Victoria Transport Policy Institute Summer 2010 Newsletter

This carefully compiled seasonal report from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a fine tool and up to date source guide for researchers and policy makers worldwide. We are pleased to present it in its entirety here, together with references you will find handy to take these entries further. Thanks for your continuing fine work Todd.


News from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Summer 2010 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) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues.
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Editor’s note:
All of the content of the extensive VTPI site including their extremely useful Online TDM Encyclopedia — http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/index.php — can be conveniently searched using the special New Mobility Knoogle Combined Search Engine that you will find in the left column here, which scans the content of the close to two hundred carefully selected Key Sources, Links and Blogs. You can also access it here direct by clicking http://tinyurl.com/knoogle-WS-key-sources

New Documents
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Changing Vehicle Travel Price Sensitivities: The Rebounding Rebound Effect” ( http://www.vtpi.org/VMT_Elasticities.pdf )
This paper, submitted for presentation at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, summarizes recent findings concerning transportation price sensitivities. Some studies found that fuel and vehicle travel price elasticities declined significantly between 1960 and 2000, but recent research suggests that price sensitivities have returned to more normal levels, indicating that the rebound effect is rebounding. This suggests that mobility management strategies provide greater benefits than many current energy conservation evaluation models indicate.

Sustainability and Livability: Summary of Definitions, Goals, Objectives and Performance Indicators” ( http://www.vtpi.org/sus_liv.pdf )
This short report summarizes basic definitions and concepts for sustainable and livable transportation planning.
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UPDATED DOCUMENTS
=================

Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism” ( http://www.vtpi.org/railcrit.pdf )
This report evaluates criticism of rail transit systems, including a recent paper by Wendell Cox, ‘Washington’s War on Cars and the Suburbs.’ It examines claims that rail transit is ineffective at increasing public transit ridership,that rail transit investments are not cost effective, and that transit is an outdated mode of transportation. It finds that critics often misrepresent issues and use biased and inaccurate analysis.

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PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE
===================

Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits” ( http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2010/Pages/100811_Public%20Health%20Benefits.aspx ), written by VTPI for the American Public Transportation Association.
This report investigates ways that public transportation affects human health, and practical methods for considering these impacts in policy and planning decisions. This research indicates that public transit improvements and more transit oriented development can provide large but often overlooked health benefits. People who live or work in communities with high quality transit tend to drive significantly less and rely more on alternative modes (walking, cycling and public transit) than they otherwise would, which reduces per capita traffic crash and pollution emission rates, increases physical fitness, and improves access to medical care and healthy food. These impacts are significant in magnitude compared with other planning objectives but are often overlooked or undervalued in conventional planning.

Recent Planetizen Blogs ( http://www.planetizen.com/blog/2394 ):
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BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
====================

Benefit/Cost Analysis for Transportation Infrastructure: A Practitioner’s Workshop,” sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, held 17 May 2010 in Washington DC. Presentation slides are available at http://tti.tamu.edu/conferences/benefit_cost10/program

Changing Course for the Transport Sector” ADB Transport Forum, Manila, 25-27 May 2010 ( http://www.adb.org/documents/events/2010/transport-forum/default.asp ). Ministers, industry decision-makers, researchers and representatives of civil society from more than 30 countries participated in this event.

Environment and Energy Research Conference” ( http://cte.ncsu.edu/CTE/EEConference/index.asp ) Transportation Research Board Conference, 6-10 June 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina.
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UPCOMING EVENTS
=================

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/doc/programme.pdf ), 24 August 2010, Bangkok.

Economic Impacts of Transportation Enhancements,” 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 )

Win-Win Emission Reductions” at the Vancouver Island Air & Waste Management Association ( http://www.pnwis.org/Ch_VI/monthlyluncheon.htm )
Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 11:30 – 13:10, Cedar Hill Golf Course Victoria, B.C.

Livable Communities, Housing and Health – Toolbox Session” at ‘Railvolution 2010′ ( http://www.railvolution.com ).
This workshop will identify ways that transit oriented development and more affordable-accessible housing can help achieve public health and social equity objectives.
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USEFUL RESOURCES
=================

Transit Score” ( http://www.walkscore.com/transit-score.php ) measures how well a location is served by public transit based on the distance to the nearest transit stop and the quality of transit service. This is used to calculate a score between 0 – 100, similar to Walk Score ( http://www.walkscore.com )

Framework for Measuring Sustainable Regional Development for the Twin Cities Region “( www.cts.umn.edu/Publications/ResearchReports/pdfdownload.pl?id=1328 ).
This major study by the University of Minnesota developed a framework for evaluating sustainable development in the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The proposed framework includes a set of six sustainability principles, and 38 indicators, each with specific definitions of how it can be measured and suitable data sources. This is one of the best framework of its kind.

Time Lost by Driving Fast in the United States” ( http://mdm.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/03/29/0272989X09357476 )
This study by Professors Donald A. Redelmeier and Ahmed M. Bayoumi indicates that that in the U.S., one hour spent driving was associated with approximately 20 minutes reduction in life expectancy due to crash risk. For the average driver, each one kilometer per hour (0.6-mph) increase in driving speed yielded a 26-second increase in total expected lost time because the savings from reduced travel time were more than offset by time lost to increased crashes.

P-A-Y-D: As easy to support as 1 – 2 – 3” ( http://www.paydpilot.ca ) . This website and video by Cliff Caprani of Sha-na-key films introduces the concept of Pay-As-You-Drive vehicle insurance and advocates its implementation in British Columbia.

Relative Costs And Benefits Of Modal Transport Solutions” ( http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/393/docs/393.pdf )
This report provides guidance to local authorities about the costs and benefits of transport modes. It provides estimates of vehicle costs, infrastructure, travel time, accidents, health impacts, and pollution costs. It also discusses related urban transport planning issues, including travel demand, relationships between land use and transport, and road space and traffic management. A selection of case studies provides specific illustrations of these issues.

Shared Path Widths” ( http://viastrada.co.nz/pub/shared-path-widths ). This poster provides practical guidance on the design and management of non-motorized facilities.

A wonderful 1906 film of a trolley trip along Market Street in San Francisco ( www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=NINOxRxze9k) and a 1908 film of a trolley trip through Barcelona, Spain ( www.flixxy.com/barcelona-spain-1908.htm) show the use of urban streets a century ago.

Data & Capacity Needs for Transportation NAMAs: Report 1, Data Availability” ( http://www.ccap.org/docs/resources/925/CCAP_Transport_NAMA_Data_Availability.pdf ).
This is the first in a series of research reports by Cambridge Systematics and the Center for Clean Air Policy, assessing data and capacity needs for developing, implementing and evaluating successful transportation Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

Reducing Carbon Emissions from Transport Projects” ( http://www.adb.org/evaluation/reports/ekb-carbon-emissions-transport.asp )
This report identifies ways the Asian Development Bank can assistance developing member countries in creating more sustainable transport systems. It describes models for evaluating how specific transport policy decisions affect energy consumption and pollution emissions. This analysis considers the generated traffic impacts, the cobenefits of demand management and other indirect impacts.

Choosing Where We Live: Attracting Residents to Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods; A Briefing Book for City Planners and Managers” ( http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/smart_growth/tod/5-10/Briefing_Book-Choosing_Where_We_Live.pdf )
This report identifies various housing market segments and describes ways to make transit oriented development more attractive in response to their specific needs and preferences. It includes recommendations for improving walking and cycling condition, transit service quality, neighborhood livability (quiet, cleanliness and safety), school quality and accessibility, parking management, and urban housing affordability.

Promoting Livable Communities: Examining The Internal Revenue Code And Reforming Its Influence On The Built Environment” ( http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab083048.pdf ).
This report by Smart Growth America and the American Institute of Architects reviews federal tax code features that affect community development patterns. It recommends specific policy reforms to better support livable community development, including clearer definitions regarding livable community features, changes to federal tax codes, legal provisions to develop livable community tax districts, and federal policies that encourage development of more affordable housing.

The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation: Backgrounder” ( http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/B96B32A2-FA00-4D79-99AB-F0446C63B254/0/TheHiddenHealthCostsofTransportationBackgrounder.pdf )
This report by the American Public Health Association identifies various ways that transportation systems affect public health, including physical activity, safety, air quality, affordability and equity. It describes methods for quantifying and monetizing these impacts and recommends specific policy and planning reforms to create more balanced transportation systems that support health objectives.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, Recommended Practice” (http://www.ite.org/css )
This free new report by the Institute of Transportation Engineers provides practical guidance on the application of Context Sensitive Solutions to create roadways that better integrate diverse planning objectives and meet community needs.

Growing GreenLITES” ( http://www.nysdot.gov/programs/greenlites )
Greenlites (Green Leadership In Transportation Environmental Sustainability) by the New York State Department of Transportation promotes more sustainable and livable transport planning. It uses a detailed spreadsheet that rates individual projects according to various objectives and impacts.

Vision California – Charting Our Future” ( http://www.visioncalifornia.org )
Vision California uses the new ‘Rapid Fire Model’ spreadsheet tool to evaluate regional and statewide land use and transportation scenario impacts on vehicle travel, pollution emissions, water use, building energy use, transportation fuel use, land consumption, and public infrastructure costs.

Canadian Guidelines for the Measurement of Transportation Demand Management Initiatives” ( http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/environment-urban-guidelines-practitioners-tdmguide2009-menu-1657.htm ).
This guidebook is designed to help organizations implementing TDM strategies to evaluate progress toward established objectives.

TDM Supportive Guidelines For Development Approvals: A Handbook For Practitioners” ( http://www.actcanada.com/actcanada/en/tdmsupportiveguidlines1.aspx )
This report provides recommendations for planners to better incorporate Transportation Demand Management strategies into land development.

ITDP in South Africa” ( http://vimeo.com/13170113 ).
This video by Brian McAllister describes the success of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) in Africa, particularly the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. Also see http://vimeo.com/tag:itdp

Equity Analysis of Land Use and Transport Plans Using an Integrated Spatial Model” ( http://www.transweb.sjsu.edu/MTIportal/research/publications/documents/Equity%20Analysis%20of%20Land%20Use%20(with%20Covers ).pdf )
This study used the PECAS Activity Allocation Module to evaluate the equity effects of land use and transport policies intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The results show that a more compact urban form designed around transit stations can reduce travel costs, labor costs, and housing costs by increasing accessibility, which can lead to substantial net benefits for various industries and lower income households.

The Role of Land Use in Reducing VMT and GHG Emissions: A Critique of TRB Special Report 298” ( http://www.calthorpe.com/files/TRB-NAS%20Report%20298%20Critique.pdf ).
This short report provides additional information on the effects that smart growth land use polices can have in achieving VMT and GHG reduction targets. It critiques the assumptions and modeling methods used in the TRB report, and investigates consumer demand for more accessible, multi-modal residential locations.

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<span style=”font-style: italic;”>About the author:</span>

Todd Litman is founder and executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transport problems. His work helps to expand the range of impacts and options considered in transportation decision-making, improve evaluation techniques, and make specialized technical concepts accessible to a larger audience. He can be reached at: 1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada. Email: litman@vtpi.org. Phone & Fax: +1 250-360-1560

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