Latest News

Shining a light: New York City’s new zoning handbook

In releasing a new zoning handbook, New York City’s Planning Commissioner, Amanda Burden, extolled its virtues: “Zoning is the language of the city, it is a three-dimensional blueprint for what any area of the city can become. After City Planning released the Zoning Handbook in 2005, I was

Dimming the lights without diminishing safety

In a pilot project, the Maryland Highway Administration is investigating whether fewer highway lights can be used without compromising safety.

Public-private partnerships for transportation: A toolkit for legislators

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a report designed to help promote a sound public policy approach when considering Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) related to transportation projects. The website notes: “With the growing interest in PPPs, the debate over their use

Older driver program five-year strategic plan

With more than 32 million drivers currently over 65 years old, a number which is expected to grow to 40 million by 2020, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to enhance its ongoing older driver efforts to prevent crash fatalities and injuries. Its five-year strategic plan

TRB webinar: Target-Setting Methods and Data Management to Support Performance-Based Resource Allocation by Transportation Agencies

From the TRB newsletter: “TRB will be conducting a webinar on February 23, 2011, from 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. EST that will explore the findings of NCHRP Report 666. The webinar will provide information to senior agency managers about the role of targets in performance-based resource

CO2 emissions from transportation continue to rise

Even where gas prices are higher than in the U.S., CO2 emissions will not decline by market forces alone, according to a recent report [PDF] commissioned by the European Union: The report argues that “meeting climate change mitigation objectives will require a combination of approaches aimed

What does it mean to be No. 1?

Chicago and Washington, DC, tied for having the worst congestion in the nation, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. What this means to commuters is discussed in a Washington Post column “How Commuters Define Misery,” noting that under other definitions Washington doesn’t even

What would be a good Super Bowl ad for the government?

In “A Super Bowl Spot for Uncle Sam,” Harper’s Magazine posts a round table on how the government might use Madison Avenue techniques to sell itself.

Engineers form organization to develop tool for measuring infrastructure sustainability

Engineers are on the bandwagon for measuring sustainability in all its dimensions. As described in a press release from the American Society of Civil Engineers: “A new, independent non-profit organization tasked with developing and administering a sustainability rating system for North

Streetcars dominate new batch of transit projects

Streetcars, once ubiquitous in American cities, are making a major comeback, as noted by Yonah Freemark at The Transport Politic.. This year construction will begin on new streetcar lines in Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Tucson.  In addition, both Portland, OR,

Pay by the Snowflake?

Governing.com writer Andy Kim described a pilot snow-removal program in the city of Quincy, Mass that used pay for performance: “The city’s Department of Public Works awarded a contract to a snow-removal company that pays per inches of snow plowed, rather than the standard pay scheme based on

New Report on Climate Change and Transportation

Actions across three fronts – technological developments, policy changes (including substantially higher fuel efficiency standards), and consumer behavior – could reduce transportation emissions by up to 65 percent from current levels by 2050, according to a report from the Pew Center on

511 Rules: Real-Time System Management Information Program Fact Sheet

FHWA published a fact sheet with highlights and questions about its rulemaking on the real-time system management information program. A final rule was published on November 8, 2010. The rule sets out the provisions and parameters for State DOTs in establishing Real-Time System Management

AASHTO Webinar on Prospects for Federal Legislation

Prognostications are available from a webinar on “What Can State DOTs Expect in Federal Legislation on Climate Change and Energy?” held by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on January 13, 2011.

Gaming the System

In Government by the Numbers, [PDF] authors Daniel Esty and Reece Rushing discuss how data-driven decision-making can work in some instances and not in others. Governing Magazine examines how to avoid using it incorrectly. Data-driven decision-making has to measure the right outcomes to avoid