The “Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance, Report To Congress” is intended to provide a comprehensive and objective evaluation of our transportation system. Let’s evaluate this evaluation.
A new paradigm is expanding transport safety strategies to include demand management and smart growth, but the old paradigm is alive and deadly as illustrated by two new traffic safety guidance documents.
Cities are, by definition, places where many people and activities locate close together. Their economic success and livability benefits from policies that favor space-efficient modes (walking, cycling, ridesharing and public transit).
Many people assume incorrectly that road tolls and parking fees harm poor people. In fact, they are usually less regressive than other funding options, and benefit poor people overall, particularly if some revenues are invested in alternative modes.
New tools are becoming available to help people evaluate the quality of walking, cycling, public transit and automobile accessibility when making home location decisions. This information can help create more efficient and sustainable communities.
Transportation system performance is often evaluated using congestion intensity indicators, which favor automobile-dependency and sprawl. Strategic planning requires more comprehensive and multi-modal indicators which measure congestion costs.
The best solution to many transportation problems is to improve transport system diversity so travelers can choose the best option for each trip. This requires more comprehensive and multi-modal planning. Not everybody is ready.