Publication Detail

Beyond ITS and the Transportation Monoculture


Research Report

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

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Suggested Citation:
Sperling, Daniel (2007) Beyond ITS and the Transportation Monoculture. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RP-07-41

Mel Webber wrote and thought a lot about cars. He frequently pointed out that cars remain the first choice for transport for most people because their convenience and door-to-door accessibility are unmatched by any other mode. However, many cities are headed toward traffic paralysis because cars are so popular. Car ownership and use continue to increase, but there is little expansion in road capacity.

The principal response of transportation planners to increasing congestion over the past fifteen years has been development and deployment of “intelligent transportation system” (ITS) technology. But the improvements produced by ITS have been minute and incremental, largely limited to managing traffic flows, reducing delay resulting from crashes and mishaps, and providing better information to travelers. For fast-growing metropolitan areas, something more radical is needed. Mel understood this challenge. He sought ways of serving the desire for personal transport that do not add to congestion or pollution.

From ACCESS magazine. Winter, 2006-2007