ACCESS 23, Fall 2003

Director’s Report: The University of California Transportation Center: 15 Years of Accomplishment

Elizabeth Deakin

UCTC has just turned fifteen; so it seems an appropriate time to assess our accomplishments. Clearly, our most important products have been transportation professionals. We’ve supported over a thousand students, nearly all of them now working for state and local transportation agencies and as transportation specialists in the private sector. We’ve helped educate over a hundred PhDs, many of whom are now transportation faculty members at universities across the US. And we’ve sponsored several dozen conferences, training sessions, and seminars for practicing professionals here in California and beyond.

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Turning Small Change Into Big Changes

Douglas Kolozsvari and Donald Shoup

The money you put into a parking meter seems to vanish into thin air. No one knows where the money goes, and everyone would rather park free, so politicians find it easier to require ample off-street parking than to charge market prices at meters. But if each neighborhood could keep all the parking revenue it generates, a powerful new constituency would emerge—neighborhoods that receive the revenue. Cities can change the politics of parking if they earmark parking revenue for public improvements in the metered neighborhoods.

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2017-05-30T22:45:11+00:00Categories: ACCESS 23, Fall 2003|Tags: , |

Older Drivers: Should We Test Them Off The Road?

Sandi Rosenbloom

On July 16, 2003, a disoriented older person drove at high speed down a Santa Monica street closed for a farmer’s market. His car traveled almost three blocks, killing ten people and seriously injuring scores of others before coming to a stop. Editorials throughout the nation immediately demanded that all older drivers be subject to regular and rigorous retesting.

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2017-05-30T22:45:21+00:00Categories: ACCESS 23, Fall 2003|Tags: , |

As Jobs Sprawl, Whither The Commute?

Randall Crane and Daniel G. Chatman

The most transparent trend in metropolitan areas is the decentralization of jobs and housing into the suburbs and beyond. Scholars blame sprawl for many things, ranging from car-generated air pollution to commute-induced social alienation. But what do we know about its effects on travel behavior? According to conventional wisdom, people are driving farther to work these days—but supporting evidence is thin. It’s not clear whether homes and jobs are growing farther apart or closer, nor which industries and occupations are dispersing most or least. Here we tackle one key unanswered question: How does job sprawl affect average commute length?

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Driving Less

Susan Handy

Besides having to use our air conditioner only occasionally now, one of the nicest things about moving to Davis, California, last year after nine years in Austin, Texas, has been the biking. Before the end of our second week here, we had bought a bike trailer so we could commute by bike to campus with our two pre-schoolers in tow. The purchase was a sort of initiation rite: the city of Davis estimates there are more bikes in Davis than people, and I suspect that family-oriented Davis accounts for a significant share of all bike trailers sold in the US. I confess that over the past year we didn’t always bike to campus. But in that time we put less than five thousand miles on our primary car, and got some exercise along the way.

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2017-05-30T22:45:48+00:00Categories: ACCESS 23, Fall 2003|Tags: |

Trends And Policy Choices: A Research Agenda

Elizabeth Deakin

The US faces significant challenges in transportation as its population grows and as it adapts its lifestyles to new technologies. Well-planned research will shed light on the issues while helping transportation systems contribute to a more productive economy, a stable and high-quality environment, and high quality of life.

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2017-05-30T22:45:59+00:00Categories: ACCESS 23, Fall 2003|Tags: |

THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Transportation Costs And Economic Opportunity Among The Poor

Evelyn Blumenberg

A widely cited report says transportation costs are increasing and comprise a much larger share of expenditures in lower-than in higher-income households. The report, Transportation Costs and the American Dream, published by the Surface Transportation Policy Project in 2001, blames automobiles and says that rising transportation costs are hindering home ownership. However, the facts do not support this conclusion. Expenditure data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Survey reveal that low-income households actually spend slightly less than high-income households on transportation, a pattern that has held since the early 1980s. Figure 1 shows the distribution of expenditures for all households and compares them with households in the bottom income quintile. The graph shows transportation expenses are, indeed, a significant expenditure for everyone, but that low-income households spend a slightly smaller percentage on transportation than all households (and a higher percentage on housing).

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