The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transport problems.
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Spring 2021 Vol. 21, No. 2
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.
New transportation technologies can expand our world. During the last century, motorized modes increased our mobility by an order of magnitude, providing large benefits, but also imposing huge costs on individuals and communities. Faster and more expensive modes were favored over those that are more affordable, efficient, and healthy. As new transportation innovations become available, from e-scooters to autonomous cars, how do we make decisions that benefit our communities?
In New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies, transportation expert Todd Litman examines 12 emerging transportation modes and services that are likely to significantly affect our lives: bike- and carsharing, micro-mobilities, ridehailing and micro-transit, public transit innovations, telework, autonomous and electric vehicles, air taxis, mobility prioritization, and logistics management. These innovations allow people to scoot, ride, and fly like never before, but can also impose significant costs on users and communities. Planners need detailed information on their potential benefits and impacts to make informed choices.
Litman critically evaluates these new technologies and services and provides practical guidance for optimizing them. He systematically examines how each New Mobility is likely to affect travel activity (how and how much people travel); consumer costs and affordability; roadway infrastructure design and costs; parking demand; land use development patterns; public safety and health; energy and pollution emissions; and economic opportunity and fairness.
Public policies around New Mobilities can either help create heaven, a well-planned transportation system that uses new technologies intelligently, or hell, a poorly planned transportation system that is overwhelmed by conflicting and costly, unhealthy, and inequitable modes. His expert analysis will help planners, local policymakers, and concerned citizens to make informed choices about the New Mobility revolution.
NEW VTPI REPORTS
Not So Fast: Better Speed Valuation for Transportation Planning
Planning decisions often involve trade-offs between travel speed and other goals. It is important to consider all impacts when making speed-related decisions. This report examines why and how to do that. It describes various benefits and costs of faster travel; examines how speed valuation affects planning decisions; how those decisions affect economic, social and environmental outcomes; and provides guidance for comprehensive analysis of these impacts. This analysis indicates that conventional planning tends to exaggerate the benefits and understate the costs of higher travel speeds. This favors faster modes, such as automobiles, over slower but more affordable, healthy, equitable and resource-efficient modes such as walking, bicycling and public transit; favors higher roadway design speeds; and favors sprawl over compact development. Surveys indicates that many people want to drive less, rely more on slower modes, and live in more compact, walkable communities. Serving these demands requires more comprehensive analysis of speed-related trade-offs.
Evaluating Bikeway Criticism
Critics argue that Victoria’s bikeway program is inefficient and unfair. This report critically evaluates their claims. The analysis indicates that many of the critics’ arguments are inaccurate or greatly exaggerated. Also see, Are Victoria’s Bikeways Really Wasteful and Unfair?. This Times Colonist newspaper commentary points out that Victoria’s new bikeway network helps achieve city transportation goals, is justified to ensure that pedestrians and bicyclists receive a fair share of transportation investments, and that bikeway critics use inaccurate information and fearmongering.
A Complete Community Is All Mixed Up. A complete community includes an optimal mix of people, activities, and transport modes in each neighborhood. Like a chef, planners need the right ingredients. Here is the recipe.
PUBLISHED & PRESENTED ELSEWHERE
A Recipe for Achieving Real Housing Affordability, Governing Magazine article. Smart policies can ensure that low- and moderate-income households can find suitable housing in good neighborhoods where transportation costs are low. The research is clear: upzoning works. This is an important and timely issue here in many communities: affordable infill helps achieve many economic, social and environmental.
Although Houston and Atlanta households spend less on housing, this is offset by their high transportation costs, making those cities less affordable overall than Seattle and San Diego.
Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, by the International Energy Agency. This detailed study predicts that with ambitious actions urban passenger transport emissions could be cut nearly 80% by 2050. This will require policies that reduce unnecessary trips, shift travel to more sustainable transport, and improve vehicle and fuel technologies. Todd Litman contributed to the analysis of behavioral change.
Urban Access Across the Globe: An International Comparison of Different Transport Modes. This impressive study by an international team of researchers, measured the number of jobs accessible within 30 minutes for four travel modes in 117 cities from 16 countries. They find that sprawled America cities provide modest automobile access and relatively poor transit and walking access; Australian and Canadian cities have lower automobile access, but better transit access; while Chinese and European cities tend to have the best overall accessibility due to their combination of compact development and intensive transport network. This indicates that access requires optimal combinations of density and mobility.
Seattle Has the Space, by Ryan DiRaimo. This well-illustrated column in The Urbanist shows how a city can produce much more moderate-priced housing by allowing more moderate-density infill with reduced parking requirements.
Transport Outlook 2021, by the International Transport Forum. This comprehensive report describes ambitious policies to decarbonize transport and improve social equity, by improving sustainable modes and urban accessibility.
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Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
Efficiency - Equity - Clarity