Despite the importance of urban transportation to the efficient functioning of cities, most urban planners and public officials rarely have a solid grasp of the wide array of rules and regulations that shape decisions about transportation infrastructure and services. This course is a reading seminar that focuses on the policy environment of intraurban passenger travel in the United States. It is designed to provide an overview of transportation policy and is directed primarily at students who intend to practice planning professionally in leadership roles. It allows students to develop creative and informed approaches to transportation planning and the implementation of policies and regulations that serve broad values and goals. Whether or not you intend to work as a transportation planner, the course will help you make better decisions in an urban policy environment because transportation influences land use, economic development, environmental quality, and social justice. The main objectives are to: introduce the principal laws and regulations that govern transportation planning decisions; gain an understanding of the most critical issues facing transportation planners today; encourage critical thinking about transportation decisions (the politics behind them, their ethical implications, and their effectiveness at achieving their planning objectives); better understand the institutional foundations of transportation policy so that a planner might anticipate changes that are about to occur; become familiar with data sources and methods with an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of common analytical techniques, and critically assess the validity of differing viewpoints; become capable of reading transportation plans, policy documents, and planning-related articles; improve skills in writing and speaking about transportation issues.
Tue, Thu 8:30-10:00am 2108 A&AB