The textbook for this class is:

Buy at Amazon Meyer, Michael, and Eric Miller. Urban Transportation Planning. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN: 9780072423327.
Note: The ISBN for the paperback version of the textbook is 9780521700801.

The textbook will be referred to as UTP in the table below. This section also contains additional suggested readings.


Course overview, different perspectives from the instructors

Transport modes and characteristics (speed, capacity, LOS, external impacts...)

Traffic counts

Energy use at MIT, "Walking the Talk"

(Optional, to be read after this first class.)

UTP: Chapter 3 (pp. 89-96, 98-105), and Chapter 7 (pp. 390-400, 412- 425).

MIT Energy Research Council. "Walking the Talk." Report of the Energy Research Council. MIT, Cambridge, MA. May 3, 2006, chapter 5. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF - 2.4 MB)

Hockfield, Susan. Speech in "Opening Remarks: Overview of the Energy Research Report." 00:00-15:19. MIT, Cambridge, MA. May 3, 2006.

Heywood, John. Speech in "Energy for a Rapidly Evolving World." 33:28-47:07. MIT, Cambridge, MA. May 3, 2006.


Transportation planning as a tool for urban design

Traffic calming: Design and implementation

Traffic Calming

UTP: Chapter 1.

Buy at Amazon Vuchic, Vukan R. "City-Transportation Relationship." Chapter 2 in Transportation for Livable Cities. New Brunswick, NJ: Center for Urban Policy Research, 1999. ISBN: 9780882851617.

Buy at Amazon Pucher, John, and Christian Lefèvre. The Urban Transport Crisis in Europe and North America. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1996, pp. 7-42. ISBN: 9780333655511.


Thumbnail history of Boston transportation and analysis of historical developments: Interstate system, aviation, rail and transit

The planning method

UTP: Chapter 2.

Cameron, I., T. J. Lyons, and J. R. Kenworthy. "Trends in Vehicle Kilometers of Travel in World Cities, 1960-1990: Underlying Drivers and Policy Responses." Transport Policy 11, no. 3 (2004): 287-298.

Kenworthy, Jeffrey R., and Felix B. Laube. "Patterns of Automobile Dependence in Cities: An International Overview of Key Physical and Economic Dimensions with Some Implications for Urban Policy." Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 33, no. 7-8 (1999): 691-723.


Transportation and land use — chicken and egg

The transit challenge

Buy at Amazon National Cooperative Highway Research Program. "Behavioral Framework." Chapter 3 in Land Use Impacts of Transportation: A Guidebook. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999, pp. 89-112. ISBN: 9780309063159.

Southworth, Michael, and Eran Ben-Joseph. "Street Standards and the Shaping of Suburbia." Journal of the American Planning Association 61, no. 1 (1995): 65-81.

Gordon, Peter, and Harry Richardson. "Are Compact Cities a Desirable Planning Goal?" Journal of the American Planning Association 63, no. 1 (1997): 95-106.

Ewing, Reid. "Is Los Angeles-style Sprawl Desirable?" Journal of the American Planning Association 63, no. 1 (1997): 107-124.

Buy at Amazon Transportation Research Board. "Land Use and Site Design." Chapter 15 in Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, 2003. ISBN: 9780309087636.

Buy at Amazon Transportation Research Board. Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, 2004, Chapters 1, 6, 10, and 20. ISBN: 9780309087957. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF - 11.4 MB)


Highway revolt. Resurgence of transit. Was the revolt a rebellion or a revolution? Discussion of emerging transportation issues and strategic planning model to "map" different approaches.

Buy at Amazon Lupo, Alan, Frank Colcord, and Edmund P. Fowler. Rites of Way: The Politics of Transportation in Boston and the U.S. City. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company, 1971. ISBN: 9780316536707.

Gakenheimer, Ralph. Transportation as Response to Controversy — The Boston Case. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1976, chapters 1, 7, and 11.

Salvucci, Frederick P. "Some observations on the recent 25-year history of the metropolitan Boston transportation system, the legacy of the 1970 Boston Transportation Planning Review: what we should expect from ISTEA, and some new directions which may prove interesting." Paper prepared for the Boston Conference on Shaping the Accessible Region.

"Priority Projects: Do Faster Federal Transportation Project Reviews Deliver Better Stewardship?"


Quantitative methods: GIS, 4-Step model, traffic models, NEPA

UTP: Chapter 5.

Beimborn, Edward, Rob Kennedy, William Schaefer, Citizens for a Better Environment, and Environmental Defense Fund. Inside the Blackbox: Making Transportation Models Work for Livable Communities. Milwaukee, WI: Citizens for a Better Environment, 1996.

UTP: Chapter 7 (optional).

Wachs, M. "Forecasting versus Envisioning: A New Window on the Future." In Symposium: Putting the Future in Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association 67, no. 4 (2001): 365-372.


Transit and parking policy

Employment policies, housing finance, tax code

Transportation and industrial policy

Buy at Amazon Shoup, Donald C. The High Cost of Free Parking. Chicago, IL: Planners Press, American Planning Association, 2005, chapter 1. ISBN: 9781884829987.

McDonald, John M. "Parking on Campus: It's Really a Numbers Game." MIT Faculty Newsletter 14, no. 3 (2002): 26-27.

Buy at Amazon National Cooperative Highway Research Program. Report 421: Economic Trends and Multimodal Transportation Requirements. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780309063135.


Environmental concerns: Air quality, energy consumption, global warming

NEPA, environmental review

Infrastructure sufficiency analysis

UTP: Chapter 3, Section 3.2.

Buy at Amazon Transportation Research Board. Expanding Metropolitan Highways: Implications for Air Quality and Energy Use. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, 1995, pp. 1-33. ISBN: 9780309061070.

Marshall, Stephen, and David Banister. "Travel Reduction Strategies: Intentions and Outcomes." Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 34, no. 5 (2000): 321-338.

Cervero, Robert. "Induced Travel Demand: Research Design, Empirical Evidence, and Normative Policies." Journal of Planning Literature 17, no. 1 (2002): 3-20.


Spending other people's money — what are the rules? Economic evaluation. financial evaluation, programming, fiscal constraint, job generation, industrial policy, constituencies, Jack Sprat, and organization choices.

UTP: Chapter 9, pp. 565-570, 586-590.

Buy at Amazon Taylor, B. "The Geography of Urban Transportation Finance." In The Geography of Urban Transportation. 3rd ed. Edited by Susan Hanson and Genevieve Giuliano. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 2004, pp. 294-331. ISBN: 9781593850555.

Wachs, Martin. "Local Option Transportation Taxes: Devolution as Revolution." Access 22 (Spring 2003): 9-15.

Downs, Thomas. "Is There a Future for the Federal Surface Transportation Program?" Journal of Transportation Engineering 131, no. 6 (2005): 393-396.


Project selection

Cost-effectiveness, prioritization, institutional roles

MPOs and modal agencies

FTA Cost-effectiveness

FHWA system completion method

Guest lecturers: Laurie Hussey and Tom Rossi, Cambridge Systematics Inc.; Astrid Glynn, Massachusetts office of Commonwealth development

UTP: Chapter 8, pp. 483-523.

Buy at Amazon Transportation Research Board. Consideration of the 15 Factors in the Metropolitan Planning Process: A Synthesis of Highway Practice. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, 1995. ISBN: 9780309058537.

Schrank, David, and Tim Lomax. The 2005 Urban Mobility Report. College Station, TX: Texas Transportation Institute, 2005.

Ewing, Reid. "Measuring Transportation Performance." Transportation Quarterly 49, no. 1 (1995): 91-104.


Intelligent transportation systems

Congestion pricing

Infrastructure reconstruction. Operations and maintenance

Airport access and international access

Lessons Learned — U.S. Department of Transportation

Buy at Amazon Sussman, Joseph M. Perspectives on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). New York, NY: Springer, 2005. ISBN: 9780387232577.

Gomez-Ibanez, Jose A. "The Political Economy of Highway Tolls and Congestion Pricing." Transportation Quarterly 46, no. 3 (1992): 343-360.

Vickrey, William. Principles of Efficient Congestion Pricing. 1992.

Buy at Amazon Downs, Anthony. Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-hour Traffic Congestion. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1992, pp. 142-164. ISBN: 9780815719243.

Small, Kenneth. "Unnoticed Lessons from London: Road Pricing and Public Transit." Access 26 (Spring 2005): 10-15. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

Deloitte Research. "Combating Gridlock: How Road User Pricing Can Ease Congestion." 2003.

Transport for London. "Central London Congestion Charging — Impacts Monitoring: Fourth Annual Report." 2006. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)


"Megacities" perspective

Holistic approach to transportation and land use.

Course evaluations and wrap-up

Information on Mikel's IAP modeling workshop

None (work on final assignment)


Additional Suggested Readings

Mackett, Roger L., and Marion Edwards. "The Impact of New Urban Public Transport Systems: Will the Expectations be Met?" Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 32, no. 4 (1998): 231-245.

Jensen, Mette. "Passion and Heart in Transport — A Sociological Analysis on Transport Behaviour." Transport Policy 6, no. 1 (1999): 19-33.

Rubin, Thomas A., James E. Moore II, and Shin Lee. "Ten Myths about US Urban Rail Systems." Transport Policy 6, no. 1 (1999): 57-73.

Buy at Amazon Cervero, Robert. The Transit Metropolis: A Global Inquiry. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1998, pp. 401-445. ISBN: 9781559635912.

Buy at Amazon Schwartz, Peter. The Art of the Long View. 1st ed. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1991. ISBN: 9780385267311.

Buy at Amazon Tufte, Edward R. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. 2nd ed. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780961392147.

Gehl, Jan. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space. 3rd ed. Copenhagen: Arkitektens Forlag, 1996. ISBN: 8774071734.

Buy at Amazon Garreau, Joel. Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. 1st ed. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 1992. ISBN: 9780385424349.

Buy at Amazon Bohl, Charles C., and Dean Schwanke. Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute, 2002. ISBN: 9780874208863.

Buy at Amazon Warner, Sam Bass. Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978. ISBN: 9780674842137.