Complete Streets Design Elements And Their Impact On Travel Behavior: Learning From The Bagby Street Reconstruction In Houston, TX
Tracz, Alexandra T.
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There are several studies linking travel behavior to various other topics within urban design but none directly examine Complete Streets. This travel behavior study is significant in that it looks at specific streetscape design features rather than studying density or land use of a particular area. This research examines if and how travel behavior is influenced by specific design elements on Complete Streets using Bagby Street Reconstruction in Houston, Texas as a case study. Bagby Street Reconstruction is one of the first Complete Streets projects in Houston completed by Design Workshop and Walter P Moore. The project is a section between Pierce Street and Tuam Street in Midtown District in Houston, Texas.This study compares Bagby Street Reconstruction with the literature on Complete Street best practices to existing design features. Passive and participant observations coupled with onsite and online surveys were used to determine if and how travel behavior is influenced by design elements on Bagby Street. Results of this thesis study divulged several themes from Bagby Street users both through the comparative analysis, survey and passive and participant observations. Themes discovered relating to travel behavior and street design were safety, creating a destination, providing a choice in transportation and walking is preferred. This study recognizes Complete Streets as a destination which positions them in both transportation and placemaking projects – both topics and expertise can provide opportunities for landscape architects and planners. This research also supports and emphasizes the importance of the perception of safety as a threshold consideration in Complete Street design. The study of the influence of Complete Street design and its impact on travel behavior can be used to further studies within several professions including landscape architecture and city/regional planning.