Virginia adopts multimodal, competitive project scoring process

Last year Virginia enacted legislation to select state-supported transportation projects through a multimodal, competitive process. The law prescribed five areas to be considered in the scoring, along with project cost: congestion mitigation, economic development, accessibility, safety, environmental quality and land use. The relative weights of those elements, and details of how to assess project benefits in those categories, were left to the rulemaking process, which concluded June 17.

Beyond mobility—prioritizing accessibility in urban transportation

The San Francisco Transit Accessibility Map is a new online tool showing how much of the city is accessible by transit or walking within a selected travel time. Although the map is useful as is, it also presents an enormous opportunity to develop a richly layered analysis that could be used to understand accessibility more broadly by adding data on non-work as well as work destinations. It could also highlight the need to improve accessibility for underserved areas.

Report ranks metropolitan areas by transit accessibility

Researchers at the University of Minnesota released a new report ranking major metropolitan areas in terms of their accessibility to jobs by transit. The new Access Across America report complements the group’s 2013 release, which measured job accessibility by automobile, and builds upon their ongoing efforts to develop tools for assessing transportation performance in terms other than mobility and congestion.

Regional accessibility metric offers powerful approach to transportation system planning

Researchers at the University of Minnesota developed a measure of multimodal accessibility for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, which they hope can be implemented in metropolitan areas around the nation as an alternative to commonly-used congestion metrics for prioritizing transportation projects and planning system improvements. For decades, transportation system performance has been measured in terms of traffic congestion and delay, both at the project scale and the regional scale. Developers of the new accessibility measure flip the equation by asking what the value of accessibility is, rather than what the costs of congestion are.

New accessibility tools available from Walk Score

For agencies that want to address the land use-transportation connection, Walk Score now provides a new form of accessibility measure, as well as data to help measure trends over time. The firm is offering a way to measure the depth of choices of destinations such as groceries or parks, in a platform called ChoiceMaps.

Land Use and Transportation Scenario Analysis and Microsimulation (LUTSAM) Tool (SSTI and DelDOT, 2012)

With SSTI assistance, Delaware DOT has developed its four-step demand model for scenario planning, using off-the-shelf GIS and simulation software. The tool, called Land Use and Transportation Scenario Analysis and Microsimulation (LUTSAM), enables DelDOT to quickly model and display development scenarios, providing communities and developers with analysis on traffic, congestion, emissions and other outcomes. LUTSAM will dramatically demonstrate, in real-world cases, the cost and environmental advantages of well-connected, compact and mixed use development. It is currently being used in a variety of settings around the state. Because it is built around standard software, it is adaptable for other states, MPOs and cities seeking to improve their land use and transportation planning.

Reducing Costs in Kansas through Transportation Efficient School Siting (SSTI, 2012)

This report was produced by SSTI at the request of the Kansas Department of Transportation in order to better understand the implications of school site selection, particularly transportation-related costs, and how to improve the site selection process in Kansas. It provides a series of recommendations for improving the school site selection process in Kansas with a focus on increasing understanding and coordination between school districts and other levels of government that may be impacted by their decisions.

Reducing Costs in Kansas through Transportation Efficient School Siting (SSTI, 2012)

This report was produced by SSTI at the request of the Kansas Department of Transportation in order to better understand the implications of school site selection, particularly transportation-related costs, and how to improve the site selection process in Kansas. It provides a series of recommendations for improving the school site selection process in Kansas with a focus on increasing understanding and coordination between school districts and other levels of government that may be impacted by their decisions.