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

A toolkit to measure and value “community severance” due to traffic

A high-traffic road can divide a community in more ways than one. Researchers haven’t always been able to show what extent such roads can harm a community’s access, health, or quality of life. A new study outlined in the latest volume of the Journal of Transport and Health looked at one corridor to test tools to measure just that. Read More >

Does legalized marijuana lead to more car crashes?

As more states legalize recreational use of marijuana, decision makers are seeking to understand the implications for safety and public policy. A number of recent studies have examined whether states that have legalized marijuana are seeing higher incidence of car crashes and road fatalities, with differing results. While some studies have found that marijuana use could double crash risk according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, others have found no link between legalization of the drug and crashes. Read More >

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

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. Read More >

Alcohol and gasoline prices: Their impact on traffic fatalities and the economy

Alcohol and gasoline prices are having unexpected impacts on traffic fatalities, as well as causing damage to economies. A study from an economics professor at Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana explored the relationship between per capita alcohol consumption and traffic fatalities, as well as the relationship between increased gasoline prices and traffic fatalities among young drivers (age 15–24). Read More >

UConn research center sets new standard with crash data and analysis tool

Access to current and comprehensive crash data provides essential information for anyone seeking to improve the safety of road users and study crash locations and causes. However, this data is not widely available to transportation safety engineers, law enforcement, local and regional planning organizations, and elected officials. In an effort to address this information gap, the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center developed a repository to make crash data publicly accessible, accurate, and up-to-date for decision makers and the general public. Read More >

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