An enhanced travel demand forecasting framework to evaluate smart growth strategies
In recent years, there is an increasing trend to promote smart growth strategies that aim to revitalize land-use and transportation patterns to avoid "sprawl" and to replace it by safe, livable, healthy, environmentally-sound and green-mode-oriented communities. All these interests point to the genuine need for travel demand forecasting methods and traffic analysis tools sensitive enough to reflect the benefits of smart growth strategies. In this context, this paper takes the initiative to develop an enhanced travel demand forecasting method to evaluate the impact of smart growth strategies on travel demand. The enhanced travel demand forecasting framework is tested by using the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Area as the study case. In this framework, several behavior choice models are developed in order to capture the impact of smart growth land use on individual travellers' various travel decisions such as intrazonal trip making, destination choices, and mode choices. As found, dense and diverse land use will encourage the usage of non-motorized modes such as bicycle and walking while reducing automobile travels. In addition, diverse land uses and transit-oriented designs play an important role in reducing the average trip length and vehicle miles travelled.