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Balancing car accessibility and good urban environment
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.
2000 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

This paper has been produced as part of the research

project “Optimal balance

between access by private car and the environment in

town and cities” The

background to the project is the increasing use of

cars in towns and cities, which has

been a major problem for town planners and politicians

during the whole post-war

period. The increasing use of private cars threatens

the safety of other road users,

for example pedestrians and cyclists. It is also

related to a reduction in the number of

people using public transport systems which, as a

consequence, forces the operators

to raise fares, run fewer routes, reduce frequencies

and so on. There is no doubt that

the increasing volume of motorised traffic has

negative impacts on the environment

in towns and cities. Important, but analytically

difficult, values such as “beauty,

comfort, and safety” are under constant pressure from

the space-consuming private

car in urban settings. The underlying objective for

the entire research project is to

investigate if the documented development in this area

is in line with the public

interest, or if there is an imbalance between the

actual outcome and the inhabitants’


The central issue concerns the balance between the

benefits to an individual of car-access

and the public benefit of a good urban environment.

There is no functioning

market where this balance can be effectively settled

because “urban environment” is

an example of a public good that can not be purchased

in desired quantities on a

traditional market. Problems of non-rivalry in

consumption and free riders hamper the

functioning of the market as an efficient mechanism

for allocating scarce resources.

The isolated behaviour of an individual, or a

household, has a negligible impact on

the total outcome, which in turn influences the

behaviour in certain directions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut., VTI särtryck 340 , 2000.
VTI särtryck, ISSN 1102-626X
Keyword [en]
English, Sweden, Town planning, Urban area, Suburbs, Residential area, Car, Private transport, Accessibility, Traffic restraint, Questionnaire, Attitude, Safety, Road pricing, Prohibition, Method
Research subject
Road: Transport, society, policy and planning, Road: Environment; Road: Transport, society, policy and planning, Road: Personal transport
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-4525OAI: diva2:673349
Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2013-12-03

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