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U.S. traffic fatalities rise while international numbers improve

By Robbie Webber A new report by the International Transport Forum highlights how the United States is losing the battle to reduce traffic fatalities, while other countries improve their safety records. Out of 41 countries contributing to the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group,

The shortest path usually isn’t the best one, according to bikeshare users

By Chris McCahill Many transportation models assume that people choose the shortest (or least cost) path connecting them from point A to point B. But this isn’t how individuals actually behave—or so confirms one recent study based on bikeshare trip data. This affects how we model travel

States and Feds explore solutions to truck parking shortfall

By Michael Brenneis Federally mandated driver rest periods are coming up against a truck parking shortfall, and leaving drivers scrambling to find legal parking, or park illegally. The trucking industry has grown over the last few decades due to overall economic growth and deregulation. One of

Baltimore fire code eased to allow bike lanes, more flexible design

By Saumya Jain On Aug 6, Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to approve a bill that repeals parts of the city fire code to allow for more bike-friendly and pedestrian-safe street developments. Although the bill still awaits Mayor Catherine Pugh’s signature, a mayoral spokesperson said on

Cities need to move carefully to get TNC benefits

By Brian Lutenegger A new report examines existing research and new data on the impact of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft on U.S. cities. TNCs can have negative impacts on urban areas by contributing to traffic congestion—but, if planned and regulated properly, can

Toward livable streets: A review of recent improvements in practice

By Eric Sundquist In the last decade a number of project development and design guides, such as ITE’s “Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares,”  NACTO’s “Urban Street Design Guide,” and city design guide manuals, have emerged. A new article by Eric Dumbaugh of Florida Atlantic

Red light cameras save lives. Turning them off puts lives at risk.

By Michel Brenneis More than half of the fatalities caused by red light runners are pedestrians, cyclists, other motorists, or passengers. Red light running resulted in 811 fatal crashes in 2016, an increase of 17 percent from 2012 when there were 719 fatal crashes, reports the Insurance

Safety climate, not just pedestrian infrastructure, affects walking behavior

By Chris McCahill To get people on foot adhering to traffic rules, according to one new study, road designers likely need to consider not only the immediate walking environment (sidewalks and crossings) but also the entire traffic safety climate of an area. According to the study, pedestrians

California meets GHG goals, but transportation progress faces uncertain future

By Robbie Webber As reported in the Los Angeles Times, California has met its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels four years early, an impressive feat, and one that comes while the California economy continues to flourish. But the reductions come almost entirely from

Climate change killing us in more ways than expected?

By Saumya Jain While the positive relationship between traffic crashes and extreme summer conditions is certainly not unheard of, it is rarely used in practice when designing policies or issuing roadway safety warnings. A recent study in Accident Analysis and Prevention shows that heat waves have

SSTI CEO Community of Practice meets in Boston

By Eric Sundquist CEOs and other senior officials from 16 state DOTs, as well as the Massachusetts Commission on the Future of Transportation, gathered in late July for SSTI’s annual Community of Practice meeting. While the conversation was free-flowing without any formal motions or votes, and

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

By Eric Sundquist There are 83,141 households in the city of Des Moines, and 1.6 million parking stalls. Even allowing that some of those 1.6 million stalls are occupied by commuters originating from outside the city, that’s a pretty staggering disparity (Figure 1). And even accounting for

Travel time peaked in the 1990s, new research shows

By Chris McCahill 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

TNC revolution may improve access for low-income communities

By Michael Brenneis New research by Anne Brown finds that transportation network companies (TNCs) are invading auto-access deserts, serving disadvantaged lower-income populations, and offering an alternative to the historically discriminatory taxi industry. By studying data provided by Lyft for

SUVs are killing us

By Robbie Webber As noted in a previous SSTI post, the rise of SUVs and other light trucks as personal vehicles has been identified as a contributing factor to the startling rise in pedestrian fatalities since 2009. Using federal fatality data, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study