Relationships Among Development Patterns, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Energy Consumption

Consistent with the congressional request in Section 1827 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the study will consider: (1) the correlation, if any, between land-development patterns and increases in vehicle miles traveled; (2) whether petroleum use in the transportation sector can be reduced through changes in the design of development patterns; and (3) the potential benefits of: (a)Information and education programs for state and local officials (including planning officials) on the potential for energy savings through planning, design, development, and infrastructure decisions; (b) Incorporation of location efficiency models in transportation infrastructure planning and investments; and (c) Transportation policies and strategies to help transportation planners manage the demand for and the number and length of vehicle trips, including trips that increase the viability of other means of travel. The study will also describe development patterns in the context of past trends and projections and the role of factors influencing residential location decisions other than optimizing transportation. In addition, the study will review the institutional mismatches that exist at the state, regional, and local level between agencies responsible for land use decisions and those responsible for transportation investments. Finally, the study will offer estimates of the potential energy conservation benefits of changes in vehicular energy efficiency and land use changes and the likely time period over which they might occur.