In 2013 Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation, which is the highest annual public transit ridership number in 57 years, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association. This was the eighth year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems nationwide. While driving miles were essentially flat or down, public transportation use in 2013 increased by 1.1 percent.
This report benchmarked planned bicycling and walking project spending in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and breaks down how state Departments of Transportation can become more transparent and responsive to community needs. Both stand-alone bicycle-pedestrian projects and also road projects that have a bicycle-pedestrian accommodation or component were included.
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 Philadelphia Complete Streets Design Handbook has ideas to make local streets accommodate all users. It includes checklists at the end for different components of the street. The city intends to update it as comments come in and the document is used by planners and city staff.
The coordination of bicycle and transit mode has been presumed to enlarge the transit catchment area, however, geographic changes in the size of catchment areas have not been effectively documented. This research concludes that transit catchment areas are complex for those that integrate the two modes, and policy-makers may wish the further strengthen bicycle-transit integration through the implementation of a set of proactive measures.
HDOT’s Pedestrian Master Plan provides a comprehensive approach to improving pedestrian safety, evaluates ways to enhance mobility for pedestrians, and helps build a more multi-modal transportation system across Hawaii. HDOT’s plan also prioritizes various pedestrian projects for improvement, identifies and promotes the Complete Streets vision for Hawaii, and meets federal requirements for multimodal planning.
NYCDOT has been a leader in transforming urban streets to improve the environment for pedestrians and bicyclists. But when they tried to evaluate the impact of street design improvements on neighborhood economies, they found no well-established, objective methodologies. Therefore, they set out to develop a new metric. Working with its consultant, DOT evaluated a number of potential measures of local economic vitality and found retail sales – specifically reported sales for street-level retail and restaurant/ food service businesses – to provide the most direct and reliable indicator of the health of local businesses. These results provide convincing evidence that improved accessibility and a more welcoming street environment created by these projects generate increases in retail sales in the project areas.
University of Minnesota researchers are providing an objective analysis of data, public perceptions, and complex impacts resulting from transitway investments in the Twin Cities. This is a 24-page synthesis of their work. The synthesis pulls together findings from the Transitways Impact Research Program studies completed over the past seven years as well as findings from two related projects. It summarizes the actual and projected impacts of transitways on the Twin Cities region, offering lessons learned to help guide the build-out of the rest of the network most effectively. It concludes with a set of implications for policymakers.
Across the country, urban freeways are at the end of their design lives, and cities are wrestling with the question of how to deal with them. Cities have the opportunity to rethink, remove, or repurpose urban freeway space, which can address environmental and social justice harm and result in significant local economic and social benefits. Re-Thinking the Urban Freeway provides cities with best practices and solutions from across the country, to help cities mitigate negative freeway impacts and secure a healthy and more prosperous future.
As communities across the country plan for and build transit-rich neighborhoods there is a growing need for planning and policy tools to guide this effort. This report provides a detailed analysis of how the introduction of high quality transit can spark neighborhood change, positive and negative. This change may have the unintended consequences of displacing existing residents or not meeting transit ridership goals. The report introduces an on-line tool kit to help planners and policy makers address these and other concerns.