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AMPO Travel Modeling Work Group November 5, 2010. Update on Census Info and Planning Products/ Getting Ready for TAZ Delineation. Topics Boundaries 3-year CTPP/ACS 5-year CTPP TAZs/TADs PUMS/PUMAS. Ed Christopher Resource Center Planning Team Federal Highway Administration

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AMPO Travel Modeling Work Group

November 5, 2010

Update on Census Info and Planning Products/

Getting Ready for TAZ Delineation

  • Topics

  • Boundaries

  • 3-year CTPP/ACS

  • 5-year CTPP

  • TAZs/TADs


Ed Christopher

Resource CenterPlanning Team

Federal Highway Administration

4749 Lincoln Mall Dr. Rm 600

Matteson, IL 60443


[email protected]

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Boundaries -- Some Background

Urban Areas

Urbanized Areas


circa 1950

Urban Clusters

(2,500 to 49,999)

circa 2000


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Transportation Perspective

(Census Defined) Urbanized Area (UZA)

Federal-Aid (Adjusted) Urban[ized] Area (FAUA)

Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA)

Non-Attainment Area


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Some Implications for Transportation

  • New / Retired MPOs

  • New / Retired TMAs

  • Expanded MPOs & TMA

  • Changed Roadway Classifications

  • Data Reporting and reports

  • Funding and Financial Issues

  • Outdoor Advertising

Hinges on Transportation Bill


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What’s an MPO? A TMA?

NARC- Status Quo

AASHTO -Somewhat Vague

FHWA - Internal

House - T+I Committee, HR ____

Senate -

100K - Threshold


200K - Project Selection Authority

1 Million+ Special Funding and Requirements


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2009 SAFETEA-LU expired

New Bill Expected (2011) ???

2010 Fed Register-Comments on UA Criteria

2012 New UAs Released (Springtime)

Register Notice on Proposed Criteria for Urban Area Boundaries (August 24, 2010)


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Highlights of Federal Register Notice

  • oUse of Tracts as Analysis Unit (Initial Phase)

  • o Reducing Jumps from 2.5 miles to 1.5

  • o Use of a National Land Cover Data Base

  • o Changing Airport threshold from 10K to 2,500 enplanements

  • o Eliminating the Central Place Concept

  • o Establishing Minimum pop living outside of group quarters

  • o Splitting Large Areas

  • o Naming Criteria

Comments due November 22, 2010

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Size of Area

Data for the Previous Year Released in:

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012+



3-year Period


5-year Period

Tract and Block Group

ACS Data Releases

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And then the CTPP

Census Transportation Planning

Products (CTPP) Program

The CTPP is an umbrella program of Census related data products, custom tabulations, training, technical assistance, and research for the transportation community

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CTPP History

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CTPP then and Now


Prior to ACS

CTPProducts Program

Post ACS

  • The CTPP program now includes

    • Many more Data products

    • Training and technical assistance

      • On-call user support

      • Training classes and web seminars

    • Research

Federal Technical Advisory Group

TRB Subcommittee -- List Serve (800 strong)

Quarterly Newsletter -- Outreach -- Several Websites


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3-year CTPP Data Product

CTPP 3-Year

September 2010

Oct/Nov 2010

2006, 2007, 2008

20,000 Pop. Areas

(County, Place, PUMAs)

Actual Flows



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2008 Geography

Product Structure


Part 1-Place of Residence

Part 2-Place of Work

Part 3-Flows between

Home and Work

On-Line Data Retrieval

Extraction Software ~ Raw Data Download

Nation (US Total)





State-PUMA(red = 2000 geo.)


Metropolitan Statistical Area

MSA – EACH Principal City

The 3-year Product Design

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The 3-year Product

County to County Flows are on the street

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Some Issues to be aware of

3-year ACS (2006, 2007, 2008)

What year is the data?

Period Estimate

brought forward

to year of release

What Data to use?

Reliability vs.


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Significance Testing--Why do it?


Source: CTPP Data Profiles

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Working with ACS

A Compass for Understanding And Using ACS Data

l Set of user-specific handbooks

l Train-the trainer materials

l E-learning ACS Tutorial

l Annotated Presentations

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What data should I use?

Travel Times for the 6-counties in NE Illinois

1. To compare with 1970, ‘80, ‘90 and 2000 Travel Times?

2. To compare with my town of 52,000 people?

3. To validate my 2008 vintage travel demand model?

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And remember I noted Incomplete Coverage?

NE Illinois (2009 3-year ACS)

Gray = Less than 20K people and No data


“Where’s the beef Data?”

“It Looks Like Swiss Cheese”

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5-year CTPP Data Product



Requires implementation of new disclosure avoidance (“masking”) techniques

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The are DRB rules

  • Cell Means and aggregates require 3 unweighted records

  • For Pt 3 Flow Tables: 3 unweighted records for each table, each cell, with the exception of the 1-way Means of Trans. table

  • 3 unweighted records for the marginal's in any cross-tabulation with Means of Trans.

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5-year CTPP Data Product

NCHRP 08-79 ($550K) Producing Transportation Data Products from the ACS that Comply With Disclosure Rules

  • NCHRP is funded by State DOTs SP&R

  • Project schedule: Jan 2010-July 2011

    • Need results to be applied to 2006-2010 ACS for the 5-year CTPP (delivery to software vendor in summer 2012)

  • Westat, Tom Krenzke, PI

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“NEW” TAZs Traffic Analysis Zones

  • Defined by MPOs and State DOTS

  • Software Deployed (Spring 2011)

  • Developed in Summer 2011

  • TAZs will nest with TADs

  • GIS equivalency process

  • Funded under Consolidated Purchase

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What is an equivalency process?

Take the map at the right and using the states boundaries make 9 contiguous regions

It’s the same for TAZs


cluster into


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A real world example

  • Census Blocks will make up TAZs

  • TAZs will nest with TADs

  • TADs will nest in Counties

  • Nesting with Tracts is optional

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TAZ Size

  • CB recommends

  • ~600 persons

    • corresponds to the minimum

    • threshold for 2010 Census

    • Block Groups

    • Threshold is guideline not a requirement

    • TAZs may be defined with fewer than 600 residents or workers

    • Data reliability and availability improves as population size increases

Bigger is Better

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The Schedule

Nov 2010 - Agencies verify contact names

(AASHTO Website)

Jan 2011 - Final delivery of Software by Caliper

Feb 2011 - Web-based training

Feb 25 and Feb 28

March through April 2011 - Delivery of software and Census 2010 data and geographic files (Rolling basis)

3- Months to delineate TAZ/TADs

June through July 2011 - Files returned to CB Geography

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Creating TAZs

Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure

White Paper on Recommended Approach to Delineating TAZ

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5-year Geography and Flows

  • Asymmetrical Flows

  • Small Areas defined by MPOs in MPO areas and States Elsewhere

  • Tracts are Defaults for Small Areas

  • Default TADs under discussion

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PUMAs? -- What are they?

Public Use Microdata Sample

PUMSdata is based on individual census records and is available only at large geographic areas. Think of the PUMS dataset as the raw, disaggregate census sample data, at a large enough geographic level necessary to protect the confidentiality of the census respondent.

Standard Tabs



PUMS Records

PUMAs are the zones used from PUMS data

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Why are PUMAs Important?

NE Illinois (2008 pop estimate)

Let’s Look at Annual Data

  • Annual Data

  • 65K+

  • Note the areas in gray

  • We call this Swiss Cheese

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Why are PUMAs Important?

NE Illinois (PUMAs)

Tabulation Area for ACS

  • Represent 100K

  • Complete Coverage

  • Smaller than Counties

  • NO Swiss Cheese

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How many PUMAs should this area have?

City of Chicago 2000 PUMAs

Why are PUMAs Important?

- Defines areas for analysis

- Tabulation Area for ACS

- Custom Tabulation

Who Defines Them?

- The Community

- Led by State Data Center

When are They Defined?

- Summer 2011

- Criteria out Spring 2010

2,896,016 (2000 Pop)

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PUMA Resources

IPUMS maintains the PUMS data back to the 1850 census and has and online table generator

Minnesota Population Center

CTPP Webinar on IPUMS

Compass Handbook by Census Bureau

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5 year regular ACS

Fed Register Notice onACS 5-Year

Data Product Plans

Data due out in December 2010

’05, ‘06, ’07. ’08, ’09 Data Years

Block Groups not on FactFinder and loaded with suppression

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Census Bureau E-Tutorial and ACS

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Just in

American FactFinder to get facelift in January

Take the Advance Tour


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To Learn more about the CTPP

Join the CTPP List Serve