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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of the Operation and Accuracy of Five Available Smart Growth Trip Generation Methodologies


No standard methodology exists in the U.S. for estimating trip generation that takes into account the smart growth characteristics of a land use development project. As a first step toward developing such a methodology, this report assesses the available alternatives to the traditional ITE Trip Generation methodology. Eight methods were identified. For five of these methods, a two part assessment was completed. The first part was to evaluate the methods against a variety of operational criteria developed through discussions with a panel of transportation practitioners. The second part was to test the accuracy of the methods by comparing the predictions of the various methods against available traffic counts and other data at 22 California sites that have at least some characteristics of smart growth. All of the candidate methodologies performed better than the ITE rates, but they do not point to a clear “winner” – one methodology that is clearly superior to the others. Nevertheless, this assessment generated many insights that could guide the selection or development of a recommended methodology.

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