We all remember being a child on what seemed like an endless journey to grandma’s house or the Grand Canyon and asking “Are we there yet?” In America’s cities and towns, we are having one of those “Are we there yet?” moments — although it seems the GPS is malfunctioning and we have lost the ability to chart a course toward our future.
What does “there” look like? How will we know when we are “there”? What are the critical investments we need to make in order to strengthen our regional economies and ensure that America remains globally competitive? What are the attributes of communities and regions that help the people who live and work there succeed? How can we ensure that every child – regardless of what zip code they are born into or the color of their skin — has access to opportunities to improve their lives and contribute to America’s prosperity?
America is confronting serious issues in this second decade of the 21st century: The gap…
Why measure active Transportation?
Active transportation—generally referring to purpose-oriented trips by walking or cycling—can be an important component of one’s daily travel. Furthermore, active transportation or active travel (hereafter, AT) has important implications for personal health, livability, and environmental resources. Measuring changes in AT via well-established indicators is particularly relevant in two fields: health and transportation. Those working in the transportation field want to understand the demand for different types of facilities to support sustainable, cost-effective mobility for the entire population. They are also interested in how active transportation links to public transportation. Those in the public health field realize that to only focus on exercise misses much routine physical activity done in the course of commuting, paid work, chores, and errands. Both fields aim to measure aspects of active transportation, but…
The Fairfax County, VA, Planning Commission TOD Committee, established in May 2006, was a special committee of the Planning Commission which sponsored an open and visible process to gather input on a consensus vision and guidance on Fairfax County Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). The Committee's goal was to recommend language to the Board of Supervisors and County staff for use in a Policy Plan Amendment (STO7-CW-ICP) that provided a standardized definition and set of guiding principles for Transit-Oriented Development in Fairfax County.
What isn't counted,doesn't count.
Government officials working to promote bicycling and walking need data to evaluate their efforts. In order to improve something, there must be a means to measure it. The Alliance for Biking & Walking's Benchmarking Project is an ongoing effort to collect and analyze data on bicycling and walkingin all 50 states and the 51 largest cities. This is the third biennial Benchmarking Report. The first report was published in 2007, the second in 2010, and the nextreport is scheduled for January 2014.
(1) Promote Data Collection and Availability
The Benchmarking Project aims to collect data from secondary sources (existing databases) and to conduct surveysof city and state officials to obtaindata not collected by another nationalsource. A number of government and national data sources are collected and illustrated in this report. Through state and city biennial surveys, this project makes new data available in a…
A growing number of communities are discovering the value of their streets as important public spaces for many aspects of daily life. People want streets that are safe to cross or walk along, offer places to meet people, link healthy neighborhoods, and have a vibrant mix of retail. More people are enjoying the value of farmers’ markets, street festivals, and gathering places. And more people want to be able to walk and ride bicycles in their neighborhoods.
People from a wide variety of backgrounds are forming partnerships with schools, health agencies, neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, and other groups in asking their city councils to create streets and neighborhoods that fit this vision.
As a result, an increasing number of cities are looking to modify the way they design their streets. They are often stifled by standards and guidelines that prevent them from making the changes they seek. Some want to modify their standards and manuals, but don’t…
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. Stephen R. Covey
As you turn the first page of this book, you ask yourself, “What’s in it for me? Am I spending my time or investing my time?”
We live in an exciting time of great innovation and rapidly changing thinking about how to solve transportation problems. Since the early 1990s, hundreds of new organizations have formed to advocate for cyclists and pedestrians; curb sprawl and promote smarter solutions to growth; save scenic roads and promote heritage tourism; support local sustainable agriculture; bring back freight rail and promote light rail; and protect the environment by adopting new energy technologies and constructing resource efficient buildings. Curious people can tap into the web to access a vast universe of transportation information and case studies, and quickly communicate with friends and neighbors through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and many other sites and…
One-half mile has become the accepted distance for gauging a transit station’s catchment area in the U.S. It is the de facto standard for planning TODs (transit oriented developments) in America. Planners and researchers use transit catchment areas not only to make predictions about transit ridership and the land use and socioeconomic impacts of transit, but also to prescribe regulations, such as the relaxation of restrictive zoning, or carve out TOD financial plans. This radius is loosely based on the distance that people are willing to walk to transit, but this same reasoning has been used to justify other transit catchment areas. Using station-level variables from 1,449 high-capacity American transit stations in 21 cities, we aim to identify whether there is clear benchmark between distance and ridership that provides a norm for station-area planning and prediction. For the purposes of predicting station-level transit ridership, we find that different catchment areas…
This paper outlines a methodology that assesses urbanity in three dimensions (density, diversity, and design) and creates a combined scorecard that weights each dimension according to its influence on transit usage and walkability. Using no proprietary methods, this approach can be repeated by any individual or local government with GIS software and basic internet access. The resulting measurements can be used by communities to assess what types of investments and regulatory changes are necessary to create more transit and pedestrian-friendly communities.
This paper examines how various land use factors such as density, regional accessibility, mix and roadway connectivity affect travel behavior, including per capita vehicle travel, mode split and nonmotorized travel. This information is useful for evaluating the ability of land use policies such as Smart Growth, New Urbanism and Access Management to help achieve transport planning objectives.