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Does Neighborhood Design Influence Travel?: Behavioral Analysis of Travel Diary and GIS Data

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  • Crane, Randall
  • Crepeau, Richard
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    Abstract

    Can urban design improve the environment? If communities could be designed to reduce automobile use, then yes. But can urban design influence travel? Surprisingly perhaps, the effects of any specific neighborhood feature on travel behavior at the margin are all but unknown. The policy significance of this issue is reflected in the swelling popularity of the “new urbanism†and other planning strategies employing land use tools to mitigate the environmental impacts of metropolitan development. In addition to asserting that development patterns and densities affect how far, how often, and by what means people travel, urban designers frequently argue that the legibility and shape of the local street pattern play a key role. “Connected†residential blocks are thus associated with less driving by comparison with the circuitous routes of the modern suburban cul-de-sac — chiefly by reducing trip lengths and facilitating pedestrian and transit access. Remarkably, there is little empirical and theoretical support for these claims. This paper provides the first direct tests of these hypotheses within a consistent behavioral framework. An analysis of household travel diary and GIS data for San Diego finds little role for land use in explaining travel behavior, and no evidence that the street network pattern affects either short or long non-work travel decisions. While results may vary in other areas, the empirical argument for using land use as an element of regional air quality or other environmental plans remains to be demonstrated.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt4pj4s7t8.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt4pj4s7t8

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    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    References

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    1. S Hanson & M Schwab, 1987. "Accessibility and intraurban travel," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 19(6), pages 735-748, June.
    2. Giuliano, Genevieve, 1991. "Is Jobs-Housing Balance a Transportation Issue?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4874r4hg, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, November.
    4. Handy, Susan L., 1992. "Regional Versus Local Accessibility: Neo-Traditional Development and Its Implications for Non-work Travel," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7gs0p1nc, University of California Transportation Center.
    5. Crane, Randall, 1996. "The Influence of Uncertain Job Location on Urban Form and the Journey to Work," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 342-356, May.
    6. Giuliano, Genevieve, 1989. "New Directions for Understanding Transportation and Land Use," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt72f0362d, University of California Transportation Center.
    7. Cervero, Robert, 1996. "Mixed land-uses and commuting: Evidence from the American Housing Survey," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 361-377, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Boarnet, Marlon & Crane, Randall, 2001. "The influence of land use on travel behavior: specification and estimation strategies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 823-845, November.
    2. Su, Qing & Zhou, Liren, 2012. "Parking management, financial subsidies to alternatives to drive alone and commute mode choices in Seattle," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 88-97.
    3. Khattak, Asad J. & Rodriguez, Daniel, 2005. "Travel behavior in neo-traditional neighborhood developments: A case study in USA," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 481-500, July.
    4. Steg, Linda & Geurs, Karst & Ras, Michiel, 2001. "The effects of motivational factors on car use: a multidisciplinary modelling approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 789-806, November.
    5. Lee, Yuhwa & Washington, Simon & Frank, Lawrence D., 2009. "Examination of relationships between urban form, household activities, and time allocation in the Atlanta Metropolitan Region," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 360-373, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Southworth, Frank, 2001. "On the potential impacts of land use change policies on automobile vehicle miles of travel," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(14), pages 1271-1283, November.
    8. 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.
    9. Cao, Xinyu (Jason) & Xu, Zhiyi & Fan, Yingling, 2010. "Exploring the connections among residential location, self-selection, and driving: Propensity score matching with multiple treatments," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 797-805, December.
    10. Joseph DeSalvo & Sisinnio Concas, 2013. "The Effect of Density and Trip-Chaining on the Interaction between Urban Form and Transit Demand," Working Papers 0413, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.
    11. Chatman, Daniel G., 2008. "Deconstructing development density: Quality, quantity and price effects on household non-work travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1008-1030, August.
    12. Cao, Xinyu (Jason) & Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Handy, Susan L., 2009. "The relationship between the built environment and nonwork travel: A case study of Northern California," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 548-559, June.
    13. Mindali, Orit & Raveh, Adi & Salomon, Ilan, 2004. "Urban density and energy consumption: a new look at old statistics," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 143-162, February.
    14. Kevin Krizek, 2003. "Neighborhood services, trip purpose, and tour-based travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 387-410, November.

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