U.S. cities and developers beleaguered by too much parking, Mortgage Bankers report finds

Des moines parking

There are 83,141 households in the city of Des Moines, and 1.6 million parking stalls. Even allowing that some of those stalls are occupied by commuters, that’s a pretty staggering disparity. And even accounting for commuters, peak parking occupancy rates are only 65 percent downtown. These are some of the eye-opening findings from a new Mortgage Bankers Association report on parking supply in American cities. The report argues that localities should do their own parking inventories rather than rely on rules of thumb for parking needs and risk squandering resources. Read More >

Travel time peaked in the 1990s, new research shows

figure1-Travel times and VMT

Americans spent more than 10 hours per week traveling in the early 1990s—the highest amount in two decades—but that number has since dropped below 1975 levels to less than 8.5 hours, according to a new study published in Transportation Research Part A. The resulting travel time peak, mirrors a similar peak in average vehicle miles traveled that occurred roughly a decade later. This earlier peak, however, suggests that important shifts in travel behavior were already underway well before the recession took hold around 2007. Read More >

Accessibility in practice (SSTI and Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, 2017)

VirginiaBeach_jobs_transit_change_noLegend

Planning agencies and transportation decision makers often talk about the importance of improving access to destinations, but they rarely have the tools or resources to measure accessibility and incorporate those metrics into decision making. This report guides agencies through that process. Read More >


FEATURED RESOURCE

Trip-making data, TDM, and connectivity in Northern Virginia (SSTI and Michael Baker International, 2016)

Commercially available GPS data offers valuable new insight about trip origins, destinations, and routes, including short trips that travel demand models often cannot capture. Using this data, SSTI worked with Michael Baker International, the Virginia DOT, and local stakeholders to identify opportunities for managing travel demand and improving connectivity throughout Northern Virginia. This final report describes the full data set and 17 selected case studies, along with recommended projects and policies, estimated costs, and benefits for each. More Resources...

NEWS

Study finds risky driving still a problem around schools

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among school children. Although some cities and schools that have implemented safety programs around schools have seen decreases in dangerous driving in school zones, those improvements have been more than offset by worsening driver behavior near schools across the country. Read More >

States may look to leaders in regulating electric bicycles

Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are becoming more popular as more options become available. So far, ten states have updated their laws to reflect this trend and accommodate the technology. An additional 20 states have defined e-bikes but have not fully defined their operation under law. The remaining states have no e-bike laws at all. So far, the technology and its adoption have been outpacing legislation. It is now up to states and localities to determine how to best regulate them. Read More >

Do mileage-based congestion fees hit low-income drivers harder?

While there is mounting evidence that demand-based pricing—or congestion tolling—can more efficiently manage highway use, serious concerns continue to arise regarding the system’s disproportionate impacts on low-income drivers. However, a recent study by researchers at Purdue University has found that a less onerous tax alternative may exist—one that combines congestion tolling with mileage-based user fees or a VMT tax. Read More >

Houston paper: Metro area worst in nation for traffic fatalities, speeding at fault

Reporters from the Houston Chronicle looked at 16 years of national data for traffic fatalities, and they were shocked by the statistics for their area. Houston has the deadliest overall traffic safety record for the 12 largest metro areas studied, and ranks in the top half in all categories of crashes. They identify speeding as the principal factor in the region’s safety problems, although a number of factors combine to make the area deadly. Read More >

Speeding up buses with automated enforcement

Transit-exclusive lanes can speed buses or other transit vehicles and make the services more appealing and predictable. But those nearly-empty lanes can seem appealing to the drivers of private vehicles stuck in traffic or looking for short-term parking or loading, so keeping the lanes clear for transit can be a challenge. Cameras currently being used to enforce speed or red-light running, as well as cameras mounted on the buses themselves, might improve enforcement, as suggested by a recent Mobility Lab post. Read More >

More News...