Renewable Energy in the Right of Way

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At SSTI’s first Sustainability Directors Community of Practice meeting in June 2015, attendees discussed their states’ interest in siting solar and other renewable energy generation facilities in the highway right-of-way but cited uncertainty regarding FHWA rules and unfamiliarity with the business side of renewable energy production as major hurdles. In an effort to support these efforts and allow interested states to learn from others, SSTI has gathered the technical documents gathered here, under the headings below, comprise a living repository for state DOTs and others to use as examples as they develop their own ROW renewable energy projects. Read More >

Trip-making and accessibility: New tools, better decisions (SSTI, 2016)

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Transportation researchers and practitioners have long sought other tools to complement or perhaps replace conventional methods—tools that would better analyze trips rather than speed at points in the system, speak to non-auto modes of travel, address land use solutions as well as highway infrastructure, and so on. Fortunately, new sources of data and emerging methods, as well as new-found interest in performance and scenario planning, are yielding the types of tools that the field needs. Read More >

Effects of Parking Provision on Automobile Use in Cities: Inferring Causality (McCahill, Garrick, Atkinson-Palombo and Polinski, 2015)

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Automobile use has been on the rise in cities for nearly a century and so has the supply of parking. Because driving often seems unavoidable, policymakers, developers and the public push endlessly for more parking to meet demand. That push, however, might only be making matters worse. SSTI Senior Associate Chris McCahill’s research suggests that abundant parking in cities causes people to drive more, shedding important light on the question of cause and effect. Read More >


FEATURED RESOURCE

Trip-making data, TDM, and connectivity in Northern Virginia (SSTI and Michael Baker International, 2016)

Commercially available GPS data offers valuable new insight about trip origins, destinations, and routes, including short trips that travel demand models often cannot capture. Using this data, SSTI worked with Michael Baker International, the Virginia DOT, and local stakeholders to identify opportunities for managing travel demand and improving connectivity throughout Northern Virginia. This final report describes the full data set and 17 selected case studies, along with recommended projects and policies, estimated costs, and benefits for each. More Resources...

NEWS

Florida is leading the nation in lowering speeds to reduce crashes; will other states follow?

The Florida Department of Transportation plans to lower speed limits and design speeds in some areas from their current 40-45 mph limit to a 25 mph limit to improve roadway safety. They will start with a pilot program in the Tampa Bay region. This makes FDOT one of the first states to tackle head-on the safety impacts of vehicle speeds. Speed is one of the most significant factors in roadway crashes and fatalities in the U.S., and an especially serious problem for pedestrians and bicyclists. Read More >

New SSTI Resource: Understanding Trip-Making with Big Data

SSTI has released a new resource for decision-makers interested in using big data to understand travel patterns, but who are not sure how to get started. This new brief provides an overview of trip-making data from cellphones, mobile apps, and in-vehicle GPS devices. It shows example applications and offers lessons learned from our recent Connecting Sacramento study and from past studies in Colorado and Virginia. Read More >

New life for GHG tracking rule?

In the waning days of the Obama administration, FHWA finalized the last set of performance measures for states and MPOs. That seemed to end a 4.5-year rulemaking effort that had kicked off in mid-2012 with the signing of the MAP-21 transportation bill. However, the incoming Trump administration delayed the rule’s February starting date, then allowed the rule to go into effect in May—except for a provision that would have required states and MPOs to track greenhouse-gas emissions related to the National Highway System. That provision was indefinitely delayed. Now the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups are suing to have the GHG measure reinstated. Read More >

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

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. SSTI offers several useful resources that will help developers and cities build and manage parking efficiently. Read More >

Transit futures in an Uber world

Bus ridership in Philadelphia is down according to a recent article on Philly.com. This decline is correlated with the rise of Uber and other ridesharing apps in the city that provide some riders with an alternative to taking the bus. Transit agencies around the country are struggling with the Uber effect, where some riders are turning away from buses and using transportation network companies instead. Read More >

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