Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Late spring 2015 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 fine continuing contributions Todd.

Vtpi Litman Canada

The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation problems. The VTPI website ( ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.



Understanding Smart Growth Savings Evaluating Economic Savings and Benefits of Compact Development, and How They Are Misrepresented By Critics” ( ).

How communities develop can have many direct and indirect impacts. Smart growth policies, which result in more compact, multimodal development, reduce per capita land consumption and the distances between common destinations, which reduces the costs of providing public infrastructure and services, improves accessibility and reduces per capita motor vehicle travel, which in turn provides economic, social and environmental benefits. This report examines these impacts. It defines smart growth and its alternative, sprawl, summarizes current research concerning their costs and benefits, investigates consumer preferences, and evaluates smart growth criticisms. This report should be useful to anybody involved in development policy analysis.

Welcome To Our Neighborhood: A Manifesto for Inclusivity” ( ).

This short document summarizes key conclusions and recommendations from the report, ‘Affordable Accessible Housing in a Dynamic City’ ( ).

Recent Planetizen Blogs ( ):

Well Done Vancouver! Well Done Planners!” ( )
Welcome To Our Neighborhood: A Manifesto for Inclusivity” ( )

Let’s be friends. Todd Litman regularly posts on his Facebook page ( ). Befriend him now!

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Transportation for Sustainability – An International Conference“, held May 7-8, Washington DC. Slide presentations are available at , including Todd Litman’s presentation, “Sustainable Transportation Performance Evaluation Data Needs”  ( ).

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Change for Parking Parking: Pricing Expert Panel” ( )

Tuesday, 2 June, 1:00-4:30 pm, at the MTC Auditorium, 101 8th Street Oakland, California. An expert panel including professors Donald Shoup and Betty Deakin, Meea Kang, and Todd Litman Will discuss the region’s variable parking pricing research program ( ), which is testing innovative solutions to parking problems.

A New Traffic Safety Agenda: Incorporating Transportation Demand Management Safety Strategies” ( ), to be presented at the Annual International Conference on Transportation, 8-11 June, Athens, Greece ( ) .

Evaluating Household Chauffeuring Burdens: Understanding Direct and Indirect Costs of Transporting Non-Driver” ( ) to be presented at the ITEA Annual Conference and Summer School, Kuhmo Nectar ( ), June 15-19, 2015, Oslo, Norway.

Research and Trends” presented at the Urban Challenges and Trends Seminar ( ), 23 June, Gothenburg, Sweden, as part of the Volvo Round the World Ocean Race final celebration.

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Menos Cajones Más Ciudad” ( ) which means, “Less Parking More City,” is a terrific new short video by ITDP Mexico. Excelente!. Click the “CC” button for English translation.

The Complete Business Case for Converting Street Parking Into Bike Lanes: An Annotated, Chart-Filled Review Of 12 Studies From Around The World” ( ), by Eric Jaffe. This column summarizes various studies which show that pedestrians, cyclists and transit users tend to spend less than drivers per shopping trip, they also tend to make more trips, pumping more total money into the local economy over time.

Bogotá Bicycle Account” ( ). Bogotá, Columbia promotes bicycles as a viable mode of transportation. It currently has 392 km (243 miles) of bikeways. This study finds that this has resulted in bicycle use increasing from around 0.5% of daily trips in 1996 to 6% in 2014, while total cyclist casualties have declined.

Are Intermodal Hubs Fancy Capital Projects or Anchors for Future Investment?” ( ). Intermodal transportation hubs are places where transportation modes connect, including bus and train stations, and even parking lots. They are an important part of the transportation system.

Two-Ways to Fix Our Downtown Neighborhoods” ( ), by John Gilderbloom and William Riggs. This study compared the performance of one-way and two-way streets. It found that in urban conditions, two-way streets tend to significantly reduce traffic accidents, increase walking and cycling activity, reduce local crime rates, increase local business activity and increase property values and tax revenues.

Community Design, Street Networks, And Public Health” ( ), by Wesley Marshall, Daniel Piatkowski and Norman W. Garrick. This study investigates the influence of street network patterns on health outcomes using data from 24 California cities. The results indicate that residents of more compact and connected street networks have reduced rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure.

Missing Middle Housing: Responding to the Demand for Walkable Urban Living” ( ). This terrific new website dedicated to the “missing middle” urban housing types such as duplexes and fourplexes, and small apartment buildings designed to fit into residential neighborhoods. This helps create affordable infill housing in moderate-density neighborhoods.

Infill Design Project” ( ), by Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. This website provides practical guidance to improve the design of multidwelling and rowhouse development.

King County Right Size Parking Calculator” ( ) lets users estimate a specific site’s parking demands, based on a model using current local data of actual parking use correlated with factors related to the building, its occupants, and its surroundings.

Parking Guidebook for Beijing” ( ), by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. This report analyzes Beijing parking problems and potential solutions, including more efficient zoning, pricing, technologies, enforcement, design, planning and user information.

Introduction to Congestion Charging: A Guide for Practitioners in Developing Cities” ( ), by the Asian Development Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). This report describes and evaluates congestion charging schemes suitable for implementation in large cities.

Smart Mobility: Reducing Congestion And Fostering Faster, Greener, And Cheaper Transportation Options” ( ), Deloutte University Press. This report describes new on-demand mobility systems that assemble the fastest or cheapest way of getting anywhere at any time. Helsinki, Finland plans to use these technologies to allow city resident to avoid the need to own private cars by 2025.

The Changing Shape of American Cities” ( ). This terrific new information resource ( ) by University of Virginia Professor Luke Juday which provides data on changes in factors such as income, education and age relative to the center of U.S. metropolitan areas between 1990 and 2012. The graphs clearly show the large increases in younger and affluent residents, and growth in overall population, in the center of most cities.

The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice, Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative” ( ). This handbook collects the innovative approaches that state transportation leaders are already using to make systems more efficient and effective in today’s challenging economy. Smarter transportation investments are both possible and popular; the challenge is determining where to begin and to whom to reach out for support and guidance.

TOD Index Report” ( ), by Dr. John L. Renne. This study indicates that the financial performance of for-sale and rental housing in Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) across the United States significantly out-performs the national housing market. Despite the impressive financial performance of TODs, households that live in TODs spend the lowest percentage of their income on housing and transportation costs, thus have $10,000 more in disposable income annually compared to the average American.

A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking” ( ). This Federal Highway Administration guide provides practical information for ways that residents can improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in their community. It contains various checklists, tip sheets, worksheets, and sample materials that can be adapted to meet the needs of a particular community.

Safer Streets, Stronger Economies” ( ). This report by Smart Growth America summarizes the impacts of 37 complete streets projects for which before-and-after transport and economic data were available. The analysis indicates that complete streets tend to improve safety for all street users, increased biking and walking, showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal, and tend to provide economic gains like increased employment and higher property values. Also see, “Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A Guide for Practitioners” ( ).

The Complete Business Case for Converting Street Parking Into Bike Lanes: An Annotated, Chart-Filled Review Of 12 Studies From Around The World” ( ), by Eric Jaffe. Guess what? Academic studies indicate that bicycle facilities tend to support local business activity.

Road Diet Informational Guide” ( ).

This Federal Highway Administration Guide includes safety, operational, and quality of life considerations from research and practice, and guides readers through the decision-making process to determine if Road Diets are a good fit for a certain corridor. It also provides design guidance and encourages post-implementation evaluation.

Metromile ( ) is a new vehicle insurance company operating in California, Oregon, Washington and Illinois which charges monthly premiums based on actual mileage, using on-board instrumentation. A typical rate is $20-40 per month flat fee, plus 2-5 cents per vehicle-mile, depending on risk factors and policy features. This can provide substantial savings to vehicle owners who drive less than average (about 10,000 annual miles).

How Urban Transport Projects are Appraised: Current Practice in the EU” ( ), by the Wuppertal Institute for the EVIDENCE Economic Benefits of Sustainable Transport ( ) program. This study critically evaluates current transport project economic appraisal practices. It concludes that current appraisal practices are biased in various ways that favor highway expansion over more sustainable urban transport system improvement strategies. It recommends that transport planners develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) which create an integrated set of strategies for improving urban transport system efficiency.

Traffic Safety on Bus Priority Systems: Recommendations for Integrating Safety Into the Planning, Design, and Operations of Major Bus Routes” ( ), EMBARQ. This report shows that public transport systems that incorporate high quality infrastructure and operating features can provide significant safety benefits on the streets where they are implemented, reducing injuries and fatalities as much as 50%. Their report provides detailed recommendations for incorporating safety into the design, planning, and operation of different types of bus systems.

Surging City Center Job Growth” ( ), by Joe Cortright. Census data show that the largest U.S. metropolitan areas are recording faster city center job growth than in more dispersed commercial areas. City centers out-perform surrounding area job growth in 21 of the 41 metropolitan areas examined. This “center-led” growth represents the reversal of a historic trend of job de-centralization that has persisted for the past half century.

Making the Case for Proactive Safety in Long-range Transportation Planning: Interview with Dr. Gordon Lovegrove” ( ). This ITE Journal article describes current work by Professor Lovegrove to develop an Interactive High-level Safety Planning Model (IHSPM) which integrates various individual models to provide better information on road and neighborhood design factors that affect traffic crash risks and the effectiveness of various traffic safety strategies.

Close to Home: A Handbook for Transportation-Efficient Growth in Small Communities and Rural Areas” ( ). This beautiful report analyzes how rural community development patterns affect residents’ motor vehicle travel. The results indicate that per capita vehicle travel is minimized if new jobs and households are concentrated in areas that already have existing development, and lead to more jobs-housing balance in small towns.

Moving Dollars: Aligning Transportation Spending With California’s Environmental Goals” ( ), UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law. This report examines problems with current transport funding practices, and reforms that can result in transport investments that are better aligned with strategic planning objectives.

Quantifying Transit’s Impact on GHG Emissions and Energy Use—The Land Use Component” ( ). This Transportation Research Board study used sophistical statistical analysis to evaluate interrelationships between transit and land use patterns to understand their impacts on urban development patterns, per capita vehicle travel and pollution emissions. The analysis indicates that high quality transit provides substantial energy savings and emissions reductions by encouraging more compact and multimodal urban development.

The Fiscal Implications Of Development Patterns A Model For Municipal Analysis” ( ). Smart Growth America, a national non-profit, and RCLCO, a national real estate advisory firm, created a comprehensive model to help municipalities understand the financial impacts of development policies, and identify strategies that improve their economic returns. The model estimates incremental public service costs and tax revenues of various types of development. This model has already been applied to three typical U.S. cities. Also see, “Sprawl Costs the Public More Than Twice as Much as Compact Development” ( ). This Infographic compares the costs of smart growth and sprawl based on Halifax Regional data.

Valuing Convenience in Public Transport: Roundtable Summary and Conclusions” ( ), International Transport Forum. This summarizes a conference which investigated how user comfort, reliability, safety and convenience affect travel demands.

Green Pricing in the Asia Pacific: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?” ( ), by Paul J. Burke. This article, published in  Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, discusses the potential benefits of an enhanced use of efficient transport pricing.

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About the author:

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. The VTPI website ( ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. He can be reached at: 1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada. Email: Phone & Fax: +1 250-360-1560

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About the editor:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at and @ericbritton

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