Second Best ROI: ITS

For the last month or so I’ve been banging the drum that cycling is the absolute best return on investment for transportation dollars (and Thank You! Portland City Council for adopting the Bicycle Plan for 2030). So what comes after that?

I think Intelligent Transportation Systems are a good candidate for next highest Return on Investment. The Daily Journal of Commerce details some of Portland’s efforts and aspirations in this area.

The basic idea is pretty simple and pretty smart – instead of investing in concrete and asphalt to expand capacity for mobility, work the existing system smarter to produce more effective capacity out on the street. Signals, sensors and communications are a lot cheaper than building new lanes…

6 responses to “Second Best ROI: ITS”

  1. Portland main streets have had traffic signal synchronization for decades, that does make travel on those routes a LOT easier. When I lived in Seattle I was frustrated that their signaling seemed to be rather chaotic.

    I guess now you are talking about a logarithmic approach, rather than just a fixed schedule?

  2. This makes too much sense to have much hope of actually happening, unless of course some important power brokers can make some dough on it!

  3. Since there is no tax assessed on cycling, there is NO return on investment. All bicyclists do is bang the animated and vociferous drum of lip service demanding something they want everybody else to pay for.

  4. If you define ‘return’ as revenue, that’s true. But at least in the Fortune 500 company where I work, ‘costs avoided’ also count towards returns, and cycling yield avoided environmental impacts, avoided health care costs, avoided wear and tear on the payment… the list goes on.

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