2 Contemporary Issues in Transportation

Chapter Overview

The benefits of transportation are expansive, but transportation can also impose undue burdens on individuals, society, and the environment. Planning for multimodal transportation is a delicate balance of emphasizing benefits while mitigating burdens. Many factors can influence this balancing act, but this chapter will focus on eight ongoing issues that drive the impacts and outcomes of transportation. These issues are health, safety, social equity, uncertainty, sustainability, livability, technology, and funding. This chapter describes these contemporary issues in transportation and explores current trends and their potential effects on transportation and society.

Chapter Topics

  1. Health
  2. Safety
  3. Equity
  4. Uncertainty
  5. Sustainability
  6. Livability and Placemaking
  7. Technology
  8. Funding and the Economy

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this chapter, readers will be able to:

  • Describe the long- and short-term impacts of key issues related to transportation
  • Explain the synergies between key issues in transportation
  • Critique strategies to address current transportation issues


Transportation and health are interrelated in ways that can facilitate or discourage healthy behaviors and affect overall health. The transportation system influences a person’s ability to participate in physical activity, access open spaces/green spaces, and meet daily needs. It can also have varying effects on public safety, air quality, noise levels, and quality of life (Dannenberg and Sener, 2015; Zietsman and Khreis, 2019). The adverse effects of transportation are more prominent in systems that are reliant on single occupancy vehicle travel. On the other hand, a well-planned multimodal transportation system provides modal options that encourage an active lifestyle, decrease the exposure of pedestrians and bicyclists to vehicular crashes, and reduce auto trips and corresponding pollutants from vehicles.

Health impacts related to auto-oriented transportation

  • Lack of physical activity
    • Obesity
    • Heart disease
    • High blood pressure/cholesterol
    • Type 2 diabetes
  • Traffic collisions
  • Air pollution
    • Associated illnesses
    • Heat islands
  • Stress, noise, and reduced quality of life

Nieuwenhuijsen, 2020 stresses that policies and design features in the built environment influence behavior, which in return, affect health. In Chapter 1 we discussed how urban design influences mode choice. These choices impact the physical environment (level of air pollution, noise, temperature, and UV radiation) and the social environment (stress, social relationships, and physical activity). Finally, each factor affects the quality of health and ultimately mortality rates (see Figure 2. 1).

A flow chart showing the relationship between urban and transportation planning, environment, and health.

Figure 2. 1. The relationship between urban and transportation planning, environment, and health.

Source: Nieuwenhuijsen, 2020, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

In addition to its effects on physical health, urban form and transportation influence mental well-being. According to (Hajrasoulih et al., 2018), the drivers of well-being are the physical and social environment, which are interrelated. The social and physical environment influence the inputs and impacts of transportation (see Chapter 1, Figure 1. 1 for more information on inputs and impacts). For example, transportation infrastructure is a product of the objective physical environment, while impacts such as accessibility, walkability, and comfort are a product of the perceived physical environment.


Although noteworthy efforts have been made to reduce vehicular crashes on highways and local roads, bicyclists and pedestrians have not always received the same level of safety considerations (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019a). And while there are many benefits to walking and biking, pedestrians and bicyclists are at risk when they share the roadway with vehicles. Dangerous by Design, published by Smart Growth America, produces a biennial report on the current state of pedestrian safety in the U.S. The 2021 report stated that pedestrian fatalities increased by 45 percent from 2010 to 2019 (Smart Growth America, 2021).


Comparatively, in several European countries, pedestrian safety is reported as improving. The European Road Safety Observatory Road Safety Thematic Report on Pedestrians, produced in 2021, reported a 20% decrease in pedestrian fatalities between 2010 and 2018 (Dijkstra, 2021). Despite these positive trends for pedestrians, cyclist fatalities and serious injuries are reported as “the only road user group where the number of fatalities and serious injuries has not declined since 2010” (Boele-Vos, 2022, p. 3). These statistics are continent-wide, and the author notes that country-level mobility trends should be taken into consideration. In Great Britain, for example, between 2004 and 2021, pedestrian and cycling activity increased (+10% and 62 %, respectively), even with slight decreases in activity between 2020 and 2021 (U.K Department for Transport, 2022a; U.K. Department for Transport, 2022b). Trend reports show that during this time period, serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities decreased by 51% and 46%, respectively (U.K Department for Transport, 2022a). Cyclist fatalities decreased by 17%, but serious injuries increased by 27% (reflective of the continent-wide trends for serious injuries for cyclists seen throughout Europe). It should be noted that pedestrian- and bicycle-related crashes are typically underreported, a consideration that is described later in this section.

Safety concerns for bicyclists and pedestrians include poor walking or bicycling accommodations, poor conditions at bus stops, unsafe driver behavior or traffic characteristics, unsafe bicycle and pedestrian behavior, and institutional barriers (see Table 2. 1). Characteristics such as land use (urban versus rural), pedestrian or bicyclist location in relation to the intersection, and season and time of day are also contributing factors to safety (NHTSA, 2020, 2021).

Table 2. 1. Types of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Challenges and Causes
Challenges Possible Causes
Poor walking or bicycling accommodations No place to walk or bike

Not enough space

Poor surfaces

Blocked pathways

No buffer

Difficult street crossings

Poor connectivity

Insufficient lighting

Poor guidance

No bike racks

Conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists


Table 2.1, continued
Challenges Possible Causes
Poor conditions at bus stops Street crossings near the stop are dangerous

The sidewalk is blocked

The seating/waiting area is too close to vehicle lanes

There are no sidewalks or bike lanes

People walking near the stop take risks

There is insufficient lighting

There are no bike racks

The stop lacks shelter and/or seating

Unsafe driver behaviors or traffic characteristics Drivers do not yield to pedestrians

Drivers speed or run red lights

Too much traffic

Illegal or unsafe passing

Drivers are intoxicated, distracted, or aggressive

Unsafe pedestrian or bicyclist behaviors Cross the road without looking

Act unpredictably

Cross the road at unsafe locations

Do not obey traffic signals


Hard to see

Walk or bike in the wrong direction

Fail to wear a helmet when biking

Institutional barriers Institutional barriers or lack of support for improving walking and biking conditions in a community

Source: FHWA, 2013

In addition to the factors in Table 2. 1, speed is a significant contributor to the risk of fatality for a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by a vehicle (Figure 2. 2). Lower posted speed limits do not singularly improve safety. Posted speed limits are only effective if coupled with street features that reduce speed. Street features that encourage speed, such as wide lanes, a lack of high-visibility crosswalks, wide intersections, and long distances between intersections, contribute to dangerous streets. Drivers are forced to drive at slower speeds when there are narrower travel lanes, high-visibility, signalized crosswalks, decreased distance between intersections, signalized crosswalks, and turn “slip” lanes are replaced with right-angle turns (Smart Growth America, 2021). Not only do these features slow traffic and improve safety for non-motorists, but they also make walking and cycling more comfortable.

Illustration showing the rate of injury by vehicular speed.

Figure 2. 2. Pedestrian survival rates by vehicular speed

Data Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1999

Morency et al. (2012) identified several considerations when evaluating crash frequency for bicyclists and pedestrians:

First, moving vehicles are the primary cause of road crashes: deaths and injuries result from the transfer of a motor vehicle’s kinetic energy at a rate that exceeds the human body’s protective capacity. Second, the burden of [road traffic injuries] on population health is related to exposure to risk of a crash… Third, the number of injured pedestrians and cyclists is also related to the number of people exposed. (p. 1)

Exposure is a measure of distance traveled, time traveled, pedestrian/bicyclist/vehicle volumes, the number of trips made, and the number of people walking or cycling on a regular basis (FHWA, 2018). Therefore, the number of exposed and at-risk persons is directly related to the number of persons walking and cycling. This reality holds especially true for underserved communities who are more likely to walk and bike to meet daily needs and are less likely to have adequate safety features in their communities (Bridging the Gap, 2012; Safe Routes Partnership, n.d.; Smart Growth America, 2021).

Practitioners face many challenges when evaluating safety for bicyclists and pedestrians (Injury Surveillance Workgroup 8, 2017). Some of these challenges include less meticulous or consistent reporting for bike/ped injuries, and difficulty acquiring information about walking and cycling trends, exposure to injury, and severity of injuries.

Steps are being taken to improve evaluation and monitoring for bicyclist and pedestrian safety, but more work is still needed. The following strategies are recommended to improve injury surveillance (adapted from Injury Surveillance Workgroup 8, 2017):

  • Use clear and consistent definitions for “pedestrian”, “bicyclist”, “pedestrian injury”, and “bicyclist injury”.
  • Provide adequate training for persons collecting data.
  • Work collaboratively between organizations to collect, analyze, interpret, distribute, and use data.
  • Continue collaboration by establishing working contacts within organizations.
  • Include estimates of pedestrian injury exposure or available proxy measures to estimate risk.
  • Ensure that pedestrian- and bicycle-specific data collection is incorporated into regular transportation data collection.
  • Collect or access data on variables that describe key characteristics of the injury, including factors that occur before, during, and after the event; variables that describe pedestrian/bicyclist and driver behavior; and the social and physical environment.
  • Focus efforts by mapping and conducting spatial analysis of bicycle and pedestrin injuries by city, zip code, corridor, intersection, or other geographic units to determine spatial patterns and clusters of pedestrian injuries.
  • Publish and disseminate useful approaches to data analysis to inform injury prevention initiatives.

In Europe there is, as described by Dijkstra (2021), “a shift back from motori[z]ed vehicles to vulnerable road users who are becoming a priority in the transport system” (p. 8). This shift is marked by a number of countermeasures to improve roadway safety for vulnerable roadway users – pedestrians and bicyclists. For pedestrians, countermeasures address topics such as land use, road design, visibility, vehicle design, education and training, and legal framework and enforcement (Dijkstra, 2021). Within land use, emphasis is placed on speed management and safe walking routes, particularly safe walking routes for children. Roadway design features include the design of sidewalks and crosswalks, emphasizing the integration of these features with traffic calming, reduced vehicular traffic, and lower speeds. Visibility, addressed by lighting, and vehicle design, addressed by vehicle features such as Automatic Emergency Breaking (AEB) on vehicles, road user detection and warnings on buses, and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) can support safer environments for vulnerable roadway users.

Countermeasures for cyclists identified by Boele-Vos (2022) include those related to infrastructure, bicycle design and user influence, bicyclist’s protection, and education and enforcement. Infrastructure countermeasures include bicycle routes and tracks that are separated from high volume traffic, and routes and tracks that are free of obstacles, and designed for unobstructed through movement. Bicycle design and user influence includes factors such as bicycle lights for visibility, appropriate bicycle size and style for the cyclists, and user skill and stress tolerance. Protective measures related to helmet use and vehicle design, which influence injury severity. Education and enforcement countermeasures for bicyclists and pedestrians support safety for moralists and vulnerable road users enduring that laws are understood and followed, and all roadway users do their part in ensuring safer roadways.

In the U.S., the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) promotes countermeasures that improve safety for vulnerable road users and reduce crashes. Selected countermeasures that address bicycle and pedestrian safety include the following (FHWA, 2021):

  • Road diets can reduce vehicle speeds and the number of lanes pedestrians and bicyclists cross, and they can create space to add new bike/ped facilities.
  • Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) are active (user-actuated) or passive (automated detection) amber LEDs that use an irregular flash pattern at mid-block or uncontrolled crossing locations. They significantly increase driver yielding behavior.
  • Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) are a beneficial intermediate option between RRFBs and a full pedestrian signal. They provide positive stop control in areas without the high bike/ped traffic volumes that typically warrant signal installation.
  • Pedestrian refuge islands allow pedestrians and bicyclists a safe place to stop at the midpoint of the roadway before crossing the remaining distance. This is particularly helpful for older persons or others with limited mobility.
  • Raised crosswalks can reduce vehicle speeds.
  • Crosswalk visibility enhancements, such as crosswalk lighting and enhanced signing and marking, help drivers detect pedestrians and bicyclists–particularly at night.
  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) at signalized intersections allow pedestrians to walk, usually 3 to 4 seconds, before vehicles get a green signal to turn left or right. The LPI increases visibility, reduces conflicts, and improves yielding to pedestrians.

More information on walking and cycling, including bicycle and pedestrian safety is provided in Chapter 6 of this textbook. Chapter 6 also includes information on the history of bicycle and pedestrian planning, elements of the bicycle and pedestrian network, a description of the need to plan for bicyclists and pedestrians, an outline of the bicycle and pedestrian planning process, and a list of tools for evaluating bicycle and pedestrian needs.


Equity in transportation provides safe and affordable transportation choices to meet the needs of all system users. An equitable transportation planning process engages each community, including those whose needs have traditionally been underserved, in identifying transportation needs and prioritizing projects to address those needs. A transportation system that is equitable benefits everyone.

Defining Equity in Transportation

Equity in transportation seeks fairness in mobility and accessibility to meet the needs of all community members. A central goal of transportation is to facilitate social and economic opportunities by providing equitable levels of access to affordable and reliable transportation options based on the needs of the populations being served, particularly populations that are traditionally underserved.

Transportation Equity

Source: FHWA, n.d.


An equitable transportation system is one that provides affordable transportation, creates quality jobs, promotes safe and inclusive communities, and focuses on results that benefit all. It also strengthens the economy by ensuring that all people—regardless of race, income, or ability—can connect to the education and work opportunities they need to participate in and contribute to society and the economy.

Transportation for All: Good for Families, Communities, and the Economy

Source: PolicyLink, 2016


To better understand equity, one must first understand the differences between equity and equality and how they relate to justice. In its simplest form, equality is defined as “the state of being equal.” Under a system of equality, everyone benefits from the same support regardless of their unique abilities and needs (Litman, 2021; Martinson, 2018; Mobilize Green, n.d.). Alternatively, equity takes into account the various needs and abilities of the population and provides varying types of support (Litman, 2021; Martinson, 2018; Mobilize Green, n.d.). Justice is an extension of equity that moves beyond supporting people by seeking to overcome barriers and inequality. Justice is the process of removing systemic barriers to address inequity and ensure fairness and inclusivity in transportation (Mobilize Green, n.d.; Pereira and Karner, 2021). These terms are illustrated in Figure 2. 3.

Illustration of three people of differing heights watching a soccer game over a wooden fence and a chain link fence.

Figure 2. 3. Equality, equity, and justice

Source: Valentijn, 2020, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Transportation equity has four dimensions. The presence or absence of these dimensions is an indicator of the impact of the transportation system on the affected populations (also see Chapter 1 Figure 1. 1). The dimensions and their definitions include the following:

  • Mobility – people’s ability to move from origins to destinations (home to work, work to grocery store, etc.)
  • Accessibility – how easily people can reach destinations (travel time, number of amenities and services that are reachable within a given amount of time, etc.)
  • Affordability – cost of travel to destinations as a percentage of income (e.g. Health and Transportation index)
  • Health, safety, and environment – the ability to participate in active transportation, risk of injury and illness associated with the transportation system (speed and speed limit, crash rate, etc.), and the level of pollution (air quality, noise levels, resulting illness, etc.)

Defining Underserved Communities

“Underserved communities refer to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, who have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life. Individuals may belong to more than one underserved community and face intersecting barriers.”

Executive Order 13985

Source: The White House, 2021


In transportation, traditionally underserved communities are those whose needs are typically overlooked in the transportation planning process. These populations may include low-income and minority populations, older persons, young persons, persons with disabilities, zero-vehicle households, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons, or any other underserved or disadvantaged population groups. Depending on the context, underserved groups may also be referred to as priority populations, target populations, communities of concern, disadvantaged populations, or vulnerable populations. For example, the term target populations is sometimes used during Environmental Justice (EJ) analyses conducted by transportation agencies to identify low-income and minority communities and other disadvantaged groups.

Vulnerability is another factor in transportation equity. There are three dimensions to vulnerability: (1) transportation disadvantaged status – those who cannot obtain their own transportation due to a disability, age, or income; (2) level of access to meet needs such as medical care, education, employment, and other activities; and (3) level of exposure to unsafe travel conditions (Morency et al., 2012; Rall and Shinkle, n.d.). Persons in low-income communities are more likely to be exposed to risk because they are more likely to walk and bike to meet daily needs (Morency et al., 2012). Additionally, low-income communities are less likely to have adequate sidewalks, street lights, traffic calming features, and marked crosswalks (Bridging the Gap, 2012; Morency et al., 2012; Safe Routes Partnership, n.d.; Smart Growth America, 2021).


Vulnerable Populations

Older adults, Black or African American and American Indian or Alaska Native people, and people walking in low-income communities continue to be disproportionately represented in fatal crashes involving people walking.

Dangerous by Design

Source: Smart Growth America, 2021


Relevant Federal Statutes, Regulations, Executive Orders, and Policies

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970 requires that projects on the Federal-aid system consider the economic, social, and environmental effects of projects, while also balancing public interest and the need for fast, safe, and efficient transportation and minimizing adverse impacts.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Title VI prohibits discrimination in federal programs based on race or place of origin.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity and access for persons with disabilities.

Executive Order 12898 – 1994 “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low Income Populations” directs each Federal Agency to develop an agency-wide Environmental Justice (EJ) strategy and implement its requirements.

Executive Order 13166 – 2000 Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency“ directs Federal agencies to assess the services they provide, determine whether people with Limited English proficiency (LEP) required additional accommodation to receive the agency’s services, and then develop and implement a system to provide those accommodations so LEP persons can have meaningful access to those services.

Executive Order 13985 – 2021 “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government” establishes that affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our Government.

The U.S. Department of Transportation published an Equity and Access Policy statement related to Executive order 13985 and other laws and federal guidance.


Practitioners and communities must work together to address transportation challenges and create a more equitable system. These challenges include (PolicyLink, 2016):

  • Inadequate access to opportunity
  • Disproportionate transportation burdens for underserved communities
  • Unequal economic benefits from public investments in transportation
  • Increased health and safety risks for low-income communities and communities of color

Multimodal planning advances equity by addressing the needs of underserved populations. According to Litman (2021), multimodal transportation planning achieves economic mobility by ensuring a fair distribution of resources, and increasing access to opportunities, including education, jobs, and affordable shopping and healthcare for underserved communities. Access to these destinations facilitated through multimodal transportation is particularly important for physically, economically, and socially disadvantaged groups who are vulnerable users of the transportation system (Litman, 2021). Access-based approaches through multimodal transportation can provide better access to opportunities and better mobility options for the stranded underserved and reduce mobility costs for underserved populations (Venter et al., 2019).

Equity in transportation planning can be advanced by prioritizing social equity and empowering the community (Creger et al., 2018). Strategies to advance distributional equity of transportation investments include the following (Williams, Kramer, et al., 2019):

  • Include equity as a vision and goal of the transportation plan
  • Use an equity lens when evaluating the equity impacts of transportation projects
  • Systematically prioritize projects for underserved communities
  • Score and weight equity similar to other criteria
  • Be transparent during prioritization and planning
  • Engage underserved communities throughout the planning and project selection process
  • Consider equity from multiple perspectives
  • Dedicate funding to equity in project prioritization


Uncertainty can be divided into two categories: anticipated uncertainties, or “known unknowns,” and unanticipated uncertainties, “unknown unknowns” (Kim, 2012). Although we cannot predict the future, we can be forward-thinking to prepare for anticipated uncertainties and flexible to address unanticipated uncertainties as they arise. In the Assessment of Planning Risks and Alternative Futures for the Florida Transportation Plan Update, Williams, Boyd, et al. (2019) explain that adaptive planning, policymaking, and decision-making strategies are best suited to address uncertainty in transportation.

We can better plan for transportation by first understanding drivers of change that have the potential to influence the transportation system. For example, population is a driving force behind demand for access and mobility. When demand increases, investment priorities and policies determine if the transportation system will shift toward multimodal transportation or auto-dependency. The unknown outcomes and impacts of drivers of change lead to risk and uncertainty.

The decisions we make today affect the outcomes and impacts of the transportation system in the future. It is essential that we consider unknowns and uncertainties during the decision-making process to reduce unintended consequences (Lee et al., 2018 as cited by Williams, Boyd, et al., 2019). For example, Irish (2017) explains that the relationship between network interactions and political culture (i.e. shared ideological, educational, or policy perspectives) is cyclical and plays a critical role in the outcomes of the transportation planning process. Decisions made early in this process result in trends that make departure from a set path difficult, but not impossible (Irish, 2017; Rodrigue, 2020). Path divergence is achievable through economic, political, and public changes, which is demonstrated in the shift to contemporary planning practice (Irish, 2017; Rodrigue, 2020) (see Chapter 1).

Williams, Boyd, et al., (2019) identified three key conclusions and recommendations for addressing risk and uncertainty in long-range transportation planning. First, it is recommended that resiliency is encouraged by integrating adaptive processes, flexible consequence management strategies, and benchmarks/thresholds into long-range planning processes. Second, agencies are encouraged to use risk registers to identify potential risk events and assess risk levels in the planning process. Third, a decision-making focus and driving forces are recommended when developing scenarios.


Sustainability can be described as a balance of social equity, economic efficiency, and environmental responsibility, also referred to as the “three E’s” (APTA, n.d.-b; Rodrigue, 2020). A sustainable transportation system supports current and future mobility needs while inflicting as little damage on the natural and built environment as possible (Rodrigue, 2020). Unfortunately, when transportation is not planned with sustainability in mind, there are negative effects on the three “E’s”. Major sustainability issues in transportation include the following:

  • Congestion
  • Environmental impacts
  • Public health and safety
  • Suburban sprawl and auto-dependence
  • Energy efficiency and dependence
  • Social equity issues
  • Livability and economic prosperity
  • Fiscal deficit
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Aging human and intellectual capital

Energy Consumption and Environmental Impacts

In 2020, transportation accounted for 26% of energy used in the U.S. Energy sources used for transportation are shown in Figure 2. 4. In addition to high rates of energy consumption, transportation activity releases the most greenhouse gases (GHGs) than any other economic sector (agriculture, commercial and residential, industrial, electricity) (U.S. EPA, n.d.). Light-duty vehicles such as cars, small trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, and motorcycles contribute to more than half of the GHG emissions from the transportation sector (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2021). GHGs damage the environment and significantly contribute to global warming. These gases include carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane (CH4), nitrogen oxide (NO), and fluorinated gases (chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

Transportation energy sources in 2020 Pie chart showing transportation energy sources in 2020. Gasoline 56%, distillates 24%, jet fuel 9%, biofuels 5%, natural gas 4%, other 2%.

Figure 2. 4. Transportation energy sources in 2020

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2021, Public Domain

Multimodal transportation planning effectively reduces emissions from transportation in two ways. First, it employs strategies to reduce the number of miles that people drive each day. For example, the need for driving is reduced when essential destinations (education, employment, housing, etc.) are close together (U.S. EPA, n.d.). Second, it reduces the need for driving by providing more diverse transportation choices such as public transportation, sidewalks, and bike paths (U.S. EPA, n.d.). For example, active transportation and public transportation, modes that use less energy and produce less emissions than other modes, can move more people per hour than passenger cars.

Livability and Placemaking

Transportation investments influence community character and impact quality of life. Investments in transportation decisions that reflect livability and placemaking creates quality places that enhance communities and advance equity and access to opportunity, promote economic efficiency, and mitigate potential environmental impacts. Community-based participation is central to livability and placemaking.


Transportation decisions and projects may help or harm the livability of an area. Multimodal transportation investments support livability by providing “[c]ompact, connected communities [that] encourage regular walking, wheeling, and transit use, reducing the need for auto travel—while making trips shorter for those who choose to drive” (FHWA and FTA, n.d., p. 1). The basis of livability stems from the “three E’s” concept discussed in the Sustainability section: social equity, economic efficiency, and environmental responsibility.

Providing more transportation choices for people as they live, work, and play makes places more livable. Affordable housing with access to affordable transportation options, improved connections to low entry barrier living wage jobs, and investments that enhance the economy are other dimensions of livability that can be advanced through multimodal planning. Adding value to communities and neighborhoods by ensuring walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly mixed-use development also enhances quality of life. These and other principles of livability and associated indicators are shown in Table 2. 2.

Defining Livability in Transportation

Livability in transportation is about using the quality, location, and type of transportation facilities and services available to help achieve broader community goals such as access to good jobs, affordable housing, quality schools, and safe streets. This includes addressing road safety and capacity issues through better planning and design, maximizing and expanding new technologies such as intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and quiet pavements, and using travel demand management (TDM) approaches in system planning and operations. It also includes developing high quality public transportation to foster economic development, and community design that offers residents and workers the full range of transportation choices. And, it involves strategically connecting the modal pieces—bikeways, pedestrian facilities, transit services, and roadways—into a truly intermodal, interconnected system.

Livability in Transportation Guidebook

Source: FHWA and FTA, n.d.



Table 2. 2. Livability Principles and Indicators
Livability Principle Indicator
Provide more transportation choices Percent of jobs and housing located within one-half mile of transit
Promote equitable, affordable housing Percent of household income spent on housing and transportation
Enhance economic competitiveness Percent of workforce living within a 30 minute or less commute from primary job centers
Support existing communities Percent of transportation investments dedicated to enhancing accessibility of existing transportation system
Coordinate policies and leverage investment Percent of transportation projects where more than one federal funding source is utilized
Value communities and neighborhoods Percent of housing located in walkable neighborhoods with mixed use destinations located nearby

Source: FHWA, 2011

Some of the strategies identified by FHWA (2011) to advance livability principles include the following:

  • Develop a community vision that is supported by concrete, specific objectives to achieve that vision relative to livability principles.
  • Incorporate innovative public outreach strategies to engage diverse participants in the transportation decision-making process.
  • Engage multiple partners from housing, community and economic development, health, and environmental sectors at every step of the transportation decision-making process.
  • Use new technical approaches to identify and evaluate integrated alternatives that include the full range of multimodal options, land use and urban design, and management and operational strategies to address travel demand.
  • Identify performance measures to include broader livability concepts relative to accessibility, transportation choices, housing, health, economy, and environment.
  • Use livability objectives to inform project prioritization and funding.
  • Coordinate Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Capital Improvement Program updates with local housing plans, other relevant short-term community development plans, and private development projects.
  • Incorporate design elements such as complete streets, context sensitive approaches, sustainable roadway design, and other best practices.
  • Revisit local and state transportation funding policies to assess how well they do or do not support livability principles.
  • Track system performance against livability indicators across multiple time horizons and regularly publish this information targeted to the general public and decision-makers.

Ultimately, an emphasis on livability in transportation planning and decision-making processes preserves community character, culture, and identity, enhances safety and personal security, promotes the establishment of a dedicated maintenance program, and invites diverse community champions from various disciplines (Fischer, 2000).


Placemaking is a holistic community building process to create quality places (Steuteville, 2014). It connects people to public spaces by shifting from a singular focus on mobility and instead focuses on integrating land use and transportation to enhance the sense of place and improve accessibility (A Better City, n.d.; Project for Public Spaces, n.d.; Toth, 2019). According to Project for Public Spaces (n.d.-a), placemaking “facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.” Steuteville (2014) explains that placemaking creates quality places that include the following elements:

  • A mix of uses
  • Effective public spaces
  • Broadband capability
  • Multiple transportation options
  • Multiple housing options
  • Preservation of historic structures
  • Respect community heritage
  • Arts, culture, and creativity
  • Recreation
  • Green space
  • Quiet, unless they are designed to be otherwise

Although placemaking is multifaceted, for the purpose of this textbook we will focus on placemaking as it relates to multimodal transportation through access and linkages. Planning for transportation with placemaking in mind creates communities that are walkable, safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, compatible with public transportation, not overburdened with cars and excessive parking, accessible and affordable, and well connected. The principles of placemaking clearly rely on a multimodal transportation system that links land use and transportation and provides for modal diversity.

Project for Public Spaces (n.d.) identifies several questions to consider when assessing access and linkages for placemaking. These questions include the following (Project for Public Spaces, n.d.):

  • Can you see the space from a distance? Is its interior visible from the outside?
  • Is there a good connection between the space and the adjacent buildings, or is it surrounded by blank walls? Do occupants of adjacent buildings use the space?
  • Can people easily walk to the place? For example, do they have to dart between moving cars to get to the place?
  • Do sidewalks lead to and from the adjacent areas?
  • Does the space function for people with special needs?
  • Do the roads and paths through the space take people where they actually want to go?
  • Can people use a variety of transportation options – bus, train, car, bicycle, etc. – to reach the place?
  • Are transit stops conveniently located next to destinations such as libraries, post offices, park entrances, etc.?

Resource: Streets as Places

The concept of “streets as places” stems from placemaking. It moves the function of the street beyond facilitating the movement of people between spaces to a reclamation of streets as places for communities to thrive.

Source: Project for Public Spaces, 2015


Streets as Places Toolkit: https://www.pps.org/article/streets-as-places

Streets as Places Action Pack: https://www.pps.org/article/streets-as-places-resident-actionpack

Case Studies: https://daks2k3a4ib2z.cloudfront.net/5810e16fbe876cec6bcbd86e/5a3d2a050252f900015e7f0a_Great_Corridors_Great_Communities.pdf

Streets as Places Brochure: https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5810e16fbe876cec6bcbd86e/5b71f88ec6f4726edfe3857d_2018%20placemaking%20booklet.pdf


Emerging transportation technology has significantly disrupted the way we plan for transportation. These technological advancements are often described as a solution to meet mobility needs, reduce emissions, and make transportation “better.” While there is evidence that technology benefits transportation in many ways, it may also have potentially detrimental consequences for the transportation system and society (Ezike et al., 2019; Fleisher et al., 2020; Williams, Boyd, et al., 2019). For example, transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft, provide services to address mobility needs on platforms that are convenient and affordable for many individuals. However, they have also caused disruptions in the taxi service industry and public transportation, contributed to a growth in carbon emissions and congestion, are often not accessible to the unbanked and those without access to a smartphone, and many public agencies have struggled with attempts to regulate the services these companies offer (Fleisher et al., 2020; Williams, Boyd, et al., 2019).


In this world of rapid technological advancement, transportation professionals must be forward-thinking and employ creative problem-solving strategies to harness the opportunities and reduce the risks created by technology (Fleisher et al., 2020). According to Fleisher et al. (2020), the consequences of unregulated transportation technology are many and may include the following:

  • The share of trips made by automobiles, particularly single-occupant vehicles, could increase, causing congestion to skyrocket.
  • Sprawling land use patterns could increase as autonomous vehicles reduce the perceived time costs of driving long distances and, with that, a willingness for long commutes.
  • With greater competition and more congested streets, local transit systems could atrophy.
  • Access to benefits conferred by emerging mobility may not be available to those who need them the most.
  • The increase in car use and decrease in walking and biking could make cities less appealing and further degrade streets and the public realm.
  • There could be tremendous economic dislocation, as millions of jobs in freight, transit, and other middle-income fields are gutted.

Regulating emerging technology and gleaning the benefits are not without their challenges. Fleisher et al. (2020) describe the following difficulties transportation professionals may face as technology evolves:

  • Emerging mobility providers prioritize customers and shareholders over the public at large.
  • Emerging mobility’s newness complicates planning and policymaking.
  • A patchwork approach to governance and regulation makes it difficult to channel the opportunities of emerging mobility.
  • Data can help with regulation and transportation planning, but collection has been haphazard and local agencies are often poorly equipped to use it.
  • Transportation agencies struggle to incorporate innovative technologies and services.
  • Public transit systems are strained and struggling.

A well-planned transportation system is one that can take advantage of the benefits and mitigate the risks that technology presents. Doing so translates to people-centered streets and walkable places, regional connectivity with high-quality transit, and public agencies that can harness emerging mobility to fill key gaps and support transit (Fleisher et al., 2020).


SPUR Framework for the Future of Emerging Mobility

Strategy 1: Establish an effective planning and regulatory framework so that emerging mobility services support regional goals.

Strategy 2: Transform transportation agencies into mobility agencies.

Strategy 3: Retool the built environment and prices to support an effective, equitable transportation system.

Source: Fleisher et al., 2020


The following sections briefly define emerging transportation technologies and discuss some key implications for the transportation system. The technologies discussed include connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), shared mobility (micromobility), Mobility as a Service (MaaS), the Internet of things (IoT), and telecommuting.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV)

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are vehicles that have some control function without direct operation by a human driver (see Table 2. 3), while connected vehicles (CVs) contain onboard communications capability for two-way communication (Zmud et al., 2015). Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) are now moving from design and testing to deployment and as a result, their impacts can be studied and better understood (Ezike et al., 2019; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017).

Table 2.3. Levels of Automation
0 1 2 3 4 5
No Automation Driver Assistance Partial Automation Conditional Automation High Automation Full Automation
Zero Autonomy: the driver performs all driving tasks. Vehicle is controlled by the driver, but some driving assist features may be included in the vehicle design. Vehicle has combined automated functions, like accelerations and steering, but the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times. Driver is a necessity, but is not required to monitor the environment. The driver must be read to take control of the vehicle at all times with notice. The vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions under certain conditions. The driver may have the option to control the vehicle. The vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions under all conditions. The driver may have the option to control the vehicle.

Source: NHTSA, n.d., Public Domain


As the effects of CAV deployment are better understood, transportation professionals must consider the short- and long-term impacts and integrate these considerations into decision-making processes (Zhong et al., 2020). For example, Ezike et al. (2019) explored the potential effects that self-driving cars will have on Washington, DC’s transportation future by comparing various scenarios and outcomes. Based on their findings, a set of strategies and recommendations were developed to guide policy-makers as they plan for a future with AVs. Table 2. 4 outlines several challenges resulting from CAV deployment. It includes potential strategies and policy recommendations to address these challenges and prepare for wider-scale deployment.

Table 2. 4. Challenges with AV and Recommendations to Mitigate Negative Effects

Challenges Strategies Policy Recommendations
Congestion Prioritize the movement of people over vehicles by pooling. Expand high-occupancy vehicle lanes, high-occupancy toll lanes, and other congestion pricing strategies.
Adapt street design to accommodate shared modes.
Ensure pooled rides benefit all communities.
Equity Modernize and improve mass transit Enhance and expand high-capacity mass transit.
Enhance first- and last-mile connections and smart growth.
Ensure AVs are accessible to persons with disabilities.
Incentivize transit benefits to encourage shared AV (SAV) use through subsidies.
Pollution Power AVs by electricity Require that AVs be electric vehicles (EVs).
Deploy EV charging infrastructure equitably.
Mitigate pollution hot spots.
Safety Mitigate safety risks through testing, training, and public education Enact legislation to legalize AV testing.
Enact legislation to stimulate AV or CV testing.
Modify driver training standards and curricula.
Increase public awareness of benefits and risks.
Liability Address liability issues that may impact market development Implement a no-fault insurance approach.
Require motorists to carry more insurance.

Source: Adapted from Ezike et al., 2019 and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017


Maryland Department of Transportation Vision for CAV

Maryland’s Vision for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) is to uphold and enhance a Safe, Efficient, and Equitable transportation future by delivering collaborative and leading edge CAV solutions…The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is preparing for this changing transportation landscape by partnering with federal, state, and local organizations, including the private sector, to ensure the safety of all roadway users as this technology moves forward.

Currently, companies are testing CAV technology and exploring many different roadway scenarios, including:

  • connected vehicle platoons on highways with a wireless connection to allow vehicles to drive closer together at a constant speed
  • automated ride-sharing vehicles on urban roadways
  • automated parking valet systems
  • CAV shuttles carrying passengers around airports, business parks, campus settings, shopping areas, or from parking locations to attractions.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation, 2020

Fast Facts for Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Technology


Shared Mobility and Micromobility

Shared mobility is the shared use of a transportation mode for short-term use on an as-needed basis (Shaheen et al., 2016; Shaheen and Cohen, 2021). It is typically provided as carshare, bikeshare, rideshare (carpooling and vanpooling), and on-demand ride service (Shaheen et al., 2016). Shared micromobility focuses specifically on lower-speed modes such as bicycles or scooters (Shaheen and Cohen, 2021).

Although shared mobility expands access and opportunity for many, it also presents several challenges for both policymakers and the general population. Some challenges presented by shared mobility include consensus on a standardized definition for mobility services, difficulty measuring the effects of these modes due to their newness and volatility, integrating shared mobility into multimodal transportation policy and planning, and barriers to accessibility and inclusivity (Shaheen et al., 2016).


Transit agencies and managers of roadway infrastructure have long been included as part of the multimodal planning process, but as private shared mobility operators capture more travel, there is a need to bring these modes into the planning process to ensure the highest possible performance of the multimodal system.

Integrating Shared Mobility into Multimodal Transportation Planning: Improving Regional Performance to Meet Public Goals

Source: McCoy et al., 2018


McCoy et al. (2019) provide a conceptual framework to integrate shared mobility into regional multimodal planning processes (see Figure 2. 5). This framework adds coordination with and regulation of emerging mobility providers, speed of technological innovation, and consideration for the lack of data on the effectiveness of the planning process (Fleisher et al., 2020). McCoy et al. (2018) and Shaheen et al. (2016) explain that the relationship between public agencies and shared mobility providers is symbiotic. As a result, public agencies must work with shared mobility providers to address the following considerations (Shaheen et al., 2016):

  • Health, safety, and consumer protection
  • Taxation
  • Insurance
  • Parking and access to rights-of-way
  • Signage and advertising
  • Multimodal integration
  • Planning processes
  • Data sharing, data privacy, and standardization
  • Accessibility and equity

Conceptual framework for shared mobility integration with regional multimodal planning processes.

Figure 2. 5. Conceptual framework for shared mobility integration with regional multimodal planning processes

Source: McCoy et al., 2018 as illustrated by Fleisher et al., 2020, Open Access


Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a platform that integrates various transportation services over “a single digital interface” to increase efficiency and ensure point-to-point trips (APTA, n.d.-a; Shaheen et al., 2020). These services are provided as a pay-as-you-go model and/or as a subscription (Shaheen et al., 2020). Services may include “public transport, ride-, car- or bike-sharing, taxi or car rental/lease, or a combination thereof” (MaaS Alliance, n.d.). Levels of MaaS adoption are shown in Table 2. 5. Jittrapirom et al. (2017) describe MaaS using the following core characteristics:

  • Integration of transportation modes
  • Tariff option (mobility package or pay-as-you-go)
  • One platform
  • Multiple actors
  • Use of technologies
  • Demand orientation
  • Registration requirement
  • Personalization
  • Customization
Table 2. 5. Existing and Future Levels of MaaS
Level Description Explanation
0 Base level, corresponds to existing status quo in most cities. There are account base systems, where individual models of transportation already have a digitalized interface and the traveler has information available online for each type of transportation.
1 There is one-to-one integration between some private services. Duets of services which start to develop joint offering (e.g., tolls+car park, private car+ferry, and car + ride bus services).
2 Integrate payment and ticketing across modes of limited public and private modes of transportation services. At this level, greater integration occurs, although this time between a private operator and a public transport mode of operation. Integration shows promise, but other PT modes are skeptical and continue to remain aloof.
3 Unified interface single account used in multiple modes of transport services. Instead of having multiple channels, interface is unified across the modes, provider, and services that the traveler finds necessary for journeys, which are provided by a single meta-operator through a Traveler account.
4 All modes are integrated, private and public, including routing, ticketing, and payment. Open data and standards are defined and commonly used by all transportation providers and MaaS meta-operators to provide services for Travelers.
5 Active artificial intelligent choices are taken based on travels preferences and near real time data for ad-hoc changes to a journey. Based on traveler-specific behavior and profiling, minimal (to none) intervention is needed by the traveler for an end-to-end journey—based on the traveler’s preferences, past travel history, and filters.
6 MaaS connects beyond mobility, interfacing with internet of things (IoT), smart buildings, and smart cities. As MaaS evolves, so do the other systems that are involved in the traveler’s day, such as smart work spaces, smart homes, smart cities, and general services (e.g., food, groceries, entertainment, sport, culture) in order to provide convenient and seamless interface with the Traveler’s eco-system.

Source: Opiola, 2018 as adapted by Cruz and Sarmento, 2020, Open Access


In 2018, the ENO Center for Transportation (2019) reported that 40 percent of transit agencies surveyed were interested in developing a MaaS platform, and 35 percent were somewhat interested. Alternatively, only 28 percent of survey respondents thought that their agency was suited to manage the MaaS system and the remainder would involve the private sector to assist in launching the platform.

Chapter 7 of this textbook addresses public transportation. Several sections in that chapter describe how services provided through shared mobility, micromobility, and MaaS platforms can be used with public transit to strengthen the public transportation network.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Telecommuting

Two additional concepts that affect transportation are the Internet of Things (IoT) and telecommuting. IoT allows objects and devices to connect and share information using sensors as shown in Figure 2. 6 (IMB, 2016). Several researchers theorize that the transportation system could be designed based on IoT for the following applications (Kumar and Dash, 2017; Luo et al., 2019):

  • Peer to peer services
  • Toll and reservation ticketing system
  • Navigation and GIS mapping
  • Smart vehicle applications
  • Passenger entertainment
  • Solutions for supply chain management
  • Commerce applications
  • Inventory solutions
  • Control and guidance systems
  • Logistics applications
  • Fleet telematics and management solutions
  • Security and surveillance

Illustrative diagram showing the communication network for intelligent public transportation.

Figure 2. 6. Communication network for intelligent public transportation

Source: Luo et al., 2019, Open Access

Telecommuting is the use of technology “to partially or completely replace the commute to and from work” (Mokhtarian, 1991). Telecommuting has been around for many years, but the COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant increase in remote work and corresponding reductions in commuter traffic. This change presents additional equity concerns as broadband needs increase and the distribution of telecommuting benefits varies significantly between income groups.

Although we are beginning to see a decrease in the number of telecommuters, there are still a significant number of persons telecommuting and who have expressed a desire to continue working remotely (Armour et al., 2020; Sawhill and Guyot, 2020). It is theorized that this trend could continue into the foreseeable future and affect where people choose to live and the way they think about and plan for their daily commute (Parker et al., 2020; Sawhill and Guyot, 2020).

Funding and the Economy

Transportation has multi-pronged economic impacts. It makes economic activity possible by, for example, facilitating goods movement and providing employment opportunities. Transportation itself is also considered a major economic activity that generates both revenue and expenditures.


2018 Revenue and Expenditures

Total (own-source and supporting) transportation revenues fell short of transportation expenditures by 113.2 million in 2018.

Of the total transportation revenues in 2018, 42.7 percent came from non-transportation sources, such as local sales taxes dedicated to transportation.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, n.d.

Government Transportation Revenue vs. Expenditures


Funds spent on surface transportation are allocated to roads, bridges, tunnels, and other motor vehicle infrastructure, as well as on buses, subways, commuter trains, and other forms of public transportation. For these modes, agencies spend funds on capital investment – construction, rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction, and maintenance – and operating expenditures (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2014). The Pew Charitable Trusts (2014) reported that spending on highways significantly exceeds spending for transit at the federal, state, and local levels.

Federal and state governments heavily relied on the fuel tax to fund surface transportation infrastructure. Unfortunately, federal fuel tax rates have not changed since 1993, and fuel tax revenue is dwindling (Kirk and Mallett, 2020; Sorenson, 2013; The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2014). This decline has spurred growing concerns over the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund as the gap between transportation spending and user-based revenue widens (Congressional Budget Office, 2021; Williams, Boyd, et al., 2019).

The widening gap can be attributed to the escalation of right-of-way and construction costs, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and gas taxes that are not adjusted for inflation. To address the erosion of federal fuel tax revenue, alternative user-based revenue streams are being explored. Some of these alternatives include tolling and road pricing, mileage-based fees, value capture, congestion pricing, tax increment financing, transportation impact fees, mobility fees, increasing the gas tax, and introducing new taxes and fees on system users such as sales taxes, carbon taxes, or electric vehicle (EV) taxes/fees (Kile, 2021; Kirk and Mallett, 2020; Williams, Boyd, et al., 2019). Investment funding options are also provided in Table 2. 6. Kirk and Mallett (2020) identify several considerations as decision-makers examine possible adjustments to federal funding for transportation. These considerations include the following (Kirk and Mallett, 2020):

  • Raising motor fuel taxes could provide the Highway Trust Fund with sufficient revenue to fully fund the program in the near term, but may not be a viable long-term solution due to expected declines in fuel consumption and inequities due to the growing number of electric vehicles that do not pay fuel taxes.
  • Replacing motor fuel taxes with a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) charge would need to overcome a variety of financial, administrative, and privacy barriers, but could be a solution in the longer term.
  • Treasury general fund transfers could continue to be used to make up for the Highway Trust Fund’s projected shortfalls but could require budget offsets of an equal amount.
Table 2. 6. Funding Options
Category  Options
User Fee-Based Options Increasing motor fuel taxes and other existing federal user fees
Authorizing use of tolls on the broader interstate highway system
Use of mileage-based user fees
Other Funding Options Dedicating more federal aid to the interstate system
Continue status quo (with general fund transfers)
Potential future use of carbon tax or cap-and-trade fees for highway funding

Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019b

In addition to the revenue decline from the deteriorating fuel tax, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted state and local tax revenue. Several agencies are studying the current and long-term effects of COVID-19 on state and local budgets. For more information take a look at the resources in the following links:




Funding Options Evaluation Criteria

  • Revenue potential—includes the ability to raise the large sums required for highway capital and maintenance and to sustain that revenue stream.
  • Administrative burden—refers to the expense of collecting taxes and enforcing compliance.
  • Efficiency impacts—considers whether the option encourages efficient use of the Interstate System and generates revenues that can cover investments in the system.
  • Equity issues—covers a range of potential interest for policy makers, including disproportionate fee expenses in comparison with income, geographic fairness in how funds are raised and allocated, and allocation of fees or taxes in proportion to costs imposed by any party.
  • Public acceptance potential—can be difficult to gauge, but may be indicated by such means as opinion polls and experience from prior applications.

Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019b

Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future



Key Takeaways

Transportation provides many opportunities and challenges for system users and decision-makers. Factors such as health, safety, equity, sustainability, and livability considerations can have a polarizing effect on the quality of the transportation system and the communities served by the system. Multimodal transportation planning provides solutions to enhance these elements, while also ensuring adequate consideration for the looming uncertainty surrounding the future, the emergence of new transportation technology, and growing concerns over funding. Key takeaways from this chapter are:

  • A well-planned multimodal transportation system encourages an active lifestyle, decreases the exposure of pedestrians and bicyclists to vehicular crashes, and reduces auto trips and corresponding pollutants from vehicles.
  • Multiple factors influence how safe or unsafe a roadway environment is for bicyclists and pedestrians. Transportation and land use interventions targeted for vulnerable road users improves safety and reduces crashes.
  • Transportation professionals can advance equity by addressing the needs of underserved populations, ensuring that all people can meet daily needs in a manner that is safe, accessible, affordable, and convenient.
  • Resiliency can be integrated into the multimodal transportation planning with adaptive processes, tools specifically designed to evaluate and monitor trends, and a decision-making focus when identifying outcomes and impacts.
  • Linking land use and transportation and providing people with more transportation choices, supports sustainability efforts by reducing the number of miles that people drive each day.
  • Livability and placemaking are closely linked with the principles of sustainability: social equity, economic efficiency, and environmental responsibility.
  • Technology can be used to overcome transportation challenges, but it is also an extreme disruptor that requires a strategic approach to mitigate potential consequences.
  • Alternative user-based revenue streams are being explored as a solution to the declining fuel tax.





Affordability: The cost of travel to destinations as a percentage of income.

Autonomous Vehicles (AVs): Vehicles that have some control function without direct operation by a human driver.

Connected Vehicles (CVs): Contain onboard communications capability for two-way communication.

Countermeasure: A measure or action to prevent or offset a threat or consequence.

Equality: The state of being equal.

Equity: Fair and impartial treatment that also takes into account the different needs and abilities of people. Equity in transportation is commonly referred to as the representation of fairness in the distribution of benefits and burdens.

Justice: The process of removing the systemic barriers to address inequity and ensure fairness and inclusivity.

Livability: A measure of a community’s quality of life.

Micromobility: Small, lightweight, low-speed vehicles that are either electric or human-powered and provide transportation over short distances.

Placemaking: A process to create and foster quality places, public spaces, and communities.

Shared Mobility: Transportation services that are shared by users.

Walkability: The ability to safely and easily access destinations by foot. Walkable areas include designated areas and infrastructure for pedestrians such as sidewalks, footpaths, shared-use paths, or other pedestrian rights-of-way.



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Additional Resources

Pew Trusts Health Impact Project and Health Impact Assessment Toolkit: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/projects/health-impact-project/health-impact-assessment

Prevention Institute Healthy Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research: https://www.preventioninstitute.org/publications/healthy-equitable-transportation-policy-recommendations-and-research

USDOT Transportation and Health Indicators: https://www.transportation.gov/transportation-health-tool/indicators

USDOT Transportation and Health Tool https://www.transportation.gov/transportation-health-tool

FHWA Framework for Better Integrating Health into Corridor Planning https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/health_in_transportation/planning_framework/the_framework/index.cfm

U.S. Department of Transportation Health and Equity https://www.transportation.gov/mission/health/health-equity

FHWA Transportation Equity: https://www.planning.dot.gov/planning/topic_transportationequity.aspx

U.S. Department of Transportation Accessibility https://www.transportation.gov/accessibility

The Transportation Equity Toolkit: https://ctedd.uta.edu/research-projects/transportation-equity-needs-assessment-toolkit/

Racial Equity Addendum to Critical Issues in Transportation https://doi.org/10.17226/26264.

Policy Link National Equity Atlas Interactive Map: https://nationalequityatlas.org

Policy Map: https://www.policymap.com/maps

The Opportunity Atlas: https://www.opportunityatlas.org/

Community Impact Assessment: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/cia/

Racial Equity Toolkit: https://www.racialequityalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/GARE-Racial_Equity_Toolkit.pdf

Spatial Equity Data Tool: https://apps.urban.org/features/equity-data-tool/

The Transportation Equity Network: https://www.cnt.org/transportation-equity-network

CNT Interactive Tools: https://www.cnt.org/tools

Every Place Counts Leadership Academy Transportation Toolkit: https://www.transportation.gov/policy-initiatives/leadership-academy/transportation-toolkit

Implicit Association Test (IAT): https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html

DVRPC’s Equity through Access Map Toolkit: https://dvrpcgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=06eab792a06044f89b5b7fadeef660ba

Sea Level Scenario Sketch Planning Tool: https://sls.geoplan.ufl.edu/

Seal Level Rise Viewer: https://dcp.ufl.edu/iadapt/uf-sea-level-rise-viewer/

Assessment of Planning Risks and Alternative Futures for the Florida Transportation Plan Update: https://fdotwww.blob.core.windows.net/sitefinity/docs/default-source/research/reports/fdot-bdv25-977-57-rpt.pdf

EPA EnviroAtals Interactive Map: https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas/enviroatlas-interactive-map

EPA Fast Facts: U.S. Transportation Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions: https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/fast-facts-transportation-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Environmental Review Toolkit: https://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/

AARP Livability Index: https://livabilityindex.aarp.org/

Livability in Transportation Guidebook: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/case_studies/guidebook/livabilitygb10.pdf

TDM Encyclopedia entry on Community Livability: https://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm97.htm

Livability and Smart Growth Assessment Tool Database: http://livability.safestates.org/

Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool (INVEST): https://www.sustainablehighways.org/790/sustainability-and-highways.html

Connected and Automated Vehicles Toolkit: https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/connected-autonomous-vehicles-toolkit

NHSTA AV Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (TEST) Tracking Tool https://www.nhtsa.gov/automated-vehicle-test-tracking-tool

Autonomous Vehicle Safety Scenario Explorer: https://www.rand.org/pubs/tools/TL279/tool.html

Autonomous Vehicles Policy Knowledge Toolkit: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/taubman/programs-research/autonomous-vehicles-policy-initiative/autonomous-vehicles-policy-knowledge-toolkit

Shared Micromobility Policy Toolkit: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/00k897b5

Shared Mobility Current Practices and Guiding Principles: https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop16022/fhwahop16022.pdf

Shared-Use Mobility Toolkit for Cities: https://sharedusemobilitycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/SUMC-Toolkit-Final-Report.pdf

Shared Mobility Policy Playbook: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/9678b4xs

Alternative Approaches to Funding Highways: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/112th-congress-2011-2012/reports/03-23-highwayfunding.pdf

Reauthorizing Federal Highway Programs: Issues and Options: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-05/56346-CBO-Highway-Reauthorization.pdf

Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2021 to 2030: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/56783

Budget Options: https://www.cbo.gov/budget-options

Transportation Economic Trends: https://data.bts.gov/stories/s/28tb-cpjy

Government Transportation Revenues and Expenditures: Highway Trust Fund: https://data.bts.gov/stories/s/6bdc-i7mh#highway-trust-fund

Government Transportation Revenue vs. Expenditures: https://data.bts.gov/stories/s/w4cf-2j4p

State Fiscal Briefs: https://www.urban.org/policy-centers/cross-center-initiatives/state-and-local-finance-initiative/projects/state-fiscal-briefs

State and Local Finance Initiative Interactive Data Tools: https://www.urban.org/policy-centers/cross-center-initiatives/state-and-local-finance-initiative/interactive-data-tools

State and Local Finance Data Exploring the Census of Governments: https://state-local-finance-data.taxpolicycenter.org/pages.cfm

Matrix of Illustrative Surface Transportation Revenue Options: https://fundingfinance.transportation.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2019/02/Matrix_of_Funding_Options.pdf

Transportation Funding Deep Dive Webpage: https://www.ncsl.org/bookstore/state-legislatures-magazine/deep-dive-transportation-funding.aspx

Eight projects to pilot alternative revenue approaches to support the Highway Trust Fund: https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/federal-highway-administration-announces-more-14-million-grants-test-new-ways-funding



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