Mapping Accessibility in the Twin Cities

Online matrix helps users determine accessibility

Online matrix helps users determine accessibility
People who make transportation and land-use decisions in the Twin Cities region have a new tool: an online “accessibility matrix” that illustrates variations in accessibility to different types of destinations for travelers who drive, bike, walk, or use transit.
The matrix is one of the outcomes of the CTS-led Access to Destinations Study. In the interdisciplinary study, researchers analyzed, described, and mapped how accessibility—the ability of people to reach the destinations they need or want to visit—has changed over recent decades in the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan region, whether by auto, bicycle, public transit, or on foot.
Funding sponsors included the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hennepin County, and the McKnight Foundation, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Council.
The matrix displays four types of maps: accessibility (the ability to reach destinations), mobility (the ability of people to move on the network), travel time (how long it will take to get between census blocks with each of the travel modes), and land use (the distribution of activities by census block).
Users can select up to four filters, including year, mode, time of day, and destination type (such as retail, restaurants, or recreation). The result, for example, could be maps showing the accessibility of jobs between two distant suburbs by transit or by car.
The tool is hosted by the University’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory (MTO), a transportation laboratory staffed by experts in managing large data sets and creating visual models of complex data. The matrix is just one of the MTO’s systems that support effective transportation and land-use planning. Future researchers will be able to further develop the tool and add new data as they become available.
CTS has also created tutorials to assist users with the new tool. The tool, the study’s 11 research reports, and a high-level summary of the research are available online.

The map is available online here.