Publication Detail

Brief: Impacts of Regional Accessibility Based on a Review of the Empirical Literature



Suggested Citation:
Handy, Susan L., Gil Tal, Marlon G. Boarnet (2013) Brief: Impacts of Regional Accessibility Based on a Review of the Empirical Literature. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Brief UCD-ITS-RR-13-60

Regional accessibility can be defined as the ease with which destinations can be reached throughout a region. The proximity of a residence to potential destinations, such as jobs, shopping, and leisure-time activities, and the nature of the transportation links to those destinations together determine accessibility. In general, the closer a residence is to the center of the region, the higher the level of regional accessibility, given the concentration of jobs and other activities in the center. Close proximity to secondary centers of activity – “subcenters” – also contributes to regional accessibility. For any given residence, accessibility will vary for each type of activity (e.g. jobs, shopping, leisure, etc.) and mode of travel (e.g. driving versus transit).

Regional accessibility is the outcome of many different land use and transportation related policy decisions over a long period of time. For example, zoning codes have traditionally determined what land uses are allowed where and at what densities, and so influence the proximity of a residence to potential destinations. Public investments in roads and transit systems, as well as the design of these facilities and services, influence the nature of transportation connections to destinations.

Key words: Regional accessibility, links (network), consumer behavior, public transit, access control