article of interest
- Lawrence D. Frank , et al. (2011), "An Assessment of Urban Form and Pedestrian
and Transit Improvements as an Integrated GHG Reduction Strategy," Washington
State Department of
Transportation (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/research/reports/fullreports/765.1.pdf ).
This study used detailed data to assess the impacts of various urban form
factors on vehicle travel and carbon emissions. This analysis indicates that
increasing sidewalk coverage from 30% to 70% of streets in an urban neighborhood
would typically reduce vehicle travel 3.4% and carbon emissions 4.9%. Land use
mix and parking pricing also had significant impacts. Increasing average parking
fees from $0.28 to $1.19 per hour (50th to 75th percentile) reduces vehicle
travel 11.5% and emissions 9.9%. Study results were used to develop a
spreadsheet tool that can evaluate the impacts of urban form, sidewalk coverage,
and transit service quality and other policy changes for local and regional
John Pucher and Ralph Buehler (2011),"Analysis of Bicycle Trends and Policies in
Large North American Cities: Lessons For New York," University Transportation
(http://www.utrc2.org/research/assets/176/Analysis-Bike-Final1.pdf ); summary
This USDOT research report reviews trends in cycling activity, safety, and
policies in large North American cities over the past two decades. The number
of bike commuters in the USA rose 64% from 1990 to 2009. Over the shorter period
from 1996 to 2006, the number of bike commuters in Canada rose by 42%, and the
bike share of commuters rose from 1.1% to 1.3%. From 1988 to 2008, cycling
fatalities fell 66% in Canada and 21% in the USA.
John Pucher, Ralph Buehler, and Mark Seinen (2011), "Bicycling Renaissance
in North America? An Update and Re-Assessment of Cycling Trends and
Policies," Transportation Research A, Vol. 45, No. 8, 2011, pp. 451-475
This paper reviews trends in cycling activity, safety, and policies in Canada
and the USA over the past two decades. Cycling levels increased in both the USA
and Canada, while cyclist fatalities declined. The commute mode share is more
than twice as high in Canada as in the USA. Cycling rates rose much faster than
average in the nine case study cities due to various programs that encourage
cycling and improving safety.
NHTS (2010), "Active Travel: NHTS Brief, " National Household Travel
Survey (http://nhts.ornl.gov/briefs/ActiveTravel.pdf ).
Analysis of the NHTS question, “In the past week, how many times did you take a
walk outside including walking the dog and walks for exercise?”
NYCDH (2011), "Health Benefits of Active Transportation in New York City," New
York City Department of Health
This four-page report describes the health benefits of active transportation
in New York City. The analysis indicates that people who commute by walking,
cycling or public transit achieve about twice as total exercise as automobile
commuters, and so are much more likely to achieve physical activity targets.
This survey can be a model for use in other communities interested in tracking
physical fitness and health.
Dude, Where Are My
Cars? (http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/series/dude-where-are-my-cars ).
This series of columns by Sightline Institute blogger Clark
Williams-Derry discusses various indications that motor vehicle traffic is
growing much slower than predicted and in many cases has stopped growing
altogether or even declined. This has important implications for transport
policy and planning.
Eric De Place (2011), "Why Do We Force Bars To Provide Parking? Drinking And
Mandatory Parking Shouldn't Mix," The Daily Score,Sightline Institute
In this brilliant essay, columnist De Place asks, “If we're going to sell
alcohol widely -- a notoriously powerful drug that impairs motor skill and
judgment, and that is lethal in large quantities - then perhaps it's not a great
idea for us to require by law that alcohol purveyors provide parking. But we
Donald Shoup (2011), "Free Parking Or Free Markets," CATO Unbound
This report argues that the expectation of abundant free parking is the product
of anti-market planning and bad for our communities.
"Research on Impacts of Transportation and Land Use-Related
Policies," California Air Resources
This set of reports by University of California researchers summarizes how
various transport and land use policies affect travel activity and emissions.
This research is the first step in a long-term process to help strengthen the
technical underpinnings of SB 375 and to identify important data gaps and
Vicky Feng Wei and Gord Lovegrove (2010), "Sustainable Road Safety: A New
(?) Neighbourhood Road Pattern That Saves VRU (Vulnerable Road Users)
Lives," Accident Analysis &
Prevention (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00014575 ).
This study compared the traffic safety impacts of various neighbourhood street
patterns. Although all can provide comparable accessibility, the 3-way offset
and fused grid patterns reduce accidents as much as 60% compared to grid and
Paul Joseph Tranter (2010), "Speed Kills: The Complex Links Between Transport,
Lack of Time and Urban Health," Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 87, No. 2; at
These researchers argue that emphasis on increasing urban traffic volumes and
speeds contributes to ill-health by increasing accident risk, air pollution,
inactivity, obesity and social isolation. Using the concept of ‘effective
speed’, this paper demonstrates that attempts to ‘save time’ by increasing
vehicle traffic speeds is often inefficient overall.
Scott Sharpe and Paul Tranter (2010), "The Hope For Oil Crisis: Children, Oil
Vulnerability And (In)Dependent Mobility," Australian Planner, Vol. 47, No. 4,
December, pp. 284-292; summary
at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07293682.2010.526622 .
Explores how a less automobile-dependent transport systems can benefit children
by improving their independent mobility, reducing their traffic risk and
improving their physical fitness.
NAR (2011), "2011 Community Preference Survey: What Americans Are Looking For
When Deciding Where To Live," National Association of
Realtors (http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/04/smart_growth ).
This survey explores Americans' preferences regarding neighborhood
characteristics such as proximity to parks and shopping, walkability, and
commuting time, and the trade-offs they may be willing to accept in order to
obtain those neighborhood preferences. The study indicates that, although most
households want a single-family home, they prefer living in a walkable community
with nearby services, and would choose a smaller lot if it would keep their
commute time to 20 minutes or less.
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