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 framework for determining where congestion really matters

These two things are true: 1) Travelers dislike slow traffic, and 2) slow traffic is sometimes an inescapable result of things that people do like—cities with popular destinations. Conventional transportation practice responds well to No. 1, with well-known standards for delay and capacity. Practice has no clear standards to deal with No. 2—what to do in places where speeding up cars amounts to destroying the village in order to save it. A new study of neighborhoods in Los Angeles, a place with more than a little congestion, helps fill this gap. Read More >

House and Senate release bills on AVs

Both the Senate and the House have bills out that would regulate AV testing, operation, and safety features. The Senate bill would preempt states from passing stricter laws and would apply the existing federal-state preemption framework, which mainly deals with the design, construction, and performance of vehicles, to automated vehicles. As written, the preemption language seems to be broader than the existing framework, because it would preempt any state or local law and regulation in nine areas, rather than just laws dealing with the design, construction, or performance of automated vehicles in those areas. Read More >

Unable to remove expressway, New Orleans reclaims space underneath

In 2013, FHWA funded a revitalization study that outlined ways to remove parts of Interstate 10 in New Orleans and restore historic Claiborne Avenue below. High costs have stalled those efforts but, in the meantime, the city has opted to reclaim space beneath the expressway in an attempt to reactivate nearby neighborhoods affected by the structure. Read More >

SmarterRoads: Virginia’s public-private transportation data sharing strategy

The Virginia Department of Transportation has launched a public cloud-based data portal that contains a vast array of state transportation data. The portal is named “SmarterRoads” and will be available to anyone who creates a free account. Information contained in the portal includes average daily traffic, crashes, signal data, vehicle miles traveled, and speed limits.  Read More >

BlaBlaCar now an option in Google Maps transit, but not in the U.S.

If you are looking at options for intercity travel, Google Maps transit tab will tell you which buses or trains you can use. And now you can also see BlaBlaCar as an option. But don’t look for that option in the U.S., because the city-to-city ridesharing app is not available here. Why has non-commercial ridesharing not caught on in the U.S.? Read More >

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