Transport Policy

March 25, 2016, 8am PDT
TomTom's annual traffic congestion rankings predictably generated horrified, self-pitying headlines about awful congestion in top-ranked cities. But there are big problems with their methodology.
City Observatory
Blog post
June 2, 2015, 6am PDT
Common planning practices create automobile-dependent communities where driving is convenient and other forms of travel are inefficient. It's time to recognize the value of transportation diversity.
Todd Litman
Blog post
April 13, 2015, 9am PDT
What amount of expansion, population and vehicle densities, housing mix, and transport policies should growing cities aspire to achieve? This column summarizes my recent research that explores these, and related, issues.
Todd Litman
Blog post
November 21, 2014, 11am PST
Automobile-oriented planning requires that cities devote signifiant amounts of space to roads and parking—under many conditions each vehicle requires more land than is devoted to housing per capita.
Todd Litman
June 24, 2014, 5am PDT
Although transport planners consider traffic congestion economically harmful, economic productivity tends to increase with congestion and decline with increased road supply. This paradox can be explained by more nuanced analysis of accessibility.
The Vancouver Sun
September 12, 2013, 10am PDT
Call it the law of unintended consequences. Alerts of "bad air days" that ask motorists in the Wasatch Front to reduce driving had the opposite effect, prompting some residents to drive away from lowlands to the mountains where air may be healthier.
The Salt Lake Tribune
Blog post
June 24, 2013, 6am PDT
Critics claim that smart growth policies are ineffective at reducing vehicle travel and achieving intended to objectives. This column critiques their arguments.
Todd Litman
Blog post
October 21, 2012, 10pm PDT

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), the new U.S. federal transportation law, has the following main goals:

  1. Safety
  2. Infrastructure condition
  3. Congestion reduction
  4. System reliability
  5. Freight movement and economic vitality
  6. Environmental sustainability
  7. Reduced project delivery delays

 

Todd Litman
Blog post
February 2, 2012, 12pm PST

As I write this column (2 February) the U.S. House Transportation Committee is debating changes in H.R. 3864, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, which will determine future federal transportation policy.

Todd Litman
Blog post
December 30, 2011, 2pm PST

I am sorry to report that, Canada, my chosen country (I immigrated here in 1993), recently withdrew from the Kyoto Accord, which sets international climate change emission reduction targets. It’s worth noting that this decision was made by the ruling Conservative Party which received less than 40% of total votes, but the other four parties split the more progressive votes and are unable to form a coalition, resulting in federal policies that are far more politically conservative than the average Canadian would prefer.

Todd Litman
Blog post
November 16, 2011, 11pm PST

An important current policy debate concerns whether the next U.S. federal surface transportation reauthorization should require spending on “enhancements,” which finance projects such as walkways, bike paths, highway landscaping and historic preservation. This issue receives considerable attention, despite the fact that enhancements represent less than 2% of total federal surface transportation expenditures, because it raises questions about future transport priorities, particularly the role of walking and cycling. In other words, should non-motorized modes be considered real transportation.

Todd Litman
July 22, 2011, 7am PDT
Major study by the Partnership for Prevention identifies numerous ways to reduce air pollution, increase physical fitness and reduce traffic risk.
Transportation and Health: Policy Interventions for Safer
May 3, 2010, 11am PDT
In April 2008, the NYS Assembly rejected NYC Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing proposal for Manhattan. A subsequent attempt to toll the free East & Harlem River bridges also failed. Bruce Schaller (NYC-DOT), involved in both efforts explains why
TOLLROADSnews
Blog post
February 1, 2010, 6am PST

Let me wade into an ongoing debate among fellow Planetizen bloggers Samuel Staley and Michael Lewyn concerning the meanings of accessibility and mobility, and their implications for transportation and land use policy.

Todd Litman
Blog post
November 2, 2009, 8am PST

An important new book, Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research, and its summary report, The Transportation Prescription: Bold New Ideas for Healthy, Equitable Transportation Reform in America, were just published by the Convergence Partnership, a coalition that supports more rational and equitable health policy.

Todd Litman
Blog post
February 3, 2009, 4pm PST

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.

Todd Litman
Blog post
November 30, 2008, 11pm PST

Economic stimulation is an important issue these days. Let’s be smart when choosing economic stimulation strategies.

Todd Litman