Multimodal level of service for suburban areas: measurement methodology and case studies

Beck, Claire
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University of Delaware
Level of service is a way of measuring how well a transportation facility serves its users. For the driver of a motor vehicle, level of service is most dependent on the congestion and delay characteristics of a roadway. However, for other transportation users—such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders—factors outside of congestion are often more important to the level of service that a facility provides. Multimodal level of service measurement methodologies, which focus largely on non-automobile modes, have garnered increased attention and research efforts within the past few decades, and a number of qualitative and quantitative methodologies are now available. These multimodal level of service projects and methodologies are part of a larger movement in transportation planning and engineering to build a more multimodal, less car-dependent transportation system, particularly in the United States. This thesis expands on recent multimodal level of service research by developing and testing a new multimodal level of service methodology specifically tailored to suburban areas. Through literature research, public participation, and field and remote data collection, the new multimodal LOS methodology was tested in two cases studies conducted in Newark, Delaware and Elkton, Maryland. The methodology resulting from this project presents a valid and detail-level measurement tool for multimodal level of service.