The Regional Transportation Reality Check
A Service of Integrated Transport Research, Inc.

A metropolitan transportation plan is in place. Government agencies are at work. Taxes are being collected and spent. But some good solutions aren't yet part of the transportation mix. And what is being done does not seem to be enough to solve the problems you see.
Is it time for a reality check?

BLUEDIV.gif (3774 bytes)

We help chambers of commerce, government watchdog groups, and other civic leadership associations identify transportation solutions that fit how people work, shop, play, and move around in metropolitan regions that are growing and changing.

BLUEDIV.gif (3774 bytes)

Features of Our Approach

Transportation Quality Checklist

Existing Factors Recognized

Consulting Methodology

Research Background

Biographies of Principals


Download this page in PDF format.



Integrated Transport Research focuses its consulting on improving the benefits from government spending on public transportation and roads in metropolitan areas of urban North America. We include full consideration of traffic congestion, air quality, and land use. The Regional Transportation Reality CheckSM brings to you our several decades of government policy making and program design experience, and a recent track record of innovative policy research and analysis.

Major Research Finding

Our research has found that the consumer marketplace is a strong, unrecognized force in determining travel and land use patterns. Governments do not often recognize the limits on their power to reshape these patterns through investments and public policy.

Graphical presentation of findings to regional planners in Washington, DC.

Features of Our Approach

  • We blend our research-based understanding and analytical know-how to help your region respond to the world as it is.

  • We bring you clear understanding and appreciation of market forces that influence travel.

  • We cover the main reasons people travel, both commuting and nonwork trips.

  • We thoroughly analyze why people use cars -- not simply a "love affair with the auto."

  • We help you take a flexible, incremental, no-regrets approach to the uncertain future.

  • We emphasize choice based upon cost-effectiveness in government spending.

  • We help you grasp the challenge of opportunity costs in making tough choices.

  • We stress expanding the productivity of investments already made.

  • We help you to define those problems that can actually be solved.

  • We help you to understand and accept the conditions that can only be tolerated, not solved.

  • We guide you to build your way out of local congestion, by building the right things.

  • We help you challenge conventional wisdom and archaic regulation as needed.

  • We provide a deep, realistic understanding of what telecommunications technology can do.

  • We accent why a strong economy provides resources for protecting the natural environment.

  • We respect and appropriately integrate your local transportation and land use vision.

Existing Factors Recognized

At the same time we make sure that the requirements that are typically well-covered by the present hard work of regional transportation planning agencies will not be unduly compromised by the emphasis we bring. We take into account what existing planning already encompasses, especially:

  • Needs of regular daily commuters.

  • Needs of downtown and suburban employment centers

  • Needs of sports and entertainment centers.

  • Equity across regional jurisdictions

  • Equity and justice across population groups.

  • Needs of special traveler populations such as handicapped, children, carless.

  • Public transit technology options.

  • Environmental quality standards.

  • Motor vehicle safety and personal security of transit users.

  • Funding creativity.

  • General citizen participation.

Research Background

Our research for the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University:
A New Planning Template for Transit-Oriented Development

Check out an example from the map book we prepared on the central Puget Sound Region.

tod99trbfigure1.jpg (114598 bytes)

Transportation Quality Checklist

We work with our own Transportation Quality Checklist that reveals improvement opportunities we have seen to be typically missed in traditional transportation planning. We check that the regional direction in your transportation systems development has the high quality that comes from dealing with reality as follows:

  • Recognizing and measuring cost-effectiveness.

  • Considering an appropriate breadth of alternatives.

  • Staying flexible and responsive to risk and uncertainty

  • Responding to the complex retail consumer goods and services environment.

  • Appreciating business-to-business mobility needs, like customer meetings and field service.

  • Dealing with commercial vehicles, freight, logistics, and electronic commerce.

  • Responding to telecom and computer technology in both trip substitution and stimulation.

  • Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), the new Dot Com of transportation.

  • Recognizing improvements in automotive technology, especially new fuels and engines.

  • Maintaining an understandable planning process that puts four-step modeling in perspective.

  • Including participation of important, frequently unrecognized constituencies

Consulting Methodology

In blending The Regional Transportation Reality CheckSM with what your region already has, our consulting methodology typically requires six months of elapsed time and includes:

  • A kickoff meeting of key participants.

  • Identification and recruitment of local staff assistance to work with us

  • Review of local documents.

  • Familiarization tour of the region.

  • Interviews with key informants.

  • Identification of strengths of the existing planning process and the results to date.

  • Specification of critical knowledge base additions.

  • Preliminary listing of improvement opportunities.

  • Circulation of preliminary list for reaction and augmentation.

  • Identification of a Key Theme for transportation improvement in your region.

  • Visionary/provocative media exposure of the Key Theme to create readiness for change.

  • Specification and implementation of special studies if needed.

  • Development of a final report with improvement opportunities.

  • Leadership and media briefing on our recommendations.

  • Implementation assistance as required.

We create a customized consulting plan from these elements that meets the needs of your region.



Biographies of principal consultants Dick Nelson and John Niles



To ask questions or begin to explore what The Regional Transportation Reality CheckSM from Integrated Transport Research, Inc. brings to your metropolitan area, call or write:

Dick Nelson, Principal
Integrated Transport Research, Inc.
112 North 50th Street
Seattle, Washington 98107

BLUEDIV.gif (3774 bytes)

Integrated Transport Research, Inc. also offers expert witness services.

Global Telematics Home Page