A pedestrian’s location at the time of a crash often determines who (whether driver and pedestrian) is found at fault, says a new study. Even with a lack of pedestrian infrastructure nearby, pedestrians who cross high-speed arterial roads with bus stops are more likely to be blamed.
The massive shift to remote work during the pandemic altered the way many offices operate and increased interest in the potential for widespread telecommuting to help reduce traffic, transportation emissions, and other harmful impacts. We have reported several studies, however, that suggest remote work simply lets people drive at different times of day and for purposes other than commuting. A new study backs that finding.
A study released by Johns Hopkins last November gained widespread attention for demonstrating that 9-foot lanes are often safer than wider lanes. The researchers note, however, that most state DOTs set minimum lane widths between 10 and 12 feet and require design exceptions for anything narrower. Even in Vermont, where 9-foot lanes are allowed, the researchers found they have not been implemented. Therefore, paving the way to narrow lanes means understanding all the factors that make them challenging in the first place.
While past research has explored the impacts that new, large-scale highway construction projects have on local businesses, a recent study investigated the effects of smaller improvement projects, such as repaving and bridge replacements, and who tends to benefit from such improvements. The study found these types of projects are more common in higher-income neighborhoods, but that local, non-chain businesses were most likely to be negatively impacted by ongoing construction and altered traffic patterns compared to nearby multi-location, chain businesses.
A provision of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Sec. 11205) requires USDOT to review existing travel demand models and, among other things, consider the potential implications of induced travel. Federal officials, committed to that mandate, were at the TRB annual meeting last week to learn from modeling experts and practitioners. This blog post offers one perspective on the issues and lays out several opportunities gleaned through discussions at TRB.
When transit and mobility options are inaccessible or don’t meet needs, people find ways to travel. For most of the world, this often takes the form of informal transit services. As a result of failed public investment in transportation, these flexible, low cost, and unregulated systems are often the main form of travel in developing countries. Although higher income countries have some forms of informal transport, it is often subsidized and more regulated microtransit. These more flexible options do not replace formal transportation networks, but they do provide a critical service to often overlooked communities.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more workers and employers are reconsidering the impacts of the daily commute. While past research has been done to identify the impact morning commutes have on a worker’s happiness, new research shows the impact it can have on a worker’s productivity.
Cities are looking to the Smart Growth principles of walkability, gentle density, compact development, and multi-use zoning to bring destinations closer together and improve the lives of residents. Providing people an alternative to driving everywhere they need to go can improve a community’s safety and health. It can also distribute access to opportunities more broadly and equitably, and help communities become more economically sustainable. One such widely adopted policy that advances these principles is transit oriented development (TOD).
Transportation agencies at all levels are rethinking how they engage with the public and using feedback to make more meaningful investments. Public perception can be skewed, however, especially when certain groups are excluded from the conversation. Two new studies highlight some of ways perceptions can vary and potentially lead decision-makers astray.
The way we currently fund our transportation system is falling short in many ways. MIT researchers anticipate electric vehicles will account for 50% of the national fleet in 15 years and 80% by 2050, which means gas tax revenues will decline by around 30% in just 14 years. Their new study, Replacing the Gas Tax, offers a useful lens for evaluating the alternatives.