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Can congestion create kilowatts? Good vibrations from California

California Assemblyman Mike Gatto recently introduced a bill that would require the California Energy Commission to explore the possibility of generating electricity from the rumble of traffic on highways in the state. Piezoelectric technology, which converts vibrations into energy, is currently

IBM Global Commuter Pain Survey: Congestion down, complaints up

The fourth annual “Global Commuter Pain” survey report released by IBM has revealed that although global traffic congestion is lower in 2011, driver complaints have increased in the same time period. Mexico City was rated the “most painful” city for commuters while Montreal, London and

FHWA planning and environment linkages training webinar

The Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) Program, a joint effort of FHWA’s Office of Planning and Office of Project Development and Environmental Review, is offering a training webcast titled “PEL 101: The Tools for Adopting and Implementing a PEL Approach,” at 2:00pm (Eastern) on

Reinventing the urban interstate

TCRP has released a report entitled Reinventing the Urban Interstate: A New Paradigm for Multimodal Corridors. The authors present a new design framework in which multimodal corridors can take one of three forms: Transit oriented multimodal corridors – designed to give transit a performance

Funding infrastructure repairs: Pennsylvania considers its options

Budget constraints and a bleak economic forecast are forcing Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania to consider new ways to fund improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure. The Governor’s advisory commission estimates that $2.7 billion is needed to bring the system to a state of

As gas tax yields less revenue, renewed focus is placed on a mileage tax

Higher fuel efficiency standards and a weak economy have made the motor-fuel tax—the principal fundraiser for road costs in the US for 80 years—increasingly less viable. As better mileage becomes the norm in the American car industry, consumers will use less fuel, thus decreasing government

Alaska “bridge to nowhere,” still on the table

Despite the hammering that it took in the 2008 election campaigns, the “bridge to nowhere” is still on the table, according to a recent Washington Post article. The bridge would connect Anchorage to a nearby peninsula, with a price tag estimated at $4 billion by one financial analyst, and a

Where we are today: Five-year trend from 2005 to 2010 shows less commuting by car

New Census data for 2010 show a gradual trend toward less commuting by car and truck, and more by transit, walking and biking. In the nation as a whole, driving to work edged down to 90.2 percent from 90.9 percent five years earlier. Transit rose to 4.9 percent from 4.7 percent, while ped-bike

And where we might be tomorrow: Bill Ford says “The mobility model we have today, will not work tomorrow.”

Bill Ford of Ford Motor Company spoke on the future of transportation where the world’s current 800 million cars may have increased to 2-4 billion cars by 2050. His concluding thoughts about the infrastructure of tomorrow point to a high-tech optimization of mobility. For another speculation

Saving money on health care: Chicago to institute new wellness plan for city employees

In a time of increasingly tight municipal budgets, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a wellness plan for city employees that will use incentives to save up to $240 million in health costs over the next four years. Following a model used in private industry for some time, the City will soon

Virginia DOT begins public-private partnership to maintain state rest areas

To defray operating and maintenance costs associated with rest areas and welcome centers in the state, the Virginia Department of Transportation recently announced that it has entered into a public-private partnership with CHR Catering to increase revenues. The partnership is part of the

Reducing congestion – Some examples from FHWA of operational strategies

An FHWA Office of Operations report, 2010 Urban Congestion trends: Enhancing System Reliability with Operations, emphasizes the need for more effective use of innovative traffic management and operational strategies. The report details successful strategies states and communities are

Holland’s new ‘truck train’

The Dutch city of Utrecht has a new way to remove trucks from the central city in order to improve air quality and reduce congestion. While some freight is already being delivered directly to stores in the city by barge on the city’s canal network, the new Cargohopper service—an electric

Court strikes down FMCSA’s E-log regulation

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down a rule imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requiring the use of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) by drivers working for carriers that have been found to be significantly out of compliance with HOS rules

Society pays more for trucking

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), released earlier this year, details the far greater marginal costs imposed on society from trucking than rail or waterborne shipping. These costs include public infrastructure costs (such as pavement repair) as well as external costs such as