Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Vibrant, Healthy, and Resilient Communities
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"The Great American Dream of cruising down the parkway, zipping from here to there at any time has given way to a true nightmare that is destroying the environment, costing billions and deeply impacting our personal well-being. Getting from A to B has never been more difficult, expensive or miserable. It doesn't have to be this way. Jeffrey Tumlin's book Sustainable Transportation Planning offers easy-to-understand, clearly explained tips and techniques that will allow us to quite literally take back our roads. Essential reading for anyone who wants to drive our transportation system out of the gridlock."
-Marianne Cusato, home designer and author of Get Your House Right: Architectural Elements to Use and Avoid


?The book is full of useful ideas on nearly every page.?
? Bill DiBennedetto of Triple Pundit

As transportations-related disciplines of urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, urban economics, and social policy have undergone major internal reform efforts in recent decades Written in clear, easy-to-follow language, this book provides planning practitioners with the tools they need to achieve their cities? economic development, social equity and ecological sustainability goals. Starting with detailed advice for improving each mode of transportation, the book offers guidance on balancing the needs of each mode against each other, whether on a downtown street, or a small town neighborhood, or a regional network.


JEFFREY TUMLIN is an owner and sustainability practice leader of Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, a San Francisco–based transportation planning and engineering firm that focuses on sustainable mobility. Over the past nineteen years, he has led station-area, downtown, citywide, and campus plans, and he has delivered various lectures and classes in twenty U.S. states and five other countries. His major development projects have succeeded in reducing their traffic and CO² emissions by as much as 40% and have accommodated many millions of square feet of growth with no net increase in motor vehicle traffic. These projects have won awards from the General Services Administration, American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, Congress for the New Urbanism, and Urban Land Institute.


Acknowledgments vii

Foreword ix

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Why Transportation? 2

The Big Picture: Mobility vs. Accessibility 4

Structure of This Book 5

Chapter 2 Sustainable Transportation 7

What Is Sustainability? 7

Chapter 3 Transportation and Public Health 23

The Human Body 23

Does This McMansion Make Me Look Fat? 26

Danger, Will Robinson! 27

Anger, Will Robinson! 28

Health and Equity 29

Driving and Social Health 31

Transportation and Trust 31

Conclusions 33

Chapter 4 The City of the Future 35

Yesterday’s Tomorrowland 35

Imagining the Sustainable City of the

Future 37

Chapter 5 Streets 45

Conceptualizing Streets 45

Principles of Street Design 48

Chapter 6 Pedestrians 51

Introduction 51

Pedestrian Planning Principles 51

Pedestrian Planning Tools 56

Pedestrian Design Tools 60

Measuring Pedestrian Success 69

Case Study: Marin County Safe Routes to Schools 71

Chapter 7 Bicycles 73

Introduction 73

Why Invest in Cycling? 73

Increasing Cycling 74

Key Cycling Principles 76

Design So That Everyone Will Enjoy Biking 81

Measuring Bicycle Success 101

Further Information 101

Chapter 8 Transit 105

Introduction 105

Transit Modes 106

Case Study: Los Angeles Metro Rapid 114

Case Study: Portland Streetcar 116

Case Study: San Diego Trolley 117

Design for Transit 121

Measuring Success 134

Case Study: Boulder, Colorado, Community Transit Network 136

Transit Planning Resources 136

Chapter 9 Motor Vehicles 139

Introduction 139

Designing for Cars 143

Design Manuals That Build upon Context 149

Design Guidance 151

Modeling Traffi c 166

Freeways 169

Chapter 10 Parking 173

Introduction 173

Parking Is Destiny 173

Parking Economics 101 175

Parking Tools 177

Parking Management Principles 181

Top Ten Parking Management Strategies 186

Chapter 11 Carsharing 205

Introduction 205

Types of Carsharing 206

Impacts 207

Where Carsharing Is Most Successful 208

Public Policies That Support Carsharing 212

Municipal Fleets 215

Jump-Starting a Program 216

Chapter 12 Stations and Station Areas 217

Introduction 217

Multimodal Access 219

Case Study: WMATA’s Orange Line 232

Station Components 234

Case Study: BART Station Replacement Parking 236

Chapter 13 Transportation Demand Management 241

What Is Traffic Congestion and Why Does It Happen? 241

Planning for Reduced Traffic 244

Traffic Reduction: A How-To Guide 249

Chapter 14 Measuring Success 263

Definitions 263

How Performance Measures Are Used 264

How Performance Measures Are Misused 264

Measuring Success for Multiple Modes 270

Using Performance Measures to Balance Modes 270

Citywide Transportation System Measurements 277

Evaluating Project Alternatives 282

Additional Resources 285

Chapter 15 For More Information 287

Useful Online Resources 287

Required Reading 288

Useful Tools 289

Endnotes 297

Index 303


"He has written a compact, engaging, and approachable text that is ideally suited to bringing a diverse group of students up to speed on the topic and providing and a launching point for supplementary readings and discussions. This book provides an ideal overview of key issues, a helpful quick reference on design guidelines, and a long reading list for those interested in digging further into the subject." (, August 2012)

"Sustainable Transportation Planning is an outstanding, easy to navigate source for planners of all kinds, not just transportation specialists... is an ideal book for America's many citizen-planners." (Better! Cities & Towns, April-May 2012)

". . .Tumlin argues that on the whole, transportation planning has remained overly focused on engineering. If planners took a broader approach to how urban regions work, he contends, they could serve those places more economically and also enhance liveability." (Better! Cities & Towns, March 2012)

"Tumlin's book starts with a provocative chapter on recent research into brain chemistry, noting how excessive driving makes us anti-social and stupid. Conversely, more walking and biking contribute to making us happier, sexier, and smarter." (Ecohome, March 2012)

"Transportation planning and urban planning, mobility and accessibility don't have to be mutually exclusive anymore, and Tumlin's book is a good place to learn about sustainable transportation planning." (, January 2012)