An expertly woven history and critique of the ideas shaping transportation in the United States.
Excruciating traffic jams. Struggling transit agencies. An epidemic of pedestrian fatalities. It is clear that transportation is not working in the United States and that we need to rethink our approach. In Shifting Gears, Susan Handy provides an in-depth history of the ideas embedded in American transportation policy and the emergence of new ways of thinking that could give us better transportation options. Weaving in bits of her own personal narrative, Handy gives readers a deeper and clearer understanding of our transportation system and the roots of its successes and failures.
Handy covers the myriad costs of car ownership, the futility of expanding highways, and the misplaced faith in technological innovation. She offers new ideas and strategies that can improve the health of our car-centric transportation system—most crucially, the idea that communities across the country must create an array of choices for daily travel. Shifting Gears asserts that a diverse transportation ecosystem is essential for creating more just, sustainable communities, but getting there will take a dramatic shift in how we think about transportation.
Susan Handy is Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Policy and Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at the University of California, Davis, where she also chairs the graduate program in Transportation Technology and Policy.
“With accessible writing, academic rigor, and the right sense of the absurd, Susan Handy explains how American transport planning got us into this mess, and the path to get us out.”
Jeffrey Tumlin, Director, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
“Handy's illuminating history provides context for many rules and practices found in transportation, highlighting where they do not serve today's needs and making it clear why and how they need to change.”
Beth Osborne, Director, Transportation for America
“Most cities want to make driving easier. In Shifting Gears,Susan Handy shows how cities can make it easier to drive less. Transportation officials and students alike need to read this wonderful book, and they'll love it.”
Donald Shoup, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Urban Planning, UCLA