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Evaluation of the Operation and Accuracy of Available Smart Growth Trip Generation Methodologies for Use in California

UCD-ITS-RP-12-69

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It is well known that standard application of the ITE trip rates for an area with many smart 5 growth characteristics will result in an over-estimation of the number of trips generated. There is 6 no commonly agreed upon methodology in the U.S. for estimating trip generation that takes into 7 account the smart growth characteristics of a land use development project. A number of 8 methods have been recently proposed as incremental advancements toward developing such a 9 methodology. In this paper, we identified eight available methodologies, of which five were 10 deemed appropriate for use in California. The five “candidate methods” were compared to the 11 traditional ITE Trip Generation method in a two-part assessment. The first part involved 12 evaluating the methods against a variety of operational criteria developed through discussions 13 with a panel of transportation practitioners. The second part involved testing the accuracy of the 14 methods by comparing the predictions of the various methods against available traffic counts and 15 other data at 22 California sites that contained at least some characteristics of smart growth. 16 Based on our evaluation, we believe all five methods have advantages and disadvantages and 17 that, while no single method emerges as being the best for use in smart growth development 18 projects, all the methods appear to be more accurate at predicting the number of trips generated 19 than standard application of the ITE base rates. Furthermore, this analysis focuses on candidate 20 methods deemed appropriate for use in California, but this research has value and potential 21 implications to smart growth transportation planning efforts outside of California.

Suggested citation: Shafizadeh, Kevin R., Richard Lee, Debbie A. Niemeier, Terry Parker, Susan L. Handy (2012) Evaluation of the Operation and Accuracy of Available Smart Growth Trip Generation Methodologies for Use in California. Presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 22-26, 2012, Washington, D.C.