Evidence from Toronto: Well-designed bike lanes encourage cycling, improve safety for all

A new report from the City of Toronto adds further evidence to the notion that improvements to the cycling network can dramatically increase cycling mode share and actual numbers, while improving safety for all road users, with little to no degradation of motorist level of service. Crashes for both bicyclists and motor vehicles declined after the installation of protected bike lanes; additional travel times for motorists changed minimally, and the number of bicyclists using the street went up 1000 percent.

Big data enables new tool for analyzing and diagnosing traffic congestion

StreetLight Data, which provides trip-making data from mobile devices and smartphone apps, has just launched a new interactive Congestion Analysis tool. The tool lets subscribers identify congested roads by time of day, break down the traffic in terms of trip length, trip purpose, and other characteristics, and then focus on specific strategies to relieve demand.

Growing a Culture of Transportation Sustainability in Massachusetts (McCahill, Ebeling and Codd, 2014)

MassDOT is among a growing number of state agencies tackling sustainability efforts in the transportaiton section and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. number of state agencies tackling this issue and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. This paper traces the evolution of MassDOT’s sustainability efforts, beginning with its revised Project Development and Design Guide, published in 2006, and ultimately encapsulated in its ongoing GreenDOT program, launched in 2010. These efforts represent the combined actions of state legislators, agency leaders, and personnel at all levels of MassDOT.

Research shows advantages, use patterns for different car-sharing models

Car sharing is maturing, expanding options beyond the initial model of a station-based system structured around accessing and returning cars parked at designated location. Of particular interest is the free-floating car share model, or FFCS, which allows members to pick up and drop off a car anywhere within the service area without being tied to a designated parking location. This new choice, in use in Montreal, expands service flexibility geographically, but also broadens the member demographic, which could have additional environmental and congestion mitigation benefits.

To cut automobile travel, locate jobs near transit

When people live and work near transit stations, transportation service providers have a much easier job of providing essential first- and last-mile connections. While both ends of the trip matter, the location of jobs may be more important to consider in cutting automobile travel, according to researchers at the University of Denver. Moreover, locating both homes and jobs near transit stations can drastically reduce automobile use, even for travel unrelated to work.

New York City reducing number of garbage trucks on its streets

New York City took a big step last month in its efforts to reduce the number of garbage trucks on city streets when it signed a 20-year, $3 billion contract with the waste-to-energy firm, Covanta. The firm plans to send about 30 percent of the city’s solid-waste to power-generating incinerators using primarily barges and railroads. This will help the city move closer to its goals of improving solid waste management and reducing associated negative impacts as cited in PlaNYC 2030, New York City’s effort to plan for one million more residents and the resulting impacts on the city’s quality of life.

Bike share both reduces use of other modes and induces new trip-making

The bike sharing system in Washington, DC has gathered and analyzed travel data about members’ usage of both the system bicycles and other travel modes. Evidence on mode choice comes from user surveys. It is intuitive to suspect that the emergence of a new mode would both substitute for other modes and induce new travel. And that is what the Capital Bikeshare survey finds.