Land Use/Transportation Data & Tools
The Office of Sustainable Community Planning has initiated, funded, and coordinated several studies and related efforts regarding housing, land use and transportation coordination, smart growth (including transit-oriented development and urban/suburban infill land uses), and the development of models and tools for assessing such strategies. A brief description of each of these, along with website links, are provided below.
Effective land use/transportation planning requires the ability to estimate the benefits and impacts of various choices, including those regarding “smart growth” and “sustainable communities” strategies (such as urban infill, mixed-use, transit-oriented development, complete streets, etc.). This project obtained and analyzed available data on quantitative relationships between the built environment and travel in various areas of California. It also incorporated the results into tools that regional agencies, Caltrans Districts, and cities & counties throughout California can use in land use-transportation planning processes, such as:
- Regional Plans: Blueprints; SB375-required Sustainable Communities Strategies and Regional Transportation Plans
- Local Government Plans: General, Specific Community, Infill, and Transit-Oriented Development Plans
The products that this project provided allow decision makers to consider potential effects of transportation and land use choices in a more consistent and supportable way than was previously possible. Overall, this project contributes to better-informed decisions resulting in more efficient land use and transportation systems with fewer impacts and greater benefits; resulting in more “livable” and “sustainable” communities. Additional information about this project is provided in a one-page
Trip-Generation Rates for "Smart Growth" Land Uses in California
In order to prepare traffic impact analyses of proposed land use development projects, professionals often rely on the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ (ITE) published trip generation rates. However, ITE data typically reflects isolated suburban development that lacks transit service as well as adequate pedestrian and bicycle facilities. As a result, the use of ITE trip-generation rates to analyze proposed development projects located in existing urban infill areas tends to significantly over-predict vehicular traffic impacts and underestimate trips made by transit, walking, and bicycling. In 2004, Caltrans initiated a major effort to provide multi-modal trip generation rates data for urban infill and other "smart growth" development projects in California. This effort has resulted in the following products:
1) Smart Growth Trip-Generation Rates Data and Adjustment Method
2) California Urban Infill Trip-Generation Rates Study
a) Phase 1 Report: Data Collection Methodology and Pilot Application (2008)
This report describes results of the first phase of this effort. In this phase, a methodology for selecting and studying infill land uses was developed and described, and 13 initial sites were studied using this methodology.
b) Final Summary Report: Trip-Generation Rates for Urban Infill Sites in California (July 2009)
This Final report summarizes the study's methodology, presents and analyzes trip-generation rates data for 26 urban infill sites in California, provides details regarding techniques and costs of collecting and analyzing data, and other related information.
c) Trip Generation Rates for Urban Infill Land Uses in CA - ITE Journal, June 2009*
d) Transit-Oriented Developments Produce Fewer Auto Trips" - ITE Journal, June 2009*
*(c) 2009 Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1627 Eye Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006 USA, www.ite.org. Used by permission.
- Assessment of Local Models and Tools for Analyzing Smart-Growth Strategies–-Final Report (2007)
Cities and counties use travel models and other analytical tools to assess the benefits and impacts of local land use plans, transportation improvements, and proposals for development projects. This report assesses the ability of available models and tools to adequately analyze “smart-growth” land use and transportation strategies (such as infill, mixed land uses, transit-oriented development, etc.). It also suggests ways that models and tools could be improved or enhanced.
- Assessment of Integrated Transportation/Land Use Models–Final Report (2006)
This study explored several new “Integrated” (land use/economic/transportation) models and assessed whether and how they can improve the ability to understand benefits and impacts of a variety of transportation, economic, and land use strategies. The results of this effort led to a Caltrans-funded feasibility study of the potential implementation of a statewide Integrated model for interregional analyses (that will be completed in 2009).
- Transit-Oriented Development and Household Travel: A Study Of California Cities (2006)
Transit-oriented developments (TODs) are areas within a half-mile of rail stops or quarter-mile of bus transit hubs with fairly high development density, availability of shops and services, good pedestrian amenities, and direct access to the transit station. This report describes the results of an in-depth assessment of relationships between various types and locations of TODs (in the SF Bay Area and San Diego areas) and the amounts and modes of travel by residents and workers.
For more information, contact the Smart Mobility Branch in the Office of Sustainable Community Planning.