New study links low-cost and free recreation facilities near work sites with active commuting

A recently released study has added further detail to our understanding of the link between commuting mode choice and workplace and environmental variables. The study linked residential proximity to transit stops and employer-provided free or reduced-price transit passes to commuters’ likelihood of choosing transit. It also linked shorter commuting distances and the availability of bike parking at workplaces to commuters’ decisions to bike or walk to work.

Beyond mobility—prioritizing accessibility in urban transportation

The San Francisco Transit Accessibility Map is a new online tool showing how much of the city is accessible by transit or walking within a selected travel time. Although the map is useful as is, it also presents an enormous opportunity to develop a richly layered analysis that could be used to understand accessibility more broadly by adding data on non-work as well as work destinations. It could also highlight the need to improve accessibility for underserved areas.

Walkable communities could improve cognitive ability among older adults

Numerous studies have supported the linkages between transportation planning and public health. A new study out of the University of Kansas specifically addresses the cognitive benefits of walkable neighborhoods to older adults. Another study found that the prevalence of certain destinations including grocery stores, malls, and restaurants/cafes within neighborhoods inhabited by older adults might increase transportation walking trips among this population.

CDOT study tests methodology for systematic bicycle traffic measurement

As bicycling and walking have become more popular methods of transportation, cities and states are searching for better techniques for estimating traffic from these non-motorized modes. Both on individual corridors and throughout transportation systems, traffic volumes are essential for planning and performance measures. But measuring non-motorized traffic can be more difficult than counting cars and trucks, so new techniques are needed to estimate traffic patterns. Colorado DOT worked with researchers at the University of Colorado-Denver to establish Colorado-specific methodologies for estimating bicycle and pedestrian volumes via a limited sample of existing counts.

America’s Rails with Trails: A Resource for Planners, Agencies, and Advocates on Trails Along Active Railroad Corridors (Rails to Trails Conservancy, 2013)

Instead of converting former rail lines to multi-use trails, states and municipalities are also finding that trails can be built alongside active rail lines. This report examines the characteristics of 88 rails-with-trails in 33 states, based on a survey of trail managers and the results of ongoing study over the past 20 years.

Oregon DOT promotes Drive Less Challenge

On October 21, Oregon Department of Transportation and its regional transportation partners launched the first statewide Oregon Drive Less Challenge. The immediate goal of the campaign is to reduce statewide vehicle miles traveled in single occupancy vehicles by half a million miles. The broader goal for the campaign is to raise awareness for ongoing alternative transportation programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion, environmental impacts, and other transportation system costs.

Oregon DOT promotes Drive Less Challenge

On October 21, Oregon Department of Transportation and its regional transportation partners launched the first statewide Oregon Drive Less Challenge. The immediate goal of the campaign is to reduce statewide vehicle miles traveled in single occupancy vehicles by half a million miles. The broader goal for the campaign is to raise awareness for ongoing alternative transportation programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion, environmental impacts, and other transportation system costs.

Walkable neighborhoods surge ahead

While many Americans are currently discouraged from walking because their neighborhoods are not built for travel by foot, communities that facilitate walking may be the future of new development. A survey by GfK Research for Kaiser Permanente shows that Americans both know walking is a healthy activity and that many neighborhood do not facilitate walking. But other studies in Atlanta and Washington, DC, show that walkable communities are attracting the majority of new investment, even in one of the most car-oriented metro areas.