Representing pedestrian activity in travel demand models: Framework and application

There have long been calls for better pedestrian planning tools within travel demand models, as they have been slow to incorporate the large body of research connecting the built environment and walking behaviors. Most regional travel demand forecasting performed in practice in the US uses four-step travel demand models, despite advances in the development and implementation of activity-based travel demand models. This paper introduces a framework that facilitates the abilities of four-step regional travel models to better represent walking activity, allowing metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to implement these advances with minimal changes to existing modeling systems. Specifically, the framework first changes the spatial unit from transportation analysis zones (TAZs) to a finer-grained geography better suited to modeling pedestrian trips. The MPO's existing trip generation models are applied at this spatial unit for all trips. Then, a walk mode choice model is used to identify the subset of all trips made by walking. Trips by other modes are aggregated to the TAZ level and proceed through the remaining steps in the MPO's four-step model. The walk trips are distributed to destinations using a choice modeling approach, thus identifying pedestrian trip origins and destinations. In this paper, a proof-of-concept application is included to demonstrate the framework in successful operation using data from the Portland, Oregon, region. Opportunities for future work include more research on the potential routes between origins and destinations for walk trips, application of the framework in another region, and developing ways the research could be implemented in activity-based modeling systems.


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  • Accession Number: 01599415
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 6 2016 9:27AM