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Transportation & Sustainable Campus Communities: Issues, Examples, Solutions
Will Toor and Spenser W. Havlick
Washington: Island Press, 2004
293 pp., $30, paperback


While a college or university has a large and usually positive impact on the small or large community where the campus is located, it also attracts many people from outside the immediate area. All too often the automobiles that bring those people create traffic, parking, air pollution and other problems for the surrounding communities. Providing parking for those automobiles is costly and can drain funds from needed educational programs or facilities.

Over the past 50 years, many campuses and communities have tried to accommodate the cars - or develop mass transit, bicycle, or pedestrian alternatives. Transportation & Sustainable Campus Communities: Issues, Examples, Solutions, looks at planning options as well as case studies of how various campuses and communities have developed and implemented a variety of alternative transportation programs.

Written by two people from Boulder, Colorado (one of whom is the mayor), the book not only discusses the University of Colorado, but also dozens of other campuses. The authors' research included several hundred campus questionnaires (the universities are listed in the appendix), selected campus interviews, and dozens of website searches. Programs on eight campuses are explored in more detail: University of Washington in Seattle, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, University of California in Davis, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, University of Montana in Missoula, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, University of New Hampshire in Durham, and Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.

Their conclusion is that transit systems (operated by the university or in coordination with the local government), bus passes, "smart parking management," pedestrian and bicycle programs can "reduce the negative impacts of car dominance." "The most important determinants are the supply and price of parking, the land-use plans that determine the length and type of trips, the financial incentives to drive alone or travel in other ways, the level of transit service available, and the ease of bicycle use."

The book is primarily useful for university planners, administrators, faculty, and students. While recognizing the importance of working with local governments (and giving examples), the role of neighboring communities and addressing the effects that campus transportation has on those communities is not given enough attention. Thus, community and neighborhood activists can gain useful information from this book, but will not find the needed "how to" resources to stimulate recalcitrant university officials to take action.

— Don Hancock


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Table of Contents

"Some people in the community were behind mining, [they] thought, mining is good for money. Some Navajo families were compensated for [past] mining on their lands. They were rich for a while. But it seems like to Navajos or native people, it's not good for us. As of today, I've seen these families suffer; many are gone from alcoholism, and [many] didn't spend the money in the right way. There's nothing there, now they're suffering again. This is almost where we're headed again. In the long run, I think it's not made for the native people to be so rich off the Earth. Uranium mining, it's like it's an omen."

--Mitchell Capitan,
founder
Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining



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