Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Environmental Design

First Advisor

Stacey Schulte

Second Advisor

Georgia Lindsay

Third Advisor

Seth Spielman

Abstract

Neo-traditional developments are often comprised of mix-use neighborhoods with a town center that acts as the central commercial district that is easily accessible to the surrounding residents without a car. This paper investigates the reality of walking and biking in two such neo-traditional developments in Colorado. I compared frequency and purpose of non-car trips in two neighborhoods whose local town centers differ in retail composition. The first town center, Belmar, has a higher composition of comparison goods and services such as clothing, apparel, and other comparison goods. The second, East 29th Avenue Town Center, has a higher composition of convenient goods and services such as the library, dry cleaners, and dog wash store. An analysis of travel behavior surveys from fifty residents of each site reveals no significant difference in the travel behavior between residents of the two neighborhoods. While having a higher percentage of convenience goods was not shown to increase the residents’ perception of driving less, my evidence suggests that only specific convenience goods, such as grocery stores and dry cleaners, increases the residents’ perception of making less car trips. While the absence of significant findings may have resulted from a small sample size, and the absence of travel diaries, this research can serve as an exploratory study for further research on the relationship between retail composition and travel behavior.

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