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Sustainable Transportation Planning

Course Syllabus: Spring 2011

Meeting Time: Tuesday 4:00-6:45 p.m. The course is cross-listed as ENVS-195, (14096), NR-185 (14216),
CDAE 195 (14407). Room:

Instructor: Dr. Richard Watts, 802-656-9775 rwatts@uvm.edu

Course Description

The United States is the most auto-dependent country in the world. In this class we examine our
automobility, reviewing how we got here, some of the ramifications of this dependence and what it
suggests for our future. The environmental and energy impacts of auto-dependence will be explored in
depth and the class will focus on several policy solutions that include switching transportation fuels,
reducing driving or switching travel modes (walking, biking, public transit). For example, electrifying the
transportation sector by plugging our cars into the electric grid has been touted as a solution to the
environmental and energy impacts of cars. We will explore this and other proposed solutions. Students
will draw from the readings, class discussions and their own knowledge to examine issues related to
automobility and possible future-oriented solutions. The course has three primary objectives.

Goals and Objectives

The course has three primary objectives.

1) Examine the underlying causes of U.S. automobility and present trends using transportation
planning data and other approaches and perspectives, such as personal narratives, travel music
and movies.
2) Develop grounded solutions to reduce automobility and increase sustainable solutions that
provide mobility and access.
3) Engage students in transportation issues.
Text Books Required

James Howard Kuntsler. 1993. The Geography of Nowhere: the Rise and Decline of America’s
Man-Made Landscape. Touchstone.

David Jones. 2008. Mass Motorization & Mass Transit. Indiana University Press. Selected
Chapters. Posted to Blackboard.

James Billmaier. 2010. JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America
Must Take Charge.

Additional Equipment/Special Instructions/Field Studies

(Do students need special technology, equipment, clothing, etc.)

Sample Assignments

(Provide an example of a course assignment – optional)


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Sustainable Transportation Planning

Course Syllabus: Spring 2011

Meeting Time: Tuesday 4:00-6:45 p.m. The course is cross-listed as ENVS-195, (14096), NR-185 (14216),
CDAE 195 (14407). Room:

Instructor: Dr. Richard Watts, 802-656-9775 rwatts@uvm.edu

Office Hours: University Transportation Research Center - Farrell Hall – by appointment arranged by
phone or email. Or following class on Mondays.

Communication Note: Email will be used for official communication in this class. Students are assumed
to log on at least every second day.

Web page: Instructors will post the syllabus, class schedules and selected readings to the course web
site. PPT lectures prepared for class will also be posted.

Books:

James Howard Kuntsler. 1993. The Geography of Nowhere: the Rise and Decline of America’s
Man-Made Landscape. Touchstone.

David Jones. 2008. Mass Motorization & Mass Transit. Indiana University Press. Selected
Chapters. Posted to Blackboard.

James Billmaier. 2010. JOLT!: The Impending Dominance Of The Electric Car And Why America
Must Take Charge.
Objective: The United States is the most auto-dependent country in the world. In this class we examine
our automobility, reviewing how we got here, some of the ramifications of this dependence and what it
suggests for our future. The environmental and energy impacts of auto-dependence will be explored in
depth and the class will focus on several policy solutions that include switching transportation fuels,
reducing driving or switching travel modes (walking, biking, public transit). For example, electrifying the
transportation sector by plugging our cars into the electric grid has been touted as a solution to the
environmental and energy impacts of cars. We will explore this and other proposed solutions. Students
will draw from the readings, class discussions and their own knowledge to examine issues related to
automobility and possible future-oriented solutions. The course has three primary objectives.

4) Examine the underlying causes of U.S. automobility and present trends using transportation
planning data and other approaches and perspectives, such as personal narratives, travel music
and movies.
5) Develop grounded solutions to reduce automobility and increase sustainable solutions that
provide mobility and access.
6) Engage students in transportation issues.

Course Components:

A : Seminars

Lectures by the instructor and limited speakers will include presentation of background information,
description of current transportation challenges, solution mechanisms and class discussions.
Attendance and participation in discussions is mandatory and will be considered in assigning the final
grade. Students will post questions based on the readings to BB in advance of speakers or specified
lectures.

B : Readings

Required readings are posted to Blackboard. Students are required to complete these readings and use
them as a source for questions of speakers, to inform class discussion and in their written materials.

C: Short Papers
There will be 10 short papers assigned in this class. Students must submit 8 papers over the course of
the semester. Papers should be 1-2 pages single-spaced and draw from the readings, class discussions,
the academic literature and the student’s own research. Re-writes of these papers are not allowed.
Papers should not be late. Instructor grades these papers based on 1) Clarity and organization of the
writing (including typos), 2) Quality of content and originality, 3) Use of class materials and related
transportation research resources.

D: In-Class Assignments

There will be four in-class assignments in this class that relate to the readings and class discussions.
Assignments will consist of short answer questions, short essays and some basic data work.

E : Grading

Short Papers 8 x 9%= 72% 90 -


100=A

Class Participation (per ½ course) 2 x 6%= 12% 80 - 89


=B

In-Class Assignments 4 x 4%= 16% 70 - 79 =C

100%
60 - 69 =D

F. Presentations on “Home” (not graded)

1-3 slides about home that could illustrate; where it is, what the local transportation systems are,

how you get around, some data about this. To be discussed.

G. Outside Presentations (not graded)

Attending two outside speakers is required during the semester and writing ½ page summary of

the event. Not graded but counted as part of class participation grade. Choose between, Reid
Ewing, Deb Niemier, Joe Coughlin for one. Required is Janette Sadik-Khan.

Guidelines for Written Work

All written work should be typed and printed out on the clearest settings. Do not hand in work printed
at the draft setting or hand-written. Single-space your papers (12 or 11-pt), allowing normal margins for
comments. Number your pages with your name at the top of each page and staple all pages together for
safety. Consider the visual presentation of your work, check for computer errors and typos. An
attractively presented paper is to your benefit. You must spell check and proofread your work before
turning it in. Errors should be minimal.

Use your own words. Please don’t take lengthy quotes from the literature, instead present your
thoughts in your own words. But always give credit when you use ideas from other sources. Any
consistent referencing style is acceptable. Printing on both sides of the paper is fine as is using recycled
paper as long as you cross out the side you don’t want us to read.

Late Work

You are expected to turn in all work on-time i.e. the day it is due in class. If you need an extension due to
illness or family emergency, please speak with me personally and well in advance of the due date or
class time. I do not accept late work when there has been no prior acceptance (an email announcing the
work will be late is not enough. Acceptance requires acknowledgement by the instructor). And because
there are ten papers and eight actually due, late work is generally not allowed.

Attendance Policy

You are expected to attend every class session. If unable to attend please contact Richard either by
phone or email. I expect everyone to make their best efforts to attend every class, both for your own
personal learning, and to contribute to the community of learners in the group. In addition, class
participation is a portion of your grade. Because the class meets only 15 times, unexcused absences can
result in grade reductions of one point (i.e. from an A to an A-).

Class Protocol
Use of cell phones and text messaging is prohibited. Laptops should be used sparingly and only for class-
related work during class. Students are welcome to get up and move around during class.

Plagiarism
Academic standards at UVM about plagiarism are clear: “All ideas, arguments, and phrases,
submitted without attribution to other sources, must be the creative product of the student. Thus,
all text passages taken from the works of other authors must be properly cited. The same applies
to paraphrased text, opinions, data, examples, illustrations, and all other creative work.
Violations of this standard constitute plagiarism”
(www.uvm.edu/~uvmppg/ppg/student/acadintegrity.html). Please be careful with attributions and
copying, especially when using web pages. Plagiarism at UVM is grounds for academic
suspension.