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Estimates of Miles Walked and Biked in California by Census Tract

Objective: This project developed a new method to estimate cyclist and pedestrian activity at the census tract level of geography based on a combination of travel survey, census, and land use data. Two sets of activity estimates were calculated based on two different travel surveys that were recently conducted in California: the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) and the 2010-2012 California Household Travel Survey (CHTS).

Need: Vehicle activity is an output of travel models, but detailed estimates of bicycle and pedestrian activity are often not available. Good estimates of the total amount of cyclist and pedestrian activity on our roads are needed for two main purposes. First, knowing how much cyclists and pedestrians are using roadways can inform where investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure are needed. Second, estimates of total cyclist and pedestrian activity can serve as the denominator for calculation of cyclist and pedestrian accident rates, which, in turn, help to identify locations for road safety investment.

Products: This project produced a summary report and a dataset of estimated miles of walking and biking by census tract for California.

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UrbanFootprint: Modeling Land Use Changes, Sustainable Water Management and GHG Benefits

PI: Roth
Funder: California Water Foundation through Resources Legacy Fund

ULTRANS in collaboration with private partners, conducted a review of the water, energy, and travel analysis modules in UrbanFootprint, an open source, internet based land use scenario creation and analysis toolkit. Following the review, ULTRANS implemented suggested improvements to the vehicle fleet mix, building inventory, and energy and water consumption calculators.

UrbanFootprint is an open source scenario planning toolkit funded by the California High Speed Rail Authority and the California Strategic Growth Council to support sustainable planning for California’s future.

Improvements to the vehicle fleet mix module include the redesign of the underlying module to remove the dependency on Microsoft Excel and support more detailed vehicle fleet tracking by vehicle type, age, and year of construction.

The building inventory model improvements include tracking of housing stock through time and the evaluation of energy and water policy adoption by building type and quantity. This includes support for tracking the cumulative effects of multiple overlapping policies the benefit components from each.

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After SB 375: Using Statewide Activity-Based Modeling to Assess the Impact of Sustainable Community Strategies on Regional and Interregional Travel Behavior

PI: Circella
Funder: UCTC

In this study, we use the California Statewide Travel Demand Model as a tool to test the impact of some of the proposed changes in land use and transportation in the State of California. The model provides a quantitative tool to uniformly assess the impacts of the proposed land use and transportation policies on transportation demand in California, overcoming the lack of a standard modeling tool that allows evaluation of policies for the entire State. In addition, the model also provides a standard basis to assess the impact of policies on interregional trips and longer distance trips that affect more than one region, and that would not be possible to test with regional travel demand model. In the research, we apply the CSTDM modeling framework to test future scenarios of development in the state for 2035, in both a “control” (do nothing) scenario, under assumptions of current growth and economic development established by former RTPs and under a modified land use and transportation scenario inspired by the development of the most recent RTPs and SCSs from the local MPOs.

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Active Travel in California: Performance Measures from an Activity-Based Travel Model

PI: Rodier
Funder: Mineta Transportation Institute

There is an increasing awareness of the potentially significant health co-benefits from active travel (access and/or use of transit, walk, and bike modes) that may result from the implementation of regional land use and transportation plans under SB375 to meet Assembly Bill 32 (California’s Global Warming Solutions Act or AB32) greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) targets. The proposed study would use the new California statewide activity-based travel demand model to (1) illustrate how data available from such models can be used to characterize the health-related benefits of active travel, (2) provide a baseline comparative assessment of access to and use of active travel in different regions, counties, and cities in California, (3) demonstrate potential active travel benefits from the implementation of policies that reduce VMT and GHG emissions.

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Performance Measurement and Transit Data

PI: Rodier
Funder: Mineta Transportation Institute

The goal of this project is to help the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) develop high quality transit related data and performance measures, specifically for interregional travel, to support the development of a robust multimodal transportation system, increase mobility options for the public, and maintain a world class transportation system.

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UPlan: A Simple Rule-Based Urban Growth Model

PI: Roth
Funder: Caltrans, EPA, FHWA (at various points)

UPlan is a simple rule based urban growth model intended for regional or county level modeling. The needed space for each land use type is calculated from simple demographics and assigned based on the net attractiveness of locations to that land use (based on user input), locations unsuitable for any development and a general plan that determines where specific types of development are permitted.

The most recent distribution version is: 2.68 Released 2/7/2012

UPlan Demonstration Setup Download 40MB (This demo is setup for arcgis V10.0)
UPlan Download 1MB (This zip file contains mxds for both ArcGIS 9.3 and 10 and is zipped using the 7z format)
User Manual 1MB

Note: that you must have a version of UPlan released on or after 10/10/2007 if you are using a "Foot" based projection for your data.
System Requirement: ArcGIS 9.3, 10.0, 10.1, Spatial Analyst Extension, VBA, MS Excel (for reports)

UPlan is licensed under the Apache2.0 license
Copyright 2011 Robert A. Johnston

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at


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Assessment of Land Use and Activity-Based Travel Models as Tools to Estimate GHG

PI: Rodier
Funder: California Air Resources Board and ITS MRPI

Conduct sensitivity analysis with activity-based travel demand models newly developed for the California and its major regions. Review existing model frameworks and evaluate newly implemented land use models.

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Smart Growth Trip Generation

Objective: The goal of this project is to develop and disseminate data and a method that practitioners can use to estimate multimodal trip-generation rates for “smart growth” land use development projects proposed in California. These include projects located in downtowns and other urban areas served by transit service and in which a variety of land uses are close enough to allow walking or bicycle travel. An acceptable method is needed to estimate trip-generation for transportation impact analyses/studies of “smart growth” projects, which agencies typically require to estimate the impacts of proposed projects and identify improvements to help “mitigate” impacts.

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