ACCESS 44, Spring 2014

Introduction: Shedding Weight

John A. Mathews

You probably have an extra pen in your car, or a discount card for a coffee shop you’ll never go to again. Maybe you have a Swiss army knife, or two, just in case it’s the end of the world and one isn’t enough. We constantly add extra weight to our travels just in case we might need something. The booming self-storage industry shows just how hard it is for us to let things go.

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2017-05-26T21:41:57+00:00Categories: ACCESS 44, Spring 2014|

Parking Requirements and Housing Development: Regulation and Reform in Los Angeles

Michael Manville

When cities require off-street parking with all new residential construction, they shift what should be a cost of driving—the cost of parking a car—into the cost of housing. A price drivers should pay at the end of their trips becomes a cost developers must bear at the start of their projects. Faced with these minimum parking requirements, developers may build less housing, and the housing they do build may be more likely to include parking. Parking requirements could therefore reduce both the amount and variety of housing in a city.

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Carmageddon in Los Angeles: The Sizzle and the Fizzle

Brian D. Taylor and Martin Wachs

“Carmageddon” refers to the horrific traffic jams predicted when a bridge reconstruction project in Los Angeles required closing 10 miles of the Interstate 405 freeway on two weekends. The closed freeway through the Sepulveda Pass between West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley is one of the most heavily traveled arteries in the world, with more than half a million vehicles passing through on a typical summer weekend. Traffic from the closures was predicted to back up for miles and spill onto local streets, severely congesting some parts of Los Angeles. Download the PDF.

Carmageddon or Carmaheaven? Air Quality Results of a Freeway Closure

Arthur Winer, Yifang Zhu, and Suzanne Paulson

Air quality researchers have recently shifted their focus from regional smog, which has been reduced dramatically over the past 40 years, to the more localized impacts of vehicle emissions near roadways. Numerous studies have linked traffic-related air pollution to a broad range of adverse health outcomes. Concern has focused on black carbon, particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), and ultrafine particles less than 100 nanometers in diameter, small enough to penetrate cell walls and cross the blood-brain barrier. These pollutants may be carried up to 300 meters downwind of major roadways during the day, and more than 2,000 meters downwind in the early morning hours, affecting large populations in major urban centers. By addressing these pollutants, policies to reduce traffic, congestion, and emissions can improve air quality and health. Download the PDF.

2018-02-12T21:32:32+00:00Categories: ACCESS 44, Spring 2014|Tags: , |

Pursuing the Technological Sublime: How the Bay Bridge Became a Megaproject

Karen Trapenberg Frick

The newly opened eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a classic example of a megaproject at $6.4 billion and a textbook embodiment of what I have identified as the “six Cs” of a typical megaproject: colossal, captivating, costly, controversial, complex, and subject to issues of control. Here, I focus on how the “captivating” and “colossal” characteristics affected the bridge design process and implementation. Captivating and colossal projects engage and stimulate participation by a broad set of stakeholders and citizens, whose varied perspectives and inputs can be difficult to accommodate without controversy and conflict. Download the PDF.

2018-02-16T22:18:57+00:00Categories: ACCESS 44, Spring 2014|Tags: |

We Can Learn Something from That! Promoting an Experimental Culture in Transportation

Joseph L. Schofer and Raymond Chan

Decision makers need to know what works and what doesn’t in order to make informed choices about transportation investments. Hard evidence, rather than opinions, should be the source of this information. Making use of hard evidence, though, can be challenging when transportation proposals come from policy makers who have already made a public commitment to an idea, such as building a high-speed rail system. Download the PDF.

2018-02-14T22:36:07+00:00Categories: ACCESS 44, Spring 2014|Tags: |


Donald Shoup

In December 2010, the City Council of Berkeley, California, voted to give what they thought was a generous Christmas gift to the city’s merchants: free parking at all parking meters in the city. “There are a couple of messages going out here,” said councilmember Laurie Capitelli. “One is that we are inviting customers to our commercial districts. Two, we’re sending a message to our small businesses, saying ‘we are hearing your concerns, and we do want to respond to them.’” Download the PDF.

2018-02-12T21:56:19+00:00Categories: ACCESS 44, Spring 2014|Tags: |
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