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Commuter Impacts and Behavior Changes during a Temporary Freeway Closure: The 'Fix I-5' Project in Sacramento, California

UCD-ITS-RP-12-20

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Suggested Citation:
Ye, Liang, Patricia L. Mokhtarian, Giovanni Circella (2012) Commuter Impacts and Behavior Changes during a Temporary Freeway Closure: The 'Fix I-5' Project in Sacramento, California. Transportation Planning and Technology 35 (3), 341 - 371

One mile of Interstate 5 (I-5) in downtown Sacramento, California was closed intermittently for reconstruction (‘the Fix project’) over nine weeks in 2008. We analyze the impacts of the Fix on commuters’ travel behavior, as measured through two contemporaneous Internet-based surveys. The impacts of the Fix on traffic conditions do not appear to have been excessive: majorities in all relevant subsamples did not find conditions worse than usual, and sizable minorities actually found them to be better. Among the active changes to commute trips, the easiest options - avoiding rush hour and changing route - were the most common (adopted by 48% and 44%, respectively). Among the changes that reduced vehicle-miles traveled, increasing transit use and increasing telecommuting (TC) were the most common (each adopted by 5-6% of the relevant subsample). Binary logit models of these two choices suggest that persuading current adopters to increase their frequency of use is easier than convincing nonadopters to start TC or switch to transit. Women and those in larger households were found to be more likely to increase TC and transit use. Employer support of commute alternatives significantly influenced the adoption of both strategies.

Keywords: behavior change, mode choice, transit, telecommuting, network disruption, transportation demand management