Oregon DOT promotes Drive Less Challenge

On October 21, Oregon Department of Transportation and its regional transportation partners launched the first statewide Oregon Drive Less Challenge. The immediate goal of the campaign is to reduce statewide vehicle miles traveled in single occupancy vehicles by half a million miles. The broader goal for the campaign is to raise awareness for ongoing alternative transportation programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion, environmental impacts, and other transportation system costs.

Oregon DOT promotes Drive Less Challenge

On October 21, Oregon Department of Transportation and its regional transportation partners launched the first statewide Oregon Drive Less Challenge. The immediate goal of the campaign is to reduce statewide vehicle miles traveled in single occupancy vehicles by half a million miles. The broader goal for the campaign is to raise awareness for ongoing alternative transportation programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion, environmental impacts, and other transportation system costs.

Update: St. Louis area variable speed limits come down

Missouri DOT is removing 70 variable advisory speed limit signs on I-270 and I-255 mentioned in the October 14th edition of SSTI News. Although a recent report indicated that similar signs have been having a positive effect on congestion in the Minneapolis area despite drivers’ general disregard for the speed limits, MoDOT has decided to remove the signs to lower operating costs and reduce confusion.

New report from SSTI discusses freight transportation demand management strategies

A new report, funded by SSTI with a matching grant from the Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education, identifies and evaluates freight transportation demand management strategies to improve transportation efficiency by reducing the social costs associated with goods movement in urban areas.

Back to the future: crowded freeways and tight budgets lead some to call for a return to policies from 1984

During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, city officials scrambled for ways to accommodate the additional traffic as well as Angelinos’ normal daily activities. Today, the L.A. area is even more congested than it was in 1984, and some lawmakers are looking back to that time for ways to improve the situation. The strategies that have gotten the most attention are those that shift truck traffic to off-peak hours.

HOT lane study points to importance of reliability over average delay

A new University of Minnesota study on driver behavior in managed lanes provides some findings that on the surface seem highly counter-intuitive, but that may have a simple explanation. Travelers care more about reliability than delay. The first surprising result is that travelers were willing to pay large tolls to access HOT lanes. Also, rather than discouraging HOT lane use, increases in tolls actually encouraged more drivers to opt for those lanes

High demand creates challenges for rail service in Washington state

Increased coal shipments to Washington State ports could significantly intensify congestion on both roads and rail lines. Two recent reports by Parametrix and the Sightline Institute discuss the impacts of increased shipments of fossil fuels (particularly coal) from Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota to ports in the Pacific Northwest.

Study highlights importance of travel time as a metric

As commute times increase, married women work fewer hours or even drop out of the workforce according to a forthcoming article. The finding helps explain differences in women’s workforce participation across various metro areas. Its focus on travel time as a driver of economic outcomes, the article has clear relevance to transportation agencies that are wrestling with setting meaningful, outcome-based performance measures.

Freight rail traffic is growing, but urban conflicts hinder infrastructure expansion

While passenger rail has been on the front page, freight railroads have been thriving. However a new truck-to-rail transfer facility to serve the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has caused a fierce debate on the thorny question of how to weigh the value of regional economic and environmental benefits against local environmental impacts and environmental justice concerns.