1.252J | Fall 2016 | Graduate

Urban Transportation Planning


1 Course Overview and Introduction

  • Overview of the course
  • The multi-step approach to transportation planning
  • Current issues and trends in urban transportation
  • Pattern breaks
  • The transportation planning method
2 Urban Transportation History and Institutions

  • Thumbnail history of Boston
  • Transportation and land use: chicken and egg
  • Job densities and transit
  • Introduction of first assignment

No recitation

Assignment 0 “Introduce Yourself” due

3 No Class: MIT Holiday

No recitation

4 Boston’s Highway Revolt: Anatomy of a Pattern Break?

  • Highway revolt and resurgence of transit in Boston
  • Was the revolt a rebellion or a revolution?
  • Cambridge today
  • Guest Lecture: Dominick Tribone, “Counting Today: Automatically Collected Data Systems”

No recitation; Everett/Sullivan/Charlestown walking tour

Assignment 1 due

5 Transportation Finance and Legislation: Economic Development and Externalities

  • Transportation and federal legislation
  • Economic Development: job generation, urban agglomeration, industrial policy
  • External and social costs
  • Taxes for transporation
  • Gentrification
  • Employment policies, housing finance, tax code
  • Spending other people’s money: what are the rules? Financial evaluation and constraints
  • Role of government, annual appropriations, capital investment
  • The “peanut butter principle”, i.e. pork barrel

Recitation: Assignment 1 presentations (with special guest Joe Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation for the City of Cambridge)

6 The Battle for the Space Between Buildings: Street Design and the Politics of Urban Mobility

  • Guest Lecturer Anson Stewart: Spatial limits and capacity
  • Guest Lecture Jeff Rosenblum: Traffic calming, complete streets, and the politics of street design

No recitation

7 Transportation Planning Methods and Measures: The 4-Step Model (and Other Traffic Models)

  • Guest Lecturer Mikel Murga

No recitation

8 Congestion and Solutions

  • Congestion and solutions
  • Capacity and accessibility

Recitation: Presentation and discussion of Assignment 2

Assignment 2 due

9 Project Evaluation and Environmental Impacts of Transportation

Guest Lecturers Laurie Hussey and Tom Rossie of Cambridge Systematics

  • FTA’s new starts, evaluation criteria
  • Project selection and prioritization
  • Institutional role in project programming, MPOs and modal agencies
  • MPOs and the institutional role in programming
  • Highway expansion
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Transportation and air quality
  • Large land use developments and MEPA

No recitation

10 No class

Recitation: Watch Great Projects: The Big Dig from PBS

11 The Other Battle for the Space Between Buildings: Parking

  • Congestion: why it happens, and what we can do about it
  • Pricing road space: congestion charging
  • Congestion as an argument for transit
  • The non-linearity of congestions and interpreting congestion numbers
  • World tour of parking management practices and policies
  • Transit and parking policy
  • Legacies and innovations in urban transportation

No recitation

12 No class

No recitation

Assignment 3 due

13 Transportation Planning Methods and Measures: Access to Destinations

  • Accessibility measures
  • Gentrification and accessibility

Recitation: Presentation and discussion of Assignment 3

14 Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Transportation

  • Transportation and global warming: might climate change adaptation be the next pattern break?
  • Changing conditions: austerity measures, devolution of responsibilities from the federal government to the states, demographic changes, and energy shifts
  • More transit supply, more transit mode share, more density near stations
  • Course evaluations, parting thoughts and wrap-up

Recitation: Feedback on course

Assignment 4 due

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Lecture Notes
Instructor Insights