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521VTPI Newsletter - Summer 2005

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    Jul 27, 2005
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
      Summer 2005 Vol. 8, 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.


      The VTPI "Online TDM Encyclopedia" (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm ) is a
      comprehensive information resource to help identify and evaluate innovative
      management solutions to transport problems, available for free on our
      website. We continually update and expand the Encyclopedia. We recently
      added the following two chapters, and updated many other chapters with new

      'Light Rail Transit' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm121.htm )
      Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems provide convenient local public transit
      service on busy urban corridors, connecting major destinations such as
      central business districts, medical centers, campuses and entertainment
      centers. LRT vehicles tend to have relatively smooth and comfortable
      operation, easy boarding, attractive station areas, and easy-to-understand
      routes and schedules.

      'Traffic Operations and Management' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm111.htm )
      Traffic Operations (also called Transportation Systems Management or just
      Traffic Management) refers to facility management strategies that improve
      roadway system performance. Transportation professional organizations and
      agencies increasingly recognize the importance of Operational strategies
      for solving transport problems.


      "Terrorism, Transit and Public Safety: Evaluating The Risks"
      (http://www.vtpi.org/transitrisk.pdf ).
      This paper evaluates the overall safety of public transit, taking into
      account all risks, including recent terrorist attacks. It indicates that
      transit is an extremely safe mode, with total per passenger-mile fatality
      rates approximately one-tenth that of automobile travel. It is important
      for individuals and public officials to avoid overreacting to terrorist
      threats in ways that increase overall danger. Transit terrorism would cause
      more total casualties and harm to society if individuals respond to attacks
      by shifting from public transit to less safe modes, or if decision-makers
      respond by reducing support for public transit.

      Here is some of the media coverage it generated:

      "Protect public transportation," Neil Peirce Column,
      (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002387305_peirce18.html ).

      "Washington Cuts Security Funds for Public Transport," IPS News Agency
      (http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=29575 ).

      "Terrorism, transit and safety," Toronto Star
      July 27 2005.

      "Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism" (http://www.vtpi.org/railcrit.pdf )
      This study evaluates criticism of rail transit, including the recent
      report, "Rail Disasters 2005: The Impact Of Rail Transit On Transit
      Ridership." It examines claims that rail transit is ineffective at
      increasing public transit ridership and improving transportation system
      performance, that rail transit investments are not cost effective, and that
      transit is an outdated form of transportation. It finds that critics often
      misrepresent issues and use biased and inaccurate analysis. This is a
      companion to the report "Rail Transit in America: A Comprehensive
      Evaluation of Benefits" (http://www.vtpi.org/railben.pdf )

      "Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance Summary"
      (http://www.vtpi.org/paydsum.pdf ).
      Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance (PAYD) means that a vehicle’s insurance premiums
      are based directly on how much it is driven during the policy term. This
      two-page paper describes the concept and its benefits.

      The Vancouver City Council and the Greater Vancouver Regional District
      (http://www.gvrd.bc.ca/board/comagendas/PlanningEnvironment/june/4.4.pdf )
      recently passed resolutions asking the Insurance Corporation of British
      Columbia (ICBC) to offer Pay-As-You-Drive pricing. This sparked debate in
      the region about PAYD. Unfortunately, much of the discussion presented the
      issue inaccurately, and failed to identify the full benefits of PAYD.
      ICBC's public relations representative argued against it on the grounds
      that other risk factors are more important than mileage (irrelevant because
      those other factors would be applied in addition to mileage, and ICBC's own
      research shows that this would significantly increase actuarial accuracy).
      Suburban politicians argue against it on the grounds that it would harm
      suburban and rural motorists, who must drive because they lack transit
      service (not true, because PAYD rates incorporate territory factors, so
      suburban and rural residents would only pay more if they drive more than
      average among other suburban and rural motorists). The PAYD Summary was
      written to help raise understanding about this concept.


      Todd Litman, "Efficient Vehicles Versus Efficient Transportation: Comparing
      Transportation Energy Conservation Strategies," Transport Policy, Volume
      12, Issue 2, March 2005, Pages 121-129,
      (http://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0967070X04000575 ).
      This paper (available free at http://www.vtpi.org/cafe.pdf ) compares four
      transportation energy conservation strategies using a comprehensive
      evaluation framework that takes into account how each strategy affects
      annual vehicle travel, and therefore mileage-related impacts such as
      congestion, roadway costs and crash risk.

      Our report "Safe Travels: Evaluating Mobility Management Traffic Safety
      Impacts" (http://www.vtpi.org/safetrav.pdf ) has been translated into
      Swedish: "Säkert resande - utvärdering av effekter av mobility management
      på trafiksäkerhet" by the Swedish Road Administration
      (www.vv.se/templates/page3____12859.aspx ), translated by Per Schillander.
      This paper investigates the relationships between vehicle mileage and
      crashes, and the traffic safety impacts of mobility management strategies.
      This analysis indicates that mobility management can be a cost effective
      traffic safety strategy, and increased safety is one of the largest
      potential benefits of mobility management.


      Florida APA Annual Meeting, Florida Chapter of the American Planning
      Association, Sept. 7-10, St. Petersburg, FL (http://www.floridaplanning.org )
      Todd Litman, VTPI Executive Director, will speak at the annual meeting,
      including a debate with Randal O’Toole, author of the report "Great Rail
      Disasters" (mentioned above) on the value of public transit and
      transit-oriented development.

      Trails and Pathways 2005 National Symposium, October 12-15, Edmonton,
      Alberta, Canada (http://www.2005.arpaonline.ca/taps/brochure/index.html )
      Over 1,200 professionals are expected to participate from recreation and
      parks, community planning, public health, special populations, social
      service, and education. Todd Litman will explore the implications of new
      personal mobility technologies on nonmotorized travel, and discuss
      appropriate management strategies for minimizing conflicts between
      different types of trail users (see http://www.vtpi.org/man_nmt_fac.pdf ).

      The last few months have been an extremely busy time, with considerable
      travel to conferences and workshops. Below are some of the events we
      participated in.

      "Communities In Motion" (http://www.communitiesinmotion.org ) workshop on
      nonmotorized transportation, May 5-6, Boise, Idaho. Plenary presentation
      and workshops on evaluating and planning nonmotorized transportation.

      Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference (http://www.pnrec.org ), May
      19-20, Bellingham, Washington. Presentations on economic evaluation of
      transit and mobility management strategies.

      "Colloquy On The Coming Transformation of Travel," June 1-3 in
      Rensselaerville, New York, June 1-3. This event, sponsored by the Federal
      Highway Administration, the New York State Metropolitan Planning
      Organization, and the US DOT Volpe National Transportation Center, brought
      a group of leading transportation professionals to discuss future transport
      trends and issues.

      "Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers 2005 Annual Conference,"
      (http://www.cite7.org ), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, June 5-8. Todd Litman
      gave the keynote speech on future transportation trends and their
      implications for transport planning in Canada.

      "Moving The City Conference" Malmo," (http://www.malmo.se/sustainablecity
      ), Sweden, June 14-15. This was a major international conference on
      sustainable urban development. We shared information on mobility management
      and smart growth strategies.

      Below are some outstanding information resources that you may find useful.

      "The Role Of Demand-Side Strategies: Mitigating Traffic Congestion,"
      Association for Commuter Transportation, for the Federal Highway
      (http://tmi.cob.fsu.edu/act/FHWA_Cong_Mitigation_11%202%2004.pdf ), 2004.
      This 114-page study provides an overview of TDM strategies and programs,
      including how they are planned and implemented, their effectiveness at
      reducing traffic congestion, and providing other benefits. Includes
      numerous case studies. It emphasizes the broad range of TDM strategies

      "Driving Urban Environments: Smart Growth Parking Best Practices," Maryland
      Governor’s Office of Smart Growth
      (http://www.smartgrowth.state.md.us/pdf/Final%20Parking%20Paper.pdf ),
      2005. This guide describes various ways of managing parking for efficiency
      in order to improve user convenience, reduce parking and traffic problems,
      save money and reduce sprawl.

      The Sustainable Urban Transport Project (SUTP) has released four modules of
      its sourcebook available free through the Internet. These are module 1a
      ("The role of transport in urban development policy" by Enrique Peñalosa),
      1b ("Urban transport institutions" by Richard Meakin), 1e ("Raising public
      awareness about sustainable urban transport" by Karl Fjellstrom) and 3c
      ("Bus regulation and planning" by Richard Meakin). Also, the BRT module (by
      Lloyd Wright) has been updated. They can be accessed through the sourcebook
      download page (registration required, but there is no charge) at
      http://www.sutp.org/download/sourcebookhome.php . The SUTP "BRT Subpage,"
      (http://www.sutp.org/newweb/brt/brtress.htm ), provides a variety of
      information and resources of BRT planning and operations.

      "What Light Rail Can Do For Cities: A Review of the Evidence,"
      ), by the UK Passenger Transport Executive Committee, 2005. This report
      reviews evidence of the benefits of urban rail transit in the U.K. It
      concludes that rail transit tends to provide a better quality of service
      than bus transit, and so attracts more ridership, particularly people that
      would otherwise drive, providing a variety of benefits including congestion
      reduction, reduced air pollution, and urban redevelopment. It discusses
      equity impacts, and ways to improve service and increase benefits.

      Jodi Browne, Eduardo Sanhueza, Erin Silsbe, Steve Winkleman and Chris
      Zegras, Getting on Track: Finding a Path for Transportation in the CDM
      (Clean Development Mechanism), International Institute for Sustainable
      Development (www.iisd.org/pdf/2005/climate_chile_getting_on_track.pdf ),
      2005. This report explains how a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) can
      encourage more efficient transportation policies in developing countries.

      "Strategies and Tools to Implement Transportation-Efficient Development: A
      Reference Manual," (http://depts.washington.edu/trac/bulkdisk/pdf/574.1.pdf
      ) by Anne Vernez Moudon, et al., for the Washington State Department of
      Transportation, 2003. This is a comprehensive and easy to understand manual
      for implementing smart growth planning.

      "Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide,"
      (http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/d18311_communities.pdf ), by the
      American Association of Retired Persons. This guide emphasizes the value of
      walkability, transit service, mixed land use (public services within
      walking distance), and pedestrian security, particularly for seniors, which
      we all hope to be in the future (growing old is better than the
      alternative). It includes specific guidelines for evaluating these features.

      The current edition of Shared Spaces (http://www.sharedspaces.nl ) , the
      online English-language quarterly from the Dutch Ministry of Housing,
      Spatial Planning and the Environment, explores the challenges of developing
      effective climate change policy and abatement measures. State Secretary
      Pieter van Geel talks about the current state of Dutch climate change
      policy and the urgent need for international action. Dutch policy
      negotiator, Henriëtte Bersee, discusses the relationship between policy and
      science with academics from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment
      Agency. Experts from the Small Island States, Australia, Nepal and
      Kazakhstan talk first hand about their experiences with the harmful effects
      of climate change.

      It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Marshall
      Litman, father of VTPI Executive Director Todd Litman, and an important
      inspiration for the Institute. A short tribute to him is posted at

      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 mailing
      list. And please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.

      Todd Litman, Director
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
      1250 Rudlin Street
      Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
      Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
      Email: litman@...
      Website: http://www.vtpi.org