planning

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

Motor vehicle dependence is making us sick: How transportation and urban planners are part of the solution

By Mary Ebeling A recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet focuses on prevention strategies for the global epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) stemming from an unsustainable reliance on a transportation system reliant on fossil fuels. Such diseases include such as traffic

How a Chicago suburb became car-lite and lessons for other communities

By Robbie Webber In a provocatively titled article—The Suburb That Tried to Kill the Car—Politico digs into how the Chicago suburb of Evanston reinvented itself through transit-oriented development. With side trips to Curitiba, Brazil and Chicago, as well as examples from other U.S. cities,

Frankenbike assessing the state of Seattle’s bike trails

By Bill Holloway While vans equipped with specialized measurement devices are used extensively by transportation agencies to assess roadway pavement conditions, the condition of bike trails has not generally received the same level of attention. However, Alta Planning + Design is now using a

Trombino: “System is going to shrink”

By Eric Sundquist Iowa DOT Secretary Paul Trombino created a minor wave in the blogosphere last week when he told an Urban Land Institute audience that the state’s highway and rail system was too big to maintain and would need to shrink. An excerpt of Trombino’s speech, as reported by Charles

Caltrans achieves first state road award from Greenroads

By Robbie Webber The Presidio Parkway Phase I in San Francisco is the first state highway to be awarded a Greenroads certificate, indicating a high level of environmental sensitivity and sustainability during design and construction of the roadway. The project received a Bronze Rating. For years

State DOTs recognize benefits of supporting local land use planning

By Chris McCahill As part of a new grant program, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) recently funded three local projects aimed at better coordinating transportation and land use decisions. VTrans has partnered with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to award

Using Life Cycle Cost Analysis to control costs and inform project selection and development

by Mary Ebeling A new report examining if and how state DOTs use Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) in project development and planning revealed that these types of tools see limited use by transportation agencies. New emphasis on performance-based planning and decision making is pushing more DOTs

Research and practice show that compact, connected street networks can result in improved health and safety outcomes

By Chris Spahr Urban planning and public health have a long history together as demonstrated by the famous story of Dr. John Snow who, in 1854, mapped the cholera deaths within a particular 10-day period on Broad Street in London. Through his spatial analysis, he traced the cholera epidemic to a

What do video games and transportation planning have in common?

By Chris Spahr A new approach to the idea of visualization is using the real-time 3D tools that are normally reserved for interactive video games. Excitement is building in the transportation-planning world over 3D visualizations created by Spencer Boomhower of Cupola Media.  While visualization