Towards the Perfect Travel Forecast- Revisited

Twenty years ago the transportation profession was concerned about the quality of traffic forecasting data that are used as a basis for multi-million dollar investment decisions. As a result, a major research study was conducted by NCHRP entitled “Highway Traffic Data for Urbanized Area Project Planning and Design” (NCHRP Report 255). In the intervening years, the quality and efficiency of travel forecasts has improved somewhat, but decision-makers still make expensive judgments based upon specious travel data. With the advent of high-speed computers and impressive travel forecasting graphics, it is easy to make any data look good. This paper, by an author of the original NCHRP Report, provides a review of lessons learned in the pursuit of the perfect traffic forecast. It revisits many of the key issues associated with trying to produce effective forecasts for both highway and transit planning. Unfortunately, many of the issues are still with us today. Among the topics that the paper addresses include the level of detail inherent in computer travel forecasts, the limitations of quality land-use forecasts, pitfalls in using forecasts for corridor and small-area planning, the wide variation in data available for model validation, and the lack of attention to post-processing of travel forecast output data.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: CD-ROM; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p
  • Monograph Title: ITE 2005 Annual Meeting and Exhibit Compendium of Technical Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01006767
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1933452080
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 28 2005 2:07PM