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VTPI NEWS - Autumn 2002

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    ... VTPI NEWS ... Victoria Transport Policy Institute Efficiency - Equity - Clarity ... Autumn 2002 Vol. 5, No. 4 ... The Victoria Transport Policy
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2002
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
      Autumn 2002 Vol. 5, No. 4

      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.


      info@...), RATHER THAN litman@..., WHICH WILL BE


      Available free at http://www.vtpi.org/tca.

      VTPI has posted an Online edition of "Transportation Cost And Benefit
      Analysis: Techniques, Estimates And Implications." This 350-page guidebook
      provides comprehensive information on transportation costs and benefits for
      use in planning and policy analysis. It is one of the most detailed studies
      of transportation economic, social and environmental impacts, and the only
      one that is regularly expanded and updated as new information becomes
      available. It provides estimates of twenty costs for eleven transport modes
      under three travel conditions in a format designed to easily compare
      transportation alternatives. It also indicates the distribution of costs.
      For example, it provides estimates of the internal and external costs of
      automobile use, and the potential cost savings from a shift to alternative
      modes under rural, urban-off-peak and urban-peak conditions.

      The Guidebook reviews previous transportation impact studies, discusses
      economic evaluation practices, describes how nonmarket impacts are
      estimated, discusses major findings, evaluates criticisms of transportation
      costing, and explores implications and applications of this research. It
      provides extensive reference information, mostly available through the
      Internet, allowing users to obtain additional information when needed.

      The VTPI "Online TDM Encyclopedia" is the most comprehensive resource
      available anywhere to help identify and evaluate innovative solutions to
      transportation problems. It has dozens of chapters with hundreds of pages
      of text and thousands of Internet links, providing convenient information
      for Transportation Demand Management (TDM) planning, evaluation and
      implementation. It is available free at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm. We have
      been busy expanding and updating the Encyclopedia. Below are highlights.


      * Public Transit Encouragement (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm112.htm) - This
      chapter describes various ways to encourage public transit ridership.

      * TDM in Developing Regions (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm75.htm) - This
      chapter discusses the implementation of TDM in developing (i.e.,
      lower-income) areas. It describes many resources available to help
      implement TDM in developing countries, and additional case studies.

      * Smart Growth Policy Reforms (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm95.htm) - This
      chapter describes various planning, regulatory and fiscal reforms that help
      create more efficient land use. These reforms correct current practices
      that encourage lower-density, urban periphery, automobile-dependent
      development patterns.

      * Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm79.htm) -
      This chapter describe pricing reforms that result in more equitable and
      efficient premiums, and reduce annual vehicle mileage by about 10% among
      participating motorists.

      * Transportation Elasticities (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm11.htm) - This
      chapter investigates the influence that prices have on travel behavior. It
      summarizes research on various types of transportation elasticities and
      describes how to use this information to predict the travel impacts of
      specific TDM strategies.

      * TDM Evaluation (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm14.htm) - This chapter
      describes transportation evaluation methods and how they can be used to
      evaluate the value of TDM programs. It now provides more detailed
      information and more extensive references.

      * Evaluating Nonmotorized Transport (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm63.htm) -
      This chapter has much new information on techniques for measuring walking
      and cycling conditions and prioritizing improvements.

      * Fuel Taxes (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm17.htm) - This chapter provides
      more information and case studies of fuel tax changes, and the (Fuel Trends
      Spreadsheet (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/fueltrends.xls) includes U.S. fuel
      consumption and price data over four decades.


      The following new documents are posted at the VTPI website.

      Todd Litman, "Transit Price Elasticities and Cross-Elasticities: For Urban
      Transportation Demand Modeling," Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      (www.vtpi.org), 2003.
      This paper summarizes price elasticities and cross elasticities for use in
      public transit planning and modeling. It describes elasticities and how
      they are used, summarizes previous research on transit elasticities.
      Commonly used transit elasticity values are largely based on studies of
      short- and medium-run impacts, performed decades ago when real incomes were
      lower and a larger portion of the population was transit dependent. As a
      result, they tend to be lower than appropriate to model long-run impacts.
      Analysis based on these elasticity values tend to understate the potential
      of transit fare reductions and service improvements to reduce problems such
      as traffic congestion and vehicle pollution. They also understate the
      long-term negative impacts that fare increases and service cuts can have on
      transit ridership, transit revenue, traffic congestion and pollution emissions.

      Todd Litman, "Efficient Vehicles Versus Efficient Transportation,"
      This paper uses a comprehensive framework to evaluate four potential
      transportation energy conservation and emission reduction strategies. The
      analysis takes into account how each strategy affects total vehicle
      mileage, and therefore mileage-related impacts such as congestion, facility
      costs, crashes and consumer mobility benefits. Even small mileage changes
      can have a large impact on the net value of an energy conservation
      strategy. Fuel efficiency standards and some alternative fuels reduce
      per-mile vehicle operating costs and so increase mileage (a rebound
      effect). Mobility management strategies reduce mileage and so can provide
      additional benefits. This study indicates that conventional evaluation
      practices tend to overvalue strategies that increase vehicle fuel
      efficiency and undervalue mobility management strategies by ignoring
      impacts resulting from changes in vehicle mileage.

      Todd Litman, "If Health Matters - Integrating Public Health Objectives in
      Transportation Decision-Making," (http://www.vtpi.org/health.pdf).
      This article investigates how transportation policy and planning practices
      must change if public health objectives is to be given greater priority.
      Conventional transportation decision-making focuses on some health impacts
      but overlook others. It gives considerable attention to per-mile vehicle
      crash risk and pollution emissions, but overlooks the safety and pollution
      problems that result from increased vehicle mileage, and the negative
      health impacts resulting from less physically active transportation. As a
      result, transportation agencies tend to undervalue strategies that reduce
      total vehicle travel and create a more diverse transportation system.
      Mobility management impacts on traffic safety, pollution emissions and
      physical activity are evaluated. This analysis suggests that giving greater
      priority to health objectives in transportation decision-making would
      reduce roadway and parking facility capacity expansion and increase support
      for mobility management strategies, particularly those that increase
      walking and cycling.

      The following document was produced by VTPI and posted at the website of
      Island Transformations, an independent community development organization
      that commissioned the study.

      Todd Litman, "Light Rail Economic Opportunity Study: Evaluating Light Rail
      Transit As A Solution To Capital Regional Transportation Problems", Island
      Transformation (http://www.islandtransformations.org), November 2002.
      This study investigates the value a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system could
      provide in the Victoria, BC region, and compares this with other
      transportation improvement options. It takes into account a wide range of
      economic, social and environmental impacts.


      Transportation Research Board
      The following events are part of the Transportation Research Board Annual
      Meeting, held in Washington DC, January 12-17, 2003. For information see

      Pedestrian Design Workshop - Economic Valuation of Walking
      The Human Factors Workshop on pedestrian facility design (workshop 103), to
      be held January 12 will include the following presentations. (Note, this
      workshop involves an additional $150 fee.)

      * Greg Lindsey, Director, Center for Urban Policy and the
      Environment (www.urbancenter.iupui.edu/container.htm) - will discuss
      techniques for quantifying transportation and land use decision impacts on
      urban quality of life, and particularly the value of public trails.

      * Rune Elvik, Economist, Norwegian Centre for Transport Research
      (http://www.toi.no/English/default.asp) - will discuss biases in standard
      cost-benefit analyses of transport projects that tend to undervalue walking
      and cycling investments.

      * Robin Blair, Planner, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority
      (http://www.mta.net) - shares experience developing walking districts, how
      changing perceptions of space and distance in the urban environment can
      encourage walking, and how this affects property values.

      * Todd Litman, Director, Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      (www.vtpi.org) will discuss the Economic Value of Walkability and Walking
      (see paper described above).

      * Michael Ronkin, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, Oregon Dept. of
      Transportation (http://www.odot.state.or.us) will discuss how the design
      of street crossings and intersections affects pedestrian access and safety,
      and how urban design can entice pedestrian movement.

      Other TRB Sessions
      VTPI Director Todd Litman will give the following presentations at TRB.

      Session 222, Monday, 8:00 AM9:45 AM
      Sustainable Transportation Symposium, Part 1: Best Local Practice
      "Measuring Sustainability at the Project Level"
      This presentation will discuss practical indicators that can be used to
      evaluate progress toward sustainable transport.

      Session 452, Tuesday, 10:15 AM12:00 PM
      Marketing: How Soft Policies Can Solve Hard Transportation Problems
      "Mobility Management Marketing"
      This presentation will discuss the increasingly important role of marketing
      (determining what consumers want, delivering what they want, and letting
      them know what is available) for transportation problem solving.

      Session 728, Wednesday, 7:30 PM9:15 PM
      Walkability Issues of Adult and Child Pedestrians
      "Economic Value of Walkability"
      This presentation will discuss the paper "Economic Value of Walkability"
      (described above) and its implications for transportation planning.

      Walk21 Conference 2003 Targeted Call for Papers
      Planning is underway for Walk21 IV: Health, Equity & Environment, the 4th
      International Conference on Walking in the 21st Century, to be held in
      Portland, Oregon, USA, 1-3 May 2003. The conference will focus on
      rethinking the context and perfecting the tools for a walkable world. It is
      expected to attract advocates, practitioners, academics and policy makers
      from around the world.Earlybird registration will be available beginning 2
      January 2003.

      The call for papers, which closed in September, netted well over a hundred
      submissions, a record for the Walk21 conferences to date. While the quality
      of the accepted abstracts is excellent, the Program Committee did identify
      some gaps in subject area, and has issued a limited call for additional
      abstracts on four specific topics:
      * Pedestrian Travel and Alcohol
      * Pedestrian Travel and Personal Security
      * Pedestrian Travel and Training for Practitioners
      * Pedestrian Travel and Mobility Management

      The deadline for submissions for this limited call is Friday, December 13,
      2002. For more information about the limited call for abstracts or the
      conference as a whole, visit http://www.walk21.com.



      Transport Geography on the Web (http://www.people.hofstra.edu/geotrans)
      provides access to transport geography information, including academic
      articles, maps, figures, and datatsets. VTPI will be contributing material
      to this excellent website.

      Sustainable Transportation Live (www.movingtheeconomy.ca), by Moving the
      Economy, is a website that provides information on how to apply sustainable
      transportation principles to help reduce traffic congestion, facility
      costs, pollution and other transport problems.

      CIVITAS (www.civitas-initiative.org) is a European Commission supported
      initiative to help introduce sustainable urban transport strategies.

      Smart Growth America (www.smartgrowthamerica.org) is a nationwide coalition
      promoting new development patterns that protect farmland and open space,
      revitalize neighborhoods, keeps housing affordable, and provides more
      transportation choices.


      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
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