National Academies Press: OpenBook

Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies (2016)

Chapter: Appendix H - Calculator User Manual

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
×
Page 126
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Calculator User Manual." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Page 127

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120 This appendix explains how to use the Transit Corridor Livability Calculator (the Calculator). The Calculator serves as a supplement to the Handbook for helping users through a process of transit corridor livability analysis, goals-setting, and strategies selection. However, users should be aware that the Calculator is NOT a predictive model and therefore is NOT designed to tell the user how and when to make corridor improvements and what specific outcomes will result. Furthermore, the Calculator is NOT a judgmental tool for making assessments about the rela- tive value of a corridor. Rather, it is intended to be descriptive, providing insights about the key characteristics of these places and communities. Nevertheless, the Calculator is designed to help corridor stakeholders analyze, identify, and assess a corridor’s livability strengths and needs, based on the Transit Corridor Livability Principles. It does this by providing users the data for most of the transit corridor livability metrics (based on the Transit Corridor Livability Principles as defined in the Handbook) for an unlimited number of user-defined transit corridors across the United States. Users can then use the Calculator to create a graphic, dashboard visualization of that corridor’s livability performance, showing how it ranks in terms of the Principles compared to a survey of over 250 transit corridors across the United States. This is accomplished by cross-referencing these metrics against threshold values associated with each transit corridor livability type identified within this research: Emerging, Transitioning, or Integrated. At its core, the Calculator is a standalone series of linked Excel worksheets, which includes a nationwide dataset for 10 of the 12 Metrics described in this Handbook, provided at the census block groups (CBGs) level. The Calculator then aggregates these data from the CBGs in the user’s specified corridor to calculate corridor-wide metric values. The Calculator works through the following Calculator (C-)Steps: • C-Step 1: Define Your Transit Corridor’s Boundaries. • C-Step 2: Identify Your Corridor’s CBGs. • C-Step 3: Insert Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Code ID Numbers for Corridor CBGs in the (1) Inputs worksheet. • C-Step 4: Determine Metrics to Be Used. • C-Step 5: View the Livability Metrics in the (2) Metric Scores worksheet. • C-Step 6: View and Evaluate Transit Corridor Livability Performance on the (3) Livability Performance worksheet. • C-Step 7: View Individual Metric Performance and Select Strategies in the (4) Strategy Selection worksheet. • C-Step 8: View Selected Strategy Information in the (5) Strategy Summary worksheet The following sections provide instructions on completing each of these steps. A P P E N D I X H Calculator User Manual

Calculator User Manual 121 C-Step 1: Define Your Transit Corridor’s Boundaries As outlined in Step 1, Section 1 of the Handbook, defining your transit corridor is an impor- tant task in the Handbook’s process as well as the Calculator’s. The process of corridor identifi- cation is outlined in more detail in the following Handbook substeps: • Step 1.2.1: Define Your Transit Corridor. • Step 2.2: Define and Select Study Corridor(s) and Transit Modes. C-Step 2: Identify CBG Once you have defined the boundaries of your transit corridor, identify the CBG for your study area manually through the use of relevant maps and reports; this is best accomplished using any GIS software package (for example, see Figure H-1). This will make the data collection, processing, and metrics calculation steps easier. A suggested approach is to select CBG features (such as zone centroids) that intersect with and fall within the corridor area. For this study, a 1-mile buffer around the corridor was used for transit lines outside of the CBD. It is important to note that the current version of the Cal- culator is solely calibrated for corridors outside of CBDs. The user should decide what buffer is appropriate for their particular corridor. Figure H-1. Example of a study corridor buffer (in green) overlaid upon census block group boundaries (in blue).

122 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies C-Step 3: Insert FIPS Code ID Numbers for Corridor CBGs Copy the list of FIPS codes (GEOID10) for the census block group features that were selected from the users preferred corridor method, as outlined in Step 2 (for example, from a GIS pro- gram) and paste them into the (1) Inputs worksheet (see Figure H-3). Note that the Calculator uses the national FIPS coding system, as shown in Figure H-2. C-Step 4: Determine Metrics to Be Used The Livability Calculator provides data for the entire United States for 10 of the 12 metrics. The Calculator is designed to work with either the 10 metrics provided, or all 12 (of which two will need to be generated by the user). The additional two metrics are as follows: • The Transit Corridor Ridership Balance (RB) metric (available in certain corridors). • The Corridor Pedestrian Collisions per 100,000 Daily Pedestrians metric (data available in the Calculator for immediate use for California only). Appendix F provides guidance on how to calculate all 12 metrics. See Figure H-3 for where to input these two additional metrics into the Calculator. C-Step 5: View Your Corridor’s Detailed Livability Performance in the Metric Scores Worksheet The (2) Metric Scores worksheet displays your corridor’s mean values for each livability metric, while also providing a graphical visualization of each metric’s performance. Each chart shows how the individual metrics perform relative to the mean metric scores for the three typologies: Emerging (red), Transitioning (yellow), and Integrated (green). Each chart dis- plays the z-score normalized values for each metric, based on the mean and standard deviation values for the transit corridors studied in the creation of the Handbook (see Figure H-4). Use this worksheet to confirm that the Calculator is producing metric values for your corridor by comparing the values shown in this worksheet to those shown prior to entering your CBGs in C-Step 3. 2-digit state FIPS code: 11 234 567890 1 STATE COUNTY TRACT BLOCK GROUP 1-digit state FIPS code: 1 234 567890 1 STATE COUNTY TRACT BLOCK GROUP (12 digits total) (11 digits total) Note: No spaces should be placed between FIPS digits. Figure H-2. FIPS code format.

Figure H-3. Enter your corridor FIPS codes into the (1) Input Worksheet.

View the Livability Principle Performance by each of its metrics on the (2) Metric Scores worksheet. Each graph shows how the individual metrics perform relative to the mean metric scores for the three typology categories: Emerging (red), Transitioning (yellow), and Integrated (green). Use this worksheet to confirm the Calculator is producing metric values for your corridor. Figure H-4. Metric Scores worksheet.

Calculator User Manual 125 C-Step 6: View and Evaluate Transit Corridor Livability Performance on the (3) Livability Performance Worksheet The Livability Graph worksheet shows the user how their study area corridor compares to the three corridor types. The so-called “RADAR” graph (titled “Performance of Input Corridor”) maps the mean values for each of the Livability Principles of the input CBG as a polygon with a black outline and no fill (see Figure H-5). The shape of this polygon allows for a visual interpre- tation of the performance of the study corridor, allowing users to see how it performs on each of the Transit Corridor Livability Principles and in relation to each other. Values that fall within the red zone (in the center) are considered Emerging, values within the yellow zone are considered Transitioning, and values within the green zone are considered Integrated. Users can also use the (3) Livability Performance worksheet to help identify their corridor’s strengths and needs. Identify metric scores that fall above and below the average scores for the best-matching typology category for your corridor. Those that fall below can be considered needs, and those that fall above can be considered strengths. C-Step 7: View Individual Metric Performance and Select Strategies in the (4) Strategy Selection Worksheet Once the transit corridor’s livability performance has been calculated, and users are able to determine the livability strengths and needs of their corridor, the Calculator facilitates an Evaluate your corridor’s typology category using the Livability Performance Graph in the (3) Livability Performance worksheet. The Livability Performance Graph enables the user to compare the livability performance of the user-specified corridor inputs to the three corridor types. This worksheet also provides the aggregate scores (mean values) for each Livability Principle (based on CBGs inserted into the (1) Inputs worksheet). Figure H-5. Livability Performance Graph.

126 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Alongside a visualization of transit corridor livability performance, as shown in the (3) Livability Performance worksheet, the (4) Strategies Selection worksheet allows the user to explore Transit Corridor Livability Goals and strategies. The user can select strategies relevant to particular principles and metrics, based on their experiences and knowledge of their corridor/place of interest. Metrics are colored to indicate performance, allowing the user to identify and address areas of need as indicated by red- and yellow-colored factors. Figure H-6. Goals-Strategies Selection worksheet. interactive strategy priority selection process on the (4) Strategy Selection worksheet (see Figure H-6). Examine those factors within red- and yellow-colored boxes and consider the goals and asso- ciated strategies that might help address these areas of need. Focusing on these needs can help improve the livability of the corridor overall. C-Step 8: View Selected Strategy Information in the (5) Strategy Summary worksheet Once strategies have been selected in the (4) Strategy Selection worksheet, the user can view a summary table of the selected strategies in the (5) Strategy Summary worksheet. This table lists the goals and principles that are linked to each selected strategy, and the relevant page number in the Handbook is provided (see Figure H-7). Clicking on the Handbook page number will open the Handbook file to the relevant page, allowing the user to learn more about the selected strategy.

Calculator User Manual 127 Based on user selected goals, this worksheet provides a comprehensive read-out of strategies selected on the previous (4) Strategy Selection worksheet. The (5) Strategy Summary worksheet lists the goals and principles that are linked to each selected strategy, and the relevant Handbook page number is provided. Clicking on the Handbook page number will open the Handbook file to the relevant page, allowing the user to learn more about the selected strategy. Figure H-7. The (5) Strategy Summary worksheet.

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 187: Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies presents practical planning and implementation strategies to enhance livability in transit corridors. This Handbook provides a resource for planning practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders to measure, understand, and improve transit corridor livability.

The handbook provides a definition of transit corridor livability and a set of methods, metrics, and strategies—framed within a five-step visioning and improvement process—that communities can use to improve livability in their transit corridors. It includes a set of tools and techniques that can help in planning and building support for corridor improvements, screening alternatives in preparation for environmental review, identifying a corridor’s livability needs, and developing an action-oriented set of strategies for improving transit corridor livability and quality of life.

A spreadsheet-based Transit Corridor Livability Calculator tool is available for download. Instructions for using the Calculator tool are embedded within. Additional guidance in the form of a User Manual can be found in Appendix H of TCRP Research Report 187. To ensure the Calculator tool is fully-functional, make sure the tool's spreadsheet file and the TCRP Research Report 187 PDF file are both saved to the same directory folder on your computer.

Any digital files or software included is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB”) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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