ITE Journal - May 2021 - 46

Transportation data must be in a routable format and contain
relevant information describing the ease of travel. " Ease " is
typically measured in terms of travel speed, which can be based on
observed or estimated traffic speeds, transit speed and frequency,
and factors that affect the comfort and safety of people walking
or biking, including the quality of sidewalks and bike facilities.
Agencies that don't have this information on hand can rely on a
number of commercial datasets or crowd-sourced information from
OpenStreetMap (OSM), which varies in quality from place to place.
Transit networks, which include both travel times and
frequencies, can complicate analyses. Fortunately, most available
platforms are designed to rely on data in the General Transit
Feed Specification (GTFS) format, which most transit agencies
provide so that their systems can be incorporated into common
navigational apps.
Finally, the U.S. Census offers key land use data, including jobs
and demographic information, based on either the Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP) or the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Origin-Destination Employment

Statistics (LODES). Other land use data, typically represented as
non-work points of interest (POIs), usually must be licensed from a
commercial provider like Google, HERE Technologies, Data Axle
USA (formerly InfoUSA), SafeGraph or Factual. Depending on the
specific need, local public data can sometimes be a good source
for information on certain POIs such as community healthcare
facilities. As with transportation data, OSM is also an option in
some places.
With these data in hand, a savvy analyst can then leverage any
number of available routing tools to produce custom analyses. But
for more user-friendly applications, the analyst will want to consider
a tool designed specifically for measuring accessibility. Through
SSTI's research and technical assistance program, our team has
experimented with some of the leading options, including CUBE
Access by Bentley, Conveyal, the open-source Accessibility Toolbox
for R and ArcGIS by Christopher D. Higgins at the University of
Toronto, and a customized TransCAD model used by the Virginia
Department of Transportation. Many of the benefits and tradeoffs of
these platforms are outlined in our practitioner guide.

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46

May 2021

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ITE Journal - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - May 2021

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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100154_ITE_November2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
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