Driverless car concept uses ‘virtual eyes’ to connect with pedestrians - Curbed

Of the many challenges facing driverless car technology, communicating with pedestrians is among the most perplexing of tasks. How, exactly, do you broadcast intent? And can cars build trust? While some companies are betting on LED screens to do their talking, Jaguar Land Rover has another idea. The British car maker recently unveiled a concept called Virtual Eyes, and it’s a totally goofy vision of what our driverless future could look like. The company’s designers outfitted a driverless pod with an oversized set of emoji eyes. The eyeballs, located where the headlights should be, make eye contact and follow pedestrians as they cross the street. Not creepy at all! Click here to read the ful

Can cities use red light cameras to enforce bus and bike lanes? - Mobility Lab

Andy’s article yesterday about Seoul’s holistic bus redesign mentioned something really interesting: that the city patrols dedicated bus lanes with red light cameras. Andy wrote: “Seoul’s Transport Operation and Information Service (TOPIS) provides citywide enforcement of the lanes using unmanned cameras that confirm the registration of any cars who dare use them illegally within five minutes.” Vigilant enforcement like in Seoul is one of the five ingredients necessary for effective bus lanes, according to the National Capital Region (NCR)’s Transportation Planning Board 2017 report. While part of this monitoring is police presence, another integral piece is traffic cameras. American cities

Making Progress on Baltimore’s Bumpy Road to Bike Safety - Next City

On a warm, sunny afternoon in mid-June, longtime bike advocate Liz Cornish was returning home from a Baltimore City Council hearing when she noticed a large tiller fire truck — the kind with a secondary steering wheel for its tail end — parked in front of her house on Maryland Avenue in central Baltimore. Five higher-ranking Fire Department officials were also there, not responding to an emergency, but participating in the filming of a video intended to highlight the obstacles that bike lanes pose to emergency vehicle access. “I recognized it immediately as a [fire] truck I had never seen in my neighborhood before,” Cornish recalls. “I was taken aback and I was angry because it really looked

What American cities can learn from Seoul’s 2004 bus redesign - Mobility Lab

Bus redesigns aren’t a new idea. When Seoul – a city pursuing a car-first approach to surface transportation to satisfy the dreams of an increasingly wealthy population – faced plummeting bus ridership in the early 2000s, the city decided to act. Thanks to bus route redesigns and an extensive network of dedicated lanes, transit ridership surged, helping Seoul return space to people, overcome the seductive status-setting appeal of car ownership, and restore a stunning downtown creek (that had, ironically, been paved over by a highway). Here’s how they did it. Seoul’s transit death spiral wasn’t unique By 2002, Koreans’ per-capita income had increased 40-fold from 1970 levels, and soccer fans

Transportation management website,, is a winner - The Mercury

KING OF PRUSSIA — The Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Assoc. has been recognized for its website: The Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Assoc. received the 2018 Marketing and Outreach Award, presented during the Association of Commuter Transportation International Conference held recently in Anaheim, Calif. The marketing and outreach international award, according to a press release, is presented to one Transportation Management Association (TMA) that has developed and implemented a promotion or marketing campaign, “designed to educate and inform the public about commuting options or the broader ideas of transportation planning, impacts of transp

What’s the latest on the KOP rail project? - Philly

In case you didn’t hear, a 4.5-mile extension of the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) connecting King of Prussia, Pa., with Center City and University City is in the early stages of development. The King of Prussia Rail project is expected to cost over $1 billion, and could be up and running as early as 2023, saving passengers between KOP and Philly around 30 minutes of daily travel time. To get an update on how the project is going, the King of Prussia Rail Coalition is taking the convo online, with a series of webinars explaining the social and economic implications of the project, as well as the latest specs on the transit line. Up first, on Sept. 18, is SEPTA Director of Strategic Plann

The not-so-secret trick to cutting solo car commutes: Charge for parking by the day - The Seattle Ti

Back in 2008, when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation applied for permits to build its new, $500 million, boomerang-shaped headquarters across from Seattle Center, the city of Seattle had a few requirements. To ease the impact of 1,200 new full-time employees in the area, the Gates Foundation could no longer offer free parking and it had to reduce the number of employees who drove alone to work. At the time, nearly 90 percent of Gates Foundation employees drove alone. A year after the new headquarters opened in 2011, the number was 42 percent. Last year it was 34 percent. Funded by the world’s richest man, the Gates Foundation has plenty of resources to devote to altering its employees’ com

Can apps really save us from traffic? - Mobility Lab

With the popularity of “smart cities” and tech companies getting into the transportation space, we have to ask: are apps going to make our transportation problems go away? Two articles this morning seem to believe they can. A new app from researchers at the University of Maryland “gamifies” commuting – in other words, rewards commuters with points (and even monetary prizes, like Amazon gift cards) for using public transportation and carpooling instead of driving alone. And Columbus, Ohio is requesting bids from tech companies to build an all-in-one transit app: the epitome of the “mobility as a service” field where users subscribe to one platform (like Netflix) to access all of their transpo

3 small (but important) things Montreal’s bike infrastructure gets right - Mobility Lab

Last month I went to Montreal for a long weekend, and the city’s bicycle infrastructure blew my mind. Protected. Bike lanes. Everywhere! Never. Empty. Bikeshare docks! It felt like the alternative history of the United States, in which the goal of urban planning is to improve people’s quality of life, not move cars quickly. Like many cities that developed innovative transportation infrastructure earlier than others, Quebecers feel that Montreal’s bike infrastructure – developed in the 1980s – has stalled. “People here ride bikes in spite of the infrastructure,” Zvi Leve, a transportation expert affiliated with the Montreal Bike Coalition, told me. “Even simple things, like keeping the paint

What Ends Up On the Sidewalk - CityLab

Whatever the Poop Patrol will be wearing as they power-wash feces off San Francisco’s sidewalks, let’s hope they get a great embroidered patch. Armed with steam cleaners, a crew from the city’s Department of Public Works will target downtown alleys and sidewalks for human and animal droppings starting next month, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. They’ll start their vigil in the afternoon, aiming to clear deposits that appear after overnight crews have done their cleaning, but before any residents complain. In the eyes of conservative media outlets, San Francisco’s ongoing shit saga is the latest expression of progressive urban politics gone haywire. That’s not true. That there are “more

Here’s what Sidewalk Labs’s Toronto smart city could look like - Curbed

Sidewalk Labs has revealed its first peek at a plan to convert a slice of Toronto’s waterfront into a hyper-connected, sustainable neighborhood of the future. Almost a year ago, Sidewalk Labs chose an 800-acre tract of land along Lake Ontario to prototype a brand-new community in partnership with local redevelopment agency Waterfront Toronto. The plan is to invest $50 million in smart city solutions—“mixing people-centered urban design with cutting-edge technology”—to create a place where anyone can live, work, or visit. While some renderings of specific Sidewalk Toronto elements have been shared, namely of the streetscapes featuring transportation solutions, there hasn’t been much showing t

15 cities tackling pollution by curbing cars - Curbed

Cities around the world are facing a crisis: Cars are wreaking havoc, snarling streets, and contributing to increased air pollution. The World Health Organization says that around three million deaths every year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution, much of which is emitted as exhaust from the cars we drive every day. As a result, cities like London, Paris, and Seoul are doubling down on car-free policies, aiming to decrease pollutants and make people’s daily lives better. Some regulations call for low-emission zones and the banning of diesel vehicles, since diesel cars are one of the worst sources of urban air pollution. In Germany, where diesel technology was developed, the coun

Montgomery County approves plan for 800 miles of bike paths - Philadelphia Business Journal

Montgomery County plans to add 800 miles of bike paths to its on-road bicycle system. The first bicycle plan for the county was adopted in 1998. “Fast forward 20 years later, and we’ve realized that we haven’t gotten a lot of results out of that plan,” said Matthew Edmond, section chief of transportation for the Montgomery County Planning Commission. “We have about 19.5 miles of bicycle lanes within the county, out of 4,512 miles of roads. “That’s an extremely low percentage,” Edmond points out — in fact, it’s less than half a percent. The new master plan called “Bike Montco,” approved last week, calls for adding bike lanes in towns, near high schools, colleges, and transit stops, and to con

EZ-GO: A fully autonomous, zero emission concept from Renault - Tree Hugger

Something like this could be on the roads by 2022. TreeHugger has said it many times before, but fully autonomous cars probably won't look much like cars anymore. And still, cars are so ingrained in our popular consciousness that I, personally, have a hard time picturing what comes next. Fortunately, the automotive industry is beginning to explore concepts that should help move our collective imagination along. One of the most intriguing I have seen is the Renault EV-GO, an electric, urban and fully autonomous transport module that will be owned and maintained by either public or private transportation services, and which users will be able to hail using their smart phone, watch or—presumabl

Who Do You Imagine When You Imagine Biking in Cities - Next City

José Umberto Barranco was a 32-year-old Orange County man killed in 2007 by a drunk driver who struck him as he was riding his bicycle home from work at a Denny’s in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. He was one of many working-class people, day laborers, and Latino immigrants who ride bicycles as a necessity. That incident helped one Chicana activist from San Juan Capistrano realize bicycle advocates weren’t discussing the needs of riders like Barranco, who in the transportation world are considered as “transit-dependent” or “captive riders.” “What Jose Umberto Barranco’s death said to me was that this wasn’t just a matter of vehicle choice, bikes versus cars … Race and class hierarchy were mixed

Where Ride-Hailing and Transit Go Hand in Hand

Ever planned to take the bus, but wound up calling an Uber? That’s what the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority did in 2016. That year, ridership across St. Petersburg, Florida’s fixed route bus lines plummeted by 11 percent—twice the drop PSTA experienced in the first year of the recession, and one of the deepest declines of any major U.S. system. Pinellas County constituents had recently rejected the concept of transit even more directly: PSTA’s one-cent “Greenlight Pinellas” sales tax proposal to spread bus service and build a light rail system bombed at the ballots in 2014. That forced the agency to eliminate some of its existing routes, and to rethink how it was doing business. So it ca

Scooter startup Bird plans to fund protected bike lanes - Curbed

Bird, the rapidly expanding dockless electric scooter company, announced two new initiatives this morning seeking to position the company as a safety leader among the current crop of urban mobility startups—and help give its users safe places to ride in cities. The Los Angeles-based firm announced that it will form a new Global Safety Advisory Board led by David Strickland, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and more recently, spokesperson for the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, that will “create, advise, and implement global programs, campaigns, and products to improve the safety of those riding Birds and other e-scooters.” Bird’s statement

Why funding for transportation demand management matters - Mobility Lab

Welcome to our 12 Days of Mobility series, which celebrates the launch of our Transportation Cost-Savings Calculator, a tool that measures the return of investment from transportation demand management (TDM) programs. Click the image to see the entire series. There’s a misconception that getting Americans to use public transportation, walking, or biking is a waste of money because all Americans “intrinsically” love to drive. But this idea rests on the (mistaken) premise that Americans decided out of their own free will that driving would be their only mode. The truth is that our public policy has for decades concentrated on making it easier for people to drive and harder to walk, bike, or us

Why we need to teach kids about multimodal transportation - Mobility Lab

Welcome to our 12 Days of Mobility series, which celebrates the launch of our Transportation Cost-Savings Calculator, a tool that measures the return of investment from transportation demand management (TDM) programs. Click the image to see the entire series. “You drive right?” was something I texted my friend last week to make sure we would be able to meet up at a café. I didn’t even think about other ways to get there, like walking or biking – my question was just a simple reflection on that I had always driven to this place so therefore my friend was going to drive there, too. You could attribute this to how driving is often the default mode in the United States, or the people who are sho

Mayors are fighting the EPA’s fuel-efficiency rollback. What cities need are fewer cars. - Curbed

Today, the group of 407 mayors formed to protest the U.S.’s exit from the Paris climate accord joined a growing chorus of politicians and environmentalists in denouncing the Trump administration’s plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards—a plan to erase the country’s ambitious fuel-efficiency goals and severely hamper the fight against climate change. Any leader that wants clean air and healthy communities should clearly oppose this move. But true climate mayors should be working harder to promote policies in their cities that would make it easier for drivers to stay out of their cars in the first place—and most of these mayors aren’t doing it. Almost half of the country’s population an


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