Title

VITAL SIGNS: CIRCULATION IN THE HEART OF THE CITY--AN OVERVIEW OF DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC

Authors

G Forbes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1998

Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, land use - planning, ridership - mode choice, policy - congestion, policy - sustainable, policy - parking, technology - intelligent transport systems, place - urban, place - cbd, mode - bus, mode - mass transit, mode - pedestrian

Keywords

Walking, Urban transportation, Urban areas, Transportation planning, Transit, Traffic flow, Traffic congestion, Sustainable transportation, Sustainable development, Sustainability, RTI, Road transport informatics, Public transit, Parking capacity, Parking, Motor vehicles, Mode share, Mode choice, Modal split, Modal choice, Mass transit, Local transit, IVHS, ITS (Intelligent transportation systems), Intracity transportation, Intelligent vehicle highway systems, Intelligent transportation systems, Gridlock (Traffic), Downtowns, Downtown, Cycling, City centers, Circulation, Choice of transportation, Central business districts, Bicycling, Automotive vehicles, Automobiles, ATT, Advanced transport telematics

Abstract

This feature provides an overview of downtown circulation and current downtown transportation issues such as modal split, one-way streets, and parking. Downtown transportation was initially accomplished by either walking or animal-powered vehicles. Transportation professionals in the 20th century have made changes to the system to accommodate the car. In 1955, when automobile congestion was an epidemic, the profession recognized the need for "a better balance between the use of private and public transportation, especially in congested downtown districts." In the 1990s, the emergence of the concept of sustainable transportation has provided an environment where the modal split is being revisited. Financial limitations constrain increases in supply, and environmental degradation concerns suggest a modal shift to walking, cycling, and mass transit. However, demographics suggest that any proposed shift in modal split to increase walking, cycling, and/or transit ridership is an uphill battle. While the control of parking can help increase modal split, it is not likely in most instances that automobiles will be prohibited in most urban centers. Technological advancements such as Intelligent Transportation Systems and high-speed ground transportation will also influence the development and delivery of transportation and circulation in downtown. With transportation, as with all other things in the downtown, the only constant is change.