Steven Polzin's blog

Steven Polzin is the director of mobility policy research at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida.
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Things Don't Change That Fast—Including the Housing Market

Digging into the data to get beyond the misleading notion of radical change in development patterns.

Is Travel Behavior Changing? What the New Data Says

Over the past few weeks, the Federal Highway Administration released new data reporting annual 2014 travel levels, and analysts are busy interpreting and, in some cases, spinning the results.

The Decline of Carpooling—Can App-Based Carpooling Reverse the Trend?

Contrary to the prevailing narrative about decreasing vehicle miles traveled runs a constant decline in the number of carpools. Very little is known about why Americans are carpooling so much less, so can mobile apps hope to reverse the the trend?

Transportation Funding: Tougher than a Rubik's Cube

There are plenty of opinions but no action on the issue of transportation funding in the United States. What will it take to move the country—and its states, regions, and localities—forward?

The True Cost of Driving and Travel Behavior

Over the past few years a variety of documents ranging from contemporary media to more serious research efforts have addressed the cost of auto ownership and use.  These estimates are often used to address two important transportation issues, the household benefits of using transit in lieu of auto ownership and/or the consideration of household location decisions in the context of the total cost of housing and transportation.  Two often referenced sources of research on these issues are the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s (CNT) initiatives in developing a housing and transportatio

Digging Holes

Once upon a time there was a transportation planner driving thru the sunbelt.  He pulled into a truck stop and while fueling his vehicle he noticed a couple of workers working on the shoulder down the road.  One man appeared to be digging holes about three feet across and three feet deep along the side of the road. 

The Cost of Slow Travel

One of the most widely cited numbers in contemporary transportation media coverage and policy discussions is the cost of congestion estimates that Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) annually produces as part of the Urban Mobility Report series.   The 2009 version of that report (http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/)  shows an estimate of the cost of congestion of $87.4 Billion for the top 439 U.S.

New IPhone App Fails Government Transportation Funding Support Criteria

A friend of mine who's a biophysicist popped in to see me the other day.  He was all excited and showed me his “patent pending” letter for his newest invention.

Speaking of Clunkers

For serious transportation policy wonks lately every day is like Christmas.  Climate change, bailout, deteriorating infrastructure, reauthorization, aging baby boomers, bailout, stimulus, new administration, economic development, global competition, urban redevelopment, bailout, etc.  One has all they can do to just keep up with all the relevant news and positioning say nothing of understanding it.  In fact, I don’t understand it.   

How Much Green for the 'Green'?

As attention to energy efficiency and climate change continue to pervade the thinking and planning of the future transportation system, we are increasingly challenged to make very real decisions about the prudence of various investments. The current context for decision-making offers perhaps the greatest uncertainty regarding the future witnessed in the lifetimes of people in the planning profession today.

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