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License-plate readers pose threats to equity and privacy

By Eric Sundquist Automated license-plate readers (ALPRs) and associated software have become inexpensive go-tos for law enforcement and toll collection. They also raise questions about equity and ethics. Axon Enterprises, a vendor of law-enforcement cameras and other devices, has set up an

Nighttime pedestrian fatalities soar

By Robbie Webber Although we are now past Halloween—the night of the year with the highest number of pedestrian crashes—we still have work to do on improving the safety of walking at night. While other crash types have gone down, pedestrian and bicycle crashes continue to rise, and crashes

Is there bias in GPS enabled smartphone cycling app data?

By Michael Brenneis Smartphones with GPS tracking ability are capable of collecting large amounts of pedestrian and cyclist movement data. But do tracking apps developed largely for athletic or route-planning use capture the big picture of where pedestrians and cyclists travel and what

Residential exposure to local traffic emissions associated with higher risk of stroke

By Yicong Yang A recent study finds that long-term residential exposure to locally emitted black carbon (BC)—primarily from traffic exhaust—is associated with higher stroke incidence. BC comprises a significant portion of particulate matter. Although BC is a known health hazard with health

Priced parking is fair and effective at lowering car use

By Chris McCahill New research out of California looks at the effect of priced parking on commuter mode choice and transportation costs for low-income households. Findings from two studies suggest raising the price of commuter parking by 10 percent could lower car use by as much as three

More sharp curves make roads safer

By Michael Brenneis Unlike other risk factors such as speed or impairment—where more is not safer—increasing the number of sharp curves on a road segment appears to lower the risk of crashing, according to a new paper in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention. Curves carry a level of

Parents don’t always agree with practitioners about safe cycling routes for kids

by Rayla Bellis Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (LTS), a system for rating bicycle routes from low- to high-stress based on factors like vehicle speed and separation from traffic, has been gaining traction nationwide as an approach for identifying needed investments, evaluating the overall

Inequities in allocation of bike infrastructure investments

By Saumya Jain The pressing need for safer active transportation infrastructure cannot be overlooked anymore, with 2019 being the deadliest year of the century for pedestrians and cyclists. Although federal spending on active transportation increased from $6 million to $835 million from 1990 to

New study shows cataract surgery improves driving safety

By Yicong Yang Although alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving are the major sources of injuries and fatalities on the road, being able to see well cannot be underestimated. As drivers age, the occurrence of cataracts increases, and they can be a significant barrier to safe driving. A new

Global SUV sales undo gain from electric vehicles

By Robbie Webber Electric vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce emissions and the climate impact of transportation. But the global increase in SUV sales—led by but not exclusive to the U.S.—is more than neutralizing these reductions. That is the message from an analysis of the

Auto-braking is becoming more common, but the tech is still evolving

By Eric Sundquist One hope for reversing the growing death toll among pedestrians and cyclists lies in technology that senses crashes before they happen and avoids them. In 2015, NHTSA, with support from the insurance industry, reached an agreement with most automakers to ramp up installation of

Gender biases in transit planning

By Saumya Jain “The default human that is the basis for research and design projects is usually a white adult male.” Despite efforts to close the gender gap in many aspects of life, there are still some industries and activities where the gap hasn’t even been identified properly. One such

Some bias is evident when ticketing speeders in Burlington, Vermont

By Michael Brenneis The negative safety effects of speeding are well established. The enforcement of speed limits is justified to reduce crashes. But does officer discretion when giving tickets result in bias against one group or another? The results of an analysis of speeding stops in

TRB provides playbook to TNC-transit partnerships

By Robbie Webber Transit agencies have increasingly partnered with transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to supplement fixed-route services. TNCs are used to extend service to less-dense areas of a community, provide first- and last-mile connections, operate on weekends or

Transportation affordability key to housing market resilience

By Chris McCahill A new study looked at more than 300 metropolitan areas across the U.S. to understand which ones saw foreclosure rates drop the fastest during the economic recovery period between 2011 and 2014. The authors call this “housing market resilience.” It found that some of the most