BlinkTag is a team of planners that make technology. In addition to several white papers and internal reports, we’ve published our fair share of original, peer-reviewed research.
City CarShare: Longer-Term Travel Demand and Car Ownership Impacts

Cervero, R., Golub, A., & Nee, B. (2007). City CarShare: Longer-Term Travel Demand and Car Ownership Impacts. Transportation Research Record, 1992(1), 70–80.

Abstract: Four years after the introduction of City CarShare in the San Francisco, Bay area in California, 29% of carshare members had gotten rid of one or more cars, and 4.8% of members’ trips and 5.4% of their vehicle miles traveled were in carshare vehicles. Matched-pair comparisons with a statistical control group suggest that, over time, members have reduced total vehicular travel. However, most declines occurred during the first 1 to 2 years of the program; 3 to 4 years after City CarShare's inauguration, earlier declines had leveled off. Because many carshare vehicles are small and fuel-efficient but can carry several people, the trend in per capita gasoline consumption also is downward. Mindful of the cumulative costs of driving, carshare members appear to have become more judicious and selective when deciding whether to drive, take public transit, walk, bike, or even forgo a trip. Coupled with reduced personal car ownership, these factors have given rise to a resourceful form of automobility in the San Francisco Bay area.

Longer view: Planning for the rebuilding of New Orleans

Robert B. Olshansky, Laurie A. Johnson, Jedidiah Horne & Brendan Nee (2008) Longer View: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans, Journal of the American Planning Association, 74:3, 273-287,

Abstract: Problem: Catastrophic disasters like Hurricane Katrina disrupt urban systems, economies, and lives, and pose huge problems for local governments and planners trying to organize and finance reconstruction as quickly and effectively as possible. Purpose: This article aims to summarize the key planning challenges New Orleans faced following the August 29, 2005 flooding in order to identify lessons planners can apply following future disasters. In this case study we sought to observe key decisions about the recovery as they unfolded. Collectively, we spent months in New Orleans in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and interviewed leaders of all the planning efforts to date. One of us played a lead role in the design and execution of the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP), and all observed and/or participated in neighborhood-level planning activities. Results and conclusions: We agree with previous findings on post-disaster recovery, confirming the importance of previous plans, citizen involvement, information infrastructure, and external resources. We also observe that the recovery of New Orleans might have proceeded more effectively in spite of the inherent challenges in post-Katrina New Orleans. Many local difficulties are a result of the slow flow of federal reconstruction funding. Despite this, the city administration also could have taken a more active leadership role in planning and information management earlier; the city's Office of Recovery Management has since improved this. On the positive side, the Louisiana Recovery Authority has been a model worth emulating by other states. Takeaway for practice: Planning can inform actions as both proceed simultaneously. Had New Orleans planners not felt so compelled to complete plans quickly, they might have been more effective at providing reasoned analysis over time to support community actions and engaging a broader public in resolving difficult questions of restoration versus betterment. A center for collecting and distributing data and news would have better informed all parties; this remains an important need.

Making accessibility analyses accessible: A tool to facilitate the public review of the effects of regional transportation plans on accessibility

Golub, Aaron, et al. “Making Accessibility Analyses Accessible: A Tool to Facilitate the Public Review of the Effects of Regional Transportation Plans on Accessibility.” Journal of Transport and Land Use, vol. 6, no. 3, 2013, pp. 17–28. JSTOR,

Abstract: The regional transportation planning process in the United States has not been easily opened to public oversight even after strengthened requirements for public participation and civil rights considerations. In the effort to improve the public review of regional transportation plans, this paper describes the construction of a proof-of concept web-based tool designed to analyze the effects of regional transportation plans on accessibility to jobs and other essential destinations. The tool allows the user to analyze disparities in accessibility outcomes by demographic group, specifically income and race, as required by civil rights-related planning directives. The tool makes cumulative-opportunity measures of the number of essential destinations reachable within certain times by public transit and automobile. The tool is constructed to analyze the San Francisco Bay Area’s 2005 regional transportation plan. Users can choose to make measures for a particular neighborhood or for all neighborhoods in the region with certain demographic characteristics. Two example analyses are shown with an interpretation and discussion of calculator outputs.

A methodology for modeling evacuation in New Orleans

Johnston, E. & Nee, B. (2006). A methodology for modeling evacuation in New Orleans. unpublished paper, University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning

Abstract: New Orleans is a large metropolitan area that is regularly affected by large weather events from tropical storms to hurricanes. In the fall of 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the city with enough force to break levees and flood the majority of the populated areas. This was not the first time the city was flooded due to a storm, but it was the first time that the rest of the nation was allowed to watch such a monumental domestic disaster on national television. The plight of the residents who remained in the city became evident as the storm passed and the extent of damage became known. The slow response by all levels of government has raised questions about environmental justice and emergency management and preparedness. Thousands of residents, most of whom did not have access to a personal vehicle or were housed in institutions such as hospitals or prisons, suffered in squalid conditions waiting for relief, while many others died in what were considered evacuation shelters. It became clear that the emergency management and execution of evacuation orders was insufficient to address such a large disaster. This paper presents a methodology for creating an evacuation model for New Orleans. This model focuses on considering car-less households and individuals who are incapable of driving themselves to safety. This model is based on many assumptions, the largest of which is that it uses pre-Katrina population data. It is unlikely that New Orleans’ demographics will reflect pre-Katrina conditions any time in the near future. Thus, this paper focuses on the methodology of the modeling rather than the results.

An overview of post-Katrina planning in New Orleans

Nee, B. & Horne, J. (2006). An overview of post-Katrina planning in New Orleans. Berkeley: Department of City and Regional Planning.

Abstract: When Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29th, 2005, the City of New Orleans was physically and institutionally devastated. Today, more than one year after the storm, the city's population is hovering around half its pre-hurricane level, and a comprehensive planning document that will detail how New Orleans will rebuild has yet to emerge. Brendan Nee and Jedidiah Horne, two researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, are living in New Orleans and will remain in the city for the fall, 2006 academic semester. The focus of their research is the process by which New Orleans drafts its planning document. The two researchers have been working closely with planning teams involved in the officially sanctioned process, as well as with individual neighborhood associations in two city neighborhoods that are both formally engaging decision makers and undertaking their own, informal steps towards reconstruction. This paper presents preliminary research results, based on a series of interviews and meetings held between late August and the end of September, 2006. It details some of the circumstances facing the two neighborhoods studied, and describes the planning process in New Orleans to date, focusing on the City Council-backed Lambert Plan, now complete, and the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP), which is just getting underway. As of this date, UNOP appears to be the definitive process by which New Orleans will draft a recovery plan. UNOP planners must take pains, however, to avoid the mistakes that have characterized the earlier, failed processes to date.

La Conchita Slope Stabilization Project

Laurie A. Johnson, Jedidiah Horne and Brendan Nee. (2008). La Conchita Slope Stabilization Project, Task 2c – Detailed Risk Assessment. Prepared for State of California Department of Emergency Services (OES) and Department of General Services (DGS).

Abstract: This report describes and illustrates the work performed in Phase 2c – Detailed Risk Assessment of the La Conchita Slope Stabilization Project (Project), which is being conducted by the consultant team led by Alan Kropp & Associates, Inc. (AKA) for the State of California Office of Emergency Services (OES) and Department of General Services (DGS). In Phase 2c, the scope of services calls for the completion of tasks 2c.1 through 2c.4, which consist of stakeholder surveys, risk profiles, risk qualification and risk feasibility analyses.

Insurgency in Academic Publishing

Miller, R. (2012). Insurgency in Academic Publishing. Berkeley Planning Journal, 25(1).

Abstract: In the pre-Internet era, publishing was a cost-intensive business, involving skilled labor and large machines for typesetting, printing, and shipping. As publishing has become a desktop activity, these high costs are no longer necessary. Research may now be disseminated online directly by an author or a journal, for free. As stated in the Knowledge manifesto, academic publishing has become “a system in which commercial publishers make profits based on the free labor of mathematicians and subscription fees from their institutions’ libraries, for a service that has become largely unnecessary.”

Mitigating Vehicle-Miles Traveled (VMT) in Rural Development

MR Miller, C Ganson. (2015). Mitigating Vehicle-Miles Traveled (VMT) in Rural Development. Transportation Research Board 94,

Abstract: Vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) as an environmental review metric is more effective at combating climate change than level of service (LOS), and policymakers are beginning to advance its adoption for this purpose. Years of research and development prove that VMT mitigation strategies such as density, diversity, and design succeed in urban areas, but doubts remain about how VMT can be mitigated in rural development. This report reviews the current understanding of both urban VMT mitigation and rural development. Finally, additional literature and evidential case studies are explored to identify urban VMT mitigation strategies that can be modified for the rural scale as well as mitigation strategies unique to the rural context.