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60053-1 Report Abstract

Identification of Factors Contributing to Reduced Peak Period Mobility in Selected Urban Activity Centers in Houston, Texas

Carol A. Lewis and Ronald E. Goodwin, Texas Southern University, June 1996, 72 pp. (60053-1)

This study was designed with two principal objectives in mind: (1) to identify factors that contribute to reduced peak-period mobility in four of Houston’s urban activity centers: the central business district, Greenway Plaza, Uptown/Galleria and the Texas Medical Center; and (2) to suggest possible congestion management strategies that would be applicable in each of the study areas. Each activity center has its own unique transportation characteristics, therefore the research included the examination of street designs, total number of employees, availability of public and private transportation, and pedestrian conditions. Analysis of these and other variables revealed numerous conditions that contribute to varying levels of congestion during the peak-period, including turning lane queue space, pedestrian signal systems, the spacing between passenger shelters, and configuration of street corridors. This research concludes with an examination of diverse congestion management strategies designed to reduce dependence on the single occupant vehicle as the primary source of work related trips, but also increase mobility through low cost, or no cost improvements. A strategy is recommended which encourages the use of travel demand management (TDM) alternatives, while not asking the commuter to completely relinquish the automobile. Further, the magnitude of BTU consumption and energy savings which may result from implementation of this strategy is reported.

Keywords: Peak-Period Mobility, Congestion Management, Major Activity Centers, Transportation Demand Management Strategies, Energy Conservation, Air Quality

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Reference Report #60053-1