Renewable Energy in the Right of Way


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)

Madison access pic

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)


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 >


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...


Right-of-way renewable energy resources available on SSTI website

The goal of SSTI’s recently created Renewable Energy in the Right of Way resource page is to facilitate the sharing of technical documents related to siting renewable energy — principally solar — projects in the highway ROW. It is a living repository of technical documents for state DOTs and others to use as examples as they develop their own ROW renewable energy projects. Read More >

Searching for policy responses to the promise and threat of automated vehicles

Policy around automated vehicles is expressed more in questions than answers at this point. The answers to many of the questions depend in part on the policy responses at all levels of government. And two recent documents begin to provide some answers, if only through a glass darkly. They are too detailed to easily summarize in a blog, so we recommend that interested readers click through and read them. Read More >

Completing the commute: Does Uber have a role in parking management?

The rapid rise of Transit Network Companies like Uber and Lyft has sparked a new round of innovations in transportation. While most early TNC success has been in large urban areas, the usefulness of these services for bridging first- and last-mile connections between home, work, and transit outside major urban centers is becoming apparent. A new pilot program in Summit, NJ, a bedroom community to New York City, illustrates an unexpected and important benefit of targeted use of TNCs: parking management. Read More >

FHWA publishes toolkit for bike-ped performance measures

FHWA has released its Guidebook for Developing Pedestrian and Bicycle Performance Measures. Establishing performance measures that go beyond delay, congestion, level of service, and safety for drivers—especially including good metrics for non-motorized modes—has been a difficult but important goal for many transportation agencies. This publication is a big step forward to help states, regions, and communities in both project selection and progress toward community goals. Read More >

Crash fatalities climbing faster than VMT

Recent data indicate that the total number of traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2016 will be significantly higher than in 2015. The growth in fatalities represents an increasing death rate relative to population and miles traveled. The most striking increase occurred in the South Gulf region. Pedestrian and bicyclist deaths have been increasing even more rapidly. Untangling the causes behind the increasing number of road deaths overall, as well as bicycle and pedestrian deaths specifically, is difficult. Whatever the cause, traffic safety, particularly for vulnerable road users, is an increasingly pressing issue. Read More >

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