Number 2, August 2010
Travel Behavior: Commuter Response to the Fix I-5 Project
Two years ago this summer, a one-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in downtown Sacramento was intermittently closed over a period of nine weeks for a $27 million reconstruction project. As “The Fix” kicked off, government and business leaders who were worried about congestion and the potential economic impacts of the closure actively promoted commute alternatives, including flex schedules, four-day work weeks, carpooling, transit and telecommuting. At the request of Governor Schwarzenegger, UC Davis research teams led by Civil and Environmental Engineering professors Michael Zhang and Pat Mokhtarian launched a study to track and analyze traveler response. The goal was to learn from the experience and help transportation planners prepare for future fixes in an efficient way. The preliminary findings show auto trips dropped – but not as much as one might expect, and some commuters adopted permanent changes – but not attributable solely to The Fix.
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