Multimodal Transport Planning – whats important?

Todd Litman of the Canadian Victoria Transport Policy Institute, in a recent paper (December 2012) describes his view of the basic principles of transport planning.

The paper describes ‘conventional’ transport planning, with a focus on motor vehicle traffic conditions and the ‘newer’ methods for multi-modal planning and evaluation.

This may be the case for North America, but is less so in Australia. I believe that integrated and multimodal planning has been ‘conventional’ for some time here.

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Alternative road funding – developments in Oregon

The US state of Oregon started consideration of alternative sources of road funding in 2001 when it became obvious that the existing gas tax – the primary source of US transport funding – was not future proof. Modern vehicles were becoming more fuel efficient (and new vehicles required to be more so) and a growing proportion using alternative sources of energy, e.g. electric vehicles.

After reviewing 28 different road funding options a distance based Road User Fee (RUF) pilot program was developed and findings reported in 2007. The pilot used a pay at the pump model.

A number of issues were raised, primarily about potential privacy in using a GPS based system, so in 2012 Oregon is about to trial a new model.

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Service Patrol Handbook

This FHWA Handbook provides an overview of the Full-Function Service Patrol (FFSP) for traffic incident response and management and describes desired program characteristics from the viewpoint of an agency that is responsible for funding, managing, and operating the services. It provides guidelines and rules of thumb for operational characteristics, sponsorship, level of service, number of … Read more

Measurement valuation of public transport reliability

Land Transport New Zealand has released a report that explores methods of measuring the value placed on public transport reliability in different contexts in New Zealand.

Reliability relates to an uncertainty in the time taken to travel from the start to the end of a person’s journey. For a public transport journey, reliability can affect users in one of two ways: as a delay when picking up the passenger and as a delay when the passenger is on the service. One or both of these sources of unreliability causes passengers to arrive at their destination at a different time than scheduled.

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Traffic Detector Handbook

Managing traffic requires being able to detect a variety of vehicles characteristics in different circumstances, for different purposes: traffic flows, volumes, speeds and vehicle types for planning and design; detecting incidents for emergency response; flows on ramps for metering; vehicle volumes approaching intersections for signal timing and control; and traffic conditions for traveller information are some examples.

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Freeway Service Patrol returns high benefit

A research study found that a Virginia DOT Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) provides a 4.7 to 1 benefit-cost ratio.

The Hampton Roads FSP, which consists of 48 vehicles and operates 24/7 on 80 miles of interstate highway, responded to 40,700 incidents during the 12-month period evaluated.

The patrols aim to reduce congestion, improve safety and customer service. Other benefits include reduced secondary incidents, increasing safety and saving additional delays.

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Congestion … funding … congestion … funding

Debate in the US has focussed on the need to find considerable additional funding to meet the needs for a congested transport system.

The National Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission, set up by the Federal Government,  published their report Transportation for Tomorrow on 15 January 2008.

Interestingly the Commission of 12 ended up with three different views: the report, supplementary views and a minority report. So it appears that there is no easy, clear answer, even fora Commission specially set to answer the questions raised.

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Traffic Incident Response Practices in Europe

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration released a report that includes recommendations to improve traffic incident response in the United States.

The recommendations are based on an April 2005 scanning tour on traffic incident response practices, procedures, and technologies of England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden that assessed and evaluated various practices for responding to traffic incidents.

The recommendations are organised under the three primary themes of programs and institutions, tactical and on-scene management, and communications and technology.

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Best Practices for Traffic Incident Management in Florida

Florida Department of Transportation released a report in 2005 that examines traffic incident management programs, procedures, and techniques from throughout the US and within Florida; summarises lessons learned and best practices; identifies suitable performance measures for incident management programs; and recommends overall program improvements for application in Florida. The report documents the best practices currently … Read more