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Marlon G. Boarnet


About Marlon G. Boarnet (Edit profile)

Marlon Boarnet is Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis in the Sol Price of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. (
  • 182da

Retrofitting the Suburbs to Increase Walking

Marlon G. Boarnet , Kenneth Joh, Walter Siembab, William Fulton, and Mai Thi Nguyen

During the last half of the 20th century, cities and towns across America were built primarily for one transportation mode: the automobile. Much of this development occurred on the urban periphery, creating the suburbs that are now home to more Americans than either traditional central cities or small towns. Today, while federal transportation policies and urban planners have shifted toward promoting a more multimodal form of development, the legacy of the postwar era remains: thousands of suburban neighborhoods poorly served by any mode of transportation other than the automobile.

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Transportation Infrastructure And Sustainable Development: New Planning Approaches For Urban Growth

Marlon G. Boarnet

As California's population expands to fifty million people over the next two decades, urban infrastructure will be under immense pressure. Partly in anticipation of growth, and partly to catch up after years of neglected investment, in 2006 California voters approved bond measures for transportation, affordable housing, education, disaster preparedness, flood prevention, and water projects. Most experts expect that even more funding will be needed to meet future needs. How can these funds best be spent to accommodate growth and avoid stressing California’s environmental, fiscal, and social resources? In particular, how can we use the next round of transportation investment to help us plan for a more sustainable future?

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  • Lesson 3

The Private Sector’s Role In Highway Finance: Lessons From SR 91

Marlon G. Boarnet and Joseph F. DiMento

The gap between needed highway-construction funds and gasoline-tax revenues threatens to widen further. Hybrid vehicles are a reality; alternative fuels are on the horizon; and the gasoline tax—long the workhorse of highway finance in the United States—will inevitably decline in importance. So the search is on for new funds. Can the private sector help fill the gap? Only a few privately financed highways have been built in the US in the past half century. Among them, California’s State Route 91 (SR 91) in Orange County stands out as one of the mature examples. It began as something of a public policy long shot. In 1989, when state legislators debated a bill to allow a limited number of private highway franchises, even the bill’s supporters doubted it had a real chance of passage.

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  • New-Image-1-1

New Highways & Economic Growth: Rethinking the Link

Marlon G. Boarnet

A few decades ago, hardly anyone doubted that highways and other public infrastructure induce significant economic growth. Today the link between highways and growth appears tenuous. Some recent studies suggest that increasing the overall stock of highways in the country will cause little, if any, economic improvement.

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