Defining land use intensity based on roadway level of service targets

Traditionally, master planners develop an initial land use scenario for an undeveloped site, which is then forwarded to transportation planners for modeling purposes. On the basis of travel demand forecast, several alternatives are provided to master planners and, accordingly, different land use proposals are examined until, finally, a preferred option is chosen. Such trial and error process is inherently cumbersome, time consuming and an optimal outcome is rarely achieved.

Usually, by increasing land use intensity, roads will be overly congested, beyond acceptable levels, and under-utilized when lower levels of land use intensity is planned. Hence, defining optimum land use intensity to target traffic level of service on roads is never achieved. The aim of this paper is to introduce an innovative approach, based on a “reverse engineering” process, to define final land use intensity based on desired target volume on roads. This method significantly reduces the number of model runs required for “what if” analysis. It also brings  the results of travel demand forecast models closer to the desired outcome.

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