Submitted by Todd Litman on September 3, 2013 - 11:31am
Conventional transportation planning tends to exaggerate congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits, and undervalues other transportation solutions such as improving alternative modes, pricing reforms and smart growth policies.
Planners are futurists, but with less pretension and jargon. Our work requires predicting how current trends are likely to affect future conditions and activities, and how communities should prepare. For example, let's predict self-driving cars.
Many people believe that cities are dangerous due to exaggerated fears of urban crime. Cities are actually far safer and healthier than suburban and rural locations, and smart growth policies can further enhance their safety and health advantages.
The "Urban Mobility Report" produces widely-cited congestion cost estimates. It is biased in various ways that exaggerate congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits. Few users of these cost estimates seem aware of these problems.