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.
Steven Polzin's picture
Blogger

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.

So Where Should We Plan on People Living in the Future?

Having become something of a junkie who overdoses on political and economic news, it is only natural that I try to help justify that time investment by scouring the news for tidbits that have professional relevance.  Just this past week several things have come across my monitor that have made me reflect. 

Travel and Cars – Fun with Numbers for 2008

Transportation and its relationship to the economy have been headline media topics for most of 2008 as we have seen unprecedented swings in fuel prices and travelers responding with declines in vehicle miles of travel (VMT) and unprecedented slowing in new vehicle sales.  Transit and Amtrak have seen noticeable ridership growth and there have been cutbacks in demand for and supply of airline capacity.  What is increasingly looking like an historic recession combined with a plummeting of gas prices late in 2008 has confounded the diagnosis of energy price impacts on travel. 

Energy Crisis Solved

 Technology innovation – that’s all we need to solve the energy crisis!  Unleash American ingenuity and we’ll be able to cope with higher energy costs.  The Windmillmobile, should go a long way toward reducing petroleum consumption.  It seems to work fine unless there is a strong tailwind.  The engineers are still working on the sensor to fold down the windmill for garages and overpasses.  

 

Gas Prices Up a Nickel, It Must be Friday

America is facing more than just gasoline price inflation. The contemporary media is overwhelmed with stories on the impacts of higher fuel prices. The fingers are pointing in every direction. Planners are proposing everything from 50 year transit plans to build a handful of rail lines to forecasting a radical transformation of urban form and travel behavior. After exhaustive research to understand consumer responses to higher energy prices the analysis is complete and the results are in.

Pages