In a recently released study, researchers in the UK have found that street-level plantings can reduce two of the dominant pollutants—particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)—by 60 and 40 percent, respectively, in urban street “canyons.” Previous city-scale studies had estimated that vegetation could only reduce levels of pollution by less than 5 percent.
Southern California Association of Governments adopts strong sustainability plan
On April 3, the Southern California Association of Governments unanimously adopted a 25 year transportation plan that focuses on transit, road maintenance, walking, biking, sustainability, land use, and reduction of greenhouse gases. Local officials and citizen’s groups alike hailed it as a significant change in strategy for a region notorious for clogged freeways and the worst air quality in the nation.
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.
California’s New Emission Standards receive mixed reviews
California has approved new vehicle emission standards, which require that 15.4 percent of all new cars sold in the state by 2025 emit little or no tailpipe and carbon exhaust. Close to 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions …
London tries to reduce airborne particulate matter by “gluing” it to the streets
Transport for London is testing out a new dust suppressant that will be sprayed on streets in 15 locations throughout London. The suppressant, which is made up of calcium magnesium acetate, is designed to absorb pollution from the air and “glue” it to the pavement.
Colorado DOT and Governor’s Energy Office launch efforts to reduce energy use in transportation
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) have developed and in some cases begun to implement a range of strategies promoting energy efficiency and reducing associated greenhouse emissions in the …
Biking for short trips equals significant health benefits
A new study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has discovered that there are significant health benefits to commuters who replace short car trips with biking. The study concluded that if Midwesterners ran half of …
Holland’s new ‘truck train’
The Dutch city of Utrecht has a new way to remove trucks from the central city in order to improve air quality and reduce congestion. While some freight is already being delivered directly to stores …
Road pricing: Guidelines for analysis and for communication with the public.
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 686: Road Pricing: Public Perceptions and Program Development explores road pricing concepts and their potential effectiveness and applicability. The report has a dual mission: creating guidelines for …
Kansas Increases Funding for Railroad Loan/Grant Program
Recognizing the importance of rail service to industries and communities dependent on moving heavy, lower-value-per-ton goods, Kansas recently increased funding for its State Rail Service Improvement Fund (SRSIF) from $3 million to $5 million annually. …