New multimodal trip data on the horizon

posted Jun 19, 2018, 7:44 AM by Chris McCahill

StreetLight Data, which provides trip-making data compiled from cellphones and mobile devices, recently announced a new multimodal data initiative called “M2.” The company has offered data from personal and commercial vehicles for several years. SSTI used these data for a study of travel demand management opportunities in Northern Virginia. By incorporating additional data from location-based services, the company can now identify trips made by walking, biking, transit, and potentially other modes.

Pricing mechanisms key to reducing transportation emissions

posted Jun 19, 2018, 7:42 AM by Chris McCahill

Cities, counties, and states are setting ambitious emissions reduction goals, requiring them to cut transportation sector emissions, which account for more than a quarter of the national total. Electric vehicles powered by clean energy could make a big difference, but it is unlikely those technologies will be deployed at a fast enough rate. To meet their goals, governments need policies that not only keep vehicle use from rising, but also push it down considerably.

To improve walking, give pedestrians the green light

posted May 29, 2018, 7:54 AM by Chris McCahill

Walking in many parts of the U.S. is notoriously difficult and increasingly dangerous, but there’s one simple way that transportation agencies can start tipping the balance in favor of those on foot: by adjusting signal controls. That’s according to research highlighted by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Read more at SSTI news (originally from May 21).

International review confirms speed management is critical to road safety

posted May 9, 2018, 7:42 AM by Chris McCahill

Speed reductions can lower crash risks significantly, confirms a new report by the International Transport Forum, an intergovernmental organization of 59 member countries including the U.S.

Millennials are driving more, but only those making the least money

posted Apr 16, 2018, 4:03 PM by Chris McCahill

The new 2017 National Household Travel Survey gives us our first look at changing travel habits since the recession. From what we can tell, the average American drives less in 2017 than eight years earlier. Driving also seems to have increased considerably among Millennials—but mostly among those with the lowest incomes—bucking expectations.

Curbs: A new data frontier

posted Apr 4, 2018, 7:24 AM by Chris McCahill

State and local transportation agencies have long focused on what’s happening between the curbs—collecting data about the speed, volume, and types of vehicles moving along each road—but growing competition for curb space from parked cars, bikes, taxis, TNCs, and deliveries presents new challenges both in terms of data and policy. Fortunately, data experts are stepping up to the task.

Pedestrian deaths are a systemic problem in the U.S.

posted Mar 19, 2018, 8:04 PM by Chris McCahill

Pedestrian deaths hovered around 6,000 in 2017, according to a new report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. That’s a slight drop from the previous year but still 45 percent higher than in 2009. Media reports have hyped a handful of theories to explain the recent uptick—namely, distracted cell phone use and marijuana legalization—but years of data from across the U.S. and abroad points to one clear trend. The more we design our communities mainly around the automobile, the more we drive, and the more dangerous roads become.


Big data enables new tool for analyzing and diagnosing traffic congestion

posted Feb 26, 2018, 1:58 PM by Chris McCahill

StreetLight Data, which provides trip-making data from mobile devices and smartphone apps, has just launched a new interactive Congestion Analysis tool. The tool lets subscribers identify congested roads by time of day, break down the traffic in terms of trip length, trip purpose, and other characteristics, and then focus on specific strategies to relieve demand.

Read more at SSTI news.

Mainstreaming transportation and land use modeling within Oregon DOT

posted Feb 12, 2018, 2:06 PM by Chris McCahill

States interested in modeling transportation and land use can now learn from Oregon’s experience building its Statewide Integrated Model (SWIM), thanks to a new study published in the Journal of Transport and Land Use. The model, now used in ODOT’s regular operations, grew out of its decades-long Transportation and Land Use Model Integration Program (TLUMIP), launched in the late 1990s. Several keys to its success were committed staff, a sharp focus on meeting agency needs, and the ability to adapt as those needs changed.

Tapping into TNC data

posted Jan 30, 2018, 7:55 AM by Chris McCahill

With the rise of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, and growing concerns about their effects on traffic and curb usage, transportation agencies and local governments are eager for data. Data from TNCs, however, are heavily guarded. Many governments are trying to negotiate agreements with these companies and working on laws that require data sharing. Others, however, are getting more creative.

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