Latest News

Proximity to highways affects long-term school performance

By Robbie Webber A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research extends our knowledge of the effects of attending school near major roadways. Previous studies have found short-term effects on test scores, behavior, and school absences on days of poor air quality, but this new research

Overabundant parking fuels car-oriented living in greater Boston

By Chris McCahill A new report from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council reveals 30 percent of residential parking in the Boston area goes unused at night. This new study builds on an earlier report, featured in an SSTI webinar, growing the sample from 80 properties to 189 across 14

Invisible women

By Beth Osborne Research and design are based on a test case human who stands in for the broader population. The default human that is the basis for research and design projects is usually a white adult male. As a result, projects often come to conclusions that do not address the needs of women,

A new technique to identify deteriorating infrastructure using satellite data

By Michael Brenneis With budgets that tend to favor new construction, many DOTs are finding it necessary to prioritize the most urgent repairs. But infrastructure decay is not always easily visible. And deferred or inadequate maintenance may occasionally have catastrophic consequences for U.S.

Spending smarter: lessons and opportunities for state DOTs

By Chris McCahill Two states that are changing how transportation investments are prioritized were featured recently on an SSTI webinar. Virginia just funded a third round of projects under its Smart Scale program, while Hawaii piloted its own SmartTRAC program with help from SSTI and Smart

Why cities aren’t preparing for autonomous vehicles

by Rayla Bellis A study evaluating municipal planning for autonomous vehicles found that an overwhelming majority of cities have done little to prepare for their arrival. At the same time, many of those cities have concerns about the negative impacts AVs could bring along with the substantial

AVs: Some intersections may get more dangerous before they get safer

By Michael Brenneis Many imagine a future with fleets of autonomous vehicles seamlessly traversing road networks, wirelessly connected, perfectly aware of their surroundings and other vehicles, expertly avoiding conflicts. But what happens during the transition from manually-driven to

TDM best practice: Shout out to Greater Richmond Transit Company

By Saumya Jain In an era of falling transit ridership and utopian sustainability goals, Richmond, Virginia, seems to have hit the nail on the head. With the introduction of a bus rapid transit (BRT) line and an overall bus system redesign, the GRTC has increased transit ridership in the region by

Why are they Snapchatting while driving, and what will get them to stop?

By Robbie Webber A study from Australia gives some insights into use of social media while driving, looking not just at the incidence, but also what deters the behavior. But while the study began as a general look at use of all social media by young drivers, it ended up focused on the use of

Active transportation fatalities spike again

By Robbie Webber Although cars are getting safer, saving drivers and passengers from dying on our roads and highways, the number of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths are increasing dramatically. The latest numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic Safety Facts show

Computers are making roadside data collection quicker, easier, and more accurate

By Chris McCahill Researchers recently developed ways of combining the vast information available from Google Street View with custom AI programs to generate highly accurate inventories of street signs. The effort focused specifically on stop and yield signs, but these kinds of algorithms could

UK scientists warn of resource costs in transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050

By Michael Brenneis The necessary transition away from burning fossil fuels for transportation could be quite resource intensive. So say leading UK scientists in a recent letter to the UK Committee on Climate Change, in response to their recommended target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by

Uber: Behind the scenes

By Saumya Jain In the past few weeks, Uber and Lyft drivers protesting unfair pay, poor working conditions, and lack of transparency have generated headlines across all media platforms. It has also surfaced that rideshare drivers have been manipulating the apps to prompt surge pricing, an attempt

Shifting from LOS to VMT would save time, money, and better support local goals

By Beth Osborne Two recent studies suggest that California’s change in assessing the impact of development—from level of service (LOS) to vehicle miles traveled (VMT)—can reduce costs for developers and streamline the review of projects. Under the new guidelines, both studies to determine

Want to increase transit ridership without adding service? Make it easy to get to the stations

By Eric Sundquist As in the United States, many rail transit lines in Sydney, Australia, have imperfect connections to the local street and pedestrian networks. In Sydney, 44 of 178 rail transit stations have entrances on only one side, necessitating long walks for unlucky travelers seeking to