Not everyone hates their commute, according to recent research. While drivers and transit riders would prefer to teleport to work if they had the option, the majority of cyclists and pedestrians surveyed would keep their current commute. The researchers noted that “people seem to value the exercise they get from using active transportation modes for their commutes,” adding that cyclists and pedestrians also report higher levels of mental health associated with their commutes. Pedestrian and cyclist commuters also had more positive responses to questions about confidence, and freedom, independence, and control.
Race and class disparities in driver’s license suspension and consequences in California
A new report published by a coalition of legal and civil rights organizations highlights the race and class discrepancies in driver’s license suspension and its effects in California. As more low-income people locate in suburbs farther from jobs and transit, a driver’s license becomes ever more important to reach jobs, schools, and other destinations. Additionally, many jobs and training programs require a driver’s license, and employers sometimes screen out those without a license even if their job duties do not require driving.
Vision Zero spreads across the U.S.
In 1997, Sweden undertook a road safety project with an ambitious goal: No traffic fatalities or serious injuries. A core principle of Vision Zero was that, “Life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society.” Now the goal of zero traffic deaths is spreading in the U.S., principally in cities, but some states have also adopted Vision Zero plans.
Children killed in DUI crashes likely to be in car with drunk driver
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children under 15 years of age, and drunk driving is involved in about one-fifth of these crashes. However, contrary to common perception, the child is likely to be riding in the same car as the drunk driver, and the rate of these crashes varies considerably across the country. A new study in Pediatrics looks at the variation by state.
Notice any suspicious people while you were driving today?
A recent study by researchers at the University of Surrey, England, finds that people traveling through urban areas by car have more extreme positive and negative perceptions of their surroundings and people in the area than those traveling by foot, with the views of transit riders and cyclists falling in between.
Moving Off the Road: State-by-State Analysis of the National Decline in Driving (USPIRG, 2013)
The decline in both per capita and total VMT has been noted in many contexts, but some have doubted that the decline will last once the economy recovers. This study finds that declining rates of driving do not correspond with how badly states suffered economically in recent years. The evidence suggests that the nation’s per-capita decline in driving cannot be dismissed as a temporary side effect of the recession.
Buses, rail, and airlines compete for short-distance intercity travel
For trips between 100 and 500 miles, express buses, trains, and airlines are all vying for customers and contemplating the future of these shorter trips. At the same time, drivers are seeking relief from crowded highways and high gas prices. Add in the desire of travelers to be in constant internet and cell phone contact with the world, and intercity travel begins to seem a very competitive market. While air travel will continue to be the dominant mode for longer trips, and driving continues to offer maximum flexibility, rail and bus service upgrades in comfort and accommodations for electronic connectivity are attracting a larger number of travelers each year.
Highway congestion highest on Friday afternoon
Car commuters in most large metro areas face the highest level of highway congestion on Friday afternoon, according to Inrix data provided to Governing magazine. However many metro areas have relatively minor changes in commuting times. And one quarter of commuters in metro areas with the highest Friday congestion times opt out of traffic by walking, biking, using transit, or working at home.
“War on cars” (or bicycles) isn’t new
A recent NPR story asked if there was really a “war on cars.” This idea seems to appear in newspaper comments, on radio talk shows, and as opinion pieces. But this question is not new, nor are complaints about rude bicyclists or clueless pedestrians. We have been arguing about access and safety in the public right of way for over a century.
Getting Results: SRTS Programs That Reduce Speeding and Distracted Driving (National Center for Safe Routes to School, 2012)
Speeding and distracted driving are two common safety risks for children traveling to school. This brief examines how the programs in five communities measured success in reducing the numbers of speeding cars and distracted drivers.