Martin Wachs

About Martin Wachs (Edit profile)

Martin Wachs is Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering and City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, and former Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies and of the University of California Transportation Center. He is also former Chair of the Department of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. He retired as senior principal researcher and director of the Transportation, Space and Technology Program at the RAND Corporation (mwachs@ucla.edu).

THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Gas Tax Dilemma

Mary Hill, Brian D. Taylor and Martin Wachs

Prior to 1923 California, like most states, financed highway construction and maintenance by issuing general obligation bonds. By the early ’20s direct appropriations for highways and interest payments on the bonds had risen to more than 40 percent of the state’s budget. So in 1923 California adopted a new system of highway finance using earmarked user fees, in particular the per-gallon fuel tax. Before long all fifty states had similar user taxes, as did the federal government.

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Parking And Affordable Housing

Wenyu Jia and Martin Wachs

Housing affordability and parking availability are two of the most vexing problems in the nation’s largest cities. In San Francisco, internationally known for its ambience, most working people find it almost impossible to find a house, condo, or apartment at an affordable price. Finding a parking space is nearly as difficult. Many houses are situated on very narrow lots, and frequent curb cuts for driveways reduce on-street parking.

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Director’s Comment

Martin Wachs

There is a need for competent and principled leadership in the field of transportation. The ongoing debate about reauthorizing ISTEA clearly illustrates the political pulls and tugs that characterize democratic decisionmaking. Each interest group voices its particular preferences, and legislators stake out claims for projects and programs that directly benefit their constituents. Real leadership involves breaking deadlocks like these through vision and compromise, but such leadership is rare. Beyond serving supporters' immediate aims for expensive projects, few seek to exploit transportation's potential for shaping the economy, environment, and public welfare.

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2017-05-31T22:36:55+00:00Categories: ACCESS 11, Fall 1997|

Does Contracting Transit Service Save Money?

William S. McCullough, Brian D. Taylor, and Martin Wachs

Reflecting the international trend toward privatizing government services, many scholars and elected officials favor contracting out public transit services. During the 1980s many states and the federal government implemented policies that explicitly favored private-sector participation in the provision of transit service. Proponents continue to argue that contracting will bring dramatic cost savings and improved service and have recently convinced many transit agencies to switch to contracted service.

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Decision-Making After Disasters: Responding to the Northridge Earthquake

Martin Wachs

and Nabil Kamel

Many people seem to behave differently during emergencies than they do under ordinary circumstances. Feuding families unite to help each other when a tornado strikes their town, and neighbors who haven't spoken for years share a candlelight dinner after a hurricane knocks out their power. When faced with a disaster, people become more cooperative and humane, rising above their conflicts and aloofness.

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Will Congestion Pricing Ever Be Adopted?

Martin Wachs

Transportation planners and economists are urging us to adopt congestion pricing-to charge motorists more for driving on crowded roads during rush hours and less for traveling on uncrowded roads in off-peak hours. By putting a price on peak-hour travel, we would encourage motorists to switch to less crowded alternate routes or, better yet, take public transit, join a carpool, or travel at a time of day when the roads are less crowded. Such tolls might even induce some travelers to alter the origins or destinations of their trips or to cancel less important trips, thereby cutting their total amount of auto travel.

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Compulsory Ridesharing in Los Angeles

Martin Wachs and Genevieve Giuliano

Americans often look to South California as a place where lifestyle trends are born. Now, ironically, the land that has long glorified the car culture is galvanizing commuting behavior and encouraging abstinence from the once respectable custom of solo diving. The catalyst for this behavioral change is Regulation XV, adopted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in 1987. Also known “The Commuter Program,” Regulation XV requires all public and private employers (firms, government agencies, schools, hospitals, etc.) with at least 100 employees at any work site to devise commute alternatives for employees and to reduce the number of people driving alone to work.

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2018-02-09T22:36:21+00:00Categories: ACCESS 01, Fall 1992|Tags: |