In order to encourage bicycling, cities have been constructing new infrastructure that physically separates cyclists from motor vehicle traffic. Without these facilities, increasing the number of people who bike for transportation may be difficult. However, when trying to build safe bike facilities, many cities are challenged by high-speed arterials cutting through downtowns. These arterials are prime locations for protected bike lanes and may also be state highways. This provides an exciting opportunity for states to work with cities to improve multimodal opportunities on state-owned roads that travel through dense urban areas.
A variety of electric and alternative fuel vehicles are increasingly available to consumers, which should be good news for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, adoption of these new, cleaner technologies is hampered by inadequate infrastructure needed to support fueling of these vehicles. Recognizing this challenge, the FAST Act directs the Secretary of Transportation to designate alternative fueling corridors for EV and alternative fuel vehicles.
Where and how communities grow and build homes, transportation, and other infrastructure is likely not at the forefront of most disaster preparedness agencies’ agenda. Yet a community’s decisions about land use and transportation have significant impacts on how resilient it can be in the face of disasters. This document is intended to introduce and integrate land use and transportation issues into states’ conversations about resilience. Disaster preparedness professionals can use it to understand how strategic decisions about land use and transportation can build communities that are more resilient from the ground up.
At the November 4 Moving Together conference on healthy transportation, MassDOT will unveil their new design and planning guide for separated bike lanes. Lou Rabito, Complete Streets Engineer at MassDOT, thinks this is the first state guide to reference the CROW design manual from the Netherlands, considered by many advocates as the global gold standard.
On August 20 the Federal Highway Administration posted a new page on its website. The title, Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding, Design, and Environmental Review: Addressing Common Misconceptions, belies the importance of the clarifications FHWA is trying to make. The page addresses more than bicycle and pedestrian matters. It points out that federal funding or rules do not prohibit good road design for all modes, even if it varies from the standards used for decades.
Florida DOT is working with a team at Florida Atlantic University College of Engineering and Computer Science to develop autonomous, waterborne drone vehicles to aid in bridge inspections. Successful development of this technology could improve bridge inspection practice. Using drones to identify problem areas and conduct initial checks on the bridge means increased safety and efficiency for divers and less time in the water.
The transportation record of a prominent presidential candidate is the jumping off point for a lengthy, critical report on American transportation policy in Politico last week. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently proposed to dramatically increase borrowing in order to support several highway megaprojects in southern Wisconsin. But the Politico article points out that the size of the budget is not the only, or even the most important, issue—both in Wisconsin and in Washington.
Iowa DOT Secretary Paul Trombino created a minor wave in the blogosphere last week when he told an Urban Land Institute audience that the state’s highway and rail system was too big to maintain and would need to shrink.
Megaprojects, which have been in the news lately due to issues with Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement projects, frequently experience significant delays and cost overruns, according to researchers at Oxford University. But this outcome it is largely avoidable, they say.
New research affirms the link between bicycle-friendly infrastructure and biking rates among nearby residents. The researchers analyzed a decade of bicycle commuting data in Minneapolis to determine the impact of the Greenway—a 5.5-mile grade-separated cross-town bicycle and pedestrian corridor that links residential and employment areas.