ACCESS 11, Fall 1997

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|

A New Agenda

Daniel Sperling

The hot issues of the 1970s and 1980s - energy conservation and air quality - are still hot. But they've been transformed and narrowed. Now we debate climate change, new propulsion technologies, and particulate emissions. Energy independence no longer is compelling, and efforts to reduce travel are politically weak.

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2017-05-31T22:37:15+00:00Categories: ACCESS 11, Fall 1997|Tags: |

Hot Lanes: Introducing Congestion-Pricing One Lane at a Time

Gordon J. Fielding and Daniel B. Klein

For years, economists have claimed that the only solution to highway congestion is to charge motorists for driving. But it's clear that congestion pricing still remains politically unpopular. People easily recognize the losses they'll incur by paying tolls. But they ignore the prospective benefits, including equitable distribution of driving costs, reduced congestion, efficient use of road capacity, increased public transit and ridesharing, and funding for highway upkeep and expansion.

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Balancing Act: Traveling the California Corridor

Adib Kanafani

On a flight from San Diego to San Francisco, I sat beside a woman who by coincidence was also returning from the August 1997 demonstration of automated highways. I expressed my enthusiasm for full automation to turn highway lanes into automated electronic railroads, with individual automobiles, akin to rail cars, hooked up electronically. Off the highway, these cars would revert back as individual automobiles to provide the ubiquitous local accessibility people expect from cars.

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2017-05-31T22:37:39+00:00Categories: ACCESS 11, Fall 1997|Tags: |

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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Tracking Accessibility

Robert Cervero

Much of transportation planning and engineering today aims at reducing average delays, increasing passenger throughput, and in general keeping traffic flowing smoothly and safely. These are the field’s principal measure of performance. But is a quick, uncongested trip indicative of a well-planned, accessible community?

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THE ACCESS ALMANAC: The Pedigree of a Statistic

Donald Shoup

Have you ever wondered how much urban land is devoted to streets and parking? I realize there are many problems inherent in calculating this sort of statistic. For example, it’s not clear whether a driveway alongside a house should be counted as a street or as parking, or maybe as neither, because some driveways serve primarily as open space between adjacent houses and are rarely used by cars. Nevertheless, it would be good to have even a rough estimate of the share of urban land in streets and parking.

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