix and roadway connectivity affect travel behavior, including per capita vehicle travel, mode split and nonmotorized travel. This information is useful for evaluating the ability of land use policies such as Smart Growth, New Urbanism and Access Management to help achieve transport planning objectives.
Transit‐oriented development (TOD) is an increasingly popular urban form. Based on a survey of residents of TOD projects in areas served by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Fort Worth T, and Capital Metro (Austin) rail transit, moving into TOD decreases VMT by an average of 15 percent, or about 3,500 miles per year, which impacts TxDOT motor fuel tax revenues. The data also indicate that these households shift their choice of route to include more arterial roads versus highways. Differential behavior is observed among the three areas studied with the greatest impact being on the DART system and the Capital Metro system showing smaller changes in TOD resident travel behaviors. Residents of TOD choose their housing based mostly on commuting distance and lifestyle characteristics, such as proximity to dining and entertainment venues. Proximity to a transit rail station is at least moderately important for 57 percent of respondents. The report recommends that TxDOT look to incorporate…
This study is one of the first to test the effect of sidewalks on travel patterns and the first we know of to relate sidewalk availability with VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) and GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions. Recently, several large jurisdictions in King County have developed local sidewalk data layers, creating a new opportunity to look at pedestrian infrastructure alongside other investment and policy strategies associated with reduced VMT and CO2 (carbon dioxide). The study used travel outcome data from the 2006 PSRC (Puget Sound Regional Council) Household Activity Survey. The household-level analysis was restricted to households in King County cities where sidewalk data was already available, and modeled the association of urban form, pedestrian infrastructure, transit service and travel costs on VMT and CO2, while controlling for household characteristics known to influence travel.
The results provide early evidence in the potential effectiveness of …
Senate Bill (SB) 375, adopted in 2008, calls on regional transportation planning agencies and local governments to develop strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by reducing per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Three specific strategies, traditionally used to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, are to be employed to help reduce emissions:
Higher-density development, particularly in areas well-served by transit;
Investments in alternatives to solo driving, such as transit, biking, walking, and carpooling; and
Pricing policies that raise the cost of driving and parking.
Although SB 375 is expected to reduce emissions only modestly relative to vehicle efficiency standards and low-carbon fuels, it is also expected to improve public health and reduce energy and water use by encouraging denser development and more “livable” communities. The integration of these three approaches is consistent with an emerging research…
Today the Center for Transit-Oriented Development released its "Performance-Based Transit-Oriented Development Typology Guidebook,” a hands-on tool for identifying the different conditions that exist around transit stations and determining how that influences performance on a range of metrics.
Two interesting developments regarding clean transportation were announced yesterday. First, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced awards of $164.7 million for transit agencies pursuing energy-conserving, pollution-reducing or otherwise green transit technology projects. Included in the 63 different awards were funds to build alternative energy fueling stations and to purchase electric, hybrid, CNG or bio-diesel buses. Awards ranged from $10.2 million for LA’s Foothill Transit to purchase fast charge battery electric buses, to $73,936 for the State of Colorado to purchase energy-saving devises for a bus-storage facility. The funding for these grants came from two programs included in FTA’s 2010 Discretionary Sustainability Funding Opportunity, including a Clean Fuels Grant Program and the Transit Investments in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program. (Note:…
Some of today’s most vexing problems, including sprawl, congestion, oil dependence, and climate change, are prompting states and localities to turn to land planning and urban design to rein in automobile use. Many have concluded that roads cannot be built fast enough to keep up with rising travel demand induced by the road building itself and the sprawl it spawns. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to summarize empirical results on associations between the built environment and travel, especially nonwork travel.