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The relationship between the built environment and nonwork travel: A case study of Northern California

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Author Info

  • Cao, Xinyu (Jason)
  • Mokhtarian, Patricia L.
  • Handy, Susan L.

Abstract

Many studies have found that residents living in suburban neighborhoods drive more and walk less than their counterparts in traditional neighborhoods. This evidence supports the advocacy of smart growth strategies to alter individuals' travel behavior. However, the observed differences in travel behavior may be more of a residential choice than a travel choice. Applying the seemingly unrelated regression approach to a sample from Northern California, we explored the relationship between the residential environment and nonwork travel frequencies by auto, transit, and walk/bicycle modes, controlling for residential self-selection. We found that residential preferences and travel attitudes (self-selection) significantly influenced tripmaking by all three modes, and also that neighborhood characteristics (the built environment and its perception) retained a separate influence on behavior after controlling for self-selection. Both preferences/attitudes and the built environment itself played a more prominent role in explaining the variation in non-motorized travel than for auto and transit travel. Taken together, our results suggest that if cities use land use policies to offer options to drive less and use transit and non-motorized modes more, many residents will tend to do so.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 43 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (June)
Pages: 548-559

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:43:y:2009:i:5:p:548-559

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Related research

Keywords: Land use Seemingly unrelated regression Self-selection Smart growth Travel behavior Urban design;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Cao, XinYu & Mokhtarian, Patricia L & Handy, Susan L, 2007. "Do changes in neighborhood characteristics leadto changes in travel behavior? A structural equationsmodeling approach," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt25h2v668, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  2. Bagley, Michael N & Mokhtarian, Patricia L, 2001. "The impact of residential neighborhood type on travel behavior: A structural equations modeling approach," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt12q634n2, University of California Transportation Center.
  3. Handy, Susan & Cao, Xinyu & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "Correlation or causality between the built environment and travel behavior? Evidence from Northern California," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5b76c5kg, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. Schwanen, Tim & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "What if You Live in the Wrong Neighborhood? The Impact of Residential Neighborhood Type Dissonance on Distance Traveled," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5hh713d6, University of California Transportation Center.
  5. Mokhtarian, Patricia L & Cao, Xinyu, 2008. "Examining the impacts of residential self-selection on travel behavior: A focus on methodologies," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8bz3z5qm, University of California Transportation Center.
  6. Schwanen, Tim & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "What Affects Commute Mode Choice: Neighborhood Physical Structure or Preferences Toward Neighborhoods?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4nq9r1c9, University of California Transportation Center.
  7. Mokhtarian, Patricia L & Salomon, Ilan & S, Lothlorien, 2001. "Understanding the Demand for Travel: It's Not Purely 'Derived'," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5bh2d8mh, University of California Transportation Center.
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  14. Oakes, J. Michael, 2004. "The (mis)estimation of neighborhood effects: causal inference for a practicable social epidemiology," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(10), pages 1929-1952, May.
  15. Crane, Randall & Crepeau, Richard, 1998. "Does Neighborhood Design Influence Travel?: Behavioral Analysis of Travel Diary and GIS Data," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4pj4s7t8, University of California Transportation Center.
  16. Xinyu Cao & Susan Handy & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2006. "The Influences of the Built Environment and Residential Self-Selection on Pedestrian Behavior: Evidence from Austin, TX," Transportation, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 1-20, 01.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Susilo, Yusak O. & Waygood , E. Owen D., 2011. "A long term analysis of the mechanisms underlying children’s activity-travel engagements in the Osaka metropolitan area," Working papers in Transport Economics 2011:17, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  2. Andrew Tracy & Peng Su & Adel Sadek & Qian Wang, 2011. "Assessing the impact of the built environment on travel behavior: a case study of Buffalo, New York," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 663-678, July.
  3. Spears, Steven & Houston, Douglas & Boarnet, Marlon G., 2013. "Illuminating the unseen in transit use: A framework for examining the effect of attitudes and perceptions on travel behavior," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 40-53.
  4. Hearst, Mary O. & Sirard, John R. & Forsyth, Ann & Parker, Emily D. & Klein, Elizabeth G. & Green, Christine G. & Lytle, Leslie A., 2013. "The relationship of area-level sociodemographic characteristics, household composition and individual-level socioeconomic status on walking behavior among adults," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 149-157.
  5. Zhou, Jiangping, 2014. "From better understandings to proactive actions: Housing location and commuting mode choices among university students," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 166-175.

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