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

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

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 >

Who pays for roads? Users, but only partly

Subsidies are common across transportation modes, but it’s useful to have the numbers. A recent report by the Tax Foundations, updated data on the portion of roads paid for by travelers and shippers—fuel tax, tolls, and other user fees—by state. The figures range from 12 percent in Alaska to 76 percent in Hawaii, based on fiscal 2014 figures. The report does not give a national figure, but a previous version estimated user fees cover just 50 percent of road costs. Read More >

How much does parking really cost (in time, fuel, and frustration)?

INRIX, a company that provides both software and data services in the realm of transportation and mobility, has issued a report on the cost of “parking pain.” Instead of focusing on the cost of a parking spot, the report looks at the time, wasted fuel, and congestion caused by searching for a spot. They also estimated how much drivers waste by paying for more parking time than they need. Read More >

Real-time travel information: Better for businesses, better for travelers

Real-time travel information on digital screens placed in popular gathering areas allows for more efficient time management by transportation users of all modes. Tysons Corner Center, a shopping center in northern Virginia, uses Traveler Information Displays that provide traffic conditions and transit schedules to help customers plan their departures from the mall. Virginia DOT recently surveyed customers to evaluate the success of the TIDs with the goal of improving the system. Read More >

What HOV requirements in Jakarta can teach us about congestion

According to a new paper from three researchers at Harvard and MIT, removal of a strict High-Occupancy Vehicle policy had negative effects on traffic in Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s second largest metropolitan area. Congestion increased even on streets with no restrictions and during times when the policy had not been in place. The decision to remove the policy provided an opportunity for a natural experiment in congestion mitigation. Read More >

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