News

Using Life Cycle Cost Analysis to control costs and inform project selection and development

by Mary Ebeling A new report examining if and how state DOTs use Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) in project development and planning revealed that these types of tools see limited use by transportation agencies. New emphasis on performance-based planning and decision making is pushing more DOTs

Report ranks metropolitan areas by transit accessibility

By Chris McCahill Researchers at the University of Minnesota released a new report ranking major metropolitan areas in terms of their accessibility to jobs by transit. The new Access Across America report complements the group’s 2013 release, which measured job accessibility by automobile, and

New research confirms the benefits of the Safe Routes to School program

By Bill Holloway Recently published research in the Journal of the American Planning Association provides strong support for the Safe Routes to School program’s ability to increase rates of walking and biking among students. The authors analyzed changes in the number of students walking and

In preparing for autonomous vehicles, agencies can make needed changes

By Chris Spahr and Chris McCahill The potential impacts of autonomous and connected vehicles on travel behavior and transportation system design have been the focus of much discussion and speculation, including at SSTI’s recent Community of Practice meeting held in Salt Lake City. While it is

Access for all: Knitting together ADA and Complete Streets

By Mary Ebeling The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 1990) was enacted to ensure equal participation for people of all abilities. These are evolving standards that provide guidance for making transportation facilities, such as sidewalks and transit, fully accessible, the same facilities that

Recent study supports the case for transit oriented development

By Chris Spahr The total effect of transit on VMT may be much greater than it appears on the surface. Using a transit multiplier, Reid Ewing and Shima Hamidi estimated that the Portland Westside Max light rail transit (LRT) extension indirectly reduces VMT by three vehicle miles for every one

Oregon DOT preparing new tool to align investments with state transportation goals

By Chris McCahill Transportation agencies are broadening their mission statements and long-range plans to focus on issues such as livability, sustainability, equity, and economic vitality in addition to their historical focuses on mobility. Yet many of those agencies are still working out ways of

Decline in carpooling could signal availability of more transportation options

By Bill Holloway New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows fewer commuters carpooled to work in 2013 compared to 2012. Over the past five years the share of commuters traveling in a carpool has declined from 10.04% to 9.36%. Washington State, which has actively promoted carpooling through

New tools for estimating biking and walking demand

By Robbie Webber As part of the biennial Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference, Rich Kuzmyack of Renaissance Planning Group presented on new techniques for estimating travel demand for bicycling. He was a principal author of the recently published NCHRP Report 770: Estimating Bicycling and

Highway and LRT nodes have similar impacts on home values

By Bill Holloway Both highway exits and light rail transit stations appear to generate similar impacts on single-family home values. Using a spatial hedonic model to analyze single-family home values in Phoenix, Arizona, researchers found that proximity to a transport node (LRT station or highway