U.S. DOT highway travel demand estimates continue to overshoot reality

By Eric Sundquist In December, as USDOT was preparing its updated Conditions & Performance report, we took a look back at previous reports and found a consistent pattern of overestimates of motor-vehicle travel demand. We wondered about the new estimates: Will they be accurate this time? Now

FHWA report details impact of occupancy exemptions on managed lanes

By Robbie Webber States with high-occupancy vehicle lanes or high-occupancy toll lanes may also allow certain categories of vehicles to use the lanes without having the required number of occupants. However states are required to show that allowing these vehicles does not degrade the speed and

Booming intercity bus industry brings benefits and regulatory questions

By Bill Holloway Levels of intercity bus service, which are measured by the total number of daily scheduled operations, declined between 1960 and 2006. In recent years, however, it has been growing rapidly—far outpacing the growth of air and rail service (seat-miles) and car travel according to

‘Vital streets’ funding plan gains support in Grand Rapids

By Chris McCahill The City of Grand Rapids has set in motion a plan to repair its aging roads and make its streets better public spaces, but it will be counting on the State of Michigan to meet it halfway. The plan hinges on a local income tax extension that will raise $9.9 million per year

California launches major transportation-reform effort

By Eric Sundquist California’s State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have launched a thorough-going reform to modernize practice at Caltrans. The move follows the release of a CalSTA-sponsored report by SSTI. The report calls for an update of the

Do Safe Routes to School programs decrease injuries in school-aged pedestrians?

By Chris Spahr A study published January 13 in PEDIATRICS, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, provided important evidence to support the effectiveness of Safe Routes to School programs. The research, conducted by Charles DiMaggio, PhD, MPH, and Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, of

The commute trade-off: Impacts on productivity and health

By Mary Ebeling Americans are making trade-offs between commuting time, housing costs, and health related activities. The trade-offs push individuals to make decisions negatively affecting personal health (physical and psychological), which in turn correlates with reduced productivity in the

Per capita VMT drops for ninth straight year; DOTs taking notice

By Chris McCahill Estimates released by FHWA on Friday suggest that per capita vehicle miles of travel dropped again in 2013, making it the ninth consecutive year of decline (Figure 1). Total VMT in the United States increased by 0.6 percent from 2012, hovering just below 3 trillion, and per

Canada to purchase land for new Detroit bridge before U.S. funding set

By Robbie Webber Determined to keep the New International Trade Crossing moving forward, Canada has announced they will begin purchasing property in the distressed Delray neighborhood of Detroit. While Canada is already planning on paying for almost the entire bridge, including the approaches and

Regional accessibility metric offers powerful approach to transportation system planning

By Chris McCahill Researchers at the University of Minnesota developed a measure of multimodal accessibility for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, which they hope can be implemented in metropolitan areas around the nation as an alternative to commonly-used congestion metrics for prioritizing