Streetfilms: Interview With the Transportation Engineer

In his storied career at New Jersey DOT, Gary Toth played an indispensable role changing the culture of the agency, promoting a place-based ethic instead of the auto-centric transportation planning dogma. Today Toth heads transportation initiatives at Project for Public Spaces, where he has written "A Citizen’s Guide to Better Streets." The book, which will be published by AARP, serves as a how-to for working constructively with your local transportation and planning agencies. (It is not yet available for purchase.)

Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Aaron Naparstek sat down with Toth last week for this interview. Anyone interested in how the American landscape has become so dominated by cars should watch. Toth’s insights about the compound effects of transportation and land use policies are invaluable.

  • JK

    Thanks Aaron, this is really interesting. I’d like to hear more from Gary Toth. Maybe you can get him to write some short commentary for Streets Blog. He has great insights.

  • christine

    Just outstanding !

  • I agree with JK. Weekly “Toth Tips” would be wonderful. That books sounds good, I think I’ll get it when it comes out.

  • Clarence

    Nice commment from Eric Britton on the Streetfilms website. Congrats Aaron, Gary and PPS!

  • gecko

    Excellent! Hopefully, like one of those truly rare moments witnessing the evolution of a new species.

    Maybe, as the next step, the rapid increase in awareness of the importance of greatly reducing the size of our transit vehicles and elimination of the cattle-car mentality towards a more comfortable, convenient, and cost-effective on-and-off system modular mentality on the scale of bicycles, Segways, etc. all with easy connectivity.

  • Politicalpony

    We know what this is. This is Agenda 21 in the making. This is in combination with ICLIE. This is eventually about the taking of private property. The control of land areas that humans will, and will not, be allowed to travel, live or farm. This is to save humans from themselves or so they claim. But its nothing of the sort. Do your home work people. Find out what “Agenda 21” is all about and find out just what’s in store for you. They use clean air, clean water and man made global warming as the reason for this. I mean after all, who wouldn’t want all of the above. But their reasoning is much more than that. In the end its afl about control. A knick down of our society. It all runs together with “Social Equality”. Social Equality is nothing more that taking from those who work hard and strive for a better living and give to those who don’t. It just doesn’t seen fair that there should be people who have more than others. Well if you ask me, it just doesn’t seem fair that a person should work hard for what they have, only to have some form of government entity to tell you that you have to much and then take it away to give to someone else.

    One last thing before go.
    These posts above mine are BS. I Recognize fraud when I side it. These are made up posts.

  • Politicalpony

    We know what this is. This is Agenda 21 in the making. This is in combination with ICLIE. This is eventually about the taking of private property. The control of land areas that humans will, and will not, be allowed to travel, live or farm. This is to save humans from themselves or so they claim. But its nothing of the sort. Do your home work people. Find out what “Agenda 21” is all about and find out just what’s in store for you. They use clean air, clean water and man made global warming as the reason for this. I mean after all, who wouldn’t want all of the above. But their reasoning is much more than that. In the end its afl about control. A knick down of our society. It all runs together with “Social Equality”. Social Equality is nothing more that taking from those who work hard and strive for a better living and give to those who don’t. It just doesn’t seen fair that there should be people who have more than others. Well if you ask me, it just doesn’t seem fair that a person should work hard for what they have, only to have some form of government entity to tell you that you have to much and then take it away to give to someone else.

    One last thing before go.
    These posts above mine are BS. I Recognize fraud when I side it. These are made up posts.

  • Politicalpony

    We know what this is. This is Agenda 21 in the making. This is in combination with ICLIE. This is eventually about the taking of private property. The control of land areas that humans will, and will not, be allowed to travel, live or farm. This is to save humans from themselves or so they claim. But its nothing of the sort. Do your home work people. Find out what “Agenda 21” is all about and find out just what’s in store for you. They use clean air, clean water and man made global warming as the reason for this. I mean after all, who wouldn’t want all of the above. But their reasoning is much more than that. In the end its afl about control. A knick down of our society. It all runs together with “Social Equality”. Social Equality is nothing more that taking from those who work hard and strive for a better living and give to those who don’t. It just doesn’t seen fair that there should be people who have more than others. Well if you ask me, it just doesn’t seem fair that a person should work hard for what they have, only to have some form of government entity to tell you that you have to much and then take it away to give to someone else.

    One last thing before go.
    These posts above mine are BS. I Recognize fraud when I side it. These are made up posts.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

From Sprawling New Jersey, a New Way Forward for State DOTs

|
Despite the rather obvious link between transportation investments and development patterns, land use planning is simply not a consideration at your average state DOT. Most state DOTs — and there are notable exceptions — see their primary responsibility as building highways, never mind that highways are likely to spur outward development, which leads to the […]

So You Have a Complete Streets Policy. Now What?

|
A growing number of communities across the country now have complete streets policies — somewhere in the neighborhood of 280, if you want to get specific. But now comes the hard part: implementing those policies on real streets. Complete streets policies represent a complete 180 from the way transportation planning has been done in 99 […]

So You Have a Complete Streets Policy. Now What?

|
A growing number of communities across the country now have complete streets policies — somewhere in the neighborhood of 280, if you want to get specific. But now comes the hard part: implementing those policies on real streets. Complete streets policies represent a complete 180 from the way transportation planning has been done in 99 […]

The Beginning of the End for Level of Service?

|
There are three little words that will make any livable streets advocate groan: Level of Service. Level of Service, simply put, is a measure of vehicle congestion at intersections. Projects are graded from “A” to “F” based on how much delay drivers experience. That’s all it measures: the free motion of motor vehicles. And that’s […]

Northern Virginia Locked In to Congested Roads

|
Suburbanites in northern Virginia are finding their streets more clogged with traffic than ever, and, as the Washington Post reported earlier this week, they aren’t about to get bailed out by road-widening projects. Here’s the crux of the problem, told from the Post reporter’s decidedly windshield perspective: Thoroughfares like Rolling Road are the blood vessels […]