Archive for the ‘Public Policy’ Category

At what price does traffic divert from toll roads to alternative routes?

January 24, 2013

Empirical evidence of toll road traffic diversion and implications for highway infrastructure privatization

From Public Works Management & Policy

Toll road programs were introduced in the USA to reduce congestion on America’s transportation network. Congestion pricing uses tolls to alter demand, using road pricing to manage congestion. Many tolls are used as a means to fund new and existing roadways and transfer control of infrastructure to private firms. This study asks important questions such as how do truckers respond to pricing signals? As price increases, how extensively do truckers divert from limited-access highways to secondary roads? At what price does this diversion impose costs on secondary highways? The article explores the elasticity of demand for truck traffic over time for an existing toll road it uses empirical data to evaluate the extent to which tolls divert traffic from existing highways to alternative routes. It concludes that further research could help determine whether or how to set tolls to foster good decisions by road users.

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New York City street cleaning policy increases car usage for those without off-street parking

January 8, 2013

Duet of the Commons: The Impact of Street Cleaning on Car Usage in the New York City Area

From Journal of Planning Education and Research

Street cleaning is a common practice in many communities. Street cleaning encourages car usage for households without off-street parking and discourages car usage for households with off-street parking. The process requires that street parking be temporarily removed from the stock of available parking spaces, which affects parking and travel decisions. Local governments normally adopt three residential street parking policies, parking permit, time limits, and street cleaning. This article tests the impact of street cleaning on driving using a random sample of five hundred households in the New York City area. The policy implications of street cleaning in particular and residential street parking in general are discussed through the frameworks of property rights and social equity. The net effect is an increase of vehicle miles traveled by 7.1 percent, at least 27 percent of which is not a mere redistribution from non-street-cleaning days. The overall impact on weekly car usage is significant. These findings have direct implications on street parking policy in general and street cleaning operation in particular.

 

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Making sense of the ‘Big Society’: Social work and the moral order

November 7, 2012

From Journal of Social Work

The practice of social work has always been strongly influenced by political ideology, and its organization shaped by public policy. This article examines social work in the UK during the New Labour administrations and outlines how the idea put forward by the subsequent Coalition of the ‘Big Society’ evolved as a response to New Labour failings with consideration of possible future influence on the profession. It argues that two sides of the program are relevant for social work, the first focused on the public spending cuts and the second on increased empowered communities and collective action.  This agenda poses challenges and opportunities for a practice which is less individualistic, formal and desk-bound; but it also raises issues about the wider solidarities upon which equality and social justice depend.

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What are the effects of the great recession on local governments?

September 19, 2012

Special issue: The new normal: local governments after the Great Recession

From State and Local Government Review

This special issue documents the crisis affecting city and county governments following the Great Recession.  It examines the severity and potentially lasting changes brought about by the economic downturn and presents new data collected from local government administrators. The lead article documents the profound challenges facing local governments in this new era. In a survey of 580 city and county governments, nearly half cited budget shortfalls as a top problem.  This important new research sheds light on the challenges faced by city and county governments that must provide most basic services. Other articles in this Special Issue take up complementary themes. This Special Issue is a collaboration between SLGR and the National Association of Counties and National League of Cities.

 

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Assessing policies designed to ensure more than 2 million disabled adults gain health insurance coverage (USA)

September 4, 2012

The potential employment impact of Health Reform on working-age adults with disabilities

From Journal of Disability Policy Studies

Public health insurance is a valued benefit for many working-age individuals with disabilities who would otherwise have difficulty obtaining health insurance in the private market. This article assesses the extent to which the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 has the potential to expand health insurance options for workers with disabilities and ameliorate existing employment disincentives. The study suggests the impact of the ACA on employment outcomes for persons with disabilities is a critical area for future research. At a minimum, it is expected for the ACA to result in patterns of insurance coverage among persons with disabilities that look more similar to patterns of insurance coverage among working-age persons without disabilities.  Nationally, in 2009, employed working-age people with disabilities were less likely to have insurance coverage than those who were  unemployed. It is projected that this relationship will change in 2014. More than 2 million adults with disabilities will gain coverage and that coverage rates will be higher among the employed.

 

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