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 >

The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (SSTI & SGA, 2015)

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SSTI and Smart Growth America continue working with state departments of transportation and tracking innovative strategies for meeting 21st century transportation needs. The 2015 edition of The Innovative DOT builds upon its predecessor with updated content and fresh new ideas from a growing number of states. 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

Traffic deaths rose 8% in 2015, more than 10% among non-motorized road users

Traffic deaths rose in 2015, a 7.7 percent increase from the previous year, according to preliminary estimates from NHTSA, marking the highest number of deaths since 2008. Cyclist deaths increased by the largest amount, followed by pedestrians, and motorcyclists, highlighting a critical need to focus on the safety of vulnerable road users. The National Safety Council noted the significant number of traffic deaths midway through 2015, attributing it primarily to the increase in driving nationwide. The newly released numbers seem to validate a strong link between the two. Read More >

New research reinforces the importance of the built environment to cycling mode share

A recently published study from Montreal sheds new light on the importance of the built environment in influencing bicycle commuting and the resulting impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers also estimated the effect of bicycle infrastructure accessibility on cycling mode share. They estimated the effect of the new bicycle infrastructure as yielding a 1.7 percent reduction in transportation GHG emissions, roughly equivalent to the estimated effects of replacing the city’s buses with hybrid models and electrifying the city’s commuter trains. Read More >

Support for transportation taxes and fees: Gauging public opinion

The Mineta Transportation Institute has released its seventh annual survey report of public opinion on a variety of tax policies for funding transportation. Over the years, support for transportation taxes—with the notable exception of a flat rate mileage tax—has grown across demographic groups. However, those who drive the most were the least likely to support user fees. The study found support for a new tax or fee was highest if the new revenue went to maintaining existing streets and highways or if the revenue was dedicated to improving safety. Read More >

Texas DOT considers major highway removal in new plan for Dallas

Earlier this month, the Texas DOT released CityMAP, a document outlining how the agency might handle Dallas’ aging highways over the next 24 years. Most notably, it could lead to the removal of two major freeways from the downtown entirely. Read More >

Montana approves digital billboards amid continuing national debate

The Montana Transportation Commission recently voted 4-1 to allow digital billboards along highways in areas zoned commercial or industrial. However, they are subject to a number of restrictions aimed at reducing their distraction to drivers—prohibiting movement and flashing, requiring a minimum display time of eight seconds, limiting brightness, keeping them away from intersections, and setting spacing requirements between signs. While digital signs are getting the go ahead in Montana, they are facing opposition in other parts of the country. Read More >

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