Literature review

Literature review

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Literature review the benefits of automobility
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Benefits of automobility
University of South Florida -- Center for Urban Transportation Research
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University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research
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Automobiles -- Social aspects ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
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Includes bibliographical references (leaf 35-38).
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"June 1999."

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Literature review
h [electronic resource] :
b the benefits of automobility.
3 246
Benefits of automobility
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research,
1 online resource (iii, 38 leaves)
Description based on e-book t.p. (viewed Aug. 31, 2011).
"June 1999."
Includes bibliographical references (leaf 35-38).
x Social aspects.
2 710
University of South Florida.
Center for Urban Transportation Research.
1 776
i Print version:
t Literature review.
Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research, [1999]
w (OCoLC)45318993
Center for Urban Transportation Research Publications [USF].
4 856


Literature Review The Benefits of Automobility Prepared by the Center for Urban Transportation Research College of Engineering University of South Florida June 1999


Center for Urban Transportation Research U S F College of Engineering 4202 E Fowler Ave, CUT I 00 Tampa, FL 33620 F Ron Jon e s Ph.D. Project Director Gary L. Brosch, Director i i


T ABLE OF C ONTE NTS I NTR OD U CTION ...... ..... ......... . .................... . ..... ....... ..... .... ....................... ...... .. ......... ... .. .. .. I P R O BLEM AREAS .... ... ...... ........... ....... .......... .......... ...... ............ ........... .... ... ... ................... 2 Pollu t ion ...... .......... . .... . ...... . ........... ....... . . . .... . .... ...... ......... ......... ..... ..... .. ............ .. ... 2 Safe t y ... ......... ... ......... ... ............. . ............... . ........ ... ............... ..... . ................ .. .. ......... . 7 E n e rgy Consumpt i on .... ..... ....... ... ... .... ... ... .... ................................ .... .... ................... .. .. .. 9 Economic I nefficien c y .... .... ........... . .... .... ............. ... ...... ..... ..... . ... .. ............... ...... .. .. .. 12 Accessibility .... ............. ..... .... ..... .................. .... .... .................. ... ............................... .. ... 1 4 Congestion ... ............. ....... ........ ............................ ..... . .... .... ............. ... . ... ... ...... .. .. ... 1 5 Sprawl ... .. .... ........ .. .. ..... .. .. .. .. ....... ... ..... .. . .. . . .. .. ... .. ... ............ . . .... ... ... .. ...... 20 CITY OF THE FUTURE .......... ...... ........... ....... ........... . ............... . .............. ....... .. .. .. .. ...... 2 4 SUMMARY ........... .... . ......................... . .... .... . . ................ ........... .... . ...... ........ ................. 3 1 BIBLI OG RAPHY .... ... ... ..... ....... ..... .................. .... . .................. ... ......... . ..... ...... ........... ..... 35 j i i


Lileralure Review: The Q(tfutomobUitv Introduction Many of the plagues of modem life are conunonly laid at the automobile's doorstep. If it weren't for the auto, we wouldn't have pollution; carnage on the highway; wars in the Middle East; economic waste; destruction of the extended family; isolation of our elderly, disabled, and young; overu se of tfansportation infrastructure; envirorunental degradation; rents in the urban social fabric; and weak politicalleadership on land use issues, or at least so goes the fefrain. All will be solved if we just make the automobile sufficiently inconvenient difficult, and expensive to use. If we can shape land use with transportation policies politicians won't have to touch the more sensitive land-use pol icies. lfthe mobility of everyone suffers as a consequence, so be it. Whoa, a few of you may say What's our objec t ive here? As was said some time ago, "putting artificial restrain ts on highway transportation can yield only economic and social stagnation . .. The automobile of today is not ne c essarily the automobile of tomorrow and it wou ld be absurd to forgo the benefits of flexible transportation merely because an existing technology has certain remediable drawbacks." (Rae 1971, pp. 343, 373) As Robert Cervero (Dunphy 1997, p.l) has said of the "auto problem": Engineers tend to view it as one of meeting demand. Economists tend to view i t as one of pricing. Environmentalists tend to view it as one of discouraging growth. What follows is a synthesis of the recent literature-with a few of our own thoughts thrown in-on the prospects for the automobile. Without question, the automobile has provided those who have access to i t with the greatest mobility ever known. For those who can afford it, i t clearly i s the mode of choice. This is seen in deve loping countries as auto usage and suburbanization grow exponen t ia ll y in relation to the country's economic growth, and that holds true even in European cities that have some of the best non-automobile transportation systems in the world. Commenting on the importance of the automobile, the economist Robert L. Heilbroner said that common reflections on the impact of the automobile .. .fail to do justice to its quintessential contribution to our lives. This is its gift of mobility itself-not mobility as a dollar spreading device or a mechanical substitute for personal movement, but as a direct enhancement of life, as an enlargement of life's boundaries and opportunities This is so enormous so radical a transformation that its effect can no lo nger be me asu red or appreciated by mere figures. It is nothing less than the unshackling of the age-old bonds of locality; it is the grant of geographic choice and economic freedom on a hither to unimagined scale." (Rae 1971, p. 370) But, as Mel Webber said, ... we are a long way from free automobility for everyone. That I suggest -the absence of full and free automobi/ity for everyone-is the paramount transportation problem we confront in the metropolitan areas of the U.S. West." (Webber 1986, p. 49)


Literature Review: The Benefits n{Automobility Webber later expanded on his point, saying th at: ... many Americans still don't have access to [auto mobiles]. That inequality poses a central issue for transportation policy. It compel s us to ask, How can we bring the advantages of automobile accessibility to everyone? ... Autos, like tel ephones, permit direct coMection from everywhere to everywhere, and that's what allows our contemporary suburbs t o thrive economically and socially It would be a great loss if that widespread connectivity were t o b e weakened by anti-auto mandate s constricting free use of cars." (Webber 1994, p. 28) This report looks at the evidence pres ente d in the recent literature regarding the commonly perceived environmenta l social, and urban planning problems presented by the automobile to determine the extent to which the literature supports the following propos itions: )> The auto is not the cause o f the prob l em, or 'l> If it is, it is a minor cause and is bener than the a lt ernatives or 'l> If it is a major cause, solut i ons are or soon will be available but regardless The benefits exceed the cost, and )> \V e should use the auto more, not less The perceived problem areas are: :. Pollut i on : Safety '! Energy Consumption : Economically Inefficient Use of Resources : Accessibility : Congestion : Sprawl/Land Use/Urban Design Th i s project was conceived largely as an anempt to examine a contra ri an viewpoint. Least there be any question however, we do not divorce ourselves from the subs t ance of the report. We h ave found the evidence to be compelling Problem Areas Each of the perceived problem areas of pollution, safety, energy consumption economic inefficiency, accessibility, congestion, and sprawl is discussed below. Those discussions are followed by some thoughts about the city of the future. For those who nost algically long for earlier times, we periodically in the discussions beat a dead h orse, so to speak. Pollution Has the a uto made our urban areas more pollut ed? Some might argue that it actually has reduced pollution and is considerably better than the alternative it replaced: "Horse pollution attracted more attention than these safety and mobility issues. One urbanite described city streets as 'literally carpeted with a warm, brown maning of 2


comminuted {sic} horse dro ppings, smellin g to hea ven and destined i n n o inconsiderable part to be scattered in fine dust in all direc ti ons, lad en with countless millions of disease breeding germs.' ('Editorial C omment,' Automobile Magazine I (Oc t ober, 1899), 87.] Another wro te: 'In hot weather the city stank with the emana t ions o f putrefying orga nic matter.' (George W. Waring, Jr., Street-Cleaning and the Disposal of a City's Wastes (New York: Doubled ay and McClure Co. 1898), p. 13 .] Each hor s e within a city daily dropped be t ween te n and twenty pounds of manure, mostly on city s t r e ets Freque n t u rination added to the mess and ste n ch. 'Sanita ry e ngi neers (knew] that street washin gs are no improvement i n character over ordinary sewage and occasionally the latter liquid may have the advantage."' [ 'Sanitary Pavements,' Engineering Maga zine 10 (October 1895) p 1 63.] "Even when it did not land in the str eet man u re created a major nuisance near stab l es, which saved the waste to resell as fertilizer For example, the Central Park stable, hardl y the largest in New York City had a 30, 000 cubic foot pile of man u re next t o it. "Not only was the manure esthetically u n appeal i ng, bu t it was a l so very unhealthy. Dust in the air from ground-up manure provided a likely vector for the bacilli that caused respiratory infections, the major killer in big cit.ies Tetanus posed another threat t o p u blic health since manure carried its virus. F M .L. Thompson suggest.s that Victorian women may have worn long skirts to prot ect themselves from st r eet filth as well as to meet the de man ds of Victorian p ru dery. "Doctors d id not hav e an e ffective pharmaceutica l treatment until the 1940s. Yet the TB death rate dec lin ed significantly as the n u mber of mo tor cars in cit i es increased, ending the dust hazard. ... hea lt h officials i n Rochester, New York cla imed that if all the m anure produced in one year by each of that city s horses were gathered in one p l a ce the resulting pil e would cover one acre of ground to a he ight of 175 feet. They claimed that the pile wou l d breed sixteen billion flies, eac h a potential c arr i er of genns." (McShane 1994, pp. 18 5 1 -53) Petti fer also paints a graphic picture of the days before the auto: "This nev er-ending battle with t h e dung heap was a nightmare for public he a lth officials. Flies became so bad that those who could afford to abandoned the ci ties in t he summe r months. But even in wint er it wasn't much fun; in wet weather lad ies walked the strcet.s with long skirts r ais ed above their high bounden boo ts to avoid the pools of liquid manure. In London p e destrians were he lpe d to navigate the sea of hors e-droppings b y an army of crossing sweepers. Erne s t Hancock who was born in London in 1895, remembers how impo rtant these humb l e public servants were: as we crossed the Foxley Road, there was the crossing sweeper, and being the youngest/ had the honour to hand him a shilling which 1 thought was a 3


terrible waste ofmoney ... butthe only way you could safely cross any side-road in London, if you had decent clothes on, was to find a crossing sweeper; because on either side it was a damned mess that was only cleared up about once a week. "Mr. Hancock's final verdict on his childhood London: 'everywhere was dung'. In these circumstances, those' who argued that the general adoption of the automobile would lead to better health conditions were sure of a sympathetic hearing Medical authorities po in ted out that tetanus was spread by horses and that s t reet dust, consisting mainly of dry horse dung, was thought to be responsible for a number of chronic eye and intestina l infections among city children. Armed with this support from the medical establishme nt, the car was presented by its publicists as the new Elixir of Life 'When the horse has been eliminated entirely' declared James Rood Doolittle, 'and when sanitary measure ar e observed to prevent the breeding of flies, it is clearly within the Vision that h uman l ife may be extended on the average of five years or more, because the scientists ha ve discovered that flies spread diseases, a nd fever kills its victims by the tens of thousands "One hundr ed years ago, New York City and Brooklyn had a horse population of about 175,000. Many of the poor jades, overworked and ill treated, simply dropped dead in the street s and were left to rot there. "In the 1880s, New York City was removing 15,000 dead horses from its streets each year but not before their decomposing carcasses had augmented the foul smells and the flies coming from stables and dung heaps." (Pettifer 1984, pp. 49 50, 52) And it wasn't just a it' pollu t ion: "This equine air pollution was just part of the problem; noise appears to have been an equally intolerable nuisance With thousands of iron-clad wheels and hooves clattering over cobbled streets it was often impossible to carry on a conversation outdoors. By comparison, the car on its stealthy rubber lyres offered the peace that passeth understanding; in fact, one hundred yea rs ago the ca r was regarded by many city dwellers as a godsend, a blessing, the only cure for most of the city's ills." (Pettifer 1984, p. 52) "Other auto advocates blam ed the constant clatter of iron horseshoes on stone pavement for the nervous disorders t hat seemed more conunon in cities than in the countryside." (McShane 1994, p 122) Although t he auto may have reduced the pollution our ancestors faced, it obviously has not ye t eliminated all pollution, and, to some extent, it replaced some types of pollution with other types. But the extent of the problem is a matter of some debate. For instance, on the issue of global warming, Robert J. Samuelson says: 4


J ----,r "The problem with global warming is that we don't !

"In the last two decades, the nation has halved automobile emissions and doubled fuel economy." (Kay 1994,p. 7) "In general VOC emissions from autos have declined 58 percent to 88 percent between 1970 and 1996 across all study areas and are expected to decline 77 percent to 94 percent between 1970 and 2005. Similar gains have been observed for light truck VOC. Conversely VOC emission changes for sources other than autos and light trucks ranges from a maximum decline of 45 percent to an increase as much as 26 p e rcent between 1970 and 1996. Making the auto and light truck emission reductions even more dramatic is the fact that auto and light truck vehicle miles traveled have increased by 37 percent to 208 percent between 1970 and 1996 (average increase by 101 percent) and are expected to incr ease by 37 percent to 285 percent between 1970 and 2005 (ave rage increase of 133 percent) .... By 2005, aggregate NOx reductions are exp ected to reach 46 percent for autos, while sources other than autos and light trucks continue to exhibit an 8 percent increase in NOx ove r 1970 levels.'' (AAA 1997, p. 2) "Some technical fixes have been highly effective in improving energy efficiency and limiting pollution. Increasingly sophis ticated emission control technology, incorporating advanced electronics and combustio n designs, have brought motor vehicle emissions down by as much as 90 percent for some pollutants." (Sperling 1995,p.ll) What else is being done and what does the future ho ld? A few views: "If mandates, incentives, mass transit, and other strategi es to reduce vehicle travel show little promise, then what can be done to reduce the large social costs of motor vehicles? The answer, the focus of this book, is founded on technical fixes. Technical fixes preserve the fundamental attractions of vehicle travel-mobility, convenience and privacy while requiring few behavioral changes. They support rather than subvert travelers' wishes and needs. Given the shortcomings of travel reduction strategies, and the huge promise of new technologies, the focus of any effort to create a more environmentally benign transportation system should be technical innovation." (Sperling 1995, pp. 10-11) ... carmak ers are jostling to develop the definitive green' car that will dominate the emission-free and reduced-emission marketplace." (Nikkel1997, p. 35) "While the automobile's first century in the U nited States was an awesome journey of achievement, the next c entury-eve n the nex t 20 years-promise s to produce even more exciting technological advances. That's the prediction of Elizabeth Brueckner, executive director of the United States Council for Automotive Research. USCAR is the umbrella organization formed by Chrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. to strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research. 'The i ndustry today is on the verge of maj or technical innovat ions that might be as far-reaching as the switch from horses to horsepower,' 6


Literature Reyjew : The Benefits ofAutomnhility said Brueckner. 'Technolog ical changes i n just the next 20 years will have a dramatic impact on the automobile ... on its power source, fuel efficiency, safety; its positive impact on the environment, how i t's built and the materials to bui l d it...even what happens when the vehicle has outl i ved its usefulness,' she predicted. Many technologies arc now being researched for possible application on the cars of the future. Cars could someday have a hybrid elec t ric power source that has the range and performance of today s vehicles, is virtually pollution-free, and is affordable. A hybrid vehicle with two power sources could be twice as energy efficient as today's internal combustion engine. Ini t ially, the primary power source could be a direct injection compression ignition engine or a gas turbine engine. However, industry scientists hope fuel cells will be a viable e le ctric source someday." (USCAR website, October 6, 1997) "With projected advances in the technology of fuel cells, solar-e le ctric power generation, and biomass gasification, hydrogen from renewable resources could become attractive as a clean transport fuel itt the early part of the next century With renewable hydrogen used in fuel cell vehicles, greenho u se gas emissions could be greatly redu ced and eventually eliminated and emissions of regulated pollutants would be zero." (Greene 1993, p. 226) "The use of noise reducing pavement surfaces (reducing noi se levels by a few dB(A)), is currently under study in the Federal Republic of Germany." (Krell 1988 p.2!9) ... traffic noise in urban areas, as evidenced by tbe many efforts to manage it (e. g., highway noise barriers, requir e men t s for noise-abatement equipment on jet aircraft), is a problem that future generations can, if they so choose manage and mitigate further as priorities change (TRB 1997, pp. 21-23) ... times arc changing, and so are automobiles. Future tree buggers may eventually e m brace the concept of ind i vidual autos, as technology moves us s t eadily toward emission-free cars that drive themselves on intelligent transportation sy s tems designed to combat highway congestion." (Zitter 1998, p. 46) Safety As in the case of pollu t ion the auto from t he beginning may have been an improvement over the alternative it rep l aced: "It was even argued that cars were safer than horses. In t he view of Frank Huggct, expre sse d in his book Carriages at Eigbt: 'It was, indeed almost as dangerous to walk or to drive in Victorian city streets as it is today. In London, after allowance has been made for t h e increase i n popula t ion, almost as many people were seriously injured in road accidents in 1872 as in 1 972 Rene Bache, writing in the Saturday Evening Post in 1900, calcu l ated that in the United States horses were responsible for three-quarters of a million more or less serious mishaps a year." (Petti fer 1 984, p. 52) 7


\F "Horses often panicked in traffic, then bit or kicked people. Omnibuses followed a wandering course in the street. Their drivers cou ld not control their horse s easily or rapidly brake the top-heavy vehicles on a rough surface especially when competitors raced each other to pick up a passenger. The omnibus was already on the decline in New York by 1865, but still caused fatal accidents, mostly to pedestrians, at six times the rate per vehicle as the new street railways. "The horses or mules that powered the new transit system probably provided the greatest limitatio n to the new technology. Animals were hard to control and caused frequent accidents. "A motive power with a will of its own presented frightening safety problems [the ] fatality rate attributable to the growing horse traffic of late-nineteenth-century Manhattan (soared]. Most of the victims were pedestrians frequently children playing in the street. "When many riders switched from street cars to elevated railroads in the 1880s fatalities declined. When street railways increased speed after electrification in 1890 street railway fatalities increased also, still mostly p edestrians. It took a while fo r street railways to improve their brakes to cope with the extra speed of mechanica l travel. Note that horse-pulled vehic les caused many more deaths even after the street railways mechanized. This shows the danger of horses Even at the relatively slow speed at which most traveled, horses caused accidents by biting, kicki ng, and bolting." (McShane 1994, pp. 8, 18, 49-50) Regardless, the auto is vastly improved and far safer than it was in its cady years, and, with existing teclmology, could be much safer, if we wished. The question is how much safety do we want and how valuable is it to us: ... it' s twi ce as safe, based on fatalities per 100 million passeng e r miles, to drive as to take light rail. Faster too (Barnes 1998, p. 17) "Experts say that approximately every third person killed in a car crash dies because of poor road conditions. T his is inexcusable. We have the technology to build safer roads, but we haven't because gas taxes have been diverted. Simply widening a twolane road by an extra 2 feet will cut fatal crashes by 23 percent. Widening should ers will reduce fatalities by 20 percent. The money is there, and we should use it to make our roads safer." (Shuster 1998) Small cars could be made safer through better design and with safety devices For instance, a Swiss company called Horlacher has designed severa l very small prototype vehicles that are s tiff and use air bags and seat belts. In crash tests, dummy occupants of a Horlacher vehicle reportedly received fewer injurie s in a c ollisio n with an Audi than the Audi occupa i \ts. An u ltra -stiff shell with internal restra i nts is what all ows race car drivers to survive crashes at speeds in excess of 150 m ph." (Sperling 1997, p. 74) 8


> -At\---r "Looki n g just a few years ahead, it is conceivable to picture q u ite a few (if not all) automobiles containing not only the electronic emission and e ngine con trols that are rapidly becoming standard in the U.S. today but also anti l ock brakes active suspension systems, traction control systems, collision avoidance syste ms, onb oard diagnostic systems, heads-up displays and electronic navigation and informatio n systems." (Eads 1988, p. 26) "Within a decade or so, cars could become so savvy and chatty that hi tting the road will be a much more pleasant experience. Pulling into a crowded passing lane sho u ld be no hassle, for instance. Your car s computer will a le rt the comp u ters in adjacent cars, and tbey'lllet you in because chips don't practice aggressive driving It may get harder and harder for people to endanger others by engaging in risky behavior behind the wheel. The roll ing PC will know what's reckless, and everything the driver wants to do will have to go through a co m p ut er." (Business Week 1998, pp. 85-86) Energy Consumption The arguments in favor of an energyconsuming personal vehicle are presented here in the following f orm or sequence : (I) There is p l enty of oil. (2) If there isn 't, our need for energy will be decl in ing anyway (3) !fit doesn't, there will be alternative sources. Plenty of oil: "The U S energy problem is not one of running out of energy. It is principally a prob lem of reducing dependence on imported petroleum and managing in a timely fashion the transi tion to desirable a lt ernative fuels. There is no prospect of running out of economically useful oil by 2020. Oil rese rves in the market economies are estimated to be more than 600 billion barrels compared with projected worldwide annual consumption for the year 2000 of 18 billion barrels Thus, even if no new reserves are needed, there is more than a 30-year supply at year 2000 rates. However, experience from 1980 to I 986 showed additions to reserves of more than 26 billion to 27 billion barre l s a year, II billion to 12 billion barre l s a year in excess of consumption. Although such success in finding oil r eserves is not likely to c ontinue and there is great uncertainty in projecting both discoveries and consump tion it is clear that for the n e xt 30 years there is no danger of worldwide p hy sical shortage of economically recov e r able oil." (TRB 1988, p. 21 0) "The availability of petroleum s ho u l d not be a constant constraint in transportation Adequ ate supplies ex i st worldwide, although most of it is found in other countries. Accordingly the market will control demand and this is a self-correct ing phenomenon. A lt erna t ive fuels are available, and these may be required if policy or environmental is sues dictate ." (TRB 1988, p. 18) 9


"For better or for worse, there are no geological reasons that plenty of oil should not be available throughout the twenty-first century. There is no petrochemical analyst around who thinks there is any supply-and-demand than war-that the price of oil should go higher t h an $30 a barrel in constant dollars in this ge n e rat ion.' (Garreau 1991, p. 125) "Proved oil reserves rose sharply after 1986, and have remained at abo ut J,OOObn barre ls for the la st 10 years. ... Meanwhile new technology continues to push production costs down." (Financial Times 1998) .. eco log ica l sustainability d oes n o t imply mini mizing resour c e use, but rather how to op t imize the use of resources under conditions of uncertainty. Sometimes it i s desirabl e to us e resources now. The crofters of the Highlan ds and isl ands of Scotland in the eighteent h and early nin e teenth cen turies would have led utterly mis erable liv es it they h ad saved their pea t for its future ob s olesce n ce by muc h more efficient and even somewhat healthier fue l s." (Gordon 1 997, p. 276) "G & R [Peter Gordon and Harry Richardson) point to the 'global energy glut; the weakness of the OPEC ca rt e l and the low real price of gas o line as evidence that energy impacts of sprawl are not worth worrying about. They are probably right." (Ewing I 997, p 113) De c linin g need: "Technical fixes have also subs t an t ially improved the e n ergy efficiency of v eh i cles. In 1990, new automobiles in the U nited States used only about half as m uch energy as they did in the e arly I 970s. Mos t of the i mprovem ent came from more efficie n t eng i nes, improved ae r odynamic designs, lighter weight materials, and other relatively unobtrusive technical changes." (Spe rling 1995 p I I ) "The t echnological optimists' have been more like pess i mists, consistently und e restimating the rate of technological innovations and their impact on resource utilization. (Gordon 1997 p. 276) "Significant l y the fuel efficie n cy for an aut o at average occu pancy is greater than tha t for a bus or urban train. (Barnes I 998, p 17) .. by the year 2000 without any increase in ave r age new-vehicle fuel mileag e, the continuing repl acement of the oldest, lowest-mileage cars will raise the average of all cars in use i n the U.S by about 35 percen t from its present level. This has b een accomplished without severely lim it ing the public's choice of vehicles (Eads I 988, p 20) "The goal of cr eating commercially v iabl e ve hic les capable of up to 80 mpg within a decade is very aggressive but proj e cted to be achievab l e (US CAR websi te 1997) 10


"Less oil is now needed for each unit of economic output, and supplies are greatly diversified. OPEC now conlrols only a third of world outpu t compared with half in 1 974. More important, h igh taxes have supplanted high prices as the incentive for efficiency gains in many countries." (Financial Times 1998) Alternative Sources: "As a practical matter, it is unlik ely that natural stocks of petroleum will one day be exhausted simply be cause alternative energy sources are likely to become price competitive long before petroleum supplies dw indle to the point of depletion. The scarcity of petroleum i n itself is therefore not a sustainability con cern addressed here, since substitute energy sources will almost c erta in ly emerge." (TRB 1997, p. 60) "Energy will not be a serious obslacle to furt her car usage even if oil resources should be exhausted." (Grevsmahll988, p. 239) "Amory Lovins a prominenllong-time advocate of energy efficiency, argues [in Amory B Lovins, Reinven ting Wheels,' Atlantic Monthly (forthcoming) ] that by shifting from stee l to composite and other ligh t weight plastic materials, and revamping how vehicles are manufactured, much lighter vehicles can be produced in smaller lots that are just as safe conventional vehicl es and no more expensive. If he is right, it would be a boon to small electric vehicles such as NEVs [ neighborhood electric vehicles] (Sp erl ing 1995, p. 79) "Remember the oil crises of the 70s? Cmde was inexorably heading towards $100 per barrel. Humanity, depicted as a cancer on the face of the planet, was greedily consuming in the blink of an eye resources accmed over the eons. Pau l Erlich and the Club of Rome were all the rage, spreading a neomalthusian gospel hairy enough lo make you feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis We were all going to freeze in the dark. "Only one problem--economically speaking, these fo l ks were a few bricks shy of a load. None of them realized that it is hum an enterprise alone which [sic] creates a commodity's value, and if it becomes too expensive production can be increased or substitutes found. They forgot that towards the e nd of the last century people worried about how we were going to be able to continue lighting our cities. You see the major source of illumina tion o f our streets was whale oil, and i t was clear even then that we were running out of the beasts. W h o would ever have g u essed a few short decades ago that the major engine of wealth in today's economy would be manufactured from sand?" (Bernstein 1 998, pp. 2-3) II


Eco n om i c In efficiency Is the use of automobiles subsidized? Should it be? Should we institute full-cost pricing to ensure that every driver bears the full social costs and benefits of driving? How woul d we do that? Could we do that? "Consider the mistaken belief that drivers pay only a small fraction of the true cost of driving. "Two repu tabl e studies agree that the advantages of cars far exceed the costs, even when all unpaid social costs a r e included. Delucchi in the Office of Technology Assessment study, estimated the benefits to be twice as large as the total cost to society. A leading environmental group, the Environmental Defense Fund concurs: it estimated t h e benefi t s in southern California to be 60 percent greater than the total paid and unpaid costs. "The Congress i onal Offic e ofTe chnology Assessment examin e d this question with the most detailed and r i gorous ana l ysis eve r conducted of the social costs of motor vehicles. The conclus i on? Mo tor vehicle users in the United S t ates pay 68 to 80 percent of the total cos t of motor vehicle use (Sperling 1995 pp. 4, 6) "Indeed, mot or-vehic l e use provides enormous social benefit and, in our view, probably great l y exceeds the social cost." (De l ucci 1996, p 9) A lt hough there i s some debate about pricing auto usage, the concept has strong e conomic appeal to economists There is not, however, any poli t ical appea l at all. As Sperling a n d Arrillaga note: "In the economist's ideal world correct price signals would be the sole requiremen t for reducing the use of polluting and fuel-guzzling vehicles. In the real world, however, raising prices is politically anathema. Voters and companies would fight governm ent efforts to impose higher road taxes if they perceived n o alt e rnative to driving, and they would fight taxes on polluting cars if low-polluting cars were unavailable. . . Another possible sol ution far more attractive to transportation officials and politicians is the development and deployment of what has become known as in t elligent vehicle and highway (IVHS) or intelligent system technolog i es." (Sperling 1 995, pp. 20-21) It might s t ill be that for the majority of decision makers ... congestion pricing could sim p l y be the nightmare of tolling alr e ady paid for highways." (Arrillaga 1993, p 39) 'There a lso is some doubt as to its effec t iveness and fairness: "U.S. cars now have nearly the san1e fu e l economy as European cars, even though fuel prices are s e veral times higher in Euro p e and compact European cities are 12


______ ______ ____________ ____ __ inhospitable to big cars. If Europe's tripled fuel prices fail to induce much greater fuel economy what will? "Only in certain situations, such as driving at peak hours in polluted and congested downtown New York, is car use heavily subsidized-that is only at those times and places are drivers paying only a small share of the total cost. In general, it would be desirable to price cars and.their use to absorb unpaid costs. The results would be somewhat reduced driving, along with less congestion pollution, and energy use. The effect might be significant in some regions-if it were politically possible to charge motorists higher fuel taxes registration fees, parking charges and so on. But given the benefits of the car, these un pai d costs are not high enough t o justify a radical rest111cturing of transportation systems and lifestyles." (Sperling 1995, pp. 4, 19) "(It i s a myth that] mass transit makes more sense particularly cost-w is e, than cars and highways. Maybe on paper it does, but not in real l ife. Tra nsportation analyst Wendell Cox estimates that, in I 998 dollars, $350 billion has bee n spent o u mass-transit subsidies sin ce the 1950s, and $350 billion on interstates. Which has worked best? I nterstates are flooded with cars, while transit ridership fell in 1995 to its lowest point in two decades. This is happening worldwide. 'The car is less subsidized and more heavily taxed in Europe than in America, and mass transi t there has received massive subsid ies/ James Q. Wilson wrote in Slate. Despite this, auto use in western Europe grew three times faster than in the U ni ted States between 1965 and 1987." (Bames 1998, p. 17) "Congestion pricing will in fact hurt more travelers than it will be n efit. Those SOV [sing le-occu pan t vehicle] drivers who are forced to use less preferred modes (for example, HOV o r transit) will be b urt since they will lose time or convenience, whil e those who stay and pay the toll will usually not save enough t ime (as a result of the reduced congestion) to compensate them for the cos t of the toll. (DeCorla-Souza 1993, p 30) "Given the hostility towards congestion pricing expressed at this conference, it seem s unlikely to happen in the short term outside of some price adjustments at existing toll facilities .... For those who ha ve viewed conges t ion pricing as a way to improve mobility by taking the wheels off the wagon, this is good news indeed ." (Author's .note: this jux taposi tion of sentences is slightly out of context but is not a disto rtion of sentiment.] (TRB 1988, pp 24, 425) In the inte rest of our continuing, though somewhat irrelevant, thread we note that there was no full-cost pric ing of the destruction and pollution the horse left in its path, but it died an economic death a n yway, a s observed by Pettifer: "Overall there is a of evide nc e to sugg est that the man in the street one hundred years ago was ready for the car and expec ting a grea t deal from it. He was expecting it t o provide a cure for most of the ills for which the car is now blamed: air pollution 13


lr congestion and death on the roads. Cars were judged to be more reliable, safer and cleaner than horse-drawn transport; and they were certainly cheaper to run. The cost advantage afforded by the car was probably first perceived by physicians. They needed transport that was instantly available twenty-four hours a day Horses took time to harness, feed and groom, which meant that the conscientious doctor needed at least two horses and a groom or stable boy to make sure he could answer emergencies as speedily as possible. One car could do the same job more cheaply and efficiently. Other businessmen quickly followed the trend set by the doctors. The grocers of Australia were advised by their trade paper that to keep their delivery horses healthy they should be fed and watered long before the driver had himself breakfasted. Throughout the rest of the working day the animal needed to be groomed three times, fed three times rested for an hour blanketed in inc l ement weather and shod when necessary. The message was obvious! A motor vehicle can do the work of several horses at a fraction of the cost. A writer for the journal American City pointed out that the motor vehicle, which did not suffer from fatigue or adverse weather conditions, did two and a half t i mes as much work as the horse in the same time and caused only a fraction of the street congestion. The conclusion? 'The horse h as become unprofitable. He is too costly to buy and too costly to keep.' Once that message started to get across, the contest 'Car versus Horse became 'no contest'. Dobbin was put out to grass and the carmakers moved in t o stay." (Pettifer 1984, pp. 54 55) Access ibility Anothe r concern sometimes expressed about the automobile is that a l though it is a great mobility aid for those who have access to it, not everyone does or can have access. Lim i ted access to the auto usually is due to constraints caused by age, economics, or disabilities. This concern often overlooks the fact that almost everyone has access as a passenger, and that technology and the economy are reducing the constraints on driving: "NEVs [neighborhood electric vehicles] could ... enhance mobility for many people. It is estimated that over 10 million persons of driving-age in the United States have a physical disab i lity that makes them dependent on sparse public transit services or expensive specia lized services .... The ease of driving a NEV makes it accessible to a broader range of individuals, including those with physical disabilities NEV driving could be made even easier by incorporating fully or partially automated controls, further expanding the number of people with access to personal t ransportation. . Lowspeed neighborhood e l ectr i c vehicles for example, might improve access for older and less physica ll y capab l e people by making it easier for them to drive." (Sperling 1995, pp. 70-71) "Households without vehicles in 1969 : 21%. Now 8%." (UC Berkeley 1997, p. 8) 14


And, of course previous modes had constraint s too: "High pric es put horses out of reach for any but the very wealthy for per sona l transportatio n." (McShan e 1994, p. 45) [And t h e y weren t very usable by the disabl ed and the very yo ung either.] Congestion Congestion, of couiSe, is the most talked about problem with automobile travel. But the extent and de finitior>-Of the problem is debated as are solutions For those persons convin ced that congestion just keeps getting worse, a litt l e history may be helpful: "The Saturday E v e ning Post coined a new word in 1910, traffic jam,' a sign of surging traffi c. Whe n E dward Hungerf ord, th e popu l ar travel write r t oured American ci ti es in 1913, he found im pas sab l e co nditions in many cities .... Hunge rford reported that Fift h A venue in N ew Yor k and Chicago's L oop Distric t had become hopelessly snarled in rush hour traffic. "'The growth of traffic far outpaced the growth in car registration and population, according to American City Magazine [Robert H. Whitt en, 'Unchoking Our Conges t ed Stree t s,' America n City Magazine. Octobe r 23, 1 920, p. 353] "In both 1915 and 1 917 time tests show e d that fifth Avenue rush h our pedestrians were movin g fast er t han cars. In the latter year, The Fifth Avenue Association, a merchant' s [ s ic] gro u p, commissioned a traffi c study. It claimed that gridlock especially at Fifth a nd Forty-Second, was costing s t ore s $750,000 a day. New York's influential Chamber of Commerce had already complained that traffic de lays in Manhattan were forcing shippers to switch other American ports. Permanent twice daily traffic jams spread to every large American city in the summers of 1914 and 1915. "Auto periodicals first began whinin g about a parking shortage in 1916, sugges ting that, by th a t date, motorists had already taken ove r one third or more of the s pace in downtown s tr ee t s to store their vehicles. Inc reased traffic brought b oth increase d fatalitie s and s l ower travel times. Pow erful interest groups complained Tro lley companie s found their speed cut in half in the cent ral business d istrict. Downtown merc h ant groups began to worry about t he ability of shoppers to reach their trafficstranded doors. Comme r cial interests complained that the jams were increasing freight costs. "In Washington, D C. [circa 1915], where parked cars occupied 30 percent of the downt own street spa c e rush hour car speeds declined below 6 miles per hour .... (McS han e 1994, pp. 193-194 197) 15


1' Least you co ncl ude that traffic jams were invented by the auto or the Saturday Evening Post: "Horses made street blockades worse than modern traffic jams. One eady traffic analyst reported that a horse would fall, on the average, every 96 miles it traveled. When a horse actually dropped dead traffic was delayed even more. Sanitation departments took ho urs, sometimes days, to remove the carcasses. By the 1880s, New York City was removing 15,000 bodies annually. "'Streets in the lower part of the city [New York City] are completely blocked three or four days out of the week.' ['Bridge Over Our Downtown Side Streets,' Scientific American 62 (February 8 1890), p 82]" (McShane 1994, pp. 48-50, 82) In fact, the auto was seen as a solution to the problem of tratlic congestion caused by the horse: ... most auto advocates argued that urban streets could handle many more cars than horses. Cars were shorter faster, quicker starting, and more mobile lat e rally. On the same area of streets, the auto increased vehicular capac ity. If the number of vehicles remained constan t, the auto could relieve traffic jams and trave l at higher speeds Thus, the auto might cost more to operate per day but its greater speed would lower per mile operating costs a more appropriate comparison." ( McS hane 1994, p. 122) More recently : "Congestion doesn't seem to have worsened and may have eased ... at least judged by commuting time s I n 1 990 the average co mm ute was 19.7 mi nutes, down from 22 irt 1969. Mean while, commuting distances increased from 9.4 mi l es in 1969 to 10.4 miles, indicating faster travel speeds." (Samuelson 1996, p 47) The extent to which congestion is truly a problem rather than an opportunity also i s questioned: "Some see congestion as an automobile problem and want to rest rict the use of automobiles. Although not surprising t h is is a m i s reading of the situation; it could be described as a version of the 'kill the messenger' synd rome. Traffic congestion is the messenger ; the message is that th e re are many unfilled transportation needs." (TRB 1988, p. 438) "From a r egio nal perspectiv e eliminating all peak period congestion would be inap p r opriate ly expensive a nd self-defea t ing in that it would encourag e people to travel during peak travel t ime s. In fact congestion serves as a means of reg u lating travel behavior. Controlled congestion has be e n called the key to a civilized society. R eg i ons need to find the level of congestion t hat balances personal inconvenience and public costs, along with o ther criteria of regiona l transportation systems such as safety and environmental protection (Dunphy 1997, p 2) 16


W' ... congestion is not only an equilibrating mechanism between road capacity and desires to move in peak hours; it is also an equilibrating mechanism between choices of workplace-location and home location. When no cars were available and people had to commute by streetcar or walking, they had to move close to their jobs. That meant that (they] had to live in higher-density settlements than most Americans prefer today. The more you are willing to endure congestion and long commutes the more combinations of different workplace locations and home locations you can choose. Thus, congestion is a price we pay for a much wider range of choices between these locations than in the past. "This simple analysis proves that traffic congestion is not basically a totally negative illness in our society, but an inescapable condition that accompanies our successful pursuit of certain goals other than rapid movement. Those goats include a wide range of choices about where to live and work comfortable amenities while traveling, convenient flexibility about when to come or go partly achieved by traveling alone, ability to live on lower-priced land and the desire to live in a metropolitan area that contains an immense variety of choices of all types-hence a lot of other residents. I. We cannot successfully pursue those goals withou t generating a lot of traffic. It is highly unlikely that we really want to abandon or greatly modify those goals. So a significant degree of traffic congestion is here to stay forever. 2. Of course that does not mean we can't influence how bad it is, or how bad it might become. But all those things we can think of to do so will have a relatively modest impact upon it, and certainly will not eliminate it. And achieving any gains at all will require us to change certain goa ls we now pursue." (Downs 1998 pp. 6-9) As the Transport a tion Research Board has noted: "It is also pos sib le that the prob lem may be se lf-limiting." (TRB 1988, p. 438) In that same report TRB said that: "Because the population is aging and the elderly make fewer and shorter trips even when they keep their automobiles, mileage per driver and per vehicle should drop slightly. The tota l number of miles traveled i n private vehicles will increase much less rapidly in the future than it has in the recent past, and will level off just after the year 2020." (TRB 1988, p. 308) There also is some question about the intuitive notion that congestion increases energy usage and pollution emissions. According to a study by Peter Newman: ... it is the cities with the highest average traffic speeds that have the high est per capita gasoline consumption Thus free flowing traffic is not associated with lower fuel use in this global survey. It is in fact cities with the most constrained traffic 17


flows that have the lowest per capita gasoline use as hypothesized by us. The positive correlatio n between the two parame t ers is s t a t is t ically significant. . .. The studies of Perth as a whole system and by corridor and the global cities comparison confirm the picture t ha t free flowing traffic does not lead to savings in fuel or lowering of emissions in a city overall. . free flowing traffic is associated with increased fuel use and increased emiss ions. . . The overall energy efficiency of New York clearly improves as co n ges t ion gets worse ... (Newman 1989, pp. 148,157 159-160) Comparing carpooling, a common atte m p t to reduce congestion, t o auto t rips that combine trip purposes, Pisarski made a similar observat i o n : "Trip chaining is especially rational, notes Alan P i sarski. 'It's time e fficient, it's pollution efficien t and it s energy efficient."' (Barnes 1998 p 17) Peter N ewman also questions whether congestion was tes time: ... the results s uggest that as the speed of the traffic system increases, so does the actual personal time commitment necessary to maintain participation i n the urban system which would appear to be the reverse of the common assumption about reducing congestion to save t ime .... The apparent benefits to the individual vehicle (and driver) from more free flowing traffic i s only a very short term and illusory benefit." (Newman 1989 p. 1 63) Newman concludes that : "The cost-benefit analyses of major road proj ects usually incorporate time savings, fue l savings and occasionally emissions in their justification. The research outlined here suggests that in urban situations the simple assumptions used in these models arc probably wrong (Newman 1989, pp 163-64) So w h at is the answer? "Conservatives a r e ha r dly the biggest impedim ent to more and better highways. The largest obstacle is a string of myths about transportation in America I've counted s i x of them. Myth One: Americans hav e a lov e affair with the automobile and irration ally and stupid ly balk at other modes of transporta t ion. They balk all right, but it's not irrational or stupid Americans love thei r car like they love t he ir microwave. It's a useful and efficient device. Time is what matters to most people, and the average commute by car t akes ha l f the time of mass tra nsit. Carp o oling is also time consuming For every extra five minutes is added to a commu te There's no evidence anywhere in the U.S.-and I mean anywhere that investment in transit has reduced traffic co ngestion. "We despera t ely need more highways: more interstates, more beltways, more private t oll roads, more arterials radiating from cit ies to suburbs, and especially more highways between s u burbs. There's no way around this. The alternatives-mass 18


Lilerarure Review: Renwrs ofAutomobilitv transit, special lanes for buses and high-occupancy vehicles, flextime, telecommuting -have failed miserably. Urban-style gridlock has been common for years now in the suburbs exurbs, and beyond. "[Another myth]: Highways generate new traffic. This is the Field ofDreams argument-build it and they will come. The fact is, if you don't build highways, cars will come anyway, only gridlock will be a lot wor se. (Barnes 1998, pp. 15, 17) "Anthony Downs of the Brookings Institution, who has long studied Edge Cities, thinks the answer is to buy a good car stereo and commute with someone you love." (Garreau 1991, p. 128) Downs later said: "Now let me describe the Principle of T rip l e Convergence. If you expand a major road, at first cars move faster on it during the peak hour. But soon many drivers who were using other roads, or driving outside the peak hour, or using transit, converge on the now-faster road. Their arrival slows traffic there down to a crawl. l. This must happen to restore time-equilibrium between that road and other less direct routes. So most remedies for peak-hour congestion on major expressways cannot totally eliminate it once it has appeared. True, widening roads can increase the number of cars moving during the most convenient time, and shorten the most congested period. But it cannot fully eliminate peak-hour congestion. 2. Any remedy that initially reduces the number of people using roads during peak hours but does not create obstacles to others replacing them cannot greatly reduce peak hour congestion. Examples are staggering work hours, more people working at home, widening roads, and creating more mass transit. If you spend billions building a mass transit system, all the people it ta kes off the road during peak hours will simply be replaced by others. 3. Only remedies that create obstac le s to such replacement can greatly reduce congestion on roads where they are used. There are three such obstacles: high money tolls, high parking fees-even on now-free s pace, and high gasoline taxes Only high tolls really prevent triple convergence. "Therefore you might as well learn to enjoy congestion, because it is here to stay That may sound pessimistic, but it is not. After all congestion is a condition generated by p rosperity and growth. It is an accompaniment of modem civilization like stress and pressures of all types The cure is learning to adapt to the inevitable. "Get yourself an air-conditioned car v.

In other words, congestion is not the problem it is part of the solution to our mobility needs. It is not going to go away, so we should use the opportunities it prese nts and make the most of it Sprawl More than any of the other i ssues, sprawl is in the eye of the beholder. According to Webster's, to sprawl is "to spread or develop irregular ly" and "to cause to spread out carelessly or awkwardly". Which sounds suspiciously like the way most of our gardens and children grow and develop There undoubtedly are benefits to a strictly ordered life and a strictly controlled community, but they aren't for everyone. In any event, the ungain ly growth and suburbanization of our communities began many centuries before the auto: ... the fact is that the suburb becomes visible almost as early as the city itself.. . All through history, those who owned or rented land outside the city's walls valued having a place in the country .... Early city dwellers did not wait for rapid transportat ion to take advantage of this rura l surcease." (Munford 1961, p. 483) The auto, of course, did he l p many, including the less wealthy, enjoy this surcease, but it has been a fac ilit ator of the process, not a ca us e: "[Another myth]: Highways cause sprawl. It's true that good highways make developments in the far suburbs more feasible . The question is, Which came first, sprawl or highways? A lmost everywhere, housing developments preceded highways Then, highways made further development practical. But beware of tho s e who use the word 'sprawl.' It's a pejorative favored by people who'd rather yo u live in an urban high-rise and give up your cars. What they'r e stigmatizing i s the American dream of a single-family hous e with a yard." (Barnes 1998, p. 18) "It seems that rather than creating the demand for lowdensity suburban Jiving, automobiles have provided a revolutionary means of satisfying this demand by increasing the amount of land accessible to development." (TRB 1997 p. 47) "Suburbanizat ion trends, considered globally .. are universal and are independent of policy impacts. Suburbanization trends are strong in Canada with no mortgage tax deduction, in Europe with high gas taxes in Seoul with massive investments in public transit, in Mexico City with highly s ubsidi zed subway fares, and so on." (Gordon 1997' p. 276) The demand for the suburbs was by factors other than the quality of transportation: "The 'rise of the suburbs' is by far the most cheering movement of modem times. It means an essential modifica t ion of the process of concentration of pop u lation that has 20


Literature Review The Bqncfirs of A utomobiUty been t aking place during the last hundred years and brought with it many of the most difficult political and social problems of the day. To the Anglo-Saxon race life in the great cities cannot be made to seem a healthy and natural mode of existence. The fresh air and clear sunlight, the green foliage and God's clear blue sky are dear to the heart of thi s people who cannot be reconciled to the idea of bringing up their children in hot, dllSty, germ-producing city tenements and streets." (Weber 1898, p 616) Ninety years later, the Transportation Research Board came to the same conclllSion: ... the advanced stage of suburbanization in the United States suggests that the attraction of the c e ntra l city is generally lacking. If the trend of suburbanization were to stop, it would presumably be because of the cost of suburban lifestyles rather than the attraction of the inner city." (TRB 1988, p. 182) As have others at variollS times in betw een: "'We in Los Angeles,' wrote a prominent Angeleno during the 1930s, 'realize the value of sunshine of space and of individual homes as against crowded housing conditions and tenements without proper provision for light, air, yards, lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and individual home units."' (Wachs 1992, p. 202) ... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention undertook an extensive survey of the national mood .... The happiest locales? Suburbs and exurbs, which offer easy access to cities without the crowding and other disadvantages of city life, and without the isolat ion of the countryside." (UC Berkeley 1998) "Edge Cities author Joel Garreau has criticized architects and planners who extol the 19'h century city and its dov.ntown as the only legitimate urban form And it's true that even in their heyday, traditional downtowns were viscerally disliked by a great many o f the people who were forced to live and work in them. They abhorred tbe traffic noise, crowds, traffic jams, the gagging air, the clash of cultures." (Krohe 1992 p. 9) It also has been suggested that trucks played a much larger role in fa cilita tin g decentralization than one might think: ... J .B. Jackson says we have talked too much about cars in our effort to understand automobility and not enough about trucks, or what he calls 'commercial cars.' It has been trucks he asserts, particularly light, utility vehicles that have supported the revolutionary decentralization we associate with cities like Los Angeles.... The traditional American factory, located as it was near the railroad tracks in a multistoried building, was no longer practical. New methods of production and new roles for management were c hanging the organization of the workp lac e, and what was being tried in many industrial plants was a system of continuous material flow, off the assembly But for such a system to be effective, it required more horizontal space, a faster, more efficient flow of goods in and out of the plant, and a cutting 2t


1\ _nL'-down of storage facilities; the old idea of keeping a large inventory on hand was being abandoned ... Truck transportation in the 1920s had proven already that it was fast, flexible, and cheap, so one i mportant reason for wanting a new la yout for factories and warehouses was the provision of effic i ent loading and unloading facilities for th e truck-facilities th at integrated the doors and tail ga te of the truck into the horizon tal interior of the plant . .. Accordingly, factories and warehouses began deserting the crowded town area and moving out to where land was cheaper and closer t o the highways used by larger trucks (Wachs 1992, pp. 21, 25) For those concerned about the black clouds of suburbanization, there are some silver linings (and advice): "Planners had better g et used to Sprawl City, precisely because the American people invariably choose it as the better way to live. Whatever the case with water and sewer service, fire and police protection, Sprawl City i s not necessarily less efficient tha n Compact City with respect to loca l travel. The critical factor in loca l travel is the collocation of daily destinations: ho me work place, school grocery, fast-food outlet, movie theat er banks. The ev i dence from daily travel surveys is that as residences, work places, and retail establishments have dispersed, they have mutually located in ways that reduce travel rather than increase it. On the other hand as lo cal travel becomes easier, people do more of it, so that congestion is a perpetual problem, however e fficien t the spatia l organization and the transportation system." (TRB 1988, p. 299) . Steven Hayward, r esearch and editorial d irector of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, observed th at 'there is a large and growing body of urba n planning scholarship that calls into serious question mos t of t he conventional wisdom about sprawl.' According to Hayward 'The m ost significant fmdings of this scholarship are that (I) sprawl may not be as cost-inefficient as supposed; (2) sprawl may actually be more co n d ucive to infill development than deliberately p hased, higher density development ; and (3) sprawl may actually be reducing-not incr eas ing-traffic congestion."' (Diamond 1996, p. 39) "Suburbanizatio n h as been the dominant and successfu l mechanism for reducing congestion It has shifted road and h ighway demand to less congested routes and away from core areas." (Gordon \997, p 98) ... suburbs arc the future. Rapid changes in comm u nica t ion t ec hno logy not only make it possible for people to work at ho me, b ut also make it u nnece ssary for many firms to be downtown. Busi n ess people can handle routine communications and obtain inf ormat i on e lect ronically from remote (and less costly) locat i ons Also, lifestyle choices are increasing ly im portan t in determining where workers will look for job opportunities. Today's time-conscious worker wants to spend l e s s t ime on the road or in the bus (D unphy 1997, p. 35) 22


--r .. 'efficiency' does not imply rearranging people s lives to minimize transport costs. Rathe r it implies a search for a suitable balance between transport costs (including the value of trave lers' t ime) and the costs of compatibly configure land uses. Where peopl e li ve in relatio n to their jobs schools, churches suppliers of domestic goods and services, places of entertainment and the homes of friends and how they move among these sites determine the fabric and q ua lity of their daily lives. As the popu l ation grows, as personal wea lth increa s es as structural and transp ort technology advances, and as relative resource costs shift each generation rearranges both land us e and travel patterns in a ceaseless searc h for better lives." (TRB 1 988, p. 275) "Growth h as a w ay of managing i tself. People wh o don't like long com m utes avoid them by moving closer to their jobs. Those who don't like strip malls m ove near shopping centers. Pleasant little village communities sound enticing until you look at the price tag. Those who seek to go back t o th e era of pre World War II need to reflect a little. Americans made that decis ion w hen they fled on t h e n ew interstates from crowded cities for more space. Only planners would tingle at the thoug h t of living in row houses with paper-thin walls nex t door to a screaming shrew, a drunken h usb and and a teenager with a 200-watt stereo." (The Florida Times Un ion 1996) "How close in and how close together families s hould liv e arc not matters best decided by government edict. Le t the choi ces of the people be registered in the marketplace, and le t the results remind us that s u burban communities, ho wever ster il e they appear to insolent reformers are popularly embraced as little realms of prid e and happiness." (Roberts 1997) "Should we try to c ompac t cities? I don't know And I don't think anyone knows It is still unclear how the generic benefits of doing so compare w ith the gen eric costs ( C ran e 1997, p. 279) And least we forget the impact on rural lands caused by the auto's predecessor: ... farmers devo ted more tha n one third of the l and in the United States to rai sing crops to fue l t he nat ion's horses." (McShane 1994, p. 4 5) "The State governments from Indiana west to the Rocky Moun ta ins actively encouraged car ownership. The y reasoned that if the horse could be replaced by machines then a huge acreage of productive land could be turned over to providing food for people instead of fodder for horses America's horses at the tum of the cen t ury had for thirty years been consuming the annual yield of L 00 million acres of farm land whic h included 40 per cent of the total grain crop." (Pettifcr 1984, p 56) "What demands do highways place on the supply of l and? The answer is: substant i al but a long way from insupportabl e . .. In 1920 abo u t 90 million acres 27 percent of the tot a l harvested area and a lmo st 5 percen t of the lan d area of the Unite d States, wa s used to grow feed for horses and from t h e land devoted t o grazing. This area has decreased to Jess than 8 million-that is, by rep lac ing the horse the 23


1P' automobile h as released for other purpo ses almost four times as mu ch land as is occupied by the entire highway system." (Rae 1 971, pp. 355, 357) City of the Futur e If yo u still are n o t convinced that.the auto is the best answer to our mobilit y needs until the next big technol ogical breakthrough that makes th e auto as antiquated as the h orse, what do we do in the meant ime? Transit provides a useful service for many, but its prospects as an alternativ e to the au t o are limited: "National urban t ranspo rtation policy has evolved in conflict over th e pas t tw o decades. Twenty years ago crit i cs of the automobile insisted t hat combinations of publicly fund ed m ass transi t respon ses not only cou ld bu t must. so l ve urban mass transi t need s. Recent exper ience s with Was hington's Metro system San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Tra nsit (BAR T ), plus th e continuing decline and r ot of bus sy stems in man y cities, have diluted the optimism of many of the most enthu siast i c sup porters of public transportation. By the late 1980s cold reality has set in ; not only is effic i ent' mass transit enormously expens ive but it is a fiendishly difficult concept to 'sell' to the American public. As Scott Bottles observes in Los Angeles and the Automobile, it would take astronomical gasoline pric es horrend ous traffic congestion or governme nt fiat to force most people out of their automobiles ... It is unrealistic to expec t anything else in a soc iet y that celebrates indi vid u a l c h o ice and free-market econo mics.' Although Bottles' r ese arch focuses on Los Angeles, his assessment i s relevant to mos t other metropolit a n r egions too (Wa c h s 1992, p. 188) "The publi c i s u nlike ly to use public transit un til u sing a personal car becomes too inconvenient or expensive. Switching from personal cars to p ubli c transit is likel y t o occur only after highway congestion is critical, parking is unavailable, automotive fuel is extremely costly, and transit rou t es fully connect origins and destinations. (Energy Advisory Commi tt ee 1997, p 66) "Several western American metropoli ses are pursuing heavy rail and li ght-rail transit systems, in a no s talgic effort to r esurrect a decadent 19"' century technolo gy and to reinduce the centralized city from that typifi ed by an earlier day." (Webb e r 1986 p. 49) I s the 19thcentury city the only legitimate urban form ? Friendships and r e l atives tend to be much more geographically dispersed. The same with business contactS. Our sense of place has expanded. It now i s the country or world, with perhaps some immediate neighborhood sense of place The auto, train, airplane computer, and other communication technology have reduced the need to gro up geographically The ci t y has changed and is changing, and is like ly t o become mo re, not less, hostile to traditi o n a l tran si t solut i ons: "This disp ersion of economic a ctiv iti es, clear-cut in Lo s An geles and p e rhaps evi dent in other metropolitan areas once the research has been done, is much mor e radical than imp l ied by th e adoption of concep ts such as 'edge cities,' 'satellite citi es,' 24


____________________________ 'polycentricity,' and 'urban villages Rapid advances in telecommunica t ions are now accelerating the decentralization trends set in motion by the advent of the a utomobile.... Entertai nment already is, and instntction is more likely to be, transmitted over broad-band radio frequencies rather than seen in traditio nal theaters or lecture balls. Today' s cities continue to become less compact; the c ity of the future will be anything but c ompact. Those who misread these trends do so at considerable cost. For example, Asian real estate inves t ors lost approxima t e l y one-half of their $77 billion investment in American cities over the last decade or so by focusing on downtow n locations. Americans should n ot feel too s m u g, however, because their elected r epresentatives have squandered, in total, ev en larger sums on d u bious downtown renewal schemes (Gordon 1997, p 100) "Americans arc creating the biggest change in a hundred ye a rs in how we build cities. Every singl e American city t hat is grow ing, is growing in th e fashion of Los Angeles, with m u ltiple urban cores. These ne w hearts of om civilization--in which the majority of metropolitan Americans n ow work and around which we live--look not at a ll like our old downtowns. Buildings r are l y rise shou l der to shoulder, as in Chicago's Loop." (Garreau 1991, p 3) "Says Berkeley professor Martin Wachs, director of th e U ni ve r sity of California Tran sp orta t i on Center, 'We're going to have many more people working in the service industry, many more people working part-time and on contract. The nature of work will be more varied than in the past. All of this sets the market for transportation, as people will be working at differe n t places on differen t days and at d i fferent hours."' (Zitter 1998, p. 46) "Since cities are formed by the sta t e ofth e-art transportation device of the time, the dematerializing technologies [ e.g facsimile mac h ine] would appear to be the next shaper of our cit ies "In America the maio idea behin d community now is voluntary association, n o t geography." (Garreau 1991, pp. 133, 27 5 ) ... suburban i za ti on co m b ined with decentralization, via i ts lon g-term influence on shortening commu t es, is th e so l ution not the problem. The alternative strategy, doubling u rban densities to reduce VMT, will not happen and could not happen u n til c i ties are built with Lego. "Frank Lloyd Wright was correct when he said (75 years ago) that the automobile electricity and the telephone effectively made downtowns obsole t e .... the centra l city vs the suburbs i s yesterday's batt l e. Even 'edge citi es' are becoming old news Today's c on t es t revealed i n recent employmen t trends data is betwee n the suburbs and the exurbs. The downtown skyscrapers that were such symbols of concentrated economic wealth and power no t onl y look lik e tombsto n es, they may yet become t h em." (Gordon 1997, pp. I 00, 276-277) 25


" . a single downtown may be an idea whose time has gone, except perhaps in small cities. In stead 'downtown may merely be one of several specialized precincts within t he metropolitan area (Krohe 1992, p 13) Nor is the answer found in auto restric t ions: "This cannot be a time of business as usual. As we go forward, any investmen t or policy decision we make regarding transportation must sustain the full range of urban experiences within the scope of an individual's daily routine. No propo sal that reduc es or inhibits our personal mob ilit y has any reasonable chance of success within the Western indust rialized world-or, by extension over time, in the cities of the developing wor l d (Safdie 1997, pp 125-26) One part of the answer lies in a bett er understan d ing, coordination, and use of urban design and transportation planning for a mobile s oci ety: .. blaming the automobile for this probl em is like blaming the mess enge r for the bad news. The true blame lies with urban planning and governance--with people not cars. I t is not necessary to gouge out th e urban landscape, to produce u rban designs so hos t ile to p edestrians and cyclists, in order to accommodate cars." (Sperling 199 5 pp 5-6) .. diverse environments and lifestyles require opportunities for choice Short of assuming a tabula rasa of our environm ent from which to start from scratch, it is clear that n o single method of transportation is going to serve as the golden breakthrough to an effortl ess commu te, trip, or hou r of errands The key to rationalizing transportation in the regional city is t o focus first on mob ili t y itself as a goal and second, on the bes t sys tem of transport to satisfy ea ch type of mobilit y we desire. The regiona l cit y, if it is to maintain any diversi t y of architecture, density, and balance betwe e n na t ural and man-made environments, will require a broad range of s peeds, scales and means of movement. A grand, unified sys tem of t r avel will foster a place of diversity and richness uneq u a l ed in past cities, and an exponen t ial expansion of opportunities appropriate to the comp lexity and sophist ication of contemporary life." (Sa fdie 1997, p. 135) "President Dwight E i se nhower, father of the in t e r sta t e system, never envisioned i nterst ates penetrating cities in the firs t p lac e. On balance, though, cit ie s have been fortunate to hav e t he m. Freeways, by spurring commerc e and tourism actually slowed the demise of c ities (Barnes 1998, p 16) ... th. e best bet is probably the one we are engaged in right now: bui lding Edg e City It i s a wo rld that does not deny the automobile, but at the sam e time in creases density, putting evel)1bing a person desires as c lose as possible to his house while reducing the number of different places he has to park in order to go about his affairs." (Garr eau 1991, p. 1 29) 26


1!"' The other part of the answer lies in continual improvem ent and adap tation of the a u tomobile: "The problem with our transportation today i s thr e efo ld: all vehicles are expected to satisfy all purposes; all roads are built to serve all vehicles; and a ll mles are designed for the standard vehicle of the past. The key to introducing small cars is dispensing with this one-size-fits-all mentality. Changes arc needed in rigid safety regulations that stifle innovation, in trad it ional manufacturing met hod s that discourage small cars, standardized infrastructures that discriminate against small vehicles, and traffic c ontro l rules that serve only large vehicles. "As a viable alternative t o full-size cars, small, low-speed vehicles could also strengthen emphasis on neighborhood centers and non -motorized travel. ... the deployment of electric vehicles might set in motion a series of events that eventually transforms communities and road infrastmcture." (Sperling 1995, pp. 25, 66-67) "Another development is station ca r technology, already being tested in a number of areas, including San Francisco and New Jersey. This idea integrates mass transit and personal automobile technology to bypass some of the obstacles and inflexibility inher ent to mass transit. In effect, small e lectric vehicles would be housed at transit stations for local use, which is practical because many transit systems especially trains, use a great deal of electricity. (An) APIA official, Jerry Trotter, speculates: 'Maybe I'd ride the train, pick up an electric car at the station and take it home. The next morn i ng I'd drive to the station, drop off the EV and someone else from another area might pick up that same veh icle to do business, run errands or whatever they needed to do."' (Zitter 1998 p. 48) "We need a transport s ystem that would permit virtually ever yone to enjoy the equivalent of automobile mobi/ily, although not exclusively with the present arrangement of privately owned cars each exclusively dedica ted to carrying its owner in privacy." (Webber 1986, p 49) Infrastructure improveme n ts that allow the auto to operate more efficiently also will be i m portant. Referring to a city that has no zoning and relies on the auto, Robert T. Dunphy says: "Rather than being tro ubled by automobile dependency the ( Houston] region accepts it and unrepentantly makes massive road improvements. . As in most growing communities, suburbanization is widespread but compact citylike suburban centers also flourish. . as an auto-or i ented, outward -mo vi n g metropolitan area, it boasts some of the larg e st and densest suburban activity centers-edge cities that have ever been assembled .... with the help of one of the nation's lar gest systems ofHOV lanes and bus based transit, Houston has succeeded in cutting back on traffic congestion." (Dunphy 1997, p 143) . Dunphy goes on to say that "By 1984 only Los Angeles had worse congestion (than Houston)." He then points out that without penalizing the auto or making it more expensive 27


\' or difficult to drive, but instead using an approach that improved facilities fo r the auto and other mod e s the following resul ts were obtained in Houston: 'Avera g e freeway speeds during the evening peak period i ncreased from 38.3 mph in 1 980 to 49 mph in 1994-a 28 percent incr e ase The number of miles of arterial streets that are severely congested was reduced from a 1985 peak of 74 percent to 29 percent in 1 992." (Du nphy 1997, pp. 1 47, 1 4 9-150) We conclude with a vision of a future neighborhood b y Daniel Sper l ing, a more genera l vision b y Mos h e Safdie, and some observations by Garreau: Sperling: .. Over the past 5 years not a single p erson has been seriously injured by a car in this ne ighborhood, even though it is heavily traveled by pedestrians and b ic yclists. The speed limit is 20 mph for all vehicles, incl uding trucks a n d large cars whose speed controls are act i vated w h en they l eave m ajor roads and enter local residential and commercial streets. Most people live i n sing l e-fam i ly h omes with yards, but garages and driveways are much sma ller than in the 1990s and the streets are only half as wide. What's most striking in this suburb of the future, though is not the safety r ecord, the speed limit, nor the size of d riv eways and streets. It is the number of small, c olorful cars known as neighborhood e lectric vehi cles NEV s for short. Resi den t s of this community still drive gasol i ne cars on occas i on, but they p retty much s t ick with t heir NEVs. T hey take as many trips by car as people di d in the 1990s but the trips are shorter and the people walk and bicycle more a tre n d that has led to the revival of neighborhood shops. Modera t e sized trucks delivering large boxes are allowed to enter this neighborhood from ten in t he morning u ntil noon. A trucking company pays a $30 fee for the privilege of using the road Or t ruck ers ca n d eliver a n d pick up goods at a privately owned term i na l licensed by the city at the edge of the ne i ghborhood. There the goods are transfer red t o small e lectri c trucks that serve resi d ences on the narrow street. B u sinesses in town make deliverie s and pickups in their own small e lect r i c trucks. Eme rgency vehicles such a s fire truc ks and ambu la nces, downsized, are given priority access to the neighborhoo d street. (Sperling 19 95, pp. 65-66) Safdie: .. Imag i ne having a car when we wanted one, but being free from worrying abo u t it when we did not. Imagine a vehicl e with all the convenience and mobility of the car, but that i s left at the curb when we arrive, waiting for us w he n we le ave, and at the curb when we arrive, waiting for us t o l eave, and of no persona l con cern whatsoever when w e are not using it. Consider, the n the possibility tha t the car i s not privately owned, but rather, part of a pool of vehicles at our dis p osa l by the ho u r, day, week, or mon th. 28


Uteroture Revie-w: The Bcne,lits o{4utmnobilitl! Utility cars (or 'U-cars') could be gotten from storage depots-picked up like airport baggage carts with an access card from the front of the line-to be used as long as we please and billed automatically in accordance with time and mileage used. A universal driver's license/cr edit ca rd might be confirmed by voice activat ion and vehicles might be available as two, four, and six-seaters. The car could be electric: charged and serviced while in the storage depots to completely e liminate the t ime we eac h currently spend on mai ntenance. S uch a system wou ld enhance the freedom of movement we now enjoy from our cars but add the convenience of a publicly run and maintained utility. We would have the liberty of holding on to aU-car, parking it in our driveway, garage, or a traditional parking lot as we leave it for short durations with our belongings in it, and returning to it as needed Traveling from a regional workplace to a submban house, we might store the vehicle overnight in the driveway and keep it throughout the day. The pattern of use of such vehicles might, in some cases, be almost identica l to our current use of a persona l car. On the other hand, traveling to a crowded central locatio n, we would leave the vehicle at a storage depot upon arrival. Perhaps the greatest efficiency of a public car system would be the reduction in the overall number of cars needed. Each vehicle would be used much more efficiently, and as part of a mass transportation system, the Ucar would drastically reduce the amount of space we now devote to idle private vehicles. From a purely economic point of view, the cost to an individual per mile p e r day would be l ess than operating his or her own vehicle. But the most appealing, most seductive, most co mp elling aspect of the U-car is pure and simple, the fulfillment of a longtime promise of cars: the carefree life. To have it at our disposal at any time ; to have the freedom of mind not to worry about it and the physical freedom to get rid of it; and not to incu r the cost of it when we do not need it-this indeed would be liberation. The concept of a car as a 'disposab le' utilit y raises the prospect of the design of truly rapid transit. Depersonalizing the car opens u p a whole rang e of n ew possibilities. Regional transportation centers, along with major shopping rna Us, civic center complexes, and universities for example, might provide U-car storage and maintenance depots c onnected with rapid tra nsit lines. With the U-car, we could make instant transfers from rapid transit to car at both ends of our trip. Further, we would be able to consider using the car in the vast regiona l city specifically and only for those segments of a trip for which it is most effective and necessary: to reach dispersed house and businesses, for example We would b e able to consider relatively long trips without the logis t ica l acrobatics necessary today. Within the broader region, the northeas t corridor of the United States, for example, utility cars could give the edge needed for rapid rail to displace local air travel. In tum, developing rapid mass transit that is facilitated by easy car transfer would open 29


up entirely new land-use opportunities. It i s here we can see the framework for our twenty-first-century city emerging." (Saldie 1997 pp. 139-145) Garreau: "Will [an Edge City) ever be the place we want to call home? Robert Fishman, a Rutgers historian who is one of the few academics successfully to examine Edge City, tlunks he knows the answer. 'All new city forms appear in their early stages to be chaotic,' he reports. He quotes Charles Dickens on London in 1848: 'There were a hwtdred thousand shapes and substances of incompleteness, wildly ming l ed out of their places, upside down, burrowing in the earth, aspiring in the earth, moldering in the water, and unintelligible as in any dream.' That is also the best one-sentence description of Edge City extant. Edge C i ty's problem is historic. It has none. If Edge City were a forest, then at maturity it might tum out to be quite splendid in triple canopy. But who is to know if we are seeing onl y t he first, scraggly growth? I once heard an academic in a French accent ask Fishman, seriously, what the ideal of an Edge City was What a wonderfully French question' Who knows what these th i ngs look like when t hey grow up? These critters are likely only in their nymphal, if not larval, forms We ve probably never seen an adult one. If Edge City still gives some people the creeps, it is partially because it confounds expectations. Traditiona l -downtown urbanites recoil because a place blown out to automobile scale is not what they think of as a 'city. They find the swirl of functions intim i dating, confusing, maddening. W h y are these tall office buildings so far apart? Why are they juxtaposed apparently higgledy-piggledy among the malls and strip shopping centers and fast-food joints and self-service gas stations? Both li terally and metap h orically, these urbanites always get .lost. Venice today is venerated by American urban planners as a shrine to livability What was Ven ice like when it was new? 'People forget that Venice was buil t by hook or by crook,' replied Dennis Romano, a social historian oft he early Renaissance. 'Venice was just as mercantilist as Tysons It was full of land speculators and developers The merchants' primary concern was the flow of goods of traffic. Those who now r omanticize Venice collapse a thousand years of history. Venice is a monument to a dynamic process, not to great urban planning. It 's bard for us to imagine, but the architectura l harmony of the Pia:t:za San Marco was an acc i dent. It was built over centuries by people who were constantly worried about whether they had enough money.'" (Garreau 1991, pp. 9 10) And finally, no horses in our new t?wns,just get comfortable in your auto: "Books on tape, concert quality car stereos, car phones, portab l e fax machines, and lap-top comp u ters all are making car time more productive. Refrigerators and beds 30


have been in vans for decades. Now there is serious talk of cars with microwaves so that you can start thawing dinner." (Garreau 1991, p. 131) Summary Pollution. The evidence suggests that pollution from autos has never been a problem in many areas of th e country, is no longer a problem is some areas where it used to be, and soon will not be a problem anywhere. Of course, if our defmition of"problem" is something less than zero t oleran ce for such things as pollution, safety, energy co nsumpt ion, and congestion the question becomes: How much can you have without it being a pwblem? Teclmically, the answer is found in benefit-cost analysis and the efficient allocation of resources Viscerally, however, less is always better. Safety. The auto will never be as safe as we might like for it to be. However, it is important to understand that the degree to which a mode of travel is safe is not inherent in the mode itself, but is largely a result of economic choices we have made. Although it probably is possible to design and build an automobile and a highway network that would eliminate all fatalities, it just wouldn't make social or economic sense to do that However, technology and design changes in both vehicles and roadways cont i nue to improve driving safety drama t ically, and it certainly is much safer than the horse it replaced. Energy Consumption. The "teclmology will save us" argument may in general be fra ught with danger and suggestive of inappropriate faith in a benign future, leading to poor plarming or lack thereof. But if ever there was an area of public concern that is amenable to teclmological s o l u tion this is one. After a hundred years of burning fossil fuel big time we have more of it than we ever did, even as our need for it begins to decline. Inefficiency. Economists pretty m uch agree, and few others disagree, that our highway and trans it systems are under priced, but there are many who argue that mobility has external benefits that justify subsidizing it, at least for certain groups of people. Whether society's goals are more likely achieved with lower or h igher auto usage is a more complicated issue than efficient pricing. But this is largely a moot issue. The political reality is that we are no t going to have full-cost pricing of publicly provided transportation, and, if we did transit, not highway would be the big loser of ridership. Rather than beating our heads against this wall, we should be looking for ways to make it OK to drive and, thus, to be very mobile. Accessibility. The fact is that, even when other modes are available the elderly, poor, disabled, and young rely primarily (albeit often as passengers) on t he automobile for their transportation. They, in fact are more dependent on the automobile than persons without mobility limitations or disadvantages. Th e auto is more usable by disabled persons, for example, than is transit, pedestrian facilities, bicycle facilities, or any other urban transportation mode. If auto u sage is penalized, tho se most hurt will be the elderly, the poor, the disabled, and t he young. 31


Uterawre Review: The Benefits ofAutomobilitv To improve their mobility perhaps we should subsidize auto ownership for poor persons who can drive and subsidize taxis, etc. for those who can't, and provide fixedroute transit for the disabled and the young where it's cost-effective i.e., cheaper than paratransit. Persons who can't drive can loc ate where the public services they need are located, e.g they can move to transit corridors in cities that provide transit. Is this any different from people needing to live in big cities if they want opera or first-class medical care? Congestion. As with pollution, zero congestion sounds good but is poor policy. Except for the relatively insignificant relationship between speed and pollution/energy consumption, congestion is nothing more than travel time, one of the costs of getting from "a" to "b." At any time of the day, at any time of the year, a person can travel from downtown Tampa to downtown St. Petersburg (substitute almost any other "a" and "b") more quickly than could be done thirty years ago or sixty years ago, or a hundred and sixty years ago. Is there a congestion problem? Was there a congestion problem a hundred and sixty years ago? If time is a problem all human activity is a problem, and congestion is a problem until travel time is zero, ala "Star Trek" In the meantime, our obsession with trying to eliminate time and make everything happen at once leads to poor policy, wasted resources, and, if we should happen to succeed, a very uninteresting existence Faster sleeping may have some appeal, and Mother Nature would probably reward all species for spending less time on consuming nourishment and breeding, but, as they say, what's the point? Perhaps the issue should be not how to eliminate congestion, but how to make time spent in commuting, etc more enjoyable and more productive. On the other hand, if we look at geographic access to housing and jobs for growing populations as a function of travel time, we see that land use/transportation coordination, not congestion, is really the issue. SprawVLand Use/ Urban Design. Controversy about sprawl and suburbanization has existed since Romans and other early civilizations began moving to suburbs to escape the ills of the city. The advent of the streetcar hastened the movement and the automobile made it possible for even more people to respond to the pull of the countryside or the push of the city. However, the underlying reasons for this movement existed long before the automobile and are independent of it. It is those underlying reasons that need to be under s tood and accepted or fought or otherwise dealt with. Making it more difficult for persons to respond to those underlying factors by economically or otherwise restricting automobile usage will just lead them to find other ways to get to where they want to go or to get away from whatever it is that's bugging them. Admittedly, we don't have the best relationship now between our land-use system and our transportation system. And of all the issues discussed here, this is the area in which the issues and solutions are least clear and in which more work and innovation and experimentation is needed. Maybe trying to maintain our current city structures or the nostalgic view of the structures in which our grandparents lived is noi dissimilar to trying to keep the buggy-whip industry in business. As painful as change and transition are, maybe we need to work with -not fight-32


Literature Review: The Benefits qfAutomobility the greatest mobility aid ever known to humankind to see what new spatial living and working arrangements are possible and most desirable City of the Future. Our report concludes w ith some thoughts about what one possible city structure/land-use solution for a highly mobile, automobile-oriented population might look like. This is essentially a Lego exercise. Take some jobs some housing, some entertainment, some shopping soine envi ronmen ta l land, some farm land, various transportation links, and lots and lots of people in automobiles, and situate them such that travel between activity centers is quick and that access within activity centers is convenient, and that the overall result is "livable" and "sustainable". Your solution may not look like a buggy whip. It no longer is necessary to have a "downtown" to have sidewalk cafes. They now are prevalent in suburban shopping areas-and neighborhood theaters are everywhere. Thi s city of the future might have: )> One or more CBDs and other activity centers with p lentiful free parkiog and, within each activity center, good internal circulator systems a nd amenities for pedestrians and bicyclis ts. :1> Facilities for h igh-speed automobile transportation among th e activity centers. :1> Transit and paratransit service to the neighborhoods adjoining the CBD(s) and a very limited number of transit lines into suburban areas )> Subsidized autos and taxis for low-income persons. )> Autos available for rent by the hour :1> Separate auto and truck road networks, allowing safe use of the "500-pound car" suggested by William Garrison To the extent that transit has a role in the city of the future, it also needs to rely on the automobile. Want to get more people on the buses? Get more cars on the road! And provide lots of free parking! It's true. To increase densities and increase transit usage we first must promote and encourage auto use. People will come to activity centers that have good auto acces s and free parking, and businesses will stay and expand and new businesses will come. Eventually there will be the densities needed to support transit. Since th e advent of the automobile, no city in the U.S. has developed good transit service without first attracting a critical mass of customers by providing good auto service. The theatre, aquarium, hockey games, etc. will be attended pr i marily by persons who want to use an automobile to get there. It's great to make these activities accessible to those who want to get there by other means, but first we must make them as accessible as possible to automobiles. Otherwise, reduced attendance and bankrupt aquariums will be the result of the auto "cure". 33


J.L. In t he abse n ce of draconian land-use co n trols, the cost and ease of access detennine land-use patterns If good auto serv ice and free parking is used to increase density then a cit y can afford to offer trans i t options f o r the greatly increased number of commuters and s hoppe rs going downtown-or wher e ve r. The au t o is w h a t makes t h e (neo tr aditio n a l ) city of Ce lebration (near Orlando) livable for commuters working in Tampa The future of the auto a s current l y design e d is as t ransportation be t ween activity centers (ne i ghborhoods CBDs neo t raditio n al communities, etc. ) Within the activity centers, circu la t or systems and may b e an offshoot of the auto will provide the mobility. What wou ld this future urban area look like? Maybe like well-connec ted (by a u to) neo t radi t ion .al neighborhoods and dov.'Iltov,n s The au t o not only is n o t inco m patible with such design it is essential to such design 34


Bibliograph y American Automobile Associa t ion 1997. Clearing the Air: An Updated Report on Emission Trends in Selected U.S. Cities Executive Summary, July, page 2 Arrillaga, Bert 1993. U.S. Experience with Congestion Pricing. ITE Journal, December, pages 39-43. Barnes, Fred 1998. In Praise of Highways The Weekl y Standard, April27, 1998, pages 15-18. Bernstein, William J. 1998. Cost of Capital/Cost of Oil, Efficient Frontier DA TAQUE S T Website downl oaded 6130198 http : //www. coos o r.usl -wbc rnlef/498/coc.htm. Business Week 1998. Your Car May Be Smarter Than You: The latest high -tech wizardry can counter driver error. Science & Technology section June 29, 1998, pages 85-86 DeCorla-Souza, Patrick 1993. Congestion Pricing: I ssues and Opportunities. I TE Journal, Decem ber, pages 27-32. Delucch i Mark A. 1996. Total Cost of Motor -Vehicle Use. Research of the University of California Transportation Center, Access, Number 8. Diamond Henry L., and Patrick F. Noonan 1996. Land Use in America Wash ington D.C. : Island Press. Downs, Anthony 1998. The Costs of Sprawl Alternative Forms of Growth. Anthony Downs at the Transportation Research Conference Minneapolis, May 19, 1998. Speech downloaded from Website 6129/98, .html. Dunphy, Robert T. 1997. Moving Beyond Gridlock : Traffic and Development. Urban Land Institute: Washington, D.C. Eads George C 1988. The F11ture ofThe Automobile Chapter 3, pages 17-26. Energy Adv i sory Committee 1997. A Report on Energy Issues, pr epared for 11te Gove rnor' s Commission for a Sustainable So u th Florida, Coral Gabl es, Florida August. Ewing Re i d 1997. Is Los Angeles Style Sprawl Desirable? APA Journal Winter, page l !3. Financial Times 1998. Cheap oil: who needs ir?, Wednesday, April I 1998. Fry bourg, Mic hel 1991 The &onomic Control of Urban Transport Demand J ournal of International Association of Traffic and Safety Sc i ences, IATSS Research Vol. 1 5, No. I. 35


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_J1 __ ----wWeber, A. F. 1898. "Suburban Annexations," North American Review 166 (May 1898), page 616 Zitter Jeremy 1998. How Cars Can Help Transit Metro Magazine, June. 38


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