Todd Litman's blog

Todd Litman is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
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What is a 'House'? Critiquing the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

Demographia's International Housing Affordability Surveys are widely used to compare cities and evaluate urban development policies, but there are good reasons to question their analysis methods, starting with their definition of "house."

More Great Research Quantifying Smart Growth Benefits

New research can help planners understand how specific decisions will affect transport activity (how and how much people travel), and their ultimate economic, social, and environmental impacts.

Is Traffic Speed Compliance A Congestion Cost?

Conventional evaluation often exaggerates congestion costs by using baseline travel speeds which exceed speed limits. This assumes that traffic speed compliance is a congestion cost that justifies major infrastructure investments to alleviate.

Responding to Transit Funding Criticism

My recent column, "Evaluating Public Transit Funding Options," described various ways to finance public transit improvements. Such funding is sometimes criticized. This column examines and responds to common criticisms.

Evaluating Public Transport Funding Options

Many jurisdictions need additional funding to improve, or just maintain, their public transport services. A timely new study evaluates eighteen potential funding options according to eight criteria.

A Critical Evaluation of the USDOT Conditions and Performance Report

The “Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance, Report To Congress” is intended to provide a comprehensive and objective evaluation of our transportation system. Let’s evaluate this evaluation.

New Research On Smart Growth Benefits

New research indicates that smart growth helps residents become wealthier and healthier.

How Not To Measure Housing Affordability

Critics argue that smart growth reduces housing affordability. Their criticisms are partly legitimate and largely wrong, based on incomplete and biased analysis.

Old Thinking In New Traffic Safety Reports

A new paradigm is expanding transport safety strategies to include demand management and smart growth, but the old paradigm is alive and deadly as illustrated by two new traffic safety guidance documents.

Economically Successful Cities Favor Space-Efficient Modes

Cities are, by definition, places where many people and activities locate close together. Their economic success and livability benefits from policies that favor space-efficient modes (walking, cycling, ridesharing and public transit).

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