Parking and the City

Parking and the City

Susan Shaheen May 8, 2019 Book Review In Parking and the City, urban planning Professor Donald Shoup of the University of California, Los Angeles makes a persuasive case that an oversupply of free parking, off-street parking minimums, and other policies contribute to increased congestion and higher housing costs. Shoup makes the economic case that these policies both subsidize and conceal the true costs of driving and contribute to inequity and suboptimal transportation outcomes. Parking and the City reminds policymakers, practitioners, and the public that parking has a cost. Free parking distorts travel behaviour and economic decisions, penalizes sustainable choices, and contributes to lower wages (by redirecting wage income into parking). Because the true costs of parking are concealed, travellers have an incentive to drive and thereby contribute to congestion and emissions. Shoup makes a compelling argument to allow pricing and the market economy to commodify parking based on price, location, and convenience compared to other modes. In addition to an over abundance of parking, Parking and the City argues that parking minimums result in a number of additional externalities on housing affordability, historic preservation, the environment, walkability, and local tax revenue. This edited volume…. Read the full book review here:...
Are we going too fast on driverless cars?

Are we going too fast on driverless cars?

Dec. 14, 2017 By: JEFFREY MERVIS The automakers and high-tech companies spending billions of dollars on developing self-driving cars and trucks tout the idea that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will help create a safer, cleaner, and more mobile society. Politicians aren’t far behind in their enthusiasm for the new technology. “This is probably the biggest thing to hit the auto industry since the first car came off the assembly line,” Senator Gary Peters (D–MI) told a cheering audience of researchers and executives at a recent computing conference in Washington, D.C. “It will not only completely revolutionize the way we get around, but [AVs] also have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.” Such predictions, however, turn out to be based on surprisingly little research. While developers amass data on the sensors and algorithms that allow cars to drive themselves, research on the social, economic, and environmental effects of AVs is sparse. Truly autonomous driving is still decades away, according to most transportation experts. And because it’s hard to study something that doesn’t yet exist, the void has been filled by speculation—and starkly contrasting visions of the future. “The current conversation … falls into what I call the utopian and dystopian views,” says Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. In the utopian view, she says, fleets of cheap, accessible AVs offer rides at the tap of a screen. Their ubiquity expands transportation options for everyone. Once AVs are commonplace, traffic accidents become a thing of the past, and enlightened government regulatory policies result in fewer traffic jams...
Bike-share debacle isn’t unique to Baltimore. Thefts, other woes had also hit the early programs in N.Y., Paris

Bike-share debacle isn’t unique to Baltimore. Thefts, other woes had also hit the early programs in N.Y., Paris

By Luz Lazo October 4 Last fall, then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake touted Baltimore’s new bike-rental system as a sign of the city’s progress. “Our bike-share program will provide citizens with convenient and on-demand access to bikes for short-distance trips throughout the city,” she had said. “This is going to be great.” By summer, most of the 25 bike stations scattered around the city’s downtown and tourist areas were empty. Many of the 230 bikes were unaccounted for. Others had been found badly battered. About 100 bikes were in the shop on a given day in August, so many that keeping up with repairs was impossible. So the city chose to shut down the program, work on a solution, and possibly start over. To read the rest of the article, visit: ...
Smart Cities and the Future of Transportation

Smart Cities and the Future of Transportation

By: Susan Shaheen, 16 August 2017 Generations of ecologists, urban planners, and engineers have undoubtedly been influenced by the events that shaped their lives. Today, we are confronted with an infrastructure and economic challenge of epic proportions. Across the globe, our cities suffer from poor air quality and worsening congestion that strangles our roads and highways; wastes time and diminishes the savings and expendable income of families; and adversely impacts quality of life. In recent years, technological, economic, and environmental forces have quickly given rise to “Smart Cities” – a collective of municipal public and private partnerships leveraging information and communications technology (ICT) to more intelligently and efficiently use resources with the goals of achieving energy and taxpayer savings, improving service delivery and quality of life, and reducing adverse environmental impacts – all supporting innovation, government efficiency, and environmental sustainability. While precise definitions of smart cities may vary, smart cities frequently use ICT to manage an ecosystem of civic resources including: transportation systems, telecommunications, utilities, health and human services, public safety, and other community services. In both Europe and the United States, the transport sector accounts for approximately one quarter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Commission estimates that more than 70% of transportation GHG-related emissions come from roadway users. To read the rest of the article,...