Title

HOW DENSITY AND MIXED USES AT THE WORKPLACE AFFECT PERSONAL COMMERCIAL TRAVEL AND COMMUTE MODE CHOICE

Authors

D G. Chatman

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2003

Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, land use - impacts, land use - planning, land use - urban density, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, mode - bus

Keywords

Workplaces, Vehicle miles of travel, Shops, Shopping facilities, Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mixed use development, Land use planning, Joint occupancy of buildings, Impacts, General service businesses, Employment density, Choice of transportation, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel

Abstract

A high density of shops and services near the workplace may make it easier to carry out personal commercial activities on foot before, during, and after work, enabling reduced vehicle use during the rest of the day. Investigating this question is an important addition to the current research, which has focused on residential neighborhoods. Data from the 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey are used to investigate the influence of workplace employment density and share of retail employment on commute mode choice and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to access personal commercial activities. The analysis controls for socioeconomic characteristics and accounts for the endogeneity of commute mode choice and personal commercial VMT by employing a joint logit-Tobit model. Employment density at the workplace is found to be associated with a lower likelihood of automobile commuting and reduced personal commercial VMT, while the presence of employment in the retail category does not play a significant role. Workplace density is more clearly related to reduced VMT and automobile commuting than to characteristics of workers' residential neighborhoods and could have significant influences on personal commercial VMT and automobile commuting when increasing over a large area. The results suggest that land use planners should focus on encouraging employment density to a greater extent than is the current practice, although further research is needed on the role played by correlated factors such as higher parking costs, increased road congestion, and better transit service.