The Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program recently released a handbook titled Close to Home: A Handbook for Transportation-Efficient Growth in Small Communities and Rural Areas. The handbook, co-authored by Brian J. Morton, Joseph Huegy, and John Poros.
The authors write that while hundreds of studies have investigated how land use affects daily driving in urban and suburban areas. They point out that few transportation studies look at small communities and rural areas.
The handbook intends to fill that gap by providing insights into the relationship between a small/rural area’s existing development patterns and changes in daily driving after hypothetical new growth. It presents projections of daily driving per person based on different development patterns and growth scenarios and determines the land-use characteristics that have the greatest influence on daily driving. It can be used by small town and rural planners and decision makers to inform discussions over growth and transportation efficiency in their locales.