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Environment

U.S. DOT envisions trails can be part of core transportation networks

Historically, the mission of the U.S. Department of Transportation has been about moving cars. But that mission has expanded. In 2010, the DOT signed into law a policy statement noting that “every transportation agency has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling.” In 2015, former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx went further,… Read more »

The road to good health is paved with walking, biking, and transit

Driving is often a miserable experience that leaves people isolated and physically deprived Yet, on average, Americans commute 50 minutes daily and 90 percent of the time by car, says writer Kirsten Dirksen in the Huffington Post. Much of this suffering is due to the ways we built up our places during a time in… Read more »

Phoenix Bikes provides true transportation education in Arlington, Va.

Inexpensive, easy to operate, and healthy, bicycles should be ideal transportation for both young and low-income people. But somehow, at least in the United States, bicycling has too often become the domain of affluent, middle-aged hipsters. Enter Phoenix Bikes, a ramshackle shop on the edge of Arlington County, Va., that, for the past 10 years,… Read more »

Rethinking buses may make Montgomery County a gridlock-free paradise

Montgomery County, Md., is working to provide a system of systems to make it easier for everyone to get around – a multimodal network. Together with the existing Metrorail and bus networks, more multimodal options are coming online, with a vision of lessening the number of cars on the county’s gridlocked roadways. Ride On extRa (or… Read more »

Speedy adoption of autonomous vehicles could be disastrous

The smart-growth and transit revolution of the last decade or two has had only partial success. Despite some revitalized cities and some new transit, sprawl remains dominant in America. On the heels of this incomplete revolution comes a new one: automated vehicles (AVs) that are certain to alter land use and transit. As the predominance… Read more »

Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles will be a roller coaster ride

Autonomous vehicles appear to be wonderful in many ways. They will help seniors and young people get places. They’ll reduce traffic accidents and making driving safer. They will eliminate vast swaths of parking. Then again, they may worsen the most harmful aspects of sprawl. They could create lost tax revenue. They may cripple public transit…. Read more »

Local transit agencies have a key role to play in global climate pact

Last month, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the global climate pact, the Paris Agreement, prompting cities, states, investors, businesses, organizations of all sizes, and everyday Americans to step forward and pledge to continue fighting climate change. But passive support like gathering signatures isn’t enough. If you really want to do something, you… Read more »

As e-bikes grow in popularity, here are some things to know

With electric bicycles gaining popularity – and with their real potential to give drive-alone commuters a more realistic, better option than traditional bikes – people keep asking questions. And why wouldn’t they be intrigued? E-bikes are practical, they’re cool, and they’re making our lives a lot easier. For individuals, e-bikes can make long, hilly commutes… Read more »

Traffic planners should listen up to solutions offered by Transportation Techies

Traffic wastes time and money almost everywhere on the planet, so congestion is the bogeyman many transportation planners hope to defeat. Attendees at the most-recent Transportation Techies Meetup – held at Mobility Lab in Arlington, Va., and focused on traffic solutions – got a taste of several early-stage tech/planning options. “Data and technology are becoming… Read more »

California vanpools using Teslas to more efficiently ease traffic congestion

This article is excerpted from the Association for Commuter Transportation’s ACT Connections Newsletter. If asked under cover of darkness and with a promise of anonymity, most vanpool program managers will admit that, with their industry, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” People load the van, get low gas mileage, and schlep… Read more »