State transportation departments need to give up on cars - Curbed

With a one-mile tunnel below a convention center set to join Las Vegas’s many transportation spectacles, another important detail got sidelined in last week’s hoopla: Vegas might be the Boring Company’s first paying customer, but Maryland’s transportation department is seriously considering building a similar tunnel for cars that would run from Washington D.C. to Baltimore. The Maryland project was first proposed by Elon Musk as a hyperloop, which would have transported passengers in a frictionless tube at speeds of over 700 miles per hour. But the environmental report commissioned by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)—which is open for public comment until June 11—shows a prop

City streets safer than suburban roads, study finds - Plan Philly

New research from the University of Pennsylvania shows that denser cities and towns can save lives. The four-year long study compared Pennsylvania Department of Transportation records of all car accidents in a five-county region with population data, socioeconomic factors, different road types, and other factors. The resulting analysis, which examined collision data from 2010 and 2014, showed that the densest parts of the region –– like downtown Philly or suburban town centers –– had lower accident rates than more sprawling areas. “In general, at least in a relatively dense city like Philadelphia, you see traffic safety benefits coming with high density,” said Erick Guerra, co-author of the

Protect Yourself! Separated Bike Lanes Means Safer Streets, Study Says - Streets Blog USA

Cities that build protected lanes for cyclists end up with safer roads for people on bikes and people in cars and on foot, a new study of 12 large metropolises revealed Wednesday. Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico discovered cities with protected and separated bike lanes had 44 percent fewer deaths than the average city. “Protected separated bike facilities was one of our biggest factors with being associated with lower fatalities and lower injuries for all road users,” study co-author Wesley Marshall, a University of Colorado Denver engineering professor, told Streetsblog. “If you’re going out of your way to make your city safe for a broader r

Maryland county looks to build on the success of a new, limited-stop bus route - Mobility Lab

Buses traversing Montgomery County, Md.’s limited-stop Ride On ExtRa Route 101 have gotten fuller and fuller since they began operating in October 2017. The Bethesda-Gaithersburg route’s 12 percent ridership increase over the past year and a half was achieved despite competition from low gas prices and investor-subsidized ride hailing. This contrasts strongly with national trends, as well as the county’s overall bus ridership numbers, which have fallen 11 percent during that time, according to internal Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) figures. Route 101, though today just a weekday rush-hour-only service, could be the beginning of a bright future for mobility in Washing

Can the U.S. curb gas-powered cars by 2040? - Curbed

Last week, federal legislation was proposed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate that could radically shift the way the U.S. tackles its climate crisis. The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act would eliminate the sale of gas-powered passenger cars in the U.S. by 2040. “The climate crisis is a defining issue of our time, and we must pursue bold measures commensurate with the enormous challenge we face,” said Rep. Mike Levin, a Democrat from Southern California, who introduced the bill last Friday with Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat who had proposed a similar bill last year. “We can combat climate change aggressively, improve public health, and lead the world in manufacturing inno

Bicycle sharing pilot program to launch Monday in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge - The Record

A new bicycle-sharing pilot program described as smart, dockless and on-demand is finally set to launch Monday in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. The program including more than 100 orange-and-white Dropbikes was supposed to begin last year. But Matthew Lumsden, manager of operations and strategic initiatives with Drop Mobility, the company that operates the transportation service in numerous North American markets, said finalizing details such as stakeholder involvement and hub locations took more time than expected. The company also redesigned the Dropbike, which has evolved from earlier models. “They were solid, good bikes, but they didn’t meet the standards that we uphold for ourselve

A Great Big Freeway — Thanks to Induced Demand - StreetsBlog USA

Los Angeles is getting what it paid for when it widened 10 miles of its most infamous freeways — another lane of traffic. The extra lane of the I-405 between the 10 and the 101 freeways that opened in May, 2014, to supposedly alleviate congestion actually ended up adding a minute of travel time for drivers of the 10-mile stretch — and new data shows congestion is even worse. The $1.6-billion infrastructure investment, known as the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project, still resembles the parking lot at a Guns & Roses concert. Average commuting times through the Sepulveda Pass in both directions have gotten even longer in the last four years, according to data analyzed by the traffic anal

Berkeley, California, Plans for a Transit-Oriented Future - Next City

There are a lot of reasons that Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín is excited for San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit to build homes on a series of parking lots around the North Berkeley BART Station. Most obviously, the whole Bay Area — the whole state of California — is facing an acute housing crisis. North Berkeley specifically has seen little residential development over the years, he says, with exclusive housing patterns going back to racist policies like redlining and restrictive deed covenants. And then there’s the urgent need for every city, everywhere, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and placing future residents close to public transit is a good way to reduce car travel. “Right now

Report: U.S. addiction to building new roads eating up money needed for maintenance - Curbed

How can more spending mean worse results? Thanks to American transportation policy, it’s a reality painfully understood by millions of drivers, who commute on a deteriorating network of roads right as local and state transit agencies spend increasing sums of money on new highways. “Repair Priorities 2019,” a report released today by Transportation for America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, found that between 2009 and 2017, the percentage of U.S. roads in “poor condition” increased from 14 to 20 percent, while 37 states saw the percentage of their roads in poor condition increase from 2009 to 2017. It’s typically assumed that a lack of funding for basic repairs causes this problem. But accor

Should D.C. Toll Streets During Peak Traffic Periods? Council Wants To Study ‘Congestion Pricing’ -

Traffic in Washington is already bad and could get worse when autonomous vehicles arrive. But D.C. Council members want to look at ways to reduce congestion and delays and move more people than cars. So how do you do that? Hit people in the wallet. With tolls. The Council included almost half a million dollars in its budget to study the idea known as “congestion pricing.” A major business group, the Greater Washington Partnership, is also on board, but some local officials say there are more things that can be done before tolls. The “transportation demand management” idea has been executed in the region in a few different forms, including the High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-95 and the Beltway

Rhode Island creating model for people-focused transit corridor in downtown - Mobility Lab

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on how Providence and the entire Rhode Island region are making redesigns for a new era of diversified transportation options for people. As Providence, RI embraces a vision of mixed-use transit-oriented development, residents miss the frequent and reliable service of streetcars. The city even received federal funding for a proposed shuttle-like, mixed-traffic streetcar route comparable to those now operating in numerous U.S. downtowns. But rather than constructing such a streetcar route, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is taking an incremental approach to improving its transit system. Providence’s first step: using funds originally intended for

Uber’s a public company. Now what?

There were no splashy announcements accompanying Uber’s initial public offering Friday morning. And the person chosen to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange wasn’t CEO Dara Khosrowshahi or exiled founder Travis Kalanick but the company’s first intern, Austin Geidt, who started her career by handing out flyers to potential riders on the streets of San Francisco almost a decade ago. “We are focusing on what we can control,” said Khosrowshahi, a surprisingly subdued sentiment about the biggest tech IPO in years. It was a calculated departure from the stock market debut of Uber’s arch-rival Lyft a few weeks earlier. Lyft’s founders rang the bell remotely at a hot-pink pop-up spa

The Great American Rail-Trail Is Really Coming - City Lab

If you’re avid American cyclist, odds are you’ve harbored this dream: a sea-to-shining-sea cross-country bike trek, the sort of epic journey Jerry Cowden took from Arlington, Virginia, all the way to Astoria, Oregon, when he retired from his job at the FCC in 2009. “I went out my back door, got on my bike, and didn’t stop until I got to the Pacific Ocean, 106 days later,” he says. Cowden’s path west traced the TransAmerica Trail, a set of cross-country routes on backroads originally mapped for the 1976 Bikecentennial ride, and the Katy Trail, a recreational rail-trail in Missouri. That helped him minimize his encounters with motor vehicle traffic. But he says he did have to deal with a few s

The Technology That Could Transform Congestion Pricing - City Lab

Now that New York City has adopted congestion pricing in an effort to rein in traffic and raise revenue desperately needed to upgrade public transportation, other American cities are taking a closer look at this often-contentious technique. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle have all recently released requests-for-proposals to begin studying the possibilities and implications of congestion pricing. As cities study the ins and outs of charging motorists to enter central districts, there hasn’t been much attention devoted to one critical part of congestion pricing package: the technology. How will tolls be collected? How will cities insure compliance in the charging zone? And how will our

Transit information screens should be everywhere, not just at stations - Mobility Lab

Real-time transit information – knowing exactly when the bus is coming – is a game changer. With transit ridership declining across the country, reliable information can increase ridership and improve passenger experience, studies show. The two main ways of accessing real-time information is by checking your smartphone or viewing a screen mounted in a public place. These dynamic message boards are usually mounted in transit stations, but survey results from our new report on real-time transit information (pictured to the right) suggest that Arlington, Va. transit riders would like to see more of these screens around the county. The most popular prospective locations for transit screens were

Bus stations don't have to be second-rate, as this one in Tilburg demonstrates - Tree Hugger

Cepezed Architects design a bus station that is elegant and self-sufficient. Margaret Thatcher probably never said, "A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure." But she might have, as many people consider buses second-rate transportation for second-rate people. Angie Schmitt of Streetsblog has complained that in the USA, they will spend a billion bucks on a single highway interchange but leave poor people and seniors out in the rain. She calculates the country could put a shelter over every single bus stop in America "for far less than the cost of a single highway project in Texas. The problem of bad bus stops is not about money. It’s about the st

High-speed rail in the U.S. has new promise, and new pitfalls - Curbed

During a press conference last month to announce that his multifaceted Virgin brand would be taking over a U.S. train line in Florida, British billionaire Richard Branson pointedly criticized the current state of rail service in this country. “People in America have not had the good fortune to experience good train travel for a while,” he told reporters. Branson’s company announcement that it’s collaborating with the Brightline, a privately funded effort to create a higher-speed rail service between some of Florida’s biggest cities, gives energy to flagging efforts to develop better rail options in the U.S. With Virgin’s new stake in the company—the exact amount hasn’t been disclosed—Brightl

New report: Real-time transit information affects travel behavior in Arlington - Mobility Lab

Transit agencies hoping to attract and retain riders constantly look for ways to enhance the user experience. While reliability and predictability of service remains key, at the heart of this issue sits real-time transit information. RTTI is the information communicated to riders about the current and near-future status of transit – such as predicted arrival time – representing the interface between transit agencies and the users of their systems. Given today’s ubiquitous use of technology, providing RTTI is both critical and challenging. It is critical since this information plays a significant role in people’s perceptions and use of public transportation, as much previous research has show

San Diego Transportation Plan Shifts Emphasis From Roads to Rails - Next City

San Diego Transportation Plan Trades Asphalt for Steel In a historic change of emphasis, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) released a long-range transportation plan last Friday that will spend billions on new and improved rail transit lines while cutting back on highway spending. According to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, SANDAG’s new transportation plan calls for adding hundreds of miles of high-speed transit lines extending east to Poway, north to Escondido and up the coast to Oceanside. It also calls for a new light rail line from the Otay Mesa border crossing, north through National City and downtown San Diego before ending in Oceanside. When all the routes cal


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