Presentations on planning processes and planning capacity for livable communities, context-sensitive solutions, multimodal access, and smart mobility.
Won’t You Be My [Transit-Friendly] Neighbor[hood]?: Analyzing High-Propensity Users in Transit-Friendly Neighborhoods in Greater Los Angeles and the Bay Area
Julene Paul, University of California, Los AngelesShow Abstract
Brian Taylor, University of California, Los Angeles
Evelyn Blumenberg, University of California, Los Angeles
Public transit ridership has been falling in the U.S. In California ridership has declined despite substantial new capital investments, a troubling trend. One explanation for the decline is gentrification – which implies (among other things) a shift in the residents of transit-friendly neighborhoods toward those less likely to ride. We analyze Census data on characteristics associated with transit riders—poor people, immigrants, and zero-vehicle households—and data on transit supply and urban form to analyze changes in the residents in transit-friendly neighborhoods in Greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2000. While both Greater LA and the Bay Area are home to numerous transit-friendly neighborhoods, they are changing in ways more favorable to public transit in the Bay Area, and less favorable in Greater LA. First, both poverty and zero-vehicle households – both associated with frequent transit use – have decreased much more in Greater LA’s neighborhoods than in the Bay Area. Second, the share of Latin American immigrants – also historically frequent transit riders – has declined in the neighborhoods in both regions, especially Greater LA. Third, among neighborhoods with many zero-vehicle households, the number we classify as Car-less (where economic hardship limits auto ownership) substantially outnumber the neighborhoods we classify as Car-free (where people can afford but do not own autos), again particularly in Greater LA. Finally, the number of Car-free household neighborhoods is increasing, most notably in the Bay Area. These divergent trends suggest very different challenges to increasing transit use in transit-friendly neighborhoods in these regions.
MPO Transportation Funding for Livable Communities: A Review of National MPO Programs
Amanda Dillon, University of UtahShow Abstract
Reid Ewing, University of Utah
Fariba Siddiq, University of California, Los Angeles
Fatemeh Kiani, University of Utah
Throughout the United States, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are increasingly involved in local land use planning. Some MPOs have developed funding programs that divert highway and road construction dollars to local municipalities to support the planning and development of more livable communities which we call transportation and land-use connection (TLC) programs. Through a survey of 402 MPOs and review of documents, this research aims to find out the scope and reach of these TLC programs, the impacts of the programs on their communities and how the impact is measured. Based on a 23 percent response rate, we found that twenty-four TLC programs exist around the country. The majority of funding comes from federal sources, but state, county, local, and other regional agencies also provide support. The median grant size varies among MPO. A majority of programs do not directly measure the impact of their funding. Instead, program selection criteria reflecting program goals often function as a pre-implementation success measurement. For those that do measure after grants have been awarded, increase in non-automobile shares in the project area, increased tax revenue in project areas, and increase in jobs-housing balance were the most common ways success was measured. The findings of this study could help MPOs that have TLC programs at present to formulate guidelines for improving their programs. The MPOs that currently do not have programs could also benefit from the information in adopting such programs in their jurisdictions.
Assessing Community Readiness for Smart Mobility: Development of an Assessment Tool and Case Study Application
Janey Camp, Vanderbilt UniversityShow Abstract
Craig Philip, Vanderbilt University
Aaron Niederman, Vanderbilt University
Susan Marlow, Stantec
Peter Westerholm, Greater Nashville Regional Council
Yeatland Wong, Stantec
As technology continues to expand and improve and “Smart City” initiatives become ever more present, many communities and regions are struggling to understand prepare for the future of “Smart Mobility”. Central to this effort is a need to assess a community’s present status as well as its readiness to embrace and adopt “smart mobility” advancements to inform planning, policies, and investment. To date, limited information and tools exists that would facilitate such an assessment. Therefore, the authors have developed the Smart Mobility Readiness Profile Tool to help communities evaluate their level of readiness. As part of the process, the concept of smart mobility was defined and an assessment methodology developed. Here, we present both the approach and the resulting Smart Mobility Readiness Profile Tool with a case-study demonstration of the tool’s use. The case study application is focused on the seven county Greater Nashville Metropolitan Planning region. When applied to this region, the level of readiness parallels a pattern of preparedness which aligns with population growth projections indicating that readiness is being tied through policies, programs, and investment in technologies with a forward-looking lens of preparation. A key consideration in the approach was account for the fact that there is no “one-size fits all” level of readiness for communities because each community has its own needs and challenges when considering target levels and achievability for smart mobility readiness. For example, rural communities do not need the same level of readiness as a metropolitan area as reflected in the case study.
Almost Automating the Planner: Florida Department of Transportation’s Approach to Understanding Places Through Context Classification
Margaret Kent, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI)Show Abstract
Jean Parlow, Florida Department of Transportation
Deborah Chesna, Florida Department of Transportation
DeWayne David Carver, Florida Department of Transportation
Patty Hurd, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI)
Jane Lim-Yap, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI)
Context-based thinking is a transportation planning and design approach that aims to create infrastructure that serves diverse places and users. In Florida, context-based design is the approach Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has taken to implement its Statewide Complete Streets policy. FDOT intends to use the context of a roadway to better tailor design and planning solutions for the roadway, thereby putting the “right street in the right place.” To this end, FDOT developed a context classification system and guidance document for project corridors and has since applied the classification effort to the entire state road network. This paper shares a method that two FDOT districts, District One and District Five, used to accomplish their districtwide context classification efforts. The method leverages geographic information systems (GIS) to appropriately segment the road network, analyze connectivity, land use, and density measures, and evaluate the context classification for all state roads within each district. The resulting database is regularly updated using a GIS-based tool and serves as a rich source of information for FDOT and partner agency planners and designers.
Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Multimodal Strategies That Advance Access to All: A Local Practitioner’s Perspectives and Experiences
Huiliang Liu, City of AuroraShow Abstract
Mac Callison, City of Aurora
Tom Worker-Braddock, City of Aurora
Improvements in multimodal and pedestrian and bicycle facilities, are very important to provide safe and convenient access and mobility to all users, especially for the vulnerable populations. Multimodal and active transportation improvements have also been an important factor in place making and economic development. Researchers have established that there is a positive correlation among property values, place making and active transportation improvements. Active transportation also facilitate a healthy and active life style. However, due to the prevalent focus of accommodating the automobile travel mode for many years in the US, especially in suburban areas, the multimodal and active transportation infrastructure have been significantly inadequate, incomplete and disconnected. Missing or very narrow sidewalks in residential neighborhoods or attached to arterial roads with high speed and high traffic volumes; and super blocks with no safe crossings; are all common urban forms in many of the cities and towns in the US. These development practices have led to dismal mode share for multimodal and active transportation in our transportation system. Continued and systematic efforts by local governments in improving multimodal and active transportation infrastructure through land use planning, zoning code specifications, development of pertinent street design standards, and deployment of capital improvement programs are critical for providing a safe, convenient, complete and connected travel environment for pedestrians, bicyclist and transit customers. This paper discusses various policies, tools, strategies, innovative ideas and approaches, processes and design solutions undertaken by the City of Aurora, Colorado, in advancing access and mobility to all users.
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