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.
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.
Analysis of Public Policies that Unintentionally Encourage and Subsidize Sprawl (Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, 2015)
Urban sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion annually. These costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public service delivery and transportation. This report details planning and market distortions that foster sprawl, and smart growth policies that can help correct these distortions.
For the first time in a decade, U.S. per capita highway travel ticks up (SSTI, 2015)
After declining every year since 2004, vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) per capita in the U.S. ticked up by 0.9 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, according to figures released on Thursday, March 12, by FHWA. Accounting for the effect of population growth, total miles driven increased by 1.7 percent. Chris McCahill and Eric Sundquist examine the economic and social trends at work and analyze which factors are likely to most heavily influence VMT in the coming years.
Co-monitoring for Transit Management (Rudin Center for Transportation, 2014)
Transit agencies often do rider surveys and in-person checks of equipment and infrastructure. But by monitoring social media, agencies may get a faster report of problems and rider concerns. This report suggests methods for “co-monitoring,” the monitoring of field conditions through a combination of staff reports, data analysis and public observations.
The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (SSTI & SGA, 2015)
SSTI and Smart Growth America continue working with state departments of transportation and tracking innovative strategies for meeting 21st century transportation needs. The 2015 edition of The Innovative DOT builds upon its predecessor with updated content and fresh new ideas from a growing number of states.
Model Long Range Transportation Plans: A Guide for Incorporating Performance-Based Planning (Federal Highway Administration, 2014)
This Guidebook informs State departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and regional transportation planning organizations, as well as their planning partners such as transit agencies, local governments, and Federal agencies, about effective practices for incorporating performance-based planning into the development of a long range transportation plan.
Who’s on Board: The 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey (Transit Center and RSG, 2014)
This study reveals that Americans from regions across the country think about and use public transit in remarkably similar ways. The report is the first to compare rider and non-rider attitudes by age, income, education, family status and ethnicity, and to examine both cities and suburban areas across various regions of the U.S. The work documents the unmet need for reliable, quality transit. This preference is true across age groups and geographic regions.
Transportation Technical Reference Manual: Guide to Characterize the Savings, Benefits, and Costs of Transportation Efficiency Measures (NASEO and VEIC, 2014)
While using standardized methodologies to measure the energy impacts and cost-effectiveness of efficiency programs is common practice in the electric and thermal energy sectors, this is not the case for transportation. National Association of State Energy Officials and Vermont Energy Investment Coprtation have developed the following Transportation technical reference manual to characterize energy savings, environmental benefits, and financial costs of selected transportation efficiency measures and establish a framework for comprehensive and informed decision-making.