REFOCUSING TRANSPORTATION PLANNING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

The primary purpose of transportation planning, at its most fundamental level, is to provide information to those responsible for improving the transportation system and ultimately to benefit society as a whole. For the past 40 years, transportation planning has changed in process and substance to reflect the different issues and concerns that have risen to the top of federal, state, and local policy agendas. This evolution has reflected a broadening perspective on what constitutes a transportation system; the types of actions that should be taken to "solve" our problems; and an expanding definition of benefit measurement. The federal government has played an important catalytic role in introducing new perspectives into the decision-making process. State and local policy concerns have also found their way into planning norms. Concern for environmental and social impacts, a desire for more equitable funding distribution among modes of transportation, and the promotion of a more open and involved planning process were state and local policy issues that eventually became codified in federal regulations. This paper examines the future context of transportation planning and suggests areas in which today's transportation planning must change to reflect tomorrow's exigencies. The basic point of departure for this paper is that the transportation planing process, to be relevant to future decisions, must reflect the changing demographic, technological, environmental, and economic factors that will greatly influence lifestyles and future travel. To examine each of these factors in detail would itself require numerous conferences and lengthy treatises, certainly more attention than can be allowed in this paper. However, as we enter the 21st century, there are several clues that suggest some of the key issues that will be faced by transportation decision makers over the next 20 years, and thus, these issues should be reflected in the planning process. In some cases, these clues are found in historical trends that have consistently shown patterns of likely travel behavior. In other cases, the novelty and rapidity of change preclude any prediction on the basis of observable historical fact, thus leaving us with a best guess of likely changes and resulting consequences.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 41-55
  • Monograph Title: REFOCUSING TRANSPORTATION PLANNING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. PROCEEDINGS OF TWO CONFERENCES: WASHINGTON, D.C., FEBRUARY 7-10, 1999 AND IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, APRIL 25-28, 1999
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00795238
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309071232
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2000 12:00AM