Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Selected References Evaluating the Relationships Between Travel and Land Use

May 11-12, 1999 Denver, Colorado

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Summary Studies and Literature Reviews

  3. Individual Studies

prepared for
U.S. Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning and Environment
Washington, D.C. 20590

prepared by
Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
150 CambridgePark Drive, Suite 4000
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140

1. Introduction

A fundamental purpose of the Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) Pilot Program is to investigate, as well as address, the relationships between transpor-tation and community and system preservation. Each TCSP Pilot Program grant, therefore, includes the provision for a significant evaluation component for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness of the project strategy in meeting TCSP goals and objectives. The evaluations are intended to contribute to an improved understanding of the complex relationships between transportation and land use. The resulting knowledge base then can be used by other public and private organizations throughout the country in designing and i mplementing programs having similar objectives.

This document identifies and summarizes selected references assessing the interrelationships between land use patterns and travel behavior. The references, in particular, focus on devel-opment patterns that can be characterized as, "smart growth," and thus consistent with the objective of, "transportation and community and system preservation." Many of the factors and outcomes considered in the identified studies are similar to those that that can be expected to exist for projects that either are or could be funded through the TCSP Pilot Program.

The cited references do not represent a comprehensive bibliography. Rather, they are a sample of recent work. Where the references contained in the December 1998 Evaluation Guidance address data collection and evaluation methodologies, the references included in this report describe actual evaluation results.

The studies investigate relationships between land use factors - such as population density, pedestrian friendly urban design, and mix of land use types - and travel impacts, including total trips by mode, mode split, or vehicle-miles of travel. These travel impacts, in turn, influence environmental impacts, fiscal impacts, and other factors that can be affected by land use and development patterns.

The studies illustrate research methods and issues to consider in undertaking an evaluation program for TCSP grant projects. They also illustrate the limitations of current knowledge of the impacts of TCSP-type strategies. While research to date provides valuable insight into the effects of alternative community development patterns, the currently available research also leaves many questions unanswered and in some cases yields conflicting results. The TCSP evaluations, therefore, are intended to enhance the state of knowledge of the likely travel and other impacts associated with these types of programs.

The references contained in Section 2 represent reviews and syntheses of TCSP-relevant literature, summarizing the results of other research. In contrast, the references contained in Section 3 present the results of either empirical or analytical investigations directly undertaken by the indi-vidual authors. A full bibliographic reference is given for each entry, along with a brief sum-mary of the contents and a location where a copy of the full document can be obtained. An electronic source is cited where possible.

Return to Top

2. Summary Studies and Literature Reviews



Cervero, Robert (1997). Urban Design Issues Related to Transportation Modes, Designs and Services for Neo-Traditional Developments. Remarks presented at the Urban Design, Telecommunication and Travel Forecasting Conference, August 1997. Internet:

Includes an overview of recent studies by the speaker and other researchers on the impacts of transit-oriented development or traditional neigh-borhood design on travel behavior.

Day, Lisa G. (1997). Urban Design, Telecommunication and Travel Forecasting Conference: Summary, Recommendations and Compendium of Papers. Prepared for the Travel Model Improvement Program, August 1997. Internet:

Includes papers and remarks by experts in the land use and transportation areas.

Handy, Susan (1996). Methodologies for Exploring the Link Between Urban Form and Travel Behavior. Transportation Research D, Vol. 1 No. 2.

Reviews alternative approaches for exploring the link between urban form and travel behavior; out-lines issues and complexities that this research must address.

Hess, Paul; Anne-Vernez Moudon, Mary C. Snyder, and Kiril Stanilov (1999). Site Design and Pedestrian Travel. Presented at the 1999 Transportation Research Board Conference, Washington, D.C. (Paper #990424).

Summarizes the findings of research regarding the relationship between site design and pedestrian travel in mixed-use, medium-density environ-ments. Also, compares pedestrian volumes in 12 neighborhood commercial centers in the central Puget Sound region to evaluate the effects of block sizes and sidewalk completeness.

Ocken, Rebecca (1993). Site Design and Travel Behavior: A Bibliography. Prepared for 1,000 Friends of Oregon. Internet:

Contains a bibliography of books, reports, and arti-cles pertaining to transportation and land use.

Rutherford, G. Scott; Edward McCormack and Martina Wilkinson (1997). Travel Impacts of Urban Form: Implications from an Analysis of Two Seattle Area Travel Diaries. Presented at the Urban Design, Telecommunication and Travel Forecasting Conference, August 1997. Internet:

Summarizes findings of other studies on travel impacts of mixed-use neighborhoods and neotra-ditional design patterns. Also, using travel diaries, compares travel behavior of residents of mixed-use neighborhoods with behavior of residents in neighborhoods with more homogenous land use patterns.

Steiner, Ruth L (1994). Residential Density and Travel Patterns: Review of the Literature. Transportation Research Record 1466.

Explores several areas of literature to better under-stand the interaction between the household in high-density residential areas, the land-use char-acteristics of the area, and the transportation choices of households.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (1996). Transit, Urban Form, and the Built Environment: A Summary of Knowledge. TCRP Project H-1: Transit and Urban Form.

Synthesizes findings and conclusions on how urban form influences transit demand and on how transit influences land use.

Transportation Research Record Nos. 1466 and 1452.

Contain various studies on land use and travel behavior relationships.

Return to Top

3. Individual Studies



Boarnet, Marlon G. and Sharon Sarmiento (1998). Can Land-use Policy Really Affect Travel Behavior? A Study of the Link between Non-work Travel and Land-use Characteristics. Urban Studies, Vol. 35 No. 7.

Tests the hypothesis that land use patterns affect non-work trip generation rates using a regression analysis, using travel diary data for southern California.

Cambridge Systematics, with Hague Consulting Group; Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Calthorpe Associates (1991, 1993). Making the Land Use Transportation Air Quality Connection: Modeling Practices (Vol. 1); Model Modifications: The Pedestrian Environment (Vol. 4A). 1,000 Friends of Oregon. Internet:

Describes modeling of alternative development and land use patterns using regional travel demand models.

Cervero, Robert (1989). Jobs-Housing Balancing and Regional Mobility. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 55 (Spring 1989): 136-150.

Examines impacts of spatial mismatch of jobs and affordable housing in the suburbs on sprawl, con-gestion, air pollution, and energy depletion.

Cervero, Robert and Carolyn Radisch (1996). Travel Choice in Pedestrian Versus Automobile-Oriented Neighborhoods. Transport Policy Vol. 3, No. 3.

Compares modal splits between two neighbor-hoods in the San Francisco Bay area, to examine the influence of the built environment on both work and non-work travel.

Cervero, Robert and Kara Kockelman (1997). Travel Demand and the 3Ds: Density, Diversity, and Design. Transportation Research D, Vol. 2, No. 3.

Examines the impact of land use variables, including density, diversity, and pedestrian-oriented design, on trip rates and non-auto travel.

Cervero, Robert and Roger Gorham (1995). Commuting in Transit Versus Automobile Neighborhoods. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 61 No. 2.

Discusses a matched-pair study comparing mode shares and total trips in auto vs. transit-oriented neighborhoods.

Crane, R. and R. Crepeau (1998). Does Neighborhood Design Influence Travel? A Behavioral Analysis of Travel Diary and GIS Data. Transportation Research D, Vol. 3, No. 4.

Using data from San Diego, compares the impacts of land use and street network design characteris-tics on travel behavior.

Dunphy, Robert and Kimberly Fisher (1996). Transportation, Congestion, and Density: New Insights. Transportation Research Record 1552.

Compares VMT vs. local population density using NPTS and census data.

Ewing, Reid (1995). Beyond Density, Mode Choice, and Single-Purpose Trips. Transportation Quarterly, Fall 1995.

Investigates the independent effects of land use variables, including regional accessibility, local density, and mix of uses, on household travel behavior.

Ewing, Reid, MaryBeth DeAnna, and Shi-Chiang Li (1996). Land Use Impacts on Trip Generation Rates. Transportation Research Record, No. 1518, July 1996.

Using data from Florida's travel surveys, examines the impact of residential density, mixed use, and accessibility on household trip rates.

Frank, Lawrence and Gary Pivo (1994). Impacts of Mixed Use and Density on Utilization of Three Modes of Travel: Single-Occupant Vehicle, Transit, and Walking. Transportation Research Record 1466.

Using Seattle travel survey and land use data, evaluates the effects of land use density and mix on travel.

Friedman, Bruce; Stephen Gordon and John Peers (1994). Effect of Neotraditional Design on Travel Characteristics. Transportation Research Record 1466.

Evaluates travel differences between neotraditional and PUD communities.

Handy, Susan (1996). Urban Form and Pedestrian Choices: Study of Austin Neighborhoods. Transportation Research Record 1552.

Surveys residents in Austin neighborhoods to determine impacts of urban form on walking.

Kitamura, Ryuichi; Patricia L. Mokhtarian and Laura Laidet (1997). A Micro-Analysis of Land Use and Travel in Five Neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. Transportation Vol. 24 No. 2, May 1997.

Uses stated-preference surveys to determine the relative influence of socioeconomic, attitudinal, and neighborhood characteristics on travel behav-ior, including mode choice and total number of trips by mode.

McNally, Michael and Anup Kulkarni (1997). An Assessment of the Land Use-Transportation System and Travel Behavior. Transportation Research Record 1607.

Compares the number of trips in traditional neigh-borhoods, planned-unit developments, and hybrid neighborhoods in Southern California.

Thompson, Gregory L. and Ivonne Audirac. TODs Can Increase Transit Ridership Significantly: Planning Scenarios from Sacramento. Presented at the 1999 Transportation Research Board Meeting, Paper #990667.

Uses regional travel demand model to assess the effects of alternative growth scenarios (sprawl, TOD, TOD/downtown) on transit ridership and auto use.

Updated: 10/19/2015
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000