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

California’s Cap and Trade Program starts, impacts on fuel prices hotly debated

By Bill Holloway As of January 1, gasoline, diesel, and natural gas fuels are now covered under California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.  The program, which was established as part of the state’s 2006 climate change law, requires large companies to pay a price to emit carbon by purchasing carbon

Cities take the lead on side guards for trucks

By Robbie Webber As part of its continuing Vision Zero efforts, New York City is considering a requirement that all trucks delivering in the city have side guards installed. This safety feature—common on long-distance semis to improve fuel efficiency, but less common on short-haul

Access for the unbanked—equity with electronic tolling and contactless transit payment

By Mary Ebeling State DOTs are increasingly moving to all electronic tolling (AET) for roads and bridges. Transit agencies nationwide are also updating fare collection systems, and the trend is towards contactless, cashless fare payment. For both highways and transit these electronic payments

Florida evaluating road design standards over safety concerns

By Chris McCahill During the past decade, cities across Florida have ranked among the most dangerous in the nation for pedestrians. Florida DOT hopes to change that. In 2011, Billy Hattaway rejoined the agency as a district secretary and head of its bicycle and pedestrian program after several

Commuter tax benefits: Who wins and loses?

By Bill Holloway A new report from TransitCenter shines a light on the federal Commuter Tax Benefits program and the impact the program has on mode choice. The federal program allows employees to avoid paying taxes on certain bicycle, car, and transit commuting benefits provided by their