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Modeling Long-Range Transportation and Land Use Scenarios for the Sacramento Region, Using Citizen-Generated Policies

  • Agricultural Science
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


The Sacramento, California region is engaged in an innovative long-range visioning process during 2004 and 2005, where the regional transportation planning agency is defining and modeling several 50-year growth scenarios. We worked with environmental and social equity citizens groups to define policies that would reduce emissions, serve lower-income travelers better, and preserve habitats and agricultural lands in the region. The citizens groups rejected the new freeways planned for the region, as well as the substantial freeway widenings for HOV lanes. In addition, they defined a more-ambitious transit system, involving new Bus Rapid Transit lines and shorter headways for all rail and bus service. This transit-only plan was modeled, by itself, and along with a land use policy for an urban growth boundary and a pricing policy for higher fuel taxes and parking charges for worktrips. We used a new version of the MEPLAN model to simulate these scenarios over 50 years and describe our findings regarding total travel, mode shares, congestion, emissions, land use changes, and economic welfare of travelers.

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