Monday, July 14, 2008

Amazing Carsharing Planning Tool

The Center for Neighborhood Technology has created an amazing, easy to use tool for looking at transportation and housing affordability. The data provides maps for 52 US cities and metro areas and allows zooming in to street level views.

Using various factors one could quickly identify the most promising neighborhoods - with higher use of transit, lower car ownership and income that's not too high or too low. About the only thing that's missing is educational level, with higher levels consistently correlating to carsharing membership to date. To the right is Transit ridership (as a percentage of workers) in my part of Portland. The darkest squares are 14% or higher. Conveniently, the median household income and size, 2000 and 2008 gas price are also provided.

CNT is the originator of the Location Efficient Mortgage concept that enables homebuyers to stretch their mortgage loan to value ratio if their new house is in a location well-served by public transportation and other neighborhood amenities. Sharp readers will realize that CNT is also the parent organization for Chicago's I-Go Carsharing.

In addition to summary maps, the advanced features are where the system can be really useful for carsharing planning: There are:

Household Model Outputs:
• Autos per Household
• Vehicle Miles Traveled per Household
• Transit Ridership
• Transportation Cost

Model Inputs - Environment Variables:
• Households per Acre
• Travel Time to Work
• Employment Density
• Average Block Size
• Transit Connectivity Index

Household Statistics:
• Workers per Household
• Median Household Income
• Percent of Households Who Own
• Average Monthly Ownership Costs
• Average Monthly Rent

If only I had this tool when I was starting! Thanks CNT for putting this on the web