Metropolitan Transport and Land Use: Planning for Place and Plexus (2nd Edition)

I got my copies, you should too … Now available for order: Metropolitan Transport and Land Use.

MTLU-PPP2ndEdAs cities across the globe respond to rapid technological changes and political pressures, coordinated transport and land use planning is targeted as a solution and is the subject of increased interest.

Metropolitan Transport and Land Use, the second edition of Planning for Place and Plexus, provides unique and updated perspectives on metropolitan transport networks and land use planning, challenging current planning strategies, offering frameworks to understand and evaluate policy, and suggesting alternative solutions.

The book includes current and cutting edge theory, findings, and recommendations which are cleverly illustrated throughout using international examples. This revised work continues to serve as a valuable resource for students, researchers, practitioners, and policy advisors working across transport, land use, and planning.

About the Authors

David M. Levinson  is Professor of Transport at the University of Sydney School of Civil Engineering, Australia. From 1999 to 2016 he taught and served as Chair of Transportation at the University of Minnesota, USA, where this book was first crafted. He serves as the editor of the Journal of Transport and Land Use and is the author or editor of a dozen books.

Kevin J. Krizek is Professor of Environmental Design and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is Director in Environmental Design and serves as a Visiting Professor of “Cycling in Changing Urban Regions” at the Institute of Management Research at Radboud University, the Netherlands.

Contents

  1. Action
  2. Access: The Fundamental Force
  3. Homebuying.
  4. Jobseeking
  5. Traveling
  6. Scheduling
  7. Exchange
  8. Siting
  9. Selling
  10. Evaluation
  11. Arranging
  12. Assembling
  13. Administering
  14. Getting Beyond “Stuckness”

Reviews of the First Edition

Levinson, David and Krizek, Kevin (2008) Planning for Place and Plexus: Metropolitan Land Use and Transport Routledge.
Levinson, David and Krizek, Kevin (2008) Planning for Place and Plexus: Metropolitan Land Use and Transport Routledge.

‘A lively, engaging book…which uses neoclassical economic principles…in a digestible format. The authors go so far as to draw from the film “Thelma and Louise” to show how game theory can be applied in predicting whether someone will drive or take public transit. This provocative, highly relevant book deserves to be on the bookshelf of everyone concerned with urban planning and transportation.’

Robert Cervero, Professor and Chair
Department of City and Regional Planning
University of California, Berkeley

Purchase

The book is available from the following vendors.

You can order from any good independent bookstore as well: ISBN-13: 978-1138924260 … ISBN-10:1138924261

The Transportist: January 2018

Welcome to the January 2018 issue of The Transportist, which I have moved to the beginning of the month. As always you can follow along at the blog or on Twitter.

I hope Comrade Christmas, Hannukah Harry, or Elon Musk was good to you last year. While I hope to see many of you at TRB 2019. I will not be attending this year.

Books

Now available:

Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners. By David M. Levinson, Wes Marshall, Kay Axhausen.
Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners. By David M. Levinson, Wes Marshall, Kay Axhausen.

Nothing in cities makes sense except in the light of accessibility. Transport cannot be understood without reference to the location of activities (land use), and vice versa. To understand one requires understanding the other. However, for a variety of historical reasons, transport and land use are quite divorced in practice. Typical transport engineers only touch land use planning courses once at most, and only then if they attend graduate school. Land use planners understand transport the way everyone does, from the perspective of the traveler, not of the system, and are seldom exposed to transport aside from, at best, a lone course in graduate school. This text aims to bridge the chasm, helping engineers understand the elements of access that are associated not only with traffic, but also with human behavior and activity location, and helping planners understand the technology underlying transport engineering, the processes, equations, and logic that make up the transport half of the accessibility measure. It aims to help both communicate accessibility to the public.

Purchase:

 

Transportist Posts

Sydney

Transport News

Transit

Roads

AVs

 

SVs/Taxis

HGVs/Freight/Delivery

HPVs

History

Land Use

Science

 

Research

Elements of Access … On Sale Now

Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners. By David M. Levinson, Wes Marshall, Kay Axhausen.
Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners. By David M. Levinson, Wes Marshall, Kay Axhausen.

Now available: Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners. By David M. Levinson, Wes Marshall, Kay Axhausen. 342 pages, 164 Images (most in color). Published by the Network Design Lab.

About the Book

Nothing in cities makes sense except in the light of accessibility. 

Transport cannot be understood without reference to the location of activities (land use), and vice versa. To understand one requires understanding the other. However, for a variety of historical reasons, transport and land use are quite divorced in practice. Typical transport engineers only touch land use planning courses once at most, and only then if they attend graduate school. Land use planners understand transport the way everyone does, from the perspective of the traveler, not of the system, and are seldom exposed to transport aside from, at best, a lone course in graduate school. This text aims to bridge the chasm, helping engineers understand the elements of access that are associated not only with traffic, but also with human behavior and activity location, and helping planners understand the technology underlying transport engineering, the processes, equations, and logic that make up the transport half of the accessibility measure. It aims to help both communicate accessibility to the public.

Features & Details

  • Size 8×10 in, 21×26 cm.  340 Pages
  • Images 164 Images (most in color)
  • ISBN
    • Softcover: 9781389067617
    • Hardcover: 9781389067402

     

  • Publish Date Dec 31, 2017
  • Language English

Purchase


Table of Contents

I Introduction

1 Elemental Accessibility

  • 1.1  Isochrone
  • 1.2  Rings of Opportunity
  • 1.3  Metropolitan Average Accessibility

II The People

2 Modeling People

  • 2.1  Stages, Trips, Journeys, and Tours
  • 2.2  The Daily Schedule
  • 2.3  Coordination
  • 2.4  Diurnal Curve
  • 2.5  Travel Time
  • 2.6  Travel Time Distribution
  • 2.7  Social Interactions
  • 2.8  Activity Space
  • 2.9  Space-time Prism
  • 2.10  Choice
  • 2.11  Principle of Least Effort
  • 2.12  Capability
  • 2.13  Observation Paradox
  • 2.14  Capacity is Relative
  • 2.15  Time Perception
  • 2.16  Time, Space, & Happiness
  • 2.17  Risk Compensation

III The Places

3 The Transect

  • 3.1  Residential Density
  • 3.2  Urban Population Densities
  • 3.3  Pedestrian City
  • 3.4  Neighborhood Unit
  • 3.5  Bicycle City
  • 3.6  Bicycle Networks
  • 3.7  Transit City
  • 3.8  Walkshed
  • 3.9  Automobile City

4 Markets and Networks

  • 4.1  Serendipity and Interaction
  • 4.2  The Value of Interaction
  • 4.3  Firm-Firm Interactions
  • 4.4  Labor Markets and Labor Networks
  • 4.5  Wasteful Commute
  • 4.6  Job/Worker Balance
  • 4.7  Spatial Mismatch

IV The Plexus

5 Queueing

  • 5.1  Deterministic Queues
  • 5.2  Stochastic Queues
  • 5.3  Platooning
  • 5.4  Incidents
  • 5.5  Just-in-time

6 Traffic

  • 6.1  Flow
  • 6.2  Flow Maps
  • 6.3  Flux
  • 6.4  Traffic Density
  • 6.5  Level of Service
  • 6.6  Speed
  • 6.7  Shockwaves
  • 6.8  Ramp Metering
  • 6.9  Highway Capacity
  • 6.10  High-Occupancy
  • 6.11  Snow Business
  • 6.12  Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram
  • 6.13  Metropolitan Fundamental Diagram

7 Streets and Highways

  • 7.1  Highways
  • 7.2  Boulevards
  • 7.3  Street Furniture
  • 7.4  Signs, Signals, and Markings
  • 7.5  Junctions
  • 7.6  Conflicts
  • 7.7  Conflict Points
  • 7.8  Roundabouts
  • 7.9  Complete Streets
  • 7.10  Dedicated Spaces
  • 7.11  Shared Space
  • 7.12  Spontaneous Priority
  • 7.13  Directionality
  • 7.14  Lanes
  • 7.15  Vertical Separations
  • 7.16  Parking Capacity

8 Modalities

  • 8.1  Mode Shares
  • 8.2  First and Last Mile
  • 8.3  Park-and-Ride
  • 8.4  Line-haul
  • 8.5  Timetables
  • 8.6  Bus Bunching
  • 8.7  Fares
  • 8.8  Transit Capacity
  • 8.9  Modal Magnitudes

9 Routing

  • 9.1  Conservation
  • 9.2  Equilibrium
  • 9.3  Reliability
  • 9.4  Price of Anarchy
  • 9.5  The Braess Paradox
  • 9.6  Rationing
  • 9.7  Pricing

10 Network Topology

  • 10.1  Graph
  • 10.2  Hierarchy
  • 10.3  Degree
  • 10.4  Betweenness
  • 10.5  Clustering
  • 10.6  Meshedness
  • 10.7  Treeness
  • 10.8  Resilience
  • 10.9  Circuity

11 Geometries

  • 11.1  Grid
  • 11.2  BlockSizes
  • 11.3  Hex
  • 11.4  Ring-Radial

V The Production

12 Supply and Demand

  • 12.1  Induced Demand
  • 12.2  Induced Supply & Value Capture
  • 12.3  Cost Perception
  • 12.4  Externalities
  • 12.5  Lifecycle Costing
  • 12.6  Affordability

13 Synergies

  • 13.1  Economies of Scale
  • 13.2  Containerization
  • 13.3  Economies of Scope
  • 13.4  Network Economies
  • 13.5  Intertechnology Effects
  • 13.6  Economies of Agglomeration
  • 13.7  Economies of Amenity

VI The Progress

14 Lifecycle Dynamics

  • 14.1  Technology Substitutes for Proximity
  • 14.2  Conurbation
  • 14.3  Megaregions
  • 14.4  Path Dependence
  • 14.5  Urban Scaffolding
  • 14.6  Modularity
  • 14.7  Network Origami
  • 14.8  Volatility Begets Stability

15 Our Autonomous Future

Bibliography

The End of Traffic and the Future of Access | Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport | Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners | A Political Economy of Access

Metropolitan Transport and Land Use – Planning for Place and Plexus

Now available for pre-order, with a shipping date in December if all goes well: Metropolitan Transport and Land Use.

Metropolitan Transport and Land Use: Planning for Place and Plexus by David M. Levinson and Kevin J. Krizek
Metropolitan Transport and Land Use: Planning for Place and Plexus by David M. Levinson and Kevin J. Krizek

As cities across the globe respond to rapid technological changes and political pressures, coordinated transport and land use planning is targeted as a solution and is the subject of increased interest.

Metropolitan Transport and Land Use, the second edition of Planning for Place and Plexus, provides unique and updated perspectives on metropolitan transport networks and land use planning, challenging current planning strategies, offering frameworks to understand and evaluate policy, and suggesting alternative solutions.

The book includes current and cutting edge theory, findings, and recommendations which are cleverly illustrated throughout using international examples. This revised work continues to serve as a valuable resource for students, researchers, practitioners, and policy advisors working across transport, land use, and planning.

ISBN-13: 978-1138924260

ISBN-10:1138924261

About the Author

David M. Levinson is Professor of Transport Engineering at the University of Sydney School of Civil Engineering. From 1999-2016 he taught and served as Chair of Transportation at the University of Minnesota, where this book was first crafted. He serves as the editor of the Journal of Transport and Land Use and is the author or editor of a dozen books.

Kevin J. Krizek is Professor and Director in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder. He recently served as a Visiting Professor of ‘Cycling in Changing Urban Regions’ in the Institute of Management Research at Radboud University (the Netherlands).

On Writing Tools

I have been book-creating too much recently. I have used a number of tools to create these books. The tools below have all been used at various points for Future of Access, Spontaneous Access, the forthcoming Elements of Access, and the in-progress A Political Economy of Access.

MS Word – This is a terrible piece of software for writing and laying out books.

I don’t like MS Word and have issued a ukase against it.

Pros:

  • Everyone else in the world uses it, so it reduces time in migrating text from platform 1 to platform 2.
  • Track changes can be useful and doesn’t always crash.
  • It can be used to create proper figure and table captions.

Cons:

  • Consistent styles between words, paragraphs, sections chapters. Styles just proliferate, I can’t find a mode that doesn’t limit style proliferation automatically.
  • The ability to easily drag and drop sections and chapters. The text is continuous. Dealing with subsections is a pain.
  • Stability lacks, still.

Scrivener – This is a terrible piece of software for writing and laying out books.

I used this when initially setting up the books from blog posts, but eventually migrated out.

Pros:

  • It organizes books into Chapters and Sections, which is useful for reorganizing things without cutting and pasting. Its Storyboarding is the best feature.
  • It creates ePubs that can be uploaded to iBooks and Kindle, though I never got this far.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t keep styles consistent between chapters. The book is stylistically a mess, and anytime I bring text in from a new place, I have to fix the styles as well.
  • Footnoting/endnoting are not great.
  • Referencing is a mess.
  • Dealing with Figures and Tables is also not good.
  • Dealing with multiple authors (sharing files over DropBox) was a problem and led to version conflicts. Some of this was likely the fault of co-authors who don’t use DropBox carefully, but Scrivener seems not designed for this application.

Pages by Apple – This is a terrible piece of software for writing and laying out books.

Pros:

  • It’s a simple WYSIWYG writing tool.
  • It allows creation of  footnotes/endnotes.

Cons:

  • Consistent styles between words, paragraphs, sections, and  chapters are hard to achieve.
  • The ability to easily drag and drop sections and chapters.
  • Referencing is a mess.
  • It does not create proper figure captions. You are supposed to use a Text Box and attach it to the figure.
  • Each figure needs to be appropriately sized for ePub, it doesn’t do this intelligently.

iBooks Author by Apple – This is a terrible piece of software for writing and laying out books.

The ePub version of Spontaneous Access was published in this. Later I ported End of Traffic over from Pages because it is easier to reorganize with, and I wanted more consistency with the LaTeX version. I am using it not in the way it was intended to create iBooks, but instead the feature that creates ePubs.

Pros:

  • It creates ePubs that can be uploaded to iBooks and Kindle.
  • It also organizes books into Chapters and Sections, which is useful for reorganizing things without cutting and pasting.
  • It keeps styles consistent between chapters.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t create proper footnotes (it uses pop-ups instead, which is good on iBooks, terrible for Kindle),
  • It doesn’t create proper figure captions, though it is better than Pages in that it has some italic text below the figure. The Gallery feature is better in this regard.
  • Referencing is a mess.
  • It loses internal hyperlinks when cutting and pasting. Now I understand breaking links when moving if the thing linked to is no longer there, but when the two named things are both moved, the link should be regenerated, as it would be when moving an HTML or LaTeX file. In short the named link should be retained, not an index to that link which can then be lost. This is especially pertinent as the document may need to be rebuilt after a crash.
  • In addition to missing features, it is crash-prone. This kills just about everything. I have attempted to port Elements of Access, but get crashes for some reason. I assume there is a problem in the inputs (but somehow it worked before), but it doesn’t tell me what they are. In my limited time on earth, I will not spend more time debugging this document.

LaTeX – This is a terrible piece of software for writing and laying out books.

Pros:

  • It allows the author to organize books into Chapters and Sections, through use of \includes.
  • It keeps styles consistent between words, paragraphs, sections, and chapters.
  • It does footnotes well enough, though the raw text becomes a mess to look at, as the footnotes are not separate objects but part of the stream of text.
  • Referencing via BibDesk is excellent and allows standardization (aside from capitalization of proper names, which still needs customization). The .bib references can come straight from Google Scholar with a simple cut and paste.
  • The end product looks pretty good as PDF or paper. I really like the general look of the Tufte-Latex style.
  • It stores text in plain-text files, so it is robust to software evolution.
  • What you see is what you mean.

Cons:

  • Creating ePubs. ePubs from PDF look terrible.
  • Globally standardizing objects like figures and tables. Each can vary if the author is not careful, there are not systematic styles
  • It requires documents to be compiled, so you cannot immediately see your changes in a WYSIWYG manner. (Overleaf does this sort-of, but is laggy).
  • It drives the author to thinking like a programmer instead of getting out of the way, but The Overleaf cloud version reduces the pain points somewhat, but bogs down for long documents. Tracking down wayward commands or characters wastes time.
  • The learning curve is exceptionally steep

 

The problem is not writing text per se, it is combining text with images in an elegant way. Writing a book without images would be relatively straight-forward in most of these tools.

In short, my recommendation is to not undertake the creation of books until tools get better. Civilization can wait.

To be fair, I have not tested the Adobe products like InDesign. They look hard to learn (and I have learned LaTeX and program computers), are pricey, and proprietary.

Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport – Now in print

Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport is now available as a high-quality color trade paperbackIt is also available in hardcover.

It remains available as an eBook on Kindle Editions  and at the iBookstore. If you have the option, I encourage you to get it on Apple’s iBooks, where it has additional features, like pop-up references and image galleries, as it was designed in ePub3.

Spontaneous Cover-Front

Table of Contents

  1. The City Spontaneous
  2. The 60-Year Line
  3. Community without dendricity
  4. The pint-of-milk test
  5. The timeless way of building networks
  6. Axioms about roads
  7. Garden streets
  8. Vitality
  9. An archipelago of walkability
  10. Filling in
  11. Leapin’ frogs
  12. The reorganization of road function
  13. Beyond the plan view
  14. Interfaces of freedom
  15. Instruments of control
  16. Shared space
  17. Winter is coming
  18. Diversity as insurance
  19. Differentiate city and country
  20. Don’t confuse the place for the time
  21. Great Britain doesn’t have an Americans with Disabilities Act
  22. Designs serve varied and sometimes conflicting interests
  23. A vision of visions
  24. A faster horse
  25. The Ant and the Grasshopper
  26. Deconstructing Busytown
  27. Spontaneity in a can, spontaneity in a plan
  28. Building the city spontaneous
  29. Framing regional development
  30. First do no harm

There are several themes in the book:

Cities and their networks operate on multiple timescales simultaneously. Traffic lights change by the second, rights-of-way last millennia. Cities see massive daily flows of people in and out. The core, timeless, enduring elements contrast with the faddish ephemera that too much effort is focused on. The future is emerging, but determining what we are looking forward to will be enduring or ephemeral should be the critical focus of anyone involved with transport and city design.

This book does not shy away from the normative and prescriptive. In this it differs from much academic work, including my own, which tends to the positive and descriptive. Principles are laid out, which I believe to be true and correct, many of which are not scientific in the way they are framed. They of course may lead to testable hypotheses, but they are also value-based.

The idea of the ‘spontaneous city,’ one that serves needs and wants in real-time, is a theme running through both the title and the text. What conditions encourage people to take advantage of their city (and therefore make it stronger)? What conditions worsen life for the users of the city?

The emergence of new transport technologies gives us a chance to restore and correct, to right what is wrong with the places we live. From the railroad and electric streetcar creating separation between places where people lived and where they worked, to the elevator enabling high rise construction, to the motorcar which put suburbanization into over- drive, all significant transport innovations reshape cities. The new autonomous vehicle, the new electric vehicle, the new shared vehicle, the vehicle form, shape, and size are a transformation of similar scale and scope. These changes will create opportunities over the coming decades, which we can seize or reject.

This book is about how cities do work, how cities can work, and how cities should work. In part it is about traditional fields of planning and engineering, but takes a much broader concept of design principles than those fields usually do. This is because it is also about evolution and it is about opportunism. The world is changing fast. We can make it a more humane place than it has ever been, or we can allow it to devolve into a more brutish environment, where we remain a victim of our collectively built environments, rather than their master.

When the book speaks of ‘cities’ it really means the entire metropolitan ‘urban system,’ not just the historic core city (or the central business district). Downtown is but a part of the city, and the central city in many metropolises is not even a plurality of residents.

Much of this book includes complaint, and it may feel like shouting into the wind. But every complaint is about a design failure, either with intention or by accident, that degrades experience for everyone, or degrades the experience of some for the benefit of others. Life is comprised of tradeoffs, but not all tradeoffs are made at the appropriate rate of exchange. Both cities and their transport networks are the product of thoughtful human actions and unconscious emergent processes, where systematic behavior drives the underlying logic of designs.

The optimal design of transport networks to serve the goal of spontaneous access cannot be determined in the absence of knowledge about the actual development pattern. The optimal development pattern cannot be known without regards to the plan of the network. Discovering the right combinations of networks, land use, and other urban features is what makes cities successful. The measure of their success is their population, their wealth, their happiness.

But even more importantly, the optimal transport network for the technology of one era is not necessarily the optimal network of the future, and the same is true for development.


Much of Spontaneous Access is drawn from my blog transportist.org, or streets.mn, although it has been significantly edited and reorganized from posts that may have appeared there. In that sense, it is a younger sibling to the recent (2015) book The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport with Kevin Krizek. It is a collection of reflexions (a somewhat archaic British way of spelling “reflections”), short essays that collectively give insight into today’s design problems and some possible solutions.

How you want your books

Since I am preparing several manuscripts for release soon, I did a series of Twitter polls on the preferred format of release. The results are as follows below. While these are not ‘scientific’, unlike say, nothing, they seem right, and while results no doubt vary by field, this seems mostly right.

 

 

 

 

 

In short, for paper, you clearly want softcover AND color. You probably want cheaper paper, but I suspect this really depends. A slim majority prefer PDF to ePub format at the same price.

So you will get softcover AND color, and I will fret about whether the paper/image quality from the higher cost is worthwhile. If there is demand, there may be hardcover too, but I don’t think anyone but my mom and maybe a library will get it.

You will get PDF, and maybe ePub too if I’m feeling either generous or obsessive.

 

Review of The Transportation Experience

Frank Manheim at GMU reviews The Transportation Experience, Second Edition.  [copied below from Journal of Planning Education and Research 36(2) p.271-72 (behind a paywall)]

The Transportation Experience: Second Edition
The Transportation Experience: Second Edition

Garrison, William L., and David M. Levinson. 2014. The Transportation Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 605 pp. $92.00 (paperback). ISBN 978-0-19-986271-9

Reviewed by: Frank T. Manheim, George Mason University DOI: 10.1177/0739456X16644800 

The Transportation Experience offers unique breadth of scholarship in describing the history of US transportation. Its erudition and insightful links with other aspects of societal evolution are improbably combined with an informal, colloquial style that makes most of the book widely accessible. However, a curious omission emerges as the narrative reaches the modern era. The senior author acknowledges in his afterword that he deliberately minimizes engagement with politically controversial subjects.

The first paragraph already demonstrates the book’s flair for dramatic impact. It describes actions of Thomas Jefferson, head of the US Patent Office, on August 26, 1791. Four applicants sought patents for complete steamboat designs. “Solomonically dividing the patent spoils kept any from dominating the market and developing a large enough market to succeed” (3). The multilevel insights from this anecdote reveal that Jefferson, the brilliant inventor, naturalist, and intellectual and political leader, made a decision that impeded people and progress he wanted to encourage. The primary source of such erudition is the senior author, William L. Garrison, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. His peripatetic studies over more than a half-century (Garrison was born in 1924) complement the book’s detailed account of transportation with insights from tangential fields like history, engineering, economics, and social psychology.

This second edition is completely restructured, extensively rewritten, and augmented in comparison with the first edition of 2005. In contrast to the first edition’s prefatory discussions, this book has no preface, introduction, or discrete acknowledgments. It is far more tightly organized. After a detailed table of contents, the treatment is divided into parts, thirty-five numbered sections that run through five overlapping “waves” of chronological developments, and “phases of the life cycle,” that the authors initially describe as brainstorming sessions.

Grounded as it is in deep scholarship, the colloquial style of the book probably reflects contributions by the junior author, David Levinson, a civil engineer and professor at the University of Minnesota who has special interest in transportation. But addressing readers more personally also appears congenial to Garrison. He closes by offering an invitation to readers to “have fun imagining alternative development pathways that will exchange today’s problems, both obvious and obscure, for new ones” (p. 524).

Wave 1 (1790–1851) is subdivided into three sections: “Rivers of Steam” describing the early history of the steam

engine, the steamboat, and inland waterways; “Design by Design: The Birth of the Railway”; and “Incentivizing Investment: Roads through the Turnpike Era.” Subsequent waves deal not only with new subjects like maritime transport, including trading companies, ports, cargo and passenger vessels, and biographical detail on the great marine engineers, Marc and Isambard Brunel. They update developments in earlier transportation modes like railroads (Wave 2, 1844–1896) with topics as diverse as “Trial and Error,” “Learning about Freight Rate-Making,” “Cornelius Vanderbilt,” and “Comments by Social Critics.” Waves 3, 4, and 5 encompass the periods 1890–1950, 1939–1991, and “Modern Times,” respectively.

The waves focus on but are not limited to their time period. Events are often placed in historical perspective by chronological profiles extending to the present.

Many of the book’s figures and tables qualify as what l call leveraged illustrations. Such illustrations compress important insights and in-depth research into simple and eas- ily understandable figures. For example, Wave 2 includes a plot of total US railroad route kilometers from 1830 to 2010, peaking in 1920. Subsequent declines in route kilometers have an inflection point marking accelerated losses after 1970. Most other advanced nations experienced losses but none as great as this country.

“Life cycle” discussions clarify factors affecting transportation and related fields. Phase 1 of the life cycle discusses inventing and innovations. Phase 2 introduces the concept of the “magic bullet,” which refers to innovations that make possible reductions in cost, and often make gains in convenience and accessibility. Henry Ford’s assembly line is a classic example. Impactful generalizations allow readers to independently discern nontransportation as well as transportation applications. For example, I identified the supermarket, Amazon, and Ebay as non-transportation magic bullets.

Phase 3 of the life cycle, titled “Aging in Place, Aging sans Grace,” describes a central problem for transportation. “As systems transition from innovation through growth to maturity, the administration of the systems transitions from entrepreneurs and engineers to managers. Organizations become more and more risk averse; taking chances tends to be punished.” Section 18 includes a summary of leading theories and strategies for coping with the problem.

The authors like evocative labels for their waves, such as “Lord Kelvin’s curse” (in Wave 4, 1939–1991). This “curse” is defined as work that puts emphasis on numbers rather than thinking. Among examples, the authors cite the advent of the Universal Urban Transportation Planning System (UTPS), which created a “clean break from precursor planning systems.” However, modern UTPSs “ignored the well-honed planning techniques for arterial roads and local streets lodged in urban public works offices.”

Section 24 provides a brief discussion of theoretical topics such as temporal and spatial dynamics, the network design problem (NDP), “Macro-Economics vs. Life Cycle Economics,” queuing models, metacycles, and historic path dependence. Section 26, “Meta-cycles,” which closes Wave 4, deals with capital, cyclicity, and the new role of innovation in the production function.

“Wave Five: Modern Times” faced a challenge because of difficulty in addressing the vast literature and complex controversies over environmental change and energy in limited space. A good opening of this topic is provided by reference to George Perkins Marsh’s pioneering and influential book Man and Nature (1864), which warned Americans about abuse of the natural environment (the date of its first edition is erroneously cited as 1850). The ensuing treatment provides basic data such as energy consumption and use by auto, air, and rail transportation after World War II, but this section largely ignores a huge rhinoceros in the living room: government policies and sociopolitical issues.

The great strengths of the book are already suggested in its first paragraph. Heading these is its formidable scholarship in transportation history. Next, wide-ranging technologies, evolutions, and human responses encountered in the development of transportation systems are described with an irreverently colorful and informal writing style. The authors have the rare gift of using detail to clarify and enliven rather than to complicate and obscure generic concepts like “disjoint incrementalism.” Disjoint incrementalism refers to improvements or expansion of technology in one area that ignores possible adverse effects on others. It is illustrated by truckers’ adoption of high-pressure radial tires that disproportionately damage roads. No other book offers as great a wealth of historic detail, presented in vital and candid ways. Consistent clarity in explaining terms and concepts while the narrative builds a detailed framework of knowledge makes the book highly recommendable for non- specialists and beginning students as well as a basic historical reference for professional practitioners and academic researchers.

The startlingly and inappropriately minimal space given to law, politics, and governmental policies is due in large part to the authors’ stated principle of not commenting on “today’s debates and actions” (p. 412). The senior author says about this policy in his part of the Afterwords: “I wear one hat when judging whether or not to enter ongoing affairs. I wear a second hat when debating goals, programs, opportunities, etc.”

Garrison’s honesty about avoiding politically contentious subjects is consistent with the book’s open style and contrasts with some academic studies that simply dance around sensitive issues. But what is the point of devoting such concentrated thought and space to nonpolitical transportation issues if they are overridden in importance by government policies and politics? Rietveld and Stough (2007) indicate that it is possible to address sensitive topics like regulatory reform (or deregulation) while retaining scholarly objectivity. These authors as well as Black (2003) review important insights from European nations’ experience, another area largely omitted by Garrison and Levinson. Author Levinson would apparently be readier to grapple with politics, judging from his account in the Afterwords of the failure of the I35W bridge over the Mississippi River at Minneapolis. He cites existence of 72,500 structurally deficient bridges in the United States, concluding that “Americans can seem good at short-term tactics but poor at long-term strategy. This needs to be rectified.”

The critical role of government for good or ill is hard to overestimate. Excessive regulation helped undermine the United States’ passenger rail system (Gallamore and Meyer 2014). The Clean Air Act Amendments (1970 and later) were effective in reducing air pollution but had unintended adverse effects on urban areas’ transportation planning systems (Garrett and Wachs 1996). Uncoordinated proliferation of permitting authorities in response to environmental concern in the 1970s is described by Manheim (2009) as a key factor in delays and increases in the cost of transportation and other major construction projects. The Chrysler building, a revered jewel in New York City, was completed in twenty months from 1928 to 1930. Contrast this with Boston’s scandal-ridden Big Dig. Permitting began in 1982, final approval was received nine years later, and highway I93 was fully opened only in 2005.

The book by Garrison and Levinson can be warmly recommended as a mine of information on US and early UK transportation development in a broadly based historical framework. The twenty-seven pages of references provide documentation of the book’s data. However, they do not provide balanced coverage, leaving out reference to authoritative and influential transportation authorities like William R. Black and John R. Meyer. Finally, the book does not provide adequate treatment of contemporary transportation problems or foreign experience.

References

Black, William R. 2003. Transportation: A Geographic Analysis. New York: Guilford Press.

Gallamore, Robert E., and John R. Meyer. 2014. American Railroads: Decline and Renaissance in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Garrett, Mark, and Martin Wachs. 1996. Transportation Planning on Trial: The Clean Air Act and Travel Forecasting (Metropolis & Region). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Manheim, Frank T. 2009. The Conflict over Environmental Regulation in the United States: Origins, Outcomes, and Comparison with the EU and Other Regions. New York: Springer.

Rietveld, Peter, and Roger Stough, eds. 2007. Institutions and Sustainable Transport: Regulatory Reform in Advanced Economies. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Improving Urban Access: New Approaches to Funding Transport Investment

A new book is out, I had the opportunity to preview and blurb it:

Improving Urban Access: New Approaches to Funding Transport Investment

Edited by Elliott D. SclarMåns LönnrothChristian Wolmar. 2016 – Routledge

 

Reviews

“Improving Urban Access” provides a wide-ranging introduction to the issues of funding and financing urban transport, ranging from how we got into the current predicament to the prospects for a variety of solutions that might make transport more inclusive, efficiently funded, and soundly managed. The ideas discussed here should be deeply understood by everyone concerned with transport policy and planning.” – David M. Levinson, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Richard P. Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation Engineering

Improving Urban Access is a must-read for the 21st century generation of transport and urban planners. Lessons learned have called for a bold rethinking of planning and implementation of a highway-centered landscape. With an emphasis on access – where access addresses quality of life and place, old models of mobility give way to rethinking the institutions that serve our growing urban areas, the ways in which citizens can finance new transport modes and how – we can achieve a more equitable social structure.” – Robert E. Paaswell, Distinguished Professor City University, City College of New York, former CEO of the Chicago Transit Authority

“Many public servants are so desperate to “find” additional revenues for urban transportation that they may lose sight of what they are trying to accomplish and why. This book does an excellent job of reminding us that how something is funded directly impacts the societal outcomes we are wishing to achieve, pointing out that careful consideration of funding mechanisms is absolutely critical to success.” – Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer, Los Angeles County Metro, former President of the Eno Center for Transportation

“Transportation policy scholarship is changing slowly but dramatically, and this second stimulating milestone book by these editors charts that transition. Contributors forcefully address the most important unresolved questions as transportation thinking moves from forecasting demand and providing facilities to a new emphasis on access, social and economic equity, and environmental sustainability.” – Martin Wachs, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Urban Planning and Civil Engineering University of California Los Angles and University of California, Berkeley