Incorporating Livability and the Urban Form into Travel Demand Forecasting Models in High Growth Rural and Small Urban Communities

There are many decision makers in rural and small urban communities experiencing dramatic population growth need sound estimates of future traffic in order to set land use and transportation policies. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) of major metropolitan areas have dedicated staff that build and run travel demand forecasting models (TDFM) costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. TDFMs provide current and future traffic estimates based on different land use and infrastructure improvement scenarios. Rural areas cannot afford these full models and rely on a very simple TDFM (the rapid assessment model) built once every five to ten years (or not at all). The rapid assessment model could be improved to incorporate aspects so that future traffic estimates are sensitive to livability policies and programs. One such effort involved adding sensitivity to urban form (Berger and McGowen, in prep). It is known that citizens travel differently when urban form changes (i.e., increased mixed land use and higher densities). Rapid assessment models, typically used in rural and small urban communities, utilize a basic model structure and factors based on national data; this approach is thought to ignore urban form. McGowen and Berger have developed and implemented a modified rapid assessment model that is relatively easy to implement, uses existing data and is sensitive to urban form. Building on the McGowen-Berger model, the urban form sensitivity will be further refined by "ground-truthing" with data for the case study in the Greater Bozeman Area TDFM. Additionally, other livability metrics will be incorporated such as bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and sidewalk connectivity.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC    20590
  • Project Managers:

    Tucker-Thomas, Dawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    Western Transportation Institute

    Montana State University
    P.O. Box 174250
    Bozeman, MT  United States  59717-4250
  • Principal Investigators:

    McGowen, Pat

  • Start Date: 20140701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20151231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37410

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01541908
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Western Transportation Institute
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC46
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 29 2014 1:00AM