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.

Efficient networks take work: Traffic management and Braess’ paradox

posted Jan 16, 2018, 2:44 PM by Chris McCahill

Not all roads are created equal. In fact, adding certain roads to a system can actually slow down traffic under the right circumstances. This is a fairly well known phenomenon called Braess’ paradox, named after the German mathematician who first wrote about it in 1968. Fortunately, researchers have studied this occurrence extensively and developed methods for knowing when it can happen and how to prevent it.

Accessibility in practice: A new guide from SSTI

posted Jan 16, 2018, 2:42 PM by Chris McCahill

The Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment recently released its new report, Accessibility in practice: A guide for transportation and land use decision making, developed by SSTI with several partners. The guide describes ways of measuring accessibility and, more importantly, how to use those metrics in planning, project evaluation, and other transportation and land use decisions. The information is useful for any state or local agency interested or already involved in making these kinds of decisions.

California blocks parking requirements where housing needs aren’t met

posted Dec 5, 2017, 2:59 PM by Chris McCahill

In an effort to streamline affordable housing development, a new California law (SB-35) will preclude cities from requiring parking on certain projects, beginning January 1. As the New York Times recently reported, zoning ordinances such as parking requirements are central to the state’s current housing crisis and can be used locally to resist new housing.

Access to jobs by transit is on the rise

posted Dec 5, 2017, 2:58 PM by Chris McCahill

In most large metropolitan areas, the typical worker could reach more jobs by transit in 2016 than in 2015, according to the newest Access Across America report from the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory. Accessibility increased in 36 out of 49 regions. The largest increases (roughly 11 percent) were in Cincinnati, Charlotte, Orlando, Seattle, and Providence. The largest decreases were in Kansas City (-11.3 percent), Pittsburgh (-5.2 percent), and Richmond (-4.3 percent).

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