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School site selection: considering transportation impacts on students

By Brian Lutenegger Safe Routes to School programs help make it easier and safer for students to walk or bike to school. The problem is that schools are often sited on previously undeveloped, inexpensive land at the edge of the community, far from where students live. This means it may be

Safety and speed management: Speeding into a crash?

By Saumya Jain According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in the past 25 years 37,000 additional people have died due to increased speed limits in the United States. However, Canada is taking a very different approach to speed, as detailed in the

Some drivers are more distracted by phones than others

By Michael  Brenneis With vehicle-related fatalities exceeding 40,000 annually, the search is on to isolate causes. On the distraction front, the driver behavior analytics company Zendrive has released its 2018 Distracted Driving Snapshot. The study looks at 4.5 million Zendrive users, driving

Cambridge enshrines protected bike lanes into law

By Robbie Webber Cambridge has become the first city in the U.S. to require protected bike lanes on reconstructed streets, if those streets are part of the city’s 20-mile bicycle network plan. This is not just an internal policy, but is included in municipal ordinance. And being legally

New study looks at the system-level factors that impact BRT ridership

By Brian Lutenegger A new study by researchers at Hanyang University in Korea and the Georgia Institute of Technology examines the factors that affect bus rapid transit (BRT) ridership at the system level. The researchers’ analysis examined 111 BRT systems around the world. Service supply

TDOT puts Complete Streets policy into practice

By Rayla Bellis The Tennessee Department of Transportation adopted a “multimodal access” policy in 2015, but recognized that the policy alone would have limited impact without a more comprehensive approach to improving safety for everyone. Since then, TDOT has taken steps to update

New York approves plan to implement congestion tolling: Beginning of a new trend?

By Chet Edelman As part of its recently passed $175 billion budget, the state of New York is allowing for congestion tolling to be implemented in New York City. While several key questions remain unanswered, the basic plan calls for charging vehicles entering Manhattan south of 60th Street a $9

Maryland designs for calmer traffic on urban highway

By Michael Brenneis Arterials bounded by urban or suburban development cease to function exclusively as throughways, and are good candidates for reconfiguration to support the land uses that surround them. As more bicyclists and pedestrians use a corridor, conflict with motor vehicles and

Netflix-of-transportation app guiding users toward sustainable mode choices

By Saumya Jain The Whim app , which some call the “Netflix of transportation,” is now a year old. The app works on the principle of mobility as a service (MaaS) and partners with local public and private transportation providers, bundling transit and taxi fares, bikeshare trips, and other

Shorter commutes make for more reliable workers

By Chris McCahill There’s no shortage of research suggesting that longer commutes can take a toll on workers’ health and happiness. But if that doesn’t concern employers and public officials, a new study out of Australia shows that longer commutes also translate into lower job performance

VMT moderates after recession-driven swings

By Eric Sundquist U.S. vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), which had declined during the recession and then spiked, returned to a more normal level in 2018. According to FHWA’s Travel Monitoring Trends data, total VMT grew by 0.4 percent in 2018. That rate was slower than population growth, resulting

A tool to estimate the added VMT from highway expansions

By Michael Brenneis and Eric Sundquist Since passage of S.B. 743 in 2013, California agencies have wrestled with questions around the added travel and emissions resulting from land use and transportation projects. On the land use side, see SSTI’s recent webinars about land-use review reforms in

Lessons from nine states bringing ‘practical solutions’ from policy to practice

By Rayla Bellis Smart Growth America recently concluded two years of technical assistance with nine state DOTs (Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Iowa, Virginia, Maine, and Delaware). The projects focused on “Accelerating Practical Solutions,” and addressed

Methodology for prioritizing streets for multimodal treatments

By Robbie Webber Building Complete Streets can assure that our transportation network is safe and comfortable for all road users: people biking, walking, and taking transit, as well as drivers of cars. But which streets are most appropriate for Complete Streets treatments—to encourage

Larger cities offering TNC trips to improve transit options

By Chet Edelman As transit ridership continues to fall in urban areas nationwide, several cities are turning to an unlikely ally to make transit service more appealing and convenient: TNCs. In cities such as Dallas, Los Angeles, and Denver, transportation agencies are partnering with Lyft, Uber,