Does anyone have a short, "plain English" explanation of the residence-to-workplace flows from this data and how it compares to the old long-form commuting data from the 2000 and earlier censuses (censi?).  I read "synthesized" data and little red flags go up.  Specifically, is this data based on actual residence and workplace data of real individuals (as with the Census), or are the residence and workplace locations from different data sources and the travel between the 2 synthesized in some way, as a travel demand model would create travel patterns between the 2?
Any guidance would be appreciated; my brief hunting through the documentation didn't give me the clear specifics I was hoping.
John Hodges-Copple, Planning Director
Triangle J Council of Governments
PO Box 12276
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:36 AM
Subject: RE: [CTPP] Need your thoughts on CTPP products using ACS standardtables


The tables currently found in the ACS have been sufficient for my needs and concerns.  The idea expressed by Nathan is intriguing (if I understand it correctly); by “multiple geographic units”, do we mean various MCDs, TAZs or the 20,000 population areas?

Concerning the “Journey to Work Trends”, I made use of that data primarily as comparative analysis for the Twin Cities region to other MSAs and as a template for a more detailed look at Minneapolis-St.Paul.  However, given the workload that appears to exists, I don’t believe that updating the report to include the 2005-07 information would be useful enough to spend additional time and resources ….at least for my specific needs and wants.


From: [] On Behalf Of Murakami, Elaine
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 4:18 PM
Subject: [CTPP] Need your thoughts on CTPP products using ACS standard tables

Hi Everyone –

I bet you have a lot of questions about CTPP using the first 3 years of ACS and TAZs, but unfortunately, I can’t answer them yet!

Given the current uncertainty of the next CTPP (“custom tabulation”) using the ACS, we are moving forward to develop products using standard ACS products.  Some of you will recall that we created a series using the first 2005 ACS data products.  They are posted on both the FHWA web  and  on the AASHTO web

On December 9, 2008, the Census Bureau plans to release the first 3-year ACS products (surveys completed in 2005, 2006 and 2007).  The minimum population threshold is 20,000 for the 3-year products, compared to 65,000 population for the ACS 1-year products.  So, while the data is still “swiss cheese,” that is, geographic coverage has holes,  a lot more geographic units will be available.  The results are still subject to the Census Bureau rules of “collapsing and filtering” which means that sometimes the data have been suppressed and you will see an "N". 

We are now designing new profile sheets, in which we plan to include data from 2000 (using Census Summary File 3 and CTPP2000) and from 2005-2007 ACS.   Please let me know if you have any recommendations for specific tables to include (the data must be available in both 2000 and from the 2005-2007 ACS).    One recommendation from Nathan Erlbaum (NYS DOT)  is to create a spreadsheet macro that will sum up multiple geographic units and re-calculate the Margin of Error (using the materials on Page 96-98 in NCHRP Report 588).   

Also, I am wondering if there is any interest in an updated “Journey to Work Trends” report to include the 2005-2007 ACS results. This report was limited to metropolitan areas with population over 1 million, but had trend data including 1960, 1980, 1990 and 2000.  Because of  redefinitions of metropolitan areas by OMB, the data need to be accumulated from county records for historical comparability, which makes for quite a bit of work.   The last report used the 1999 definition, but the 2005-2007  ACS data will be reported using the 2007 OMB definitions (I think).  My question for you is:  is this report useful enough to spend time and resources on?   

Thanks in advance for your opinions.

Elaine Murakami

FHWA Office of Planning (Wash DC)

206-220-4460 (in Seattle)

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