Making Accessibility Work in Practice

Recently Published:

  • El-Geneidy, Ahmed and Levinson, D. (2021) Making Accessibility Work in Practice. Transport Reviews [doi] [first 50 free download]

Accessibility, the ease of reaching destination, is the most comprehensive land use and transport systems performance measure (Levinson & Wu, 2020; Wachs & Kumagai, 1973; Wu & Levinson, 2020). Accessibility has been applied in planning research since the 1950s (Hansen, 1959), and still today, we find major barriers to adopting it in practice (Handy, 2020). Advances in computing and software have enabled researchers to generate complex measures of accessibility with higher spatial and temporal resolutions moving accessibility research at a fast pace, while the implementation of accessibility, in practice, lags (Boisjoly & El-Geneidy, 2017). Even simple measures, such as the cumulative opportunities measures of accessibility, confront challenges in adoption.

TRANSPORTIST: SEPTEMBER 2021

Catbagger n. Someone who tries to put the cat back in the bag. I.e. someone attempting a futile act too late, which may have been prevented but cannot be reversed.

In Australia are currently experiencing an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases as part of the Delta Wave. This is sad, and results in a few deaths daily (a rate, mind you, that is low enough other countries use it as a level at which lockdowns are lifted, rather than imposed). The rise is due to any number of mistakes that went previously. Iwon’t re-litigate the past. Instead, I posit that had those mistakes not been made at that time, lessons from those mistakes wouldn’t have been learned, and a similar mistake would have then been made shortly thereafter. This is not an apology for incompetence, and I am sure none of the Transportist readers would have made those mistakes had they been in charge, but is an acknowledgement that like COVID-19, incompetence is endemic and no one competent person can be everywhere simultaneously, and everyone relies on systems that are only as good as their weakest link.

If not for some outbreak, people would not (over)-react, leaving the same conditions in place for a later outbreak. While on average one prefers to avoid mistakes, it is only by mistakes that lessons are learned, pre-planning is imperfect, and we can plan and prepare for any number of eventualities that would never occur at great cost, leaving us worse off than those who react to the eventualities that do actually occur without having wasted resources preparing for those that don’t.

So while it may be psychologically or politically important to blame individuals who should have done this instead of that, or have learned from the mistakes of others, (and obviously the best people do better than the worst, by definition), and hopefully select slightly less incompetent administrators, that merely would have delayed the mostly inevitable outcome in terms of cases and deaths. And until there were COVID outbreaks, or very obvious prospects of COVID outbreaks, no vaccine would have been developed, no vaccine would have been manufactured, and no one would have gotten vaccinated, leaving everyone vulnerable to a COVID outbreak. 

Posts

Polls

  1. For authors, considering peer review: Are you biased so as to be more likely to accept papers that cite you? Are others (generally) similarly biased?
  • I am/Others are 46.3%
  • I am not/Others are 24.4%
  • I am/Others are not 0%
  • I am not/Others are not. 29.3%

At least no one admitted to being more unethical than the population as a whole (choice 3). About half the people admitted bias (choice 1 and 3), indicating that the people who thought “Others are not” (choices 3 and 4) are hopelessly naive. I tend towards choice 2 for myself, at least I hope I am not.

  1. How much time would you be willing to sacrifice at the end of your life (your life would be X units of time shorter) to forego 1 month of lockdown for yourself?
  • 0-1 hour 44.4%
  • 1-24 hours 17.8%
  • 1-6 days 11.1%
  • 7 or more days 26.7%

Now these are Twitter polls, so sampling bias is rife, and questions cannot be particularly sophisticated (lockdown means different things to different people in different places, what about lockdown for other people, etc.), but it does suggest that many people think that lockdown makes their life worse off in a way that suggests their benefits (reducing COVID cases) need to be countered with their costs (diminished quality of life). It also suggests that some other people really like lockdown, and if there had been negative numbers, some people who elected for choice 1 might have given up time at the end of their life to preserve lockdown longer. This I think gets pack to the Plants vs. Animals dichotomy I developed last year.

Videos

Conferences

DAVID LEVINSON AWARD FOR BEST PAPER

WSTLUR 2021 (PORTLAND)
  • Viewpoint: Turning streets into housing
    Adam Millard-Ball, University of California Los Angeles 
HONORABLE MENTION BEST PAPER
  • The inevitability of automobility: how private car use is perpetuated in a Greenfield estate
    Jennifer Kent, University of Sydney 

BEST STUDENT-LED PAPER 

WSTLUR 2021 (PORTLAND)
  • Traffic-Land Use Compatibility and Street Design Impacts of Automated Driving in Vienna, Austria
    Emilia Brucke and Aggelos Soteropolis, Technical University of Vienna 
HONORABLE MENTION BEST STUDENT-LED PAPER
  • Traffic Noise Feedback in Agent-Based Integrated Land-Use/Transport Models
    Nico Kuehnel (Technical University of Munich), Dominik Ziemke (Technical University of Dresden, and Rolf Moeckel (Technical University of Munich) 

BEST PHD DISSERTATION

WSTLUR 2021 (PORTLAND)
HONORABLE MENTION BEST PHD DISSERTATION

Research and Presentation

Research

Research by Others

Jobs

News & Opinion

WSTLUR Awards

The World Society for Transport and Land Use Research presents awards at each Symposium. The conference took place last week, and I had the honour of bestowing the Best Paper and Best Student-Led Paper awards (and the honour of being the namesake of one of the awards). Congratulations to the winners who are:

David Levinson Award for Best Paper

WSTLUR 2021 (Portland)

  • Viewpoint: Turning streets into housing
    Adam Millard-Ball, University of California Los Angeles 

Honorable mention best paper

  • The inevitability of automobility: how private car use is perpetuated in a Greenfield estate
    Jennifer Kent, University of Sydney 

Best Student-Led Paper 

WSTLUR 2021 (Portland)

  • Traffic-Land Use Compatibility and Street Design Impacts of Automated Driving in Vienna, Austria
    Emilia Brucke and Aggelos Soteropolis, Technical University of Vienna 

Honorable mention best student-led paper

  • Traffic Noise Feedback in Agent-Based Integrated Land-Use/Transport Models
    Nico Kuehnel (Technical University of Munich), Dominik Ziemke (Technical University of Dresden, and Rolf Moeckel (Technical University of Munich) 

Best PhD Dissertation

WSTLUR 2021 (Portland)

Honorable Mention Best PhD Dissertation

Accessibility-oriented planning: Why and how to make the switch

Laura Aston and I are presenting: Accessibility-oriented planning: Why and how to make the switch
We will talk about the Transport Access Manual, and our recent article in ITE Journal.

AUGUST WEBINAR
Accessibility-oriented planning

Why and how to make the switch

Date:  Tuesday, 17 August 2021
Time:  4:30 pm to 6:00 pm AEST
Venue: Online
Cost:  free

Accessibility is not a new measure of transport system performance. It was conceptualised in its present form more than 60 years ago. It has garnered attention of late, buoyed by the dual concerns of equity and sustainability in transport, as well as the increased availability of data and software to measure it. The Transport Access Manual has been developed to demystify access measurement. In this seminar, David Levinson and Laura Aston discuss the essential elements of access measurement.

Presenters:


David Levinson
Professor David M. Levinson teaches at the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney, where he leads TransportLab and the Transport Engineering Research group, and directs the Master of Transport. His most recent research emphasises transport-land use interactions, accessibility, and transport system evolution.


Laura Aston
Laura is a sustainable transport professional with experience across research, government and consulting. She has contributed to projects which aim to increase access by active and public transport modes through urban design and land use integration. Laura holds a PhD from Monash University for research exploring the link between the built environment and public transport use.

Please register your attendance and receive a link to the online meeting via Trybooking.

** Attendance at this event may be claimed as 1.5 hours of CPD. **

Update: The Webinar can be seen here.

COVID-19, Travel Time Reliability, and the Emergence of a Double-Humped Peak Period

Recently published:

  • Gao, Yang, and David Levinson. 2021. “COVID-19, Travel Time Reliability, and the Emergence of a Double-Humped Peak Period.” Findings, August. [doi].

This paper explores the travel time variance, occupancy heterogeneity level, and average network traffic flow of Minneapolis-St. Paul freeway network and determines the time-lag relationship between travel time variance and the spatio-temporal distribution of congestion (occupancy). It finds COVID-19 reduced the travel time variability of the urban freeway network and notably makes visible a double-humped peak period in the diurnal traffic flow curve.

We believe the reason for the emergence of the double-humped pattern is the changing composition of the commuting workforce. 

Transportist: August 2021

Accessibility for asynchronous aspatiality. Living in Lockdown.

Posts

Notes from a Prison ColonyAs I write this, my city is now in the eighth year of nearly continuous “lockdown” to “eliminate” the dread virus Covid.

Reviews of the Post

  • (1) This post reads like a potential script for a “Black Mirror” episode. “I am only sorry we didn’t begin lockdowns before the virus arrived. I will be sad to see them removed.” But it feels more like a future documentary.
  • (2) Thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece on COVID19’s “Chet” variant in the 8th year of lockdown and its impact on our city and lives.
  • (3) This is an award winning quality satire, seriously. 
    • (4) What! – this is satire? Feels like a credible futurist prediction.
  • (5) Brilliant

Polls

Where is Sydney now on the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle with respect to COVID-19/Delta, cause it sure isn’t Acceptance. The mood is (ref):

  • Denial 22.2%
  • Anger 25%
  • Depression 30.6%
  • Bargaining 22.2%

Videos

  • The Transportation Experience is now on Video

I have used The Transportation Experience as a primary text for my Transport Policy, Planning, and Deployment class at Minnesota and Sydney for a number of years, and a few other schools use it as well. Over that time, the presentation has evolved. In 2019 I decided to flip the class for 2020, so it would be less of me lecturing, and more interactive. That proved fortuitous planning, as we soon went online, and asynchronous lecturing became standard.

There is no good reason to keep the videos bottled up, knowledge should be free.  I don’t think I will lose any students or book sales by making these videos available more widely, so I am making them available more widely.

To that end, the videos accompanying The Transportation Experience are now online, you can see them on the YouTube Playlist, and the specific videos by chapter listed in the Table of Contents. Happy viewing.

Preface  [Video

Part One – Wave One: 1790–1851 
1. Rivers of Steam [Video
2. Design by Design: The Birth of the Railway [Video
3. The Turnpike Era [Video

Part Two – Phase 1 of the Life-Cycle 
4. Inventing and Innovating [Video

Part Three – Wave Two 1844–1896 
5. Maritime Modes [Video
6. Railroads Deployed [Video
7. Good Roads [Video
8. Transit [Video
9. Telegraph [Video

Part Four – Phase 2 of the Life-Cycle 
10. Magic Bullet  [Video

Part Five – Wave Three 1890-1950 
11. American Shipping  [Video
12. Taking Flight [Video
13. Railroads Regulated [Video
14. Bustitution [Video
15. Public Roads [Video
16. Urban Planning: Who Controls the Turf?  [Video
17. Telephone  [Video

Part Six – Phase 3 of the Life-Cycle 
18. Aging  [Video]

Part Seven – Wave Four: 1939-1991 
19. Logistics  [Video
20. The Jet Age [Video
21. Railroads Rationalized [Video
22. Interstate [Video
23. Recapitalization [Video
24. Lord Kelvin’s Curse [Video

Part Eight – Life-Cycle Dynamics 
25. Lifecycle [Video
26. Meta-cycles [Video

Part Nine – Wave Five: Modern Times 
27. Energy and Environment [Video
28. Higher-speed rail [Video
29. Internet [Video
30. Technology: Hard and Soft [Video

Part Ten – Beyond the Life-Cycle 
31. Policy [Video
32. Speculations [Video

Part Eleven – Afterwords: Reflections on Transportation Experiences 
33. I-35W [Video
34. Design of a Life [Video
35. Commencement [Video

Part Twelve – End Matter 
Appendix 
Notes 
Bibliography

Conferences

TransportLab has presentations at WSTLUR next week:

Tuesday August 10 at 6 am  Sydney time

… Jennifer Kent: Special Session on Dogs

Tuesday August 10 at 7  am  Sydney time

1C. Accessibility: Frameworks, Concepts, and Theories

… David Levinson and Hao Wu. Towards a General Theory of Access

Tuesday August 10 at  8 am  Sydney time

2B. Accessibility. Moderator: David Levinson

… Bahman Lahoorpoor, Hema Rayaprolu, Hao Wu and David Levinson. Access-oriented design? Disentangling the effect of land use and transport network on accessibility…

… Jeff Allen, Steven Farber, Stephen Greaves, Geoffrey Clifton, Hao Wu, Somwrita Sarkar and David M Levinson. Immigrant settlement patterns, transit accessibility, and transit use

Wednesday August 11 at 1 am Sydney time

5A. Cycling and health. Moderator: Jennifer Kent

Wednesday August 11 at 9 am Sydney time

7A. Land Development & Auto-dependance.

… Jennifer Kent. The inevitability of automobility: how private car use is perpetuated in a greenfield estate

7C. Accessibility Impacts

… Hema Rayaprolu and David Levinson. Rent/price ratios and access to jobs by transit

Research and Presentation

  • Laura Aston and David Levinson (2021) Accessibility-Oriented Planning: Why and How to Make the SwitchITE Journal(August). p25-29. … Discusses the Transport Access Manual.
    • AUGUST WEBINAR
      Accessibility-oriented planning

      Why and how to make the switchDate:  Tuesday, 17 August 2021
      Time:  4:30 pm to 6:00 pm AEST
      Venue: Online
      Cost:  freeAccessibility is not a new measure of transport system performance. It was conceptualised in its present form more than 60 years ago. It has garnered attention of late, buoyed by the dual concerns of equity and sustainability in transport, as well as the increased availability of data and software to measure it. The Transport Access Manual has been developed to demystify access measurement. In this seminar, David Levinson and Laura Aston discuss the essential elements of access measurement.

Research by Others

News & Opinion

TransportLab at the World Symposium for Transport and Land Use Research

TransportLab has presentations at WSTLUR next week:

Tuesday August 10 at 6 am  Sydney time

… Jennifer Kent: Special Session on Dogs

Tuesday August 10 at 7  am  Sydney time

1C. Accessibility: Frameworks, Concepts, and Theories

… David Levinson and Hao Wu. Towards a General Theory of Access

Tuesday August 10 at  8 am  Sydney time

2B. Accessibility. Moderator: David Levinson

… Bahman Lahoorpoor, Hema Rayaprolu, Hao Wu and David Levinson. Access-oriented design? Disentangling the effect of land use and transport network on accessibility…

… Jeff Allen, Steven Farber, Stephen Greaves, Geoffrey Clifton, Hao Wu, Somwrita Sarkar and David M Levinson. Immigrant settlement patterns, transit accessibility, and transit use

Wednesday August 11 at 1 am Sydney time

5A. Cycling and health. Moderator: Jennifer Kent

Wednesday August 11 at 9 am Sydney time

7A. Land Development & Auto-dependance.

… Jennifer Kent. The inevitability of automobility: how private car use is perpetuated in a greenfield estate

7C. Accessibility Impacts

… Hema Rayaprolu and David Levinson. Rent/price ratios and access to jobs by transit

The Transportation Experience: The Video Experience

I have used The Transportation Experience as a primary text for my Transport Policy, Planning, and Deployment class at Minnesota and Sydney for a number of years, and a few other schools use it as well. Over that time, the presentation has evolved. In 2019 I decided to flip the class for 2020, so it would be less of me lecturing, and more interactive. That proved fortuitous planning, as we soon went online, and asynchronous lecturing became standard.

There is no good reason to keep the videos bottled up, knowledge should be free.  I don’t think I will lose any students or book sales by making these videos available more widely, so I am making them available more widely.

To that end, the videos accompanying The Transportation Experience are now online, you can find the YouTube Playlist below, and the specific videos by chapter listed in the Table of Contents. Happy viewing.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

(with accompanying [Video] links)

Preface  [Video]

Part One – Wave One: 1790–1851
1. Rivers of Steam [Video]
2. Design by Design: The Birth of the Railway [Video]
3. The Turnpike Era [Video]

Part Two – Phase 1 of the Life-Cycle
4. Inventing and Innovating [Video]

Part Three – Wave Two 1844–1896
5. Maritime Modes [Video]
6. Railroads Deployed [Video]
7. Good Roads [Video]
8. Transit [Video]
9. Telegraph [Video]

Part Four – Phase 2 of the Life-Cycle
10. Magic Bullet  [Video]

Part Five – Wave Three 1890-1950
11. American Shipping  [Video]
12. Taking Flight [Video]
13. Railroads Regulated [Video]
14. Bustitution [Video]
15. Public Roads [Video]
16. Urban Planning: Who Controls the Turf?  [Video]
17. Telephone  [Video]
Part Six – Phase 3 of the Life-Cycle
18. Aging  [Video]
Part Seven – Wave Four: 1939-1991
19. Logistics  [Video]
20. The Jet Age [Video]
21. Railroads Rationalized [Video]
22. Interstate [Video]
23. Recapitalization [Video]
24. Lord Kelvin’s Curse [Video]

Part Eight – Life-Cycle Dynamics
25. Lifecycle [Video]
26. Meta-cycles [Video]

Part Nine – Wave Five: Modern Times
27. Energy and Environment [Video]
28. Higher-speed rail [Video]
29. Internet [Video]
30. Technology: Hard and Soft [Video]

Part Ten – Beyond the Life-Cycle
31. Policy [Video]
32. Speculations [Video]

Part Eleven – Afterwords: Reflections on Transportation Experiences
33. I-35W [Video]
34. Design of a Life [Video]
35. Commencement [Video]

Part Twelve – End Matter
Appendix
Notes
Bibliography

The videos were produced by Bahman Lahoorpoor, who synchronised audio and video, and helped extend the slides I had previously had. 

Transportist: July 2021

I am spinning off a large section of this newsletter, as we are launching a new Findings newsletter, which will have all of the news about Transport Findings and Urban Findings. If you receive the Transportist as a subscription, you have been signed up. Look for that in your inbox shortly.

Videos

30-Minutes

Other Interviews

Research

This study focusses on the potential to better inform the planning, scheduling, delivery, maintenance, and coordination of social infrastructure in the rapidly growing greenfield areas of major Australian cities through the use of big data sources and techniques. The research focusses on greenfield areas of Sydney, Brisbane and Perth greater metropolitan regions to demonstrate data sources and methods that can be replicated in other locations.

This study used several novel data sources to develop a monitoring and coordination tool that enables mapping of fine spatial scale accessibility for various social infrastructure dimensions. The tool is used to demonstrate accessibility to schools and hospitals, including their hierarchical distributions. The authors also conducted a panel discussion and workshop with several local and state government officials, along with private industry consultants and practitioners, to reveal how the tool could be beneficial in different policy and planning contexts.

Findings indicated that social and community infrastructure is critical to the effective functioning of rapidly growing urban regions, but lag times between population growth and new infrastructure delivery are pervasive in new greenfield development areas. The research also found timely fine-grained spatial data is critical to informing and measuring performance in spatial planning and infrastructure delivery processes, but existing datasets are limited.

This study breaks new ground, as it extends the idea of accessibility to social infrastructure as a critical facility to support daily life.

Research by Others

NEWS & OPINION

OBITUARIES