Brought to you by CART,
the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation
Editor: David Morse ... Oversight: CART Board
June 30th from 2-3:30pm, at the Clifton Center -- 2117 Payne St, 40206, served by TARC routes 15, 19, and 31.
Our Keynote speaker will be Nina Walfoort, TARC's Director for Marketing, speaking on the needs and direction of Transit and CART's role in its promotion. Following Ms. Walfoort's presentation there will be a short Annual Report and the election of board members for the 2007-2009 term.
We look forward to seeing you. The public is welcome. Refreshments will be served.
Saturday, September 22nd is World Car Free Day. Can you pledge to leave your car parked on that Saturday? Please contact Tim Darst <TIM.DARST@CARnospamKY.ORG> if you have ideas on how to promote Car Free Day this year.
This is to get their support for the Transit First Initiative, which seeks to make public transit a top government priority. Contact David Coyte for more information.
CART, the Clifton Community Council, and others are publishing The Car Free Guide to the Clifton Neighborhood. The pamphlet will be distributed throughout the neighborhood to help people figure out how to get around without their cars.
A coalition including River Fields, CART and 8664 has been meeting to discuss reforming the Bridges Project. Letters to the editor and your elected representatives arguing that we need efficient transit rather than more oil dependent highways would be very timely.
And speaking of Ohio River Bridges Project, is 3.9 billion dollars an honest estimate of the cost?...
originally by Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette Skamris Holm and Soren Buhl
American Planning Association Journal, Summer 2002, pp. 279-295
This article presents results from the first statistically significant study of cost escalation in transportation infrastructure projects (i.e., roads, rail, bridges, and tunnels). Based on a sample of 258 such projects worth $90 billion, the authors found that the cost estimates used to decide whether such projects should be built are highly and systematically misleading. In nine out of ten such projects, estimates are too low. Underestimation, they conclude, is best attributed to lying. Therefore, cost estimates and cost-benefit analyses produced by project promoters and their analysts should not be trusted.
Many transportation promoters use what the authors call the Everything-Goes-According-to-Plan model of deception, in which cost estimates presume that there will be no delays, safety problems, new technologies, etc. This tactic is often used in the power struggle to get projects started, and is one main reason costs are highly and systematically underestimated in transportation projects. They studied statistics concerning such factors as the differences between actual and estimated costs in such projects; whether those differences are statistically significant; and whether they are simply random errors. Cost underestimating allows projects that are not economically viable to get started—a waste of taxpayers’ money, according to the researchers, but a successful technique, because the underestimation pays off in getting a green light on the decision to build a road, bridge, tunnel, or rail project.
"bridge and tunnel project costs are an average of 34% higher than the initial cost estimate"
When studying each specific type of project (road, bridges and tunnels, and rail), the authors found that rail project costs are an average 45% higher than the initial cost estimate; bridge and tunnel project costs are an average of 34% higher; and road project costs are an average of 20% higher. For all projects in the data set, construction costs were an average of 28% higher than initial estimates.
After examining inaccuracies among construction costs, the authors concluded that cost estimates at each stage of a project typically progress toward a smaller number of options, greater detail of designs, greater accuracy of quantities, and better information about unit price. Thus, cost estimates are most inaccurate during the early stages, but become more accurate over time. As a result, the cost estimate at the time of making the decision to build is far from final. The public and all other interested parties are entitled to know the uncertainty of budgets.
The authors also found that underestimation does not decrease over time (their data sample covered projects from 1910 to 1998). Even though better methods of estimating have been developed and more experience should have been gained over the decades, “underestimation today is in the same order of magnitude as it was 10, 30, and 70 years ago.” The authors conclude that project promoters have learned that cost-underestimation pays off.
By David Morse, CART
Over the last 60 years the roads and suburbs have pushed ever outward. But what of the sidewalks? They have been left behind in the urban core. Sure, new neighborhoods may have a few recreational walkways here and there, but try walking to the nearest grocery or hardware store - no way.
Its hard for politicians to address this issue, because sidewalks are so expensive to retrofit. A half-built walking network doesn't satisfy anyone's needs for connectivity. A full network is unaffordable. How to even get started with something that can show measurable results now?
"Safe Routes to School" is a worthy intermediate goal. By focusing specifically on connectivity to and from schools, the problem is both financially tractable and politically viable ("think of the children!"). It is good for the kids - it builds self reliance and combats our fear of child obesity. And its good for the communities too. Obviously, there's no law prohibiting adults from using the created infrastructure. And in the future with a baseline of connectivity to schools, further additions adding other locations become more cost-effective.
For the first time in two generations our country is making a broad, practical investment in walkable communities. I'm happy.
That would be good news if we were actually cutting down CO2 output. Unfortunately, they're just ramping up faster than us.
[A]ccording to figures released yesterday by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, which advises the Dutch government, soaring demand for coal to generate electricity and a surge in cement production have helped to push China's recorded emissions for 2006 beyond those of the US.
The agency said China produced 6,200m tonnes of CO2 last year, compared with 5,800m tonnes from the US. Britain produced about 600m tonnes. But per head of population, China's pollution remains relatively low, about a quarter of that in the US and half that of the UK.
China's excuse that their per-capita emissions were insignificant held a lot more weight back when Kyoto was being drafted in 2002. Now their per-capita emissions are on the same scale as non-US industrialized nations.
Nevertheless, the CART board endorses the consensus that the "developed" countries, chief among them the United States, have created the present climate chaos, and become wealthy as a result. We now have both the responsibility and the ability to clean up after ourselves.