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FW: VTPI News - Spring 2013

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    VTPI NEWS ... Victoria Transport Policy Institute Efficiency - Equity - Clarity ... Spring 2013 Vol. 13, No. 2 ... The Victoria Transport Policy Institute
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2013

                                 VTPI NEWS


                    Victoria Transport Policy Institute

                    "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"


                    Spring 2013    Vol. 13, No. 2


      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.





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      "Congestion Costing Critique: Critical Evaluation of the 'Urban Mobility Report'" (http://www.vtpi.org/UMR_critique.pdf )

      The Urban Mobility Report (UMR) is a widely-cited study that quantifies and monetizes (measures in monetary units) traffic congestion costs in U.S. metropolitan regions. This report critically examines the UMR’s assumptions and methods. The UMR reflects an older planning paradigm which assumes that “transportation” means automobile travel, and so evaluates transport system performance based primarily on automobile travel speeds; it ignores other modes, other planning objectives and other impacts. The UMR methodology overestimates congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits by using higher baseline speeds and travel time unit cost values than most experts recommend, by ignoring induced travel impacts, and using an inaccurate speed-emission curve. Its estimates represent upper-bound values and are two- to four times higher than result from more realistic assumptions. The UMR claims that congestion costs are “massive,” although they increase total travel time and fuel consumption by 2% at most. It exaggerates future congestion problems by ignoring evidence of peaking vehicle travel and changing travel demands. The UMR ignores basic research principles: it fails to identify best current practices, explain assumptions, document sources, incorporate peer review, or respond to criticisms.


      "Valuing and Improving: Transportation-Related Data Programs" (http://www.vtpi.org/TRB_data.pdf )

      This report summarizes the findings of 2013 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting sessions on valuing and improving transportation-related data programs (programs that collect basic data used for transport policy, planning and research). It discusses the business case for expanding and improving data programs, puts data program costs into perspective with transport expenditures and economic impacts, describes examples of the data needed to address various transport planning issues, gives examples of existing transport data programs, describes problems and threats, discusses who should lead in data program strategic development, summarizes best practices, and provides conclusions and recommendations.


      "The New Transportation Planning Paradigm" (http://www.vtpi.org/paradigm.pdf )

      Demographic and economic trends, and new community concerns, are changing the way practitioners define transportation problems and evaluate potential solutions. A new paradigm expands the range of modes, objectives, impacts and options considered in transport planning. This article, forthcoming in the ITE Journal, discusses this paradigm shift and its implications on our profession.

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      Pricing For Traffic Safety: How Efficient Transport Pricing Can Reduce Roadway Crash Risk,” Transportation Research Record 2318 (http://www.vtpi.org/price_safe.pdf ).

      This report evaluates the traffic safety impacts of various transport pricing reforms including fuel tax increases, efficient road and parking pricing, distance-based insurance and registration fees, and public transit fare reductions. This analysis indicates that such reforms can significantly reduce traffic risk, in addition to providing other important economic, social and environmental benefits. These benefits are often overlooked: pricing reform advocates seldom highlight traffic safety benefits and traffic safety experts seldom advocate pricing reforms.


      "Parking Pricing Implementation Guidelines" (http://www.ite.org/councils/Parking/newsletters/Spring13.pdf ), in ITE Parking Council Journal, Spring 2013. The short article describes why and how to implement priced parking.


      'Full Cost Analysis of Petroleum,' in "Transport Beyond Oil: Policy Choices for a Multimodal Future" (http://transportbeyondoil.wordpress.com )

      This chapter provides a comprehensive review of various external costs (costs not borne directly by users) resulting from petroleum production, importation and distribution. It considers four major cost categories: financial subsidies, economic and national security costs of importing petroleum, environmental damages and human health risks.


      The Transportation Research Board’s 'International Research News' highlighted two of our recent reports:

      "Smart Congestion Relief: Comprehensive Analysis of Traffic Congestion Costs and Congestion Reduction Benefits" (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/168651.aspx )

      "Critical Analysis of Conventional Transport Economic Evaluation" (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/168664.aspx )


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

      "Who Should Pay for Transportation Infrastructure? What is Fair?" (http://www.planetizen.com/node/62128 )


      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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      "Active Transport Symposium" (http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/General/cat-forum-18-active-design-symposium-invite.pdf ), Monday 13 May, Christchurch, New Zealand.


      "Moving Forward: Decreasing Car Use Among Teenagers" at the Adolescent Mobility Health Consortium (https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/amc ), Wednesday 15 May 2013, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. This will be a combined live and online multidisciplinary international event showcasing current research and practice in teen mobility, active transport, the effects of the built environment and climate change, and youth engagement. Register at http://ipru.polldaddy.com/s/amhcsymposiumstream .


      "Innovative Parking Management Strategies: And Ways to Evaluate Their Benefits" at the "International Transportation and Park Areas Management Symposium" (http://www.otoparksempozyumu.org/en ), Istanbul, Turkey, 30 May 2013. I will also be speaking 29 May at a workshop by EMBARQ Turkey (http://www.embarqturkiye.org ).

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      "Pedestrian- & Transit-Oriented Design" (http://www.planning.org/apastore/search/Default.aspx?p=4204 ). This guide, written by Reid Ewing and Keith Bartholomew, provides detailed information on ways to create more pedestrian- and transit-friendly communities. It turns a half-century of urban design theory into step-by-step directions for creating walkable cities.


      The 'Right Size Parking Project' (http://www.rightsizeparking.org ) has developed a website calculator to estimate multi-family parking utilization based on location and building characteristic. "Do Land Use, Transit and Walk Access Affect Residential Parking Demand?" (http://metro.kingcounty.gov/up/projects/right-size-parking/pdf/ite-journal-feb-2013-drowe.pdf ), published in the February 2013 ITE Journal, summarizes the results from the Right Size Parking Project. Love those graphs!


      "The Economics of Transportation Systems: A Reference for Practitioners" (http://www.utexas.edu/research/ctr/pdf_reports/0_6628_P1.pdf ). This guide discusses current practices for quantifying and valuing impacts related to cost efficiency, lifecycle benefits, economic development, property value changes, travel time savings, motor vehicle crashes, air and noise pollution, as well as discussion of whether transportation should be evaluated based on mobility or accessibility, system pricing, and performance evaluation.


      Walkable Communities and Adolescent Weight” (http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(12)00800-8/abstract ). This study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, collected body weight, home location and other data for 11,041 high-school students in 154 U.S. communities. It found that the odds of students being overweight or obese decreased if they lived in communities with higher walkability index scores.


      Integrating Demand Management into the Transportation Planning Process: A Desk Reference" (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop12035 ). This report provides guidance for integrating demand management into transport planning. It discusses how demand management relates to seven key policy objectives that are often included in transportation plans, such as congestion and air quality. It includes information on tools available for evaluating demand management measures and on the known effectiveness of these measures.


      "Access Across America" (http://www.cts.umn.edu/Publications/ResearchReports/pdfdownload.pl?id=2280 ). This study by Professor David Levinson measured the number of jobs that could be reached by automobile within certain time periods for the 51 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, taking into account the geographic location of homes and jobs, roadway network connectivity and average traffic speeds.


      "The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012" (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/2013/04/08/announcing-the-best-complete-streets-policies-of-2012 ).
      The report summarizes the examination of Complete Streets policies adopted in 125 communities during 2012.

      "Pedestrian Safety, Urban Space, and Health" (http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/transport/pedestrian-safety-urban-space-and-health_9789282103654-en ). This report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development demonstrates the important role walking plays in an efficient and equitable transport system, and practical ways to improve community walkability.


      "The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation" (http://www.cnt.org/repository/The_New_Real_Estate_Mantra.pdf ). This study finds that average sales prices for residential properties within walking distance of high quality public transit significantly outperformed region averages in U.S. metropolitan areas during 2006 to 2011.


      "Pedestrian Safety: A Road Safety Manual For Decision-Makers And Practitioners" (http://who.int/roadsafety/projects/manuals/pedestrian/en/index.html ). This manual by the World Health Organization provides information on how to assess the pedestrian safety situation in a particular area, risk factors, and how to select, design, implement and evaluate effective interventions. It stresses the importance of a comprehensive, holistic approach that includes enforcement, engineering and education. It also draws attention to the benefits of walking, which should be promoted as an important mode of transport given its potential to improve health and preserve the environment.


      "ChoiceMaps: A New Way to Measure Neighborhoods" (http://blog.walkscore.com/2013/04/choicemaps-new-way-to-measure-neighborhoods ). ChoiceMaps is a variation of Walkscore (http://www.walkscore.com ). It calculates the number of services and activities, such as restaurants and grocery stores, that can be reached by walking in a certain amount of time, and produces colored maps which show the results for different neighborhoods.


      "Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns: The Impacts of Public Transit on Traffic Congestion" (http://www.nber.org/papers/w18757 ). This study analyzed transit commuting impacts on roadway congestion. It found that transit riders tend to travel on congested urban corridors, and so tend to have affect roadway congestion far more than suggested by overall mode share. This was tested by analyzing the effects of the 2003 Los Angeles transit workers strike, which caused a 47% increase in highway delay.


      "Exploring the Relationship between Travel Demand and Economic Growth" (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/otps/pubs/vmt_gdp/vmt_gdp.pdf ). This report presents research which indicates “decoupling” the relationship between vehicle travel and economic growth.


      "When the Road Price is Right: Land Use, Tolls, and Congestion Pricing" (http://www.uli.org/infrastructure-initiative/when-the-road-price-is-right ). 

      This report by the Urban Land Institute investigates how tolling and congestion pricing will interact with land use. It includes case studies that illustrate the policy options for managing travel reliability, traffic volume, travel speeds, and revenue targets, and for integrating tolling and transit service.


      "Transportation Energy Futures" (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/analysis/transportationenergyfutures ).  This U.S. Department of Energy study evaluates potential transportation energy conservation strategies. However, it uses very low fuel price elasticities which tends to exaggerate the benefits of increased fuel efficiency and undervalue transportation demand management strategies, as discussed in my recently published article, “Comprehensive Evaluation Of Energy Conservation And Emission Reduction Policies” (http://www.vtpi.org/comp_em_eval.pdf ).


      Enhancing Resource Coordination for Multi-Modal Evacuation Planning” (http://www.utrc2.org/publications/multi-modal-evacuation-planning-final ). This research addresses the challenges of effectively incorporating multi-modalism into local emergency plans by enhancing transportation resource coordination.

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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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