Exploration and Implications of Multimodal Street Performance Metrics: What’s a Passing Grade?

20th Street in Santa Monica performance for bicyclists and pedestrians by different scoring mechanisms.

20th Street in Santa Monica performance for bicyclists and pedestrians by different scoring mechanisms.

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This project analyzes new multimodal street performance metrics for transportation projects. Scholars and practitioners have developed these new performance metrics in recent years in an attempt to replace traditional automobile-based level of service (LOS) indicators. Many scholars and practitioners feel traditional LOS overemphasizes the free flow of automobile traffic while neglecting other users of the transportation system. While practitioners and advocates have shown enthusiasm for these new metrics, policy-makers have found it difficult to transition from well-understood and standardized automobile-based LOS metrics to any one of the new multimodal metrics. Similarly, scholars have paid a great deal of attention to the development of these new metrics, but have not documented how these metrics compare to one another. This comparison is necessary, as each of the metrics embodies a number of assumptions about the performance of the transportation network for non-auto users such as pedestrians and cyclists. We are comparing scores from the Highway Capacity Manual 2010 measures, City of Charlotte Urban Design Guidelines, City of Fort Collins measures and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Environmental Quality Indexes from the San Francisco Public Health Department. To test the scores, we used a suite of test segments in the City of Santa Monica. Additionally, we are examining how sensitive the scoring tools are to proposed changes on the ground. This project will aid policy-makers by explicating these assumptions, providing a comparability analysis of the various metrics and relating the results to policy implications. Further, this project will enrich our understanding of the ways in which the needs of government regulation results in a reduction of complex transportation systems to simple descriptors.


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Working on this project: Robin Liggett, Rui Wang, Madeline Brozen, Herbie Huff Project Start Date: June 2012   Project End Date: June 2014

Associated Publications

Associated Presentations


2017-05-10T15:33:58+00:00February 11th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|