A growing number of communities are discovering the value of their streets as important public spaces for many aspects of daily life. People want streets that are safe to cross or walk along, offer places to meet people, link healthy neighborhoods, and have a vibrant mix of retail. More people are enjoying the value of farmers’ markets, street festivals, and gathering places. And more people want to be able to walk and ride bicycles in their neighborhoods.
People from a wide variety of backgrounds are forming partnerships with schools, health agencies, neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, and other groups in asking their city councils to create streets and neighborhoods that fit this vision.
As a result, an increasing number of cities are looking to modify the way they design their streets. They are often stifled by standards and guidelines that prevent them from making the changes they seek. Some want to modify their standards and manuals, but don’t…
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. Stephen R. Covey
As you turn the first page of this book, you ask yourself, “What’s in it for me? Am I spending my time or investing my time?”
We live in an exciting time of great innovation and rapidly changing thinking about how to solve transportation problems. Since the early 1990s, hundreds of new organizations have formed to advocate for cyclists and pedestrians; curb sprawl and promote smarter solutions to growth; save scenic roads and promote heritage tourism; support local sustainable agriculture; bring back freight rail and promote light rail; and protect the environment by adopting new energy technologies and constructing resource efficient buildings. Curious people can tap into the web to access a vast universe of transportation information and case studies, and quickly communicate with friends and neighbors through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and many other sites and…
One-half mile has become the accepted distance for gauging a transit station’s catchment area in the U.S. It is the de facto standard for planning TODs (transit oriented developments) in America. Planners and researchers use transit catchment areas not only to make predictions about transit ridership and the land use and socioeconomic impacts of transit, but also to prescribe regulations, such as the relaxation of restrictive zoning, or carve out TOD financial plans. This radius is loosely based on the distance that people are willing to walk to transit, but this same reasoning has been used to justify other transit catchment areas. Using station-level variables from 1,449 high-capacity American transit stations in 21 cities, we aim to identify whether there is clear benchmark between distance and ridership that provides a norm for station-area planning and prediction. For the purposes of predicting station-level transit ridership, we find that different catchment areas…
This paper outlines a methodology that assesses urbanity in three dimensions (density, diversity, and design) and creates a combined scorecard that weights each dimension according to its influence on transit usage and walkability. Using no proprietary methods, this approach can be repeated by any individual or local government with GIS software and basic internet access. The resulting measurements can be used by communities to assess what types of investments and regulatory changes are necessary to create more transit and pedestrian-friendly communities.
This paper examines how various land use factors such as density, regional accessibility, mix and roadway connectivity affect travel behavior, including per capita vehicle travel, mode split and nonmotorized travel. This information is useful for evaluating the ability of land use policies such as Smart Growth, New Urbanism and Access Management to help achieve transport planning objectives.
This study is one of the first to test the effect of sidewalks on travel patterns and the first we know of to relate sidewalk availability with VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) and GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions. Recently, several large jurisdictions in King County have developed local sidewalk data layers, creating a new opportunity to look at pedestrian infrastructure alongside other investment and policy strategies associated with reduced VMT and CO2 (carbon dioxide). The study used travel outcome data from the 2006 PSRC (Puget Sound Regional Council) Household Activity Survey. The household-level analysis was restricted to households in King County cities where sidewalk data was already available, and modeled the association of urban form, pedestrian infrastructure, transit service and travel costs on VMT and CO2, while controlling for household characteristics known to influence travel.
The results provide early evidence in the potential effectiveness of …
Conventional transportation planning practices treat walking as a minor transport mode and recognize only modest benefits from improved walkability and increased walking activity. This results from evaluation practices that undercount nonmotorized travel and undervalue walking benefits.
From other perspectives it is clear that walking is a critical component of the transport system, and that improved walkability and increased walking can provide significant benefits to society. Improved walkability increases accessibility, provides consumer and public cost savings, increases community livability, improves public health and supports strategic economic development, land use and equity objectives. A variety of methods can be used to evaluate these impacts.
Conventional planning practices may conclude that walking currently receives a fair and efficient share of transportation resources. However, this reflects an undercounting of walking trips, an undervaluation of walking…
This article examines changes in transport and land-use policies in Germany over the last 40 years that have encouraged more walking, bicycling and public transport use. It focuses on a case study of policy changes in the city of Freiburg, where over the last three decades, the number of bicycle trips tripled, public transport ridership doubled, and the share of trips by automobile declined from 38% to 32%. Since 1990, motorization rates have leveled-off and per-capita CO2 emissions from transport have fallen—despite strong economic growth. The analysis identifies policies that are transferable to car-oriented countries around the world.
This thesis analyzes an on-board transit survey conducted by the Atlanta Regional Commission in order to determine how far urban density, mixed land-uses, and street network connectivity are related to different walking behaviors, namely transit walk-mode shares and walking distances to/from stations. The data are drawn from all the stations of Atlanta’s rapid transit network (MARTA).
Allowing for quite a bit of noise in the data, some of the findings confirm for the case of Atlanta what a review of existing literature would lead one to expect: mixed land-use and denser street networks are associated with higher proportion of riders traveling to/from the station “walking” (noise in the data does not allow to fully distinguish with certainty walking as the sole mode of access to/from the station from walking combined with the use of bus services).
The thesis also explores questions that have not been previously covered systematically in the literature. First, does urban…
Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) ridership is increasing in tandem with population and employment growth in the Washington, DC region. Metro currently operates the second largest rail transit system in the U.S. and its ridership is expected to grow by 42 percent by 2030. This growth in ridership is likely to occur during an era of increasingly constrained finances. And while the share of those who walk and bicycle to Metrorail Stations has been increasing over time, there remain significant opportunities for growth in both these cost-effective modes of access.
This plan identifies strategies to enhance pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity in and around Metrorail Stations. It provides recommendations for a range of physical infrastructure improvements, as well as policies and programs to encourage multi-modal trips.
Accommodating more walking and bicycling access trips will enable Metro to realize projected increases in ridership in the most…