Latest News

Using Big Data for estimating VMT and reliable travel patterns

By Saumya Jain For the longest time we’ve relied on the Highway Performance Monitoring System for understanding travel patterns and estimating vehicle miles of travel. But these estimates often have not been very accurate because of inadequacies in data collection. Big data is providing more

The shifting geography of sprawl

By Michael Brenneis Sprawl appears to be decreasing in North America. That is, new development is adding to the share of gridded or connected streets in the street network. However, in other parts of the world, new development is increasingly taking the form of gated communities, cul-du-sacs, and

Survey: Mayors see the problem but shy away from the solutions

By Eric Sundquist U.S. mayors recognize safety and environmental issues resulting from automobile traffic, according to a new survey from Boston University. But they are leery about implementing commonly accepted remedies like lower speeds, more enforcement, reduced parking or separated bike

Electric school buses test V2G technology

By Robbie Webber Dominion Energy in Virginia is in the midst of buying electric buses for schools across Virginia. When not transporting kids to and from school, the buses will serve as batteries to feed power back into the electrical grid. Using buses for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power benefits

Milwaukee sees new investment where freeway once stood

By Chris McCahill Just as more U.S. cities are beginning to see urban highways and parking lots as opportunities for development, Milwaukee is reaping the benefits of its freeway removal efforts, which date back two decades. The 24-acre downtown corridor where the Park East Freeway stood until

Bicycle commuters experience joy, but motorists would rather teleport

By Rayla Bellis Not everyone hates their commute, according to recent research by Patrick Singleton and Prasanna Humagain of Utah State University. While drivers and transit riders would prefer to teleport to work if they had the option, the majority of cyclists and pedestrians surveyed would

Setting speed limits based on safety, not driver behavior

By Eric Sundquist The 85th percentile rule in speed limit setting—an arbitrary but longstanding convention—has begun to weaken in recent years, with new guidance now allowing for lower speeds. FHWA’s USLIMITS2, for example, allows for speeds down to the 50th percentile in certain cases. Now

New resource offers guidance and tools for right-sizing transportation investments

By Rayla Bellis NCHRP has released a new guidebook to help state DOTs systematically integrate a right-sizing approach into their decision-making. The practice of “right-sizing” involves modifying the size, extent, function, and composition of existing or planned infrastructure and services

Shared parking keeps customers happy

By Chris McCahill Parking issues have a measurable effect on businesses’ reputations, according to a recent study, but there are important exceptions. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs aren’t as vulnerable to parking complaints, for instance, and the effects don’t seem to hold when

Framing resilience for state DOTs

By Michael Brenneis The mission of many state DOTs has evolved beyond the traditional “highway department” to include protecting the quality of life of the people of a given state, and the integration of all travel modes to safely move people and goods. Resilience has come to mean more than

Researchers say investment in infrastructure has the potential to move short trips out of cars

By Robbie Webber Can the rise of new personal mobility options lure drivers out of their cars for short trips? Several recent reports say, “yes,” but only if cities resolve both infrastructure and legal issues surrounding their use. At the same time, examination of walking and biking rates

New report discusses how transportation officials can support health equity

By Rayla Bellis Smart Growth America recently released a new report, The State of Transportation and Health Equity, a field scan looking at the intersection of transportation and health equity in the U.S. today. The report summarizes lessons based on interviews with 92 experts working across

Findings from Toronto: Sticks and carrots for TNCs

By Eric Sundquist We have a lot of evidence that venture capital-subsidized transportation network companies (TNC) are cannibalizing transit and driving up VMT. Now a new study of this phenomenon from the University of Toronto examines the patterns of TNC trip making and suggests a system of

Exploring the relationship between transit supply and parking demand

By Saumya Jain In a recent study, researchers from Australia look closely at the relationship between parking demand and proximity and quality of service supply of public transit. When other socioeconomic factors were considered, the quality of transit service became much more important than

Forecasters guarded about EV share of VMT

By Michael Brenneis A smooth and equitable transition to a low-carbon global economy is an essential component in the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change. But migration away from a long-entrenched fossil energy system has its challenges. Adequate and consistent carbon emission reduction