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Designing Sustainable Transportation Policy For Acceptance: A Comparison Of Germany, The Netherlands And Switzerland

GPS, Vol. 2 No. 4, (2002)

Almost everybody would welcome – at least in a general sense – a transportation policy designed in accordance with the principle of sustainability. But there appears to be insufficient support for moving toward sustainability in transportation policy. The main question this article poses is therefore: How can the acceptance of sustainable transportation policy be improved? We investigate this question using three clusters of measures: transportation management in agglomerations, infrastructure financing for large-scale projects, and combined freight transportation. A comparison of the three clusters in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland shows mixed results: The acceptance of regulatory measures depends more on political-administrative traditions in each country than on the particular policy instrument. Measures designed in a comprehensive manner are not necessarily less accepted, as we had theoretically assumed. On the other hand, our theoretical assumptions regarding the time perspective of the measures were largely confirmed. The main challenge for the acceptance of a sustainable policy is to reconcile specific short-term measures with a long-term sustainable strategy.

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