ACCESS 37, Fall 2010


Donald Shoup

Academic research in transportation may require years of work before the author eventually publishes the results in a professional journal. Developing a theory, collecting relevant data, and conducting rigorous statistical tests are usually necessary before an article is accepted for publication. Then what happens? If the author is lucky, fellow academics and their students will read the article and discuss it. The transportation planners and elected officials who might be able use the results to improve our transportation system, however, will probably never see the article or even hear about the research.

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2017-05-26T23:31:27+00:00Categories: ACCESS 37, Fall 2010|

What Density Doesn’t Tell Us About Sprawl

Eric Eidlin

Sprawl has no single definition. Many people, however, tend to think of "sprawling" cities as places where people make most of their trips by car, and non-sprawling cities as places where people are more likely to walk, cycle, or take transit. This is why Los Angeles, which has more vehicles per square mile than any other urbanized area, and where transit accounts for only two percent of the region's overall trips, is considered sprawling, while the New York urbanized area is not. We also know (or think we know) that places where people frequently walk, cycle, or take transit tend to have high population densities, and for this reason we tend to view low density as a proxy for sprawl. But as it turns out, the Los Angeles urbanized area—which in both myth and fact is very car-oriented—is also very dense. In fact, Los Angeles has been the densest urbanized area in the United States since the 1980s, denser even than New York and San Francisco.

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Falling Immigration Rates Mean Falling Transit Ridership

Evelyn Blumenberg and Alexandra Norton

From almost every angle, immigration generates interest and controversy. Scholars, pundits and policymakers regularly debate immigration and its effects: on culture, on jobs, on schooling. In particular, both academic and popular commentators have focused on whether immigration is associated with increases in unemployment, use of public benefits, or crime. Examinations of these questions have generally revealed that immigration has no effect, or that the effect, if present, is small. Even in the heated debate about immigration and employment, which receives the most popular attention, academics on both sides agree that the effects, be they negative or positive, are modest when compared to the economy as a whole.

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2018-02-14T21:28:22+00:00Categories: ACCESS 37, Fall 2010|Tags: , |

Electric Two-Wheelers in China: Promise, Progress and Potential

Christopher Cherry

Electric two-wheelers have transformed the way people move in most Chinese cities. In just ten years, growth in electric two-wheelers—a category that includes vehicles ranging from electric bicycles to electric motorcycles—has substantially increased the total number of vehicles in China. Electric bike sales began modestly in the 1990s and started to take off in 2004, when 40,000 were sold. Since then, over 100 million have been sold and now more than 20 million are sold each year. Electric two wheelers, in short, represent the first mass-produced and mass-adopted alternative-fuel vehicles in the history of motorization.

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Life-Cycle Environmental Assessment of California High Speed Rail

Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath

California is planning to spend $40 billion to build a high speed rail system from San Diego to Sacramento. Advocates argue that high speed rail will save money and improve the environment, while critics claim it will waste money and harm the environment. What accounts for these diametrically opposed views about a technology that has been operating in other countries for decades? And what can transportation analysts offer to inform the debate?

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2018-02-14T21:40:54+00:00Categories: ACCESS 37, Fall 2010|Tags: , , |

Megacities and Megatraffic

Mark Kutzbach

Scan the newspaper in any big city of a rapidly developing country and you will probably see complaints about traffic congestion. Traffic congestion in developing megacities not only aggravates commuters but also isolates them with time-consuming, unreliable, and expensive commutes. In Mumbai, India, for example, The Mumbai Mirror reported in early 2010 that India's champion athletes missed the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games due to the city's "never-ending traffic jam."

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THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Graduated Parking Fines

Donald Shoup

Cities often increase their parking fines when they need more money. Los Angeles, for example, is facing a major budget crisis and increased its fines for all parking tickets by $5, regardless of the violation. This across-the-board hike suggests that the higher fines are more about raising money than about enforcing the law. But a few cities have discovered how to enforce the law and raise money without costing most drivers anything. Cities can achieve these three goals by using graduated parking fines.

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2017-05-26T23:32:31+00:00Categories: ACCESS 37, Fall 2010|Tags: , |
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