News

New critique identifies troubling errors in FHWA’s report on driver distraction from digital signs

By Bill Holloway It is common wisdom that driver distraction, whether due to texting, talking on the phone, or other causes, increases the risk of crashes. A 2006 Virginia Tech study found that 80 percent of crashes involved driver inattention in the three seconds preceding the event. The federal

“More Mountains, Less Traffic:” Managing travel demand on Colorado’s I-70 Corridor

By Mary Ebeling During ski season in Colorado, weekend traffic on I-70 between Denver and the mountain destinations is the stuff of legend, with an auto trip that takes about 2 hours under normal conditions taking up to 10 hours in worst-case scenarios like the snowstorms of February, 2014. CDOT,

Real-time transit data in demand

By Robbie Webber A recent study has shown that real-time arrival data for buses does indeed boost transit usage. And several cities have discovered that they don’t have to do all the work of getting the information into riders’ hands. Although regular transit riders love the convenience of

California transportation secretary advocates for life-cycle approach

By Eric Sundquist California’s longstanding principle of relying on locally generated funds and suballocated state fuel taxes to improve the state highway system poses a principal-agent problem: Local funders have every incentive to fund expansions while leaving costly owner-operator

New survey results highlight key obstacles to bike ridership

By Bill Holloway A new survey commissioned by People for Bikes finds that, along with concerns about infrastructure and cars, equity-related issues loom large among the obstacles to higher bike ridership. Among the more than 16,000 people surveyed, 48 percent lived in a household without an

For the first time in a decade, U.S. per capita highway travel ticks up

By Eric Sundquist and Chris McCahill After declining every year since 2004, vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) per capita in the U.S. ticked up by 0.9 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, according to figures released on Thursday, March 12, by FHWA. Accounting for the effect of population growth, total

Caltrans achieves first state road award from Greenroads

By Robbie Webber The Presidio Parkway Phase I in San Francisco is the first state highway to be awarded a Greenroads certificate, indicating a high level of environmental sensitivity and sustainability during design and construction of the roadway. The project received a Bronze Rating. For years

Researchers apply travel time reliability measures in modeling and project evaluation

By Chris McCahill Transportation planners and traffic analysts who typically measure road performance in terms of delay are beginning to incorporate measures of travel time reliability, which describe the hourly and daily variation in travel times due to congestion and transit delay. These

Oregon DOT uses TransitMix Pro to help improve statewide network

By Robbie Webber Transit fans, amateur transportation planners, and advocates for multimodal transportation loved the original TransitMix, a project of Code For America. The easy online tool allowed anyone to create a new transit route, alter an existing one, or change schedules in their city, at

Iowa DOT provides traveler info from plow cams

By Eric Sundquist As part of a 2-year-old project to modernize its approach to operations, Iowa DOT this winter has brought travelers new 511 information via dashboard-mounted iPhones on its snowplows. The DOT’s “Track a Plow” service is believed to be the first to offer such real-time