Category Archives: Accessibility

Journey Times

And no, I’m not talking about the band.

I’ve been wanting to do this comparison for a while, just to highlight some differences in transportation networks between a mid-sized U.S. city and mid-sized German cities. I’m not sure to what extent this comparison is applicable to other U.S. cities, but I’ll be comparing Cleveland and Leipzig/Dresden as regards my journey from home to university in each city. From 2002-2003 I took classes at Cleveland State University (CSU) while living in Mayfield, an eastern suburb of Cleveland. I took public transportation every day to get to and from school. I currently live in Leipzig and study in Dresden and likewise take public transportation, albeit the regional express, on a daily basis.

From a spatial perspective this is an interesting comparison. Mayfield and Cleveland are obviously Continue reading

Mobility and Transportation Planning Goals

One of the basic tenets of any transportation network is to provide mobility, yet there seems to be very little consensus as to what this (word) means. One issue in the U.S. is that historical political and planning decisions have led to a predominantly vehicular culture, favoring a uni-modal, auto-centric transportation network.  Mobility, therefore, is often used synonymously with auto-mobility, leading to a misunderstanding of a transportation system’s purpose, even among transportation professionals.

Mobility is generally defined as the potential for movement or change in location of people and goods (Handy, 2002; Litman, 2011). This definition is absent of any mention of mode, yet traditional mobility measurements include car ownership rates, vehicle miles traveled or congestion levels, all of which focus solely on the automobile.

Unfortunately, though providing a definition of mobility and simultaneously acknowledging the term’s association with auto-mobility, Litman and other experts ultimately fail to challenge this pervasive misunderstanding. Continue reading