Monday, October 31, 2005

The Rebellion Hath Arrived

The Oct. 31, 2005, edition of Bacon's Rebellion hath been published. Thou canst read it here.

Noteworthy for those interested in transportation and land use reform:

Coping with $60-per-Barrel Oil
Sen. John Watkins wants to devise a long-term energy plan for Virginia. Let's hope that plan includes free markets, micro-power, conservation and land use reform.
by James A. Bacon

Mobility and Access: A Report Card
Philip Shucet ran a tight ship at VDOT, but his 10 recommendations for transportation reform reflect the tunnel vision of a highway engineer. He still doesn't get the need for fundamental change in human settlement patterns.
by EM Risse

And, last but not least, a repeat article from the last edition with the correct link:

Pork on Steroids
Transportation spending at the federal level has become a raw money grab, and it's getting that way in Virginia, too.
by William Vincent


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Jim Wamsley said...

VDOT and Accessibility

The discussion of Accessibility by VDOT takes on an “Alice in Wonderland” aspect. FHWA discusses accessibility on its web site:

“Accessibility can be defined for personal travel as the ability to reach desired destinations such as jobs, shopping, or recreational opportunities. For goods movement it can be defined as the ability to reach suppliers or buyers of products.

As an end goal in itself. Providing accessibility can be viewed as a fundamental objective for the transportation system, as it allows people to access desired activities.
Economic activity. Businesses benefit from easier access to suppliers, a larger labor pool, and expanded consumer markets. These factors can reduce transportation costs both for business-related passenger travel and for the movement of goods. Access to larger numbers of workers, consumers, and suppliers also provides greater choice and allows greater specialization, thus increasing business efficiencies.
Land use patterns. Feedback between accessibility and land use means that the relationship between transportation improvements and accessibility gains is complicated. An example is the construction of a new highway. The immediate accessibility improvements may lead to significant land development in the vicinity of the highway. Eventually, however, the traffic generated by new development can cause significant congestion, reducing some of the original accessibility benefits provided by the highway.”

VDOT in its discussions instead talks about curb cuts, parking lot entrances, and maybe a new interchange. As the FHWA discussion pointed out, the relationship between “curb cuts” and transportation improvements is “complicated.” Development can cause significant congestion, eliminating accessibility benefits provided by the taxpayers dollar.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

"The opportunity to reach jobs, services, housing, recreation, shopping, and entertainment within a reasonable time frame, and without being impeded by physical, social, or economic barriers. Enhancing mobility is one way of providing improved access."


It is interesting that antimobility activists forget that mobility and accessibility are related, and they think they can improve accessibility by raising physical, social and economic barriers.


"In transportation, accessibility refers to the ease of reaching destinations. People who are in places that are highly accessible can reach many other activities or destinations quickly, people in inaccessible places can reach many fewer places in the same amount of time.

A measure that is often used is to measure accessibility in a traffic analysis zone i is:

the sum over j of all the opportunities of j times a function of genralized travel cost f(Cij)


i = index of origin zones
j = index of destination zones
f(Cij) = function of generalized travel cost (so that nearer (or less expensive) places are weighted more than farther or more expensive places). "


However the ease of reaching destinations means different things to a trucker and to someone in a wheelchair. Accessibility is, then, an aggregate function that takes into account all of the needs of everybody.

Complicated indeed.


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