The paper by Lim dubbed ‘the status of transportation demand management in Greater Vancouver and energy implications’ provides a clear and well-organized strategy to be employed towards improving the transportation system in the Greater Vancouver region.
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The author has presented the problems of the deterioration in the transport system as the resources become limited in order to show the need for improvements in the near future in order to secure the needs of the future generations. Transport demand management was proposed as the best strategy (tool) to employ in order to provide the needed change in the transport system in Vancouver.
The author did well to assess the current regional transportation performance. This way the readers could understand the way in which the transport system is utilized by the residents. He looked at the number of times the private vehicles plied the routes. He also did the same for public transit and for those who went by foot or bicycle. Using previous studies, the author was also able to tell that the overall automobile occupancy (persons per vehicle) had dropped over time.
This statistic only implies that the number of vehicles were on the increase since each vehicle is being used to carry less number of people than before. With such changes, the performance during the peak periods has been altered since it has greatly diminished. This is in terms of trip length, trip speed and trip time. The author identified this as one of the reasons for the need for a new transport system in Vancouver.
One of the strengths of the paper is in the way the author presents transportation demand management (TDM) as a solution to many of the issues facing the transportation system in Vancouver. Firstly, he provided a definition of transport demand management as a means of influencing the quantity, composition and time of the demand for transport. This required the planning and implementation of certain programs.
The paper proposes that this would help reverse some of the trends and try to encourage the citizens to be less dependent on the automobile. This should be done through focusing on the demand for energy. The people should also be encouraged to be more efficient and to be conscious about the environment.
An area that is also covered well is the area on the environmental impacts caused due to poor planning in transportation. With more vehicles on the road, there is increased congestion and consequently more air pollution due to transportation.
Another problem is the energy consumption. A large percentage of the transportation needs is due to transport needs. Due to the ever-increasing numbers of automobiles, the demand for more energy is increasing and so does the effects to the environment. Therefore, the author identified one of the priorities as a means of maintaining a healthy environment.
There is also a misconception about the issue of demand and supply. The suppliers have addressed the issue of high demand by requesting for the development of more infrastructures. This only causes negative environmental impacts and also negatively impacts the land uses.
The proposed strategy (TDM) is one of the strengths of the paper since it helps promote some behavior changes in individuals that would help curb some of the issues including environmental degradation due to pollution.
It discouraged people from being dependent on automobiles. In addition to fostering changes in behavior, the strategy proposed helps in restructuring the infrastructure in order to encourage more cyclists and those walking. The aspect of land-use planning is also vital for the viability of the environment.
The author employed certain methods while considering the TDM strategy. Firstly, he used existing data sources extensively. This was necessary in order to compare some of the previous successes of the strategy and measure its effectiveness in the current project (in the case of Vancouver). Another method employed was the reviewing of the existing opinion research on similar ventures (improving efficiency in transportation).
The author also conducted new opinion surveys in order to get the opinions of the commuters themselves. The author was able to gather useful information from the focus groups and public opinion surveys. The diversity of the methods used in the paper suggests the accuracy of the information presented by the author (strength).
The approach used by the author was to consider previous research findings and to conduct research himself in order to get results that are more accurate. The accuracy of the information is also assured because of the disciplinary background of the author as a civil engineer and his diverse experience.
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This paper is well organized and has been presented clearly. The information on the efficiency of transportation in terms of trip time, trip speed and trip length adds to our understanding of issues surrounding transportation geography. It provides information on how the transportation system could be made more effective in order to properly manage the energy demands.
I would recommend this paper as a course reading for future students due to the vastness of the information presented by the author. The information on the importance of transport demand management in reducing the negative effects to the environment is also vital since the issue of global warming must be confronted head-on.