Todd Litman is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
Governments need money to finance transportation system improvements, but revenues from traditional sources are flat. This is leading to debate over how best to generate new funds. There are many possible options, some better than others, because in addition to raising revenue, they support other strategic objectives. Politicians will be tempted to choose the easiest funding options. It is up to planners to point out the best options, taking into account all impacts.
Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 9:00pm PST
There are various ways to define transport efficiency which can lead to very different conclusions as to what transport policies and projects are best overall. Conventional planning tends to evaluate transport system performance based on mobility, which assumes that faster travel is always better. A new planning paradigm evaluates transport system performance based on accessibility (people's ability to access services and activities) which leads to very different definitions of efficiency and very different conclusions about how to improve transport systems.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - 6:25pm PST
One of planners’ most important jobs is to help develop the indicators and frameworks use to define problems and evaluate potential solution. Often, a particular solution will seem cost effective and beneficial when evaluated one way, and wasteful and undesirable if evaluated another. It is important that we help develop comprehensive evaluation frameworks that effectively inform decisions.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 4:45am PST
from Manila where I'm attending the Asian Development Bank's Transport Forum 2012.
It is an exciting and important event: the types of transport planning
investments that the bank supports now can have huge impacts on the nature of
future development in the world’s fastest growing countries. This is an
opportunity to support truly sustainable development.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 3:27pm PST
Moving Ahead for Progress
in the 21st Century (MAP-21), the new U.S. federal transportation law, has
the following main goals:
- Infrastructure condition
- Congestion reduction
- System reliability
- Freight movement and economic vitality
- Environmental sustainability
- Reduced project delivery
Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 10:32pm PDT
Conventional planning tends to consider traffic congestion a
significant cost and roadway expansion the preferred solution. It evaluates
transport system performance based on indicators such as roadway Level of Service (LOS)
and peak-period traffic speeds, and dedicates most transportation resources
(road space and money) to roads and parking facilities. This results in predict
and provide planning in which roadways are expanded to accommodate
anticipated traffic, which creates a self-fulfilling prophecy by inducing
additional vehicle use.
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 5:31am PDT
Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 12:34pm PDT
A recent paper by Harvard economists Daniel Shoag and Peter Ganong titled, Why Has
Regional Convergence in the U.S. Stopped? indicates that land
development regulations tend to increase housing costs, which contributes to inequality
by excluding lower-income households from more economically productive urban regions. Does this means that planners are guilty of increasing income inequality?
Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 11:07am PDT
I appreciate natural environments. I have always enjoyed walking in wilderness and cycling on rural roads, and I understand the ecological value provided by undeveloped lands, which include clean water, air and wildlife habitat. I also enjoy local fresh vegetables and fruits and so appreciate the value of preserving regional farmlands. Planners call these "greenspace," or more generally "openspace" since some, such as deserts and waterways, are open but not necessarily green.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 3:12pm PDT
Congratulations to this year's high school, college and university graduates! The current crop includes our son, who was recruited by a major corporation. The location of his new job will affect his travel patterns and therefore the transportation costs he bears and imposes for the next few years: until now he could get around fine by walking, cycling and public transport, but his new worksite is outside the city center, difficult to access except by automobile. As a result he will spend a significant portion of his new income to purchase and operate a car, and contribute to traffic congestion, parking costs and pollution. This is an example of how land use decisions, such as where corporations locate their offices, affects regional transport patterns and costs.
Sunday, June 3, 2012 - 8:03pm PDT