urban

Oregon moves toward a safer speed-limit approach

By Eric Sundquist The Oregon Transportation Commission last month approved a revised speed-limit guidance that abandons the long-standing-but-arbitrary 85th percentile rule in many cases. Instead of relying on drivers to set speeds by their behavior, the new guidance provides context-based safe

Researchers say investment in infrastructure has the potential to move short trips out of cars

By Robbie Webber Can the rise of new personal mobility options lure drivers out of their cars for short trips? Several recent reports say, “yes,” but only if cities resolve both infrastructure and legal issues surrounding their use. At the same time, examination of walking and biking rates

New NACTO and USDOT Volpe Center reports call for improved vehicle design to increase safety

By Brian Lutenegger A pair of new reports examines how the design of large vehicles—such as fire trucks, garbage and recycling vehicles, and freight trucks—impacts traffic fatalities in cities. These types of vehicles have a disproportionate impact on urban roadway safety for all users.

Death by a thousand trucks: Managing urban freight congestion

By Mary Ebeling As urban residents place orders for online goods with increasing frequency, the challenge of managing urban freight deliveries grows. City street networks—designed for transit, walking, and biking—are unable to handle this level of freight traffic. Cities, freight haulers, and

Maybe urban truck traffic isn’t rising after all

By Bill Holloway One of my posts from last year, which raised the possibility that we may be in the midst of a major increase in urban truck traffic—and the analysis by the Brookings Institution on which it was based—was recently called out as flawed in a blog post by Joe Cortright of City

September webinar: A guide for complete transportation—Arizona DOT’s new design guide

By Mary Ebeling In February, Arizona DOT published its much-anticipated Complete Transportation Guidebook, which ADOT views as a conversation about integrating sustainable transportation practices into the planning, scoping, and design of the project development process. The guide seeks to

Does urban sprawl inhibit upward mobility?

By Robbie Webber A study by Reid Ewing, Shima Hamidi, et al. published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning lends more support to the idea that sprawl can be a deterrent to upward mobility, making it difficult for low-income residents to improve their economic circumstances. Compact metro

Urban truck traffic growing far faster than urban population growth

By Bill Holloway Urban truck traffic has boomed alongside the rise in e-commerce. As shown in a recent Brookings Institution blog post, while both urban truck and passenger VMT have been growing faster than urban populations since the 1960s, urban truck traffic diverged from urban car travel in

Increasing “reverse commuting” inspires innovative transit programs

By Dan Moser Over the last decade, “reverse commuting”—travel from central city residential areas to suburban jobs—has increased significantly. Two trends—increased movement of employment to suburbs and growing preference by some employees for central city living—are driving the

Signs alert drivers: Slow down; there’s congestion ahead

By Bill Holloway Drivers headed for traffic jams largely disregard advisory variable speed limit (VSL) signs intended to slow traffic in advance of downstream congestion. A recent report from the ITS Institute at the University of Minnesota found that drivers are not adjusting their speeds in