Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Although the interrelationship between land use and travel behavior was given more than scant attention in the past, urban planners are far from a solution to reduce commuting and travel by car. One of the reasons is that studies of this kind are often conducted at the aggregate scale limiting one’s probabilities of making inferences of individual/household-level travel behavior. Using 1997 Baton Rouge Personal Transportation Survey (BRPTS) data this study attempts to overcome this limitation. First, a multi-level modeling (MLM) approach is applied to investigate the geographical effect of a place and the role of population composition in accounting for place-to-place differentiation in commuting. The models examined the degree of association between several aspects of land use and travel behavior, considered alone and controlling for socio-economic factors. Results of the study indicate that land use remains significant even after accounting for socio-economic factors. Thus, spatial proximity of jobs determines commuting in a significant way. Second, urban structure and its effect on commuting in the Baton Rouge region of Louisiana were examined. Job concentrations in the study area in 1990 and 2000 were defined and changes examined from 1990 to 2000. Commuting patterns both from the perspectives of monocentric and polycentric urban structures were investigated. Results indicate that the polycentric system contributes to a reduction in individual commuting times and distances in the study area. Lastly, individual-level trip data for the Baton Rouge metropolitan area was used to examine the relationship between land use and trip chaining behavior. Specifically, land use measures were used to explain the likelihood of combining activities into multi-stop trip chains by residents of Baton Rouge region. In addition, the impact of travelers’ employment status was also considered. Models of the ordinary logistic regression, and one accounting for correlation among individual observations were compared. In all models tested, inclusion of land use measures improved the model. Results indicate the significant land use impact on a traveler’s decision regarding trip chaining. The study findings are consistent with the literature, however, they illustrate the difference that exists between by workers and non-workers.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wang, Fahui