U.S. mayors recognize safety and environmental issues resulting from automobile traffic, according to a new survey from Boston University. But they are leery about implementing commonly accepted remedies like lower speeds, more enforcement, reduced parking or separated bike lanes.
Why cities aren’t preparing for autonomous vehicles
A study evaluating municipal planning for autonomous vehicles found that an overwhelming majority of cities have done little to prepare for their arrival. At the same time, many of those cities have concerns about the negative impacts AVs could bring along with the substantial benefits, from increased vehicle miles traveled and congestion to reduced transit ridership and increased sprawl.
Micromobility in Cities, A History and Policy Overview (National League of Cities, 2019)
Bike sharing—both docked and undocked, manual and electric-assist—plus kick and electric scooters have become commonplace in cities across the U.S. But best practices are still emerging, and cities are often not sure if these new micromobility devices will bring positive or negative consequences to their transportation system and neighborhoods. The National League of Cities has provided a history of the rise of micromobility, a guide for what cities should think about as they move forward with regulation and policy, and finally case studies from across the country.
Modernizing Mitigation: A Demand-Centered Approach (SSTI, September 2018)
This report proposes a new approach to assessing and responding to land use-driven transportation impacts, called “modern mitigation.” Instead of relying on auto capacity improvements as a first resort, this approach builds on practice around transportation demand management (TDM) to make traffic reduction the priority. Based on programs dating to the 1990s in several cities, a modern mitigation program requires certain new land uses to achieve TDM credits.
Cities need to move carefully to get TNC benefits
A new report examined existing research and new data on the impact of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft on U.S. cities. TNCs can have negative impacts on urban areas by contributing to traffic congestion—but, if planned and regulated properly, can find their ideal niche within urban transportation systems.
Shared mobility principles for the rapidly approaching AV era
The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, launched in 2017 and spearheaded by the founder of ZipCar, has now added corporate signers to its ranks. At the same time, one car manufacturer has announced plans to have fully autonomous vehicles on the road as rideshare vehicles by 2019, signaling that the autonomous vehicle era is rapidly approaching.
NACTO releases Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism
The National Association of City Transportation Officials has released a guide for cities to prepare for a future with autonomous vehicles. Unlike their previous design guides this blueprint does not present specific design recommendations but instead lays out a vision of how to enhance the city with autonomous technology instead of simply adapting to it.
Researchers highlight city-centered practices in “roadmap for the 21st century”
A new paper suggests that while gas taxes or similar revenue sources might be well-suited for maintaining our interstates, urban transportation will thrive more on local resources and must focus on two guiding principles: value capture and livability.
Providence, RI decides the future of a deteriorating freeway
Efforts to duplicate the urban freeway removal success stories of Milwaukee and San Francisco, both of which allowed valuable urban land to be redeveloped, face an uphill battle despite many boosters. The debate between urban boosters and state DOTs that control most urban freeways has recently come to Providence, Rhode Island, with the question of what do to with the 6/10 connector.
Foxx decries highways’ effects on cities; US DOT can help the cause with rulemaking
In a widely covered March 29 speech and interviews, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx described some of the negative effects that highway building has had on cities— particularly middle- and lower-income neighborhoods. The former Charlotte, N.C., mayor recalled his own childhood in an urban neighborhood, where highways moved through traffic but degraded local conditions.