VTPI NEWS - Autumn 2010
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Autumn 2010 Vol. 13, 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.
NEW VTPI DOCUMENTS
"Contrasting Visions of Urban Transport: Critique of 'Fixing Transit: The Case For Privatization'"(http://www.vtpi.org/cont_vis.pdf )
This report critiques the Heritage Foundation paper, "Fixing Transit: The Case For Privatization" which recommends complete privatization and self-finance of public transit. Our analysis indicates that such privatized, unsubsidized transit service would be inferior and less efficient overall than what exists in most cities, and would fail to meet consumer demands.
"Short and Sweet: Analysis of Shorter Trips Using National Personal Travel Survey Data" (http://www.vtpi.org/short_sweet.pdf)
This paper summarizes information on shorter trips, based on 2009 National Household Travel Survey data. This analysis indicates that a significant portion of total personal travel consists of shorter trips. About 10% of reported trips are a half-mile or less, about 19% are a mile or less, and 41% are three miles or less. Since shorter trips tend to be undercounted, the actual share of short trips is probably higher than these figures indicate.
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Below are just a few of many recently updated VTPI documents:
"The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be" (http://www.vtpi.org/future.pdf )
"Pavement Busters Guidebook" (http://www.vtpi.org/pavbust.pdf )
"Financing Transit Systems Through Value Capture" (http://www.vtpi.org/smith.pdf )
"Rail Transit In America: Comprehensive Evaluation of Benefits" (www.vtpi.org/railben.pdf )
"Affordable-Accessible Housing In A Dynamic City: Why and How To Increase Affordable Housing Development In Accessible Locations" (www.vtpi.org/aff_acc_hou.pdf )
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'Bikes Versus Cars: Who Pays Their Fair Share For Vancouver's Roads? City does have 'free riders' problem, but it's not what you think,' Vancouver Sun, 25 September 2010 at (http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Bikes+versus+cars+pays+their+fair+share+Vancouver+roads/3577047/story.html )
Recent Planetizen Blogs (http://www.planetizen.com/blog/2394 ):
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2011 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, 23-27 January 2011
Theme: "Transportation, Livability, and Economic Development in a Changing World" (http://www.trb.org/AnnualMeeting2011/Public/AnnualMeeting2011.aspx ).
"Sustainable Transportation Indicators Subcommittee" ADD40(1)
24 Jan. 2011, 12:15PM- 1:15PM, Hilton, Columbia Hall 3 & 4
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BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
"Indicators for Sustainable Transport Policy Making and Performance Evaluation," keynote presentation at 'A New Decade in Sustainable Transport: Fifth Regional EST Forum in Asia' United Nations Center for Regional Development (http://www.uncrd.or.jp/env/5th-regional-est-forum/index.htm ), 24 August 2010, Bangkok.
"Economic Impacts of Transportation Enhancements," presented at the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Workshop (http://www.enhancements.org/seminar/seminarfy10.asp ), 16-17 September 2010, Chattanooga, held in conjunction with ProBike/ProWalk (http://www.bikewalk.org/2010conference/index.php )
'Livable Communities, Housing and Health - Toolbox Session' at "Railvolution 2010" (http://www.railvolution.com/2010conferencepapers.asp ).
This workshop identified ways that transit oriented development and more affordable-accessible housing can help achieve public health and social equity objectives.
On May 13 and 14, 2010, the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government convened a workshop on "Transportation Revenue Options: Infrastructure, Emissions, and Congestion." Workshop technical papers and report available at http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/20389/transportation_revenue_options.html
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"Driven Apart: How Sprawl is Lengthening Our Commutes and Why Misleading Mobility Measures are Making Things Worse" (http://www.ceosforcities.org/work/driven-apart )
This study by CEOs for Cities critiques methods used to measure traffic congestion costs and evaluate congestion reduction strategies. It criticizes the Travel Time Index (TTI) used in the commonly-cited Urban Mobility Report as an unreliable guide for understanding urban transportation problems. The TTI uses flawed speed and fuel economy estimates which overstate traffic congestion costs, and it ignores the increased transportation costs associated with more dispersed land use patterns. As a result, the TTI favors policies that stimulate automobile dependency and sprawl. The Urban Mobility Report's estimates of congestion delay are inconsistent with real-time traffic data, and travel times reported in travel surveys. (Also see, “Congestion Costs” http://www.vtpi.org/tca/tca0505.pdf )
"Relationship between Growth and Prosperity in 100 Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas" (http://www.fodorandassociates.com/Reports/Growth_&_Prosperity_in_US_MSAs.pdf ). This study examines the relationship between growth and economic prosperity in major U.S. metropolitan areas. It finds that faster growth rates are associated with lower incomes, greater income declines, and higher poverty rates. Unemployment rates tend to be higher in faster growing areas. The 25 slowest-growing metro regions outperformed the 25 fastest growing in every category and averaged $8,455 more in per capita personal income in 2009. This study indicates the importance of distinguishing between 'growth' (getting bigger) and 'development' (getting better) in planning and economic analysis.
"Location Efficiency and Mortgage Default" (http://www.costar.com/uploadedFiles/JOSRE/JournalPdfs/06.117_142.pdf ).
Based on a sample of over 40,000 mortgages, this study found that default probability increases with the number of vehicles owned, and decreases with higher Walk Scores in high income areas. The results provide additional justification for smart growth development and urban revitalization policies, because designing neighborhoods that reduce motor vehicle ownership and use is beneficial to borrowers and banks as well as the environment.
"Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance In Massachusetts: A Risk Assessment And Report On Consumer, Industry And Environmental Benefits" (http://www.clf.org/our-work/healthy-communities/modernizing-transportation/pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-payd )
This major study by MIT researchers used mileage and insurance claim data matched for individual vehicles totaling 2.8 million vehicle-years. The analysis found a significant correlation between miles driven and risk, and confirms that mileage is an accurate predictor of risk, laying the groundwork for adoption of PAYD vehicle insurance. Overall, the study confirms the actuarial soundness of PAYD pricing and indicates that the PAYD could provide significant benefits to users and society. (Also see “Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance” www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm79.htm )
"Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in U.S. Adults," Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, (http://journals.lww.com/acsm-sse/Abstract/2010/10000/Pedometer_Measured_Physical_Activity_and_Health.4.aspx)
Summarized in, "Americans walk only half as much as we should: Adults taking a mere 5,117 steps a day, study finds" MSNBC, 11 Oct 2010 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39612832/ns/health-fitness ). This study found that U.S. residents average only 5,117 daily steps, only about half the amount recommended by public health experts to maintain basic fitness and health, and far less than the 9,695 daily steps in Western Australia, 9,650 daily steps in Switzerland, and 7,168 daily stops in Japan. The author concludes that these differences result from higher levels of automobile dependency in North America.
'Are We Reaching Peak Travel? Trends in Passenger Transport in Eight Industrialized Countries' "Transport Reviews" (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01441647.2010.518291); at www.stanford.edu/~adammb/Publications/Millard-Ball%20Schipper%202010%20Peak%20travel.pdf. This study finds evidence that per capita vehicle travel has stopped growing in most industrialized countries. (Also see, “The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be” http://www.vtpi.org/future.pdf )
"Neighbourhood Design, Travel, and Health in Metro Vancouver: Using a Walkability Index" (http://www.act-trans.ubc.ca/documents/WalkReport_ExecSum_Oct2010_HighRes.pdf ) by the University of British Columbia Active Transportation Collaboratory (http://www.act-trans.ubc.ca ).
This new planning tool identifies urban design factors that contribute to neighbourhood walkability, and can be used to predict how policy and planning decisions affect walking activity and physical fitness.
"Transit and Health: Mode Of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, And Physical Activity" (http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jphp/journal/v30/nS1/full/jphp200852a.html ).
This study found that, in Atlanta, Georgia, people who travel by public transit were much more likely (odds ratio 3.87) of achieving 1.5 miles or 30 minutes a day of walking activity recommended for basic physical fitness and health. (Also see, “Evaluating Public Transit Health Benefits” http://www.vtpi.org/tran_health.pdf )
"Public Transit Use As A Catalyst For An Active Lifestyle: Mechanisms, Predispositions And Hindrances" (http://hdl.handle.net/2429/30239 ). This PhD dissertation by Ugo Lachapelle (congratulations Ugo!) analyzes relationships between household location preferences, housing location decisions, neighborhood design, transit use, and active transport (walking and cycling). It finds a positive relationship between transit travel and physical activity. Surveys indicate latent demand for living close to high quality transit by some households. It concludes that increasing housing opportunities near transit could increase public transit use and support health benefits.
"Physical Activity Predicts Gray Matter Volume In Late Adulthood: The Cardiovascular Health Study" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20944075 ). This study published in the journal Neurology found that increased walking by middle-aged people is associated with greater gray matter volume nine years latter, which is in turn associated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment. This research indicates that walking is not only smart, it can also make a person smarter.
"A Paradigm Shift Towards Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport: Financing The Vision ASAP" (http://www.itdp.org/documents/A_Paradigm_Shift_toward_Sustainable_Transport.pdf ), Transport Research Laboratory for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
This report discusses challenges and actions needed to finance the paradigm shift towards sustainable, low-carbon transport in developing countries. (Also see, “TDM Financing Options” http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm119.htm )
"Smart Transportation" (http://www.smart-transportation.com ) is a partnership of Pennsylvanian state agencies to better link transportation investments with land use planning and decision-making. It has a variety of information on the need for more efficient state transportation policies, and practical ways to improve policies and planning practices.
GreenTRIP (http://www.GreenTRIP.org )
GreenTRIP is an innovative certification program that rewards residential infill projects that apply comprehensive transport management strategies to reduce traffic, energy consumption and pollution emissions. Designed to complement LEED certification, which focuses on building design, GreenTRIP measures how connected a community is and what resources and incentives are provided to help use alternative transport modes, including walking, cycling, ridesharing, public transit and carsharing.
"National TOD Database" (http://www.toddata.cnt.org ) provides detailed demographic, geographic and economic data for 3,776 U.S. urban rail transit stations and 833 proposed stations in 47 metropolitan areas, suitable for research purposes (for example, to evaluate how proximity to high quality transit affects factors such as traffic fatality rates, household transportation expenditures and local economic development), for planning (to identify areas where transit-oriented development should be encouraged) and for real estate professionals (to allow developers and households identify multi-modal neighborhoods).
"Parking Infrastructure: Energy, Emissions, And Automobile Life-Cycle Environmental Accounting," Environmental Research Letters,; at (http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034001 ). This study by the UC Berkeley Center for Future Urban Transport (http://www.sustainable-transportation.com ) performs a life-cycle environmental inventory of the 500 million estimated off-street parking spaces in the U.S. It discusses the environmental consequences of current parking policies. (Also see, “Parking Costs” www.vtpi.org/tca/tca0504.pdf )
"Parking Management: A Contribution Towards Livable Cities,” Module 2C, Sustainable Transportation: A Sourcebook for Policy-Makers in Developing Countries (http://www.sutp.org/dn.php?file=2c-PARKM-EN.pdf ).
This module offers measures to address parking problems in developing cities and is aimed primarily at stakeholders in local, regional or national governments and anybody with an interest in this issue. This includes not only traffic engineers but also policy makers, land use planners, transport planners, urban designers , and anyone interested in more efficient and sustainable parking policies.
"Urban Freight In Developing Cities, Module 1G in the Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-makers in Developing Cities" (http://www.sutp.org/dn.php?file=1g-UF-EN.pdf ) by the Sustainable Urban Transport Project Asia (http://www.sutp-asia.org ).
Provides policy makers and planners an overview of strategies to improve freight transport and reduce negative impacts through better management. It includes numerous examples and case studies of effective freight transport management policies and programs.
New Draft of LEED (http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/11/8/Your-Guide-to-the-New-Draft-of-LEED-2012-public-comment-USGBC )
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has opened the first public comment period for a new draft of the LEED Green Building rating system, which runs until 31 Dec. 2010. It includes a number of credits related to transportation, reduced automobile dependence, location accessibility, and parking management and bicycle facilities.
"Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: The Building Blocks of a Model Transportation Plan Incorporating Operations - A Desk Reference" (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop10027/index.htm ), by the US Department of Transportation. This new publication provides guidance for incorporating operational management strategies into state, regional and local transportation plans. This provides a foundation for transportation demand management.
Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
“Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”