Development of Destination Choice Models for Pedestrian Travel

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Transportation Research Part A-Policy and Practice

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Most research on walking behavior has focused on mode choice or walk trip frequency. In contrast, this study is one of the first to analyze and model the destination choice behaviors of pedestrians within an entire region. Using about 4500 walk trips from a 2011 household travel survey in the Portland, Oregon, region, we estimated multinomial logit pedestrian destination choice models for six trip purposes. Independent variables included terms for impedance (walk trip distance), size (employment by type, households), supportive pedestrian environments (parks, a pedestrian index of the environment variable called PIE), barriers to walking (terrain, industrial-type employment), and traveler characteristics. Unique to this study was the use of small-scale destination zone alternatives. Distance was a significant deterrent to pedestrian destination choice, and people in carless or childless households were less sensitive to distance for some purposes. Employment (especially retail) was a strong attractor: doubling the number of jobs nearly doubled the odds of choosing a destination for home-based shopping walk trips. More attractive pedestrian environments were also positively associated with pedestrian destination choice after controlling for other factors. These results shed light on determinants of pedestrian destination choice behaviors, and sensitivities in the models highlight potential policy-levers to increase walking activity. In addition, the destination choice models can be applied in practice within existing regional travel demand models or as pedestrian planning tools to evaluate land use and transportation policy and investment scenarios.



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