Urbp 260: Environmental Planning Topics – Transportation and the Environment Class purpose

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URBP 260 – Spring 2004

Instructor – Asha Weinstein

URBP 260: Environmental Planning Topics –

Transportation and the Environment

Class purpose
Have you ever wondered if we can reduce auto-generated pollution by building denser communities? Or if our local Bay Area transit operators would better off buying natural gas buses or low-emission diesel ones? If so, this is the class for you! URBP 260 introduces students to the many ways in which our transportation system negatively effects the natural environment and some of the policies that might reduce those impacts. In the first few weeks of the semester, you will learn about how our transportation system creates such problems as air and water pollution, habitat fragmentation, and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. In conjunction with discussing these problems, we will also discuss ways to reduce these problems through changing the way we design our transportation infrastructure and vehicles. Classes in the remainder of semester will investigate the different strategies that aim to reduce environmental impacts by changing individuals’ travel behavior patterns through land-use planning, promoting alternative modes of travel, economic pricing, or even re-thinking the way we buy and use cars.
Class times
Wednesdays, 4:00 – 6:45 p.m., BBC 122
Instructor contact information
Email: asha.weinstein@sjsu.edu

Phone: (408) 924-5853

Office: Room 218C in Washington Square Hall

Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays 3:00 –6:00 p.m.

There is a required course reader that will be available at Unique Printing. Unique is located at 109 Santa Clara Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets. I suggest you call before you go to make sure that they have copies available—you might even try asking them to hold one for you. The phone number is 408-297-6698. I will also hand out additional articles in class.


Your final grade for the course will be based on the following five items:

Weekly memos


City policy review


High speed rail analysis


Policy analysis paper


Literature search


Class participation
You are expected to attend all lectures and to participate in class discussions.
Although I do not give formal credit for class participation, I expect students to attend all classes and participate fully in discussions and class exercises. Please do not be late to lectures, as it disrupts the class. When calculating final course grades, I will take into account class participation for students who are on the borderline between two grades.
If you know that you will have to miss all or part of a class, please let me know in advance. Please do not be late to lectures, as this disrupts the class.

Weekly memos
Most weeks I will ask you to prepare a memo based on either the reading due that day or some other topic related to the lecture. These memos are due in class, and can only be turned in in-person. (You cannot drop off or email me the memo). I will not accept late memos for any reason whatsoever, including illness, malfunctioning computers, or hungry dogs, goats, or rabbits. Your memo grade will be based on whether or not you turn them in, as well as their quality. I will not assign the memos a letter grade, but I will read them and record whether or not you turn them in and their general quality (-, ,+). For every memo you miss, you will lose 1/3 of a grade; however, you may miss two memos over the course of the semester before I begin deducting points.

Turning in graded assignments

  • Late assignments will be penalized one-third of a grade for each week late.

  • If life begins to overtake you such that you expect you will not be able to complete an assignment on time and you let me know well before the due date, it may be possible for us to make alternative arrangements that will reduce the grade penalty for lateness.

  • Any student who fails to turn in all graded assignments will automatically FAIL THE COURSE.

Rewrite policy
You have the option of rewriting the high speed rail analysis and city policy review. However, if you do so, please be advised of the following:

  • I expect a genuine rewrite—you must do more than just fix the specific issues I have pointed out in my comments to you.

  • Your final grade for the paper will be the average of the original submission and the rewrite. Note that rewritten papers will not automatically receive a higher grade.

  • All rewritten papers must be turned in no later than two weeks after I return the graded papers to the class. Rewrites will not be accepted after that date under any circumstances.

Formatting source citations
When you cite another author’s work in any written assignment for this class, use the following formats:

  • For print sources, follow the directions in Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (University of Chicago Press, 1996). Copies are available in the SJSU King library and in the main office of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (WSH 216). The book is relatively inexpensive, and you may also wish to purchase a copy. You may be able to find cheap used copies available through on-line book sellers.

  • For electronic sources, follow the directions at Maurice Crouse’s page “Citing Electronic Information in History Papers” available at http://cas.memphis.edu/~mcrouse/elcite.html. The page begins with a discussion of the theory behind good citation style, and then provides detailed examples of how to cite all sorts of sources. Be sure to follow the guidelines for Turabian-style citations.

Course policies on plagiarism
Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s language, images, data, or ideas without proper attribution. It is a very serious offense both in the university and in your professional work. In essence, plagiarism is both theft and lying: you have stolen someone else’s ideas, and then lied by implying that they are your own.
In this class, plagiarism will automatically lead to grade penalties. It may also result in your failing the course and/or having the incident permanently noted in your student records.
If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism, it is your responsibility to make sure you understand the issues before you hand in written work.
Learning when to cite a source and when not to is an art, not a science. However, here are some examples of plagiarism that you should be careful to avoid:

  • If you use a sentence (or even a part of a sentence) that someone else wrote, you must put those words in quote marks and identify the source; if you don’t, you have committed plagiarism.

  • If you paraphrase somebody else’s theory or idea, unless you acknowledge the author, you have committed plagiarism.

  • If you take an picture or table from a web page or book and insert it into your paper without attribution, you have committed plagiarism.

  • If your paper incorporates data someone else has collected, unless you acknowledge the author, you have committed plagiarism.

The University of Indiana has developed a very helpful website with concrete examples about proper paraphrasing and quotation. See in particular:

  • http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html

  • http://www.indiana.edu/~istd/examples.html.

  • http://education.indiana.edu/~frick/plagiarism/item1.html

At the last page listed you will find a quiz to test how well you understand proper paraphrasing.

If you still have questions after reading these pages, feel free to talk to me personally. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, whereas even unintentional plagiarism is a serious offense.
If you have questions about the official SJSU policy on plagiarism, please read the “Policy on Academic Dishonesty” at http://www.sjsu.edu/student_affairs/academicdishonestyrevisedpolicy.pdf . In addition, the “Academic Dishonesty Procedures” are available in any SJSU Schedule of Classes.

If you have a disability and need special accommodations, please see me at the beginning of the semester so that we can work out a plan that allows you to complete the class successfully.

San Francisco Bay Area Transportation News (BATN)
I recommend that you subscribe to the Bay Area Transportation News (BATN) list serve. BATN provides newspaper articles and other information about transportation issues in the Bay Area. The emails are sent 3-5 times a week. Most items are from newspapers, but there are also some from activist group newsletters, magazines, and such. Occasionally the moderator adds a few editorial comments to the articles.
To subscribe: Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/ and follow the instructions to “Join this group.”

Course Outline

(As of 2/9/04 – Subject to change)




Feb. 4

Course overview

No reading.

Feb. 11

Basics on the US transportation system
Planning and policy roles of different levels of government

- Wachs, M. (2000). “Linkages Between Transportation Planning and the Environment.” Refocusing transportation planning for the 21st century: Proceedings of two conferences. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press: 102-111. (Class handout)

- Forman, R.T.T. et al. (2003). “Chapter 3: Vehicles and planning.” Road ecology: Science and solutions. Washington, D.C., Island Press: 49-72. (Class handout)

- Litman, T.A. (2003). “Reinventing transportation: Exploring the paradigm shift needed to reconcile transportation and sustainability objectives.” Victoria, Victoria Transport Policy Institute. (available at www.vtpi.org/reinvent.pdf)

Feb. 18

Finding information on-line (Computer lab, WSQ 208)
* Due: Policy paper proposal

- Fulton, W. (1999). “Chapter 9: The California Environmental Quality Act.” Guide to California planning. 2nd ed. Point Arena, CA: Solano Press Books: 153-175.

- Amekudzi, A., et al. (2003). “Consideration of Environmental Factors in Transportation Planning.” TRB 2003 Annual Meeting CD-ROM. Washington, D.C., Transportation Research Board.

- U.S. General Accounting Office (2003). Stakeholders' views on time to conduct environmental review of highway projects. Washington, D.C.: The Office. (NOTE: Skim after p. 25)

Feb. 25

Problems with roads:

- Water

- Wildlife

- Forman, R. T. T. et al. (2003). Chapters 8 & 9. Road ecology: Science and solutions. Washington, D.C., Island Press: 201-253.

- White, P.A. and M. Ernst (2003). Second Nature: Improving Transportation Without Putting Nature Second. Washington, D.C, Defenders of Wildlife: 1-23, 41-46, 61-63.

Mar. 3

The problems with vehicles I: Air pollution (the problem, major state and federal legislation)
* Due: Literature search

- Committee for Study of Impacts of Highway Capacity Improvements on Air Quality and Energy Consumption (1995). “Contribution of motor vehicle transportation to air pollution and energy consumption.” Expanding metropolitan highways: Implications for air quality and energy use. Washington, D.C., Transportation Research Board: 38-86.

- National Governors’ Association (2000). “Appendix B: Primer on the provisions in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments affected mobile source emissions.” In State innovations to reduce vehicle emissions. Washington, D.C., The Association: 33-39.

- Howitt, A. M. and A. Altshuler (1999). “The politics of controlling auto air pollution.” Essays in Transportation Economics and Policy, eds. J. Gomez-Ibañez, W. B. Tye and C. Winston. Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution: 223-255.

Mar. 10

Air pollution, cont.

(Policies - inspection and maintenance; vehicle buy-back; alternative fuels)

- National Governors’ Association, Center for Best Practices (2000). “Ensuring national emissions standards through inspection and maintenance.” State innovations to reduce vehicle emissions. Washington, D.C., The Association: 5-10.

- Dill, J. (2004). “Estimating emissions reductions from accelerated vehicle retirement programs.” Transportation Research D 9 (1): 87-106.

- United States Dept of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (2002) “Clean cities fact sheet: Alternative fuels and vehicles offer solutions to imported oil, air pollution, climate change.” Washington, D.C.: The Department.

- Easterbrook, G. (2003) “Why Bush's H-car is just hot air.” New Republic (February 18).




Mar. 17

The problem with vehicles II: Global warming
CAFE standards
Guest: Melissa Hippard, Sierra Club

- Kleit, A. (2002). “CAFE changes, by the number.” Regulation 25 (3): 32-35.

- Committee on the Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards (2002). “Executive summary.” Effectiveness and impact of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press: 1-6.

Mar. 24

Congestion relief as a way to reduce emissions and fuel consumption
Guest: Rod Diridon, High Speed Rail Authority

- Pryne, Eric. “When roads are widened, travel can rise dramatically.” Seattle Times, January 23, 2003. (Class handout)

- Committee for the Evaluation of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (2002). Executive summary. The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program: Assessing 10 Years of Experience. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press: 1-17.

Mar. 31

No class (Spring break)

April 7

New ways of thinking about “private” vehicles
Guest: Linda Novick, Innovative Mobility Research
* Due: High speed rail analysis

- Shaheen, S.A. et al. (2004). “U.S. carsharing and station car policy considerations: Monitoring growth, trends and overall impacts.” TRB 2004 Annual Meeting CD-ROM. Washington, D.C., Transportation Research Board.

- Cervero, R. and Y. Tsia (2004). “San Francisco City CarShare: Second-year travel demand and car ownership impacts.” TRB 2004 Annual Meeting CD-ROM. Washington, D.C., Transportation Research Board.

- Sperling, D. (1995). “Chapter 4: Neighborhood electric vehicles.” Future drive: Electric vehicles and sustainable transportation. Washington, D.C., Island Press: 65-81.

April 14

Transportation and land use – reducing energy consumption
Do people really travel less by car in dense neighborhoods? US research
* Due: Draft policy analysis paper

- Kenworthy, J. and F. Laube (1999). “A global review of energy use in urban transport systems and its implications for urban transport and land use policy.” Transportation Quarterly 53(4): 23-48.

- Dudson, B. (2000). “Cities, transport, and energy.” Transportation Quarterly 54 (3): 11-16.

- Mindali, O. et al (2004). “Urban density and energy consumption: A new look at old statistics.” Transportation Research A 38 (2): 143-162.

April 21

Transportation and land-use, continued:
Success story: Curitiba
* Due: City review

- Frausto, M. E. (1999). “Planning theories and concepts, implementation strategies, and integrated transportation network elements in Curitiba.” Transportation Quarterly 53 (1): 41-55.

April 28

Reducing travel demand: Pricing

- Deakin, E. and G. Harvey (1996). Transportation pricing strategies for California: An assessment of congestion, emissions, energy, and equity impacts: Final report. [Sacramento]: California Air Resources Board.

May 5

Class summary and debate: Technological solutions vs. pricing vs. land-use planning

No reading.

May 12

Final presentations
* Due: Policy papers

No reading.

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