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Autonomous vehicles will improve transportation options for older Americans and people with disabilities

Imagine you are the adult child of a senior-citizen parent who is mentally sharp and active but whose reflexes and eyesight are not what they used to be just a few years ago. The ability to go to the grocery store, visit family and friends, or make a trip to the doctor’s office is important… Read more »

5 ways cities and counties can make sure autonomous vehicles and bikes mix safely

This is the second of a three-part series on how bicyclists and autonomous vehicles can cohabitate. Part 1 is here. The suggestions in this series were originally developed in January at a planning session sponsored by the Eno Center for Transportation that the author designed and facilitated with fellow Mobility Lab contributor Lisa Nisenson. Eno will… 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 »

Why it’s so difficult for autonomous vehicles to see bikes

This is the first of a three-part series on how bicyclists, pedestrians, and autonomous vehicles can cohabitate. When I’m pedaling down North Pershing Drive in Arlington, Va., dodging cars or car doors or trash and delivery trucks, Mobility Mama wonders how her kids ever make it anywhere incident free. “We never ride on Pershing, we… Read more »

Demand questions are the elephant in the room with autonomous vehicles

Say you live 1.3 miles from a subway station or a bus route that would offer you direct access to your job. Then picture an autonomous vehicle looping through your neighborhood every 20 minutes or so to take you and your neighbors straight to that access point. All of a sudden, you would be pretty… 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 »

Providing safe roads is key to growing bicycle culture, report finds

Bicycle fatalities are rising and the average age for fatalities continues to rise, according to a report released today by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. As the Washington Post notes, “Forty years ago, riding a bike was child’s play, and the overwhelming majority of those killed in bike crashes were children. [But] the average age… Read more »

Roadkill: the secret ingredient in improving autonomous-vehicle technology?

Making people safer from the dangers of roadkill might just be one of the least discussed elements in the advent of connected and autonomous vehicles. Although no one officially collects data on the number of animal-vehicle collisions, it’s clear that it is a big problem. Virginia alone spends $4 million each year to remove the… Read more »

bike ride DC

Why you should care about other modes now

This article is excerpted from an article at Arlington Transportation Partners. Not too long ago, I was biking down 14th Street and was halfway doored by an SUV that had pulled partially into the bike lane to drop off some passengers. I say halfway because I was able to slow my speed enough that the impact wasn’t completely jarring and… Read more »

Could Uber and Lyft push to make paratransit efficient and affordable?

Only seven to 10 percent of any age group with disabilities used paratransit or other specialized services for travel, according to a 2002 study by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The same study said that 8 to 31 percent of any age group with disabilities uses public transit. Those numbers haven’t likely changed… Read more »