Does New Urbanist/Neo Traditional Designs Deliver On Promises to Affect Modal Choice and Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled
McCann, Jessica Hulse
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This paper investigates Neo-Traditional Designâ s ability to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and effect modal choice by examining the aspects of the design, mixed-use, density, and accessibility. This examination uses three case studies to gain a clearer picture of mixed-use, density, and accessibilityâ s interaction with modal choice and VMT. The three case studies test the hypothesis of Neo-Traditional Designâ s ability to reduce VMT and change modal choice. Case study #1 tests the hypotheses from the perspective of mixing uses. Case study #2 tests the hypothesis from the perspective of densityâ s effect on VMT and modal choice. Case study #3 studies accessibilityâ s effect on VMT and changes in modal choice. These case studies represent a variety of localities in terms of age, size, and location. The conclusions indicate mixed uses (case study #1), density (case study #2), and accessibility (case study #3) reduce VMT and change modal choice. Comparing case studies that employ different methodologies, while arriving at similar conclusions, strengthens the legitimacy of the findings in particular and the concept of neo-traditional urban design in general. The similarity of the conclusions in all three case studies suggests that NTD will influence modal choice and reduce vehicle miles traveled. Neo-traditional designs appear to deliver on promises to reduce VMT and change modal choice by mixing uses, creating densities, and increasing accessibility to the urban form. Newer NTD communities will achieve the same results only if the level of mixed use, density, and accessibility rises to that found in the cases studied.
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