Existing urban and suburban development patterns and the subsequent automobile dependence are
leading to increased traffic congestion and air pollution. In response to the growing ills caused by urban
sprawl, there has been an increased interest in creating more “livable” communities in which
destinations are brought closer to ones home or workplace (that is, achieving travel needs through land
use planning). While several reports suggest best practices for integrated land use-planning, little
research has focused on examining detailed relationships between actual travel behavior and mean
distance to various services. For example, how far will pedestrians travel to access different types of
destinations? How to know if the “one quarter mile assumption” that is often bantered about is reliable?
How far will bicyclists travel to cycle on a bicycle only facility? How far do people drive for their
common retail needs?
To examine these questions, this research makes use of available travel survey data for the Twin Cities
region. A primary outcome of this research is to examine different types of destinations and accurately
and robustly estimate distance decay models for auto and non-auto travel modes, and also to comment
on its applicability for: (a) different types of travel, and (b) development of accessibility measures that
incorporate this information.
Iacono, Michael; Krizek, Kevin; El-Geneidy, Ahmed M..
Access to Destinations: How Close is Close Enough? Estimating Accurate Distance Decay Functions for Multiple Modes and Different Purposes.
Minnesota Department of Transportation.
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