How Land Use Law Impedes Transportation Innovation
Transportation scholars have long known that infrastructure investments both depend upon current land use patterns and spur changes in those patterns. There is a massive literature built around what are known as Land Use Transport Interaction (LUTI) models, which analyze the complex interrelationship between infrastructure investments, land use, and transportation developments (Van Wee 2015; Wegener 2014). But the scholars and practitioners in the field (and their increasingly complex software) almost entirely ignore the ubiquity of legal limitations on land use. In comprehensively planned cities, market forces do not, on their own, determine the flow of benefits to the broader economy from transportation innovations or investments. If one wants to know how a road or light rail line will affect land uses in a comprehensively regulated city or region, one must understand both the content of zoning and other regulations – rules governing what can be built, where, and how it can be used – and the politics of changing these regulations. New housing, for instance, will not simply emerge around new highways or rail lines. Governments must allow the market to work by revising zoning and subdivision ordinances that accommodate construction. … This chapter will assess how well modern land use law has or might accommodate three major recent or soon-to-arrive transportation innovations: (1) Global Positioning Systems (GPS), mobile mapping, and real-time traffic information services (like Google Maps, Apple Maps, TomTom, Garmin, and Waze); (2) e-hailing apps for taxis, shared rides, and shuttles (like Uber, Lyft, and their competitors); and (3) still-developing self-driving autonomous cars.