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State Tools For Estimating VMT Reductions

Research from Ohio and Washington exploring how to estimate the impact changes in the built environment may have on travel behavior and total vehicle miles traveled have been added to the Resource Center best practices database.

  • Tools for Estimating VMT Reductions from Built Environment Changes (June 2013) 
    Built environment characteristics are associated with walking, bicycling, transit use, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Developing built environments supportive of walking, bicycling, and transit use can help meet state VMT reduction goals. But tools are necessary to understand how changes to the built environment may translate into changes in travel. Such tools can help optimize land use and transportation investments for reduced VMT and communicate such changes to the public. This report reviews the built environment characteristics associated with travel and the tools available that utilize these built environment characteristics to estimate travel and related outcomes such as vehicle emissions and health co-benefits. Tools ranged from simple to complex, and a number of factors should be considered when applying a tool to a planning effort.
  • Linking Land Use, Transportation and Travel Behavior in Ohio (July 2013) 
    This study developed a Regional Land Use Allocation Decision Analysis Tool, which enables decision makers to quantify the impacts of population and employment distribution in terms of the resulting VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled). The study addresses the need for improving our understanding of the links between land use and transportation and provides ODOT a user-friendly modeling tool to develop forecasts based on different land use, transportation, and policy scenarios. The Regional Land Use Allocation Decision Analysis Tool developed through this study has two main components: a Land Allocation Component and a Transportation Component. This tool forecasts the impacts of future land-use policies in Ohio, based on alternative assumptions of highway and mass transit corridor development, zoning and environmental constraints, regional growth or decline projections, and changes in travel associated with auto trip generation rates and trip distances.