Todd Litman's blog

Todd Litman is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
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A Trillion Dollars, Or Cents Per Day

The current U.S. healthcare reform proposal is often described as costing a trillion dollars. That will make it difficult to pass. However, the same program could legitimately be described as costing residents just cents per day (or, “less than a cup of coffee”), which would enhance its chance of success (a trillion dollars over ten years is $100 billion annually, about $320 annually per capita, or less than $1 per day, which can legitimately be called “cents per day”).

Memo From Future Self: Hope For The Best But Prepare For the Worst

Planning issues are often considered to be conflicts between the interests of different groups, such as neighborhood residents versus developers, or motorist versus transit users. But planning concerns the future, so it often consists of a conflict between the interests of our current and future selves.

VMT Reductions: An Excellent Idea When Correctly Evaluated

OK Bob – I’ll Take Your Challenge

Last year, California, passed SB 375, which requires regional governments to develop smart growth-oriented land use and transportation plans aimed at reducing VMT.

Comprehensive Evaluation of Transit Oriented Development Benefits

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) refers to communities with high quality public transit services, good walkability, and compact, mixed land use. This allows people to choose the best option for each trip: walking and cycling for local errands, convenient and comfortable public transit for travel along major urban corridors, and automobile travel to more dispersed destinations. People who live and work in such communities tend to own fewer vehicles, drive less, and rely more on alternative modes.

The Automobile Industry and National Economic Development

Automobile industry subsidies are an inefficient way to support economic development. Even worse, policies intended to support automobile manufacturers and recover loans can be economically harmful. 

Travel Demands Are A-Changing: So Should Our Spending

Politicians and planners be warned: you will now be judged according to your ability to improve walking, cycling and public transit services.  

Smart Growth and Housing Affordability – Round Three

I would like to expand an ongoing debate between Reason Foundation policy expert Samuel Staley and me concerning land use policy impacts on affordability and economic stability to include two additional issues: household economic resilience and wealth accumulation.  

Smart Growth And Housing Affordability

In a recent blog I emphasized the value of using smart growth policies to increase household affordability and support regional economic development. In his blog, “Planning Foreclosures,” Samuel Staley reaches a very different conclusion.

Investing In Affordability For Economic Development

Is a $50,000 annual income wealth or poverty in North America? By historical or international standards such an income should be considered wealthy and luxurious, but most people I know consider it poverty because of the high cost of living.

Smarter Transportation Economic Stimulation

We have just published a new report, "Smart Transportation Economic Stimulation: Infrastructure Investments That Support Strategic Planning Objectives Provide True Economic Development" which discusses factors to consider when evaluating transportation economic stimulation strategies.

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