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AASHTO Journal

Arizona DOT Releases Study on Correlation between Land Use and Congestion

The relationship between traffic congestion and land use is an important one to explore when developing and implementing stronger communities, Arizona Department of Transportation concluded in a report released last week.

ADOT's report sought answers on how the relationship between land uses and traffic congestion might help lead the agency to better decisions in the areas of planning, safety, environment, and cost effectiveness. The report, "Land Use and Traffic Congestion," was prepared by J. Richard Kuzmyak, a transportation consultant, for ADOT, which worked in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to complete the report.

The study ultimately found that roadways in more "compact, mixed, and multimodal communities" are normally less congested due to fewer vehicle trips, more use of public transit and/or walking, and more connected street networks, which offer lots of route options and cut down on congestion on major urban arterials. Arizona residents in such areas drive about 33 percent fewer daily miles than those in suburban areas, the study found.

The findings from the report are now serving ADOT as a tool going forward, as they will help ADOT develop and implement Smart Transportation policies in the future.

"ADOT, like many state departments of transportation, recognizes the relationship between transportation and land use decisions," said ADOT Director John Halikowski in a statement. "Through a concentrated effort to better link transportation planning and land use planning, we can support economic growth and create jobs, meet demand for quality of life and livability in communities, be better stewards of our natural environment, and manage our financial resources more efficiently."

ADOT's 292-page report is available at

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