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Reducing home-work trip lengths

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Reducing home-work trip lengths
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Sulsky, Elliot
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ix, 79 leaves : illustrations ; 29 cm

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Commuting -- United States ( lcsh )
Industrial location ( lcsh )
Land use -- Planning -- United States ( lcsh )
Commuting ( fast )
Industrial location ( fast )
Land use -- Planning ( fast )
United States ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
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non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Includes bibliographical references (leaf 79).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, Department of Civil Engineering.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Elliot Sulsky.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Full Text
REDUCING HOME-WORK TRIP LENGTHS
by
Elliot Sulsky
B.A., State University of New York at Albany, 1977
M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1981
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science
Department of Civil Engineering
1986


This thesis for the Master of Science Degree
Elliot Sulsky
has been approved for the
Department of
Civil Engineering
by
Charles Bartholomew
Date
-7-


Sulsky, Elliot (M.S., Civil Engineering)
Reducing Home-Work Trip Lengths
Thesis directed by Professor William S. Pollard, Jr.
This thesis provides an analysis of home-work
trips in the urban United States of America (USA) and
recommends public policies that could reduce the
lengths of these trips. Data analysis demonstrates
that USA work trips are longer than such trips in other
countries or in other eras. The negative impacts of
motor vehicle travel in general are numerous and ex-
treme. Home-work trips comprise roughly 30% of motor
vehicle travel. The impacts associated with home-work
trips exceed 30% due to their concentration during peak
periods.
There is a direct relationship between travel
distance and impacts. To reduce the impacts of com-
muter trips on the environment and on individuals to a
tolerable level, the average distances of these trips
need to be reduced.
Several existing public policies act as disin-
centives to the objective of reduction of work trip
lengths. It is recommended that such policies be re-
evaluated to weigh this disincentive effect against
their specific objectives.


iv
There are also several public policies in place
which may have the intended (or unintended) effect of
reducing work trip lengths. These policies are evalu-
ated as' to their potential and success relative to this
goal.
Both incentives and disincentives are placed in
two categories. The first category consists of those
policies that influence the location of land uses rela-
tive to one another. The second category includes
those policies that influence individual location
choices within a given land use pattern. Both of these
elements are necessary to achieve the goal of reduction
of trip distances. Complementary residences and work-
places need to exist in proximity to one another and
people need to choose to live and work close together.
An important conclusion is that the problem of
excessive home-work trip distances and the severe im-
pacts they create, are not being adequately addressed
at any level of government. Regional planning and
development guidelines need to better address this
question and need to be more enforceable. Local gov-
ernments should reevaluate their zoning and development
review processes and should initiate- affirmative ac-
tions toward the objective of reducing work trip dis-
tances. The profession of transportation planning
should be better mobilized to address this question.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION................................ 1
II. THE WORK TRIP............................ 7
Data Analysis.............................. 7
Share of All Travel....................... 7
Trip Lengths.............................. 8
International Comparison.................. 9
Historical Perspective.................. 9
Mode..................................... 12
Automobile Occupancy..................... 15
Work Trip Distribution................... 15
Data Summary............................. 16
Trends Affecting Journey to Work........... 17
Increased Work Force..................... 17
Decreasing Family Size................... 18
Telecommunications....................... 19
Office Parks........................... 2 0
Neighborhood Identification.............. 20
Housing Ownership........................ 22
III. DISINCENTIVES TO HOME-WORK TRIP REDUCTION.. 24
Disincentives to Optimal Location of
Land Uses................................ 25


vi
CONTENTS
Zoning................................... 25
Intergovernmental Competition.......... 2 6
Limited Scope of Traffic Studies......... 27
Ever-Increasing Transportation Supply.. 29
Disincentives to Individual Location
Decisions.............................. 3 0
Transit Agency Policies.................. 31
Transportation Systems Management...... 32
Ever-Increasing Transportation Supply.. 33
Residential Street Traffic............... 33
IV. SUMMARY OF REDUCTION PROGRAMS.............. 3 6
New Towns.............................. 3 6
Activity centers......................... 38
Mixed Use Development.................... 40
Strong Regional Planning Entities........ 42
Pedestrian and Bicycle Modes............. 45
Residency Requirements................... 48
Credit to Developers for Trip Reduction 49
Downtown Housing Incentives.............. 50
The Environmental Impact Statement
Process................................ 50
Commuter Taxes........................... 51


vii
CONTENTS
V. RECOMMENDATIONS............................. 54
Restructure Development Review Process... 54
Regional Review Process................... 60
Governmental Initiatives................ 62
Taxation................................ 64
Manpower Allocation..................... 66
Reduction of Disincentives.............. 67
An Illustration......................... 68
The Measurement Problem
72


viii
TABLES
Table
1. Transport Mode and Urban Form................. 11
2. Person Trips, by Trip Purpose, and Mode
of Transportation .......................... 13
3. Head of Household Mode of Transportation
by Work Distance............................ 14


ix
FIGURES
Figure
1. Perceived Cost of Commutation by Distance.... 47
2. Employee Trip Generation for Three
Locations................................... 69


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Modern American cities are unique in history in
the amount of travel that is required, or is chosen, by
people as they travel from function to function. We
are the most mobile society that has existed, but we
are essentially traveling to and from the same func-
tions that have been served for many centuries.
Wilfred Owen has written that:
Nearness has been traded for the ability to
overcome distance....In. essence, since no one is
responsible for creating whole cities, transpor~1
tation is called on to make the disorder viable.
This level of mobility has had enormous nega-
tive impacts on individuals and on the urban environ-
ment. Transportation related deaths and injuries have
remained at an intolerably high level. Energy consump-
tion has had major economic and foreign relations
impacts on the U.S. Air pollution has been a major
concern in several cities. Those who cannot own automo
biles or cannot drive often suffer economic losses.


2
People routinely invest large amounts of unproductive
money and time.
Reduction of this level of mobility is the moist
effective means of alleviating these transportation
related environmental impacts. This thesis focuses
specifically on the home-work trip and on ways to re-
duce the length of these trips in urban America. The
work trip is chosen for examination for several rea-
sons. Work trips make up a large share of urban travel
and exhibit peaking characteristics that magnify their
impact. Home-work trips are also the most regularly
taken and least elastic of trip types, so that changes
in these trip lengths, though difficult to accomplish,
tend to be relatively permanent and therefore signifi-
cant in their impact abatement. Also due to the short
term inelasticity of work trips, the planning towards
reducing their distances would need to be gradual; in
the event.of, for example, a sudden gasoline shortfall,
it would be difficult to immediately change the dis-
tances of these trips. Travel modes often can be
changed quickly, but the origins and destinations can-
not.
Policies affecting work trip distances and mea-
sures to reduce these distances can both be divided
into two categories for analysis. The categories are


3
those that deal with the location of land uses and
those that deal with individual location choices within
a given land use framework. The first of these catego-
ries deals with development and growth issues and tends
to be a more long range area of analysis. The second
category deals with individual choice and tends to be
more near term. Initiatives in both areas are needed
to reduce the average work trip distance significantly.
In the case of both categories of analysis,
transportation issues in general, and specifically work
trip distances, stand among many decision factors. The
principal purpose of this paper is to analyze the home-
work trip and the factors that affect these trips, then
to determine how these factors can be influenced by
public policy so that work trip distances can be re-
duced .
There are two important assumptions upon which
the ideas expressed here rest. Both are ideas that have
been explored elsewhere, and that are assumed here to
be conceptually sound, although they are not explored
here in quantitative detail. First, it is assumed
that, among motorized modes, there is a direct rela-
tionship, even if not a precisely proportional one,
between travel distance and impacts. Distance, not
mode, is the single most important variable .in travel
impact. Long bus trips, for example, have a greater


4
negative impact, both on individuals and on the envi-
ronment, than do shorter automobile trips. Long bus
trips may exhibit some reduced impacts as compared with
the same distance automobile trips, but some impacts
are also greater in the case of bus trips. It is an
important fundamental concept, however, that distance,
not mode, is the key variable in total travel impact.
The second assumption made is that given the
existing American, urban environment and present tech-
nology, and given Americans' well demonstrated travel
preferences, there is a limit to the success of pro-
grams aimed at moving people away from low occupancy
automobile trips. Although the precise limit is not
known, it is clear that at this limit, the impacts of
travel would still be unacceptably high at present
distances. Given the dispersed and long nature of
home-work trips, increasing numbers of carpools become
increasingly difficult to arrange and decreasingly
efficient. A transit system has a limited ability to
provide attractive, efficient transportation for dis-
persed trips, even if the desire exists. It is as-
sumed, therefore, that to move towards more acceptable
levels of travel associated impacts, travel distance
needs to be reduced. Despite the fact that mode choice
in the New York metropolitan area, for example, is ori-
ented less towards low occupancy automobile than other


American cities, the negative impacts of home-work
travel on the New York environment are unacceptably
great.
This analysis of work trip reduction proceeds
as follows. Chapter II discusses data concerning work
trips, along with some demographic, employment, and
socioeconomic trends that may affect home-work trips.
Chapter III describes some of the disincentives that
now exist pertaining to the objective of reduced work
trip lengths. Chapter IV describes some of the pro-
grams that are now in place that have the potential,
j
either intended or unintended, to reduce work trip
distances. Chapter V provides recommendations of poli
cy initiatives that can reduce the distances of these
trips.


NOTES-CHAPTER #1
Wilfred Owen, The Accessible City, Washington,
D.C., The Brookings Institute, 1972, pp. 52-53


CHAPTER II
THE WORK TRIP
Data Analysis
Share of All Travel
In 1983, 27.8% of all motor vehicle trips in
the U.S. were home-to-work or work-to-home trips.
These trips accounted for 30.4% of motor vehicle miles
traveled.1 It is clear that the impact of home-work
trips is considerably greater than 30.4% of the total
impact of motor vehicle travel, however. Home-work
trips have two distinct peak periods. According to
figures from the Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Associa-
tion of the U.S., 50% of all A.M. peak hour trips were
home-work trips in 1974. P.M. peak trips are typically
more varied in purpose, but work trips certainly ac-
count for far .in excess of 30% of P.M. peak trips at
most locations.
This being the case, home-work trips occur much
more frequently during congested peak periods than do
other trip types. Home-work trips, therefore, will


8
tend to be more fuel consumptive, more polluting, and
all other things being equal, less safe than other trip
types. Furthermore, work trips are those trips that,
since they largely create peak demand, are the trips
that push the transportation system to capacity.
Work-home trips, then, are the ones that.create the
marginal demand for transportation facilities, and as
such are more than proportionally responsible for the
costs and environmental impacts of new and widened
roadways.
Trip Lengths
In 1983, the average length of home-work
trips in private vehicles in the U.S. was 9.2 miles.
This compares with an average length of 8.3 mileis for
all trips. When recreational and social trips are
discounted, the average trip length in the U.S. was 7.6
miles. So, home-work trips are considerably longer on
the average than other frequent regular trips.
According to the 1980 census, the mean travel time to
work in the U.S. was 21.7 minutes. Less than 18% of
home-work- trips, including all modes, were of less than
a ten minute duration. Over 28% of home-work trips are
of greater than 30 minute duration, meaning that 28% of


9
all American workers spend more than an hour every day
, 4
commuting to work.
International Comparison
No data were found to provide reliable measure-
ment of average home-work trip lengths in other coun-
tries. However, certain indicators, both quantitative
and descriptive, exist which lead to the conclusion
that home-work trips in the U.S. are unique in the
world in their length. First, the number of passenger
cars in the U.S. was 537 per thousand population in
1981, considerably higher than the rate of any other
nation. Canada is closest with 433 cars followed by
West Germany with 386 cars per thousand people. Japan
5
had only 209 cars per thousand people. It seems un-
likely, although this could not be confirmed statis-
tically, that other countries have automobile usage
rates that exceed the American average of over 9000
miles per year per vehicle.
These comparisons, combined with the clearly
more sprawled and suburbanized nature of American cit-
ies, as well as the tendency towards large, exclusive
purpose land areas in American metropolitan areas, lead
to the conclusion that home-work trip lengths in the


10
U.S. are far in excess of those throughout the remain-
der of the world.
Historical Perspective
Although statistical data is not available in
as great detail for historical comparisons as for
recent travel, it is clear that work trip lengths in
recent years are the longest in history in the U.S.
One indicator, passenger car mileage in the U.S., has
displayed a quadrupling in the past 40 years. U.S.
passenger car mileage, in annual billions of miles,
g
increased as follows:
1940 249.6
1950 3 63.6
1960 588.1
1970 890.8
1980 1111.9
This total travel has leveled off somewhat
since 1970, and has done so at the highest rates of
travel in world history. There can be little argument
with the American Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Associa
tion conclusion that "the U.S. is the most mobile soci
ety in history."7 It also seems clear that this over-


11
all mobility includes the longest average commuting
distances in history.
Herbert Levinson provides an illustrative
comparison of characteristics of an American prototyp-
ical automobile city compared with older urban forms.
Table 1 shows this comparison. Subsequent chapters
will examine urban form and its relationship with trip
lengths in much greater detail, but at this point it is
of interest to note the differences in density between
the automobile city and the rapid transit city, which
is twice as dense, and the pedestrian city, which is
over six times as dense as the rapid transit city.
Mode
According to a 1978 U.S. Census report, 89.3%
of all home-work trips were by private motorized vehi-
cle. In addition, 86.6% of all head-of-household home-
work trips were by private vehicle, 82.8% of which were
by commuters driving alone. Table 2 provides the mode
split for trips of various types. It shows that the
89.3% of home-work trips by private vehicle compares
with 83.7% of all trip types by private vehicle.
Table 3 shows 1978 head-of-household mode of
transportation to work by distance. This table is


TABLE 1
TRANSPORT MODE AND URBAN FORM
TYPE OF CITY
ELECTRIC RAILWAY
ITEM PEDESTRIAN (RAPID TRANSIT) AUTOMOBILE
POPULATION 3,000,000 3,000,000 3,000,000
AREA (30 MILES) 30 200 400
DENSITY (PERSONS PER SQ. MILE) 100,000 15,000 7, 500
JOBS IN CITY CENTER 200,000 300,000 150,000
DEVELOPMENT COMPACT MAJOR CORRIDORS DISPERSED
EXAMPLE PARIS, 1900 CHICAGO, 1920 LOS ANGELES, 1970
Source: Herbert S. Levinson, "The 21st Century Metropolis: A Land Ulse and
Transportation Perspective," Institute of Transportation Engineering Journal. 1981, p.55.
to


TABLE 2
PERSON TRIPS, BY TRIP PURPOSE, AND MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
Mode of Transportation
PRIVATE PUBLIC
Auto and
Station Vans & Other Other
Trip Purpose Wagon Pickups (1) Total Total (2) All
Earning A Living
Home-to-Work 75.3%
Work Related 66. 97.
Subtotal 74.07.
Family and Personal Business
Shopping 81.07.
Doctor or Dentist 87. 37.
Other 72.IX
Subtotal 77.67.
Civic, Educational and Religious 49. 87.
Social and Recreational
Visiting Friends 75. 57.
Pleasure Driving 75.3%
Vacations 75.OX
12.0 2.0 89.3 4.7 6.0 100%
19.5 1. 4 87.8 2.2 10.0 100X
13.2 1. 9 89.0 4.3 6.6 100X
7.9 0.9 89.8 1.4 8.9 100X
4.7 0.4 93.0 4.3 2. 6 100X
12.3 1.5 86. 0 1.3 12.7 100X
9.6 1. 1 88. 4 1.5 10.2 100X
4.0 0.3 54.2 5. 0 40.8 100X
9.0 1.4 85.8 1.4 12.8 100X
15.3 5.6 96.2 0.5 3.3 100%
8. 6 0.7 84.3 5.7 10.0 100X


TABLE 3
HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD MODE OF TRANSPORTATION BY WORK DISTANCE
WORKS
TOTAL , BIKE OR AT HOME
DISTANCE FROM HOME TO WORK DRIVES SELF CARPOOL MOTOR VEHICLE MASS TRANSIT MOTOR- CYCLE TAXI WALKS OTHER MEANS OR NOT REPORTED
LESS THAN 1 MILE 52. 47. 7. 27. 59. 67. 1.27. 1.37. 0. 37. 36. 97. 0. 57. 0. 17.
1 TO 4 MILES 77. 6 11. 9 89. 4 6. 6 1. 2 0. 4 2. 2 0. 2 0. 0
5 TO 9 MILES 78. 3 14. 3 92. 6 6. 6 0. 6 0. 1 0.0 0. 2 0. 0
10 TO 19 MILES 76. 2 17. 0 93. 5 6. 4 0. 3 0. 0 0. 0 0. 1 0. 0
20 TO 29 MILES 69. 3 23.7 93. 0 6. 1 0. 3 0. 0 0.0 0. 3 0. 1
30 TO 49 MILES 62. 1 29.0 91.0 8. 3 0. 3 0.0 0. 0 0. 3 0. 1
50 MILES OR MORE 56.6 33. 3 89. 9 8.6 0. 1 0. 0 0.0 1.4 0. 1
NO FIXED WORKPLACE 80. 6 14. 5 95. 1 2. 4 0. 2 0. 1 1.0 Qa.
TOTAL 71.77. 15. 07. 86. 67. 5. 87. 0. 67. 0. 27. 3. 77. 0. 47. 2. 77.
Source: Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Association, Facts and Figures. 1983, p. 47.


15
instructive in several ways. First, it demonstrates the
dominance of automobile trips for home-work commuta-
tion. Only for trips shorter than one mile does the
automobile account for less than 89% of the trips.
This table also relates trip length to mode and
shows that among alternatives to driving to work alone:
. carpooling is greatly increased with in-
creasing trip distance;
. mass transit usage increases with increased
distance, but not as sharply as carpooling;
. use of motorcycles, bicycles and walking
dramatically decreases with distance.
Automobile Occupancy
A comparison with other trip purposes shows
that average automobile occupancy for home-work trips
is 1.4 compared with 2.1 for all other automobile
. 8
trips.
Work-trip Distribution
An important factor in relating home-work trips
to local government's land use policies is the juris-
dictional distribution of such trips. The most recent
national data available is from a 1970 survey conducted


16
by the American Institute of Planners and the Motor
Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the U.S.9 This
survey of the 33 largest Standard Metropolitan Statis-
tical Areas (SMSA's) in the U.S. found that 38% of
home-work trips began and ended in the central city,
19% began outside and ended inside the central city, 7%
began in and left the central city, and 36% began and
ended outside the central city. The breakdown of the
of trips that began and ended outside of the center
city is not given as to how many are cross jurisdic-
tional. If only one quarter of this 36% of work trips
is cross jurisdictional, then one third of all work
trips are also cross jurisdictional. If two thirds of
the 36% are cross jurisdictional, then half of all work
trips are also cross jurisdictional. The range, then,
of home-work trips which impact more than one munici-
pality was from one third to one half in 1970, and
appears to have risen since 1970, as the central city
share of both population and employment has declined in
most large SMSAs.
Data Summary
Travel, including home-work trips, in the U.S.
in recent years is unique in the history of the world
in distance. Looked at in one light, we are the most


17
mobile society in history. Looked at in another light,
we are unique in history in the time, distance, and
personal and environmental costs that we are willing to
pay in order to travel from home to work and back again
each day.
Work trips account for 30% of all travel in the
U.S., and account for substantially more than this
percentage of the impact of travel due to concentration
in peak periods. Home-work trips are predominantly by
automobile and have associated with them low occupancy
rates.
Home-work trips are also characterized, as
compared to most other trip purposes, by relative in-
elasticity. That is, both ends of home-work trips are
generally at fixed locations and can only be changed by
changing job location or residence.
Trends Affecting Journey to Work
Several demographic, employment and socioecono-
mic trends exist which may influence commutation in
American cities. Policies aimed at the objective of
minimizing commuting distance should show consideration
for these trends and attempt to seize opportunities and
work within constraints created by these trends.


18
Increased Work Force
The increasing size of the work force can be
viewed from both a macroscopic and microscopic stand-
point. On a macroscopic level, the American population
is becoming older, as internal population growth has
slowed, and the large post World War II baby boomer
generation continues to progress through their working
years. R. K. Kumar and F. F. Saccromanco write in a
demographic study based on trends in Toronto,
With an increase in the number of persons in
the working age group 15 to 64, the predominance of
work trips., among trip purposes is likely to
continue."
These same authors make the observation that for
non-work trips the only observable peak coincides with
the afternoon work trip peak, indicating a trend toward
combining of trips for other purposes on the work-to-
home journey. Both of these observations tend to in-
crease the importance of home-work location decisions
on the overall transportation system.
On a more microscopic level, the increasing
work force tends to create more two, three and more
worker households. This trend, combined with the fact
that it is partly created by an increase in women in
the work force and in more long-term career paths, may


19
have the effect of complicating residential location
decisions by households. Insofar as a household con-
tains more than one worker with a fixed workplace loca-
tion, that household may be less able to reduce one of
the commuting trips to a short distance even if they so
desire. Conversely, if two workers work in the same
area, then the incentive to live close to that area may
be greater.
More extensive statistical analysis of the
impact of multi-worker households is needed. It is,
however, reasonable to assert that multi-worker house-
holds in the aggregate will tend to be more constrained
in their location decisions towards short commuting
distances.
Decreasing Family Size
Another demographic trend is toward smaller
average household size. This trend has been evident
despite the seemingly contradictory trend towards more
multi-worker families. This is explainable by fewer
average number of children and fewer instances of ex-
tended families under one roof. One opportunity creat-
ed by this trend as it relates to commutation is that
as households become smaller but contain-more workers,
residential location decisions are more likely to be


20
based on work places as compared to decisions of larger
households with fewer workers.
Telecommunications
The promise of improved telecommunications as a
substitute for transportation, long speculated about,
has not been fulfilled. The need and desire for perso-
nal contact at the workplace has not been usurped by
any advances in telecommunications that have yet oc-
curred. Further advances in this area, combined with a
future sharp increase in fuel prices or like event, may
increase the desire and ability of certain workers to
work at home, at least part of the time. However,
based on past experience, it would not be prudent to
expect a reduction in total commuting distances to
result mainly from fewer total tripsdistances need to
be shortened to reduce impacts of commutation.
There is another side of the promise of tele-
communications though, which is less often discussed.
This promise stems from the fact that the advantages
for firms in many industries, especially in the growing
segment of the economy under the umbrella of service
industries, to locate in one area of a city in proxi-
mity to related firms, is reduced. As a metropolitan
area grows, and as people increasingly demand services


21
in closer proximity to other origins and destinations,
and as computers and communication advances make inter-
business communications easier, a tendency toward more
dispersed business location can be expected.
Office Parks
The location of office parks far from city
centers has been based on a wide range of factors.
Availability of large tracts of land at prices far
below those closer to city centers is probably the
principal factor. Others include the increasingly
"clean" nature of service and high technology indus-
tries allowing for locations closer to other land uses
that may be less compatible with heavier industry.
Also, new industrial development is keyed largely to
highways and airports. Herbert Levinson writes, "The
corporate office park now has emerged as a challenge to
the city center."11 The ability of most city centers
to grow will be limited in the future by land avail-
ability and costs as well as by transportation. Asso-
ciated with this trend are a variety of both opportuni-
ties and constraints, which will be explored later.


22
Neighborhood Identification
A few trends can be put into the category of
neighborhood identification, although these trends are
difficult to pin down, and difficult to generalize
about from city to city. Gentrification is one such
trend, which refers to reinvestment in central city
neighborhoods previously in decline. Gentrification
can create the opportunity of increasing the attrac-
tiveness of central city living for segments of the
population that form a large part of the downtown work
force. Spielberg points out, however, that, "Gentri-
fication -continues but is still a minor factor in hous-
. 12
ing choice and transportation demand."
The shift of population to the west and sun-
belt, combined with the increasing rate of inter-city
movement, has the potential to impact neighborhood
identification. Residents of older, more established
neighborhoods can be expected to have stronger ties and
in turn a stronger magnet to a certain neighborhood.
Thus residential location decisions may be more con-
strained. For newer cities with more newcomers, this
constraint will not be strong in the aggregate. Family
ties, ethnic ties, and general familiarity is less in
newer cities and thus constraints in residential loca-


23
ties, ethnic ties, and general familiarity is less in.
newer cities and thus constraints in residential loca-
tion decisions are less. This lack of neighborhood
identity in newer cities is neither a good thing in
itself, nor necessarily a permanent one, but it is an
opportunity in its lack of locational inertia.
, Racially and ethnically segregated neighbor-
hoods are the antithesis of thisthey influence
location decisions in ways that are likely to be anti-
thetical to objective, environmentally logical deci-
sions.
Housing Ownership
As housing purchase prices increase and house
heating costs increase, it is possible that home owner
ship rates will go down. To the extent that this is
the case, that will mean a more elastic residential
location market. The potential then to locate near
one's job is increased.


24
NOTES-CHAPTER II
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, Facts and
Figures. 1983, p. 50.
American Institute of Planners and Motor Vehicle
Manufacturers of the U.S., Factbook. 1974, p.1-19.
Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Association, Facts and
Figures, 1983, p.40.
U.S. Bureau of Census, General Social and Economic
Characteristics. 1980, p.1-94.
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, World
Motor Vehicle Data. 1982, p.39.
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, Facts and
Figures. 1983. p.54.
Ibid, p.32.
Ibid, p.47.
American Institute of Planners and Motor Vehicle
Manufacturers of the U.S., Factbook. 1974, p.1-15.
R.K. Kumar and F.F. Saccromanco, "The Impact of
Population Structural Changes on Future Urban
Travel Patterns", Compendium of Technical Papers.
Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1985, p.138.
Herbert S. Levinson, "The 21st Century Metropolis:
A Land Use and Transportation Perspective".
Institute of Transportation Engineering Journal.
1981, p. 56.
Frank Spielberg and Steve Andrie, "The Next Ten
Years", Compendium of Technical Papers. Institute
of Transportation Engineers, 1985, p.143.


CHAPTER III
DISINCENTIVES TO HOME-WORK TRIP REDUCTION
In order to examine public policy as it influ-
ences commuting distances, two categories of levels of
influence can be established. The first influence
category is those policies which affect the location of
land uses relative to each other, specifically comple-
mentary jobs and housing. The second category is those
policies which tend to influence individual location
decisions within a given land use framework. These
categories are not mutually exclusive. Land use deci-
sions are influenced by people's demonstrated location
decisions.
In both of these categories of influence, there
is a clear pattern of disincentives toward reduction of

commuting distances. This is not to say that some or
all of these policies do not have a basic function, but
the intended or unintended effects create disincentives
to reduced commuting distances.
This chapter will describe these disincentives
that are in place.


Disincentives to Optimal Location of Land Uses
Zoning
The entire zoning policy arena has been a double-edged
sword. Zoning has as one of its fundamental principles
the notion of segregating land uses which in close
proximity negatively impact each other. Where the
effect of zoning is to create large exclusively resi-
dential districts and large employment districts, mini-
mum commuting distances are large. As our national
economy moves further away from "smoke stack" indus-
tries and more toward a "service economy" this funda-
mental objective of zoning becomes less sound if widely
tr
applied. Denver's economy is typical of western and
sunbelt cities which have increasing environmental
impacts associated with commuting distances as compared
with environmental impacts of the work place itself on
surrounding residential communities. Additionally,
strip business zoning can have the same effect of dis-
persion of employment away from residential clusters,
although this phenomenon is more pronounced in the case
of shopping trips.
A common land use pattern found in European
cities has commercial and office uses on ground floors,


27
with residential uses above. The absence of this
pattern in most American cities is partially a result
of zoning regulations. This absence creates a missed
opportunity for significant reductions in travel dis-
tances .
Intergovernmental Competition
Development in American urbanized areas has occurred
against the competing backdrops of municipal planning
and competition between municipalities for tax dollars.
In only rare instances has regional level planning had
enough strength to substantially influence major devel-
opment location decisions. Regional planning has had a
role, due largely to federal legislation, since 1968
when Councils of Government (COG's) began to spring up,
but that role has generally been limited to one of
measuring and predicting growth, and providing what
cooperative means are possible to plan infrastructure
for accommodating that growth. Instead, each munici-
pality seeks in its own way to attract development
which will improve that municipality's tax base while
attempting to control localized impacts. -It may make
sense- for a predominantly bedroom community to continue
to allow residential development and for a .central city
to continue to encourage city center employment without


28
residential development. But it may be that sensible
decisions by each of a diverse group of municipalities
perpetuates a situation of dependence on large, dis-
persed commutation at the expense of all individuals
and communities.
Limited Scope of Traffic Studies
Local governments generally require developers to pro-
duce studies presenting the impact of large develop-
ments on the local street system. The purpose of these
studies is for the developer to demonstrate that the
impact of a project on the local street system will be
small, or alternatively that the developer will pay his
fair share for improvements to the local street system
to maintain reasonable service. This system of demon-
stration of transportation impacts on development has
two disincentive effects.
The first problem is the scale at which these
studies are done. The demonstrated impact from typical
local impact studies would be the same for a large
office complex whether the workers who will be commut-
ing there will have an average distance of five miles
or 20 miles. The impact on the one or two or three
streets directly accessing the project is the same
regardless of the distances. The larger scale impact


29
of a project, however, typically has a greater long
term impact than the localized impact. One project's
localized impact is another project's background traf-
fic, and vice versa, and the cumulative impact of the
dispersion of land uses is the real problem. It is one
not addressed by these traffic studies.
More specifically, the disincentives to reduc-
tion of commuting distance associated with this system
of analysis are three. First, it becomes advantageous
for a developer to choose a site with a low degree of
existing congestion, so that the demonstrated after-
construction congestion is locally manageable and miti-
gation is affordable. But these low congestion sites
tend to be farther from complementary land uses and
thus the commuting distances will predictably be in-
creased.
Second, the higher level of facility providing
local access to a proposed development, the easier it
is for a developer to demonstrate that local' accessi-
bility can be provided. If a limited access facility
is built, a developer can propose to help pay for a
short distance of access roads and state that the ex-
pressway will provide adequate high speed access. But
if this limited access facility is a circumferential
route, it is likely to have overall great average trip
distance associated with it.


30
From the point of view of the development
adjacent to the expressway, the function of the
expressway is to get traffic to and from the project as
quickly as possible but the impact on the overall
transportation system may be great and may go undemon-
strated .
Further, a developer may seek to reduce the
predicted traffic generation from a large development
by assuming a certain percent of internal trips. This
is often considered by the reviewing agency to be an
exaggerated or dubious assumption. This whole area of
investigation, as a result, is not always taken as a
serious one. But the generation of internal trips,
more aptly called non-trips, is in reality one of the
most substantial potential impact mitigations that can
exist. The review process often provides a disincen-
tive for projects to maximize internal trip production,
if the transportation infrastructure assessment is not
reflective of this element.
The limitation of traffic studies can be summa-
rized by their largely misdirected focus. Traffic
studies mainly focus on the number of trips generated,
while the transportation impact of a project is best
measured by the total vehicle mileage generated.


31
Ever-Increasing Transportation Supply
This disincentive applies equally to land use and to
individual decisions within a given land use framework.
In the case of land use location, the impact is poten-
tially great, though difficult to measure. High speed
routes, especially ones through largely pre-built up
areas, are the greatest disincentive to minimized com-
mutation distances. The construction of circumfer-
ential routes and bypass routes may have the effect of
creating sprawled development at the expense of infill.
To the extent that other disincentives act in concert
with construction of these type facilities, trip dis-
tance may rise and the problems (generally congestion)
being targeted may be solved only temporarily and at
the expense of increase in travel distance and associ-
ated impacts. The area of the impact of transportation
facilities on land use is a complex one, but is not a
main focus of this thesis, so the discussion here will
be brief. It is an important area, however, since the
whole scale of urban areas is dependent on transporta-
tion facilities to serve outlying areas, and trip dis-
tances may correlate with urbanized land areas. It is
not just those facilities however, that create the
disincentives to proximity. Rather, it is the exis-


32
tence of the facilities in concert with other disincen-
tives such as competition among municipalities and
inadequate regional planning and implementation that
creates the whole disincentive picture.
Disincentives to Individual Location Decisions
In Chapter One some of the interferences between dif-
ferent modal split actions were discussed. These non-
complementary relationships can be viewed as disincen-
tives towards short commuting distances. The relation-
ship may appear somewhat indirect in some cases, but
the significance of the effect is plausible. For
example, preferential parking for carpools is a benefit
for those whose commuting distances are such that
carpooling makes sense. But a three person carpool
from fifteen miles away from the workplace, for which
individuals travel three miles each to reach a mutual
pick up location, represents 24 miles of' automobile
.1
impacts to the environment. It should be remembered,
once again, that the environmental impact of transpor-
tation bears a direct relationship to vehicle miles
travelled, not to number of trips or to mode. So, if
this carpool receives preferential parking privileges
and an individual driving three miles to work by him-
self does not, this represents a disincentive to the


33
short commuting individual and is a total environmental
disincentive. Chapter Two showed that carpooling
increases with increasing distances.
Transit Agency Policies
Transit agencies, in pursuit of many of the legitimate
objectives upon which their subsidized services are
based, may create disincentives to short commuting
distances as unintended effects. Elements of public
demands are for maximizing the area of coverage of
transit systems. Long-haul, peak-hour express service
may have a better return at the fare box than do other
routes. Transit decision makers may.rightfully reason
that transit trips replacing larger automobile trips
have a greater impact on automobile usage than do
shorter trips. Differentiated fares for different
length trips are difficult to collect in most transit
situations. Investments in park-and-rides benefit long
trip suburbanites. Morning peak transit riders from
the suburbs are more likely to get seats on crowded
buses than those from the center city.
For all of these reasons, transit riders have
disincentives for living close to their workplace if
they work in the central area. Convenient long haul


34
service is a mitigation to the inconvenience of living
a long distance from central area employment.
Transportation Systems Management
Certain transportation systems management (TSM) pro-
grams may have disincentive effects. High Occupancy
Vehicle (HOV) lanes, whether designated for buses or
carpools or both, provide the most benefit for longer
trips. They may provide a disbenefit for short trips
on the same routes if congestion increases on non-HOV
lanes used for short trips.
Freeway ramp metering programs of different
types can create a disbenefit to short trips.- If cen-
tral city vehicles wait an extra period of time to
enter a facility to benefit larger distance in-bound
trips, there is a disincentive toward living in the
central area.
Ever Increasing Transportation Supply
This disincentive is repeated from the first category
because its effect is both on land use and on indivi-
dual decision. High speed, long distance facilities
cause outlying living to be increasingly attractive by
adding accessibility to more remote homes and work-
places. Certain studies have shown that perceived


35
travel costs are not necessarily proportional to extra
travel time, travel costs or a combination of the two.
Rather, for both individual vehicles and mass transit,
waiting time may be worth more than moving time.1
-3
There may be a preference for a longer trip on limited
access facilities, with no traffic signals as compared
to shorter trips with frequent stops, even if travel
times are equal. This phenomenon may add to the unin-
tended disincentive effect of high speed circumfer-
ential type routes.
Residential Street Traffic
A frequent issue in American cities in areas with a
grid street system is that through commuting traffic
diverts from crowded highways and arterials and impacts
residential streets. This diversion is more likely to
take place in central areas than outlying areas since
central areas are more frequently on older, more
straight and continuous grid systems, and because more
potentially diverted through demand exists. This de-
mand is in contrast to typical newer, suburban subdivi-
sions, where street design frequently incorporates
curved, noncontinuous streets and cul-de-sac designs.
This contrast may breed resentment and be a disincen-
i


36
centive to those who would potentially locate near
their central city workplaces.


37
NOTES-CHAPTER III
Barton-Aschman Associates, Inc., Traveler Response
to Transportation System Changes. Federal. Highway-
Administration, 1981, p. 48.


CHAPTER IV
SUMMARY OF REDUCTION PROGRAMS
Several policy initiatives have taken place
with the intention of reduction of commuting distances.
In some cases this objective was the principal reason
for the policy. In other cases this is considered as
more of a side benefit of a program with another prin-
cipal objective. There are still other cases where
this was not necessarily a perceived objective, but
where an incentive is incidentally created by a policy
initiative. This chapter will by no means provide an
exhaustive survey of all policies with these objec-
tives, or a detailed evaluation. It is the intention,
however, to discuss as many of the more significant and
innovative ones as possible, and to discuss a suffi-
cient sampling to provide a flavor for what has been
tried and is being done.
New Towns.
New towns are the most radical solution that has been
attempted to reduce commuting distance. In its purest


39
sense, a new town is a self-sufficient development,
built at some distance from a central city, and with
one of its objectives that of eliminating the need to
travel into existing urbanized places except on rare
occasions. New towns are essentially meant as places
where suburban type living arrangements can be accom-
plished without the necessity of commuting on congested
roads. The instances of new town projects in the Unit-
ed States have been few, and the instances- of success-
ful new towns have been fewer still. R. Remak and S.
Rosenbloom summarize the problems associated with new
towns.
A combination of economic and political factors
has frequently been observed to be effective
barriers to successful implementation of new
townsthe economic problems center around the
high-cost planning, land acquisition and construc-
tion, where returns on this investment cannot be
realized until the site is ready for occupancy and
properties are sold to individual families and
concerns.... Although financing conditions have
been more difficult, so have the politics of
establishing a new town. Setting up school dis-
tricts, water districts, sewer districts, and other
community facilities and services meets with
increasing demand to satisfy the state and local
government regulations and the concerns^f environ-
mental groups and existing communities.
From a more philosophical point of view, the
new towns movement can be viewed as a doomed attempt to
circumvent the established market and policy forces of
land use locations rather than to work at adjusting
these forces towards desired ends. Not only do new


40
towns require extraordinarily large investments to be
on a scale that can be truly self-sufficient, but they
also require a great amount of institutional coopera-
tion. To the extent that a new town is self-suffi-
cient, and therefore has short commutation and shopping
trip distances that is a good thing. If, however,
these things that are hoped to occur do not occur, then
new towns can be self-defeating. This limitation of
new towns as a positive influence on commuting distanc-
es can be summarized by three points. First, new towns
are likely to be most economically feasible far from
existing city centers, since land costs are reasonable.
Second, the planned balance of land uses for self-suf-
ficiency is a precarious one and subject to market
forces. Third, not all new town employees will chose
to, or be able to, live there and not all residents
will choose to or be able to work there. To the extent
that these three occurrences are realized, there may be
relatively few auto commutes generated, but these may
be of unusually high distances. The total travel gen-
erated by the population and employment in a new town
may be comparable to more typical residential or em-
ployment communities.


41
Activity Centers
Activity centers go by different names in different
metropolitan areas, but their espousal is a common
thread among regional planning agencies. The urban
area model that is the goal is the polynucleated city.
In this model, several high intensity activity areas
outside the Central Business District (CBD) are desig-
nated. These activity centers are frequently built up
around a regional shopping center or around another
major land use, such as an airport or large office
park.
Reduction of commuting distances is not gener-
ally set forth as a primary benefit of activity cen-
ters. The benefits are generally to reduce pressure on
downtown areas for transportation and other infrastruc-
ture, and to provide an alternative to haphazard,
sprawled growth. An accompanying benefit of activity
centers is hoped to be a reduction of distances neces-
sary for various types of trips.
The success of activity centers in reduction
specifically of home-work trips depends upon several
factors. First, success strongly depends upon how
successful policies aimed at encouraging activity cen-
ters are at doing just that. If activity centers are
designated post-facto, that is an area builds up due to


42
market forces and permissive zoning and regulation,
then activity centers are clearly not meaningful as a
policy. Another factor is the degree to which a care-
ful, planned approach to encouragement of complementary
activity within activity centers is executed. If an
activity center consists of a large regional shopping
center, for example, surrounded by other smaller shop-
ping and commercial areas, then the inward focus de-
sired is not achieved. The scale of an activity cen-
ter, if unbalanced, may be worse than random locations
in terms of trip lengths.
A third factor goes back to the distinction
between land use location and location decisions within
a given land Use system. If activity centers grow at
some distance from the center city and from each other,
then even if the centers contain a good balance of
activities, and people live and work at different ac-
tivity centers, aggregate commutation may be greater
than it would for- city configurations other than poly-
nucleated. The measurement problem as it relates to
some of these land use location issues will be dis-
cussed later. It is important to appreciate, however,
that the question of the travel demand implications of
activity centers is a difficult one and one which has
not been, and possibly cannot be, reliably quantified.


43
Mixed Use Development
Mixed use developments can be considered as
being the third and smallest on a continuum, though an
overlapping one, of balanced land uses within short
distances, where a new town is the largest activity and
activity centers are between the two. Mixed use devel-
opments are often associated with planned-unit develop-
ment zoning and other "non-traditional" land use and
zoning policies. Wilfred Owen provides an early (1972)
list of some of the more significant examples of mixed
use development: The Prudential Center in Boston,
Battery Park City in New York, Westmore Square in Mon-
treal, and the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. For the
most part, the factors in>the success of these develop-
ments in relation to the objective of reduction of
travel distances are similar to those for activity
centers. Developments in this category, in fact, dif-
fer from activity centers only in the fact that they
consist of one single planned development, and so are
usually at a smaller scale than activity centers.
Reduction of generated trip distances has been
one of the many purposes behind mixed use developments
from a public policy point of view. Others include
desire for tax base in competition with other govern-


44
mental entities, and efficiency with respect to all
infrastructure. These public policy objectives, along
with market forces that encourage mixed use develop-
ment, have combined to cause the concept to gain a
great deal of momentum. In a prospective developers
quest to get approvals for a large scale development, a
mixed use, planned unit development (PUD) zoning con-
cept may now be a must. A developer can by so doing
demonstrate a mitigated impact on existing land uses,
and can incorporate positive features for the public,
including open space, and low and moderate income hous-
ing. PUD zoning can serve as a de facto, case by case
change from traditional exclusive zoning. This concept
has great potential, if followed through by appropriate
parties, in creating jobs and residences in close prox-
imity.
Strong Regional Planning Entities
Two federal initiatives, the 1965 Federal Aid
Highway Act and the 1968 beginning of the A-95 review
process, created the present American system of metro-
politan planning organizations, generally councils of
government (COG's). The degree of power, informal
influence, staffing expertise and range of issues var-
ies among Councils of Governments across the U.S.


45
COG'S roles typically include the maintenance of a
transportation improvement plan, but this plan may
range from being a COG initiated one to being essen-
tially a compilation of the plans of member govern-
ments. Also typical of a COG's role is population,
land use, and traffic forecasting, Some form of input
on certain decisions of regional importance, and admin-
istration of certain specialized programs such as car-
pool services, handicapped and elderly transportation
services, and technical assistance to member govern-
ments, especially smaller ones.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Council
is often considered to be the strongest COG in the
U.S., thus examination of the operation of this Council
can provide an illustration of the extent of the role
metropolitan government has played in transportation
and specifically in efforts to reduce commuting dis-
tance .
One fact which separates the Minneapolis/
St. Paul Metropolitan Council is the fact that members
of the Council, while appointed by the member govern-
ments, are approved by the Minnesota State Senate.
Members also are representatives of districts, not of
governments. This distinction makes it less likely
that a member government will threaten to drop out of
the COG and thus exercise a de facto veto power. The


Council,has seven stated responsibilities, summarized
as follows:
46
1. Preparation of a Metro Development Guide, a set
of policy statements.
2. Review of local government plans, with review
power recognized by the state courts.
3. Coordinating metro commissions and special
districts.
4. Determining what are projects of metropolitan
significance.
5. Review of grant applications.
6. Coordination of aid for parks and housing.-
7. Providing general research and assistance.
Harrington'and Johnson, in their assessment of
the Council entitled, Governing the Twin Cities, how-
ever, conclude that, "The data suggest that the plan
(of the council) to date has had little impact on
4
growth patterns.
If this analysis is correct, one explanation
lies in the universe of decisions over which the Coun-
cil has input. This explanation may be even more true
in the case of other COGs.
Those projects for which a significance can be
demonstrated may be relatively few. Though they are no
doubt the most significant such projects proposed in a
metropolitan area, the cumulative effect of these rela-
tively few projects may not be as great as the cumula-
tive effect of the larger number of smaller projects.
An airport certainly would be seen as having a metro-
politan effect and this is certainly the. case, but so


47
does a series of office buildings that form a large
concentration of employment. In the latter case, how-
ever, each office building is not seen individually as
having a metropolitan impact.
Equally as important as the universe of pro-
jects is the stance of the COG on each project. First,
it is important that the power or influence of a COG is
exercised. The regional perspective review by a COG is
in itself a good thing, but not effective unless the
COG has the legal authority and willingness to exercise
its power and influence to the point that projects can
in fact be approved, disapproved or significantly al-
tered. Also, although a COG may be in a position to
help ensure some of the measures that have been and
will be discussed to reduce commuting distances, there
are few if any cases where this is a stated primary
objective of a COG. COG's transportation policy objec-
tives are more likely to be of the type of encouraging
carpooling, encouraging mass transit, and encouraging
orderly, compatible growth.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Modes
One argument that is being made here is that
the mode choice for commutation, as measured by certain
important public and private impacts, may not be as


48
important as the distance of the trip. Pedestrian and
bicycle mode choices are important exceptions to this
argument, however. These modes do not share many of
the negative impacts of unpleasantness of time invest-
ment, noise pollution, and energy consumption. Some of
the similar impacts do exist, namely safety and con-
flict with other modes. It is difficult to compare the
negative impacts of non-motorized modes with motorized,
but it is quite clear that overall they are far less.
And there are positive impacts of these modesrecrea-
tional and health benefits. The principle of a direct
proportionality between distance and serious negative
impacts does not hold true for these modeslong bicy-
cle or pedestrian trips have less negative impacts
compared with short automobile trips.
The second reason why bike and pedestrian modes
are exceptions to the argument relating to the relative
triviality of mode choice is that these mode choices
themselves bring with them a certain typical range of
distances. If bike and pedestrian modes are encouraged
through various facilities and programs, this is a
benefit to commuters with short trip distances and so
is an incentive to live and work close together. Fig-
ure 1 shows a schematic representation of perceived
travel cost. To the extent that someone desires a bike
or pedestrian mode, their distance will tend towards


Perceived Cost of Commutation
FIGURE 1
PerceivedCogto-f- Commuta-trio-n- byDistance-
Distance of Work Trip


50
that range, although of course location decisions are
made only in part by mode desired-. This is one oppo-
site effect to the disincentives discussed earlier,
where it was proposed that express bus service and
expressways tend to encourage longer commuting distanc-
es. Facilities for bikes and pedestrians tend to en-
courage shorter commuting distances. Conversely, once
one decides on the private auto as the mode for commut-
ing, distance may be less of a factor. One might rea-
son that if they are going to drive anyway, and pay
terminal costs, marginal distances are not as impor-
tant.
Residency Requirements
A growing number of local governments are re-
quiring some or all government employees to live within
that locality. The limitations of such requirements
relative to reduction of commuting distances can be
great. If the jurisdiction is a large, sprawled city,
then living on one side of it and working on the other
side may involve a long trip. Many exceptions are
often granted, reducing the value of this measure.
Most importantly, the ability to institute such a mea-
sure is of course limited to public sector employment,
and often is only a subset of this sector. Despite the


51
fairly limited nature of the effect of those residency
requirements, this is clearly a useful program towards
the goal expressed herein.
Credit to Developers for Trip Reduction
One argument that is being made here is that
mechanisms to recognize trip mileage generation reduc-
tion by new developments is lacking. Too frequently
such mechanisms are either treated with skepticism or
ignored by reviewing agencies.
The most innovative policy in this regard found
in the literature is that by the Los Angeles Department
of Transportation (DOT). This program will be examined
as an example of an innovative approach in this area.
The Los Angeles DOT has instituted a Trip Reduction
Table, whereby developers can demonstrate implementa-
tion to continue throughout the life of the develop-
ment, of one or more of a series of Trip Reduction
5 . ,
Measure. With the provision of these measures, a
developer can reduce the predicted trip generation and
thus the monetary assessment for roadway improvements.
This is a program with great potential in trip reduc-
tion. As it relates to the theme of reduction of trip
distances, however, most of the measures listed are not
necessarily relevant. Measures such as carpooling,


52
vanpooling, single driver parking surcharges, flexible
work hours, transit fare subsidiaries, and preferential
parking areas are all aimed at reducing the number of
trips, but all ignore and in some cases work as a dis-
incentive to trip length reductions. An important
point to make is that these programs are measured in
terms of number of trips generated, not trip mileage
generated. Some measures included, however, such as
provision of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, do have
a more direct effect on vehicle trip mileage and on
commuting distances. For this reason, this program is
included as an incentive program with the potential to
reduce commutation distances.
Downtown Housing Incentives
Many cities have been involved in a range of
programs to provide impetus to creation of housing in
downtown areas. Programs range in degree of commitment
from provision of public housing to relaxed zoning
ordinances. The objectives of this type of program
usually include creation of.non-working activity in
downtown areas to relieve pressure on peak hour trans-
portation to the CBD in the A.M. and out of the CBD in
the P.M. peak period.


53
Construction of housing in downtown areas is
important due to the overwhelming amount of employment
in most CBDs compared to CBD residences. CBD housing
is a special case in mixed use development activity
center planning. Any impetus for downtown housing of
whatever type has to have some effect in reduction of
overall work trip distances due to the large share of
employment downtown. A majority of new downtown hous-
ing units is likely to be occupied by downtown workers,
thus eliminating a number of congested, traditional
home-work trips into and out of the central area.
The Environmental Impact Statement Process
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pro-
cess, including the review by interested and affected
state and local agencies, has added to the potential
for the comprehensive review of the impacts of major
projects which fall under the National Environmental
Protection Act. The fact that only projects using
federal funds, and projects meeting certain other cri-
teria, have EIS requirements limits the effectiveness
of this process. Also, transportation impact is not
necessarily an issue that is always analyzed, or always
analyzed with sufficient completeness and reasonable-
ness Despite these drawbacks, the process has opened


54
issues that were not opened without it, and perhaps as
importantly, has set up a process by which the impacts
of a project can be examined from a larger perspective
than might be taken by the local funding agency. The
potential of this type of process as it relates more
directly and consistently to the goal of decreasing
trip distances will be discussed in the next chapter.
Commuter Taxes
Several American cities have instituted com-
muter taxes in some form, to require people who work in
central cities but live in suburbs to pay a share for
services provided by the central city. These taxes
have one effect of reducing or negating the monetary
advantage that could otherwise exist for these commut-
ers. Although it may not be realistic to call this
type of tax an incentive to central city workers to
live in the central city, they at least reduce the
monetary disincentive; that is they reduce the ability
of city workers to escape payment for city services by
living in suburbs. This would have a tendency to re-
duce the long term trend towards suburban flight.


55
NOTES CHAPTER IV
R. Remak and S. Rosenbloom, "Implementing Packages
of Congestion Reducing Techniques", National
Competitive Highway Research Report 205. Transpor-
tation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 1979, pp.
58-59.
Wilfred Owen, The Accessible City, Washington,
D.C., The Brookings Institute, 1972, pp. 52-53.
John J. Harrington and William C. Johnson, Govern-
ing the Twin Cities. University of Minnesota Press,
1978, p.60.
Ibid, p.124.
Los Angeles Coastal Transportation Corridor Specif-
ic Plan. Los Angeles Departments of City Planning
and Transportation, 1985.


CHAPTER V
RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a series of recommended policies
and policy directions which should be applied by
appropriate governmental agencies. Recommendations
call for changes in policy directions that are imple-
mentable over a period of time. None of the recommen-
dations are radical changes in the sense that the
public would be forced to make extreme lifestyle
changes. The first and most important step at all
levels of government is the definition of the reduction
of work trip distances as an important objective.
Restructure Development Review Process
Most of the land use policy making and decision
making in the U.S. has been the responsibility of local
government. There are two broad areas in which local
government would need to make major changes in order to
effectively pursue the goal of reduction in commuting
distances.


57
The first such area is zoning regulation and
administration. The principle of large, single use
zones should be reconsidered. In light of today's
economic and environmental factors, the following three
step approach is warranted as a reassessment:
1. What land uses are incompatible with what other
land uses? Clearly 'smokestack industry' is
incompatible with residential land use. Many of
the other traditionally segregated land uses do
not have such a necessarily incompatible nature,
however. This determination should not include
the traffic generated by one land use necessarily
creating an incompatible relationship with
another. ___
2. A zoning map would be compiled reflecting the
above incompatibility relationships.
3. The remainder of zoning regulations would be what
can loosely be labeled as performance zoning.
Performance zoning would include a whole series
of criteria which a municipality may find appro-
priate, including conformity with adopted long
range planning goals and conformity with adopted
site-specific planning objectives.
This would be a 'zero base' approach to zoning,
whereby a rejustification process would take place to
determine whether or not a municipality's large, single


58
purpose zones are justified by tangible incompatibili-
ties. The traffic generation traditionally held to be
associated with a given square footage of a given land
use should be examined more carefully. Traffic genera-
tion and the ability of the localized transportation
system to absorb it should be part of the performance
standard and specific review process for a development
proposal.
An example will help to illustrate the distinc-
tion being put forth here. Suppose a service-retail
establishment, which has a relatively small market area
associated with it, sought to locate in a fairly dense
residential neighborhood. A laundromat would be a good
example. With a traditional zoning approach.this laun-
dromat might be required to locate on a commercial
strip at the edge, or possibly out of, the residential
area that is to be serviced. In this traditional ap-
proach, the commercial strip location would be chosen
to avoid the traffic impact that would be felt by a
residential neighborhood close to a site inside that
residential neighborhood that would be served. But the
commercial strip location would have two negative ef-
fects. First, it would add to vehicular traffic gener-
ation because fewer customers would be within walking
distance of the laundromat. Second, the total travel
generated would be larger at this location than at a


59
location more central to the market to be served. In
general, then, the transportation impact would be
greater, and the impact on residential neighborhoods
would be greater, although shifted, when compared with
a central residential location.
The principles in this case can be applied in a
general sense to zoning policy. If one land use in
itself negatively impacts another land use, then this
needs to be addressed in a city's general zoning map.
Otherwise, the transportation impact of a project, and
the potential mitigation of that impact, needs to be
addressed in a site-specific, performance zoning frame-
work.
Relative to transportation, there are a series
of steps in the performance review process that should
be followed as appropriate. The principle of perfor-
mance review is one that is already accepted by the
development community. A typical example is the re-
quirement of developers to provide a certain area of
open space. It is desirable that a similar process
would include the objective that is the central one
being expressed in this thesis.
One element that should be applied in an appro-
priate manner to the development review process is a
market study element, or in transportation engineering
terminology, origin-destination analysis. A marketing


60
study, which is done in one form or another for every
development project, contains information that provides
a sense of the magnitude of travel generation that can
be expected from a project. This element would be a
development application process element similar to more
traditional traffic studies in its administration.
That is, this element would be required for develop-
ments of a certain size and would require meeting cer-
tain criteria, both as adopted by the municipality.
This would provide the opportunity for local government
to assess whether a proposed work site has a local
complementary residential population to draw from and
whether a proposed residential development has a local
job market from which to draw.
The second element needed in performance stan-
dards of development review is a system of providing
credit for measures which tend to reduce work trip
lengths. These credits could be applied towards pro-
ject approval as well as towards the infrastructure
contribution required from the developer. These cred-
its would be for attributes such as demonstration of
complementary origins and destination within walking
and bicycle distance, incentives for non-automotive
modes, including facilities and design features to
encourage them, and credits for mixed use development.
It would become easier to receive approval, and


61
appropriately less expensive in infrastructure assess-
ment, for a developer to construct housing units to
serve an adjacent office complex or to construct office
space adjacent to a residential development. It would
similarly facilitate the process for a developer to
build a mixed use development if it could be demon-
strated that a significant number of development work-
ers would live there and residents would work there.
A third element of the process would be linkag-
es between the development and its future occupants.
Facilities and physical design are only a part of the
reduction in trip lengths. Linkages need to be estab-
lished that create and continue incentives for trip
reductions throughout the life of the development.
Developers could get credits for effective and creative
programs by resident groups and management, and espe-
cially by employers, which create incentives and aware-
ness for the concept of living and working close to-
gether. Certain program types that would be applicable
are discussed in this, chapter, but it would also be
hoped that developer incentives would encourage cre-
ative programs of different kinds.
A fourth element that goes along with the de-
velopment review and assessment process deals with the
distribution of developer assessment for transportation


62
infrastructure. In general, the larger the pooling of
funds that can be implemented, the more positive re-
sults towards the ultimate goal of incentive towards
reduced work-trip distances. If developer assessments
are applied only to a small area around a development,
there is a tendency to only assess impacts on a small
area. Conversely if assessments cover a larger assess-
ment district or an entire municipality, then broader
impacts are more apt to be examined.
Regional Review Process
As was discussed in the previous chapter, re-
gional review and action on achieving improved land use
location has been lacking. We have also seen the large
share of home-work trips that cross jurisdictional
borders. In light of the tremendous impact of home-
work trips that are inter-jurisdictional, it is clear
that an analogous review process is needed at the
metro-wide or regional level, even if it cannot be as
detailed or as enforceable as the one at the local
level.
There are four components to such a regional
review process. First is the definition of land use
decisions with a metropolitan impact. Some of the
elements that may be chosen for such definitions might


63
include a threshold number of dwelling units, employ-
ees, or square footage, proximity to a municipal bor-
der, or the judgement of a regional review body. It is
important that the judgement of metro-wide significant
be made broadly, and include those medium-sized devel-
opments that, although not of the scale of an airport
or regional shopping center, combine with other nearby
developments to create a major regional impact in ag-
gregate .
The second element is the review process. In
most cases the council of governments or metropolitan
planning organization would be the best coordinating
agency. Although this is not a major focus of this
analysis, some of the issues involved in creation of an
effective metropolitan planning organization have been
touched upon, and include adequate staffing, a high
level of commitment and cooperation from member govern-
ments, and a less than dominant role of member mayors,
city managers and county commissioners. These organ-
izations would be the coordinating agency, but review
would also take place through a clearinghouse process
similar to that associated with environmental impact .
statement review.
The third component of the review process is
the content of the review. To insure that the objec-
tive of reduction of work-home trip distances is


64
supported, two things are necessary. First, the proper
agencies need to be part of the clearinghouse process,
and should include any state, regional, local, or
quasi-public agency that has an interest and perspec-
tive on regional transportation. Second, appropriate
agencies need to clearly incorporate the goal of travel
reduction and the larger impacts of a development.
The fourth element is implementation or en-
forceability. It can be argued that the very exis-
tence of a regional review process can be effective in
raising issues, increasing communications, and in wid-
ening the perspective of land use location. The envi-
ronmental impact statement review process is an example
of a regional review process that has had significant
influence on decisions about which proposed projects
are constructed.
It is clear, however, that such a program would
be effective correlatively to the enforceability.
Enforceability can be measured in a municipality open-
ing up traditionally local decisions to the process,
then in the enforcement of or adherence to decisions
and comments raised during the process. Enforceability
would require some or all of three elements: enabling
legislation, local government agreement, and legisla-
tion being upheld in courts.


65
Governmental Initiatives
In addition to development review, local gov-
ernments have the ability to take affirmative initia-
tives to reduce trip lengths. One area of government
initiative should be encouragement of pedestrian and
bike modes. In the short term, use of these modes
reduces the impacts of commutation. In the longer run,
since these modes are associated with short commuting
distances, their encouragement in turn provides an
incentive for location decision towards short commuting
distances. Initiatives could include increased provi-
sion and maintenance of sidewalks, bikepaths, and
crosswalks, public relations initiatives, and traffic
control and enforcement to aid these modes. It is also
recommended that the encouragement of these modes be
one area of credit provided towards developer assess-
ments .
Other local government initiatives can take
advantage of the fact that these governments themselves
are large employers. Local governments requiring em-
ployees to live within the municipality is one means
towards the end of trip distance reductions. For em-
ployment areas with dispersed locations, for example in
schools, the effort to place employees near place of
residence could be increased. In general, the


66
opportunity exists for local governments to utilize
their position as a large employer to .create examples
of effective and creative incentive programs for
reduction of work trip distances. The first step in
accomplishing this is the definition of the concept as
an important goal.
Local, and sometimes county, regional and state
governments often find themselves in, or have opportu-
nities to get into the business of development. Public
housing, public facilities, government office build-
ings, and other developments which utilize substantial
government funds all create opportunities to apply the
location principles that support reduction of work trip
distances. Here, the concepts of mixed use develop-
ment, housing near employment centers, employment near
residential centers, and other opportunities discussed
herein can be pursued. Once again, the first step in
this pursuit is the clear definition of the importance
of this objective and an awareness of the impact asso-
ciated with the converse of this objective. It is
often possible that an initiative such as bringing a
complementary land use to a one-dimensional activity
center for example, housing downtown, can spur private
initiatives for similarly beneficial land use mixes.


67
Taxation
Direct and large taxes on commuters based on
the distance they travel to work may be politically and
administratively infeasible in situations short of a
fuel or air quality crisis. Short of such a system,
however, there are a number of potential taxing schemes
that have the potential of discouraging long commuting
distances.
Gasoline taxes are in some respects the most
logical ones in their ease of collection and direct
proportionality to travel. An important limitation,
however, to gasoline taxes as they relate to this theme
is that they are hidden and spread over a long period
in small increments. Their incentive effect is limit-
ed.
Differential head taxes have the potential of
creating a greater incentive in that head taxes can be
clearly targeted and are not as well hidden. Head
taxes within a municipality or an improvement district
can be related to an employee's place of residence
relative to the workplace being targeted. Head taxes
can be proportional to commuting distances, can exempt
those who live close, or can use any reasonable formu-
la, including credit for selected mode choices. Dis-
tance should, however, be the primary variable.


68
The commuter tax concept can be similarly ap-
plied. In a typical case, a central city may levy a
tax on city workers who live outside that city. A tax
that goes a step further to differentiate between dis-
tances beyond the city limits would create the best
incentive, but would require greater regional coopera-
tion and perhaps enabling legislation and favorable
judicial review.
An important consideration and potential limi-
tation to these types of taxation is that taxation
dealing with transportation, and particularly home-work
transportation has a tendency towards regressivity.
The equity issues must compete with the issue of trans-
portation impacts, and may be a moderating considera-
tion in the magnitude of such taxing schemes.
Manpower Allocation
A recommendation which is more general, but
equally as important as other recommendations, is a
reallocation of manpower resources. The vast majority
of the effort made in the area of transportation plan-
ning, including all levels of government and consul-'
tants to government, is spent in estimating and pro-
jecting travel demand and in planning to meet that
demand. If the argument is reasonable that the


69
magnitude of demand for travel in the U.S. is the most
important underlying problem in transportation, then
this resource allocation is to a large degree misdi-
rected.
The increasing levels of sophistication in
transportation planning and engineering are being di-
rected for the most part in answering narrow guestions.
Using two extremes of breadth of issues, the transpor-
tation planning field is increasingly adept at answer-
ing questions like how best to move the maximum volume
of traffic along a corridor, but is not adept at an-
swering questions like how best to minimize the nega-
tive impacts associated with travel to and from work.
This disparity is owed largely to the increased number
and complexity of variables associated with broader
questions, but is also owed to the fact that few, if
any, transportation professionals have the function of
attempting to answer the broader questions. Some of
the recommendations proposed here are areas that should
be analyzed by transportation planners, but perhaps
more importantly, the field should be better mobilized
to frame and answer questions like how to reduce
home-work trip distances to metropolitan areas.


70
Reduction of Disincentives
Recommendations aimed at reducing several of
the disincentives discussed in Chapter III have already
been addressed/ including zoning, intergovernmental
competition, and the limited scope of traffic studies.
The other disincentives discussed all consist of poli-
cies which are, to varying degrees, effective in ful-
filling an important objective. It is argued here that
their disincentive effect should, however, be assessed,
and compared with the positive effects in the determi-
nation of the extent to which the policy should be
pursued. Policies which mitigate the disadvantage of
living and working far apart should be evaluated for
the significance of this aspect of their influence.
Similarly, policies that assume that the reduction of
traffic congestion at certain times is the premier goal
of transportation planning should be further evaluated.
If reduction of episodic congestion is successful, then
it may be that total travel is increased and thus,
impacts are increased.


71
An Illustration
Figure 2 provides an illustration of the effect
of an employer's location decision. For this example,
assume that a corporation desires to locate in a cer-
tain city. The corporation will build an office
building for 1000 employees. A large number of these
employees will be relocating from another city, so
their choices of residences are open. We can examine
three location scenarios for this firm:
Location 1: Random Location
Assume that the firm locates randomly with
respect to employees' commuting requirements. The
location choice is, of course, not truly random? it may
be based on proximity to an amenity of interest to
company executives, may be located near other firms, or
the land itself may be a particularly attractive parcel
for one or more reasons. Let us further assume that
this location is in a large employment area which is
relatively far from major residential developments.
Employees' residential location choices can be expected
to be scattered throughout the city in a manner similar
to the city's typical patterns. For this example, it


FIGURE 2
72
Employee Trip Generation for Three Locations
Location 1: random location; 20,000 miles total generation
Location 2: near residential; 15,800 miles total generation
Location 3: near specifically selected residential, including
aggressive trip reduction policies; 11,600 miles
total generation


73
is assumed that the average commuting distance is ten
miles each way, or 20,000 miles of total daily travel
for the firm.
Location 2: Close to Residential
From the second location choice/ assume that
the firm locates in an area that has large residential
neighborhoods within a two to three mile radius. Many
of the employees relocating from another city can be
expected to move into residences within this two to
three mile radius. A few employees already living in
this city may move there when they begin working at
this office location and a few residents of the local
neighborhood may find jobs with the firm. For this
scenario let us assume that 300 employees will live
within the three mile radius and will have an average
one way commuting distance of three miles. The other
700 employees are assumed to live in a scattered pat-
tern throughout the city and average 10 miles one-way
commute. The total daily distance generated in this
scenario is 15,800 miles.


74
Location 3: Near Selected Residential, with Trip
Reduction Policies
In this case the firm not only locates near
residential neighborhoods, but selects a location with
residential neighborhoods that match the income levels
and certain housing preferences expressed by employees.
Further, the firm provides bike and pedestrian facili-
ties, and provides information and other assistance to
create an incentive for employees to reside close by.
In this case we will assume that 600 employees will
have an average one-way commute of 3 miles, with 400
employees commuting 10 miles. In this case the total
daily distance generated is 11,600 miles.
One measure of the differences in the impact of
commutation for the three scenarios is vehicle operat-
ing costs. If we use an average cost of vehicle opera-
tion of 20 cents per mile, then the total employees
vehicle operating costs for a 250 day work year will
be:
Location 1: $1,000,000/year
Location 2: $790,000/year
Location 3: $580,000/year
Other measures of the impact of commuting will
bear a similar relationship for the three locations.
The measures include cost of time for individuals, cost


75
of roadway construction and maintenance for local
governments, and cost of environmental impact to the
community as a whole.
One point that can be made using this example
deals with the distinction between traffic studies
identifying the number of trips generated versus the
total mileage generated. A traffic study by a firm at
Location 1 will demonstrate the same localized trip
generation as that of the firm locating at Location 3,
and each will likely be assessed a similar amount of
for transportation infrastructure improvements. The
total impact on the roadway system and on traffic,
however, is almost cut in half at location 3.
This illustration provides an example of the
importance of land use location decisions and of the
further importance of individual choice within a given
land us pattern. It also demonstrates the potential
importance of traffic studies taking a broad view and
providing incentives for travel reduction.
The Measurement Problem
There are difficulties associated with measur-
ing both the problem of long home-work trips and the
effectiveness of reduction measures. Changes that are
not specific to a small area are difficult to measure.


76
Many of the changes recommended here are long range
ones whereby measurable travel changes take place over
a long period. Since many of these policies are both
long ranging and geographically broad, not only is the
data collection aspect of measurement extensive, but
also a large array of variables come into play and so
it is difficult to isolate that which is desired to be
measured. Also, those that involve behavioral changes
are especially.difficult ones for which to project
measurements into the future.
Computer demand models, the principal quantita-
tive tools used in transportation planning, are much
better equipped to forecast changes in demand caused by
a new roadway as compared with forecasting changes
associated with a policy that creates an incentive or
eliminates a disincentive. The basic process used in
demand modeling is first to calibrate input data to
replicate current counted traffic flows. Parameters
such as trip generation rates and friction factors
(measuring the attraction of one traffic analysis zone
to another zone) are fixed based on present day cali-
bration. A typical use of the model is then to test
the addition of a roadway or a change in land use.
These changes can be easily tested by making appropri-
ate changes in socioeconomic and roadway network data
impacts. Incentives and disincentives to location


77
decisions influencing trip distances are not easily
accounted for. Testing of these types of future
changes would require adjustments in parameters such as
friction factors. Unlike changes in, for example,
population or roadway laneages, friction factors do not
have a readily quantifiable, documentable aspect.
This difficulty in measurement may have a di-
rect effect on resource allocation decisions. Poli-
ticians and administrators alike are more apt to
support programs of which the results can be measured
and clearly demonstrated.
Recommendations to improve this situation are
twofold. First, some of the traditional measurement
techniques should be expanded or altered to better
reflect the important subtleties of travel demand, and
to measure demand at a scale which adequately reflects
total impacts. Behavior can be measured through selec-
ted origin-destination studies. Before and after stud-
ies can provide estimated calibration of the impact of
many incentive and disincentive programs. Computer
modeling can reflect greater sensitivity to gravity
model parameters or friction factors. The importance
of nonlocal measurements for site specific traffic
studies has been discussed; travel distance generated,
not only number of trips generated, should be looked
at. In general, measurement techniques need to be


77
decisions influencing trip distances are not easily
accounted for. Testing of these types of future
changes would require adjustments in parameters such as
friction factors. Unlike changes in, for example,
population or roadway laneages, friction factors do not
have a readily quantifiable, documentable aspect.
This difficulty in measurement may have a di-
rect effect on resource allocation decisions. Poli-
ticians and administrators alike are more apt to
support programs of which the results can be measured
and clearly demonstrated.
Recommendations to improve this situation are
twofold. First, some of the traditional measurement
techniques should be expanded or altered to better
reflect the important subtleties of travel demand, and
to measure demand at a scale which adequately reflects
total impacts. Behavior can be measured through selec-
ted origin-destination studies. Before and after stud-
ies can provide estimated calibration of the impact of
many incentive and disincentive programs. Computer
modeling can reflect greater sensitivity to gravity
model parameters or friction factors. The importance
of nonlocal measurements for site specific traffic
studies has been discussed; travel distance generated,
not only number of trips generated, should be looked
at. In general, measurement techniques need to be


pursued and improved that measure that which is the
total impact of travel, not only that which is more
easily measured because of its specificity.
The second recommendation regarding measurement
is to beware of the trap of having a bias toward doing
that which can most easily be demonstrated to have a
positive impact. Those policies which logically and
intuitively have a positive impact, but which may be
more difficult to monitor, measure, and demonstrate, d
still be pursued. Often, in fact, it is policies of
this type that have the greatest long term, positive
impact.


79
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. American Institute of Planners and Motor Vehicle
Manufacturers of the U.S., Factbook. 1974.
2. Barton-Aschman Associates, Inc., Traveler Response
to Transportation System Changes. Federal Highway
Association, 1981.
3. John J. Harrington and William C. Johnson, Govern-
ing the Twin Cities. University of Minnesota
Press, 1978.
4. Otto T. Johnson, Editor, 1986 Information Please
Almanac. New York, Houghton Miflin Co., 1985.
5. R. K. Kumar and F. F. Saccromanco, "The Impact of
Population Structural Changes on Future Urban
Travel Patterns", Compendium of Technical Papers.
Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1985.
6. Herbert S. Levinson, "The 21st Century Metropolis:
A Land Use and Transportation Perspective", Insti-
tute of Transportation Engineering Journal. 1981.
7. Los Angeles Coastal Transportation Corridor Spe-
cific Plan. Los Angeles Department of City Plan-
ning and Transportation, 1985.
8. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, Facts and
Figures, 1982.
9. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, World
Motor Vehicle Data. 1982.
10. Wilfred Owen, The Accessible City. Washington,
D.C., The Brookings Institute, 1972.
11. R. Remak and S. Rosenbloom, "Implementing Packages
of Congestion Reducing Techniques", National Co-
operative Highway Research Report 205. Transporta-
tion Research Board, Washington, D.C., 1979.
12. Frank Spielberg and Steve Andrie, "The Next Ten
Years", Compendium of Technical Papers. Institute
of Transportation Engineers, 1985.
13. U.S. Bureau of Census, General Social and Economic
Characteristics. 1980.


Full Text

PAGE 1

REDUCING HOME-WORK TRIP LENGTHS l by Elliot Sulsky B.A., State University of New York at Albany, 1977 M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1981 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of science Department of Civil Engineering 1986 f!\'i]

PAGE 2

This thesis for the Master of Science Degree Elliot Sulsky has been approved for the Department of Civil _Engineering by

PAGE 3

Sulsky, Elliot (M.S., civil Engineering) Reducing Home-Work Trip Lengths directed by Professor William s. Pollard, Jr. This thesis provides an analysis of.home-work trips in the urban United states of America (USA) and recommends public policies that could reduce the lengths of these trips. Data analysis demonstrates that USA work trips are longer than such trips in other countries or in other eras. The negative impacts of motor vehicle travel in general are numerous and extreme. Home-work trips comprise roughly 30% of motor vehicle travel. The impacts associated with home-work trips exceed 30% due to their concentration during peak periods. There is a direct relationship between travel distance and impacts. To reduce the impacts of commuter trips on the environment and on individuals to a tolerable level, the average distances of these trips need to be reduced. Several existing public policies act as disincentives to the objective of reduction of work trip lengths. It is recommended that such policies be reevaluated to weigh this disincentive effect against their specific objectives.

PAGE 4

iv There are also several public policies in place which may have the intended (or unintended) effect of reducing work trip lengths. These policies are evaluated as to their potential and success relative to this goal. Both incentives and disincentives are placed in two categories. The first category consists of those policies that influence the location of land uses relative to one another. The second category includes those policies that influence individual location choices within a given land use pattern. Both of these elements are necessary to achieve the goal of reduction of trip distances. Complementary residences and workplaces need to exist in proximity to one another and people need to choose to live and work close together. An important conclusion is that the problem of excessive home-work trip distances and the severe impacts they create, are not being adequately addressed at any level -of government. Regional planning and development guidelines need to better address this question and need to be more enforceable. Local governments should reevaluate their zoning and development review processes and should initiata affirmative actions toward the objective of reducing work trip distances. The profession of transportation planning should be better mobilized to address this question.

PAGE 5

CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ................. 1 II. THE WORK TRIP ..................... 7 Data Analysis ............................ 7 Share of All Travel ........... 7 Trip Lengths .......................... 8 International Comparison ......... 9 Historical Perspective ......... 9 Mode ... 12 Automobile occupancy ............ 15 Work Trip ........... 15 pata Summary .......................... 16 Trends Affecting Journey to Work 17 Increased Work Force ............... 17 Decreasing Family Size ............... 18 Telecommunications ................. 19 Off ice Parks .......................... 20 Neighborhood Identification ......... 20 Housing ownership .................... 22 III. DISINCENTIVES TO HOME-WORK TRIP REDUCTION 24 Disincentives to Optimal Location of Land Uses ............................. 25

PAGE 6

vi CONTENTS Zoning. . . . . . . . . 2 5 Intergovernmental Competition ........ 26 Limited Scope of Traffic Studies ...... 27 Ever-Increasing Transportation Supply .. 29 Disincentives to Individual Location Decisions ............. . . . . 3 0 Transit Agency Policies ............ 31 Transportation Systems Management ... 32 Ever-Increasing Transportation Supply 33 Residential Street Traffic .... 33 IV. SUMMARY OF REDUCTION PROGRAMS .......... 36 New Towns 3 6 Activity centers. 3 8 Mixed Use Development ...... 40 strong Regional Planning Entities .. 42 Pedestrian and Bicycle Modes .. 45 Residency Requirements ... 48 credit to Developers for Trip Reduction 49 Downtown Housing Incentives ....... 50 The Environmental Impact Statement Process. . . . . . . . 50 Commuter Taxes. . . . 51

PAGE 7

vii CONTENTS V. RECO:Mr-iENDATIONS. 54 Restructure Development Review Process 54 Regional Review Process ....... 60 Governmental Initiatives ....... 62 Taxation. . . . . . . . 64 Manpower Allocation ......... 66 Reduction of Disincentives ... 67 An Illustration........................ 68 The Measurement Problem ............ 72

PAGE 8

viii TABLES Table 1. Transport Mode and Urban Form ........ 11 2. Person Trips, by Trip Purpose, and Mode of Transportation ......... 13 3. Head of Household Mode of Transportation by Work Distance. 14

PAGE 9

ix FIGURES Figure 1. Perceived Cost of Commutation by Distance 47 2. Employee Trip Generation for Three 69

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Modern American cities are unique in history in the amount of travel that is required, or is chosen, by people as they travel from function to function. We are the most mobile society that has existed, but we are essentially traveling to and from the same functions that have been served for many centuries. Wilfred owen has written that: Nearness has been traded for the ability to overcome distance .. In. essence, since no one is responsible for creating whole cities, transpor-1 tation is called on to make the disorder viable. This level of mobility .has had enormous nega-tive impacts on individuals and on the urban environ-ment. Transportation related deaths and injuries have remained at an intolerably high level. Energy tion has had major economic and foreign relations impacts on the U.S. Air pollution has been a major concern in several cities. Those who cannot own automo-biles or cannot drive often suffer economic losses.

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People routinely invest large amounts of. unproductive money and time. 2 Reduction of this level of mobility is the most effective means of alleviating these transportation related environmental impacts. This thesis focuses specifically on the home-work trip and on ways to reduce the length of these trips in urban America. The work trip is chosen for examination for several reasons. Work trips make up a large share of urban travel and exhibit peaking characteristics that magnify their impact. Home-work trips are also the most regularly taken and least elastic of trip types, so that changes in these trip lengths, though difficul t to accomplish, tend to be relatively permanent and therefore significant in their impact abatement. Also due to the short term inelasticity of work trips, the planning towards reducing their distances would need to be gradual; in the event.of, for example, a sudden gasoline shortfall, it would be difficult to immediately change the dis tances of these trips. Travel modes often can be changed quickly, but the origins and destinations cannot. Policies affecting work trip distances and measures to reduce these distances can both be divided into two categories for analysis. The categories are

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3 those that deal with the location of land uses and those that deal with individual location choices within a given land use framework. The first of these categories deals with development and growth issues and tends to be a more long range area of analysis. The second category deals with individual choice and tends to be more near term. Initiatives in both areas are needed to reduce the average work trip distance significantly. In the case of both categories of analysis, transportation issues in general, and work trip distances, stand among many decision factors. The principal purpose of this paper is to analyze the homework trip and the factors that affect these trips, then to determine how these factors can be influenced by public policy so that work trip distances can be re There are two important assumptions upon which the ideas expressed here rest. Both are ideas that have been explored elsewhere, and that are assumed here to be conceptually sound, although they are not explored here in quantitative detail. First, it is assumed that, among motorized modes, there is a direct relationship, even if not a precisely proportional one, between travel distance and impacts. Distance, not mode, is the single most important variable.in travel impact. Long bus trips, for example, have a greater

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4 negative impact, both on individuals and on the environment, than do shorter automobile trips. Long bus trips may exhibit some reduced impacts as compared with the same distance automobile trips, but some impacts are also greater in the case of bus trips. It is an important fundamental concept, however, that' distance, not mode, is the key variable in total travel impact. The secon4 assumption made is that given the existing American urban environment and present technology, and given Americans' well demonstrated travel preferences, there is a limit to the success of programs aimed at moving people away from low occupancy automobile trips. Although the precise limit is not known, it is clear that at this limit, the impacts of travel would still be high at present distances. Given the dispersed and long nature of home-work trips, increasing numbers of carpools become increasingly difficult to arrange and decreasingly efficient. A transit system has a limited ability to provide attractive, efficient transportation for dispersed trips, even if the desire exists. It is assumed, therefore, that to move towards more acceptable levels of travel associated impacts, travel distance needs to be reduced. Despite the fact that mode choice in the New York metropolitan area, for example, is oriented less towards low occupancy automobile than other

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American cities, the negative impacts of home-work travel on the New York environment are unacceptably great. 5 This analysis of work trip reduction proceeds as follows. Chapter II discusses data concerning work trips, along with some demographic, employment, and socioeconomic trends that may affect home-work trips. Chapter III describes some of the disincentives that now exist pertaining to the objective of reduced work trip lengths. Chapter IV describes some of the programs that are now in place that have the potential, either intended or unintended, to reduce work trip distances. Chapter V provides recommendations of policy initiatives that can reduce the distances of these trips.

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1 NOTES-CHAPTER #I Wilfred Owen, The Accessible City, Washington, D.c., The Institute, 1972, pp. 52-53. 6

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CHAPTER II THE WORK TRIP Data Analysis Share of All Travel In 1983, 27.8% of all motor vehicle trips in the u.s. were home-to-work or work-to-home trips. These trips accounted for 30.4% of motor vehicle miles traveled.1 It is clear that the impact of home-work trips is considerably greater than 30.4% of the total impact of motor vehicle travel, Home-work trips have two distinct peak periods. According to figures from the Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Association of the u.s., 50% of all A.M. peak hour trips were home-work trips in 1974. peak trips are typically more varied in purpose, but work trips certainly ac count for far.in excess of 30% of P.M. peak trips at most locations. This being the case, home-work trips occur much more frequently during congested peak periods than do other trip types. Home-work trips, therefore, will

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8 tend to be more fuel consumptive, more polluting, and all other things being equal, less safe than other trip types. Furthermore, work trips are those trips that, they largely create peak demand, are the trips that push the transportation system to capacity. Work-home trips, then, are the ones that.create the marginal demand for transportation facilities, and as such are more than proportionally responsible for the cos.ts and environmental impacts of new and widened roadways. Trip Lengths In 1983, the average length of home-work trips in private vehicles the u.s. was 9.2 miles. This compares with an average length of 8.3 miles for all trips. When recreational and social trips are discounted, the average trip length in the u.s. was 7.6 '1 3 es. So, home-work trips are considerably longer on the average than other frequent regular trips. According to the 1980 census, the mean travel time to work in the u.s. was 21.7 minutes. Less than 18% of home-work-trips, including all modes, were of less than a ten minute duration. over 28% of home-work trips are of greater than 30 minute duration, meaning that 28% of

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all American workers spend more than an hour every day commuting to work.4 International Comparison 9 No data were +ound to provide reliable measurement of average home-work trip lengths in other coun-tries. However, certain indicators, both quantitative and descriptive, exist which lead to the that home-work trips in the u.s. are unique in the world in their length. First, the number of passenger cars in the u.s. was 537 per thousand population in 1981, considerably higher than the rate of any other nation. Canada is closest with 433 cars followed by West Germany with 386 cars per thousand people. Japan 5 had only 209 cars per thousand people. It seems un-likely, although this could not be confirmed statistically, that other countries have automobile usage rates that exceed the American average of over. 9000 miles per year per vehicle. These comparisons, combined with the clearly more sprawled and suburbanized nature of American cit ies, as well as the tendency towards large, exclusive purpose land areas in American metropolitan areas, lead to the conclusion that home-work trip lengths in the

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10 u.s. are far in excess of those throughout the remainder of the world. Historical Perspective Although statistical data is not available in as great detail for historical comparisons as for recent travel, it is clear that work trip lengths in recent years are the longest in history in the u.s. One indicator, passenger in the u.s., has displayed a quadrupling in the past 40 years. u.s. passenger car in annual billions of miles, increased as follows:6 1940 249.6 1950 363.6 1960 588.1 1970 890.8 1980 1111.9 This total travel has leveled off somewhat since 1970, and has done so at the highest rates of travel in world history. There can be little argument with the American Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Associa-tion conclusion that "the u.s. is the most mobile society in history.117 It also seems clear that this over-

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all mobility includes the longest average commuting distances in history. 11" Herbert Levinson provides an illustrative comparison of characteristics of an American prototypical automobile city compared with older urban forms. Table 1 shows this comparison. Subsequent chapters will examine urban form and its relationship with trip lengths in much greater detail, but at this point it is of interest to note the differences in density between the automobile city and the rapid transit city, which is twice as dense, and. the pedestrian city, which is over six times as dense as the rapid transit city. According to a 1978 u.s. Census report, 89.3% of all home-work trips were by private motorized vehicle. In addition, 86.6% of all head-of-household homework trips were by private vehicle, 82.8% of which were by commuters driving alone. Table 2 provides the mode split for trips of various types. It shows that the 89.3% of home-work trips by private vehicle compares with 83.7% of all trip types by private vehicle. Table 3 shows 1978 head-of-household mode of transportation to work by distance. This table is

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TABLE 1 TRANSPORT MODE AND URBAN FORM TYPE OF CITY ELECTRIC RAILWAY ITEM PEDESTRIAN AUTOMOBILE POPULATION 3,000,000 3,000,000 3,000,000 AREA (30 MILES) 30 200 400 DENSITY JOBS IN CITY 200,000 300,000 150,000 CENTER DEVELOPMENT COMPACT MAJOR CORRIDORS DISPERSED EXAMPLE PARIS, 1900 CHICAGO, 1920 LOS ANGELES, 1970 Source: Herbert S. Levinson, "The 21st Century Metropolis: A Land Uise and Transportation Perspective," Institute of Transportation Engineering Journal, 1981, p.55. ._.. ">

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TABLE 2 PERSON TRIPS, BY TRIP PURPOSE, "AND MODE OF TRANSPORTATION Mode of Transportation PRIVATE PUBLIC Auto and Station Vans & Other Other Trip Purpose Wagon Pickups "(!) Total Total ( 2) Earning A Living Home-to-Work 75.3X 12.0 2.0 89.3 4.7 6.0 Work Related 66.9X 19.5 1.4 87.8 2.2 10.0 Subtotal 74.0X 13.2 1.9 89.0 4.3 6.6 Family and Personal Business Shopping 81. ox 7.9 0.9 89.8 1.4 8.9 Doctor or Dentist 87.9X 4.7 0.4 93.0 4.3 2.6 Other 72.1X 12.3 1.5 86.0 1.3 12.7 Subtotal 77.6X 9.6 1.1 88.4 1.5 10.2 Civic, Educational and Religious 49.8X 4.0 0.3 54.2 5.0 40.8 Social and Recreational Visiting Friends 75.5X 9.0 1.4 85.8 1.4 12.8 Pleasure Driving 75.3X 15.3 5.6 96.2 0.5 3.3 Vacations 75.0X 8.6 0.7 84.3 5.7 10.0 All 100X 100X 100X 100X lOOX 100X 100X 100X lOOX 100X lOOX 1-' w

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TABLE 3 HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD MODE OF TRANSPORTATION BY WORK DISTANCE WORKS TOTAL I BIKE OR AT HOME DISTANCE FROM DRIVES MOTOR MASS MOTOR-OTHER OR NOT HOME TO WORK SELF CARPOOL VEHICLE TRANSIT CYCLE TAXI WALKS MEANS REPORTED LESS THAN 1 MILE 52.4% 7.2% 59.6% 1. 2% 1. 3% 0.3% 36.9% 0.5% o. 1 Y. 1 TO 4 MILES 77.6 11. g 89.4 6.6 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.2 0.0 5 TO 9 MILES 78.3 14.3 92.5 5.6 0.6 o. 1 0.0 0.2 0.0 10 TO 19 MILES 76.2 17.0 93.5 6.4 0.3 0.0 0.0 0. 1 0.0 20 TO 29 MILES 69.3 23.7 93.0 G. 1 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.3 o. 1 30 TO 49 MILES 62.1 29.0 91.0 8.3 0 3 0.0 0.0 0.3 0. 1 50 MILES OR MORE 55.6 33.3 89.9 8.5 o. 1 0.0 0.0 1.4 0. 1 NO FIXED WORKPLACE 80.6 14.5 95. 1 2.4 0 2 0. 1 1.0 1....2. QJ. TOTAL 71. n 15.0% 86.6% 5.8Y. 0.6Y. 0.2% 3.7% 0.4% 2.7% Source: Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Association, Facts and figures. 1983, p. 47. 1-'

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15 instructive in several ways. First, it demonstrates the dominance of automobile trips for home-work commutation. Only for trips shorter than one mile does the automobile account for. less than 89% of the trips. This table also relates_ trip length to mode and shows that among alternatives to driving to work alone: carpooling is greatly increased with increasing trip distance; mass transit usage increases with increased distance, but not as sharply as carpooling; use of motorcycles, bicycles and walking dramatically decreases with distance. Automobile Occupancy A comparison with other trip purposes shows that average automobile occupancy for home-work trips is 1.4 compared with 2.1 for all other automobile trips.8 Work-trip Distribution An important factor in relating home-work trips to local government's land use policies is the jurisdictional distribution of such trips. The most recent national data available is from a 1970 survey conducted

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16 by the American Institute of Planners and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the U.s.9 This survey of the 33 largest standard Metropolitan statistical Areas (SMSA's) in the u.s. found that 38% of home-work trips began and ended in the c entral city, 19% began outside and ended inside the central city, 7% began in and left the central city, and 36% began and ended outside the central city. The breakdown of the of trips that began and ended outside of the center city is not given as to how many are cross jurisdictional. If only one quarter of this 36% of work trips is cross jurisdictional, then one third of all work trips are also cross jurisdictional. If two thirds of the 36% are cross jurisdictional, then half of all work trips are also cross jurisdictional. The range, then, of home-work trips which impact more than one municipality was from one third to one half in 1970, and appears to have risen since 1970, as the central city share of both population and employment has declined in most large SMSA's. Data Summary Travel, including home-work trips, in the u.s. in recent years unique in the history of the world in distance. Looked at in one light, we are the most

PAGE 26

17 mobile society in history. Looked at in another light, we are unique in history in the time, distance, and personal and environmental costs that we are willing to pay in order to travel from home to work and back again each day. Work trips account for 30% of all travel in the U.S. 1 and account for substantially more than this percentage of the impact of travel due to concentration in peak periods. Home-work trips are predominantly by automobile and have associated with them low occupancy rates. Home-work tr.ips are also characterized, as compared to most other trip purposes, by relative inelasticity. That is, both ends of home-work trips are generally at fixed locations andcan only be changed by changing job location or residence. Trends Affecting Journey to Work Several demographic, employment and socioeconomic trends exist which may influence commutation in American cities. Policies aimed at the objective of minimizing commuting distance should show consideration for these trends and attempt to seize opportunities and work within constraints created by these trends.

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18 Increased Work Force The increasing size of the work force can be viewed from both a macroscopic and microscopic standpoint. on a macroscopic level, the American population is becoming older, as internal population growth has slowed, and the large post World War II baby boomer generation continues to progress through their working years. R. K. Kumar and F. F. Saccromanco write in a demographic study based on trends in Toronto, With an increase in the number of persons in the working age group 15 to 64, the predominance of work trips1 emong trip purposes is likely to continue." These same authors make the observation that for non-work trips the only observable peak coincides with the afternoon work trip peak, indicating a trend toward combining of trips for other purposes on the work-tohome journey. Both of these observations tend to in-crease the importance of home-work location decisions on the overall transportation system. on a more microscopic level, the increasing work force tends to create more two, three and more worker households. This trend, combined with the fact that it is partly created by an increase in women in the work force and in more long-term career paths, may

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19 have the effect of complicating residential location decisions by households. Insofar as a household contains more than one worker with a fixed workplace location, that household may be less able to reduce one of the commuting trips to a snort distance even if they so desire. Conversely, if two workers work in the same area, then the incentive to live close to that area may be greater. More extensive statistical analysis of the impact of multi-worker households is needed. It is, however, reasonable to assert that multi-worker households in the aggregate will tend to be more in their location decisions towards short commuting distances. Decreasing Family Size Another demographic trend is toward smaller average household size. This trend has been evident despite the seemingly contradictory trend towards more families. This is explainable by fewer average number of children and fewer instances of extended families under one roof. one opportunity created by .this trend as it relates to commutation is that as households become smaller but contain-more workers, residential location decisions are more likely to be

PAGE 29

20 based on work places as compared to decisions of larger households with fewer workers. Telecommunications The promise of improved telecommunications as a substitute for transportation, long speculated about, has not been fulfilled. The need and desire for personal contact at the workplace has not been usurped by any advances in telecommunications that have yet occurred. Further advances in this area, combined with a future sharp increase in fuel prices or like event, may increase the desire and ability of certain workers to work at home, at least part of the time. However, based on past experience, it would not be prudent to expect a reduction in total commuting distances to result mainly from fewer total trips--distances need to be shortened to reduce impacts of commutation. There is another side of the promise of telecommunications though, which is less often discussed. This promise stems from the fact that the advantages for firms in many industries, especially in the growing segment of the economy under the umbrella of service industries, to locate in one area of a city in proximity to related firms, is reduced. As a metropolitan area grows, and as people increasingly demand services

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21 in closer proximity to other origins and destinations, and as computers and communication advances make interbusiness communications easier, a tendency toward more dispersed business location can be expected. Office Parks The location of office parks far from city centers has been based on a wide range of factors. Availability of large tracts of land at prices far below those closer to city centers is probably the principal factor. Others include the increasingly 11clean11 nature of service and high technology industries allowing for locations closer to other land uses that may be less compatible with heavier industry. Also, new industrial development is keyed largely to highways and airports. Herbert Levinson writes, 11The corporate office park now has emerged as a challenge to the city cente:r. n11 The ability of most city centers to grow will be limited in the future by land availability and costs as well as by transportation. Associated with this trend are a variety of both opportunities and constraints, which will be explored later.

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22 Neighborhood Identification A few trends can be put into the category of neighborhood identification, although these trends are difficult to pin down, and difficult to generalize about from city to city. Gentrification is one such trend, which refers to reinvestment in central city neighborhoods previously in decline. Gentrification can create the opportunity of increasing the attractiveness of central city living for segments of the population that form a large part of the downtown work force. Spielberg points out, however, that, "Gentrification,continues but is still a minor factor in housing choice and transportation demand.1112 The shift of .population to the west and sunbelt, combined with the increasing rate of inter-city movement, has the potential to impact neighborhood identification. Residents of older, more established neighborhoods can be expected to have stronger ties and in turn a stronger magnet to a certain neighborhood. Thus residential location decisions may be more constrained. For newer cities with more newcomers, this constraint will not be strong in the aggregate. Family ties, ethnic ties, and general familiarity is less in newer cities and thus constraints in residential loca-

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23 ties, ethnic ties, and general familiarity is less in. newer cities and thus constraints in residential location decisions are less. This lack of neighborhood in newer cities is neither a good thing in itself, nor necessarily a permanent one, but it is an opportunity in its lack of locational inertia. Racially and ethnically segregated neighborhoods are the antithesis of this--they influence location decisions in ways that are likely to b e antithetical to objective, environmentally logical decisions. Housing ownership As housing purchase prices increase and house heating costs increase, it is that home ownership rates will go down. To the extent that this is the case, that will mean a more elastic residential location market. The potential then to locate near one's job is increased.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 24 NOTES-CHAPTER II Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, Facts and Figures, 1983, p. 50. American Institute of Planners and Motor Vehicle Manufacturers of the u.s., Factbook, 1974, p.l-19. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer's Association, Facts and Figures, 1983, p.40. u.s. Bureau of Census, General Social and Economic Characteristics, 1980, p.l-94. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, World Motor Vehicle Data, 1982, p.39. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, Facts and Figures, p.54. Ibid, p.32. Ibid, p.47. American Institute of Planners and Motor Vehicle Manufacturers of the u.s., Factbook, 1974, p.l-15. R.K. Kumar and F.F. saccromanco, "The Impact of Population Structural Changes on Future Urban Travel Patterns", Compendium of Technical Papers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1985, p.l38. Herbert s. Levinson, "The 21st Century Metropolis: A Land Use and Transportation Perspective". Institute of Transportation Engineering Journal, 1981, p. 56. Frank Spielberg and Steve Andrie, "The Next Ten Years", compendium of Technical Papers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1985, p.l43.

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CHAPTER III DISINCENTIVES TO HOME-WORK TRIP REDUCTION In order to examine public policy as it influ-ences commuting distances, two categories of levels of influence can be established. The first influence category is those policies which. affect the location of land uses relative to each other, specifically complementary jobs and housing. The second category is those policies which tend to influence individual location ... -decisions within a given land use framework. These categories are not mutually exclusive. Land use decisions are influenced by people's demonstrated location decisions. In both of these categories of influence, there is a clear pattern of disincentives toward reduction of commuting distances. This is not to say that some or all of these policies do not have a basic function, but the intended or unintended effects create disincentives to reduced commuting distances. This chapter will describe these disincentives that are in place.

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26 Disincentives to Optimal Location of Land Uses Zoning The entire zoning policy arena has been a double-edged sword. Zoning has as one of its fundamental principles the notion of segregating land uses which in close proximity negatively impact each other. Where the effect of zoning is to create large exclusively residential districts and large employment districts, mini-mum commuting distances are large. As our national economy moves further away from "smoke stack" industries and more toward a "service economy" this funda-mental objective of zoning becomes less sound if widely applied. Denver's economy is typical of western and sunbelt cities which have increasing environmental impacts associated with commuting distances as compared with environmental impacts of the work place itself on surrounding residential communities. Additionally, strip business zoning can have the same effect of dispersion of employment away from residential clusters, although this phenomenon is more pronounced in the case of shopping trips. A common land use pattern found in European cities has commercial and office uses on ground floors,

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with residential uses above. The absence of this pattern in most American cities is partially a result of zoning regulations.' This absence creates a missed opportunity for significant reductions in travel distances. Intergovernmental Competition 27 Development in American urbanized areas has occurred against the competing backdrops of municipal planning and competition between municipalities for tax dollars. In only rare instances has regional level planning had enough strength to substantially influence major devel-. opment location decisions. Regional planning has had a role, due largely to federal legislation, since 1968 when councils of Government (COG's) began to spring up, but that role has generally been limited to one of measuring and predicting growth, and providing what cooperative means are possible to plan infrastructure for accommodating that growth. Instead, each municipality seeks in its own way to attract development which will improve that municipality's tax base while attempting to control localized impacts. --It may make sense for a predominantly bedroom community to continue to allow.residential development and for a_central city to continue to encourage city center employment without

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28 residential development. But it may be that sensible decisions by each of a diverse group of municipalities perpetuates a situation of dependence on large, dis persed commutation at the expense of all individuals and communities. Limited Scope of Traffic Studies Local governments generally require developers to produce studies presenting the impact of large developments on the local street system. The purpose of these studies is for the developer to demonstrate that the impact of a project on the local street system will be small, or alternatively that the developer will pay his fair share for improvements to the local street system to maintain service. This system of demonstration of transportation on development has two disincentive effects. The first problem is the scale at which these studies are done. The demonstrated impact from typical local impact studies would be the same for a large office complex whether the workers who will be commuting there will have an average distance of five miles or 20 miles. The impact on the one or two or three streets directly accessing the project is the same regardless of the distances. The larger scale impact

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29 of a project, however, typically has a greater long term impact than the localized impact. One project's localized impact is another project's background-traffic, and vice versa, and the cumulative impact of the dispersion of land uses .is the real problem. It is one not addressed by these traffic studies. More specifically, the disincentives to reduction of commuting distance associated with this system of analysis are three. First, it becomes advantageous for a developer to choose a site with a low degree of existing congestion, so that the demonstrated afterconstruction congestion is locally manageable and mitigation is affordable. But these low congestion sites tend to be farther from complementary land uses and thus the commuting distances will predictably be increased. Second, the higher level of facility providing local access to a proposed development, the easier it is for a developer to demonstrate that local accessibility can be provided. If a limited access facility is built, a developer can propose to help pay for a short distance of access roads and state that the expressway will provide adequate high access. But if this limited access facility is a circumferential route, it is likely to have overall great average trip distance associated with it.

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30 From the point of view of the development adjacent to the expressway, the function of the expressway is to get traffic to and from the project as quickly as possible--but the impact on the overall transportation system may be great and may go undemonstrated. Further, a developer may seek to reduce the predicted traffic generation from a large development by assuming a certain percent of internal trips. This is often considered by the reviewing agency to be an exaggerated or dubious assumption. This whole area of investigation, as a result, is not always taken as a serious one. But the generation of internal trips, more aptly called non-trips, is in reality one of the most substantial potential impact mitigations that can exist. The review process often provides a disincentive for projects to maximize internal trip production, if the transportation infrastructure assessment is not reflective of this element. The limitation of traffic studies can be summarized by their largely misdirected focus. Traffic studies mainly focus on the number of trips generated, while the transportation impact of a project is best measured by the total vehicle mileage generated.

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31 Ever-Increasing Transportation Supply This disincentive applies equally to land use and to individual decisions within a given land use framework. In the case of land use location, the impact is potentially great, though difficult to measure. High speed routes, especially ones through largely pre-built up areas, are the greatest disincentive to minimized commutation distances. The construction of circumferential routes and bypass routes may have the effect of creating sprawled development at the expense of infill. To the extent that other disincentives act in concert with construction of these type facilities, trip distance may rise and the problems (generally congestion} being targeted may be solved only temporarily and at the expense of increase in travel distance and associated impacts. The area of the impact of transportation facilities on land use is a complex one, but is not a main focus of this thesis, so the discussion here will be brief. It is an important area, however, since the whole scale of urban areas is dependent on transportation facilities to serve outlying areas, and trip distances may correlate with urbanized land areas. It is not just those facilities however, that create the disincentives to proximity. Rather; it is the exis-

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32 tence of the facilities in concert with other disincen-tives such competition among municipalities and inadequate regional planning and implementation that creates the whole disincentive picture. Disincentives to Individual Location Decisions In Chapter one some of the interferences between dif-ferent modal split actions were discussed. These non-complementary relationships can be viewed as disincentives towards short commuting distances. The relationship may appear somewhat indirect in some cases, but the significance of the effect is plausible. For example, preferential parking for carpools is a benefit for those whose commuting distances are such that carpooling makes sense. But a three person carpool from fifteen miles away from the workplace, for which individuals travel three miles each to reach a mutual pick up location, represents 24 miles of automobile impacts to the environment. It should be remembered, once again, that the environmental impact of transpor-tation bears a direct relationship to vehicle miles travelled, not to number of trips or to mode. so, if this carpool preferential parking privileges and an individual driving three miles to work by him-self does not, this represents a disincentive to the

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33 short commuting individual and is a total environmental disincentive. Chapter Two showed that carpooling increases with increasing distances. Transit Agency Policies Transit agencies, in pursuit of many of the legitimate objectives upon which their subsidized services are based, may create disincentives to short commuting distances as unintended effects. Elements of.public demands are for maximizing the area of coverage of transit systems. Long-haul, peak-hour express service may have a better return at the fare box than do other routes. Transit decision makers may rightfully reason that transit trips replacing larger automobile trips have a greater impact on automobile usage than do shorter trips. Differentiated fares for different length trips are difficult to collect in most transit situations. Investments in park-and-rides benefit long trip suburbanites. Morning peak transit riders from the suburbs are more likely to get seats on crowded buses than those from the center city. For .all of these reasons, transit riders have disincentives for living close to their workplace if they work in the central area. long haul

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34 service is a mitigation to the inconvenience of living a long distance from central area employment. Transportation SystemsManagement Certain transportation systems management (TSM) programs may have disincentive effects. High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, whether designated for buses or carpools or both, provide the most benefit for longer trips. They may provide a disbenefit for short trips on the same routes if congestion increases on non-HOV lanes used for short trips. Freeway ramp metering programs of different types can create a disbenefit to short trips . If central city vehicles wait an extra period of time to enter a facility to benefit larger distance in-bound trips, there is a disincentive toward living in the central area. Ever Increasing Transportation Supply This disincentive is repeated from the first category because its effect is both on land use and on individual decision. High speed, long distance facilities cause outlying living to be increasingly attractive by adding accessibility to more remote homes and workplaces. Certain studies have shown that perceived

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35 travel costs are not necessarily proportional to extra travel time, travel costs or a combination of the two. Rather, for both individual vehicles and mass transit, waiting time may be worth more than moving time.1 i) There may be a preference for a longer trip on limited access. facilities, with no traffic signals as compared to shorter trips with frequent stops, even if travel times are equal. This phenomenon may add to the unintended disincentive effect .of high speed circumferential type routes. Residential Street Traffic A frequent issue in American cities in areas with a grid street system is that through commuting traffic diverts -from crowded highways and arterials and impacts residential streets. This diversion is more likely to take place in central areas than outlying areas since central areas are more frequently on older, more straight and continuous grid systems, and because more potentially diverted through demand exists. This de-mand is in contrast to typical newer, suburban subdivi-sions, where street design frequently incorporates curved, noncontinuous streets and cul-de-sac designs. This contrast may breed resentment and be a disincen-

PAGE 45

centive to those who would potentially locate near their central city workplaces. 36

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1 37 NOTES-CHAPTER III Barton-Aschman Associates, Inc., Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes, Federal_ Highway Administration, 1981, p. 48.

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CHAPTER IV SUMMARY OF REDUCTION PROGRAMS Several policy initiatives have taken place with the intention of reduction of commuting distances. In some cases this objective was the principal reason for the policy. In other cases this is considered as more of a side benefit of a program with another principal objective. There are still other cases where this was not necessarily a perceived objective, but where an1ncentive is incidentally created by a policy initiative. This chapter will by no means provide an exhaustive survey of all policies with these objectives, or a detailed evaluation. It is the intention, however, to discuss as many of the more significant and innovative ones as possible, and.to discuss a sufficient sampling to provide a flavor for what has been tried and is being done. New Towns New towns are the most radical solution that has been attempted to reduce commuting distance. In its purest

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sense, a new town is a self-sufficient development, built at some distance from a central city, and with one of its objectives that of eliminating the need to travel into existing urbanized piaces except on rare occasions. New towns are essentially meant as places 39 where suburban type living arrangements can be accomplished without the necessity of commuting on congested roads. The instances of new town projects .in the Unit-ed states have been few, and the instancesof success-ful new towns have been fewer still. R. Remak and s. Rosenbloom summarize the problems associated with new towns. A combination of economic and political factors has frequently been observed to be effective barriers to successful implementation of new towns--the economic problems center around the high-cost planning, land acquisition and construction, where returns on this investment cannot be realized until the site is ready for occupancy and properties are sold to individual families and concerns Although financing conditions have been more difficult, so have the politics of establishing a new town. Setting up school districts, water districts, sewer districts, and other community facilities and services meets with increasing demand to satisfy the state and local government regulations and the concerns1of environmental groups and existing communities. From a more philosophical point of view, the new towns movement can be viewed as a doomed attempt to circumvent the established market and policy forces of land use locations rather than to work at adjusting these forces towards desired ends. Not only do new

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40 towns require extraordinarily large investments to be on a scale that can be truly self-sufficient, but they also require a great amount of institutional cooperation. To the extent that a new town is self-sufficient, and therefore has short commutation and shopping trip distances that is a good thing. If, however, these things that are hoped to occur do not occur, then new towns can be self-defeating. This limitation of new towns as a positive influence on commuting es can be summarized by three points. First, new towns are likely to be most economically feasible far from existing city centers, since land costs are reasonable. the planned balance of land uses for self-sufficiency is a precarious one and subject to market forces. Third, not all new town employees will chose to, or be able to, live there and not all residents will choose to or be able to work there. To the extent that these three occurrences are realized, there may be relatively few auto commutes generated, but these may be of unusually high distances. The total travel generated by the population and employment in a new town may be comparable to more typical residential or employment communities.

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41 Activity Centers Activity centers go by different names in different metropolitan areas, but their is a common thread among regional planning agencies. The urban area model that is the goal is the polynucleated city. In this model, several high intensity activity areas outside the Central Business District (CBD) are designated. These activity centers are frequently built up around a regional shopping center or around another major land use, such as an airport or large office park. Reduction of commuting distances is not generally set forth as a primary benefit of activity centers. The benefits are generally to reduce pressure on downtown areas for transportation and other infrastructure, and to provide an alternative to haphazard, sprawled growth. An accompanying benefit of activity centers is hoped to be a reduction of distances necessary for various types of trips. The success of activity centers in reduction specifically of home-work trips depends upon several factors. First, success strongly depends upon how successful policies aimed at encouraging activity centers are at doing just that. If activity centers are designated post-facto, that is an area builds up due to

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42 market forces and permissive zoning and regulation, then activity centers are clearly not meaningful as a policy. Another factor is the degree to which a careful, planned approach to encouragement of complementary activity within activity centers is executed. If an activity center consists of a large regional shopping center, for example, surrounded by other smaller shopping and commercial areas, then the inward focus desired is not achieved. The scale of an activity center, if unbalanced, may be worse than random locations in terms of trip lengths. A third goes back to the distinction between land use location and location decisions within a given land use system. If activity centers grow at some distance from the center city and from each other, then even if the centers contain a good balance of activities, and people live and work at different activity centers, aggregate commutation may be greater than it would for city configurations other than polynucleated. The measurement problem as it relates to some of these land use location issues will be discussed later. It is important to appreciate, however, that the question of the travel demand implications of activity centers is a difficult one and one which has not been, and possibly cannot be, reliably quantified.

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43 Mixed Use Development Mixed use developments can be considered as being the third and smallest on a continuum, though an overlapping one, of balanced land uses within short distances, where a new town is the largest activity and activity centers are between the two. Mixed use developments are often associated with planned-unit develop-ment zoning and other "non-traditional" land use and zoning policies. Wilfred owen provides an early (1972) .list of some of the more significant examples of mixed US!=! development: The Prudential Center in Boston, Battery Park City in New York, Westmore Square in Mon. 1 1 2 th treal, and the Ala Moana Center 1n Hono u u. For e most part, the factors in-the success of these developments in relation to the objective of reduction of travel distances are similar to those for activity centers. Developments in this category, in fact, dif-fer from activity centers only in the fact that they consist of one single planned development, and so are usually at a smaller scale than activity centers. Reduction of generated trip distances has been one of the many purposes behind mixed use developments from a public policy point of view. Others include desire for tax base in competition with other govern-

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44 mental entities, and efficiency with respect to all infrastructure. These public policy objectives, along with market forces that encourage mixed use development, have combined to cause the concept to gain a great deal of momentum. In a prospective developers quest to get approvals for a large scale development, a mixed use, planned unit development (PUD) zoning concept may now be a must. A developer can by so doing demonstrate a impact on existing land uses, and can incorporate positive features for the public, including open space, and low and moderate income hous ing. PUD zoning can serve as a de case by case change from traditional exclusive zoning. This concept has great potential, if followed through by appropriate parties, in. creating jobs and residences in close proximity. Strong Regional Planning.Entities Two federal initiatives, the 1965 Federal Aid Highway Act and the 1968 beginning of the A-95 review process, created the present American system of metropolitan planning organizations, generally councils of government (COG's). The degree of power, informal influence, staffing expertise and range of issues varies among Councils of Governments across the U.S.

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COG's roles typically include the maintenance of a transportation improvement plan, but this plan may range from being a COG initiated one to being essentially a compilation of the plans of member governments. Also typical of a COG's role is population, land use, and traffic forecasting, some form of input 45 on certain decisions of regional importance, and admin-, of certain specialized programs such as car-pool services, handicapped and elderly transportation services, and technical assistance to member governments, especially smaller ones. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan council is often considered to be the strongest COG in the u.s., thus examination of the of this Council can provide an illustration of the extent of the role metropolitan government has played in transportation and specifically in efforts to reduce commuting dis-tance. One fact which separates the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Metropolitan Council is the fact that members of the Council, while appointed by the member govern-ments, are approved by the Minnesota State Senate. Members also are representatives of districts, not of governments. This distinction makes it less likely that a member government will threaten to drop out of the COG and thus exercise a de facto veto power. The

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46 Council,has seven stated responsibilities, summarized as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Preparation of a Metro Development Guide, a set of policy statements. Review of local government plans, with review power recognized by the state courts. Coordinating metro commissions and special districts. Determining what are projects of metropolitan significance. Review of grant applications. Coordination of aidfor parks and housing.3 Providing general research and assistance. Harringtonand Johnson, in their assessment of the Council entitled, Governing the Twin Cities, how-ever, conclude that, "The data suggest that the plan (of the council) to date has had little impact on growth pa_t:terns. 4 If this analysis is correct, one explanation lies in the universe of decisions over which the Coun-oil has input. This exPlanation may be even more true in the case of other COGs. Those projects for which a significance can be demonstrated may be relatively few. Though they are no doubt the most significant such projects proposed in a metropolitan area, the cumulative effect of these rela-tively few projects may not be as great as the cumulative effect of the larger number of smaller projects. An airport certainly would be seen as having a metropolitan effect and this is certainly the. case, but so

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47 does a series of office buildings that form a large concentration of employment. In the latter case, however, each office building is not seen individually as having a metropolitan impact. Equally as important as the universe of projects is the stance of the COG on each project. First, it is important that the power or influence of a COG is exercised. The regional perspective review by a COG is in itself a good thing, but not effective unless the COG has the legal authority and willingness to exercise its power and influence to the point that projects can in fact be approved, disapproved or significantly altered. Also, although a COG may be in a position to help ensure some of the measures that have been and will be discussed to reduce commuting distances, there are few if any cases where this is a stated primary objective of a COG. COG's transportation policy objectives are more likely to be of the type of encouraging ca,rpooling, encouraging mass transit, and encouraging orderly, compatible growth. Pedestrian and Bicycle Modes One argument that is being made here is that the mode choice for commutation, as measured by certain important public and private impacts, may not be as

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48 important as the distance of the trip. Pedestrian and bicycle mode choices are important exceptions to this argument, however. These modes do not share many of the negative impacts of unpleasantness of time investment, noise pollution, and energy consUmption. Some of the similar impacts do exist, namely safety and conflict with other modes. It is difficult to compare the negative impacts of non-motorized modes with motorized, but it is quite clear that overall they are far less. And there are positive impacts of these modes--recreational and health benefits. The principle.of a direct proportionality between distance and serious negative impacts does not hold true for these modes--long bicycle or pedestrian trips have less negative impacts compared with short automobile trips. The second reason why bike and pedestrian modes are exceptions to the argument relating to the relative triviality of mode choice is that these mode choices themselves bring with them a certain typical range of distances. If bike and pedestrian modes areericouraged through various facilities and programs, this is a benefit to commuters with short trip distances and so is an incentive to live and work close together. Figure 1 shows a schematic representation of perceived travel cost. To the extent that desires a bike or pedestrian mode, their distance will tend towards

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49 i I .-I 'UJ la> E-l i 'O o iS 'ro Ia> I N '.-I 0 iO Q) i .j.J 0 : o !:: s m i .j.J I Ul I .-I Cl i I l I I \ I \ !Q) .!<: \ .-I .0 '0 Q)

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50 that range, although of course location decisions are made only in part by mode desired This is one opposite effect to the disincentives discussed earlier, where it was that express bus service and expressways tend to encourage longer commuting distances. Facilities for bikes and pedestrians tend to encourage shorter commuting distances. Conversely, once one decides on the private auto as the mode for commuting, distance may be less of a factor. One might reason that if they are going to drive anyway, and pay terminal costs, marginal distances are not as important. Residency Requirements A growing number of local governments are requiring some or all government employees to live within that The limitations of such requirements relative to reduction of commuting distances can be great. If the jurisdiction is a large, sprawled city, then living on one side of it and working on the other side may involve a long trip. Many exceptions are often granted, reducing the value of this measure. Most importantly, the ability to institute such a measure is of course limited to public sector employment, and often is only a subset of this sector. Despite the

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51 fairly limited nature of the effect of those residency requirements, this is clearly a useful program towards the goal expressed herein. Credit to Developers for Trip Reduction One argument that is being made here is that mechanisms to recognize trip mileage generation reduc-tion by new developments is lacking. Too frequently such mechanisms are either treated with skepticism or ignored by reviewing agencies. The most innovative policy in this regard found in the literature is that by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT) This program will be examined as an example of an innovative approach in this area. The Los Angeles. DOT has instituted a Trip Reduction Table, whereby developers can demonstrate implementa-tion to continue throughout the life of the develop-ment, of one or more of a series of Trip Reduction 5 Measure. With the provision of these measures, a developer can reduce the predicted trip and thus the monetary assessment for roadway improvements. This is a program with great potential in trip reduction. As it relates to the theme of reduction of trip distances, however, most of the measures listed are not necessarily relevant. Measures such as carpooling,

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52 vanpooling, single driver parking surcharges, flexible work hours, transit fare subsidiaries, and preferential parking areas are all aimed at reducing number of trips; but all ignore and in some cases work as a disincentive to trip length reductions. An important point to make is that these programs are measured in terms of number of trips generated, not trip mileage generated. Some_. measures included, however, such as provision of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, do have a more direct effect on vehicle trip mileage and on commuting distances. For this reason, this program is included as an incentive program with the potential to reduce commutation distances. Downtown Housing Incentives Many cities have been involved in a range of programs to provide impetus to. creation of housing in downtown areas. Programs range in degree of commitment from provision of public housing to relaxed zoning ordinances. The objectives of this type of program usually include creation activity in downtown areas to relieve pressure on peak hour transportation to the CBD in the A.M. and out of the CBD in the P.M. peak period.

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53 Construction Of housing in downtown areas is important due to the overwhelming amount of employment in most CBDs compared to CBD residences. CBD housing is a special case in mixed use development activity center planning. Any impetus for downtown housing of whatever type has to have some effect in reduction of overall work trip distances due to the large share of employment downtown. A majority of new downtown housing units is likely to be occupied by downtown workers, thus eliminating a number of congested, traditional home-work trips into and out of the central area. The Environmental Impact Statement Process The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, including the review by interested and affected state and local agencies, has added to the potential for the comprehensive review of the impacts of major projects which fall under the National Environmental Protection Act. The fact that only projects using federal funds, and projects meeting certain other criteria, have EIS requirements limits the effectiveness of this process. Also, transportation impact is not necessarily an issue that is always analyzed, or always analyzed with sufficient completeness and .reasonableness. Despite these drawbacks, the process has opened

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54 issues that were not opened without it, and perhaps as importantly, has set up a process by which the impacts of a project can be examined from a larger perspective than might be taken by the local funding agency. The potential of this type of process as it relates more directly and consistently to the goal of decreasing trip distances will be discussed in the next chapter. Commuter Taxes Several American cities have instituted commuter taxes in some form, to require people who work in central cities but live in suburbs to pay a share for services provided by the central city. These taxes have one effect of reducing or negating the monetary advantage that could otherwise exist for these commuters Although it may not be realistic to call this type of tax an incentive to central city workers to live in the central city, they at least reduce the monetary disincentive; that is they reduce the ability of city workers to escape payment for city services by living in suburbs. This would have a tendency to reduce the long term trend towards suburban flight.

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1 2 3 4 5 55 NOTES CHAPTER IV R. Remak and S. Rosenbloom, "Implementing Packages of Congestion Reducing Techniques", National Competitive Highway Research Report 205, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 1979, pp. 58-59. Wilfred owen, The Accessible City, Washington, D.c., The Brookings Institute, 1972, pp. 52-53. John J. Harrington and William c Johnson, Govern-. ing the Twin Cities, University of Minnesota Pres.s, 1978, p.60. Ibid, p.l24. Los Angeles Coastal Transportation Corridor Specif ic Plan. Los Angeles Departments of City Planning and Transportation, 1985.

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CHAPTER V RECOMMENDATIONS Following is a series of recommended policies and policy directions which should be applied by appropriate governmental agencies. Recommendations call for changes in policy directions that are implementable over a period of time. None of the recommendations are radical changes in the sense that the public would be forced to make extreme lifestyle changes. The first and most important step at all levels .of government is the definition of the reduction of work trip distances as an important objective. Restructure Development Review Process Most of the land use policy making and decision making in the u.s. has been the responsibility of local government. There are two broad areas in which local government would need to make major changes in order to effectively pursue the goal of reduction in commuting distances.

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57 The first such area is zoning regulation and administration. The principle of large, single use zones should be reconsidered. In light of today's economic and environmental factors, the following three step approach is warranted as a reassessment: 1. What land uses are incompatible with what other land uses? Clearly smokestack industry' is incompatible with residential use. Many of the other traditionally segregated land uses do not have such a necessarily incompatible nature, however. This determination should not include the traffic generated by one land use necessarily creating an incompatible relationship with another. 2. A zoning map would be compiled reflecting the above incompatibility relationships. 3. The remainder of zoning regulations would be what can loosely be labeled as performance zoning. Performance zoning would include a whole series of criteria which a municipality may find appropriate, including conformity with adopted long range planning goals and conformity with adopted site-specific planning objectives. This would be a 'zero base' approach to zoning, whereby a rejustification process would take place to determine whether or not a municipality's large, single

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58 purpose zones are justified by tangible incompatibilities. The traffic generation traditionally held to be associated with a given square footage of a given land use should be examined more carefully. Traffic generation and the ability of the localized transportation system to absorb it should be part of the performance standard and specific review process for a development proposal. An example will help to illustrate the distinction being put forth here. Suppose a service-retail establishment, which has a relatively small market area associated with it, sought to locate in a fairly dense residential neighborhood. A laundromat would be a good example. With a traditional zoning approach_this laundromat might be required to locate on a colllll\ercial strip at the edge, or possibly out of, the residential area that is to be serviced. In this approach, the colllll\ercial strip location would be chosen to avoid the traffic impact that would be felt by a residential neighborhood close to a site inside that residential neighborhood that would be served. But the commercial strip location would have two negative effects. First, it would add to vehicular traffic generation because fewer customers would be within walking distance of the laundromat. Second, the total travel generated would be larger at this location than at a

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59 location more central to the market to be served. In general, then, the transportation impact would be greater, and the impact on residential neighborhoods would be greater, although shifted, when compared with a central residential location. The principles in this case can be applied in a general sense to zoning policy. If one land use in itself negatively impacts another land use, then this needs to be addressed in a city's general zoning map. Otherwise, the transportation impact of a project, and the potential mitigation of that impact, needs to be addressed in a site-specific, performance zoning framework. Relative to transportation, there are a series of steps in the performance review process that should be followed as appropriate. The principle of performance review is one that is already accepted by the development community. A typical example is the requirement of developers to provide a certain area of open space. It is desirable that a similar process would include the objective that is the central one being in this thesis. One element that should be applied in an appropriate manner to the development review process is a market study element, or in transportation engineering terminology, .origin-destination analysis. A marketing

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60 study, which is done in one form or another for every development project, contains information that provides a sense of the magnitude of travel generation that can be expected from a project. This element would be a development application process element similar to more traditional traffic studies in its administration. That is, this element would be required for developments of a certain size and would require meeting certain criteria, both as adopted by the municipality. This would provide the opportunity for local government to assess whether a proposed work site has a local complementary residential population to draw from and whether a proposed residential development has a local job market from which to draw. The second element needed in performance standards of development review is a system of providing credit for measures which tend to reduce work trip lengths. These credits could be applied towards project approval as well.as towards the infrastructure contribution required from the developer. These credits would be for attributes such as demonstration of complementary origins and destination within walking and bicycle distance, incentives for non-automotive modes, including facilities and design features to encourage them, and credits for mixed use development. It would become easier to receive approval, and

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61 appropriately less expensive in infrastructure assessment, for a developer to construct housing units to serve an adjacent office complex or to construct office space adjacent to a residential development._ .It would similarly facilitate the process for a developer to build a mixed use development if it could' be demonstrated that a significant number of development workers would live there and residents would work there. A third element of the process would be linkag. es between the development and its future occupants. Facilities and physical design are only a part of the reduction in trip lengths. Linkages need to be established that create and continue incentives for trip reductions throughout the life of the development. Developers could get credits for effective and creative programs by resident groups and management, and especially by employers, which create incentives and awareness for the concept of living and working close together. Certain program types that would be applicable are discussed in this.chapter, but it would also be hoped that developer incentives would encourage creative programs of different kinds. A fourth element that goes along with the development review and assessment process .deals with the distribution of developer assessment for transportation

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62 infrastructure. In general, the larger the pooling of funds that can be implemented, the more positive results towards the ultimategoal of incentive towards reduced work-trip distances. If developer assessments are applied only to a small area around a development, there is a tendency to only assess impacts on a small area. Conversely if assessments cover a larger assessment district or an entire municipality, then broader impacts are more apt to be examined. Regional Review Process As was discussed in the previous chapter, regional review and action on achieving improved land use location has been lacking. We have also seen the large share of home-work trips that cross jurisdictional borders. In light of the tremendous impact of homework trips that are inter-jurisdictional, it is clear that an analogous review process is needed at the metro-wide or regional level, even if it cannot be as -detailed or as enforceable as the one at the local level. There are four components to such a regional review process. First is the definition of land use decisions with a metropolitan impact. Some of the elements that may be chosen for such definitions might

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63 include a threshold number of dwelling units, employees, or square footage, proximity to a municipal border, or the judgement of a regional review body. It is important that the judgement ofmetro-wide significant be made broadly, and include those medium-sized developments that, although not of the scale of an airport or re9ional shopping center, combine with other nearby developments to create a major regional in aggregate. The second element is the review process. In most cases the council of governments or metropolitan planning organization would be the best coordinating agency. Although this is not a major focus of this analysis, some of the issues involved in creation of an effective metropolitan planning organization have been touched upon, and include adequate a high level of commitment and cooperation from member governments, and a less than dominant role of member mayors, city managers and county commissioners. These organizations would be the coordinating agency, but review would also take place through a clearinghouse process similar to that associated with environmental impact statement review. The third component of the review process is the content of the review. To insure that the objective of reduction of work-home trip distances is

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64 supported, two things are necessary. First, the proper agencies need to be part of the clearinghouse process, and should include any state, regional, local, or quasi-public agency that has an interest and perspective on regional transportation. Second, appropriate agencies need to clearly incorporate the goal of travel reduction and the larger impacts of a development. The fourth element is implementation or enforceability. It can be argued that the very existence of a regional review process can be effective in raising issues, increasing communications, and in widening the perspective of land use location. The environmental impact statement review process is an example of a regional review process that has had significant influence on decisions about which proposed projects are constructed. It is clear, however, that such a program would be effective correlatively to the enforceability. Enforceability can be measured in a municipality open ing up local decisions to the process, then in the enforcement of or adherence to decisions and comments raised during the process. Enforceability would require some or all of three elements: enabling legislation, local government agreement, and legislation being upheld in courts.

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65 Governmental Initiatives In addition to development review, local governments have the ability to take affirmative initiatives to reduce trip lengths. One area of government initiative should be encouragement of pedestrian and bike modes. In the short term, use of these modes reduces the impacts of commutation. In the longer run, since these modes areassociated with short commuting distances, their encouragement in turn provides an incentive for location decision towards short commuting distances. Initiatives could include increased provision and maintenance of sidewalks, bikepaths, and crosswalks, public relations initiatives, and traffic control and enforcement to aid these modes. It .is also recommended that the encouragement of these modes be one area of credit provided towards developer assessments. Other local government initiatives can take advantage of the fact that these governments themselves large employers. Local governments requiring employees to live within the municipality is one means towards the end of trip distance reductions. For employment areas with dispersed locations, for example in schools, the effort to place employees near place of residence could be increased. In general, the

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66 opportunity exists for local governments to utilize their position as a large employer to.create examples of effective and creative incentive programs for reduction of work trip distances. The first step in accomplishing this is the definition of the concept as an important goal. Local, and sometimes county, regional and state governments often find themselves in, or have opportunities to get into the .business of development. Public housing, public facilities, government office build ings, and other developments which utilize substantial government funds all create opportunities to apply the location principles that support reduction of work trip distances. Here, the concepts of mixed use development, housing near employment centers, employment near residential centers, and other opportunities discussed herein can be pursued. Once again, the first step in this pursuit is the clear definition of the importance of this objective and an awareness of the impact associated with the converse of this objective. It is often possible that an initiative such as bringing a complementary land use to a one-dimensional activity center for example, housing downtown, can spur private initiatives for similarly beneficial latid use mixes.

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67 Taxation Direct and large taxes on commuters based on the distance they travel to work may be politically and administratively infeasible in situations short of a fuel or air quality crisis. Short of such a system, however, there are a number of potential taxing schemes that have the potential of discouraging long commuting distances. Gasoline taxes are in some respects the most logical ones in their ease of collection and direct proportionality to travel. An important limitation, however, .to gasoline taxes as they relate to this theme is that they are hidden and spread over a long period in small increments. Their incentive effect is limited. Differential head taxes have the potential of creating a greater incentive in that head taxes can be clearly targeted and are not as well hidden. Head taxes within a municipality or an improvement district can be related to an place of residence relative to the workplace being targeted. Head taxes can be proportional to commuting distances, can exempt those who live close, or can use any reasonable formula, including credit for selected mode choices. Distance should, however, be the primary variable.

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68 The commuter tax concept can be similarly applied. In a typical case, a central city may levy a tax on city workers who live outside that city. A tax that goes a step further to differentiate between distances beyond the city limits would create the best incentive, but would require greater regional coopera tion and perhaps enabling legislation and favorable judicial review. An important consideration and potential limitation to these types of taxation is that taxation dealing with transportation, and particularly home-work transportation has a tendency towards regressivity. The equity issues must compete with the issue of transportation impacts, and may be a moderating consideration in the magnitude of such taxing schemes. Manpower Allocation A recommendation which is more general, but equally as important as other recommendations, is a reallocation of manpower resources. The vast majority of the effort made in the area of transportation planning, including all levels of government and consultants to government, is spent in estimating and projecting travel demand and in planning to meet that demand. If the argument is reasonable that the

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69 magnitude of demand for travel in the u.s. is the most important underlying problem in transportation, then this resource allocation is to a large degree misdi-rected. The increasing levels of sophistication in transportation planning and engineering are being di-rected for the most part in answering narrow questions. Using two extremes of breadth of issues, the transpor-tation planning field is increasingly adept at answer-ing questions like how best to move the maximum volume of.traffic along a corridor, but is not adept at answering questions like how best to minimize the negative impacts associated with travel to and from work. This disparity is owed largely to the increased number and complexity of variables associated with broader questions, but is also owed to the fact that few, if any, transportation professionals have the function of attempting to answer the broader questions. Some of the recommendations proposed here are areas that should be analyzed by transportation planners, but perhaps more importantly, the field should, be bet.ter mobilized to frame and answer questions like how to reduce trip distances to metropolitan areas.

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70 Reduction of Disincentives Recommendations aimed at reducing several of the disincentives discussed in Chapter III have already been addressed, including zoning, intergovernmental competition, and the limited scope of traffic studies. The other disincentives discussed all consist of policies which are, to varying degrees, effective in fulfilling an important objective. It is argued here that their disincentive effect should, however, be assessed, and compared with the positive effects in the determination of the extent to which the policy should be pursued.!_._ Policies which mitigate the disadvantage of living and working far apart should be evaluated for the significance of this aspect of their influence. Similarly, policies that assume that the reduction of traffic congestion at certain times is the premier goal of transportation planning should be further evaluated. If reduction of episodic congestion is successful, then it may be that total travel is increased and thus, impacts are increased.

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71 An Illustration Figure 2 provides an illustration of the effect of an employer's location decision. For this example, assume that a corporation desires to locate in a certain city. The corporation will build an office building for 1000 employees. A large number of these employees will be relocating from another city, so their choices of residences are open. We can examine three location scenarios for this firm: Location 1: Random Location Assume that the firm locates randomly with respect to employees' commuting requirements. The location choice is, of course, not truly random; it may be based on proximity to an amenity of interest to c ompany executives, may be located near other firms, or the land itself may be a particularly attractive parcel for one or more reasons. Let us further assume that this location is in a large employment area which is relatively far from major residential developments. Employees' residential location choices can be expected to be scattered throughout the city in a manner similar to the city's typical patterns. For this example, it

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FIGURE 2 Employee Trip Generation for Three Locations Location 1 1000 trips miles Location 2 3 m.1.les 300 trips 72-Location 1: random location; 20,000 miles total Location 2: near residential; 15,800 miles generation Location 3: near specifically selected residential, including aggressive trip reduction policies; 11,600 miles total generation

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is assumed that the average commuting distance is ten miles each way, or 20,000 miles of total daily travel for the firm. Location 2: Close to Residential 73 From the second location choice; assume that the firm locates in an area that has large residential neighborhoods within a two to three mile radius. Many of the employees relocating from another city can be expected to move into residences within this two to three mile radius. A few employees already living in this city may move there when they begin working at this office location and a few residents of the local neighborhood may find jobs with the firm. For this scenario let us assume that 300 employees will live within the three mile radius and will have an average one way commuting distance of three miles. The other 700 employees are assumed to live in a scattered pattern throughout the city and average 10 miles one-way commute. The total daily distance generated in this scenario is 15,800 miles.

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Location 3: Near Selected Residential, with Trip Reduction Policies 74 In this case the firm not only locates near residential neighborhoods, but selects a location with residential neighborhoods that match the income levels and certain housing preferences expressed by employees. Further, the firm provides bike and pedestrian facili-ties, and provides information and other assistance to create an incentive for employees to reside close by. In this case we will assume that 600 employees will have an average one-way commute of 3 miles, with 400 employees commuting 10 miles. In this case the total daily distance generated is 11,600 miles. One measure of the differences in the impact of commutation for the three scenarios is vehicle operating costs. If we use an average cost of vehicle operation of 2 0 cents per mile, then the total employees vehicle operating costs for a 250 day work year will be: Location 1: Location 2: Location 3: $1,000,000/year $790,000/year $580,000/year Other measures of the impact of commuting will bear a similar relationship for the three locations. The measures include cost of time for individuals, cost

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of roadway construction and maintenance for local governments, and cost of environmental impact to the community as a whole. 75 One point that can be made using this example deals with the distinction between traffic studies identifying the number of trips generated versus the total mileage generated. A traffic study by a firm at Location 1 will de.monstrate the same localized trip generation as that of the firm locating at Location 3, and each will likely be a similar amount of for transportation infrastructure improvements. The total impact on the roadway system and on traffic, however, is almost cut in half at location 3. This illustration provides an example of the importance of land use location decisions and of the further importance of individual choice within a given land us pattern. It also demonstrates the potential importance of traffic studies taking a broad view and providing incentives for travel reduction. The Measurement Problem There are difficulties associated with measuring both the problem of long home-work trips and the effectiveness of reduction measures. that are not specific to a small area are difficult to measure.

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76 Many of the changes recommended here are long range ones whereby measurable travel changes take place over a long period. Since many of these policies are both long ranging and geographically broag, not only is the data collection aspect of measurement extensive, but also a large array of variables come into play and so it is difficult to isolate that which is desired to be measured. Also, those that involve behavioral changes are especially,difficult ones for which to project measurements into the future. Computer demand models, the principal quantitative tools used in transportation planning, are much better equipped to forecast changes in demand caused by a new roadway as compared with forecasting changes associated with a policy that creates an incentive or eliminates a disincentive. The basic process used in demand modeling is first to calibrate input data to replicate current counted traffic flows. Parameters such as trip generation rates and friction (measuring the attraction of one traffic analysis zone to another zone) are fixed based on present day calibration. A typical use of.the model is then to test the addition of a roadway or a change in land use. These changes can be easily tested by making appropriate changes in socioeconomic and roadway network data impacts. Incentives and disincentives to location

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77 decisions influencing trip distances are not accounted for. Testing of these types of future changes would require adjustments in parameters such as friction factors. Unlike changes in, for example, population or roadway laneages, friction factors do not have a readily quantifiable, documentable aspect. This difficulty in measurement may have a direct effect on resource allocation decisions. Politicians and administrators alike are more apt to support programs of which the results can be measured and clearly demonstrated. Recommendations to improve this situation are twofold. First, some of the traditional measurement techniques should be expanded or altered to better reflect the important subtleties of travel demand, and to measure demand at a scale which adequately reflects total impacts. Behavior can be measured through selected studies. Before and after studies can provide estimated calibration of the impact of many incentive and disincentive programs. Computer modeling can reflect greater sensitivity to gravity model parameters or friction factors. The importance of nonlocal measurements for site specific traffic studies has been discussed; travel distance generated, not only number of trips generated, should be looked at. In general, measurement techniques need to be

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77 decisions influencing trip distances are not easily accounted for. Testing of these types of future changes would require adjustments in parameters such as friction factors. Unlike changes in, for example, population or roadway laneages, friction factors do not have a readily quantifiable, documentable aspect. This difficulty in measurement may have a di-rect effect on resource allocation decisions. Politicians and administrators alike are more apt to support programs of which the results can be measured and clearly demonstrated. Recommendations to improve this situation are twofold. First, some of the traditional measurement techniques should be expanded or altered to better reflect the important subtleties of travel demand, and to measure demand at a scale which adequately reflects total impacts. Behavior can be measured through selected origin-destination studies. Before and after studies can provide estimated calibration of the impact of many incentive and disincentive programs. Computer modeling can reflect greater sensitivity to gravity model parameters or friction factors. The importance of nonlocal measurements for site specifictraffic studies has been discussed; travel distance generated, not only number of trips generated, should be looked at. In general, measurement techniques need to be

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pursued and improved that measure that which is the total impact of travel, not only that which is more easily measured because of its specificity. 78 The second recommendation regarding measurement is to beware of the trap of having a bias toward doing that which can most easily be demonstrated to have a positive impact. Those policies which logically and intuitively have a positive impact, but which may be more difficult to monitor, measure, and demonstrate, q still be pursued. Often, in fact, it is policies of this type that have the greatest long term, positive impact.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. American Institute of Planners and Motor Vehicle Manufacturers of the u.s., Factbook, 1974. 79 2. Barton-Aschman Associates, Inc., Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes, Federal Highway Association, 1981. 3. John J. Harrington and William c. Johnson, Governing the Twin cities, University of Minnesota Press, 1978. 4. Otto T. Johnson, Editor, 1986 Information Please Almanac, New York, Houghton Miflin Co., 1985. 5. R. K. Kumar and F. F. Saccromanco, "The Impact of Population Structural Changes on Future Urban Travel Patterns", Compendium of Technical Papers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1985. 6. Herbert s. Levinson, "The 21st Century Metropolis: A Land Use and Transportation Perspective", Institute of Transportation Engineering Journal, 1981. 7. Los Angeles Coastal Transportation Corridor Specific Plan, Los Angeles Department of City Plan ning and Transportation, 1985. 8. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, Facts and Figures, 1982. 9. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, World Motor Vehicle Data, 1982. 10. Wilfred Owen, The Accessible City, Washington, D.c., The Brookings Institute, 1972. 11. R. Remak and s. Rosenbloom, "Implementing Packages of Congestion Reducing Techniques", National cooperative Highway Research Report 205, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 1979. 12. Frank Spielbe-rg and Steve Andria, "The Next Ten Years", Compendium of Technical Papers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1985. 13. u.s. Bureau of census, General Social and Economic Characteristics, 1980.