Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros (George Washington School of Business, 2014)

This report, issued by the George Washington University Business School, examines the growing preference for walkable urbanism and what that means for infrastructure, economic development, housing, etc. The authors rank the 30 largest metros on walkable urbanism, identifying a future demand for tens of millions of square feet of walkable urban development. This demand would provide an economic foundation for the U.S. economy, similar to the building of drivable suburbs in the mid to late 20th century.

Lessons from the Green Lanes: Evaluating Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S. (National Institute for Transportation and Communities, 2014)

This report presents finding from research evaluating U.S. protected bicycle lanes (cycle tracks) in terms of their use, perception, benefits, and impacts. Behavior of bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians was assessed to determine how well each users understands the facility and to identify potential conflicts. Residents and bicyclists indicated that any type of buffer shows a considerable increase in self-reported comfort levels over a striped bike lane, and support for protected bike lanes was high among all users.

Partnership Financing: Improving Transportation Infrastructure Through Public Private Partnerships (Eno Center for Transportation, 2014)

Eno’s P3 working group brought together industry leaders and experts to identify barriers to the increased use of P3s and to outline approaches for overcoming these barriers. This report identifies patterns in the challenges that localities have faced when using P3s and presents recommendations for federal, state, and local policy to enable greater use of P3s as an infrastructure delivery mechanism in the future.

Has motorization in the U.S. peaked? Part 5: Update through 2012 (Michael Sivak, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2014)

Following on previous reports, this report updates driving and fule consumption trends through 2012. The author examines 11 trends in all, including less driving per capita, per licensed driver, per household, and total VMT. Fuel consumption has also declined, and is now lower than the rates in 1984. The main finding of the series of reports is that the respective rates all reached their maxima around 2004. The author argues that, because the onsets of the reductions in these rates preceded the onset of the recession (in 2008), the reductions in these rates likely reflect fundamental, non-economic changes in society. Therefore, these maxima have a reasonable chance of being long-term peaks as well. The present report provides a brief update on these measures through 2012.

Repair Priorities 2014 (Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, 2014)

How much would your state need to repair its roads? Most likely the answer to that question is “a lot.” In some cases, state DOTs could spend their entire annual budget on repair and maintenance and still have work left to do. So why are many states making the problem even worse by continuing to spend scarce transportation dollars expanding their road networks? This report, and update of the Repair Priorities 2011, includes ideas for how DOT officials as well as state and federal policymakers can prioritize repair spending, and help drivers and taxpayers at the same time.

Civil rights guidance and equity analysis methods for regional transportation plans: a critical review of literature and practice (Journal of Transportation Geography, 2013)

In this critical review, the authors examine the law, regulatory guidance, academic research, and agency practice pertinent to equity analysis of MPO regional transportation plans. They find that equity recommendations are extensive but generally lack specificity and are rarely enforceable. The current methodology is not appropriate for the analysis of transportation investment benefits. Newer travel demand modeling paradigms are capable of sidestepping methodological problems, and legacy models can be adapted and improved.

The Future of Transportation Infrastructure Investments: Determining Best Practices for States’ Funding and Financing Mechanisms (Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy – College of William & Mary, 2014)

As revenues from gas taxes diminish the role of federal funding in infrastructure investments, states are searching for both new options and best practices for financing and funding. This report was prepared for the Associated Equipment Distributors and examines various financing and funding options that states can implement. It also makes recommendations for best practices for project selection, partnerships with private entities, and diversification of funding mechanisms.