News

Caltrans’ strategic plan embraces multimodalism, sustainability

By Eric Sundquist The nation’s largest state DOT, Caltrans, signaled a strong move toward multimodalism, sustainability, and customer focus in a new strategic management plan released last week. The plan, which comprises a series of performance measures, represents a step away from traditional

WSDOT’s longstanding TDM program getting much deserved recognition

By Bill Holloway Since 1991, the Washington State DOT has been working with employers to reduce the number of people driving to work alone through the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program. A recent CityLab article, by Eric Jaffe, highlights the program’s impressive impact on driving habits and

Drivers more likely to ignore crosswalks at speeds above 30 mph

By Chris McCahill High-speed travel in urban areas poses many risks, including a narrower field of vision, longer stopping distances, and increased risk of injury during a collision. According to a new study published by the Transportation Research Board, however, drivers traveling at higher

Learning from better bicycle/vehicle crash reporting: Improving safety and infrastructure

By Mary Ebeling A recent study published in the journal Injury Prevention makes a strong case for better bicycle/motor vehicle crash reporting as a way to improve bicycling safety. The quality of these crash reports currently varies widely, with helmet use and use of other protective equipment

Research shows the indirect economic benefit of public transportation

By Robbie Webber A study done by Cambridge Systematics for NCHRP Project 20-65 examined the indirect economic benefits to society of state investment in public transportation. The study found there are substantial cost savings to other government programs due to increased access to jobs, health

Removing curbs, lane markings, and signage to create a better street

By Bill Holloway In an effort to create a safer, more inviting environment for walkers and bicyclists, the City of Chicago is beginning construction on its first “shared street” project. The idea behind shared streets, also known as woonerfs or living streets, is to erase the boundaries

Unintended consequences: learning from managing traffic volumes on express toll lanes

By Mary Ebeling Despite the prevalence of anti-tolling sentiment reported in the press, cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles that operate variably priced toll lanes have seen early skepticism give way to heavy use of these lanes by commuters. These successes and the approaches taken by the two

Crowdsourced data gives DOTs added insight on road conditions

By Chris McCahill The Oregon DOT recently announced a new partnership with Waze—a navigational app that collects crowdsourced traffic information from its users and employs the data in real time. Florida was among the first states to sign an agreement with Waze in May 2014, granting them access

USDA documents transportation barriers to food access among low-income households

By Bill Holloway Recently released findings from the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) provide a valuable glimpse into how low-income people access food and the challenges they face meeting this most basic need. The survey, which involved 4,286 households, provides

Transportation engineers question the use of common practices and metrics

By Chris McCahill This month, for at least the second time in a year, the Institute of Transportation Engineers has challenged its members to rethink common practices and metrics that are often thought of as objective and unbiased, but that convey values that aren’t necessarily in line with the