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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Land Use and Travel Behavior


This study examined the effects of land use and attitudinal characteristics on travel behavior for five diverse San Francisco Bay Area neighborhoods. First, socio-economic and neighborhood characteristics were regressed against number and proportion of trips by various modes. The best models for each measure of travel behavior confirmed that neighborhood characteristics add significant explanatory power when socio-economic differences are controlled for. Specifically, measures of residential density, public transit accessibility, mixed land use, and the presence of sidewalks are significantly associated with trip generation by mode and modal split. Second, 39 attitude statements relating to urban life were factor analyzed into eight factors: pro-environment, pro-transit, suburbanite, automotive mobility, time pressure, urban villager, TCM, and workaholic. Scores on these factors were introduced into the six best models discussed above. The relative contributions of the socio-economic, neighborhood, and attitudinal blocks of variables were assessed. While each block of variables offers some significant explanatory power to the models, the attitudinal variables explained the highest proportion of the variation in the data. The finding that attitudes are more strongly associated with travel than are land use characteristics suggests that land use policies promoting higher densities and mixtures may not alter travel demand materially unless residents’ attitudes are also changed.

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