In this new book, Anthony Downs looks at the causes of worsening traffic congestion, especially in suburban areas, and considers the possible remedies. He analyzes the specific advantages and disadvantages of every major strategy that has been proposed to reduce congestion. In nontechnical language, he focuses on two central issues: the relationships between land-use and traffic flow in rapidly growing areas, and whether local policies can effectively reduce congestion or if more regional approaches are necessary.
In rapidly growing parts of the country, congestion is worse than it was five or ten years ago. But Downs notes that the problem has apparently not yet become bad enough to stimulate effective responses. Neither government officials nor citizens seem willing to consider changing the behavior and public policies that cause congestion. To alleviate the problem, both groups must be prepared to make these fundamental changes. Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Book of 1992 Co-published with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
The book offers an in-depth look at the most significant event in transportation planning--the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962. Creating a federal mandate for a comprehensive urban transportation planning process carried out cooperatively by states and local governments with federal funding, this act was crucial in the spread of urban transporation. Claiming that urban transportation planning is more sophisticated, costly, and complex than its highway and transit planning predecessors, the book demonstrates how urban transportation planning evolved in response to changes in such factors as environment, energy, development patterns, intergovernmental coordination, and federal transit programs. It further illustrates how broader concerns for global climate change and sustainable development have braided the purview of transportation planning.
The environmental impacts of sprawling development have been well documented, but few comprehensive studies have examined its economic costs. In 1996, a team of experts undertook a multi-year study designed to provide quantitative measures of the costs and benefits of different forms of growth. Sprawl Costs presents a concise and readable summary of the results of that study.
The authors analyze the extent of sprawl, define an alternative, more compact form of growth, project the magnitude and location of future growth, and compare what the total costs of those two forms of growth would be if each was applied throughout the nation. They analyze the likely effects of continued sprawl, consider policy options, and discuss examples of how more compact growth would compare with sprawl in particular regions. Finally, they evaluate whether compact growth is likely to produce the benefits claimed by its advocates.
The book represents a comprehensive and objective analysis of the costs and benefits of different approaches to growth, and gives decision-makers and others concerned with planning and land use realistic and useful data on the implications of various options and policies.
No other book so clearly connects the form of our cities to their ecological, economic, and social consequences. No other book takes on this breadth of complex and contentious issues and distills them down to such convincing and practical solutions. And no other book so vividly compares and contrasts the differing experiences of U.S. and Canadian cities.
Of particular new importance is how city form affects the production of planet-warming greenhouse gases. The author explains this relationship in an accessible way, and goes on to show how conforming to seven simple rules for community design could literally do a world of good. Each chapter in the book explains one rule in depth, adding a wealth of research to support each claim. If widely used, Condon argues, these rules would lead to a much more livable world for future generations—a world that is not unlike the better parts of our own.
Public investments in new, long-lived transportation infrastructure can be risky because of uncertainty about future demand and the development of new technologies and competing transportation services. Decisionmakers in interregional corridors face the added challenge of having to coordinate investments across multiple jurisdictions. The report recommends actions to reduce this uncertainty and create stronger institutional means for developing the countryâ€™s interregional corridors.
TR News 303 features an article on Interregional Travel: A New Perspective for Policy Making.
A video about the research is now available:
At the 2016 TRB Annual Meeting, January 10-14, 2016, a session entitled Interregional Travel: Policymaking from a New Perspective was webcast live. These videos provide an overview of various components of the project.
Part 1: Overview of Project Scope
Part 2: Data and Information Needs
Part 3: Intercity Bus Operations
Question and Answer Session
Presenters:Tom Deen Nancy McGuckin Joe Schweiterman
Moderated by: Martin Wachs
The black market in illegal drugs undermines essential institutions necessary for promoting long-term economic growth, including respect for civil liberties, private property, and nonviolent conflict resolution. Staley argues that America's cities can be revitalized only through a major restructuring of the urban economy that does not rely on drug trafficking as a primary source of employment and income-the inadvertent outcome of current prohibitionist policy. Thus comprehensive decriminalization of the major drugs (marijuana, cocaine, and heroin) is an important first step toward addressing the economic and social needs of depressed inner cities.
Staley demonstrates how decriminalization would refocus public policy on the human dimension of drug abuse and addiction, acknowledge that the cities face severe development problems that promote underground economic activity, and reconstitute drug policy on principles consistent with limited government as embodied in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Designed to cross disciplinary boundaries, Staley's provocative analysis will be essential reading for urban policymakers, sociologists, economists, criminologists, and drug-treatment specialists.
Despite the apparent popularity of government restrictions on land use, the scholars writing for this volume advocate a more market-based approach. Showing that the problems of sprawling development have been misunderstood and overstated, they argue that land use policy can be better improved through market mechanisms than by the central planning of land use bureaucracies.