As metropolitan area governments and others promote density-promoting “smart growth” policies, finer analysis is needed to quantify the impact of such policies on households' transportation and housing costs. Existing research suggests that households in urban areas trade-off between housing costs and transportation costs, but does not explore how policies to increase urban densities might explicitly impact this balance. Furthermore, the research does not adequately distinguish between the effect of urban area density and the effects of other factors associated with urban area density (e.g metropolitan area size and household incomes) on housing costs. This research uses the 2000 Census Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) person and household data from 23 of the nation's most densely populated states to identify the impact of increased population density on three housing cost measures: household rents, housing unit values, and monthly mortgage payments. Log linear models were estimated for each housing cost measure using least-squares regression. Dependent variables included household, housing unit, and geographic area characteristics, including population density. The models were found to be very similar to one another in terms of the...Read more
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This paper, co-authored with Ian W.H. Parry, derives formulas for the welfare effects of reforming subsidies for peak and off-peak urban rail and bus fares, and applies them to the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and London. The model accounts for congestion, pollution, oil dependence, and accident externalities associated with automobiles and each transit mode. It also accounts for scale economies in transit supply, costs of accessing and waiting for transit service, crowding costs, pre-existing fuel taxes, and the transit agency’s adjustment of frequency, vehicle size, and route network in response to changes in demand. We find that in almost all cases existing subsidies – which typically exceed 50% of operating costs – are either about right, or possibly too low, across bus and rail, peak and off-peak period, in the three cities.
Speaker Biography: Kenneth A. Small, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of California at Irvine, specializes in urban, transportation, and environmental economics. Recent research has concentrated on urban highway congestion, measurement of value of time and reliability, effects of fuel efficiency standards, public transit pricing, and the role of fuel taxes in managing external costs of automobiles. Prof. Small served five years as coeditor of the international journal, Urban Studies, and is now Associate...Read more
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Where curb parking is free and overcrowded, many drivers cruise for a curb space rather than pay to park off-street. Research throughout the last century has shown that cruising for parking accounts for a substantial share of the t in city centers. Charging the fair market price for curb parking can elimina this cruising and all its harmful side effects. Because city governments set the prices for curb parking, they play a large part in determining whether drivers cruise. Cruising for curb parking stems from faulty public prices.
Underpriced curb parking is a perverse subsidy because it encourages drivers to congest traffic, pollute the air, and waste fuel. Cities then spend more money trying to fix the congestion and pollution problems they have created. If cities want to reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, reduce energy waste, reduce greenhouse emissions, improve neighborhoods, and do this all quickly, they should charge the fair market price for curb parking and spend the resulting revenue to improve local public services. Getting the price of curb parking right will do a world of good.
Donald Shoup has extensively studied the issue of parking as a key link between transportation and land use, with important consequences for cities, the economy, and the environment. His research on employer-paid parking led to the passage of California’s parking cash-...Read more
ITS Lab (Engineeering 315)
Abstract: Despite the never-ending cascade of depressing economic developments recently, there are some encouraging new trends to be discovered. Some of these trends relate to the vehicles we buy and how we drive them, and the consequences of these actions. In this presentation, I will discuss several new findings about the positive influences of the recent economic changes on (1) the fuel efficiency of purchased new vehicles, (2) the amount and type of driving that we do, (3) how much carbon dioxide emissions we produce from driving, and (4) the number of road fatalities.
Bio: Dr. Michael Sivak is a Research Professor and the Head of the Human Factors Division of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Sivak's primary expertise is in perceptual and cognitive aspects of driving. Examples of his recent research topics include human-factors aspects of vehicle design, bounded rationality and driver behavior, and the relative risks of flying and driving. In 2001, he was named a Distinguished Research Scientist by the University of Michigan. In 2006, he received the A.R. Lauer Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society for outstanding contributions to human aspects of the broad area of safety.
Bicycle commuters represent a significant chunk of business consumers in Portland, Ore., one of America's most bike-friendly cities. OTREC research in the past year has provided data on how cyclists and other mode users patronize local businesses.