News

Speeding contributes to one-quarter of fatalities, but remains culturally acceptable

By Michael Brenneis As a vehicle’s speed increases, it’s kinetic energy increases exponentially. Should a vehicle crash, its kinetic energy is transferred, often catastrophically, into the structure of the vehicle, its occupants, other vehicles, the surrounding built environment, or nearby

As crashes rise, distracted driving has (mostly) stayed the same

By Chris McCahill Are cell phones to blame for rising traffic deaths? We have looked for evidence before and came up empty-handed. A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that drivers are just as distracted now as they were a few years ago, but some are swapping old

Dangerous by Design 2019: Roads aren’t getting safer for pedestrians

By Rayla Bellis Last week, Smart Growth America released the latest edition of Dangerous by Design, a biennial report examining trends in pedestrian fatalities. The report looks at changes in the occurrence of pedestrian deaths nationwide overall and ranks states and metropolitan regions

Study: Transit supporters in LA unlikely to use transit themselves

By Chet Edelman It may sound like an Onion headline, but a new study out of UCLA finds that while a majority of Los Angeles County voters may support transit expansion, they express little desire to ride transit themselves in the future. The study found that voters appear to want transit for

Was 2018 the year of peak ICE?

By Eric Sundquist With slowing growth in light-duty automotive markets overall, and an increasing share of electric vehicles within that market, last year may have been the high point for internal combustion engines. Such is the conclusion drawn by Financial Times, based on interviews with and

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