VTPI News - Summer 2009
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Summer 2009 Vol. 12, 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.
"Are Vehicle Travel Reduction Targets Justified? Evaluating Mobility Management Objectives Such As Targets To Reduce VMT And Increase Use Of Alternative Modes" ( http://www.vtpi.org/vmt_red.pdf )
This report investigates whether transportation policies should include mobility management objectives, such as targets to reduce vehicle travel and encourage use of alternative modes. Such objectives are justified on several grounds. Mobility management can provide many benefits, and specific policy objectives provide guidance for strategic planning. Many mobility management strategies are market and planning reforms that increase transport system efficiency and equity. Mobility management objectives help shift planning practices to better prepare for future demands. Mobility management criticism tends to reflect an older, automobile-oriented transportation planning paradigm which considers a limited range of objectives, impacts and options. More comprehensive analysis tends to favor mobility management.
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.
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We recently updated the following reports.
"Safe Travels: Evaluating Mobility Management Traffic Safety Impacts" ( http://www.vtpi.org/safetrav.pdf )
"Transportation Elasticities: How Prices and Other Factors Affect Travel Behavior" ( http://www.vtpi.org/elasticities.pdf )
"Economic Value of Walkability" ( http://www.vtpi.org/walkability.pdf )
"Evaluating Transportation Land Use Impacts" ( http://www.vtpi.org/landuse.pdf )
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"Parking Management Best Practices: Making Efficient Use Of Parking Resources" Zoning Practice Issue Number 6, American Planning Association ( http://www.planning.org/zoningpractice )
Until recently, most planners assumed that parking should be abundant and free. This article describes how to adjust parking planning practices to take advantage of management solutions to significantly reduce the parking supply required in a particular situation and to provide other economic, social, and environmental benefits.
Planetizen Blogs ( http://www.planetizen.com ):
"Memo From Future Self: Hope For The Best But Prepare For the Worst" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/39418 )
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BEEN THERE - DONE THAT
During March and April Todd Litman toured five Australian cities to share information at conferences and workshops. For information see the following summary published in the Transport Research and Policy Analysis Bulletin
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Transportation Research Board Joint Summer Conference ( http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?e=ed57e411-12a8-456d-bfba-8f8b3b33b851 ), July 19-22, 2009, Seattle, Washington.
VTPI will join more than 300 transportation professionals representing more than 30 TRB committees at this mid-year conference.
Todd Litman will present a paper, "Performance Indicators On The Path To Sustainability" at the international conference, "Toward Transport System for Green Growth in the North Pacific" in Honolulu, Hawaii, August 13-14, sponsored by the East-West Center ( http://www.eastwestcenter.org ) and the Korean Transport Institute ( http://english.koti.re.kr ). This visit may include a public workshop on sustainable transportation planning in Honolulu on August 12 (please contact us if you may be interested).
Todd Litman will present research, "Transportation and Health: The Evidence and the opportunities" at the American Public Health Association 137th Annual Meeting, session 5097.0, Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 10:30 AM, in Philadelphia, PA. For more information see http://apha.confex.com/apha/137am/webprogram/Session27792.html.
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Reid Ewing and Eric Dumbaugh (2009), The Built Environment and Traffic Safety: A Review of Empirical Evidence, Journal of Planning Literature, Vol. 23 No. 4, May 2009, pp. 347-367; at http://jpl.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/4/347.
The article reaches two conclusions counter to accepted transportation engineering theory. First, the traffic environments of dense urban areas appear to be safer than the lower-volume environments of the suburbs. The reason is that many fewer miles are driven on a per capita basis, and the driving that is done is at lower speeds that are less likely to produce fatal crashes. Second, at least in dense urban areas, less-forgiving design treatmentssuch as narrow lanes, traffic-calming measures, and street trees close to the roadwayappear to enhance a roadways safety performance when compared to more conventional roadway designs.
Plan-It Calgary ( http://www.calgary.ca/planit ) is a comprehensive regional planning program that has sponsored excellent research including:
- "Housing Affordability and Smart Growth in Calgary" by Ray
Tomalty and Murtaza Haider
- "The Built Environment and Health" by Lawrence Frank & Co ( http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/planning/pdf/plan_it/health_and_wellness_reports.pdf )
"Traffic & Transportation Policies and Strategies in Urban Areas in India" ( http://urbanindia.nic.in/moud/programme/ut/Traffic_transportation.pdf ).
This study by Wilbur Smith developed a Transport Performance Index for evaluating urban transportation systems and prioritizing system improvements in Indian cities. It consists of the following factors:
- Public Transport Accessibility Index (the inverse of the average distance (in km) to the nearest bus stop/railway station (suburban/metro).
- Service Accessibility Index (% of Work trips accessible in 15 minutes time).
- Congestion Index (average peak-period journey speed relative to a target journey speed).
- Walkability Index (quantity and quality of walkways relative to roadway lengths).
- City Bus Transport Supply Index (bus service supply per capita).
- Para-Transit Supply Index (para-transit vehicle supply per capita).
- Safety Index (1/traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents).
- Slow Moving Vehicle (Cycling) Index (availability of cycling facilities and cycling mode share).
- On-street Parking Interference Index (1/(portion of major road length used for on-street parking + on-street parking demand).
"Footfalls: Obstacle Course To Livable Cities" ( http://www.cseindia.org/campaign/apc/pdf/Walkability.pdf ) by the Right To Clean Air Campaign, Centre For Science And Environment
This study provides Detailed analysis of walking conditions in Indian cities. This analysis indicates that walkability is overlooked and undervalued in transport planning, and that improved walkability is justified for equity and efficiency sake. It provides specific recommendations for improving walking conditions to address a variety of planning objectives.
"Reclaiming City Streets For People: Chaos Or Quality Of Life?" ( http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pubs/pdf/streets_people.pdf ), by the European Commission Directorate-General For The Environment.
This guidebook describes why and how to reallocate urban road space to improve walking and cycling conditions, and create more livable communities. It includes recommendations for implementation, and several case studies.
"Applying Health Impact Assessment To Land Transport Planning" ( http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/research/reports/375.pdf )
This study, sponsored by the New Zealand Transport Agency, assesses the need for health impact assessment (HIA), in the context of the New Zealand Transport Strategy and relevant legislation, and provides recommendations for better integrating HIA into transportation planning.
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
- "Housing Affordability and Smart Growth in Calgary" by Ray Tomalty and Murtaza Haider ( http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/planning/pdf/plan_it/housing_afford_and_smarth_growth_report.pdf ).