Evaluation of Operation and Accuracy of Available Smart Growth Trip Generation Methodologies for Use in California

It is well known that a standard application of the ITE trip rates for an area with many smart growth characteristics will result in an overestimation of the number of trips generated. No commonly agreed on methodology in the United States for estimating trip generation takes into account the smart growth characteristics of a land use development project. Several methods have been recently proposed as incremental advancements toward developing such a methodology. This paper identifies eight available methodologies, five of which are appropriate for use in California. The five candidate methods are compared with the traditional ITE trip generation method in a two-part assessment. The first part involves evaluating the methods against a variety of operational criteria developed through discussions with a panel of transportation practitioners. The second part involves testing the accuracy of the methods by comparing the predictions of the various methods against available traffic counts and other data at 22 California sites that contain at least some characteristics of smart growth. On the basis of the evaluation, the authors conclude that all five methods have advantages and disadvantages and that while no single method emerged as the best for use in smart growth development projects, all methods appear to be more accurate at predicting the number of trips generated than standard application of the ITE base rates. Furthermore, this analysis focuses on candidate methods deemed appropriate for use in California, but this research has value and potential implications for smart growth transportation planning efforts outside California.


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  • Accession Number: 01373298
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309263047
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 12-3949
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2012 5:20PM