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Travel impacts of mixed land use neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington McCormack, Edward ; Rutherford, G Scott ; Wilkinson, Martina G

By: McCormack, EdwardContributor(s): Rutherford, G Scott | Wilkinson, Martina GPublication details: Transportation Research Record, 2001Description: nr 1780, s. 25-32Subject(s): USA | Land use | Residential area | Place of work | Shopping centre | Measurement | Journey time | Vehicle kilometer | Impact study | 10 | 11Bibl.nr: VTI P8167:1780Location: Abstract: In response to suburban transportation problems, developers and planners have suggested that mixing land uses can reduce automobile dependency by making more goods and services available within walking, biking, and short driving distances. This view has resulted in a neotraditional planning movement that promotes neighborhoods designed with traditional characteristics including a mix of land uses. However, few studies have empirically explored the transportation implications for these neighborhoods. This issue is addressed by using a travel diary collected in three greater Seattle area neighborhoods characterized by neotraditional neighborhood elements including mixed land use. These data were compared with those collected in an identical diary from individuals throughout the region. It was found that residents of the mixed land use study neighborhoods in Seattle traveled 28% fewer kilometers (miles) than residents in adjacent areas and up to 120% fewer kilometers than residents in suburban areas. This trend of lower travel distances held across different socioeconomic characteristics. However, the differences in travel distances among the areas were not seen when travel time was considered. The daily travel time was about 90 min/person (including walking), regardless of where that person lived and that person's socioeconomic status. One implication of this finding is that if a neotraditional neighborhood development does make shopping and other chores less time-consuming, there may simply be more time in the travel budget for additional regional travel. This suggests that travel from the neotraditional neighborhoods needs to be examined in a regional context.
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In response to suburban transportation problems, developers and planners have suggested that mixing land uses can reduce automobile dependency by making more goods and services available within walking, biking, and short driving distances. This view has resulted in a neotraditional planning movement that promotes neighborhoods designed with traditional characteristics including a mix of land uses. However, few studies have empirically explored the transportation implications for these neighborhoods. This issue is addressed by using a travel diary collected in three greater Seattle area neighborhoods characterized by neotraditional neighborhood elements including mixed land use. These data were compared with those collected in an identical diary from individuals throughout the region. It was found that residents of the mixed land use study neighborhoods in Seattle traveled 28% fewer kilometers (miles) than residents in adjacent areas and up to 120% fewer kilometers than residents in suburban areas. This trend of lower travel distances held across different socioeconomic characteristics. However, the differences in travel distances among the areas were not seen when travel time was considered. The daily travel time was about 90 min/person (including walking), regardless of where that person lived and that person's socioeconomic status. One implication of this finding is that if a neotraditional neighborhood development does make shopping and other chores less time-consuming, there may simply be more time in the travel budget for additional regional travel. This suggests that travel from the neotraditional neighborhoods needs to be examined in a regional context.

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