Accessibility in practice (SSTI and Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, 2017)

Planning agencies and transportation decision makers often talk about the importance of improving access to destinations, but they rarely have the tools or resources to measure accessibility and incorporate those metrics into decision making. This report guides agencies through that process.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.