Utah and Washington DOTs measure connectivity across highways under recent federal pilot program

The state DOTs in Washington (WSDOT) and Utah (UDOT) recently developed methods to evaluate the comfort, safety, and connectivity of active transportation networks, focusing on bicycle and pedestrian connectivity across highways. The studies leverage newer data sources and GIS techniques to think about how highways can create barriers for nearby communities and how major corridors can be made more permeable.

Pedestrians respond to built environment changes, according to study

With consistent growth in most urbanized areas around the world, changes to the built environment to accommodate multimodal travel will become one of our most important adaptations. A recent study from Melbourne, Australia, of pedestrian flows over five years found that built environmental changes accounted for 50-60% of the increase in foot traffic in the downtown region.  

A small town transforms its main street and community

The town of Hillsboro, Virginia, is celebrating the reopening of its main street—Virginia State Route 9—after extensive reconstruction. The installation of sidewalks, crossings, parking, and traffic circles at either end of town has helped to slow traffic and restore a residential feel to this more than 200-year-old rural hamlet.

Underreported crashes are a barrier to making streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians

Transportation agencies often rely on police generated crash reports for improving roadway design and making streets safer for all users. A recent study from Washington, D.C., however, found that almost one in three car crashes involving a cyclist or a pedestrian goes unreported. With such a wide gap in data, it is quite possible agencies don’t fully understand the real risks pedestrians and cyclists—the most vulnerable users—face, let alone address those risks. 

Bike facilities often follow income gains, not the other way around

A new study found little evidence that new bike infrastructure leads to displacement of low-income households or people of color, despite the two sometimes being linked in public discourse. The data reveal some bias toward mostly white neighborhoods in terms of where new facilities are installed, but sharrows, or markings that indicate a preferred bicycle route, account for more of the difference than separated bike lanes.