Title page for ETD etd-04282011-224402

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Howard, Eric John
Author's Email Address eric.j.howard@gmail.com
URN etd-04282011-224402
Title Bring the form back to planning: Using urban form characteristics to improve the predictability of transportation mode choice models
Degree Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Department Urban Affairs and Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Zahm, Diane L. Committee Chair
Dawkins, Casey J. Committee Member
Schweitzer, Lisa A. Committee Member
  • Travel Demand Management
  • Mode Choice Models
  • Transportation Planning
Date of Defense 2007-07-17
Availability unrestricted
The financial and environmental effects of traffic congestion and automobile-centric air pollution

continue to be problems that must be addressed within the United States. In response, travel

demand management (TDM) has emerged as a potential way to reduce automobile-based travel

in order to minimize these effects. TDM strategies are highly dependent on specific urban form

characteristics such as bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or transit facilities. A current gap exists in the

analytical tools available to transportation planners when evaluating TDM projects. The standard

transportation models do not take into account urban form characteristics in a systematic way.

These characteristics play an import role in an individual’s selection of walking, bicycling, or

transit based travel modes. This gap needs to be filled in order to evaluate TDM projects with

the same decision-making rigor that is applied to road expansion projects.

The purpose of this project is to develop an enhanced transportation mode choice model that

presents a systematic approach for incorporating urban form characteristics. This approach

determines which elements of urban form have the strongest influence on transportation mode

choice behavior. This work is being done in conjunction with the Roanoke Valley Allegany

Metropolitan Planning Organization as a way to evaluate the potential of TDM projects in

promoting non-automobile forms of travel within the Roanoke region. This approach to

developing an enhanced transportation mode choice model is a step forward in address the gap

between TDM strategies and the tools needed to evaluate them.

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