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167322-1 Report Abstract

An Assessment of Criteria Used for Transit Friendly Decision-Making

Thabo Moeng and Carol A. Lewis, Texas Southern University, December 2005, 55 pp. (167322-1)

A great deal of attention is being focused on creating more livable communities, as well as implementing smart growth, transit-oriented and generally more sustainable communities. As a result, planners are focusing more attention on multimodal transportation solutions. Regional goals mention the critical nature of planning and implementing environmentally sensitive systems that allow residents a choice in travel mode. A preliminary review of the decision-making criteria used by many local governments, however, shows project selection criteria largely reflective of measures that tend to favor highway-oriented benefits, such as increasing travel speeds. In addition, goals supporting increased non-motorized travel options, increased transit and more environmentally sensitive projects are often less measurable and more related to the nebulous “quality of life” factors. When benefits, such as air quality are measurable, the advantages may be localized and seem insignificant on a regional basis.

This research examines transportation decision-making to determine whether criteria have been broadened to include a more balanced view of transportation, allowing pedestrian and transit options to be assessed based on their full benefits. The study reviews criteria with a focus on identifying non-highway criteria among six selected Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs).

Keywords: Criteria, Decision-Making, Measures of Evaluation

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 632 KB)