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Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Incorporating Sustainable Transportation into the Development Assessment Process: Exploring Methods to Estimate Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Public Transit Mode Shares

EPA Grant Number: FP916951
Title: Incorporating Sustainable Transportation into the Development Assessment Process: Exploring Methods to Estimate Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Public Transit Mode Shares
Investigators: Schneider, Robert J.
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: September 1, 2008 through August 31, 2011
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2008)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships

Description:

Objective:

The objective of this project is to develop methods that can be used to estimate the proportion of trips made to particular land use developments by pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation modes. Most existing transportation impact assessments focus only on automobile access to sites. New trip generation data is needed to understand the potential to support lower-energy, lower-emission transportation modes. This research intends to address the following questions:

  • How are pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access affected by site characteristics and the built environment surrounding a development?
  • To what degree do the quality of pedestrian and bicycle facilities and availability of public transportation service impact the modes used to travel to and from specific land uses?
  • Does the built environment close to a particular land use have more of an influence on the modes used to travel to and from the site than the built environment at further distances?

Approach:

This study will examine the number of pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit trips generated in a variety of urban, suburban, and exurban settings in different parts of the United States. In order to draw meaningful conclusions within the study timeframe, the analysis will focus on a specific set of common land uses. These may include single-family homes, apartments, residential condominiums/townhouses, schools, supermarkets, or convenience markets. The task of reviewing existing trip generation methods and creating new trip generation tools that account for walking, bicycling, and public transportation will require several phases.

Phase I will document how transportation impact assessments have been done in the United States and several other countries. This will focus on the research methods and assumptions used by practitioners. Documenting the current state of the practice will demonstrate the need for better methods to estimate multimodal trips and may suggest factors to consider for further study.

Phase II will involve collecting field data and/or analyzing secondary data to determine the proportion of trips made by walking, bicycling, and public transportation to and from particular sites during specific time periods. Regression modeling will be used to identify site characteristics, surrounding land use characteristics, nearby transportation infrastructure characteristics, and other factors that influence the modes used to access land developments.

Expected Results:

This project will help create better methods of estimating pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation mode shares for proposed land developments. The findings can also provide the basis for new community policies that seek to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease reliance on oil and gasoline by supporting sustainable transportation choices.

Supplemental Keywords:

Sustainable development, multimodal transportation, pedestrian, bicycle, transit,

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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