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An integrated assessment of factors affecting modal choice: towards a better understanding of the causal effects of built environment

Samira Ramezani (), Barbara Pizzo () and Elizabeth Deakin ()
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Samira Ramezani: La Sapienza University of Rome
Barbara Pizzo: La Sapienza University of Rome
Elizabeth Deakin: University of California

Transportation, 2018, vol. 45, issue 5, 1351-1387

Abstract: Abstract This paper discusses the methodological challenges in understanding causal relationships between urban form and travel behavior and uses a holistic quasi-experimental approach to investigate the separable marginal influence of each of several urban form factors on mode choice as well as the complex relationships between those factors and a wide range of personal traits. Data analysis and models are used to reveal the effect of such interactions on mode choice for both work and non-work trips in Rome, Italy. It is found that population density does not have a significant marginal positive effect on sustainable mode choice for work trips. Conversely, this factor decreases sustainable mode choice for non-work trips. Small scale street design quality alone increases sustainable mode choice for non-work trips. This is while presence of street network integration alone increases automobile use for all trip purposes. The results point to the importance of incorporating all the urban form factors of diversity, design and street network integration if the goal is to increase the use of more sustainable modes of transportation for both work and non-work trips, but also show that attitudes and preferences can modify the response to urban design factors. The findings suggest that thoughtful policies triggering certain attitudes (cost sensitivity, sensitivity to peer pressure regarding the value attributed to sustainable transportation, and transit preference) can be adopted to significantly increase sustainable mode choice even in the neighborhoods with specific physical restrictions.

Keywords: Mode choice modeling; Population density; Street network integration; Design; Personal traits; Causal relationships (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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