Measuring accessible and connected communities

Policy-makers, planners, and project developers have long known that speed of traffic on road segments is a crude measure of success in getting people and goods to their destinations.

A better measure would be accessibility, which takes into account the distance of trips as well as travel speed. However, until recently use of this metric has been mainly relegated to research. New tools now make it readily available to practitioners. SSTI will demonstrate some types of analyses that can improve investment decisions.

As part of their move towards a performance-based planning framework, USDOT has also been moving beyond road conditions and travel speed since those measures fail to adequately measure how well the system provides access to jobs, schools, healthcare, shopping, friends, and critical destinations.

USDOT is calling this ability to access to essential services and destinations affordably and efficiently connectivity, and they are supporting a significant body of research in order to improve the state of practice in understanding how to measure connectivity.

Eric Sundquist, Managing Director of SSTI, and Rebecca Higgins from the office of the Secretary of USDOT discuss the new measures of accessibility and connectivity and the tools now available for these measures.

Download a PDF of the slides.