National survey to assist with travel research

The Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation are conducting a National Household Travel Survey. Results will help them better understand the travel patterns and needs of current Fort Benning residents. (Courtesty photo)

The Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation are conducting a National Household Travel Survey. Results will help them better understand the travel patterns and needs of current Fort Benning residents. (Courtesty photo)

By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 12, 2016) — The Georgia Department of Transportation has partnered with the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct the National Household Travel Survey.

The survey runs from April 2016 to April 2017, said Adella Santos, the Federal Highway Administration program manager.

“It will help us gain a better understanding of the travel patterns and travel needs of the current Fort Benning residents from and to Columbus as well as the region at large,” added Habte Kassa, a planning engineer with the Georgia DOT. “The results will be used to improve transportation options and the quality of life here in the Columbus region as well as throughout the state of Georgia.”

On a broader level, the results of the survey will be used by the Georgia DOT to assist with informing policy, Kassa explained.

He hopes the survey will answer questions like, ‘How easy is it for households with children to get about? ‘What are the important transportation issues for residents in Columbus vs. other areas of the state? Where and how can transportation options be improved?

Daily travel by military families revolved around the base, said Santos.

“The influence of the base on the community is widely recognized and it is important for the survey to capture these travel patterns so that transportation agencies have a complete understanding of travel throughout the region,” she added. “By completing the survey, Fort Benning residents will help ensure that the transportation agencies have accurate data to consider an integrated transportation that will support everyone’s needs.”

According to Kassa, the details about each household’s travel will also help the Columbus Phenix City Metropolitan Planning Organization address transportation issues in the region and prepare the federally required Long Range Transportation Plan.

“The LRTP will identify where new roads should go as well as help prioritize improvements like turn lanes, bike lanes and transit bus stops,” said Kassa.

For more information about the National Household Travel Survey, visit http://nhts.ornl.gov/.

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