Latest News

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

Falling VMT and Insurance Rates with PAYD?

In its Clean Energy and Climate Plan, the authors assert that a mandatory charge-per-mile system for the entire state would reduce VMT by up to 9.5%. Massachusetts would like to find out. For a voluntary system, the reduction would be approximately 2%.  

Falling Gas Demand

After decades of increasing demand for gasoline, the decline that began in 2007 is expected to accelerate, according to a experts from consulting, industry and environmental groups cited in this article.  

More Ways to Pay Higher London Congestion Charging Fee

The BBC reports that London’s charge for entering the center city has been increased from 8 pounds to 10 pounds in 2011, but the area to which it applies has been reduced in size. There are more options for paying, including license plate recognition technology.  

Equitable VMT reduction is possible, WSDOT report finds

An effective statewide VMT reduction program would not necessarily harm the poor and other vulnerable groups, a new report from the Washington State Department of Transportation finds.  The report counters objections that such programs would be inequitable. The report estimates the potential

From the Community of Practice: Impacts of VMT Reduction Strategies on Selected Areas and Groups

The Washington State Department of Transportation released a report [PDF] that examines impacts of VMT reduction strategies on selected groups and geographic areas.  As described in the report’s abstract:  “The State of Washington has established benchmarks for reducing vehicle miles

Governor Abercrombie Approves Final Honolulu Rail Transit EIS

Hawaii’s Governor Abercrombie accepted the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Honolulu Rail Transit project on December 16.  With the governor’s acceptance, the City of Honolulu anticipates that the FTA will issue a record of decision (ROD), which will allow the City