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VTPI News, Spring 2006

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    ... VTPI NEWS ... Victoria Transport Policy Institute Efficiency - Equity - Clarity ... Spring 2006 Vol. 9, No. 2 ... The Victoria Transport Policy
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2006
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                                        VTPI NEWS
                            Victoria Transport Policy Institute
                               "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
                                 Spring 2006    Vol. 9, 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.
      The VTPI "Online TDM Encyclopedia" (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm ) is a comprehensive information resource to help identify and evaluate innovative management solutions to transport problems, available for free on our website. We continually update and expand the Encyclopedia. We recently added the following chapter:
      "Transport Model Improvements: Improving Methods for Evaluating The Effects and Value of Transportation System Changes" ( http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm125.htm ).
      As always, we appreciate feedback. Please let us know if you have suggestions for improving the Encyclopedia or our other resources.

      "Evaluating New Start Transit Program Performance: Comparing Rail And Bus" ( http://www.vtpi.org/bus_rail.pdf ). This study by Lyndon Henry and Todd Litman compares public transit performance between U.S. cities that expanded rail systems and those that expanded bus systems.

      "Planning Principles and Practices" ( http://www.vtpi.org/planning.pdf )
      This paper summarizes key principles and practices for effective land use and transportation planning. Originally written as a subject overview for an introduction to land use planning university course.

      "Parking Taxes: Evaluating Options and Impacts" ( http://www.vtpi.org/parking_tax.pdf ). This report describes and evaluates various types of parking taxes, including commercial parking taxes (a special tax on parking rental transactions), per-space parking levies (a special property tax applied to parking facilities), and pricing of more publicly-owned parking facilities.

      "Parking Management: Strategies, Evaluation and Planning" ( http://www.vtpi.org/park_man.pdf ). This report summarizes the book "Parking Management Best Practices." It describes various strategies that result in more efficient use of parking resources, and explains how they can be applied to help solve parking problems.

      Gina Filosa, "Carsharing: Establishing Its Role in the Parking Demand Management Toolbox," ( http://vtpi.org/filosa_carsharing.pdf ), Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University.
      This masters thesis explores the concept of using carsharing as a parking demand management strategy, based on information gathered from three case studies. It provides recommendations for developing carsharing services and using them to reduce parking requirements. (Posted courtesy of the author.)

      We recently updated the following documents:
      "Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs " ( http://www.vtpi.org/tranben.pdf )
      "Evaluating Transportation Equity" ( http://www.vtpi.org/equity.pdf )
      "Evaluating Research Quality" ( http://www.vtpi.org/resqual.pdf ).
      Below are recently published books and articles.
      "Parking Management Best Practices" Planners Press ( http://www.planning.org/bookservice/description.htm?BCODE=APMB ), 2006; summarized at http://www.vtpi.org/park_man.pdf ). This comprehensive new book written by VTPI Executive Director Todd Litman will change the way people think about and solve parking problems. It describes more than two-dozen strategies that result in more efficient use of parking resources, and explains how to assemble them into an effective parking management program.

      Lawrence Frank, Sarah Kavage and Todd Litman, "Promoting Public Health Through Smart Growth: Building Healthier Communities Through Transportation And Land Use Policies," Smart Growth BC (www.smartgrowth.bc.ca), 2006; available at http://www.smartgrowth.bc.ca/downloads/SGBC_Health%20Report%20Final.pdf . This report explains how our built environment shapes our transportation choices, and in turn, human health. It identifies specific transportation and land use reforms that can help create healthier and more livable communities.

      "Parking Management: Innovative Solutions To Vehicle Parking Problems" ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/19149 ). This Planetizen editorial discusses parking management strategies and how they can be used to improve cities.

      Todd Litman, "Impacts of Rail Transit on the Performance of a Transportation System," Transportation Research Record 1930, Transit: Intermodal Transfer Facilities, Rail, Commuter Rail, Light Rail, and Major Activity Center Circulation Systems, Transportation Research Board (www.trb.org), 2005, pp. 23-29. This is a summary of our previous report, "Rail Transit In America: Comprehensive Evaluation of Benefits," available at http:www.vtpi.org/railben.pdf .

      "Land Use Impacts on Transportation" workshop, June 14, 8:30am-4:30pm, by Todd Litman, sponsored by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC ( http://www.apeg.bc.ca/prodev/events/transportation_land_use.html ). This professional development workshop will explore how transport planning decisions (such as roadway design and parking supply) affect land use in the context of concerns about the costs of sprawl and the potential of smart growth development policies. It references the report "Evaluating Transportation Land Use Impacts" ( http://www.vtpi.org/landuse.pdf ).

      "Using Parking Strategies to Manage Traffic in Transit Oriented Developments" (Session 16, Tuesday, Aug. 8) and "Parking Management Best Practices" (session 37, Aug. 9), Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI ( http://www.ite.org/AnnualMeeting )

      "Transportation Demand Management Strategies," by Todd Litman, First International Congress on Citizens and Mobility Management, 25 Sept. 2006, Madrid, Spain ( http://www.congresomovilidad.com ). This major international conference will explore ways to integrate transport, environment, energy and spatial planning issues. Note to European colleagues: we would be happy to arrange other speaking engagements for Mr. Litman in Europe during the week prior to this conference, Sept. 18-22.

      The World Conference on Transportation Research (WCTR), which will be held June 24-28, 2007 (Next year) at the University of California, Berkeley - the first time for a WCTR in the US. Information can be found at

      Below are some new information resources that you may find useful.
      Vukan Vuchic, "Urban Transit: Operations, Planning and Economics," John Wiley & Sons ( http://ca.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0471632651.html ), 2005. This textbook and technical reference covers all aspects of urban transit operations, planning, and economics. It is the most comprehensive book we have seen on the subject. It thoroughly examines the technical fundamentals and management principles of public transit planning, operations and economic analysis, including extensive tables and graphs to help compare the performance and operating costs of various types of transit. It provides a comprehensive single-volume text and reference for students and transit professionals. The book includes dozens of worked problems and end-of-chapter exercises help familiarize the reader with the formulae and analytical techniques presented in the book.

      BIKESAFE ( http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/BIKESAFE and www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikesafe )
      BIKESAFE is an expert system that assists practitioners with the selection of countermeasures to address bicyclist safety and mobility problems. It includes several interactive tools to:
      • Provide information on countermeasures available for prevention of bicyclist crashes.
      • Highlight the purposes, considerations and cost estimates associated with each countermeasure.
      • Provide a decision process to aid in selecting the most applicable countermeasures in a specific situatin.
      • Provide links to case studies.
      • Provide easy access to resources such as statistics, implementation guidance, and reference materials."

      "The Housing and Transportation Affordability Index: Understanding What Makes Housing Truly Affordable," developed by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development ( http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/html/TOD ) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and produced by the Brookings Institute ( http://www.brookings.edu/metro/umi/pubs/20060127_affindex.htm ), 2006.
      The Housing and Transportation Affordability Index quantifies the trade-offs that households make between housing and transportation costs and the savings that derive from more accessible housing locations. It shows that total housing and transportation costs are often lowest in urban communities and highest in sprawled location due to differences in automobile transportation costs. The tool is based on data sets available in most urban areas.
      The PATH (Planning for Active Transportation and Health) project ( www.nrsrcaa.org/path/Documents.htm) includes a new set of design tools to decisionmakers to plan for safer, more functional and more equitable access to goods, services and employment. PATH involves the expertise of social service, health, and economic development professionals to assist transportation planners by better integrating the changing patterns of community life with the spectrum of vital transportation needs.

      Peter Nelson, Andrew Baglino, Winston Harrington, Elena Safirova and Abram Lipman, "Transit in Washington, D.C.: Current Benefits and Optimal Level of Provision," Resources for the Future ( www.rff.org/rff/Documents/RFF-DP-06-21.pdf ), 2006.
      Researchers estimated the benefits of local transit service to transit users and congestion-reduction benefits to motorists. They found that rail transit generates congestion-reduction benefits that exceed rail subsidies, the combined benefits of rail and bus transit easily exceed local transit subsidies generally, and the lowest-income group receives a disproportionately low share of the transit benefits, both in absolute terms and as a share of total income. 

      Strategic Policy Options for Sustainable Development Database ( www.iges.or.jp/cgi-bin/rispo/index_spo.cgi ), Research on Innovative and Strategic Policy Options (RISPO) by the Institute for Global Environmental Studies provides information, recommended best practices and case studies on a wide range of sustainable policies and strategies.

      Northwest Environment Watch has changed its name to Sightline Institute (http://www.sightline.org ). This organization engages in a variety of research focusing on sustainable transportation and land use in the Cascadia region (Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia). We’ve particularly enjoyed their webloging covering a variety of issues and perspectives.
      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”

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