Evaluating the Impact of Local Actions on Vehicle Miles Traveled: Case Study in Davis, CA

The proposed project will bring the methods of program evaluation to the field of transportation policy, evaluating the effect on vehicle miles traveled of three local changes to the land use-transportation system in Davis, California. The three changes are the opening of the first big box store in Davis, the opening of an innovative mixed-use development, and a vehicle lane reduction/bicycle lane addition project on a major arterial road adjacent to downtown. The research design proposed for all three evaluations is a before/after data collection approach with treatment and control groups where feasible. This proposal covers the second year of a four-year project. The project will make two important contributions: it will be a test bed and model for before/after program evaluation in transport planning, and the results will provide much-needed evidence of the relative vehicle miles of travel (VMT) reduction potential of different local actions.