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Cleveland MPO worries about costs of continued freeway expansion

By Chris McCahill The greater Cleveland area is coming to terms with the sometimes-messy impacts of repeated highway expansions. For decades, highway-capacity investments have caused the area’s dwindling population to simply move around and spread out, and now eight new major interchange

VMT could drop by 10 percent in post-COVID world

By Saumya Jain Since the COVID-19 lockdown began, we’ve witnessed a substantial decline in vehicle-miles traveled (VMT). A similar dip during the 2008-09 recession persisted for several years, and this one may do the same: A new study by the KPMG group suggests that we can expect up to a 9.2

Nimble transit planning needed during the pandemic, says Transit Center analysis

By Michael Brenneis Transit agencies have experienced steep bus ridership declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bus ridership in greater Boston dropped about 80 percent, for example. But the drop wasn’t uniform: Essential workers still needed to get to work, and many relied on transit. That

“Centerline hardening” protects pedestrian from left-turning vehicles

By Rayla Bellis Left turns pose a significant danger to pedestrians, but a solution could be simple. A recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that “centerline hardening” features―like bollards and rubber curbs that prevent drivers from cutting across

NACTO releases safe speed limit guidance

By Eric Sundquist As the transportation field gradually moves away from its singular focus on high motor vehicle speeds and its reliance on motorist behavior to set speed limits, NACTO has just released comprehensive guidance on speed limits on surface streets in metro areas. “City Limits:

85th percentile rule was supposed to be a starting point in setting speed limits

The longstanding tradition of setting speed limits at the 85th percentile of observed vehicle speeds is increasingly under scrutiny, with some agencies moving away from it. A new paper from Brian Taylor and U Hong Hwang at UCLA supports this critical reassessment by examining the roots of the

Post-COVID calls for “Responsible Transport”

A recent think piece published in the journal of Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives makes a very compelling case for rethinking our current “smart”, “innovative”, and “intelligent” transportation policies. Through their idea of “responsible transport”, the

Despite unclear evidence around virus transmission, transit takes the greatest hit

Global cities have seen major decreases in mobility across all modes, but public transit fell the most and isn’t yet making a rebound. Though there is a great deal of fear around transit’s contribution to the spread of the virus, it remains unclear if it is a major contributor to

Minneapolis transportation plan addresses climate, pandemic

The City of Minneapolis has released a draft of its Transportation Action Plan (TAP), as a companion to its 2040 Comprehensive Plan. In the latest ITE Journal, Transportation Planning Manager Kathleen Mayell outlines details of the plan, which sets out to respond to the declared climate emergency

Evidence AVs can operate in lanes as narrow as 9 feet

A recent article in the Transportation Research Record has promising findings, suggesting even current autonomous vehicle systems may be able to consistently operate in lanes as narrow as 2.75 meters, or nine feet. Narrow lanes can be a valuable traffic calming tool on corridors surrounded by

Conventional practice fails to account for induced traffic, even when the public demands it

By Eric Sundquist The problem of induced traffic, aka induced demand, is well-documented in the literature. Yet it is too rarely accounted for in practice. A new paper by Jamey M.B. Volker (University of California-Davis) and co-authors examines the environmental documents from five major highway

All-way stop signs reduce crashes by one-third

By Chris McCahill From 2009 to 2016, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in Washington, DC, converted 60 intersections from two-way stops (allowing free flow on the major route) to all-way stop control. A new study in the Transportation Research Record looks at 53 of those

County wants to make informal paths safer, more formal

By Robbie Webber Montgomery County, MD, is asking residents to mark the informal paths that they have been using to reach destinations. Many paths are worn through woods, cul-de-sac ends, and beaten into the grass where good pedestrian connections don’t exist. The county is updating its

Recent trends in school travel mode choice

By Rayla Bellis A recent study analyzed trends in travel to school in the U.S. using 2017 National Household Travel Survey Data and explored factors that impact mode choice. Among the findings, the study shows that the share of students walking and biking to school has increased since 2009 and

Getting transportation equity right

By Eric Sundquist Historian Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to be an Anti-Racist” was already a bestseller before the death of George Floyd, and now it resonates even more strongly. “Kendi’s ideas—that few, if any, are free of racism; that we should confess to our own racism as a first step