A Literature Review: Improving How Active Transportation Demand is Modeled and Evaluated

Research Team: Michael McNally (lead), Pierre Auza, Daniel Chong, and Jean-Daniel Saphores

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: Local transportation agencies typically rely on traditional travel demand forecasting models that focus on highway and roadway improvements to optimize vehicular traffic. These models are not equipped to evaluate active transportation strategies which align with current State of California policies such as reducing vehicle miles traveled to cut greenhouse gas emissions and fostering active transportation modes. I

Project Description: In this context, ITS at UC Irvine (ITS Irvine) was invited by Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to propose, develop, and apply an approach to better model active transportation. This report represents the first phase of this work, which is a review of the recent literature on how to model demand for active transportation and an examination of OCTAM’s (OCTA’s own regional travel demand model) Active Transportation (AT) modeling tool to evaluate its potential for modification or incorporation into a new active transportation model. The following observations/suggestions are offered in this report: First, that OCTAM AT does not include variables that could impact people’s decision to leave their vehicles at home in favor of transit. Second, a number of conditions need to be jointly met for people to walk or bike. Third, OCTAM AT does not capture residential self-selection, which could be important here as people who do not plan to walk/bike self-select into car-oriented neighborhoods.

Status: Completed

Budget: $57,150

Project Partner(s): Orange County Transportation Authority

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