News

Montana approves digital billboards amid continuing national debate

By Bill Holloway The Montana Transportation Commission recently voted 4-1 to allow digital billboards along highways in areas zoned commercial or industrial. The signs were allowed despite substantial public opposition. However, they are subject to a number of restrictions aimed at reducing their

Report summarizes Wisconsin bicycle and pedestrian crash circumstances

By Robbie Webber A report released by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher Robert Schneider looks at crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists throughout Wisconsin from 2011-2013 to determine the conditions behind the most serious crashes, those resulting in fatalities and serious

FHWA encourages ROW solar facilities

By Eric Sundquist As DOTs look to meet environmental goals and bring in revenue, several have turned to using building roofs and surplus ROW to site solar-electric generating systems. Leaders in this field include Oregon DOT and Massachusetts DOT. Launching such a program, however, may put DOTs

Breathe easy: Sleep apnea and transportation safety

By Mary Ebeling Obstructive sleep apnea is a respiratory disorder that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly during sleep, sometimes as many as 400 times a night. The condition results in increased daytime drowsiness and reduced reaction time among sufferers, and this has drawn the

Cities look toward design in achieving Vision Zero

By Chris McCahill Looking to improve safety and eliminate traffic fatalities, at least 17 American cities have committed to Vision Zero. In addition to ramping up education and enforcement, these efforts require road designers to rethink streets and intersections in ways that minimize risks to

Canadian study links moving to walkable neighborhood with lower BMI in men

By Robbie Webber Research in the last ten years has linked walkability, improved pedestrian environments, mixed-use development, and even older housing stock—a proxy for neighborhoods built for walking as opposed to driving—with improved public health measures related to weight. A new

PennDOT tools offer path to employee engagement

By Mary Ebeling PennDOT’s IdeaLink 20/20 employee engagement tool, launched in 2011, complements the agency’s long-standing approach of imbedding innovation in the agency. PennDOT has approached the effort of employee engagement with the view that agency employees are knowledgeable about what

Public goals clash with private crime concerns in St Paul skyways

By Bill Holloway The Twin Cities are home to two of the largest skyway systems in the U.S.  Although the skyways operate as streets for the many residents, workers, and visitors in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the systems are managed very differently between the two cities, and in the past few

Re-Connect West Baltimore aims to bridge old neighborhood divides

By Robbie Webber Construction on a bridge project in West Baltimore will soon begin, and federal and local officials hope it will improve connectivity in a neighborhood that has long suffered from the legacy of urban highways built through low-income and minority communities. USDOT Secretary

Learning from transit performance measures and data in California

By Mary Ebeling The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) sponsored a newly released report, Transit Performance Measures in California, by the Mineta Transportation Institute, as part of the agency’s efforts to understand what data and performance measures are being used by MPOs