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A High Resolution Agent-based Model to Support Walk-Bicycle Infrastructure Investment Decisions: A case study with New York C...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication Date
Page Numbers
280 to 299

Active transportation modes--walk and bicycle--are central for low carbon transport, healthy living, and complete streets initiative. Building a community with amenable walk and bicycle facilities asks for smart planning and investments. It is critical to investigate the impact of infrastructure building or expansion on the overall walk and bicycle mode usage prior to making investment choices utilizing public tax money. This research developed an agent-based model to support investment decisions that allows to assess the impact of changes in walk-bike infrastructures at a high spatial resolution (e.g., block group level). The agent-based model (ABM) utilizes data from a synthetic population simulator generating agents with corresponding socio-demographic characteristics, and integrates facility attributes regarding walking and bicycling (e.g., sidewalk width, bike lane length) into the mode choice decision making process. Moreover, the ABM accounts for the effect of social interactions among agents who live and work at the same geographic locations. Finally, GIS-based maps are developed at block group resolution that allows exploring the effect of walk-bike infrastructure related investments. The results from New York City case study indicate that infrastructure investments such as widening sidewalk and increasing bike lane network can positively influence the active transportation mode choices. In addition, the level of impact varies with geographic locations--different boroughs of New York City will have different impacts. Finally, social promotions resulting in higher social interaction among agents can reinforce the impacts of infrastructure changes.