Advancing congestion pricing: a new report

A new ENO report on congestion pricing and recent webinar suggests that having a clear purpose and vision in place before implementation is the key to success. In addition, revenue as a goal and sent to general funds is largely unsustainable; equity goals and community leadership will help with implementation road pricing has been shown to control congestion, and the main barriers at this point are political and poor communication.

On-demand transportation services as a complement of public transit

A recent article reports that on-demand transportation can complement existing transit and help cities reduce traffic by up to 15 to 30 percent. Emerging transportation technologies such as TNCs and on-demand transit apps have been much in the news, often with claims that TNCs are adding to urban congestion. In this study, an important conclusion is that the on-demand service can complement public transit networks.

More highways, more congestion

In pursuit of congestion relief, the United States added 63 percent more urban freeway lane-miles between 1990 and 2017. That rate far outstripped the 46 percent growth in urban population. It didn’t work. As widely reported last month, the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report has returned after a five-year hiatus.

New mindset needed to address congestion, says MassDOT

A new report from the Massachusetts DOT dives into the state’s growing traffic congestion to understand the causes and potential solutions. It points to the rapid outward growth around Boston as one of the main causes, and suggests the current situation calls for bold new solutions aimed at connecting people and places while managing demand, rather than simply keeping roads moving.

New York approves plan to implement congestion tolling: Beginning of a new trend?

As part of its recently passed $175 billion budget, the state of New York is allowing for congestion tolling to be implemented in New York City. Lawmakers believe congestion tolling will not only reduce city vehicle traffic levels but also provide a new source of revenue to fund and maintain New York City’s aging subway system. More importantly, however, New York’s plan may serve as a tipping point for other cities in the United States to finally move forward with their own congestion tolling systems.

New study finds that road closures can alleviate congestion in dense urban areas

Historically, transportation policy addressing vehicle congestion has entailed increasing road capacity. However, research consistently reveals that these policies have the opposite effect. In fact, a new study reveals that cities may be able to improve vehicle travel times by closing certain road segments completely. Using the theoretical framework of the Braess Paradox, the study’s researchers model how blocking off selective streets in downtown Winnipeg can reduce overall vehicle travel times, a change which in turn enables new car-free spaces to be reclaimed as parks or pedestrian plazas.

Ecommerce fulfillment centers increasing freight pollution, congestion in rural towns

In order to keep up with ever-increasing ecommerce demand, companies such as Amazon are building sprawling new fulfillment centers on the outer edges of major U.S. metro areas to aid in their logistical operations. While these warehouses can provide a windfall in economic development for the rural towns where they are being constructed, a recent article found that, increasingly, communities are finding these facilities are more trouble than they’re worth. Specifically, the jobs and tax revenue being generated don’t outweigh negative impacts caused by freight pollution and traffic congestion.

Is traffic congestion a good thing?

Transportation planners and engineers often think of traffic congestion as a problem that must be alleviated by building new roadways and widening existing ones. However, a new study goes against conventional thought to suggest that traffic congestion may actually be a sign of success for regions.

Efficient networks take work: Traffic management and Braess’ paradox

Not all roads are created equal. In fact, adding certain roads to a system can actually slow down traffic under the right circumstances. This is a fairly well known phenomenon called Braess’ paradox, named after the German mathematician who first wrote about it in 1968. Fortunately, researchers have studied this occurrence extensively and developed methods for knowing when it can happen and how to prevent it. A new study published in the Journal of Transportation Engineering lays out fairly straightforward methods to identify troublesome links.