Voters across the political spectrum want better transportation options and improved transit

Polling data collected in November and released in March show voters want better transportation options across geographic and party lines. The results indicate that a majority of voters wish they had alternatives to driving, support improving public transit, and want government to fix existing roads before building new ones. While COVID-19 has upended daily life, the results help paint a picture of the transportation system Americans want to see.

Major American automakers eying SUVs over electric vehicles

Transitioning to electric power has been a major focus of state and local agencies trying to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals. That involves rolling out more charging stations, bolstering the grid, and offering incentives for drivers to go electric; but consumers will also need plenty of cars to choose from. American-made options, however, are going to be limited.

Cyclists at elevated risk of injury over non-active commuters

From the UK comes more evidence that improving cycling infrastructure has the potential to advance health. A new paper in the BMJ concludes that while commuting by bicycle has more risk of injury than commuting by non-active modes, active commuting offers substantial benefits to health. Lowering the currently elevated risk of injury to cyclists by improving cycling conditions may encourage more people to commute by active modes and improve the health of the overall population as well as reducing emissions.

VMT ticks up again in 2019

Driving mileage in the United States climbed by just under 0.9 percent in 2019. On a per capita basis, the increase was just under 0.6 percent. The VMT figures come from FHWA’s latest Travel Volume Trends release.

Neighborhood perspectives on gentrification around light rail in Denver

Recent research in Denver aimed to provide a more nuanced answer to the question of how light rail and transit-oriented development have contributed to gentrification. Researchers found that residents generally feel positively about changes to the area around the station studied, with age and tenure in the neighborhood correlated to how they feel about the changes. The most common theme in participants’ verbatim responses was improved “accessibility.”

Sweden and Virginia: Messaging and variable tolls can influence mode choice

Two recent studies demonstrate two approaches to reducing driving. A Swedish study looked at what types of messages influence the choice to drive, while a report from Virginia shows that tolls on the I-66 corridor outside Washington have made a difference in both mode choice and when drivers travel.

Cars park improperly substantially more than scooters or bikes

Micromobility devices, such as scooters and bicycles are sometimes portrayed as scattered about in the public right- of-way, impeding everyone. Looking at the entire right-of-way, how much are bicycles and scooters actually culpable for obstruction? A new paper examines improperly parked scooters, bicycles, and motor vehicles, finding that the biggest offenders are actually motor vehicle drivers.