Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation wants more diversity in decision making; more equal concern for people walking, biking and driving; and more early communication with communities about PennDOT projects. These were the themes of an interview with Leslie Richards published last month in Governing.
State DOTs get creative with social media
Although social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and others have been around for years, state DOTs have mostly used these platforms to put out information about traffic delays, road construction, and to tout new infrastructure with impressive photos. However, some DOTs are being more creative by using cultural references, humor, emojis, and graphics. A recent article lays out best practices, and AASHTO reports on a survey of state DOTs.
FHWA to study safety and design of cycle tracks
At the March AASHTO meeting, U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood urged the attendees to update their guidance for bicycle facilities such as cycle tracks, also known as protected or separated bike lanes. Last week FHWA issued a task order proposal request to study the safety of cycle tracks and issue recommendations on their design and implementation.
Public health researchers: Bike guide leaves out facilities favored by many
A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health concentrates on the lack of updated bicycle facilities standards in the the most widely used guides. The article’s authors focused specifically on their perception that cycle tracks—bike facilities separated from motorized traffic by a curb, parked cars, or other physical or painted buffer to discourage intrusion by motor vehicles—would increase bicycle transportation by older users, women, and children.
Call for U.S. DOT to issue own standards causes a stir
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that U.S. DOT will be issuing its own standards for roadway design to meet the needs of all users, but especially bicyclists and pedestrians. Reactions indicated that some felt LaHood was showing impatience with a lack of suitable standards by AASHTO to meet the needs of non-motorized users.
Leaner and Greener: Sustainability at Work in Transportation (Center for Environmental Excellence and AASHTO, 2012)
The third in a series by AASHTO on environmental stewardship and expedited project delivery, this report showcases the efforts transportation agencies—including DOTs, MPOs, and transit providers—are undertaking to speed up project delivery and cut costs while protecting and even improving environmental resources.
New NACTO guide pushes U.S. innovation in bike facility design
Many U.S. cities are including bicycle and pedestrian facilities in their transportation planning. However, these same cities often find existing design guides do not provide the set of options they need for non-motorized infrastructure, complicating project implementation and reducing the effectiveness of the end product. This gap began to be filled in 2011, when the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) released the first edition of its Urban Bikeway Design Guide. The group updated the guide this month.
Can we talk? How to communicate on transportation issues
Talking to the public or elected officials about transportation policy and funding can be difficult. AASHTO and blogger Lloyd Brown have some tips for crafting and delivering your message.
Transportation Governance and Finance: A 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation (National Council of State Legislatures, 2012)
From 2010 to 2011, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) partnered to produce an unprecedented, 50-state review of transportation governance and finance, based largely on …
Why “forgiving roadways” are not the solution in urban areas
Roadway designers since the 1960’s have used the concept of “forgiving highways.” Due to its success in reducing fatal crashes on high speed access controlled roadways, engineers have been applying this methodology to urban streets in built up areas as well. However, this approach might actually make certain roads deadlier for motorists, as it encourages drivers to drive faster and less cautiously, and it has been shown to lessen pedestrian and bicyclist safety.