The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (SSTI & SGA, 2012)

State officials across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking while transportation demands grow. Most state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have ambitious goals: improve safety, reduce congestion, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few.
The handbook provides 31 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy. The handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.

Land Use and Transportation Scenario Analysis and Microsimulation (LUTSAM) Tool (SSTI and DelDOT, 2012)

With SSTI assistance, Delaware DOT has developed its four-step demand model for scenario planning, using off-the-shelf GIS and simulation software. The tool, called Land Use and Transportation Scenario Analysis and Microsimulation (LUTSAM), enables DelDOT to quickly model and display development scenarios, providing communities and developers with analysis on traffic, congestion, emissions and other outcomes. LUTSAM will dramatically demonstrate, in real-world cases, the cost and environmental advantages of well-connected, compact and mixed use development. It is currently being used in a variety of settings around the state. Because it is built around standard software, it is adaptable for other states, MPOs and cities seeking to improve their land use and transportation planning.

Economic Effects of Public Investment in Transportation and Directions for the Future (CNT and SSTI, 2012)

This report examines current economic analysis practices in state Departments of Transportation through examples in nine state transportation agencies and an extensive literature review. For additional understanding of the methods in practice, we also incorporated information …

Building Public Support to Fund Preservation Work (Spitfire Strategies, 2012)

The Iowa Department of Transportation asked SSTI for assistance building public support for a gas tax increase to fund critical repair and maintenance work. SSTI contracted with Spitfire Strategies, a strategic communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and foundations, to help Iowa craft effective messaging that would resonate with policymakers and key stakeholders. Based on SSTI and Spitfire’s work in Iowa and recent polling, this paper outlines how transportation professionals can gain support for a “fix-it-first” approach to transportation policy. It highlights messages and tactics that have effectively garnered voter and policymaker support and presents lessons learned from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Reducing Costs in Kansas through Transportation Efficient School Siting (SSTI, 2012)

This report was produced by SSTI at the request of the Kansas Department of Transportation in order to better understand the implications of school site selection, particularly transportation-related costs, and how to improve the site selection process in Kansas. It provides a series of recommendations for improving the school site selection process in Kansas with a focus on increasing understanding and coordination between school districts and other levels of government that may be impacted by their decisions.

Reducing Costs in Kansas through Transportation Efficient School Siting (SSTI, 2012)

This report was produced by SSTI at the request of the Kansas Department of Transportation in order to better understand the implications of school site selection, particularly transportation-related costs, and how to improve the site selection process in Kansas. It provides a series of recommendations for improving the school site selection process in Kansas with a focus on increasing understanding and coordination between school districts and other levels of government that may be impacted by their decisions.

The Colorado Energy Smart Transportation Initiative: A Framework for Considering Energy in Transportation (SSTI and Colorado DOT, 2012)

The mission of Colorado’s Energy Smart Transportation Initiative was to develop a framework for considering energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in transportation decision-making. With SSTI assistance, a collaborative team composed of federal and state agencies, MPOs, and rural planning partners came together to leverage resources and promote efficiency and effectiveness among agencies by exploring ways to develop “energy smart transportation” strategies. This report includes strategies developed to incorporate energy efficiency and GHG emissions in transportation planning, increase energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from transportation, advance environmentally friendly alternative vehicle and fuel technologies, and increase efficiency through truck fleet enhancements, improved traveler information, and other methods.

Motor vehicle travel demand continues long-term downward trend in 2011

Despite an improving economy, motor vehicle travel declined markedly in 2011, continuing a downward trend with major implications both for infrastructure revenue and infrastructure needs.
Total VMT fell 1.2 percent from 2010, to its lowest level since 2003.
More striking, per capita VMT was down for the sixth out of the last seven years, dropping to 1998 levels. Per capita VMT dropped 2.1 percent from 2010.
A PDF version of the February 20, 2012 SSTI analysis of VMT trends is available for download.

SSTI Review of PennDOT's Smart Transportation (SSTI, 2011)

Smart Transportation is Pennsylvania DOT’s integrated response to the crisis of crumbling infrastructure, limited revenues to address it, and the need to better align transportation with community revitalization and sound land use policy. PennDOT was the first state program reviewed in detail by SSTI, and remains one of our prime examples of a thoughtful DOT wrestling with the challenges of fiscal austerity, sustainability, and system preservation. The review was done at the request of PennDOT to assess the effectiveness of its Smart Transportation program in integrating land use and transportation in its decision-making and to identify areas of opportunity to advance the Smart Transportation agenda.

SSTI Review of Washington State DOT’s Sustainability Efforts (SSTI, 2011)

This review was performed at the request of Washington State DOT (WSDOT) to assess its sustainability efforts. SSTI convened a panel of experts that included people who have led transformative initiatives as heads of state DOTs. The panel combined practical and academic thinking. The expert panel reviewed background materials on WSDOT’s efforts and then interviewed stakeholders with varying perspectives on WSDOT’s work, including WSDOT staff; personnel from other state, federal, and local entities; and representatives from the not-for-profit sector. Intended as a peer review rather than an audit, the expert panel members brought their knowledge of transportation policy and trends to bear in assessing where WSDOT has succeeded and how its sustainability efforts could be strengthened.