Publication Detail

National Transportation Planning



Soon after starting work on the development of a methodology for national transportation planning in Venezuela, we realized the importance of an integrated management process for such an effort. We also realized the absence in the literature of specific guidelines on how to manage and conduct a transportation planning effort. The literature on the subject of national transportation planning is predominantly theoretical and technical in nature. To a large extent, the absence of literature on management and broad-based methodological approaches reflects the limited and ad hoc nature of the experience in national transportation planning.

This book is an attempt to fill that gap. The main objective of the book is to show one way by which a methodology for national transportation planning can be integrated into a process management framework. It reports on the experience that the authors had in the Venezuelan case, as well as in earlier national planning efforts. The book is not intended as a theoretical discussion of planning. Instead, it adopts a particular theoretical stand and proceeds on that basis to develop a program for applying a specific methodology. The intention is to leave as much of the details and elaborations of that methodology to the user. This is motivated by two considerations. The first is a pragmatic attempt to limit the scope of the book. The second is a conviction that the elaboration of specific models and procedures should be predominantly influenced by local considerations that would usually not he amenable to generalization. As such, this book may be considered a guide for the conduct and management of a national transportation planning effort, but by no means the only reference source that an analyst would require. It is for this reason that a rather extensive bibliography on national transportation planning has been appended to the book. A natural sequel to this book would be one in which the various methods and models used in the planning process are elaborated and discussed. Until such a book is available, we believe it indispensable that access to a collection of reference materials, such as presented in the bibliography, be available when undertaking a national transportation effort. Although we have argued in this book that national transportation planning should be seen primarily as a political process, this does not imply that analytical methods and procedures do not have a central role to play. We have given priority to setting down a guide for the conduct of the planning process. The need for a document describing these analytical techniques is now obvious to us.

Many more people contributed to the composition and production of this book than it is possible for us to give credit to within the limits of a preface. Much of the work that went into this book was conducted at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. The contributions of our colleagues Bernard Houel and Edward C. Sullivan were significant, and we wish to extend our appreciation to them. Our interactions with the Oficina Ministerial de Planificacion de Transporte of the Venezuelan Ministry of Transport and Communication were also essential for the completion of this work – a book that was originally inspired by the need to organize a national transportation plan in Venezuela. Celia Benchimol, the director of that office, and her staff, including Hector Maldonado and Hercilio Castellano, made valuable contributions to our work. We have learned very much from them about the realities of national transportation planning, and we have been inspired by their determination in carrying on with the planning effort.

The production of the manuscript has benefited considerably from the assistance of the Institute of Transportation Studies staff. Associate Librarian Catherine Cortelyou did a marvelous job in updating our bibliography that appears in appendix 5. Sylvia Adler typed the manuscript with great skill, given the quality of what we had given her.
Book by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.