News

USDOT urges nation to think beyond traffic

By Chris McCahill Last week, the USDOT announced Beyond Traffic—a framework for thinking about the nation’s transportation needs over the next 30 years. “As population concentrates around metropolitan areas around the country,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx during an

CMAP’s new tool elevates the urgency for innovative transportation solutions

By Chris Spahr While the state of transportation funding remains uncertain both at the national and state levels, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is taking an innovative approach to bring public awareness to the degrading transportation infrastructure within the seven-county Chicago

The Syracuse I-81 Viaduct—an update and progress report

By Mary Ebeling The New York State DOT, the City of Syracuse, and the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council have been working collaboratively for several years to develop alternatives for the replacement of the I-81 viaduct that winds its way through downtown Syracuse. The construction of

Massachusetts looks towards carbon pricing to reduce GHG emissions

By Bill Holloway Last month Massachusetts released a study investigating how the commonwealth could implement a revenue-neutral carbon fee or tax to support the state’s GHG reduction goals. Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources requested that the researchers develop a system that

Portland app developer aims to count more bicyclists

By Robbie Webber A Portland app developer may change the way we count bicycle traffic if his $50 device works as planned. As bicycling grows as a transportation choice, cities have been getting serious about counting how many people are using the paths, bike lanes, and local streets. But counting

Researchers explore links between speed and safety

By Chris McCahill As states experiment with increasing and lowering speed limits on rural highways, questions still remain as to what effects those changes might have on safety. At this year’s annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, researchers trying to answer some of those

Adoption of autonomous vehicles: Addressing the details

By Mary Ebeling Although the mass media has been quick to tout the practicalities of switching to autonomous vehicles, many complexities are also apparent. As SSTI and others have noted, a transition to autonomous vehicles may be closer than we think. However, at the recent TRB meeting the number

New study provides insight into the permanence of changing driving trends

By Chris Spahr A look at national rates of vehicle miles traveled documented by FHWA travel-volume reports shows that U.S. VMT per capita peaked in 2004. It is also commonly understood that while VMT and GDP have been closely related during most of the twentieth century, VMT stopped tracking GDP

FHWA twice revised VMT forecasts downward in 2014

By Chris McCahill Last year, after nearly a decade of declining automobile use, several key agencies revised their forecasts of future travel demand. The DOTs in Colorado and Washington produced new long-range VMT forecasts, recognizing new emerging trends, and FHWA produced lower forecasts in

GreenDOT implementation: Putting policy into practice

By Mary Ebeling In a July 2014 update on MassDOT’s ambitious GreenDOT program, we noted that the GreenDOT office had begun preparing the first in a series of “data- and performance-driven progress reports.” The first report, released in December, documents the key policy shifts, performance