A recent report by the libertarian Cato Institute, Does Rail Transit Save Energy or Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?, claims that public transit service improvements are ineffective at conserving energy and reducing pollution emissions. But this conclusion is based on faulty analysis.
People’s response to death typically proceeds through various stages: disbelief, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, and eventually acceptance and hope. Motorists’ response to increased fuel price seems to follow similar stages:
It turns out that the “law of demand” (the tendency of higher prices to reduce consumption) and the principles of urban economics (that improved accessibility increases land values) still apply. If we are smart, we can use these to help solve problems and benefit consumers.
Every person is unique. Every day is unique. Every trip is unique. As a result, an efficient and equitable transportation system must be diverse, so people can choose the best option for each trip. For example, today you might prefer to walk or bicycle, but tomorrow find it best to use public transit or drive.
Last week I attended the NREL Energy Analysis Forum, where leading North American energy analysts discussed current thinking concerning greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies, much of which involves emission cap and trade programs (as summarized in the report by Resources for the Future, "Key Congressional Climate Change Legislation Compared"). Similarly, a recent report, "Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much At What Cost" evaluates emission reduction strategies according to their cost effectiveness.
Many families move to sprawled, automobile-dependent suburbs because they want a safe place to raise their children. They are mistaken. A smart growth community is actually a much safer and healthier place to live overall.
Although it is sometimes difficult to recognize in day-to-day planning activities, our ultimate goal is to make the world better, that is, to help create paradise on earth. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!
There are two different and often conflicting concepts of how to create paradise. It is important that planners understand the differences between them.
The newest Texas Transportation Institute Urban Mobility Report was recently released, stimulating discussion of congestion costs and potential solutions. Here are some things you should know when evaluating these issues.
A commodity is something that is normally bought and sold. Not everything is a commodity. Sure, most people need to purchase a certain amount of food, clothing and housing, but many other things that we value are not for sale.
For example, simply purchasing exercise equipment will not make you physically fit – it requires effort. Similarly, health, safety, education, rewarding personal relationships, community and our satisfaction with life are aspirations that depend more on our behavior than on how much we spend.
Most people that I know want to act responsibly, but when it comes to daily travel decisions they often choose driving over more resource-efficient but less comfortable and convenient alternative modes, such as walking, cycling and public transportation. As a result, they feel guilty, and communities suffer from problems such as congestion, infrastructure costs, consumer costs, accidents, energy consumption, and pollution emissions.