News

Red light cameras still popular with municipalities, but not drivers

By Mary Ebeling Automobile drivers almost universally agree that red light running is unacceptable and dangerous, but many also admit being guilty of it. Almost half the states allow red light cameras and municipalities are increasingly installing red light cameras at intersections as tools to

Senators call for action on freight rail rates and monopolies

By Bill Holloway Early this month, a bipartisan group of senators, led by Al Franken (D-MN), called on the chairman of the Surface Transportation Board to assure that Berkshire Hathaway’s 2010 purchase of BNSF doesn’t result in unfair rate hikes for farms and businesses in Minnesota

Devil’s Slide dangers soon to be bypassed by tunnels

By Robbie Webber There hasn’t been a new highway tunnel built in California in 50 years, but new tunnels that will provide an alternative to a slide-prone stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway will be very impressive when they open. Built with an Austrian drilling technique, the twin bores

Per capita VMT ticks down for eighth straight year

By Eric Sundquist Per capita vehicle-miles traveled in the United States dropped by 0.4 percent in 2012, according to the FHWA’s travel trends data released Friday. Per capita VMT peaked in 2004 and has declined each year since then for a total decline of 7.5 percent (Figure 1). At 9,363, VMT

Planning for multi-generational communities

By Ceri Jenkins Visionary local governments are broadening their focus to ensure that city planning and services meet the needs of residents across generations. By 2040, half our population will be either under 18 or over 65. Currently few cities sufficiently meet residents’ needs across their

The challenge of communicating bicycle comfort level on maps

By Robbie Webber Although some bicyclists are willing to ride on any road and under any conditions to get to their destination, the vast majority do not feel comfortable mixing with higher speed traffic and watching out for turning cars. A 2012 Mineta Transportation Institute study examined the

Disagreement over the environmental impacts of the Bayonne Bridge project

By Chris Spahr Two federal agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, do not agree on the assessment of the environmental impacts of raising the Bayonne Bridge from 150 feet of clearance to 215 feet of clearance over the Kill Van Kull between Bayonne, NJ, and

Parking management – an unlikely economic development tool

By Mary Ebeling During the era of interstate highway construction, and the resulting demographic shift from city to suburb, municipalities worked to provide auto access to their downtowns, hoping this access would support economic growth. However, mounting evidence shows that greater automobile

WSDOT weighs in on bill to make health a goal in transportation policy

by Eric Sundquist The Washington State DOT currently has six statutory goals: economic vitality, preservation, safety, mobility, environment, and stewardship. H.B. 1233, introduced by a Tacoma legislator whose day job is with the county health department, would add health as a seventh

Does the travel-time index really reflect performance?

By Eric Sundquist and Bill Holloway Last week’s release of the Texas A&M Urban Mobility Report, with its charts and lists, prompted the usual flurry of general interest media coverage. This year’s report, however, carries more importance than usual, as it comes at a time when FHWA is