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...


FDOT makes strides in Complete Streets implementation: Former Dist. 1 Secretary Billy Hattaway weighs in

The Florida Department of Transportation has achieved a major milestone in its efforts to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. In late April, FDOT issued a draft of the new FDOT Design Manual, which integrates a context-sensitive Complete Streets approach and will replace the agency’s current Plans Preparation Manual. FDOT has also released a draft of its new Complete Streets Handbook to accompany the Design Manual. SSTI spoke with Billy Hattaway, P.E., former Secretary of FDOT District 1, about the Complete Streets implementation efforts. Read More >

Sacramento public housing residents just got free Zipcars

As of early May, some residents of public housing projects in Sacramento have access to an on-demand vehicle service using electric cars, reports the Sacramento Bee. Through a partnership with Boston-based Zipcar, eight electric vehicles—two at each of four public housing complexes throughout the city—are now available for residents’ use at significantly subsidized rates. The $1.3 million project is funded through California’s cap-and-trade program that charges businesses to offset their impact on the environment. Read More >

A near miss: How cities are misinterpreting the safety of streets for bicyclists and pedestrians

Crash data on reported collisions may not be telling the whole story about whether our streets are safe for bicyclists and pedestrians. A recent study revealed that crash data for road users may be significantly misinterpreting the actual level of safety that streets provide for bicyclists and pedestrians. Researchers set out to collect “near-miss incidents”— incidents when bicyclists or pedestrians barely avoid a collision with another road user. Read More >

New transit models: Laguna Beach and Uber partner for senior transportation services

Starting in mid-June, Laguna Beach, CA, will partner with Uber in a pilot program to provide transportation options for residents aged 55 and older, a group that makes up about 50 percent of the city’s population. To fill the transportation gap caused by cuts in the frequency and coverage of transit service in the city, the pilot will provide free rides for two months and low-cost rides after the pilot. This program, a first of its kind, will be an interesting test of a new application of ride-hailing services. Read More >

Big data shines light on bike and pedestrian trips

New applications in big data could soon let us understand precisely how people move around by bike and on foot, for all types of trips, almost anywhere in the country. SSTI has worked with several providers to better understand the available trip data and its useful applications. We recently tested preliminary pedestrian data, provided by StreetLight Data, with promising results. Read More >

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