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Carmel, IN's secret to reducing traffic fatalities? Roundabouts - Smart Cities Dive

Dive Brief: To get congestion, road safety and emissions issues under control, cities should consider installing roundabouts at intersections, Carmel, IN Mayor Jim Brainard told Smart Cities Dive last week. Since he took office in 1996, the city has installed more than 120 roundabouts, which Brainard said have been key in reducing traffic crashes and improving safety. Compared to national average traffic fatality rate of about 12 per 100,000 people, Carmel’s fatality rate is at two per 100,000. Brainard attributes that rate to the roundabouts having narrower lanes, forcing people to slow down. "It's all about speed," Brainard said on the sidelines of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meet

The Spine of San Francisco Is Now Car-Free - CityLab

In a city known for stunning vistas, San Francisco’s Market Street offers a notoriously ugly tangle of traffic. Cars and delivery trucks vie with bikes and pedestrians along this downtown corridor, as buses and a historic streetcar clatter through the mix. Dedicated lanes for transit and bikes end abruptly several blocks from the street’s terminus at the edge of the San Francisco Bay. But the vehicular frenzy is ending, in part: Starting Wednesday, private vehicles—meaning both passenger automobiles and for-hire ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft—may no longer drive down Market, east of 10th Street. Only buses, streetcars, traditional taxis, ambulances, and freight drop-offs are still

D.C. Has Some Of The Longest Commutes In The Country. What Help Is Available? - WAMU

How Long is Your Commute? The D.C. region has one of the longest commutes in the country. Here's how the individual trips break down. In 2017, those who drove to work logged 102 hours sitting on the road due to traffic congestion. That’s the equivalent of more than four days — time that could have been spent pursuing hobbies, meeting up with friends, connecting with family or sleeping. For Scott and others, spending hours a week in transit is a tradeoff for being able to afford a home. “I wanted a decent, single-family house, and what was affordable was up that way,” he says. This echoes a Brooking Institute study that found commutes tend to be longer in metropolitan areas where housing is p

Leslie Richards has taken over as SEPTA’s general manager. She’s all ears. - The Inquirer

Leslie S. Richards is someone you might run into while taking SEPTA. She rides daily. The transportation authority’s new general manager, who succeeded Jeffrey Knueppel in the role earlier this month, takes it from her Montgomery County home and to teach an increasingly popular course at the University of Pennsylvania. She took it to see the “Notorious RBG” exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History on a recent weekend, too. Richards, the second woman to serve in the position, takes her job very seriously. But, with a storied resumé that includes Montgomery County commissioner, chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and PennDot secretary — she still had never quite pic

Which U.S. cities’ transportation networks are doing the best for the climate? - Fast Company

Transportation is the leading source of carbon emissions in the United States, with cars, trucks, planes, trains, and boats emitting 1.9 billion tons of CO2 each year. Cities are facing intense pressure to be more environmentally friendly, but what really makes a city “green” when it comes to transportation? According to a new ranking on the climate impact of transportation in the country’s 100 largest metro areas, it may not be entirely contingent on having a lot of bike lanes or good public transit. Mobile analytics company Streetlight Data released this week its first annual U.S. Transportation Climate Impact Index, a ranking of how carbon friendly the country’s 100 largest metro areas ar

How better bus lanes can fix everyone’s commute - Curbed

It was supposed to lead to a “carpocolypse.” The 14th Street Busway, a long-delayed pilot program in New York City to expedite service by creating bus-only lanes on a major east-west street in the lower half of Manhattan, was predicted to be a disaster for drivers. Ever since the new thoroughfare was opened in mid-October, with red paint clearly marking lanes as bus-only, reports have shown that the new busway not only met its goal of making bus travel faster—9.7 minutes for the entire route, according to a city analysis released in December—but it also had minimal impact on car trips. Surrounding streets saw trips increase by 3.5 minutes at most. The 14th Street Busway in New York City is a

Buses Work Best on Car-Free Streets, MTA Data Shows - StreetsBlog

MTA officials said on Monday that bus lane cameras are speeding up snail-like service along congested corridors, but in the same announcement, the agency ended up emphasizing a strategy that works best, yet is so rarely instituted: getting cars out of the way of buses entirely. In a new analysis issued on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the MTA said that its enforcement cameras on just three Select Bus Service routes — the M15 and M14 in Manhattan and the B44 between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn — have issued 9,110 tickets or warnings to drivers blocking bus lanes between Oct. 7 and Dec. 31. Bus travel speeds are up on all three camera-enforced lines — but they are up dramatically

How Midtown projects launching in 2020 could be huge for crosstown mobility - Curbed

In the estimation of Kevin Green, Midtown Alliance CEO and president, 2020 will be viewed in the annals of Atlanta transportation history as a year both important and exciting. Green has much to be excited about. Following lengthy approval and design processes (a years-long slog, in some cases), Midtown is set for a year of unprecedented growth, as public infrastructural improvements are concerned, with more projects scheduled to break ground than any year before. Roughly $47 million in public improvement efforts is in the works across the district, predicted to begin within months and carry over the next several years. Collectively, the projects “will be hugely important in providing viable

Telecommuting has benefits, but here's why employers aren't more flexible - GreenBiz

More Americans are using flexible workplace practices — including telecommuting, co-working and off-peak start times — to add flexibility to their lives and eliminate or improve their commute. One motivation? Rush hour traffic is getting worse, and commute times are getting longer. For example, the average American today spends close to an hour getting to and from work. It’s worse in big cities. In the greater New York area, commutes average 1 hour 14 minutes round-trip. We’re experts in urban planning and development, and started wondering why worsening traffic wasn’t encouraging more people to telecommute. What do we know about the workplace flexibility? Telecommuting — or working at home

Amid opposition, San Jose approves hotel’s use of San Pedro Square garage - San Jose Spotlight

Despite opposition from neighbors and downtown businesses, San Jose lawmakers approved a plan to allow guests of a proposed 19-story hotel with more than 200 rooms to park off-site at a public parking garage. The arrangement approved Tuesday between the proposed Almaden Corner Hotel and the city to allow hotel guests to use up to 41 parking spaces in the public Market & San Pedro Square parking garage for 10 years. The deal comes with one 10-year renewal option. The off-site parking will be provided to hotel guests via a valet service. The project includes 1,200 square feet of ground floor retail, according to city planning documents. But some downtown residents worry the plan will strip the

How Paris became a cycling success story—and built a roadmap for other cities - Curbed

For cyclists in Paris, the last few years have been nothing short of revelatory. New protected bike lanes have led to a doubling, and even tripling, of the number of riders on some busy main roads. The Champs Elysées is lined with segregated cycling lanes, and more residents of the greater Paris region cycle today than take the busiest line of the city’s Metro. Since 2016, the left bank of the Seine River has been free of motor traffic, creating a new public gathering spot where, CityMetric writes, “cyclists mix with boozy sunbathers, tourists on electric scooters, and giggling children.” Paris’s great success in improving cycling will be one of the lasting legacies of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, wh

Here’s What It Costs To Run An Electric Car And Its True Environmental Impact In Five U.S. Cities -

While it’s indeed true that it costs less and is better for the environment to drive a zero-emissions electric car than a comparable combustion engine model, exactly how cheap and how clean it will wind up can vary significantly from one part of the country to another. For starters, what you will actually pay to drive a given number of miles per year depends on how much your local energy provider charges per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. Likewise, an electric car’s bottom-line environmental effect depends largely upon how a utility generates power. Electric cars tend to be more environmentally friendly when driven in California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest, where renewable ener

Why U.S. Public Transit Ridership Is Finally Growing - CityLab

For the subways, buses, and light rail lines of America, the last five years have been nothing but bad news. Since 2014, low gas prices, aging infrastructure, and the rise of Uber and Lyft have led to spiraling ridership on public transit systems from coast to coast. But the latest statistics from the National Transit Database suggests that a turnaround may be afoot—thanks to service improvements in two major cities. Ridership across U.S. public transit agencies rose 2.2 percent compared to the same time period in 2018, the American Public Transportation Association reported last month. This was the second consecutive quarter to mark an increase, and the first consecutive quarter to post an

CES 2020: Toyota and BIG To Build A Prototype Future City In Japan - Forbes

Toyota Woven City is an urban prototype for the near future. The work of the Japanese car giant and Danish architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, this exciting project proposes a fully connected ecosystem, powered by hydrogen fuel cells. It is a living laboratory for testing and advancing mobility ideas – autonomy, connectivity, alternative-powered infrastructures. Announced at CES 2020, this is much more than a conceptual idea. Starting next year, Toyota Woven City will be constructed on a 708,200 m2 site on the foothills of Mount Fuji in Japan. There will be full-time residents here, as well as researchers testing and developing their ideas. The project is concerned with community-buil

SEPTA Key’s ‘tap to exit’ is expanding at Jefferson Station. Suburban Station is next. - The Philade

SEPTA Key’s rollout onto Regional Rail is moving along with the expansion of its “tap to exit” method at Jefferson Station starting Monday. Riders with the Key or who use legacy passes will need to tap or swipe to exit at about half of the station’s turnstiles beginning next week. The feature will be in effect Mondays through Fridays, from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. for the foreseeable future. Those with paper tickets or who paid their fare with cash who find themselves at a locked turnstile will need to check in with a SEPTA Key ambassador before exiting, according to SEPTA. “The idea behind that is to get it going, to move this forward, but also still have plenty of space to accommodate people wh

Are self-driving cars safe for our cities? - Curbed

Are autonomous vehicles safe? In 2009, Google launched its self-driving project focusing on saving lives and serving people with disabilities. In a 2014 video, Google showed blind and elderly riders climbing into its custom-designed autonomous vehicles, part of the company’s plan to “improve road safety and help lots of people who can’t drive.” Although there were several self-driving projects in the country at the time, many being developed by government agencies or university labs, Google’s project differentiated itself by being public-facing. The goal was not to build cars—although Google did build its own testing prototypes—but to create a self-driving service that would help regular peo

Make room for the e-bikes, the top-selling electric vehicles for the next decade - TreeHugger

A new study from Deloitte predicts what we have said before: e-bikes will eat cars. Recently, after calling the teens the decade of the bicycle, I predicted that the Twenties would be the decade of e-mobility. Now the big consultancy, Deloitte, makes its technology, media and telecommunications predictions for 2020 and calls e-bikes the next big thing. By 2023, the total number of e-bikes in circulation around the world—owned by both consumers and organizations—should reach about 300 million, a 50 percent increase over 2019’s 200 million. These 300 million e-bikes will include both privately owned e-bikes and e-bikes available to share. Deloitte gets why people like e-bikes; they are less wo

Oslo saw zero pedestrian and cyclist deaths in 2019. Here’s how the city did it. - Curbed

Imagine a city the size of Washington D.C. going an entire year without any pedestrians or cyclists being killed on its streets. That’s exactly what happened in Oslo, where officials reported this week that zero pedestrian or cyclist fatalities occurred on the city’s roads in 2019. City data for the Norwegian capital, which has a population of about 673,000, show a dramatic reduction in traffic fatalities, from 41 deaths in 1975 to a single roadway death last year. One adult man was killed in 2019 when his vehicle struck a fence. According to a story in the Norwegian paper Aftenposten, safety advocates are directly attributing the virtual elimination of roadway deaths to recent initiatives w

Area Commuters Disproportionally Affected by Pennsylvania Turnpike Incessant Toll Hikes - Montco.Tod

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is raising its tolls for the twelfth year in a row, buoyed by a 2007 law that has turned the system into a piggy bank that disproportionally affects Philadelphia area commuters, writes Maria Panaritis for The Philadelphia Inquirer. While the law has allowed legislators and governors to avoid increasing taxes for state roads and mass transit, it has also slapped the Philadelphia region with most of the fallout. Thanks to the law, the Pennsylvania Turnpike now does not only take care of its 552 miles of roads and tunnels. It also has to fund unrelated state transportation projects for which it has had to borrow and pay out billions since 2008. The now yearly toll incr

Americans Are Poised to Drive Less In 2020 - StreetsBlog

Americans don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions to drive their cars less, but it may be happening anyway. The average number of miles people drive has plateaued over the past three years at about 9,800 miles a year, approximately 2 percent below the amount motorists traveled in 2004, the Wall Street Journal reported. And car-based commuting trips were lower than any time since 1990, while trips for shopping and recreational activities have also fallen, according to U.S. DOT surveys. Specifically, data show: After rising for much of the 1980s and 1990s, the average number of miles traveled is falling or at least flattening in states with large metropolitan areas with good transit like Cal

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