Todd Litman's blog

Todd Litman is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
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Positive Reports on New Transit System Performance

Critics claim that public transit projects consistently exceed their budget projections and fail to meet ridership targets, based on old research. New analysis indicates that recent transit services generally perform better than predicted.

Who Subsidizes Whom?

This column expands on issues raised in a previous Planetizen blog, "Mythbusting: Exposing Half-Truths That Support Automobile Dependency," which examined criticisms of cycling facility investments and justifications for automobile-oriented planning.

Mythbusting: Exposing Half-Truths That Support Automobile Dependency

Some commentators recently expressed outraged that governments spend money on cycling facilities. Their arguments are largely wrong, I’ll call them "half-truths" to be charitable, presented with great certitude and self-righteous anger.

How Many Bicycles Can Park In The Space Required By One Car? Don’t Ask PolitiFact.

PolitiFact holds politicians accountable for their claims, but how accountable is PolitiFact? Not very. It inaccurately answered a simple planning question, and was unwilling to clarify or correct its false judgment.

Low Crime Rates In Large Cities Support Multi-Modal Planning and Smart Growth

Contrary to popular assumptions, large, transit-oriented cities have lower crime rates than smaller, automobile-oriented cities. Jane Jacobs was right! This column discusses this phenomenon and its implications for transport and land use planning.

Abu Dhabi Planning Charrette

Abu Dhabi is updating its strategic development plan. Consultant Todd Litman reports on the city's recent urban planning charrette.

I have a Problem With Your “Issues”

Good planning requires clear problem and goal statements. Calling a problem an “issue” is ambiguous, which is a real problem.

Congestion Costing Point-Counter-Point

Conventional transportation planning tends to exaggerate congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits, and undervalues other transportation solutions such as improving alternative modes, pricing reforms and smart growth policies.

Planners are Futurists With a Practical Bent

Planners are futurists, but with less pretension and jargon. Our work requires predicting how current trends are likely to affect future conditions and activities, and how communities should prepare. For example, let's predict self-driving cars.

Rational Fear

Many people believe that cities are dangerous due to exaggerated fears of urban crime. Cities are actually far safer and healthier than suburban and rural locations, and smart growth policies can further enhance their safety and health advantages.

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