The National Academies

NCHRP 08-59 [Completed]

Transportation Cost Implications of New Development

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Research Agency: Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research
Principal Investigator: Robert Burchell
Effective Date: 6/1/2006
Completion Date: 4/1/2011
Comments: The revised final report has been received and posted on the NCHRP website


New large-scale development often occurs where the in-place transportation infrastructure cannot accommodate the ensuing growth in traffic and congestion. Consequently, transportation infrastructure improvements must be made to improve access and mitigate congestion. Typically, development occurs in stages as incremental improvements are made to the surrounding infrastructure to improve access to developing areas and accommodate increased traffic generated by those areas. Impacts may also spill over to adjoining areas and neighborhoods. When an area is improved, it often induces new incremental development over time. Eventually, the transportation system may become overburdened because of the continued growth and constrained financial resources for further improvements.

While it is common practice to do an impact study before any new development, there is no recognized guide for predicting how development will expand and change over time, and how that will impact transportation needs. There is a need to help local planners, transportation engineers, decision makers, and the public predict cumulative transportation costs in newly developing areas associated with induced development and to identify sources of revenue to address these costs.


The objective of this study was to develop a planning guide for (a) predicting cumulative transportation costs in newly developing areas associated with incremental and induced development over time and (b) identifying sources of revenue to respond to that development.

This effort developed a report that documents effective methodologies to estimate the transportation infrastructure costs necessary to accommodate and support new development of various types with guidance and suggestions for how to apply the methodologies and analysis tools to real-world situations.

The final report and spreadsheet model are available online. 


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