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VTPI News - Summer 2013

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    ... VTPI NEWS ... Victoria Transport Policy Institute Efficiency - Equity - Clarity ... Summer 2013 Vol. 13, No. 3 ... The Victoria Transport Policy
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2013
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                       VTPI NEWS


                    Victoria Transport Policy Institute

                    "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"


                    Summer 2013    Vol. 13, 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.





      "Autonomous Vehicle Implementation Predictions: Implications for Transport Planning" (http://www.vtpi.org/avip.pdf )

      This report explores the implications of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles on transportation planning. It identifies their potential benefits and costs, predicts their likely development and deployment patterns, and how they will affect transport planning decisions such as road and parking supply and public transit demand. The analysis indicates that some benefits, such as independent mobility for affluent non-drivers, may begin in the 2020s or 2030s, but most benefits will only be significant when autonomous vehicles become affordable and represent a major portion of total vehicle travel, in the 2040s through 2060s.


      "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 estimates U.S. traffic congestion costs and recommends various congestion reduction strategies. This report critically evaluates its methodologies. The UMR does not reflect best congestion costing methods: it uses higher baseline speeds and travel time unit cost values than experts recommend, exaggerates fuel savings and emission reductions; ignores generated traffic and indirect impacts. As a result it overestimates congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits, and undervalues other congestion reduction strategies that provide co-benefits. The UMR’s congestion cost estimates represent upper-bound values. The UMR ignores basic research principles: it includes no current literature review, fails to fully explain assumptions and document sources, does not discuss possible biases, has no sensitivity analysis, and lacks independent peer review. This report continues a point-counter-point dialogue with the UMR’s lead author, "Congestion Measurement in the Urban Mobility Report: Response to Critique by Mr. Todd Litman" (http://d2dtl5nnlpfr0r.cloudfront.net/tti.tamu.edu/documents/TTI-2013-4.pdf)


      "Critical Analysis of Conventional Transport Economic Evaluation" (http://www.vtpi.org/crit_econ_eval.pdf )

      Transportation economic evaluation refers to the process of quantifying and monetizing a transport policy or project’s benefits and costs. How it is performed can significantly influence transport planning decisions. This report critically examines conventional evaluation practices. Conventional transport economic evaluation overlooks many significant impacts and accessibility factors, and seldom measures the economic efficiency gains from strategies that favor higher value trips and more efficient modes, or the consumer surplus benefits of accommodating latent demand. Various reforms described in this report can result in more comprehensive and multi-modal evaluation.


      "Evaluating Active Transport Benefits and Costs: Guide to Valuing Walking and Cycling Improvements and Encouragement Programs" (http://www.vtpi.org/nmt-tdm.pdf )

      This report describes methods for evaluating the benefits and costs of active transport (walking, cycling, and their variants). It describes various types of benefits and costs and methods for measuring them. These include direct benefits to users from improved active transport conditions, and various benefits to society from increased walking and cycling activity, reduced motor vehicle travel, and more compact and multi-modal community development. It discusses active transport demands and ways to increase walking and cycling activity. This analysis indicates that many active transport benefits tend to be overlooked or undervalued in conventional transport economic evaluation.

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      "Transportation Demand Management: Win-Win Solutions for Transport Problems" (http://www.sv.bgu.tum.de/fileadmin/w00bnl/www/PDF/Veranstaltungen/mobil.TUM_2012/Transportation_Demand_Management_mobil_TUM2012_Book__2_.pdf )

      Chapter in "Transportation Demand Management: Insights from the Mobil.TUM 2012 International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport."


      "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, published in the June 'ITE Journal,' discusses this paradigm shift and its implications on our profession.


      "Impacts of the ecoParq program on Polanco" (http://www.itdp.org/library/publications/impacts-of-the-ecoparq-program-on-polanco )

      This report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy evaluates the impacts of the new parking meters in Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood. The analysis indicates that the time motorists spend cruising for a parking space declined from 13:26 to 3:04 minutes after parking meters were installed, saving motorists' time and fuel, and reduces local traffic congestion and pollution. The project is also generating 21.6 million pesos annually in net revenue that is being spent to improve neighborhood streets - an important benefit since Mexico City has beautiful streetlife that has been degraded by automobile traffic.


      "Transportation and Public Health" (http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031912-114502 )

      This article published in the 'Annual Review of Public Health' investigates various ways that transport policy and planning decisions affect public health and better ways to incorporate public health objectives into transport planning. Conventional planning tends to consider some public health impacts but ignores others. This article identifies various win-win strategies that can help improve public health and other planning objectives. A draft version is at http://www.vtpi.org/ARPH_Litman_2012.pdf .


      "Changing North American Vehicle-Travel Price Sensitivities: Implications For Transport and Energy Policy" (http://www.vtpi.org/VMT_Elasticities.pdf ). Published in "Transport Policy," Vol. 28, pp. 2-10.

      There is growing interest in transport pricing reforms to help achieve various planning objectives such as congestion, accident and emission reductions. Their effectiveness is affected by the price sensitivity of transport, that is, the degree that prices affect travel activity, measured as elasticities (percentage change in travel caused by a one-percent price change). Some studies found very low transport elasticities during the last quarter of the Twentieth Century but recent evidence suggests that price sensitivities have since increased. This article discusses the concepts of price elasticities and rebound effects, reviews vehicle travel and fuel price elasticity estimates, examines evidence of changing price sensitivities, and discusses policy implications.


      "Full Cost Analysis of Petroleum" (http://www.vtpi.org/Beyond_Oil_Litman.pdf )

      This chapter in the book, "Transportation Beyond Oil: Policy Choices for a Multimodal Future" (http://transportbeyondoil.wordpress.com ) 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.


      "Public Transit 101: Read A “How To Start A Business" (http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/public-transit-101-read-%E2%80%9Chow-start-business%E2%80%9D-book )

      This article by Kevin C. Brown discusses ways to make public transit more attractive to discretionary travelers (people who have the option of driving) and therefore help reduce traffic and parking congestion, accidents and pollution emissions.


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

      "Planners are Futurists With a Practical Bent" (http://www.planetizen.com/node/64695 )

      "Rational Fear" (http://www.planetizen.com/node/64369 )

      "Responding to Smart Growth Criticism" (http://www.planetizen.com/node/63327 )

      "Accounting for Latent Travel Demand" (http://www.planetizen.com/node/63198 )



      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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      "Turkish Transportation Forum" (http://www.ulastirmasurasi.gov.tr/en/ ), 5-7 September, Istanbul, Turkey.


      "Round Table on Valuing Convenience in Public Transport" International Transport Forum (http://www.internationaltransportforum.org), OECD, 12-13, Paris, France.


      "Oregon Public Transportation Conference" (http://www.oregontransit.com/index.cfm?cid=1481 ), 6-9 October, Bend, Oregon.

                       *    *    *    *    *




      "Freedom From Automobile Dependency: How Youths Benefit from Better Living through Multi-Modalism" keynote speech at "Second Adolescence Mobility Health Symposium" (https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/amc/symposium2013 ). Includes presentations.


      "Comprehensive and Multi-Modal Urban Transport Planning" Motu Wellington, New Zealand seminar (http://www.motu.org.nz/building-capacity/past_public_policy_seminars#2013 ). Also see "A Decade Too Late: Canadian Planner Challenges Roads Of National Significance" (http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=55758 ) and "Complete Streets Keep Transport Options Open" (http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx ) "Kapiti Observer", New Zealand.


      "Hawai’i Clean Energy Day" (http://www.hawaiienergypolicy.hawaii.edu ). Todd Litman gave the keynote presentation, and was interviewed on the "Honolulu On The Move" television show sponsored (http://www.youtube.com/HonoluluOnTheMove )

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      "Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions Among Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality" (http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/b-and-n/b-and-n-EPA-231K13001.pdf ).

      This comprehensive report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides guidance for evaluating environmental and economic impacts of land use policies, particularly smart growth benefits.


      "The Sexiest, Coolest, Most EPIC Bus Commercial Ever" (http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/the-sexist-coolest-most-epic-bus-commercial-ever?s=mobile )


      "A New Direction: Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future" (http://uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/A%20New%20Direction%20vUS.pdf). This new report by Tony Dutzik and Phineas Baxandall summarizes evidence of peaking vehicle travel and its implications for transport policy. Also see, "Has Motorization in the U.S. Peaked? Part 2: Use of Light-Duty Vehicles (http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/98982/102950.pdf ) and

      "The Driving Boom is Over" (http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2013/5/14/the-driving-boom-is-over.html ).


      "International Comparisons of Transport Appraisal Practice" (http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-comparisons-of-transport-appraisal-practice ). This report by professors Peter Mackie and Tom Worsley is a review of recent developments in economic appraisal in the transport sector and the use of appraisal in the decision making process including practices in England, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.


      "Driving Commuter Choice in America: Expanding Transportation Choices Can Reduce Congestion, Save Money and Cut Pollution" (http://www.nrdc.org/transportation/files/driving-commuter-choice-IP.pdf ). This study by the Natural Resources Defense Council examines opportunities for Americans to reduce the impacts of transportation by altering how often we drive, particularly when it comes to commuting. The focus is on opportunities and potential outcomes for individual and combined changes to driving behavior, which can lead to substantial cost savings and other benefits.


      "Health Co-Benefits Of Climate Change Mitigation - Transport Sector: Health In The Green Economy" (http://www.who.int/hia/green_economy/transport_sector_health_co-benefits_climate_change_mitigation/en ). This new World Health Organization report, part of the Health in the Green Economy series, considers the evidence regarding health co-benefits and risks of climate change mitigation strategies for transport.


      "Creating Universal Access to Safe, Clean and Affordable Transport" (http://www.slocat.net/press-release-rio20-sustainable-transport-status-report ). Evaluation of recommendations presented at last year's Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by the Partnership for Sustainable Low Carbon Transportation (SLoCaT), an international network that includes major organizations such as United Nations agencies, the International Energy Agency, regional development banks, various sustainable transportation groups, as well as the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.


      "Cycling to the Future: Lessons from Cities across the Globe" (http://policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher/Pucher_BikeUrbanism_SeattleUW_18June.pdf)
      This slide show by John Pucher at the Bicycle Urbanism conference, documents the boom in cycling in both European and North American cities. It shows that cycling can thrive even in cities with no history or culture of daily, utilitarian cycling, but only if government policies provide safe, convenient, and pleasant cycling conditions. Also see, "How to Increase Cycling for Daily Travel," (http://www.activelivingresearch.org/dailybiketravel ) and "Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: an international review" (http://www.activelivingresearch.org/files/ALR_Brief_DailyBikeTravel_May2013.pdf)


      "Safety in Numbers: Are Major Cities the Safest Places in the United States?" (http://www.annemergmed.com/webfiles/images/journals/ymem/FA-5548.pdf ). This article published in the 'Annals of Emergency Medicine' compared injury death rates for U.S. counties rated on a ten-point urban-rural scale. Death rates are lowest in urban areas and increase as an area becomes more rural due to large increases in motor vehicle deaths and modest increases in gun deaths. Also see "Rational Fear" (http://www.planetizen.com/node/64369 )


      "Moving Dangerously, Moving Pleasurably: Improving Walkability in Dhaka. Using a BRT Walkability Strategy to Make Dhaka’s Transportation Infrastructure Pedestrian-Friendly" (http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/projdocs/2012/39335-012-reg-tacr-01.pdf ). This Asian Development Bank report presents a BRT Walkability Strategy, which provides policy and infrastructure recommendations to create an environment in which walking is appealing, safe, and convenient. This can be used as a model for similar strategies in other developing country cities.


      "Reallocation of Road Space" (http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/530/docs/RR-530-Reallocation-of-road-space.pdf ). This study New Zealand Transport Agency report investigated the economic impacts of transport and road space reallocation in shopping areas located in central cities and along major transport corridors. It found that walking, cycling and public transport users account for 40% of total expenditures, that they spend proportionately then their modal share, and are important to local shopping area’s economic viability.


      "Urban Traffic Calming and Health Inequalities: Effects and Implications for Practice" (http://www.ncchpp.ca/175/publications.ccnpps?id_article=917 ). This report examines the effects of traffic calming on health inequalities. Additional reports on traffic calming safety, air quality, noise and active transportation impacts are available at: http://www.ncchpp.ca/174/News.ccnpps?id_article=653 .


      "Parking? Lots!" (http://daily.sightline.org/blog_series/parking-lots/ ). This new Sightline Institute series describes in interesting and sometimes funny ways how parking regulations in zoning codes can increase traffic problems, drive up housing prices, dampen business profitability, amplify sprawl, and pollute both air and water. See, for example, "Ugly By Law" (http://daily.sightline.org/2013/06/18/ugly-by-law ), and "Apartment Blockers" (http://daily.sightline.org/2013/08/22/apartment-blockers ).


      "Getting the Prices Right” (http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/PricingParkingByDemand.pdf ), by Gregory Pierce and Donald Shoup, in the Journal of the 'American Planning Association'  provides information on parking pricing reforms.


      "Parking Guidebook for Chinese Cities" (http://www.itdp.org/documents/Parking_Guidebook_for_Chinese_Cities.pdf ). This guidebook by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy identifies strategies for efficiently managing parking resources in urban areas that are experiencing increased motorization and perceived parking shortages.


      "Sustainable Transport in China Blog" (http://sustainabletransport.org )

      This blog focuses on our four areas of expertise: Transport and Climate Change, Electro-Mobility, Green Logistics and Urban Transport. It provides news on transport in China, programme workshops and conferences, as well as free downloads of our latest research reports.


      "Financing Sustainable Urban Transport - International Review of National Urban Transport Policies and Programmes" (http://sustainabletransport.org/financing-sustainable-urban-transport-international-review-of-national-urban-transport-policies-and-programmes ). This study evaluates various urban tarnsport financing and planning practices. It was presented at the “Workshop on Prospects for National-Level Programmes and Funds for Sustainable Urban Transport in China” (http://sustainabletransport.org )


      "Does Congestion Pricing Work?" (http://www.govtech.com/transportation/Does-Congestion-Pricing-Work-Infographic.html ). This Infographic summarizes information on experience with congestion pricing in various cities.


      "The Rebound Effect for Passenger Vehicles" (http://www.rff.org/RFF/Documents/RFF-DP-13-19.pdf ). This study finds a higher elasticity of vehicle travel with respect to vehicle fuel economy (miles per gallon or liters of fuel per 100 kilometers) than for fuel price, indicating significant rebound effects from vehicle fuel efficiency standards. This is consistent with my report, “Changing Vehicle Travel Price Sensitivities: The Rebounding Rebound Effect" (http://www.vtpi.org/VMT_Elasticities.pdf ).


      "Walking, Riding And Access To Public Transport: Supporting Active Travel In Australian Communities: Ministerial Statement" (http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/mcu/urbanpolicy/active_travel/index.aspx). This Australian federal document identifies various benefits of active transport (walking and cycling), and the economic justifications for increased investment in active transport improvements. It estimates that an average urban bicycle commuter provides $14.30 worth of economic benefits, and a pedestrian commuter provides $8.48 worth of benefits, based on a Queensland Department of Transport study, "Benefits Of Inclusion Of Active Transport In Infrastructure Projects" (http://www.cbdbug.org.au/wp-content/uploads/north-brisbane-cycleway/135-00825-file8.pdf ).


      "The Effect Of Transportation, Location, And Affordability Related Sustainability Features On Mortgage Default Prediction And Risk In Multifamily Rental Housing" (http://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/aboutus/pdf/hoytpivo_mfhousing_sustainability.pdf ). This study by Gary Pivo indicates that housing foreclosure rates tend to decline in more multi-modal communities.


      "Introduction – Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes" handbook series (http://www.trb.org/Publications/TCRPReport95.aspx ). This updated document includes detailed discussion of transport elasticities and other important background.


      "Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development" (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/2013/05/21/building-better-budgets-quantifies-average-savings-and-revenue-of-smart-growth-development )

      New report comparing various development scenarios finds that smart growth typically costs 38% less to build, generates 10 times the revenue for towns and cities


      "Economic Aspects Of Non-Technical Measures To Reduce Traffic Emissions" (http://www.isi-projekt.de/wissprojekt-de/ntm/downloads.php ). This study evaluated the economic impacts of policies that shift 10% of urban trips to walking and cycling. Using standard economic models this predicts that by 2030, German GDP would increase by 1.11 %, employment by 1.37 %, air pollutants would decline 5-10%, and CO2 about 2%. Also see, "Bicycle Economics" (http://www.ecf.com/news/shift-to-sustainable-transport-modes-contributes-to-economic-

      growth-and-employment ).


      "Mosaic Planning Tool" (http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP/pages/lcp.aspx ). This economic evaluation model expands the range of impacts and options that can be considered in transportation planning.


      "Development Of A Public Transport Investment Model" (http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/524/docs/524.pdf ). This modelling tool developed by the New Zealand Transport Agency can help make public transport investment decisions. The economic model we developed incorporated the interactions between prices, service levels and patronage for public transport and private car.


      "Post Implementation Reviews" (http://www.nzta.govt.nz/planning/monitoring/audits/pir.html ) and the "Post Opening Project Evaluation of Major Schemes" (http;//www.highways.gov.uk/our-road-network/post-opening-project-evaluation-pope/post-opening-project-evaluation-pope-of-major-schemes) are two programs that evaluate whether transport projects achieve their intended objectives, and identify lessons learnt which can inform future planning.


      "Unraveling Ties to Petroleum: How Policy Drives California's Demand for Oil" (http://www.next10.org/unraveling-petroleum ). This report identifies fifteen policy reforms that could provide significant energy conservation and emission reduction benefits, including more efficient parking pricing, distance-based vehicle insurance, bus and high-occupant-vehicle priority, improved air travel control systems, and more comprehensive and multi-modal transportation performance evaluation.


      "Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual" (http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/169437.aspx ). This reference document that provides current research-based guidance on transit capacity and quality of service issues and the factors influencing both.

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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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