Impacts of Compact Development Density on Travel Demand: A Scenario-Based Analysis in Hamilton County, Ohio, U.S.

Popular wisdom suggests that higher-density, more compact development patterns could reduce vehicle miles traveled and thus are beneficial in relieving urban transportation. However, there is a significant concern whether more compact development exacerbates traffic congestion due to concentration of activities resulting from compact development. To investigate that problem, this paper studies how compact development density affects regional travel demand. In this study, the quantitative relationship between high density land use and travel demand are analyzed by using the global positioning system (GPS)-based Household Travel Survey (HTS) data obtained in 2009-2010 in Hamilton County, Ohio, along with and the County land use data for year 2010 as the baseline. Firstly, a set of scenarios of different compact development densities are developed by shifting a proportion of population and employment from the suburban and rural areas to the urban area. Then, the travel demand of each scenario is modeled with a conventional four-step model. Finally, the quantitative relationships between the compact development density and travel demand are presented. The study results indicate that the higher-density development results in increased number of trips and shorter trip length, and reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT); however, with the growth of urban density, the travel time index, total delay and vehicle hours traveled (VHT) firstly decrease, and then increase. If compact development density exceeds the density threshold, more congestions are produced and roadway travel times become longer. The results from study hold important implications for urban transportation planning with goals such as congestion relief.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADD30 Standing Committee on Transportation and Land Development.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Zuo, Ting
    • Wei, Heng
    • Liu, Hao
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2016


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 95th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01593731
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 16-4135
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 16 2016 9:35AM