News

The hype cycle of autonomous vehicles

By Rayla Bellis Several recent articles have addressed a significant shift in public perception toward autonomous vehicles over the course of 2018. In late 2017, industry leaders like Waymo, Uber, and Tesla were testing fully driverless cars and preparing for commercial launches of driverless

Seattle moves to new transportation level of service guidelines

By Robbie Webber On January 14, the Seattle Council is set to vote on new regulations for developments to support changes in adopted transportation level of service. As part of the 2016 Comprehensive Plan, LOS was redefined to reflect specific target rates for different modes in eight different

Tolling strategies may mitigate the impact of AVs on VMT and congestion

By Michael Brenneis The anticipated shift to autonomous vehicles raises several concerns, among them are whether AVs will increase total vehicle miles traveled, exacerbate congestion, or replace the use of transit and active modes. A new study focused on Austin, TX, models the effects that two

Mileage-based fee more effective than California’s new ZEV fee

By Brian Lutenegger California is among the states that have added a special registration fee for zero emission vehicles. However, research commissioned as part of the enacting legislation casts doubt on the efficacy of the fee in paying California’s infrastructure costs, instead pointing to a

Variable speed limits effective along Virginia’s foggy highways

By Chris McCahill Fog can create deadly driving conditions, particularly in mountainous areas like those along I-77 near Virginia’s southern border. Fog along the 12-mile stretch of highway has led to hundreds of crashed vehicles and several deaths over the last couple of decades. In 2016, VDOT

Nine states and DC move forward on transportation carbon pricing alliance

By Eric Sundquist Nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, plus the District of Columbia, announced Tuesday that they would design a joint climate strategy over the next year and then put it up for state-by-state adoption. The policy will, according to the joint announcement, “reduce carbon

Reopening of Quincy Station MBTA gate provides area households with access to hundreds of thousands of additional jobs

By Chet Edelman After sitting shuttered for more than 30 years, the city of Quincy, MA recently reopened a pedestrian gate that allows residents of the town’s Penn’s Hill neighborhood to connect directly to the Quincy Adams MBTA station. Previous to the gate reopening, residents were forced

How WSDOT will be picking the right transportation investments for economic vitality

By Rayla Bellis Smart Growth America and SSTI recently helped the Washington State Department of Transportation take a groundbreaking step to align its transportation investments with statewide policy goals. Most states have defined a set of transportation goals, but few DOTs have taken the next

New NACTO and USDOT Volpe Center reports call for improved vehicle design to increase safety

By Brian Lutenegger A pair of new reports examines how the design of large vehicles—such as fire trucks, garbage and recycling vehicles, and freight trucks—impacts traffic fatalities in cities. These types of vehicles have a disproportionate impact on urban roadway safety for all users.

Technological advances could drastically cut greenhouse gas pollution from concrete

By Eric Sundquist Most GHG emissions in transportation come from on-road vehicles, but construction is a large contributor as well. In particular, concrete manufacturing generates emissions both from energy needed to heat materials in cement kilns and from a chemical process known as