The effects of sprawl on private-vehicle commuting distances and times
Sprawl is a well-known consequence of the suburbanization of the United States population. However, only recently have scholars shown interest in the effects of sprawl on transportation outcomes. For example, little research on how sprawl affects private-vehicle commuting distances and times is evident in the literature. To explore further the relationship between sprawl and private-vehicle commuting distances and times, a multilevel approach is adopted. Using microdata for households and macrodata for Metropolitan Statistical Areas, multilevel models of the effects of four dimensions of sprawl on commuting distances and times are estimated for private-vehicle commuters. Results show that shorter-distance, private-vehicle commutes are associated with lower density, more centeredness, and better accessibility, while shorter-time, private-vehicle commutes are associated with more centeredness. Overall, results point toward centralizing employment as the urban planning policy most likely to reduce private-vehicle commuting times, if only modestly.
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