Researchers highlight city-centered practices in “roadmap for the 21st century”

posted Nov 14, 2017, 1:35 PM by Chris McCahill

Our National Highway System was built on two major pillars—popular support for new highway construction and federal funding from gas taxes—according to a new paper published in Research in Transportation Business and Management. Both have recently shown signs of weakening, however, forcing transportation agencies to adjust and re-prioritize. According to the paper, more city-centered practices are helping agencies meet evolving 21st century transportation needs, often with fewer resources.

Where people walk: Two new studies improve “walkability” measurement

posted Nov 2, 2017, 10:26 AM by Chris McCahill

In planning and designing for pedestrians, sidewalks are often a good start but rarely make a place walkable on their own. Measuring pedestrian accessibility (the topic of a recent SSTI webinar) depends on two important pieces of information: 1) where destinations are located, and 2) the quality of the walking network connecting to those places. This second point is the focus of two studies published in a recent issue of the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.

Distracted driving: a silent killer?

posted Oct 17, 2017, 11:41 AM by Chris McCahill   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 12:28 PM ]

“Blame Apps,” read a New York Times headline from last year, referring to the recent spike in traffic deaths. Representatives from the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called distracted driving a “serious public safety concern” and a “crisis.” Yet there still doesn’t seem to be any compelling evidence linking the surging death rate to distracted driving.

Florida DOT hits milestone in context-based street design

posted Oct 12, 2017, 1:41 PM by Chris McCahill   [ updated Oct 12, 2017, 1:42 PM ]

By Chris McCahill and Rayla Bellis

As part of its Complete Streets Implementation, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently adopted eight context classifications to guide road design decisions. Under this new system, planners and engineers will consider existing and future characteristics such as land uses, building configuration, and street connectivity to ensure that roads are designed for the right vehicle speeds, road users, and trip types.

Unable to remove expressway, New Orleans reclaims space underneath

posted Oct 12, 2017, 1:39 PM by Chris McCahill

In 2013, FHWA funded a revitalization study that outlined ways to remove parts of Interstate 10 in New Orleans and restore historic Claiborne Avenue below. High costs have stalled those efforts but, in the meantime, the city has opted to reclaim space beneath the expressway in an attempt to reactivate nearby neighborhoods affected by the structure.

Read more at SSTI news (originally from September 18).

700,000 carless renters pay extra 13 percent for unused garage parking

posted Aug 7, 2017, 2:03 PM by Chris McCahill   [ updated Aug 7, 2017, 2:06 PM ]

A new study finds that garage parking costs the average renter an additional $1,700 per year (17 percent) nationwide. For the average carless renter, the extra cost of unused parking is $621 per year (13 percent). That amounts to $440 million in losses across more than 700,000 households. This doesn’t include units with surface parking, which are less expensive but make up another 45 percent of apartments, so the total cost is likely much higher.

Read more at SSTI news.

SSTI releases Connecting Sacramento: A trip-making and accessibility study

posted Jul 25, 2017, 12:58 PM by Chris McCahill

For several years, SSTI has worked to advance best practices in the use of two emerging technologies: accessibility metrics and trip-making data from mobile devices. Our recently completed study, Connecting Sacramento, was an essential part of that effort. This study brings together these technologies and tests their application in identifying and prioritizing first- and last-mile-connections to transit, among other uses.

Read more at SSTI news.

Safety in numbers and safety by design: A ‘virtuous cycle’

posted Jul 7, 2017, 9:36 AM by Chris McCahill

Two recent studies reiterate what makes safer walking environments: more pedestrians, according to one, and well-connected networks of local streets, according to the other. Taken together, these studies build upon growing evidence that the safety benefits of cities designed for walking and biking are self-reinforcing and extend to drivers as well.

Accessibility for all: Open source options for measuring access to destinations

posted Jun 19, 2017, 11:38 AM by Chris McCahill   [ updated Jun 19, 2017, 11:39 AM ]

As highlighted in two recent SSTI webinars in March and April of this year, accessibility measures are becoming more useful in practice. The most notable examples rely on proprietary data and methods, but open source approaches are also gaining traction, while highlighting the need for more reliable, open data.

Accessibility measures describe how easily people can reach destinations, usually in terms of travel time, given the existing transportation system and land use patterns.

Read more at SSTI news.

Earlier posts from SSTI news

posted Jun 19, 2017, 6:57 AM by Chris McCahill   [ updated Jun 19, 2017, 3:13 PM ]

U.S. DOT: States overestimating VMT growth (Jan. 22)

More evidence that wider roads encourage speeding (Oct. 31)
Fatal crashes spike after red light cameras are removed (Aug. 8)
Traffic deaths rose 8% in 2015, more than 10% among non-motorized road users (July 18)
Texas DOT considers major highway removal in new plan for Dallas (June 27)
Cities look toward design in achieving Vision Zero (June 6)
Job type and location may keep low-wage workers from using transit (May 9)
GPS data informs transportation projects in Northern Virginia: SSTI study (Apr. 25)
Parking drastically oversupplied across the country (Apr. 11)
Data scientists target serious crashes in four U.S. cities (Mar. 28)
Economy, gas prices pushed driving upward in 2015, but less than in past years (Feb. 29)
Conductive concrete melts ice (Feb. 15)
Researchers suggest using Google Street View and Walk Score to conduct pedestrian safety studies (Feb. 1)
Parking increases citywide car use, SSTI researcher finds (Jan. 25)
Traffic deaths surge as Americans return to the roads (Sept. 8)
Young adults want walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods, say Realtors (Aug. 10)
Study confirms that 10-foot lanes make safer intersections (July 27)
Compact, connected development patterns on the rise since mid-1990s (July 13)
Walking and biking form ‘third pillar’ of transportation in Wasatch Front plan (June 22)
Busway sparks new interest in transit in Connecticut (June 1)
Bike share offers lessons in providing equitable transportation options (May 18)
Major cost overruns common among megaprojects (May 4)
Drivers more likely to ignore crosswalks at speeds above 30 mph (Apr. 20)
Crowdsourced data gives DOTs added insight on road conditions (Apr. 6)
Transportation engineers question the use of common practices and metrics (Mar. 23)
For the first time in a decade, U.S. per capita highway travel ticks up (Mar. 16)
Researchers apply travel time reliability measures in modeling and project evaluation (Mar. 9)
State DOTs recognize benefits of supporting local land use planning (Feb. 23)
USDOT urges nation to think beyond traffic (Feb. 9)
Researchers explore links between speed and safety (Jan. 26)
FHWA twice revised VMT forecasts downward in 2014 (Jan. 11)

Florida evaluating road design standards over safety concerns (Dec. 8)
Roads designed for speed undermine safety initiatives (Nov. 17)
State DOTs are beginning to embrace protected bike lanes (Nov. 3)
Report ranks metropolitan areas by transit accessibility (Oct. 20)
In preparing for autonomous vehicles, agencies can make needed changes (Oct. 20)
Oregon DOT preparing new tool to align investments with state transportation goals (Sept. 29)
NCHRP report shows high variation, but general decline, in VMT forecasts (Sept. 7)
Lower income neighborhoods hit hardest by pedestrian deaths (Aug. 11)
States discovering new partners, tools, and uses for bridge monitoring (July 21)
MassDOT charts course for a sustainable transportation system (July 7)
How car sharing and ride sharing can help transportation agencies (June 23)
Bicycle data: Filling the gaps (June 9)
Tennessee DOT breaks ground on nation’s largest traffic incident training facility (May 19)
Illinois releases its first comprehensive statewide bicycle plan (May 5)
Texas DOT will study feasibility of removing I-345 in Dallas (Apr. 21)
Virginia DOT aims to assess its core assumptions and reprioritize (Apr. 7)
SSTI researcher: ‘Parking requirements transform cities, cost millions in tax revenues’ (Apr. 1)
Fitch urges policymakers to plan for changing travel demands (Mar. 24)
California travel surveys show big shift away from driving (Mar. 10)
‘Vital streets’ funding plan gains support in Grand Rapids (Feb. 24)
Per capita VMT drops for ninth straight year; DOTs taking notice (Feb. 24)
Regional accessibility metric offers powerful approach to transportation system planning (Feb. 10)
Right-size parking calculator showcased at TRB annual meeting (Jan. 27)
Connecticut DOT earns national recognition for roundabout conversion (Jan. 13)

Ann Arbor could become testing ground for network of driverless cars (Dec. 16)
States push for tolls to fund transportation; public opinion mixed (Dec. 2)
Tennessee DOT to cover 95 percent of costs for local multimodal access projects (Nov. 11)
CalTrans offers grant to study freeway conversion in Long Beach (Oct. 27)
Motor vehicle pollution a major contributor to American deaths (Oct. 14)
Factors affecting the decline in VMT: A new SSTI report (Sept. 30)
Researchers assess performance of state transportation systems using sustainability index (Sept. 16)

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