Resource scarcity may slow EV transition

Numerous factors may scuttle an anticipated fuel-price driven boost to electric vehicle adoption. Due to shortages, manufacturers may not be able to ramp up production to meet demand, and the cost and availability of materials may raise the sticker price, along with the environmental sacrifice. EV manufacturers are also not immune to the resistance faced by industrial development in general.

Gas prices can have ripple effects on development patterns and travel options

Gasoline prices have clear impacts on development patterns, according to recent research that adds new evidence for the long-term impacts of transportation pricing signals. The new study shows that wage growth and low gas prices contributed to high rates of suburban growth in the 1980s and 1990s, measured in terms of deforestation. Those trends have reversed as gas prices have risen.

Micromobility in Cities, A History and Policy Overview (National League of Cities, 2019)

Bike sharing—both docked and undocked, manual and electric-assist—plus kick and electric scooters have become commonplace in cities across the U.S. But best practices are still emerging, and cities are often not sure if these new micromobility devices will bring positive or negative consequences to their transportation system and neighborhoods. The National League of Cities has provided a history of the rise of micromobility, a guide for what cities should think about as they move forward with regulation and policy, and finally case studies from across the country.

How and Where Should I Ride This Thing? “Rules Of The Road” for Personal Transportation Devices (Mineta Transportation Institute, 2019)

The Mineta Transportation Institute surveyed various levels of government—cities, states, and college campuses— as well as conducted personal interviews with stakeholders, to detail how jurisdictions are regulating electric and kick scooters, skateboards, e-skateboards, hoverboards, Segways, and rollerblades. They then recommended model state laws to bring some standardization to the use of these personal transportation devices.

Guidebook for Measuring Multimodal Network Connectivity (FHWA, February 2018)

Active transportation works best when networks are well-connected and destinations compactly arranged. Yet while the field has standard metrics and methods for many other aspects of the transportation system, it performs connectivity analyses as one-offs or not at all. FHWA’s new guide doesn’t provide a new standard, but it conveniently and thoroughly summarizes many approaches to the issue in one place.

Guidebook for Measuring Multimodal Network Connectivity (FHWA, February 2018)

Active transportation works best when networks are well-connected and destinations compactly arranged. Yet while the field has standard metrics and methods for many other aspects of the transportation system, it performs connectivity analyses as one-offs or not at all. FHWA’s new guide doesn’t provide a new standard, but it conveniently and thoroughly summarizes many approaches to the issue in one place.

Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities (FHWA, FHWA, October 2017)

Shared streets, which serve both slow-moving motor vehicles and pedestrians, can provide flexible, desirable public spaces. However, they provide a challenge for pedestrians with vision impairments. FHWA’s guide provides a toolbox of design options, as well as planning guidance and case studies, for addressing this issue.

Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City (ITDP, 2018)

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recently released Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City. The toolkit, aimed at governments, city planners, NGOs, and developers, notes that “Walkability is the foundation of any type of transportation; all trips require walking at some point.” The toolkit notes factors that influence walkability throughout the city and three scales: citywide, neighborhood, and street level.

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.

Trip-making data, TDM, and connectivity in Northern Virginia (SSTI and Michael Baker International, 2016)

Commercially available GPS data offers valuable new insight about trip origins, destinations, and routes, including short trips that travel demand models often cannot capture. Using this data, SSTI worked with Michael Baker International, the Virginia DOT, and local stakeholders to identify opportunities for managing travel demand and improving connectivity throughout Northern Virginia. This final report describes the full data set and 17 selected case studies, along with recommended projects and policies, estimated costs, and benefits for each.