Linking Transit Agencies and Land Use Decision Making: Guidebook for Transit Agencies (TRB, 2016)

Land use decisions play a key role in shaping the long-term success of virtually every transit system in the United States. Organizations other than transit agencies hold the responsibility and authority for integrating land use and transit. However, transit agencies can influence the framework for those stakeholders to routinely make transit-supportive land use decisions. This guidebook was developed to help transit agencies better address the connections among transit, land use planning, and development decision making. It provides transit agencies with the tools to be more effective at the decision-making table.

Trip-making and accessibility: New tools, better decisions (SSTI, 2016)

Transportation researchers and practitioners have long sought other tools to complement or perhaps replace conventional methods—tools that would better analyze trips rather than speed at points in the system, speak to non-auto modes of travel, address land use solutions as well as highway infrastructure, and so on. Fortunately, new sources of data and emerging methods, as well as new-found interest in performance and scenario planning, are yielding the types of tools that the field needs.

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.

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.

A People’s History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation (Transit Center, 2015)

In the past decade, several cities have transformed their streets by adding bus and bike lanes, creating new pedestrian plazas, and emphasizing the movement of people instead of cars. This new report examines six cities’ recent innovations in urban transportation. It looks at what is behind successful change and found common elements. Based on the experience of the cities studied, TransitCenter recommends actions for transit advocates, policymakers, foundations, and anyone interested in transportation change.

Cities Safer By Design (World Resources Institute, 2015)

A new report examines cities around the world to discover why some have safer streets than others. The authors provide real-world examples and evidence-based techniques to improve safety through neighborhood and street design that emphasizes pedestrians, bicycling, and mass transport, and reduces speeds and unnecessary use of vehicles.

Smart Mobility: Reducing congestion and fostering faster, greener, and cheaper transportation options (Deloitte Public Sector Research, 2015)

Deloitte’s Public Sector Research organization offers a study that found that the expansion of alternative modes of transportation could lead to reduced congestion and other benefits, and identified the types of transportation suited to a city or suburb. The study uses geospatial analytics, such as coupling location data with existing government data, to examine the potential congestion reduction benefits in major metropolitan areas across the U.S. Congestion reduction could result from the expansion of alternative modes of commuting.

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.