VTPI NEWS - Winter 2013
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Winter 2013 Vol. 13, 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> 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
"Congestion Costing Critique: Critical Evaluation of the 'Urban Mobility
Report'" ( <http://www.vtpi.org/UMR_critique.pdf>
The 'Urban Mobility Report' (UMR) is a widely-cited study that estimates
U.S. traffic congestion costs. This report critically examines the UMRs
assumptions and methods. The UMR evaluates urban transport system
performance based only on vehicle traffic congestion; it ignores other modes
and impacts. It tends to exaggerate congestion costs and roadway expansion
benefits. It assumes that urban traffic will grow rapidly in the future,
ignoring evidence that vehicle travel is peaking and travel demands are
changing. The UMR ignores basic research principles: it fails to explain
assumptions, document sources, incorporate independent peer review, or
respond to criticisms. More comprehensive and multi-modal planning can
identify truly optimal congestion reduction strategies.
"Critical Analysis of Conventional Transport Economic Evaluation" (
This report critically examines conventional transport economic evaluation
practices. It integrates two different but overlapping perspectives:
planners interested in comprehensive and multi-modal transport system
analysis, and economists interested in economic efficiency and economic
development impacts. The analysis indicates that conventional transport
economic evaluation fails to reflect basic economic principles including
comprehensive and neutral analysis, economic efficiency, consumer
sovereignty and integrated decision-making. More comprehensive and
multi-modal evaluation can provide better guidance for transport planning
and economic development.
"Evaluating Complete Streets: The Value of Designing Roads For Diverse
Modes, Users and Activities" ( <http://www.vtpi.org/compstr.pdf>
'Complete streets' refers to roads designed to accommodate diverse modes,
users and activities including walking, cycling, public transit, automobile,
nearby businesses and residents. Such street design helps create more
multi-modal transport systems and more livable communities. This report
discusses reasons to implement complete streets and how it relates to other
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RECENTLY UPDATED DOCUMENTS
"Transportation Affordability: Evaluation and Improvement Strategies"
Transportation affordability means that all households, including those with
low incomes, can afford to access basic services and activities. User
surveys indicate that affordability is an important issue, but conventional
transport planning gives it little consideration and overlooks ways that
common planning reduces affordability. This report discusses ways to
incorporate affordability as a transport planning objective.
"Whose Roads? Evaluating Bicyclists and Pedestrians Right to Use Public
Roadways" ( <http://www.vtpi.org/whoserd.pdf>
Many people believe that non-motorized modes (walking, cycling, and their
variants) have less right to use public roads than motorists, based on
assumptions that motor vehicle travel is more important than non-motorized
travel and motor vehicle user fees finance roads. This report investigates
these assumptions. It finds that non-motorized modes have clear legal rights
to use public roads, that non-motorized travel is important for an efficient
transport system and provides significant benefits to users and society,
that less than half of roadway expenses are financed by motor vehicle user
fees, and pedestrians and cyclists pay more than their share of roadway
costs. Since bicycling and walking impose lower roadway costs than motorized
modes, people who rely on non-motorized modes tend to overpay their fair
share of roadway costs and subsidize motorists.
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"Transport Elasticities: Impacts on Travel Behaviour: Understanding
Transport Demand To Support Sustainable Travel Behavior" (
This new Sustainable Urban Transport Project Technical Document explains in
simple language concepts related to travel demands and elasticities,
summarizes estimates of various transport elasticities, and discusses
factors affecting their responsiveness. It discusses how pricing reforms can
help address transport problems and create more efficient and sustainable
"Changing North American Vehicle-Travel Price Sensitivities: Implications
For Transport and Energy Policy" (
This paper recently published in 'Transport Policy' discusses the concepts
of price elasticities and rebound effects, reviews vehicle travel and fuel
price elasticity estimates, examines evidence of changing price
sensitivities, and discusses policy implications. Price sensitivities have
increased in recent years, indicating that mobility management strategies
are more effective, and cleaner vehicle strategies are less effective and
beneficial than previously assumed.
"Comprehensive Evaluation Of Energy Conservation And Emission Reduction
Policies" (http://www.vtpi.org/comp_em_eval.pdf ). This article recently
published in 'Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice' uses a
comprehensive framework for evaluating various transportation energy
conservation and emission reduction strategies.
"Gestión de la movilidad para México"
This report, Mobility Management For Mexico, for the Mexico City Institute
for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) defines mobility
management, discusses the role it plays in an efficient and equitable
transportation system, and describes various ways to maximize its benefits.
It highlights examples and case studies of management policies in cities
around the world.
"Guía De Estrategias Para La Reducción Del Uso Del Auto En Ciudades
uso-del-auto-en-ciudades-mexicanas ). This document, 'Guide to Reducing Car
Use in Mexican Cities', provides practical advice for implementing urban
mobility improvement programs in Mexican cities. It describes 29 strategies
that can reduce car traffic and its negative impacts.
"Planes Integrales de Movilidad"
(http://mexico.itdp.org/documentos/planes-integrales-de-movilidad ). This
document, 'Comprehensive Mobility Plans,' discusses the importance of
integrating urban development and mobility planning. It discusses current
Mexican urban mobility planning practices and ways to make them more
efficient and inclusive.
"Manual De Implementación De Sistemas De Parquímetros Para Ciudades
Mexicanas" (Parking Meter System Deployment Manual for Mexican Cities)
arquimetros-para-ciudades-mexicanas ). This guide describes why and how
Mexico City is implementing parking pricing as a demand management strategy.
"Paying for Parking" ( <http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Ideas/ID/2329692421>
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Ideas/ID/2329692421 ). This Ideas CBC Radio
program discusses the high costs of vehicle parking, and potential reforms
for encouraging more efficient and equitable parking management, including
an interview with Todd Litman by host Dave Redel.
'Full Cost Analysis of Petroleum Consumption' in "Transport Beyond Oil:
Policy Choices for a Multimodal Future" (
http://islandpress.org/ip/books/book/islandpress/T/bo8637519.html ). This
new book discusses the costs of petroleum consumption and offers practical
solutions for creating more resource efficient transport systems. Receive
20% pre-publication discount with this code: TRB2013.
'Economic Value of Walkability' in Transport, the Environment, and Public
Health: Classic Papers on Non-Motorised Travel (
http://www.e-elgar.com/bookentry_mainUS.lasso?id=14642 ). This volume brings
together a collection of seminal articles published in the past twelve years
focused around non-motorised transport.
"Arguments Against Non-Motorized Transport Development Beginning to Lose
development-beginning-to-lose-steam ). This blog discusses the true costs
and benefits of sidewalks, bicycle lanes and paths, and pedestrian
improvements, and responds to criticisms of such projects.
"Transportation and Public Health" (
2 ). This article published in 'The Annual Review of Public Health'
investigates various ways that transportation policy and planning decisions
affect public health, and transport planning can better incorporate public
health objectives. It identifies 'win-win' strategies that help improve
public health and achieve other planning objectives.
Recent Planetizen Blogs ( <http://www.planetizen.com/blog/2394>
· "Critiquing the 'Urban Mobility Report'" (
· "Smart Transportation Funding" (
· "Measuring Transport System Efficiency" (
· "Affordability As A Transportation Planning Objective" (
). Also see:
Lets be friends. Todd Litman regularly posts on his Facebook page (
<http://www.facebook.com/todd.litman> http://www.facebook.com/todd.litman ).
Befriend him now!
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"Transportation Bonanza 4: Creating Healthy, Mobile, And Livable Communities
Through Safe Routes To School, Innovative Planning, Design, And
http://www.mml.org/pdf/events/2013-trans-bonanza.pdf ), 21 March 2013,
Lansing Michigan, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Planning and the
Michigan Safe Routes to School.
"Adolescent Mobility Health Symposium" (
https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/amc/symposium2013 ), 15 May 2013 in Dunedin, New
Zealand. This international multidisciplinary event showcases new directions
in the areas of teen mobility, the paradox of speed, and the importance of
parental and youth engagement in mobility choices. Other New Zealand events
are being planned.
* * * * *
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
The TRB Annual Meeting was interesting and productive. I enjoyed seeing many
of you there! We had three good sessions on transportation-related data
programs. Here is a summary report: "Valuing and Improving:
Transportation-Related Data Programs - Report From 2013 TRB Sessions"
(http://www.vtpi.org/TRB_data.pdf ). I also attended two wonderful side
· "Transforming Transportation" (
http://www.slideshare.net/EMBARQNetwork/presentations ) at the World Bank
headquarters included excellent presentations on international sustainable
· Institute for Transportation and Development Policy Sustainable
Transportation Award ( <http://www.st-award.org> http://www.st-award.org )
ceremony. This year Mexico City won for its expanding Bus Rapid Transit
network, bikesharing program, efficient parking pricing, and public space
improvements. Felicitaciones! I am particularly pleased because I
contributed to some of those projects ( <http://www.mexico.itdp.org>
"Long-run Trends in Travel Demand, OECD Roundtable" (
/index.html ), Paris, 29-30 November 2012. This roundtable investigated
evidence that travel demand is peaking in most affluent countries, the
demographic and economic factors that contribute to this trend, and its
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"Integrating Demand Management into the Transportation Planning Process: A
Desk Reference" (
This document provides comprehensive information on ways to integrate demand
management into the transportation planning process. It discusses how
demand management relates to various policy objectives. It describes various
tools for evaluating demand management measures and the known effectiveness
of these measures.
"Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation Transport Sector" (
This report describes a broad range of transport options for increasing
transport system efficiency. It describes walking, cycling and public
transit improvements, transportation demand management strategies,
transit-oriented development, as well as ideas for improving motorized
"Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines" and "Transit-Oriented
Communities Primer" ( <http://www.translink.ca/TOCs>
http://www.translink.ca\TOCs ). These documents provide excellent guidance
on policies and planning practices to create more accessible, multi-modal
"King County Right Size Parking Project" (
http://metro.kingcounty.gov/up/projects/right-size-parking ). This project
measured the parking demand (the number of parking spaces actually occupied)
in 240 apartment buildings, and used sophisticated statistical analysis to
evaluate how factors such as transit access, neighborhood density, rents and
parking pricing affect demand.
"Smart Growth And Economic Success: Benefits For Real Estate Developers,
Investors, Businesses, And Local Governments" (
http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/economic_success.pdf ). This new report
indicates that compact, diverse, and walkable development can increase
property values and property tax revenues, encourage job creation, reduce
housing and transportation costs, and create amenities and places that
improve residents quality of life. Real estate developers and investors,
businesses, and local governments can use smart growth development as a
strategy to maximize their economic advantages while improving the quality
of life and creating attractive, healthy communities that help protect the
"Welcome to Victoria 1907" ( <http://web.uvic.ca/lancenrd/AViewofVictoria>
http://web.uvic.ca/lancenrd/AViewofVictoria ). Here is a very cool 1907 film
from a movie camera mounted on the front of a trolley traveling through the
city. If you like that one, also see San Francisco in 1906 (
www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=NINOxRxze9k ) and Barcelona, Spain in 1908 (
"Going On A Road Diet: Lane Reduction Can Increase Safety For Pedestrians,
Bicyclists, And Motorists While Improving The Quality Of Life In Downtowns
Across The Country" (
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/11septoct/05.cfm ). This
article published in "Public Roads" describes current efforts to redesign
urban streets for multiple users and uses.
"The Relevance Of Parking In The Success Of Urban Centres" (
rkingurban.htm ). This study evaluated the role that parking policies play
in urban economic development. It concludes that efficient parking
management can support economic development and provide other benefits.
"Transforming Cities with Transit: Transport and Land Use Integration for
Sustainable Urban Development" (
http://elibrary.worldbank.org/content/book/9780821397459 ). This attractive
new book explores why and how to integrate transit and land-use in rapidly
growing cities in developing countries. It provides recommendations for
creating more sustainable cities through more integrated transport and land
"Evaluate, Enable, Engage: Principles to Support Effective Decision Making
in Mass Transit Investment Programs" (
on-making-mass-transit-investment-programs ). This report examines 13
existing national mass transit investment programs and uses the results to
identify principles to foster effective decision making in national mass
"Impact Of Urban Form On Transport And Economic Outcomes" (
http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/513/docs/513.pdf ) and
"The Contribution Of Public Transport To Economic Productivity" (
http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/514/docs/514.pdf ). These
two studies for the New Zealand Transport Agency investigated how urban form
impacts transport and economic outcomes, and planning policies can
contribute to a more efficient and durable urban form. These findings have
implications for the economic evaluation of transport policies and planning
"Traditional Neighborhood Development Handbook" (
http://www.dot.state.fl.us/rddesign/FloridaGreenbook/FGB.shtm ). The Florida
Department of Transportations Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for
Design, Construction and Maintenance for Streets and Highways now includes a
Traditional Neighborhood Development Handbook chapter which provides
guidance for applying compact urban planning and design principles to
greenfield (new), brownfield or urban infill and redevelopment projects.
"Low-Carbon Land Transport Policy Handbook" (
http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781849713771 ). This is a practical
guide for transport policymakers and planners to achieve low-carbon land
transport systems. With case studies from developed and developing
countries, it outlines measures for reducing emissions, tailoring these to
specific circumstances. It also highlights how greenhouse gas savings are
measured, as well as success factors for implementing policies and measures
in complex decision-making processes.
"Reshaping Metropolitan America: Development Trends and Opportunities to
2030" ( <http://islandpress.org/ip/books/book/islandpress/R/bo8079737.html>
http://islandpress.org/ip/books/book/islandpress/R/bo8079737.html ). This
new book by Professor Arthur Chris Nelson examines new development trends
and the opportunities they offer for reshaping urban areas into more livable
and sustainable places. It is a reference tool with statistics about the
changes in population, jobs, housing and other key factors that impact how
and where people will live over the next two decades. It includes a
searchable database at <http://www.reshapemetroamerica.net>
www.reshapemetroamerica.net under the resources tab with the extensive
metrics that formed the basis of the book. The discount code 2RESHAPE
provides a 25% discount when ordering it from Island Press.
"The Influence Of Urban Design On Neighbourhood Walking Following
Residential Relocation: Longitudinal Results from the RESIDE Study" (
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124427.htm ). This
ten-year study found that the overall health of residents of new housing
developments in Western Australia improved when their daily walking
increased as a result of more access to parks, public transport, shops and
"Does Accessibility Require Density or Speed?" (
oximity.pdf ). This article recently published in the 'Journal of the
American Planning Association' indicates that proximity tends to be more
important than travel speed in overall accessibility.
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And please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.
Victoria Transport Policy Institute ( <http://www.vtpi.org> www.vtpi.org)
Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
Efficiency - Equity - Clarity
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