Creating a transportation decision-making process that is equitable for everyone

The focus of a new publication from the Greenlining Institute is to “offer planners and community advocates a step-by-step guide to a more community-centered transportation planning process that focuses on the mobility needs of communities and puts affected communities at the center of decision-making.” While the work is specific to California, the framework holds value for communities across the country.

Opportunities and potential bias in new transportation data

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress examines congestion on roadways in the United States and considers the potential and pitfalls of new data sources, such as those provided by private ride hailing companies including Uber and others. Although cities are eager to access these private sources of data, the report warns that planners should be careful of relying too heavily on these sources.

Opportunities and potential bias in new transportation data

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress examines congestion on roadways in the United States and considers the potential and pitfalls of new data sources, such as those provided by private ride hailing companies including Uber and others. Although cities are eager to access these private sources of data, the report warns that planners should be careful of relying too heavily on these sources.

Bicycle level of stress and equity as factors in project selection

A paper published in the International Journal of Sustainable Transportation suggests integrating accessibility by bicycle, equity, and project selection to tackle the isolation and segregation of low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore. Using bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) to measure both access to common non-work destinations and disparities in access across different neighborhoods, the authors suggest that projects can be prioritized to improve outcomes for residents that do not own cars and struggle to reach destinations to meet their daily needs.

Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City (ITDP, 2018)

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recently released Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City. The toolkit, aimed at governments, city planners, NGOs, and developers, notes that “Walkability is the foundation of any type of transportation; all trips require walking at some point.” The toolkit notes factors that influence walkability throughout the city and three scales: citywide, neighborhood, and street level.

Multimodal transportation and income equity fit hand-in-glove

One recent study finds that cities offering diverse transportation options have the lowest income inequality, while another study finds that transit systems may begin to struggle as lower income families are pushed away from the city center. These works demonstrate that preserving access to multimodal options for disadvantaged populations is essential for cities’ economies, the viability of their transportation systems, and the wellbeing of families.

Multimodal transportation and income equity fit hand-in-glove

One recent study finds that cities offering diverse transportation options have the lowest income inequality, while another study finds that transit systems may begin to struggle as lower income families are pushed away from the city center. These works demonstrate that preserving access to multimodal options for disadvantaged populations is essential for cities’ economies, the viability of their transportation systems, and the wellbeing of families.

FL city tickets black population, misses on pedestrian safety

A new report by ProPublica and the Florida Times-Union details how efforts to ostensibly improve pedestrian safety in a Florida city consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous places to walk in the U.S. have actually resulted in inequitable ticketing of the city’s black population. The report points out that this is especially unfortunate because the same black and low-income neighborhoods where a majority of tickets were issued also lack safe pedestrian facilities: transit access is poor and many bus stops do not sidewalk connections.

Free bike share for transit users

Increasing bike share usage and improving first- and last-mile connections are the goals of Healthy Ride, Pittsburgh’s updated bike share program. It is receiving an update thanks to its partnership with Port Authority, the city’s transit authority. Healthy Ride 2.0 lets users utilize their transit card to access free, unlimited bike share.

Is congestion pricing equitable? Data suggests "yes" in the Portland metro region

Critics of congestion pricing sometimes raise equity as a concern. They question whether charging a higher fee during congested times of day places a disproportionate burden on lower-income individuals who may have no choice but to travel during those times. Economist Joe Cortright recently tested this claim using data from the Portland metropolitan region and found the opposite: according to Cortright, the data suggests that peak hour road pricing would primarily impact individuals with the highest incomes.