Week 1

Lecture theme:

Course Overview. The Planning Method


  • One-page email on who you are and your primary interests on transportation, together with a digital photo of yourself
Week 2

Lecture theme:

Thumbnail history of Boston transportation & analysis of historical developments: interstate system, aviation, rail and transit

Discuss methods of traffic analysis, how to count traffic, discuss quantitative methods.

Assignment 1: Gateway Project

Week 3

Lecture theme:

Highway Revolt. Resurgence of transit. Was the revolt a rebellion or a revolution?

Discussion of emerging transportation issues & strategic planning model to "map" different approaches

Week 4

Lecture theme:

Class discussion on modes and characteristics & speed, capacity, LOS, external impacts

Assignment I Due
Presentation and Discussion of Assignment I

Assignment II: Millenium Database

Week 5

TBD:  Walking tour of nearby highway and transit sites

Lecture theme:

Quantitative methods: GIS, 4-step model, traffic models, NEPA

Week 6

OPTIONAL Skill session: mind-mapping, GIS, modeling

Lecture theme:
Transportation and Land Use -
Chicken and Egg
The Transit Challenge

Assignment II Due
Discussion of Assignment II

Assignment III: Central Square

Week 7

Lecture Theme:

Project Selection; cost-effectiveness, prioritization, institutional roles; MPOs and modal agencies.

FTA cost-effectiveness; FHWA system completion method
Transportation planning as urban design

Week 8

Lecture theme:

Spending other people's money-what are the rules? Economic evaluation.  Financial evaluation, Programming, Fiscal constraint, Job generation, industrial policy, Constituencies, Jack Sprat, and organization choices

Assignment IV: South Boston Project - Transportation and the Local Economy

Week 9

Lecture theme:

Environmental concerns-air quality, energy consumption, global warming, NEPA Infrastructure sufficiency analysis

Assignment III Due - Discussion with Cambridge officials

Week 10

Lecture theme:

Legislation as cause of process.  Legislation as reflection of public sentiment Legislation and delayed implementation by institutions

Assignment IV due

Assignment V: Final Project: Alewife, Suburban Transit Oriented Development

Week 11

Lecture theme:

Intelligent Transport Systems
Modeling and Policy
Discuss Assignment IV

Week 12

Modeling exercises
Congestion pricing
Parking Policy. Employment policies.
Housing Finance.  Tax Code
Transportation and industrial policy

Assignment V due

Week 13

Discussion of Alewife Project

Week 14

See note on IAP modeling workshop

Lecture theme:

Infrastructure reconstruction
Operations & maintenance
Airport access and international access
New Surface Transportation and New Aviation Legislation

Final Assignment Due