Highways, Transport, and Energy: A Look Ahead

by Herbert S. Levinson, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Connecticut, School of Engrg., Storrs, Conn.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 5, Pg. 447-456

Document Type: Journal Paper


Changes in urban development and travel will affect transportation energy consumption. Methods for reducing energy use in the transportation sector in the decades ahead are examined. Principal possibilities include: reducing the need to travel, improving vehicle fuel economy, maximizing vehicle occupancy, and making each vehicle-mile travelled as energy efficient as possible. The gains from using fuel-efficient vehicles will encompass the entire population. Consequently, they will be far greater than those that would be achieved by better transportation system management, new road construction, transit improvements, or land-use changes. Such measures, while desirable complements to better vehicle fuel efficiency, should be assessed in terms of the broader benefits they confer. Therefore, the promising first step toward reducing transportation energy is to substantially increase the miles per gallon achieved by the motor vehicle fleet. This should be supported by development and pricing policies that foster compactness, thereby reducing the journey to work, concentrating commuter travel patterns and improving public transport potentials.

Subject Headings: Energy efficiency | Vehicles | Highways and roads | Energy consumption | Fuels | Systems management | Highway and road management | Public transportation

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