On average, the amount of parking provided at mixed-use centers is 65 percent higher than necessary, according to a study just published in the Transportation Research Record. That finding challenges the perceived need for additional parking in many of those places. Meanwhile, the unused parking spaces take up valuable space, add to construction and maintenance costs, and undermine efforts to manage travel demand.
Does urban sprawl inhibit upward mobility?
A recently published study lends more support to the idea that sprawl can be a deterrent to upward mobility, making it difficult for low-income residents to improve their economic circumstances. Compact metro areas showed better results than those that are more spread out. The authors also note that upward mobility tends to be higher in Europe than in the U.S., and they theorize that besides differing approaches to education and social programs, the compactness of European cities may contribute to better opportunities.
New research on the benefits of ignition interlock devices
New research finds that states that have passed laws requiring ignition-interlock devices (IIDs) for all drivers convicted of drunk driving have seen a collective 15 percent drop in deaths from drunk-driving crashes compared with rates in states without this requirement. Other studies show that IIDs alone are not sufficient to curb drunk driving. To be most effective, states should adopt IID laws that kick in on the first offense and provide sufficient oversight to monitor continued use of the IIDs.
Bikesharing and Bicycle Safety (Mineta Transportation Institute, 2016)
When bike sharing first began, many commentators and critics expressed concern that shared bicycle systems would lead to high crash and injury rates. Yet the injury and overall crash rate for bike share use has been extremely low. The researchers at the Mineta Transportation Institute examined why this is so.
Montreal study finds vulnerable populations have more exposure to road noise
The World Health Organization considers road noise a health hazard, and various studies have found that road noise can have a detrimental effect on health and wellbeing. A study by researchers in Montreal investigated whether residents age 15 years and under and over 65, as well as low-income populations and visible minorities, were more likely to live in areas with high road noise.
New report draws attention to need to focus on multimodal transportation
An NCHRP report highlights the need to develop a collective appreciation for the modern demands on the nation’s multimodal transportation system. The research team considers four thematic case studies reflective of the major sectors influencing current and future transportation: agriculture, domestic energy, e-retail, and the next-generation workforce.
Research points to factors affecting crash rates among states
A new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute highlights differences in fatal crash rates among the 50 states and D.C. These numbers can tell us a lot about what factors contribute to upwards of 30,000 to 40,000 preventable deaths each year. In a separate analysis of the data, Richard Florida reveals that car deaths are less common in denser, more urban states and in those with strong, knowledge-based economies, which leaves other states at a particular disadvantage.
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.
Study confirms that 10-foot lanes make safer intersections
Side impact- and turn-related crash rates are lowest at intersections where average lane widths are between 10 and 10.5 feet, according to a study presented at the Canadian Institute of Transportation’s annual meeting last month. This challenges the long-held, but often disputed, assumption that wider lanes are safer.
Compact, connected development patterns on the rise since mid-1990s
Low density, disconnected development patterns—or sprawl—peaked in the mid-1990s, then declined by as much as 9 percent in the following decades, according to a new analysis of street patterns published by the National Academy of Sciences.