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BOOK REVIEW

URBAN TRANSPORTATION PLANNING: A DECISION-ORIENTED APPROACH


By Michael D. Meyer and Eric J. Miller
Second Edition, McGraw-Hill Series in Transportation, McGraw-Hill, New York; 2001; 637 pages Todays transportation planners and engineers need a diverse set of knowledge to be effective practitioners and researchers. The second edition of Urban Transportation Planning: A Decision-Oriented Approach by Michael Meyer and Eric Miller is a very accessible and thorough introduction to this body of knowledge. This textbook maintains a good balance between an introduction to the theoretical aspects of the eld of urban transportation and the implications of the theory, regulations, and institutional factors on planning and engineering practice. The basic theme of the book, like the rst edition published in 1984, is to allow informed decision-making. Coupled with this basic theme is an emphasis on the multimodal nature of transportation, the emerging importance of data issues, the impacts of policy on planning practice, and clearly identied links to community viability and quality of life issues. To support this theme, the vast material on the subject is presented in nine chapters that can be grouped into four categories: the institutional framework for transportation planning, the systems and data issues related to the analysis of transportation systems, analysis methods and evaluation, and implementation issues. The rst group of chapters, Chapters 1 and 2, provide the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the changing nature of transportation planning and the factors motivating these changes. This material is supplemented by an Appendix, listing legislation that has impacted transportation planning in recent years. The second group of chapters, Chapters 3 and 4, provide the foundation for transportation analysis by presenting the characteristics and impacts of urban transportation systems and a nice discussion on data issues. The material on data gathering mechanisms is up-to-date and emphasizes issues involved in effectively using data for system management. The third group of chapters, Chapters 5, 6, and 7 exposes the reader to the technical transportation planning process. A highlight of this material is that the book remains true to its claim of being systems-oriented. In that tradition, the authors do not restrict the discussion of modeling to the usual transportation models such as sequential transportation planning models, discrete choice and activity-based methods, and goods movement and air-quality impact analysis. Instead, the authors also discuss the larger context of transportation systems analysis with the presentation of urban activity models, especially land-use models, which are treated in some detail (in Chapter 6). In general, the treatment of most modeling approaches is very concise. However, there is also perhaps a missed opportunity with respect to the new and extremely important areas of dynamic models and simulation-based models required to design and evaluate intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Although the material is not detailed enough for advanced graduate study and will need to be supplemented by additional readings, the authors do a good job of presenting the various classes of urban models to the reader. The last group of chapters, Chapters 8 and 9, contain material on system and project-level evaluation and on program and project implementation. This material is a must-read for practitioners, especially because of the rich examples provided. This edition retains the excellent overview of the many facets of transportation planning of the rst edition. While the authors do not treat many technical issues in great detail, the strength of the book is the diversity of subject matter covered and extensive references. The book will make an excellent text for beginning transportation planning and engineering students. It will also serve as an important reference for advanced students and professionals in the eld. Its benet as a reference could be improved if a list of tables and gures was provided. Piyushimita Thakuriah Assistant Professor College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL 60607

454 / JOURNAL OF TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING / SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2001


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