Outcomes

Teleworking’s hidden environmental costs

By Eric Sunquist Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place orders, more Americans are teleworking. This has drastically reduced VMT and air emissions. Policymakers may be tempted to try to encourage teleworking post-COVID-19 in order to keep the traffic down and the air

Comparing the car travel of Millennials and Generation X

By Michael Brenneis According to data retrieved from the FHWA’s National Household Travel Surveys, in 2017 Millennials drove less than their Gen X counterparts did in 2001. A new study in the Journal of Planning Education and Research compares the 2017 VMT patterns of Millennials (birth year

With traffic down, Oregon DOT can move more vehicles at twice the speed

By Chris McCahill With overall traffic down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one highway in Oregon is now moving higher traffic volumes at twice the typical speed, according to an analysis by Joe Cortright at City Observatory. This might seem counterintuitive, but it perfectly illustrates the

Oregon moves toward a safer speed-limit approach

By Eric Sundquist The Oregon Transportation Commission last month approved a revised speed-limit guidance that abandons the long-standing-but-arbitrary 85th percentile rule in many cases. Instead of relying on drivers to set speeds by their behavior, the new guidance provides context-based safe

California highway projects face review for induced travel

By Eric Sundquist The implications of California’s SB 743 (2013), which is widely if somewhat imprecisely known as the “move away from level-of-service to vehicle-miles-traveled bill,” became clearer last week, as Caltrans issued guidance on which transportation projects will require

Destination access bills introduced in U.S. House

By Eric Sundquist A trio of representatives along with 10 co-sponsors have introduced a pair of bills that would set destination access as a national performance measure. Both bills describe destination access, aka “accessibility,” in terms of travel times by auto, transit, walking, and

How best to get our economy and jobs back: Lessons from ARRA

By Beth Osborne The current COVID-19 pandemic has created unique transportation challenges for cities and states. This includes everything from maintaining transit with plummeting ridership to facing a needed economic recovery with major decreases in the taxes that pay for transportation

Planning for an uncertain future

By Chris McCahill Traffic forecasts and other projections are often presented as a single line on a graph or number in a chart. But we know—now more than ever—that these predictions are full of uncertainties. The Sacramento Council of Governments (SACOG), for a new study in JAPA, puts hard

VMT ticks up again in 2019

By Eric Sundquist Driving mileage in the United States climbed by just under 0.9 percent in 2019. On a per capita basis, the increase was just under 0.6 percent. The VMT figures come from FHWA’s latest Travel Volume Trends release. The per capita figure is 2 percent below the peak historic

Sweden and Virginia: Messaging and variable tolls can influence mode choice

By Robbie Webber Two recent studies—one practical and one academic—show two approaches to reducing driving. A Swedish study looked at what types of messages influence the choice to drive, while a report from Virginia shows that tolls on the I-66 corridor outside Washington have made a