ACCESS 04, Spring 1994


Melvin M. Webber

It seems that transportation planners everywhere are looking for ways of reducing vehicle miles of travel (VMT) by automobile, even as citizens seem determined to drive more. The trend may be especially evident here in California where everyone seems to believe that use of cars is excessive, having conspired to foul the air, congest the highways, provoke traffic accidents, and erode the quality of people’s lives. In response, a lot of creative remedies have been invented – schemes to entice travelers into carpools and public transit and schemes to induce them to stay home.

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2017-05-19T22:58:04+00:00Categories: ACCESS 04, Spring 1994|

Time Again for Rail?

Sir Peter Hall

This is the age of the train: certainly in Japan and in Europe; probably, soon, on the East Coast. The urgent question is whether California will catch the train, whether indeed it should catch the train, and if so how. Modern high speed train travel involves trains that achieve sustained high speed – a minimum of 125 mph, a maximum in revenue service so far of 187 mph – between cities that are typically between 100 and 500 miles apart. It all began exactly thirty years ago, when the Japanese opened their Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka. It took nearly another two decades before France followed suit with its TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) over the 270 miles between Paris and Lyon in 1981. But since then, high-speed trains have proliferated.

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2018-02-07T22:04:32+00:00Categories: ACCESS 04, Spring 1994|Tags: |

No Rush to Catch the Train

Adib Kanafani

There is little doubt that a high-speed rail line could be built in the California corridor, connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles. To be sure some major obstacles must be reckoned with. It will have to cross the Tehachapi Mountains directly, if it's to keep travel time under control. This means some extensive and expensive tunneling. The large, low-density, and expansive metropolitan regions of the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Area will have to be penetrated by an exclusive, grade-separated rail system, which will also require some extensive urban construction. Nontechnical but equally tough obstacles would include possible opposition by communities along the corridor, especially in rural areas where the high-speed line would cut through but not serve.

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2022-09-23T22:43:24+00:00Categories: ACCESS 04, Spring 1994|Tags: |

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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Cashing in On Curb Parking

Donald Shoup

Whether you're driving to work, to a doctor's appointment, or to a dinner with a friend, you don't want to reach your destination and then circle the neighborhood for 40 minutes looking for a parking space. You want even less to compete with dozens of other cars looking for that same vacant space, while dodging double-parked cars and listening to honking and cursing.

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Reviving Transit Corridors and Transit Riding

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

When parts of their freeway network were damaged by the recent earthquake, many Los Angelenos were forced to "take to the streets"-to drive on the numerous arterials and transit corridors that interlace the city. They discovered a forgotten commercial landscape of small retail establishments mixed with office and residential buildings, automobile dealerships, junkyards, parking lots, and vacant space. These corridors are not unique. They are typical urban landscapes that can be found in virtually all American cities. Prior to the construction of freeways they were the principal traffic and transit arteries of the city, and they still carry the largest share of transit traffic. Urban arterial corridors are the "in-between" spaces of the city. They connect centers with subcenters, and the latter with one another, in the multicentered urban expanse that is typical of the post-industrial American city. But these transit corridors have become unfriendly to transit riders.

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THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Love, Lies, and Transportation in L.A.

Charles Lave

In the past six months Angelenos have been shaken by earthquakes and scorched by brush fires. Sort of like lumps of tofu in a stir-fry wok. But, what the hell, we're tough out here. We can take it. What does scare us, though, is suffocation. We're about to go down for the third time in the sea of media clichés that followed the quake. One more mention of "California's love affair with the car" and we're goners. That's not us. If we wanted to fondle cars, we'd be somewhere in Alabama.

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2018-02-07T23:40:03+00:00Categories: ACCESS 04, Spring 1994|
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