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VTPI News - Summer 2012

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    ... VTPI NEWS ... Victoria Transport Policy Institute Efficiency - Equity - Clarity ... Summer 2012 Vol. 12, No. 3 ... The Victoria Transport Policy
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 11, 2012


                   VTPI NEWS


                    Victoria Transport Policy Institute

                    "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"


                    Summer 2012    Vol. 12, No. 3


      The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation problems. The VTPI website (http://www.vtpi.org ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.





      "Local Funding Options for Public Transportation" (http://www.vtpi.org/tranfund.pdf )

      This paper, submitted for presentation at the TRB Annual Meeting, describes the results of a study that evaluated potential local funding options to help finance public transit improvements. It evaluates seventeen options according to eight criteria, a somewhat larger set of options and more systematic evaluation than most previous studies of this type. Each option has disadvantages and constraints. As a result, the overall conclusion of this study is that a variety of funding options should be used to help finance the local share of public transit improvements to insure stability and distribute costs broadly.


      "Safer Than You Think! Revising the Transit Safety Narrative" (http://www.vtpi.org/safer.pdf )

      Public transportation is a safe form of travel. Total per capita traffic casualties tend to decline as public transit travel increases in a community. However, many people have the misimpression that transit is dangerous, and so are reluctant to use it or support transit service expansion in their communities. Various factors contribute to this excessive and irrational fear, including conventional traffic safety messages, heavy media coverage of transit-related crashes and crimes, and the nature of public transit, which requires travel with strangers in confined spaces. There is much that public transit agencies can do to change the narrative to emphasize the overall safety of public transit travel, to improve passengers’ sense of security, and to provide better guidance concerning how passengers and communities can enhance public transport safety and security.


      "Smart Congestion Relief: Comprehensive Analysis Of Traffic Congestion Costs and Congestion Reduction Benefits" (http://www.vtpi.org/cong_relief.pdf )

      This report critically evaluates the methods used to measure traffic congestion impacts, and applies a more comprehensive evaluation framework to various congestion reduction strategies. Current evaluation methods tend to exaggerate congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits, and underestimate the overall long-term impacts and benefits of pricing reforms, public transit improvements and land use policy reforms. The results indicate that more comprehensive evaluation can help identify more efficient and equitable congestion reduction solutions.

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      Below are recently updated VTPI documents.


      If Health Matters: Integrating Public Health Objectives in Transportation Planning” (http://www.vtpi.org/health.pdf)

      This report investigates various ways that transportation planning decisions affect public health, and how planning practices can better incorporate public health objectives. Conventional planning tends to consider some public health impacts, particularly traffic accident risks and pollution emissions measured per vehicle-kilometer, but generally ignores the additional accidents and pollution emissions caused by increased vehicle mileage, and health problems resulting from less active transport (reduced walking and cycling activity). This tends to undervalue strategies that reduce total vehicle travel and increase transport system diversity. This study identifies various “win-win” strategies that help improve public health and achieve other planning objectives.

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      “Changing North American Vehicle-Travel Price Sensitivities: Implications For Transport And Energy Policy” (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.06.010), published in “Transport Policy”.

      There is a growing interest in transportation pricing reforms to help achieve various policy objectives including reduced traffic congestion, accidents and pollution emissions. Their effectiveness is affected by the price sensitivity of vehicle fuel consumption and travel, measured as elasticities (percentage change in consumption caused by a percentage change in price). Lower elasticities imply that price reforms are relatively ineffective at achieving objectives, high prices significantly harm consumers, and rebound effects are small so strategies that increase vehicle fuel efficiency are relatively effective at conserving fuel. Higher elasticities imply that price reforms are relatively effective, consumers can respond relatively easily, and rebound effects are relatively large. Some studies found that US price elasticities declined during the last quarter of the Twentieth Century but recent evidence suggests that vehicle travel has since become more price sensitive. This article examines evidence of changing vehicle fuel and travel elasticities, and discusses policy implications. This article is based on the longer report, "Changing Vehicle Travel Price Sensitivities: The Rebounding Rebound Effect" (http://www.vtpi.org/VMT_Elasticities.pdf ).


      "Reducing Carbon Emissions through TDM Strategies - A Review of International Examples" for Transportation Demand Management in Beijing (http://tdm-beijing.org/files/International_Review_Executive_Summary.pdf ) for Transport Demand Management in Beijing – Emission Reduction in Urban Transport (http://www.tdm-beijing.org ). This report discusses promising TDM options for Chinese cities. It describes international examples of effective transport policy reforms including London, Singapore, New York, Berlin, Seoul, San Francisco and others.


      "Transforming Urban Mobility In Mexico: Towards Accessible Cities Less Reliant on Cars" Institute for Transportation and Development Policy" (http://mexico.itdp.org/wp-content/uploads/Transforming-Urban-Mobility-in-Mexico.pdf ).

      This study was conducted by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy México with support from the British Embassy in Mexico and the UK Prosperity Fund. It hopes to promote the development of sustainable cities and thereby increase quality of life for its inhabitants.


      "Regional Transit Local Funding Options - Draft Technical Analysis"

      (http://www.crd.bc.ca/regionalplanning/transportation/documents/CRD_LocalTransitFundingOptionsReport_18June2012-web.pdf )

      This report describes the results of a study commissioned by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission to identify and evaluate potential local funding options to help finance major public transit improvements in the Capital Regional District. This research included literature reviews, public surveys and focus groups, and analysis.


      "Transport, The Environment And Public Health: Classic Papers On Non-Motorised Travel" (http://www.e-elgar.com/bookentry_main.lasso?currency=US&id=14642)

      This book edited by Stephen P. Greaves and Jan Garrard includes Todd Litman’s report, "The Economic Value of Walkability" (http://www.vtpi.org/walkability.pdf ).


      "What's It Worth? Comprehensive Evaluation of Bicycling Benefits" (http://www.vtpi.org/velocity2012.pdf ), presentation at the VeloCity Conference in Vancouver. 


      "What solutions to curb congestion in emerging countries? – Comments" (http://ecomobility.tv/forums/topic/what-solutions-to-curb-congestion-in-emerging-countries?replies=2#post-426 )


      Recent Planetizen Blogs (http://www.planetizen.com/blog/2394 ):

      'Be Careful With Statistics' (http://www.planetizen.com/node/58169 )

      'Land-Use Regulation, Income Inequality and Smart Growth' (http://www.planetizen.com/node/57754 )

      'The Ecological Value of Lawns' (http://www.planetizen.com/node/57354 )

      'New Understanding of Traffic Congestion' (http://www.planetizen.com/node/57017 )


      Let’s be friends.  Todd Litman regularly posts on his Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/todd.litman). Befriend him now!

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      VeloVillage Conference  presentation (http://www.scribd.com/doc/99751654/Win-Win-Strategies-for-Healthier-Communities ) and video

      ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB1ZIr650G0&feature=youtu.be ).




      "Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities" (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/167122.aspx ) Chapter 16 of TCRP Report 95 of "Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes." This 500-plus page report discusses the transportation and health impacts that result from various types of non-motorized transportation improvements and programs, including sidewalks, bicycle boulevards, regional path and bikeway systems and marketing. Impacts are quantified to the extent possible, and the report includes extensive references, photos and a set of PowerPoint slides.


      "Collection of Cycle Concepts" (http://www.cycling-embassy.dk/2012/05/10/cycle-concepts2012 ). This attractive book by the Cycling Embassy of Denmark provides extensive information on how to improve cycling.


      "TR News" (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/167474.aspx ) May-June issue is devoted walking and cycling issues

      "Best Design Practices for Walking and Bicycling in Michigan" (www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_Research_Report_RC1572_Part6_387521_7.pdf ). This report provides guidance in the design of nonmotorized improvements that have been shown to reduce crashes. A summary matrix is provided that provides a general comparison of the potential crash reduction, potential mobility impacts, and cost of each best practice.


      "Valuation Of Travel Time Savings In Bicycle Trips" (http://www.vti.se/en/publications/valuation-of-travel-time-savings-in-bicycle-trips ). This study indicates that many people value walking or cycling for enjoyment and exercise and so will choose these modes even if they take longer than driving.


      "2010 Bike Commuting Data" (http://www.bikeleague.org/news/acs2010.php )

      uses data from the 70 U.S. cities largest cities to show that communities which have improved bicycling conditions have experienced increased bicycle transportation.


      "Creating Walkable and Bikeable Communities: A User Guide to Developing Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans" (http://www.ibpi.usp.pdx.edu/media/IBPI%20Master%20Plan%20Handbook%20FINAL%20(7.27.12).pdf ) by Portland State University’s Center for Transportation Studies is designed to help communities strategically plan for bicycle and pedestrian transportation.


      "Urban Bikeway Design Guide" (http://www.c4cguide.org ) by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is a toolkit for designing safer streets for bicyclists published.


      "Good For Busine$$ - The Benefits Of Making Streets More Walking And Cycling Friendly" (http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/GoodforBusinessFINAL_Nov.pdf ). This discussion paper by Rodney Tolley explores the benefits to retailers, residents and councils of improving walking and cycling conditions, based on international case studies.


      "Complete Streets: Policy Analysis 2011" (http://www.completestreets.org/webdocs/resources/cs-policyanalysis.pdf )

      summarizes more than 350 complete streets policies approved by communities across the United States and identifies best practices.


      "Local Policies And Practices That Support Safe Pedestrian Environments; A Synthesis Of Highway Practice" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_436.pdf ) describes the regulatory, administrative, and financial tools used to provide safe pedestrian environments.


      "Bicycle Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists" (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/tools_solve/fhwasa12018/fhwasa12018.pdf ) by the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety provides information on principles of the safety of cyclists and potential issues affecting cyclists.


      "Amenity or Necessity? Street Standards as Parking Policy" (http://transweb.sjsu.edu/PDFs/research/1001-2-street-standards-street-width-parking-policy-investigation.pdf ) concludes that requiring wide residential streets to provide on-street parking is not justified for safety, nor by consumer demands since many households would not choose to pay for parking if it were unbundled, and so represents a hidden subsidy of automobile ownership and use.


      "SF Better Streets" (http://www.sfbetterstreets.org ) provides information for residents on how to improve street designs and maintenance.


      "Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference" (www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop12028/fhwahop12028.pdf ) by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration includes basic background information on benefit/cost analysis, including basic terminology and concepts, intended to support the needs of practitioners just getting started with B/C analysis, who may be unfamiliar with the general process.


      "Walkability Workbook" (http://www.walklive.org/project/walkability-workbook) is a set of documents and slideshows that provide everything needed to organize community walkability workshops and conducting walkability audits, developed by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.


      "Better Urban Mobility in Developing Countries: Problems, Solutions and Good Practices" (http://www.uitp.org/publications/brochures/Dev-Countries-uk.pdf )

      This brochure, provides concrete solutions and good practices for more efficient transportation management in developing countries.


      "World’s Largest Development Banks pledge $175 Billion for the Creation of More Sustainable Transport" (http://www.itdp.org/news/worlds-largest-development-banks-pledge-175-billion-for-the-creation-of-mor ) provides good news for anybody who wants to see more efficient and equitable transport systems in developing countries. Thanks to efforts by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), the eight largest development banks have pledged $175 Billon to support more sustainable transport worldwide.


      "International Fuel Prices 2010/2011" (http://www.giz.de/Themen/en/dokumente/giz-en-IFP2010.pdf ) by www.giz.de/fuelprices , provides an overview of the retail prices of gasoline and diesel in over 170 countries. 


      "ITDP: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Promote Sustainable Development" (http://www.itdp.org/news/end-fossil-fuel-subsidies-promote-sustainable-development and http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/international ) and "Implementing Energy Subsidy Reforms : An Overview Of The Key Issues" (http://go.worldbank.org/5QBSGWMK60 ) discuss how and why to reduce government subsidies of gasoline and diesel fuels.

      "IMF: Environmental Tax Reform: Principles from Theory and Practice to Date" (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=26049.0 ) by the International Monetary Fund recommends a system of upstream taxes on fossil fuels, combined with refunds for downstream emissions capture, to internalize costs and reduce carbon and local pollution emissions.


      "How Much Do Drivers Pay For A Quicker Commute? New Evidence Suggests That It's Less Than We Think" (http://daily.sightline.org/2012/08/01/how-much-do-drivers-pay-for-a-quicker-commute ), the latest column in the Sightline Institute's, "Dude: Where Are My Cars?" (http://daily.sightline.org/blog_series/dude-where-are-my-cars) indicates that even modest tolls tend to significantly reduce vehicle trips. This is consistent with my study, "Changing Vehicle Travel Price Sensitivities: The Rebounding Rebound Effect" (http://www.vtpi.org/VMT_Elasticities.pdf ).


      "Traffic Forecasts Ignoring Induced Demand: a Shaky Fundament for Cost-Benefit Analyses" (http://www.ejtir.tbm.tudelft.nl/issues/2012_03/pdf/2012_03_02.pdf ). shows that ignoring induced vehicle traffic significantly affects cost-benefit results.


      "TOD 205 - Families and Transit-Oriented Development: Creating Complete Communities for All" (http://reconnectingamerica.org/assets/PDFs/20120620TODandFamiliesfinal.pdf ).


      "Methodology for Determining the Economic Development Impacts of Transit Projects" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_w56.pdf ) investigates the productivity increases associated with agglomeration economies, economies of scale and density, caused by transit improvements.


      "Residential On-Site Carsharing And Off-Street Parking Policy" (http://transweb.sjsu.edu/PDFs/research/1001-1-residential-carsharing-offstreet-parking-policy-san-francisco.pdf ) identifies factors that affect the success of on-site carsharing.


      "Contemporary Approaches to Parking Pricing: A Primer" (http://www.parking.org/media/129582/fhwa%20parking%20pricing%20primer.pdf ) by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, discusses advances in parking pricing policy, parking technology, and strategies for gaining public acceptance for parking policy reforms.


      “Impact of Parking Supply and Demand Management on Central Business District (CBD) Traffic Congestion, Transit Performance and Sustainable Land Use (http://www.dot.state.fl.us/research-center/Completed_Proj/Summary_TE/FDOT_BDK77_977-07_rpt.pdf )

      This Florida Department of Transportation report evaluates various parking management strategies suitable for reducing parking problems in large city central business districts.


      "Urban Traffic Calming and Health: A Literature Review" (http://www.ncchpp.ca/175/publications.ccnpps?id_article=686 ) examines traffic calming effects on collisions, air quality, noise, and active transportation.


      "Sustainable Transport, Mobility Management and Travel Plans" (http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754679394 ) by Professor Marcus Enoch analyzes travel plans from various perspectives and offers specific recommendations for policy reforms and program implementation.


      "Evaluating The Fiscal Impacts Of Development, Part I - Final Report and User’s Manual" (http://www.costofsprawl.org/Evaluating-Fiscal-Impacts-of-Development-Part-I.pdf ) describes the New Hampshire Cost of Sprawl Impact Model which evaluates the financial impact on local governments related to new development and ways to reduce costs through smart growth policies.

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      Please let us know if you have comments or questions about any information in this newsletter, or if you would like to be removed from our email list. And please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.


      Todd Litman
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)

      Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
      1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
      “Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”


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