News

Megaships may be approaching their maximum size

By Bill Holloway The largest container ship ever to call at a North American port, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, visited the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Seattle last month. At 1306 feet long, 177 feet wide, and 197 feet tall, the ship is among the largest in the world and can carry

Two reports examine progress and challenges for biking and walking

By Robbie Webber The Alliance for Biking and Walking has released its biennial benchmarking report, providing a wealth of information on programs, policies, data, and case studies from all 50 states, the 50 largest U.S. cities, plus 18 additional medium-sized cities. At the same time, a report

Economy, gas prices pushed driving upward in 2015, but less than in past years

By Chris McCahill The number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the U.S. increased by 4.4 percent in 2015, according to numbers released by FHWA last week, setting a new record of 3.1 trillion miles. VMT per capita, which adjusts for population growth, increased by 3.6 percent, meaning that the

Transportation network companies, public transit eye steps toward integrated mobility

By Mary Ebeling Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber, Lyft, and Bridj continue to aggressively pursue the development of new markets, lately through partnerships with transit agencies eager to close that first and last mile gap. These partnerships promise to effectively increase

CBO report suggests changes to increase productivity of federal highway program

By Bill Holloway The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released a new report, Approaches to Making Federal Highway Spending More Productive, which outlines problems with the way the federal government spends money on highways and suggests some potential fixes. The report argues that

Expanded transit tax incentive can’t compete with the lure of subsidized parking

By Mary Ebeling Many municipalities have goals of improving air quality, reducing traffic congestion, and increasing transit use. The federal government asserts similar goals. However, until recently federal policies providing greater tax breaks to car commuters than transit commuters have

Montreal study finds vulnerable populations have more exposure to road noise

By Robbie Webber The World Health Organization considers road noise a health hazard, and various studies have found that road noise can have a detrimental effect on health and wellbeing, including influencing heart disease, diabetes, sleep loss, and high blood pressure. These effects are

Better timing for seasonal load restrictions with connected sensors

By Bill Holloway Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, have developed a new way to monitor the underground sensors that help states determine when seasonal load restrictions (SLRs) should begin and end. States impose SLRs during times when roads are particularly vulnerable to

New technology helps avoid bus-pedestrian crashes

By Mary Ebeling A simple Google search on “pedestrian transit bus collisions” yields dozens of results, showing these tragedies are all too common. Many of the crashes involve left-turning bus operators reporting not seeing pedestrians in the crosswalk. A new warning system being tested in

Conductive concrete melts ice

By Chris McCahill A new type of pavement developed at the University of Nebraska could keep bridges and other surfaces clear during inclement weather without using heavy equipment or chemicals. The product is a concrete mixture that conducts just enough electrical current to melt ice and snow,