How Vehicle Ownership Impacts Roadway Design

New research assesses the potential implications of reduced car ownership on the design of roads and communities.

1 minute read

February 21, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Cars on highway in Colorado with snow-capped mountains in background

Vicki L. Miller / Colorado highway

A new report from the Institute of Transportation Engineers analyzes how a decline in vehicle ownership could change the way planners design cities, reports Lori Aratani in The Washington Post. 

The findings highlight the differing needs of people who choose to not own a car and people who are carless by necessity due to the high cost of car ownership or other barriers. “The report recognized that not having a car might not be a choice — some can’t afford to own and maintain a vehicle — which the study said underscores a need to adopt strategies to address such inequities.”

Civil engineer Douglas S. Halpert spoke with The Washington Post about the report, saying that “You’re already seeing changes in roadway design to accommodate additional modes other than personal vehicles, and there are more analysis metrics for operations other than delay and safety, which are becoming more generally accepted.”

According to the article, “The report’s authors want policymakers to consider whether transportation infrastructure funding is being invested in a balanced way that meets the needs of all travelers.” Halpert added that providing effective and attractive alternative transportation options is key to incentivizing people to reduce their car use.

Saturday, February 18, 2023 in The Washington Post

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