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San Francisco updates planning code with TDM measures

By Mary Ebeling On February 7, 2017, San Francisco approved an amendment to its existing Planning Code Section 169 that incorporates an ambitious transportation demand management program for future residential and commercial development. Working to manage its transportation system across modes in

Municipalities may be liable for crashes on streets where design encourages high speeds

By Bill Holloway On December 22, the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ruled that municipalities may be liable for traffic injuries when the design of roads contributes to reckless driving or excessive speeding. The 6-1 decision in Turturro v. City of New York found

Portland plans new development fee structure based on people instead of cars

By Robbie Webber For 20 years, Portland, OR, has assessed Transportation System Development Charges (TSDC) on developments based on the presumed new trips that each project would generate. In December, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution allowing the Portland Bureau of Transportation

U.S. DOT: States overestimating VMT growth

By Chris McCahill The U.S. DOT recently released its 2015 Conditions and Performance Report to Congress, describing the current state and future needs of the country’s roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. The report hinges largely on estimates and forecasts of vehicle miles

LA drivers wonder whether expanding the 405 was worth it

By Bill Holloway After years of construction headaches and a $1.6 billion investment, the Sepulveda Pass project, which expanded Interstate 405, the nation’s busiest highway, appears to have had a minimal impact on congestion. The project, which added carpool lanes, on- and off ramps, and three

Crashes fuel U.S. death-rate increase

By Eric Sundquist A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made headlines last week for showing a decrease in Americans’ life expectancy in 2015—a reversal of a decades-long positive trend. One element of the brief report is of special interest to transportation

Automated vehicles will bring big highway capacity increases

By Eric Sundquist As the transportation field grapples with the impending impacts of automated vehicles, one AV-related outcome seems clear: Highway capacity will dramatically expand. One new estimate comes from Dwight L. Farmer in the November ITE Journal (paywall). Because automatic braking

Virginia’s SMART SCALE helped Hampton Roads improve its transportation projects

By Robbie Webber The December 12 edition of the Daily Press (Hampton Roads) features an editorial by Virginia DOT Secretary Aubrey Layne explaining how the state’s new project selection process, dubbed SMART SCALE, improved the way transportation projects are planned and developed. The

Providence, RI decides the future of a deteriorating freeway

By Bill Holloway Efforts to duplicate the urban freeway removal success stories of Milwaukee and San Francisco, both of which allowed valuable urban land to be redeveloped, face an uphill battle despite many boosters. The debate between urban boosters and state DOTs that control most urban

The quest for market share: Is Uber’s business model sustainable?

By Mary Ebeling A new analysis of the scant information on Uber’s profits and losses—information normally confined to investor meetings at this privately held company—calls into question the long-term sustainability of the company. It also raises concerns about whether Uber will be the

Maybe urban truck traffic isn’t rising after all

By Bill Holloway One of my posts from last year, which raised the possibility that we may be in the midst of a major increase in urban truck traffic—and the analysis by the Brookings Institution on which it was based—was recently called out as flawed in a blog post by Joe Cortright of City

Sharing the road: How separated bikeways are setting the standard for safety

By Mary Ebeling As more cities and states strive to achieve goals for sustainability, pollution reduction, safety, and livability supporting active transportation has emerged as a key activity. In order to encourage bicycling, cities have been constructing new infrastructure that physically

New study reaffirms the child safety benefits of red light cameras

By Bill Holloway A study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics national conference last month linked higher child death rates from motor vehicle crashes to several primary factors, including low rates of child seat belt/car seat use and a lack of red light cameras. While the full text

More evidence that wider roads encourage speeding

By Chris McCahill Wider lanes and shoulders encourage faster driving, according to a new study published in the Journal of Transportation Engineering. Researchers from Texas A&M studied uncongested freeways in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Based on more than 650,000 observations, they

Are higher highway speed limits worth it?

By Bill Holloway A recent study indicates that raising speed limits on non-limited access highways from 55 to 65 miles per hour is likely to have a negative benefit-cost ratio when crash injury and fatality costs are fully accounted for. The analysis, which focused on non-limited access highways