Household Trip Generation and the Built Environment: Does More Density Mean More Trips?

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Transportation Research Record

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Trip generation is the first step in the traditional four-step trip-based transportation model and an important transport outcome used in evaluating the impacts of new development. There has been a long debate on the association between trip generation and the built environment, with mixed results. This paper contributes to this debate and approaches the problem with two hypotheses: 1) built environment variables have significant impacts on household total trip generation; and 2) built environment variables have different impacts on trip generation by purpose. This study relied on data from the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area to estimate negative binomial regression models of household trip generation rates across all modes. Results show that the built environment does have significant and positive influences on trip generation, especially for total number of trips, total number of tours, and home-based shopping-related trips. Moreover, log likelihood ratio tests implied that adding built environment to the base model contributed significantly to improving model explanatory and predictability. These findings suggest that transportation demand models should be more sensitive to the effects of the built environment to better reflect the variations in trip making across regions.


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