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A justice-theoretic approach to the distribution of transportation benefits: Implications for transportation planning practice in the United States

  • Martens, Karel
  • Golub, Aaron
  • Robinson, Glenn
Registered author(s):

    Transportation improvements inevitably lead to an uneven distribution of user benefits, in space and by network type (private and public transport). This paper makes a moral argument for what would be a fair distribution of these benefits. The argument follows Walzer’s “Spheres of Justice” approach to define the benefits of transportation, access, as a sphere deserving a separate, non-market driven, distribution. That distribution, we propose, is one where the maximum gap between the lowest and highest accessibility, both by mode and in space, should be limited, while attempting to maximize average access. We then review transportation planning practice for a priori distributional goals and find little explicit guidance in conventional and even justice-oriented transportation planning and analyses. We end with a discussion of the implications for practice.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 684-695

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:46:y:2012:i:4:p:684-695
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    1. Q Shen, 1998. "Location characteristics of inner-city neighborhoods and employment accessibility of low-wage workers," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(3), pages 345-365, May.
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    4. Cairns, Shannon & Greig, Jessica & Wachs, Martin, 2003. "Environmental Justice & Transportation: A Citizen's Handbook," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7b3688t0, University of California Transportation Center.
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    9. Mizuki Kawabata, 2009. "Spatiotemporal dimensions of modal accessibility disparity in Boston and San Francisco," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 41(1), pages 183-198, January.
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    14. Davis, Coray & Jha, Manoj K., 2011. "A dynamic modeling approach to investigate impacts to protected and low-income populations in highway planning," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 598-610, August.
    15. Mizuki Kawabata & Qing Shen, 2006. "Job accessibility as an indicator of auto-oriented urban structure: a comparison of Boston and Los Angeles with Tokyo," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(1), pages 115-130, January.
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