Forward Thinking and Backward Practices

Transportation authorities are working with tools that no longer fit the challenges of modern travel or environmental necessity, says David Kooris, vice president of the Regional Plan Association.

Kooris spoke September 17th at a roundtable discussion on transportation and climate change hosted by Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences:

"'The transportation planning institution has been focused on cars and highways for so long that the tools that are available to them are not able to answer the questions that face them,' Kooris said. The transportation establishment is being asked to help reduce the negative impact of cars and trucks on the world's climate, but in this era of sophisticated modeling, transportation agencies have fallen flat, he indicated."

"'The problem is data availability,' in Kooris's view. 'It's difficult to get data that is reliable and that answers the questions we are now asking.'"

Thanks to Renee Brutvan

Full Story: The data problem that holds back climate action and smart growth

Comments

Comments

I think this guy has a good point

I know its not very exciting to agree with people but I think he's right. The models that transportation planners use, and that most municipalities accept, is by and large, purely a vehicle dominated model. Even if there are improvements in transit or adjacent mixed use higher density areas, municipalities often will plan for the 'worst case scenario' which is business as usual. Plus, if the focus is a reduction in VMT (or VKT here in Canada - the numbers go down, or up, quicker) then not only are our models wrong, but wer're taking the wrong actions based on the results. We talk about sustainability, but we also widen roads and intersections to accommodate the predicted growth in vehicles, undermining our efforts to provide attractive alternatives.

Tim Barton
www.planningpicture.com

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