February 4

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Trip Generation for Smart Growth Projects in California

By Mike Spack

February 4, 2015

Data Collection, Development, Smart Growth, Trip Generation

Researchers at UC Davis have published an interesting article on “smart growth” trip generation (what a great term folks coined, it implies everything else is “dumb growth”).  Check it out HERE.

The methodology looks sound, and is typical of late, picks on ITE’s Trip Generation data.  Below is a chart from the Access Magazine article that highlights how ITE’s data overestimates trips.

The researchers develop intricate, statistically based algorithms for reducing ITE’s trip generation rates based on several “smart growth” related variables (I couldn’t get their spreadsheet to give me reductions – all of my developments weren’t smart enough).

BUT, maybe the authors missed something in their study.  I would have liked them to apply the same data collection methodology to 20 “dumb growth” sites in addition to the 20 “smart growth” sites.  It is possible the ITE rates are just too high across the board in California, whether for smart or dumb growth developments.

The results of the study do underscore our industry needs to collect more localized data as the foundation for our traffic forecasting.

ITE vs Smart Growth Trip Generation Rates

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Mike Spack

My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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