Congestion Costing Critique: Critical Evaluation of the “Urban Mobility Report”
The Urban Mobility Report (UMR) is a widely-cited study that estimates U.S. traffic congestion costs and recommends congestion reduction solutions. This study identifies various biases in the UMR’s analysis. As a result of these problems the UMR’s congestion cost estimates represent upper-bound values, which are much higher than the results from other studies that use more realistic assumptions. The UMR ignores basic research principles: it includes no current literature review, fails to fully explain assumptions and document sources, has no sensitivity analysis, and lacks independent peer review. Users of this report should be aware of these biases and omissions.
Smart Congestion Relief: Comprehensive Evaluation of Traffic Congestion Costs and Congestion Reduction Strategies
How traffic congestion is evaluated can significantly affect transport planning decisions.
This report investigates the best methods for measuring congestion costs and evaluating
potential congestion reduction strategies. Key factors include analysis scope, baseline
speeds, travel time valuation, accident and emission impact analysis, induced travel
analysis, and consideration of co-benefits. It discusses how these factors influence
planning decisions and describes the practices recommended by experts. It evaluates various congestion reduction strategies including roadway expansion, improvement of space efficient modes, pricing reforms, Smart Growth policies and demand management programs.
Rethinking Malahat Solutions: Or, Why Spend A Billion Dollars If A Five-Million Dollar Solution Is Better Overall?
This report evaluates various options for reducing traffic problems on the Malahat
highway north of Victoria, British Columbia. This analysis indicates that a combination of
bus service improvements, Transportation Demand Management strategies and
incremental roadway improvements is the most cost effective and beneficial option. In
addition to financial savings it provides additional benefits including reduced
driver stress, consumer savings and affordability, reduced downstream traffic problems,
energy conservation, emission reduction and improved mobility for non-drivers. Current
planning tends to undervalue this approach by ignoring many highway expansion costs
and traffic reduction benefits.
Rural Multimodal Planning. Why and How to Improve Travel Options in Small Towns and Rural Communities
Multimodal planning creates communities where it is possible to get around by walking, bicycling and public transport. This provides various direct and indirect benefits. This report explores why and how to implement more multimodal planning in rural areas and small towns. Current demographic and economic trends are increasing non-auto travel demands in rural communities. Various strategies can help rural communities improve and connect walking, cycling, public transport, including innovative facilities and services, and Smart Growth development policies.