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832VTPI Newsletter - Spring 2008

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    Jun 13, 2008
                                        VTPI NEWS
                            Victoria Transport Policy Institute
                               "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
                                Spring 2008  Vol. 11, 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.
      "Recommendations for Improving LEED Transportation and Parking Credits" ( http://www.vtpi.org/leed_rec.pdf ), by Todd Litman.
      This paper describes ways to improve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) transportation and parking credits. It proposes a new approach that can significantly increase support for transportation and parking management, greatly enhancing LEED program benefits.
      "Evacuation Station: The Use of Public Transportation in Emergency Management Planning" ( http://www.vtpi.org/evacuation.pdf), ITE Journal on the Web, January 2008, pp. 69-73, by Michael Schwartz and Todd Litman.
      This paper examines emergency transportation planning practices and the role that public transit can play. While public transportation is often used in emergency situations, there is rarely planning or coordination, leading to confusion, inefficiency and risk. This article provides guidance to help transportation professionals better prepare for emergencies.
      "Macrolevel Collision Prediction Models to Evaluate Road Safety Effects of Mobility Management Strategies: New Empirical Tools to Promote Sustainable Development" ( http://www.vtpi.org/lovegrove_litman.pdf), presented at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, by Gordon Lovegrove and Todd Litman.
      This paper describes how community-based collision prediction models  can be used to calculate the road safety effects of specific mobility management strategies. It summarizes analysis of data from 479 urban neighbourhoods. The results suggest that smart growth, congestion pricing and improved mobility options (better walking and cycling conditions, and improved ridesharing and public transit services) can provide significant crash reductions.
      "Intermodal Surface Public Transport Hubs: Harnessing Synergy for Success in America’s Urban and Intercity Travel" ( http://www.vtpi.org/henry_marsh.pdf ) by Lyndon Henry and David L. Marsh.
      This paper describes intermodal public transport hubs and their potential role in creating more integrated and attractive public transportation systems. It describes numerous examples of such hubs, often consisting of redeveloped older rail stations.
      "Identifying the Value of Long Distance Rail Services: Current Issues in Transport Assessment and Evaluation" ( http://www.vtpi.org/rail_evaluation.pdf ) by R. Boulter and D. Wignall.
      This paper identifies international good practice in rail planning assessment and evaluation. It argues that a sustainable and efficient transport system requires strategic assessment and detailed evaluation. It identifies various distortions in current rail planning practices and reforms that can correct these problems.
      "Evaluating Mobility Management Strategies for Reducing Transportation Emissions in the Fraser River Basin" ( http://www.vtpi.org/ec_mm.pdf ). Summary at http://www.vtpi.org/ec_mm_sum.pdf .
      This 122-page report prepared for Environment Canada evaluates the benefits, costs and feasibility of 24 mobility management (MM) strategies. Each strategy is describe and rated according to various criteria, including energy, emission and congestion reductions, facility cost savings, consumer impacts, safety impacts and implementation requirements. A spreadsheet calculates the overall impacts of various strategies, taking into account their vehicle travel and emission reduction effects, and share of total vehicle travel.
      Todd Litman (2007), "Developing Indicators For Comprehensive And Sustainable Transport Planning," Transportation Research Record 2017, Transportation Research Board (www.trb.org), pp. 10-15; at http://www.vtpi.org/sustain/sti.pdf .
      Planetizen Blogs
      "Economic Principles Still Apply" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/31111 )
      "Don't Fill-er-up With Stupidity" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/31269 )
      "Comprehensive Analysis of Transit Energy Conservation Benefits" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/31392 )
      Towards Carfee Cities: Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity ( http://carfreeportland.org ), June 16-20. Todd Litman will speak at the following sessions:
      'Why Carfree Cities Are Safer,' Wednesday, June 18, 10:45 - 12:15
      'Win-Win Market Solutions in Sustainable Transportation,' Thursday, June 19, 12:30 – 2:00
      PAYD Insurance Workshop ( http://www20.insurance.ca.gov/epubacc/REG/112249.htm )
      On June 23rd the California Department of Insurance will hold a workshop concerning Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) vehicle insurance.
      PAYD insurance can provide many significant benefits, including increased insurance affordability and consumer savings (particularly for lower-income motorists, who tend to drive lower-annual-mileage vehicles), increased safety, reduced congestion, road and parking facility cost savings, energy conservation, emission reductions, and can help reduce excessive insurance rates in lower-income neighborhoods ( http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm79.htm ). There are many possible ways to implement PAYD, some of which provide much larger benefits than others. Our new report, "Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance: Recommendations for Implementation" ( http://www.vtpi.org/payd_rec.pdf ) evaluates these options and provides recommendations for maximizing PAYD benefits. We recommend developing performance standards that an insurance rate structure must meet to be considered PAYD.

      "Planning in Challenging Climates" (http://www.pnmb.org )
      Todd Litman will be a keynote speaker at this Planners Network Manitoba annual conference, July 17-20, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
      Beginning July 2008, British Columbia will become the first North American jurisdiction to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax ( http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2008/backgrounders/backgrounder_carbon_tax.htm ). Although initially small ($10/tonne of carbon, which is about 10 cents per gallon of gasoline), it is scheduled to increase annually. For more information see this Sightline Institute blog: http://sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2008/02/19/bc-s-carbon-tax-shift .
      "International Fuel Prices" ( www.gtz.de/fuelprices )
      International Fuel Prices” is a GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) program to provide decision-makers with global fuel price data and policy guidance. It provides a variety of information on fuel prices and tax policies. Their bi-weekly email newsletter provides a wealth of additional information.
      NextBus ( http://www.nextbus.com) is a private company that uses Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to provide real-time transit vehicle arrival information to passengers and managers in various North American cities.
      Jennifer Rosales (2006), "Road Diet Handbook: Setting Trends for Livable Streets," William Barclay Parsons Fellowship Monograph 20; at http://www.oregonite.org/2007D6/paper_review/D4_201_Rosales_paper.pdf .
      John Pucher and Ralph Buelher (2008), "At the Frontiers of Cycling: Policy Innovations in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany," World Transport Policy & Practice, Vol. 13, No. 3; at http://www.eco-logica.co.uk/pdf/wtpp13.3.pdf.
      Eric Bruun (2007), Better Public Transit Systems, Planners Press ( https://www.planning.org/APAStore/Search/Default.aspx?p=3674 ).
      This new book provides detailed guidance on public transportation performance and investment analysis.
      "Technologies and Policies to Consider For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions In California" ( http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/etaac/ETAACFinalReport2-11-08.pdf ) by the California Economic and Technology Advisory Committee identifies ways to reduce greenhouse gases 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, as required by state law. The report gives strong support for mobility management strategies such as Pay-As-You-Drive vehicle insurance because it recognizes their co-benefits such as congestion and accident reductions.

      Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt (2008), "Freakonomics: Not-So-Free Ride" ( www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/magazine/20wwln-freakonomics-t.html). This New York Times column by two academic economists endorses Pay-As-You-Drive insurance as a way to help correct market distortions that result in economically-excessive motor vehicle travel.

      Reconnecting America (2008), "TOD 202: Station Area Planning: How To Make Great Transit-Oriented Places," Reconnecting America ( www.reconnectingamerica.org); at http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/public/download/tod202 .
      HUD (2008), "Parking Regulations and Housing Affordability," Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse, Volume 7, Issue 2, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (www.huduser.org); at http://www.huduser.org/rbc/newsletter/vol7iss2more.html .
      Phineas Baxandall, Tony Dutzik and Joshua Hoen (2008), "A Better Way to Go: Meeting America’s 21st Century Transportation Challenges with Modern Public Transit," U.S. PIRG Education Fund (www.uspirg.org); at http://www.uspirg.org/home/reports/report-archives/transportation/transportation2/a-better-way-to-go .
      CNT (2008), "Housing and Transportation Affordability Index" ( http://htaindex.cnt.org), by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, provides information on the combined cost of housing and transportation in various U.S. regions.

      "Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes" ( http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=1034 ) is a comprehensive set of reports that provide guidance to transportation professionals on factors that affect travel demands, and readily accessible documentation on the results that can be expected from various transportation improvements. Chapter 17 of this project, "Transit Oriented Development" ( http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=1034 ) examines factors that affect vehicle trip generation rates of transit oriented areas, including increased walking for local trips, increased use of public transit for regional trips, and reduced automobile ownership rates. It presents four studies of prime-commute-mode shifts by residents when moving into TODs. More than 90% of TOD passengers walk to transit stations. Together, these factors lead to 40-60% reductions in vehicle trip generation rates in TODs.
      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 Alexander Litman
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
      Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
      1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
      “Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”