Estimating policy effects on reduced vehicle travel in Hawaii (SSTI, 2019)

Transcending Oil, released in April 2018, describes Hawaii’s path toward meeting its ambitious clean energy goals by 2045. The report was commissioned by Elemental Excelerator and prepared independently by Rhodium Group and Smart Growth America. It focuses mainly on transitioning the electrical grid to renewable energy while moving large numbers of vehicles to electric power but also points to the importance of managing overall travel demand through transportation policies and investments. This technical guide describes the methods and findings behind Transcending Oil’s travel demand forecasts, developed by SSTI and Smart Growth America.

Renewable Energy in the Right of Way

At SSTI’s first Sustainability Directors Community of Practice meeting in June 2015, attendees discussed their states’ interest in siting solar and other renewable energy generation facilities in the highway right-of-way but cited uncertainty regarding FHWA rules and unfamiliarity with the business side of renewable energy production as major hurdles. In an effort to support these efforts and allow interested states to learn from others, SSTI has gathered the technical documents gathered here, under the headings below, comprise a living repository for state DOTs and others to use as examples as they develop their own ROW renewable energy projects.

Growing a Culture of Transportation Sustainability in Massachusetts (McCahill, Ebeling and Codd, 2014)

MassDOT is among a growing number of state agencies tackling sustainability efforts in the transportaiton section and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. number of state agencies tackling this issue and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. This paper traces the evolution of MassDOT’s sustainability efforts, beginning with its revised Project Development and Design Guide, published in 2006, and ultimately encapsulated in its ongoing GreenDOT program, launched in 2010. These efforts represent the combined actions of state legislators, agency leaders, and personnel at all levels of MassDOT.

Effects of Parking Provision on Automobile Use in Cities: Inferring Causality (McCahill, Garrick, Atkinson-Palombo and Polinski, 2015)

Automobile use has been on the rise in cities for nearly a century and so has the supply of parking. Because driving often seems unavoidable, policymakers, developers and the public push endlessly for more parking to meet demand. That push, however, might only be making matters worse. SSTI Senior Associate Chris McCahill’s research suggests that abundant parking in cities causes people to drive more, shedding important light on the question of cause and effect.

Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies (Smart Growth America and Governors’ Institute on Community Design, 2015)

Where and how communities grow and build homes, transportation, and other infrastructure is likely not at the forefront of most disaster preparedness agencies’ agenda. Yet a community’s decisions about land use and transportation have significant impacts on how resilient it can be in the face of disasters. This document is intended to introduce and integrate land use and transportation issues into states’ conversations about resilience. Disaster preparedness professionals can use it to understand how strategic decisions about land use and transportation can build communities that are more resilient from the ground up.

Quantifying Transit’s Impact on GHG Emissions and Energy Use—The Land Use Component (TRB, 2015)

Transit often fails to get the credit it deserves for reducing traffic and emissions. In most U.S. cities, transit’s mode share is in the single digits, so the direct effect of ridership seems small. And while it’s clear that even in places with low mode share transit plays a role in raising densities—and thereby reducing travel distances—this relationship has been hard to quantify; conventional demand models simply take land use as an input. Filling this gap is a report and tool from TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program.

Revising the Vermont State Standards; M2D2: Multimodal Development and Delivery (Vermont Agency of Transportation and Smart Growth America, 2015)

This new report identifies specific modifications to the Vermont State Standards, recommends changes to other related VTrans guidelines and policies, and presents an implementation plan and schedule for conducting the revisions. The Vermont State Standards provide VTrans staff and other partners with direction in designing roadway transportation projects.

Analysis of Public Policies that Unintentionally Encourage and Subsidize Sprawl (Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, 2015)

Urban sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion annually. These costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public service delivery and transportation. This report details planning and market distortions that foster sprawl, and smart growth policies that can help correct these distortions.

Autonomous Vehicle Technology A Guide for Policymakers (Rand Corporation, 2014)

In this study, Rand Corporation investigated the possible implications of autonomous vehicle technology on our roads. There are many policy and technological changes that will be necessary as these vehicles become more prevelant. This report is intended as a guide for state and federal policymakers on the many issues that this technology raises.