A new graduate student from another country recently asked me for readings that would help them get up to speed on transportation in the U.S. – all of that context knowledge that professors and seasoned professionals have absorbed over the years and take for granted. I was a little stumped. Since I’m at home, I could not look up to the wall in my office with shelves of books. I had one suggestion, then asked Twitter. Here’s what we collectively came up with. It is in no particular order (after the first one). I have not read all of these, and I’m sure some of you will debate them.
- The Geography of Urban Transportation, 4th edition, 2017, edited by Genevieve Giuliano and Susan Hanson. This was the one I thought of, and it was confirmed by PSU colleagues and many on Twitter. I had the first edition as a grad student and it’s been nicely updated over the years.
- David Levinson has a number of books available for download, including A Political Economy of Access.
- The Geography of Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler, 1994
- Articles from Access magazine:
Transportation, Jobs, and Economic Growth, Martin Wachs, Spring 2011
How Federal Subsidies Shape Local Transit Choices, Jianling Li and Martin Wachs, Spring 2001
- The Transportation Planning Process Briefing Book, published by FHWA and FTA through the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program
- Transportation, A Geographical Analysis, William R. Black, 2003
- A History of Street Networks: From Grids to Sprawl and Beyond, Laurence Aurbach, 2020
- Fighting Traffic, The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City, Peter D. Norton, 2008
- Getting There: The Epic Struggle between Road and Rail in the American Century, Stephen B. Goddard, 1994
- Human Transit, Jarrett Walker, 2011
Addendum: I do need to note that this list is almost all authored by white men. I’ll try to add some diversity, but I just took what Twitter gave me.