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VTPI News - Spring 2009

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    ... VTPI NEWS ... Victoria Transport Policy Institute Efficiency - Equity - Clarity ... Spring 2009 Vol. 12, No. 2 ... The Victoria Transport Policy
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2009
                                        VTPI NEWS
                            Victoria Transport Policy Institute
                               "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
                                Spring 2009    Vol. 12, 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.
      "Cycling for a Few or for Everyone: The Importance of Social Justice in Cycling Policy" ( http://www.vtpi.org/pucher_buehler_cycling.pdf )
      By John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, posted with permission.
      This article discusses the importance of designing cycling programs and facilities to accommodate the varying abilities and preferences of a broad spectrum of the population. This is one of several articles on sustainable transport in the May 2009 issue of "World Transport Policy & Practice" ( http://www.eco-logica.co.uk/pdf/wtpp15.1.pdf ).

      "The Value Capture Approach To Stimulating Transit Oriented Development And Financing Transit Station Area Improvements" ( http://www.vtpi.org/gihing_tod.pdf)
      By Thomas A. Gihring, posted with permission
      This paper examines the proposition that a land value property tax is an effective method to promote transit oriented development (TOD) and raise revenue to finance public improvements within urban rail transit station areas. A case study of a proposed TOD special assessment district in Seattle demonstrates how changing the general property tax to a land value tax (LVT) would provide incentives to utilize sites more intensively. The paper discusses various value capture mechanisms, and offers two possible land value capture methods to support public bond financing.

      "Arapahoe County Parking Utilization Study Concerning Residential Transit Oriented Development" ( http://www.vtpi.org/topp_parking.pdf )
      By Christopher A. Topp, posted with permission.
      This study surveyed Denver, Colorado transit-oriented developments concerning factors such as vehicle ownership, travel options, parking space utilization rates, and residents� community design preferences. Finds relatively low parking facility occupancy rates in multi-modal areas suggesting that current supply and minimum parking regulations are much higher than optimal. Identifies various factors that affect parking demand including location, income and transit service quality. Discusses current parking planning practices and the costs of excess parking supply. Recommends reforms.

      "A Review of 'On the Social Desirability of Urban Rail Systems' by C. Winston and V. Maheshrib" ( http://www.vtpi.org/goddard.pdf ), by Haynes Goddard, posted with permission.
      This paper evaluates analysis by Clifford Winston and Vikram Maheshri which attempted to use benefit-cost analysis to make a definitive statement about the social desirability of urban rail transit in the United States. Their argument is deficient on several elementary analytic and statistical grounds: They underestimate total benefits, and therefore net benefits, and their failure to examine the suitability of their data and to pay attention to the usual caveats associated with benefit-cost analysis further undermines their assertions.

      "2009 Transit Performance Spreadsheet" ( http://www.vtpi.org/Transit2009.xls )
      This spreadsheet contains a wealth of transportation system performance data for U.S. cities, and a variety of analysis concerning the relationships between public transportation travel and outcomes such as vehicle travel, mode split, congestion delays, traffic fatalities, and consumer transportation expenditures.
      Tara Laan, Todd Litman and Ronald Steenblik (2008), "Biofuels: At What Cost? Government Support For Ethanol And Biodiesel In Canada," ( http://www.iisd.org/pdf/2009/biofuels_subsidies_canada.pdf ), published by the Global Subsidies Initiative ( www.globalsubsidies.org).
      This study estimates Canadian federal and provincial government spending to support liquid biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) and evaluates the cost effectiveness of those expenditures. Estimates that total transfers to biofuels approach C$ 1 billion for the 2006-08 period. Concludes that costs per unit of fossil energy or GHG avoided are much higher than alternatives.
      Letter to the Editor, ITE Journal ( http://www.vtpi.org/ITE_letter_may2009.pdf ) By Todd Litman.
      This letter responds to the January 2009 article "The Nexus of Energy, Environment and the Economy: A Win, Win, Win Opportunity," by Alan Pisarski, which argued that transportation energy conservation and emission reduction efforts should focus on increasing fuel efficiency rather than reducing vehicle travel.
      Planetizen Blogs ( http://www.planetizen.com ):
         "Comprehensive Evaluation of Transit Oriented Development Benefits" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/39133 )
         "The Automobile Industry and National Economic Development" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/39070 )
         "Travel Demands Are A-Changing: So Should Our Spending" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/38283 )

      National Journal Blog
      "Should Fuel Taxes Pay For Alternative Transportation" ( http://transportation.nationaljournal.com/2009/05/should-fuel-taxes-pay-for-alte.php )
      Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance

      Several new developments are building support for Pay-As-You-Drive vehicle insurance ( http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm79.htm ). Send an email to info@... if you would like to receive occasional updates on PAYD issues.
      MileMeter ( www.milemeter.com)
      MileMeter is a private insurance company now sells PAYD insurance policies in Texas. Policies are purchased by the Internet. Motorists report their odometer reading at the beginning of the policy term and purchase a certain number of kilometers. Reported mileage is cross-referenced with odometer readings from vehicle emission, maintenance, and registration databases nationwide to insurance accuracy.
      Real Insurance PAYD ( www.payasyoudrive.com.au)
      Real Insurance now sells PAYD vehicle insurance in Australia. Motorists report their odometer reading at the beginning of the policy term and purchase a certain number of kilometers. Any unused kilometers are either refunded if motorists cancel or don�t renew (upon verification of vehicle odometers if requested by the company) or carried over to the next policy. If kilometers exceed prepayment the policy only provides basic coverage (liability, fire and theft). This program was awarded Australia�s Cheapest Car Insurance award by 'Money Magazine.' The Magazine said, "In these tough times consumers need to reduce costs wherever they can and shopping around for car insurance is a must. Money Magazine is pleased to be able to recognise and reward the best products and services, particularly at a time where it�s so critical for consumers to rein in their spending."
      PAYD in State Emission Reduction Plans ( http://www.newamerica.net/files/State%20Climate%20Policy%20Tracker%205-4-09.xls )
      Of 33 state climate action plans evaluated by the New America Foundation Climate Policy Program, twelve include PAYD as a transportation emission reduction strategy, as summarized in. These states include: AZ, CA, CO, MD, ME, MN, NH, NM, NC, RI, VA, and VT. The degree of emphasis and support for PAYD varies. For example, the Rhode Island plan, while endorsing the importance of the strategy, explicitly says that the state will likely wait for other states to figure out how to promote PAYD insurance before it does so. Justin Horner of the National Resources Defense Council described this analysis in the following blog:

      Ceres Insurance Program Supports PAYD ( http://www.ceres.org/insurance )
      Ceres (a national coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working to address sustainability challenges) is supporting PAYD insurance pricing as part of its insurance sector risk reduction program. Ceres held a workshop, "Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance Innovation for Transportation Efficiency" at its April conference in San Francisco, and is supporting ongoing research to support PAYD pricing.

      2009 Joint Summer Meeting, "Forging Ahead in Uncertain Times," July 19-22 in Seattle, Washington ( http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?e=ed57e411-12a8-456d-bfba-8f8b3b33b851 ). Todd Litman will be attending.


      "Transportation Study That Rated N.S. Highly Was Flawed - Expert," The Chronicle Herald ( http://www.apta.ca/webcura/files/1174.pdf ) which describes our critique of the Fraser Institute's transportation studies. Also see the Clark Williams-Derry blog on the subject ( http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2008/11/06/dont-like-reality-ignore-it )
      Andrea Broaddus, Todd Litman and Gopinath Menon (2009), "Training Document On "Transportation Demand Management," Sustainable Urban Transport Project ( http://www.sutp.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=413 )
      This 118 page document describes effective ways to manage demand and
      create a resilient and efficient transport system.
      John Pucher and Ralph Buehler (2009), "Sustainable Transport that Works: Lessons from Germany," World Transport Policy and Practice, Vol. 15, No. 1, May 2009, pp. 13-46 ( http://www.eco-logica.co.uk/pdf/wtpp15.1.pdf ). This article evaluates transportation patterns in Germany. Germans walk, bike, and take public transport for 41% of their daily trips, four times more than in the USA. This paper examines the policy and planning practices that have contributed to this diversity and efficiency.

      Three excellent new documents from the Project for Public Spaces (http://www.pps.org):
         "A Citizen�s Guide to Better Streets" ( http://www.pps.org/pdf/bookstore/How_to_Engage_Your_Transportation_Agency_AARP.pdf ).
         "Streets As Places: Using Streets To Rebuild Communities" ( http://www.pps.org/pdf/bookstore/Using_Streets_to_Rebuild_Communities.pdf )
         "The Quiet Revolution in Transportation Planning: How Great Corridors Make Great Communities," (http://www.pps.org/pdf/bookstore/Great_Corridors_Great_Communities.pdf.
      Donald Shoup (2008), "The Politics and Economics of Parking On Campus" ( http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/PoliticsAndEconomicsOfCampusParking.pdf). More great information and witty observations concerning parking and politics.
      "How Much Can We Slow VMT Growth? The Potential Savings of Implementing Best Practice Everywhere" ( http://www.ccap.org/docs/resources/460/How%20much%20can%20we%20slow%20VMT%20growth%20May%202008.pdf )
      This summarizes a study of the potential travel and emission reductions of various mobility management strategies. It concludes that aggressive implementation of such strategies could reasonably achieve a 21% reduction from baseline VMT by 2030 and a 29% reduction by 2050.
      "Residential Garage Conversions" ( www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us/pl/hcd/ADU/adu.html)
      Santa Cruz, CA has a special program to encourage development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs, also known as mother-in-law or granny units), which often consist of converted or expanded garages, to increase housing affordability and urban infill. The city has ordinances, design guidelines and information materials for such conversions.
      "Integrated Approach to Planning" ( http://www.transit.govt.nz/planning/iap.jsp) is a collaborative program between New Zealand transport sector agencies and Ministry for Environment to identify gaps and barriers to achieving better integration, both within and between transport and land-use planning, to help improve transport system sustainability. The project includes research to evaluate current planning practices and recommend improvements for more integrated planning.
      "Mixed-Income Housing TOD Action Guide," ( http://reconnectingamerica.org/public/display_asset/090304mitodag0109 ) by the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD) for Reconnecting America. This guide is designed to help community advocates, practitioners, intermediaries, and jurisdictions in their efforts to foster mixed-income transit oriented development.
      "Household Auto Greenhouse Gas Emissions: New Maps Show that Urban Living Helps Curb Global Warming" ( http://htaindex.cnt.org )
      New research by the Center for Neighborhood Technology compares greenhouse gas emissions of household vehicle travel in 55 U.S. metropolitan areas. These emissions tend to decline significantly (as much as 70%) with smart growth transportation and land use development patterns. Additional information at http://www.cnt.org/news/2009/05/27/new-maps-show-that-urban-living-helps-curb-global-warming and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/f-kaid-benfield/village-green-dramatic-ne_b_208035.html

      "Urban Transportation Emissions Calculator" ( http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/prog/2/UTEC-CETU/menu.aspx?lang=eng )
      is a user-friendly, Internet-based tool developed by Transport Canada that estimates greenhouse gas and criteria air contaminant emissions from urban transportation. It can be used in a wide variety of contexts involving different vehicle types (e.g., cars, commercial trucks, buses, light rail), fuel technologies (e.g., gasoline, diesel, hybrid, ethanol, biodiesel, etc.), and planning horizons (2006-2031).

      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�

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