Which transportation sustainability rating system works for your state?

By Robbie Webber The practice of developing highway projects sustainably by paying attention to the societal, environmental, and economic impact of projects has become increasingly common. States are using transportation sustainability rating systems (TSRSs) to assess the impacts of their

Toward performance-based development of urban trail networks

By Mary Ebeling The Trail Modeling and Assessment Platform (T-MAP) project, an effort led by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), will create a performance-based urban trail development toolkit for planners, policy makers, and advocates. T-MAP offers a set of data collection instruments,

Helsinki integrates transportation services to reduce reliance on cars

By Bill Holloway As transportation agencies across the U.S. slowly adjust to new infrastructure, revenue, and policy challenges, Helsinki, Finland is embarking on a radical plan to help its transit system outcompete private car travel. The city plans to transform its transit system into a

NYSDOT considers options for Syracuse freeway

By Robbie Webber Michigan DOT and Detroit residents are not alone in considering alternatives for an elevated urban highway. On June 23, New York State DOT officials released six possible options to replace the aging I-81 viaduct in Syracuse. The highway has been the subject of intense debate for

Nonmotorized transportation pilot program: Developing performance measures and future needs

By Mary Ebeling Performance-based planning and decision making for transportation investments has risen in prominence with passage of the current federal transportation bill. MAP 21 sets out six national goals for the federal transportation program and establishes a strong emphasis on

MassDOT charts course for a sustainable transportation system

By Chris McCahill In 2010, the Massachusetts DOT announced its GreenDOT initiative, which focuses on three main goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting healthy transportation options, and encouraging smart growth development throughout the state. Early on the program manifested itself

Using Health Impact Assessments to shape transportation policy

By Chris Spahr Health Impact Assessments are increasingly being used to assess how transportation decisions will impact health outcomes. An HIA is an evidence-based research tool used to inform decision makers about the potential health risks and benefits of policies, programs, and projects

WebGIFT marks a promising step toward greener logistics

By Bill Holloway WebGIFT, developed by the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Delaware, is a web-based tool that allows users to optimize their shipping modes and routes based on time, distance, or emissions per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) shipped. The tool allows users

With increasing fatalities and inadequate infrastructure, NDDOT looks for big picture solutions

By Bill Holloway Booming populations and truck traffic, driven by the surging oil and gas industry, have led North Dakota to embark on the state’s first comprehensive state freight plan. As drilling in the Bakken oil fields has accelerated, the costs of severe truck crashes in the state have

Private transit services offer commutes with amenities

By Robbie Webber Cities around the U.S. are seeing a new style of transit that is a cross between the (in)famous Google buses, smartphone-driven Uber and Lyft, and standard city transit systems. Neither exclusive to one company nor attempting to cover the city, these “pop-up bus services” are