Published on February 4, 2008
Course Overview: Course Overview CRP 445/545 August 2007 Outline for Today: Outline for Today Course description Instructor background and student introductions Course goals Course format Expectations of students and grading Textbooks and readings Schedule and topics covered Analytical tools and data covered A brief look at a current transportation policy issue: Cell phones and driving CRP 445/545 Course Description: CRP 445/545 Course Description Course Description: Transportation policy decisions should be based on their outcomes (e.g. safety, reduced costs for users, economic prosperity, quality of life, “environmental justice”, and environmental quality.) Policy and planning decisions should be based on valid and current information and the use of appropriate management information systems and analytical tools. This course will introduce a number of transportation policy topics and the tools necessary to perform policy analysis. Students will be required to complete a semester project (a paper and a presentation) involving a current transportation policy issue and apply some of the tools and techniques covered in the course. The focus of the course will be on policy analysis at the state and metropolitan levels, mainly from a public sector perspective. Course Goals: Course Goals Provide students with a working knowledge of transportation policy analysis, including: The importance of the transportation system Transportation benefits and costs A framework for policy analysis and the development of sound transportation policy Analytical tools and data sources that can be applied to analyze major issues How bad policy can (and does) get made How transportation policy differs internationally How transportation is likely to change in the future (emerging policy issues and technologies) Course Format: Course Format Modules built around a series of major issues Real policy issues, problems, and projects used as examples 50 minute lecture combined with a 30 minute discussion of the issues and/or “role plays” Group interaction will be encouraged Colloquium: “an informal conference or group discussion” Instructor Background: Instructor Background Currently Associate Director of Policy for CTRE and Educational Coordinator of Midwest Transportation Consortium Research areas: access management (safety and business impacts), transportation and land use, transportation and economic development, trail planning Instructor Background: Instructor Background Previous experience Consultant in transportation and information technology Executive Director, Iowa Rural Development Council Chief of Planning and Research and IT for Iowa Department of Economic Development Transportation Planner with Iowa Department of Transportation Highways, economic development programs, railroads, airports, public transit Instructor Background: Instructor Background Projects I’ve worked on that may be referred to as examples in class: Economic evaluation of a proposed highway/rail structure over the Mississippi River at Clinton Access management research and consulting work in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and Missouri Long-range transportation plans for Iowa Mississippi River Trail (MRT) plan for Iowa Student Introductions: Student Introductions Name Year of Study (of Graduate Student) Program (e.g. CRP or CCE) Why you are interested in transportation? What you think is a critical issue in transportation today? What you’d most like to learn from this course My Expectations of Students: My Expectations of Students Attend class and participate actively Do the readings and some web research before class so we can discuss them and interact Ask questions, make comments Be a “critical thinker” Have an informed opinion Learn from other students as well as from the instructor and the readings Explore one policy issue in great depth for your final project Think about your topic as soon as possible Do quality work and hand it in on time Grading: Grading Mid-term exam (essay): 20% Class attendance and participation: 10% Five short issue papers (~3 Pages): 25% Final class paper/ 15-20 minute presentation: 30% Individual or (at most) groups of two Final exam (essay, comprehensive): 15% Graduate students will be asked to lead discussions from time to time Textbooks: Contrasting Viewpoints: Textbooks: Contrasting Viewpoints William L. Garrison and Jerry D. Ward, “Tomorrow’s Transportation: Changing Cities, Economies, and Lives”, Artech House, 2000. Vukan R. Vuchic, “Transportation for Livable Cities”, Center for Urban Policy Research Press, Rutgers University, 1999. Edward Weiner, “Urban Transportation Planning In the United States: An Historical Overview”, US Department of Transportation, 1997. The Garrison book is very optimistic in outlook and pro-technology. The Vuchic book is somewhat anti-automobile and stresses sustainable communities issues. Call them a “point-counterpoint.” The Weiner book provides history and background. We’ll read them almost cover to cover. Vuchic is available at University Bookstore, Union. Other readings or web sites will be handed out or assigned in class. Class Schedule: See Syllabus: Class Schedule: See Syllabus Overview and introduction to transportation policy analysis Transportation safety Environmental quality International comparisons Mid-term exam Economic impacts Quality of life Equity and environmental justice Transportation security Freight transportation Transportation policy in the future Student presentations of term projects Final exam Examples of Analytical Tools and Data Covered in the Course: Examples of Analytical Tools and Data Covered in the Course Safety: crash analysis and crash records Environmental quality: air and noise pollution models Economic impact: economic impact models and benefit/cost analysis Quality of life: congestion data, travel time data, and level of service data Environmental justice and equity: GIS and socio-economic data Questions About The Syllabus Or Other Aspects of The Class?: Questions About The Syllabus Or Other Aspects of The Class? Discussing A Current Transportation Policy Issue: Discussing A Current Transportation Policy Issue Distracted drivers and highway safety Cell phones and highway safety Two policy approaches: Mandating the use of “hands-free” cell phone devices while driving Making cell phone use while driving illegal Cell Phones and Driving: Questions for Discussion: Cell Phones and Driving: Questions for Discussion Do you ever drive and talk on a cell phone? Does it bother you to see drivers talking on cell phones? Do you think cell phone use distracts drivers and makes them more likely to be involved in crashes? What other potential driver distractions have you seen? What have you read about any research about driving, cell phone use, and safety? What aspect of cell phone use is distracting to drivers? Have you heard about laws that have been passed lately restricting cell phone use while driving? Cell Phones and Driving: Questions for Discussion: Cell Phones and Driving: Questions for Discussion Are there particular groups of drivers who may be more prone to dangerous distractions? Do you think laws mandating “hands-free” cell phone devices in cars will be effective? Do you think there are other distractions that drivers face? Could/should other distractions be addressed through laws or other restrictions? How difficult would enforcement be? Do Policies Get Made That Are Likely to be Ineffective?: Do Policies Get Made That Are Likely to be Ineffective? Hands-free cell phone requirements such as the one recently enacted in New York may be completely ineffective; research indicates that the main distraction that drivers face when using cell phones is lack of attention during conversations rather than distraction due to the act of dialing or answering. Question to ponder: Why would lawmakers and other decision-makers Propose or implement policies that are likely to be ineffective?