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Recent Developments Archive

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TRB Report Describes Park-and-Ride Facility Management and Planning

The Transit Cooperative Research Program has issued a report concerning the planning and management of park-and-ride facilities. The report, Decision-Making Toolbox to Plan and Manage Park-and-Ride Facilities for Public Transportation: Guidebook on Planning and Managing Park-and-Ride (TCRP Report 192), provides strategies and best practices for parking and drop-off facilities for public transportation. The guide addresses long-range and site-specific planning and the design and operation of park-and-ride locations, including lease or build options, passenger amenities, types of required parking and vehicle and access variables. The guide also addresses integration into communities, facilities within transit-oriented development and paid parking programs. For more information, link to the guide. (4-17-17)

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Regional Cooperation to Improve Bike/Ped-Transit Connections Focus of Peer Exchange

Best practices in working across jurisdictions to improve connections between bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit are described in a report issued by the Federal Highway Administration. The report summarizes a Regional Models of Cooperation peer exchange held in October 2016. The Utah Transit Authority hosted peers from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Mid-America Regional Council. Regional Models of Cooperation is a program of the FHWA Every Day Counts initiative. For more information, link to the report. (3-16-17)

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Public Transportation Ridership Described in APTA Report

Statistics on public transportation ridership within urbanized areas for various population sizes are detailed in a report issued by the American Public Transportation Association. The report includes information from 211 passenger survey reports conducted from 2008-2015 from 163 transit systems in the U.S. The report provides data on age, ethnicity and race, household size, employment and household income of transit riders and indicates that 55 percent of riders are women. The report also finds that 49 percent of trips are to and from work and addresses other travel characteristics such as frequency of transit use, access mode and fare media. For more information, link to the report. (3-10-17)

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Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Handbook Issued by FHWA

The Federal Highway Administration has issued a handbook for incorporating pedestrian and bicycle transportation into regional planning activities. The report addresses approaches to engaging stakeholders, identifying walking and bicycling conditions and needs, developing regional plans and priorities and increasing funding. The report includes recommendations for analyzing existing travel behavior and addresses identification of where people want to walk and bike, development of nonmotorized transportation and examples of municipal organization-led counting programs. For more information, link to the report. (3-8-17)

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Report Seeks to Answer Parking Question Near Transit

Smart Growth America has issued a report concerning the use of land for parking at transit-oriented developments (TODs). The report includes data from five TODs across the country to address how much less parking space is required at TODs and how many fewer vehicle trips are generated than standard estimates. The report examines the estimated number of vehicle trips versus actual vehicle trips, peak parking occupancy and average mode shares at each TOD. The report indicates that fewer vehicle trips are made and a reduced amount of parking space is used. The results highlight the need to align industry standards with TOD needs. For more information, link to the report. (3-1-17)

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NACTO Report Describes Streamlining of Bus Boarding and Fares

The National Association of City Transportation Officials has released a report on streamlining bus boarding and fares. The report discusses faster fair media, providing riders with reduced-fare smart cards for passes and expanding pass eligibility to lower-income groups. The report also highlights the use of fare inspection to allows all-door boarding and proof-of-payment to create faster boarding. Case studies from New York, Seattle and Minneapolis are included. The report provides recommendations for cities to create better boarding policies and improve bus service and design. For more information, link to the report. (3-1-17)

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New Transportation Center Focuses on Emissions, Health Impacts

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has established a new university transportation center to study the health effects of transportation emissions. The Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CAR-TEEH), a consortium of four partners, will study the entire tailpipe-to-lungs spectrum, bringing together experts in the areas of transportation emissions and public health. For more information, link to the announcement. (3-1-17)

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Report Describes Regional Active Transportation Planning

Transportation for America has a released a report concerning how regional transportation planning agencies are promoting active transportation. The report focuses on communities that are developing and prioritizing projects to encourage physical activity by making walking and biking more accessible. The report provides case studies concerning funding for competitive bicycling and walking projects and encouraging safe routes to school projects and the directing of funds to support compact, walkable communities. The report also includes performance measures to assess project benefits, planning policies that promote regional goals and best practices for improving data collection. For more information, link to the report. (2-22-17)

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TRB Releases Journals Addressing Bicycles, Transit

The Transportation Research Board has published a compilation of papers exploring issues related to bicycles and motorcycles in Volume 2587 of its Transportation Research Record journal. The journal address topics such as estimating current and potential bicycle use for statewide planning, bike sharing, cyclists’ comfort level using crowdsourced data, and network connectivity for low-stress bicycling. The TRB also published papers concerning urban traffic systems in Volume 2543 of its Transportation Research Record journal. The journal addresses topics such as scenario and modeling analysis to support transit development, complete street policies and public transit, and methods for estimating statewide transit needs. The journal also addresses demand-responsive pricing for parking and incentive-based intervention during peak period traffic scenarios. For more information, link to the Volume 2587 and Volume 2543. (2-23-17)

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America Walks Establishes Transit-Walkability Collaborative

America Walks has created the Transit-Walkability Collaborative to improve public health, safety and transportation equity. The coalition includes nine organizations such as the Center for Transportation Excellence, American Public Transportation Association, National Association of Public Transportation Advocates and Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help low-income citizens complete daily activities while owning fewer vehicles and driving less. The association has adopted a 2017 action plan and intends to complete an environmental scan to expand walkability and transit advocacy groups. A coalition fact sheet will be published in March in conjunction with a webinar and online survey. For more information, link to the announcement. (2-22-17)

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Report Describes use of Transit-Oriented Development to Combat Inequality

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy has released its Winter Issue of Sustainable Transport, highlighting the issue of inequality. The report describes how some cities are not made for certain populations such as women, older people, the urban poor and people with disabilities. The report focuses on the issue of segregation and the creation of gated communities that facilitate divisions within society and communities that can’t be formed in shared, public space. Transit-oriented development is referenced as a solution to promote inclusivity goals and planning policies that do not displace existing settlements but recognize the multiple identities that form cities. For more information, link to the report. (2-14-17)

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FTA Reports on Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance

The Federal Transit Administration and Smart Growth America have released a report concerning the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Technical Assistance Initiative. The program is a four year project that provides resources and on-the-ground assistance on TOD, land use, urban planning, affordable housing, and community-based economic development to help local governments retain transit investments. The report on the project’s first year addresses TOD education, the importance of first-mile and last-mile connections, TOD market dynamics and the connection between TOD and affordable housing, and includes case studies. The report also focuses on program challenges and indicates that future assistance must focus on equity gaps, support of peer sharing and in-depth assessments of communities. For more information, link to the report. (1-19-17)

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Volpe Report Highlights Future of Transportation Sector

The Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center has issued a report to highlight safety aspects, opportunities and innovation within the transportation sector. The report, The Future of Transportation: Safety, Opportunity, Innovation, addresses the importance of behavioral change to reduce vehicle miles traveled and the need for policies that facilitate mobility in both urban and suburban environments. The report also discusses the effective development of autonomous vehicles through the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment for vehicle testing and the need for changing urban policy to promote accessibility and allow cities to confront automated vehicle challenges. For more information, link to the report. (1-12-17)

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FHWA Issues Guide on Rural Bicycle Facility Design

A guide issued by the Federal Highway Administration provides information and best practices specifically aimed at designing and building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in small towns and rural areas. The guide finds that active transportation planning and design is rapidly gaining popularity, but most of the work to date has been focused on large urban areas. Taking into account the factors of roadway speeds and volumes, the extent of the networks, and land use, the guide provides ideas under four categories: mixed traffic facilities, where vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles share the roadways; visually separated facilities, such as paved shoulders and bike lanes; physically separated facilities; and operational controls such as vehicle speed management, pedestrian lanes, and road markings. For more information, link to Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks. (1-9-17)

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Report Compares Accessibility to Jobs by Transit in U.S. Cities

The University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies has released a report to provide a comparison of accessibility to jobs by public transportation and walking in 49 U.S. metropolitan areas. The report includes data calculated using travel times from transit schedules and pedestrian networks, and accounts for variations in service frequency. The report ranks the top 10 cities with the greatest accessibility to jobs using transit or walking. The report also provides data and maps specifying patterns of accessibility in individual metropolitan areas. The report also addresses land-use based approaches and how density plays an important role in increasing the value of more accessible locations. The report indicates that areas with greater accessibility to jobs by transit include those with fast heavy rail systems that connect urban and suburban areas within a highly employment-dense core. For more information, link to the report. (1-8-17)

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MnDOT Report Assesses the Impacts, Benefits of Bicycling

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has released a report concerning the economic impact and health effects of bicycling. The report assesses impacts from the bicycling industry and events, bicycling infrastructure use and bicycling within the Twin Cities metropolitan area, which account for about 70 percent of the total number of bicycle miles traveled in the state. The report indicates that bicycling events provided a total of $14.3 million to the economy in 2014 and commuting by bike reduces the odds of obesity by 32 percent. The report also reveals that the bicycling industry produced a total of $779.9 million for the economy in 2014. For more information, link to the report. (12-30-16)

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Featured Case Study

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    Utah DOT's 'Road Respect Community' Program Provides Support, Recognition for Community Bicycle Programs

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