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VTPI News - Winter 2007

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    ... VTPI NEWS ... Victoria Transport Policy Institute Efficiency - Equity - Clarity ... Winter 2007 Vol. 10, No. 1 ... The Victoria Transport Policy
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 19, 2007
                                        VTPI NEWS
                            Victoria Transport Policy Institute
                               "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
                                Winter 2007    Vol. 10, No. 1
      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.
      During March 2007 we significantly updated and expanded the Encyclopedia, with many more links and an easier-to-use reference format. As always, we appreciate feedback. Please let us know if you have suggestions for improving it.
      "Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism" (www.vtpi.org/railcrit.pdf )
      This report evaluates criticism of rail transit systems. It examines claims that rail transit is ineffective at increasing public transit ridership and improving transportation system performance, that rail transit investments are not cost effective, and that transit is an outdated form of transportation. It finds that critics often misrepresent issues and use biased and inaccurate analysis.
      "Distance-Based Vehicle Insurance As A TDM Strategy" ( http://www.vtpi.org/dbvi.pdf )
      Distance-based (also called 'Pay-As-You-Drive') pricing makes vehicle insurance premiums directly related to annual vehicle-travel. This makes vehicle insurance more actuarially accurate (premiums better reflect the claim costs of each vehicle) and gives motorists a new opportunity to save money when they reduce their mileage. It can help achieve several public policy objectives including equity, road safety, consumer savings and choice, congestion reduction, facility cost savings, energy savings and environmental protection. This indicates that distance-based pricing is technically and economically feasible, and can provide significant benefits to motorists and society. We believe that it is one of the best 'Win-Win Transportation Solutions' ( http://www.vtpi.org/winwin.pdf ).
      Below are recently published reports and articles.
      Litman, Todd (2007), 'Evaluating Rail Transit Benefits: A Comment,' "Transport Policy," Vol. 14, No. 1 ( http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X ), January 2007, pp. 94-97.
      This commentary responds to recent articles criticize urban rail transit investments on grounds that they are ineffective at reducing traffic congestion and financially wasteful. It summarizes some of the findings of more detailed analyses of transit benefits and suggests that there is abundant evidence that high quality, grade-separated transit does reduce urban traffic congestion, and that urban transit improvements can be cost effective investments when all economic impacts are considered (based on "Smart Congestion Reductions II: Reevaluating The Role Of Public Transit For Improving Urban Transportation," http://www.vtpi.org/cong_reliefII.pdf ).
      "Urban Transportation Management," Handbook on Urban Sustainability, Nolberto Munier Editor, Springer (www.springer.com), 2006.
      This book, written by worldwide specialists from Canada, India, Italy, Palestine, Peru, Spain and the Netherlands, is a guide to establishing a city on a sustainable path. It addresses sustainable urban planning issues by breaking the city down to its main components.
      Interviews with Reid Ewing and Todd Litman, Smart City Radio ( http://smartcityradio.fluidhosting.com/2007/01-January/010407_SmartCity.mp3 ), January 04, 2007. Smart City is a weekly hour-long public radio talk show that takes an in-depth look at urban life
      "Planetizen Interchange" ( http://www.planetizen.com/interchange ) is a new blog created to host commentary from leading authors, scholars, and professionals in the fields of urban planning, design and development. This is intended to provide exposure to new viewpoints and ideas, encourage discourse that cuts across disciplinary boundaries, and expand and inform the community of people working to improve the built environment. We will be making regular contributions to this blog.
      VTPI presented papers at the following event:
      Keynote presentation at the "National Conference on Disaster Planning for the Carless Society" ( www.carlessevacuation.org), New Orleans, 8-9 February 2007. See Planetizen Podcast ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/22898 ). This presentation was based on the paper, "Lessons from Katrinia and Rita: What Major Disasters Can Teach Transportation Planners," ( http://www.vtpi.org/katrina.pdf ),
      VTPI will participate in these upcoming events:
      "Plain Talk On Quality Growth" (http://www.etqg.org )
      29-30 March 2007
      Knoxville Convention Center
      This conference, organized by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will help identify strategies to better integrate economic, social and environmental objectives into transportation and land use planning decisions.
      "Parking Management Best Practices" professional development workshop (S009)
      Saturday, 14 April, 9:00am-noon
      American Planning Association Annual Conference
      14-18 April 2007, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia
      ( http://www.planning.org/2007conference)
      This seminar will explore various ways to efficiently manage parking facilities in order to achieve various transportation and land use planning objectives. Based on the book "Parking Management Best Practices" ( http://www.vtpi.org/park_man.pdf ).
      "Transportation Land Use Impacts" Professional Development Seminar
      Monday, May 14, 9:00am-4:30pm
      Victoria, BC (Venue TBD)
      Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia ( http://www.apeg.bc.ca/prodev/prodevevents.html )
      This seminar will investigate various impacts that transportation decisions have on land use patterns, and ways to incorporate 'smart growth' land use planning objectives into transportation decision making.
      "SMARTRAQ" Reports ( http://www.act-trans.ubc.ca/smartraq/pages )
      The new 'Active Transport Collaboratory' website ( www.act-trans.ubc.ca ) provides extensive information to help create healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient communities, including results of the groundbreaking SMARTRAQ (Strategies for Metropolitan Atlanta's Regional Transportation and Air Quality) study. This is one of the most comprehensive, innovative and academically rigorous research programs ever conducted on the relationships between land use, transportation, public health and the environment. The website provides free access to a range of research products that can help assist students, faculty, and those interested in this area of research, including reports, scientific journal articles and databases.
      The $4.6 million multidisciplinary SMARTRAQ program pioneered the integration of travel, land use, health outcomes and consumer preferences in a single comprehensive study. It helps answer key questions concerning the relationships between local land use development patterns, travel behavior, physical activity, obesity, air quality, and consumers’ housing preferences. The ACT-Trans website hosts all materials and products to date from the project, established and co-codirected by Collaboratory director Lawrence Frank.
      The Active Transport Collaboratory website is maintained by the School of Community & Regional Planning (SCARP), and the Institute for Resources, the Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. The lab opened in 2005 with funding from the Bombardier Foundation and the Canada Foundations for Innovation and conducts research on the relationships between land use, transportation, air quality, climate change, energy use, active transportation (walking and cycling), physical fitness and public health. Numerous agency reports, journal articles, and a massive slide collection of urban scenes have been posted to the website, including selections from the Gordon Price photo collection, which documents nearly three decades of urban environments, are available for download from this site.
      "Bus Rapid Transit in Johannesburg: Implications for Mini-bus Taxis"
      ( http://itdp.org/STe/ste23/johannesburg.html)
      In November 2006, the Johannesburg City Council approved a full BRT system, to be called Rea Vaya, scheduled to open by April 2009, in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The 94-kilometer system will have a North – South corridor connecting Sunninghill to Soweto, with service to the central business district, and an East – West route connecting Sandton, Randburg, and Alexandra. The long-term vision is to develop a system that places over 85% of Johannesburg’s population within 500 meters (1/3 of a mile) of a Rea Vaya trunk or feeder corridor.
      This is particularly exciting because in July 2006 VTPI Director Todd Litman participated in a tour of South Africa to promote this concept with Lloyd Wright, author of the "BRT Planning Guide" ( http://www.itdp.org/brt_guide.html ). For more information see the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy website (http://www.itdp.org ). The Clinton Climate Initiative is providing operational planning support for the system.
      Nelson\Nygaard (2006), "Traffic Reduction Strategies Study," City of Pasadena (www.cityofpasadena.net); available at www.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2007%20agendas/Feb_26_07/Pasadena%20Traffic%20Reduction%20Strategies%2011-20-06%20DRAFT.pdf .
      This report recommends various congestion reduction strategies that can be implemented by a city to reduce traffic, including parking pricing and cash out, transit service improvements and congestion pricing.
      Gloria Ohland and Shelley Poticha (2006), "Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the Twentry-First Century," Reconnecting America ( http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/html/TOD/StreetcarBook.htm ).
      David Levinson and Ahmed El-Geneidy "Development of Accessibility Measures," Report No. 1 published by the Access to Destinations program at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies ( www.cts.umn.edu/access-study/publications).
      The Access to Destinations Study is a comprehensive research program investigating the relationships between the transportation system, land use trends, and travel behavior.
      "BC Clean Air Kit" (http://www.cleanairkit.ca ) is an online tool to help local government implement practical strategies that save energy and reduce transportation emissions.
      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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