Access Across America: Transit 2014

NYC accessibility map

Yesterday, the Accessibility Observatory released Access Across America: Transit 2014, a new report that investigates accessibility to jobs by transit in 46 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Accessibility is the ease of reaching valued destinations. For example, in this report we find that the average worker in the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area can reach about 17,000 jobs within 30 minutes by transit. Accessibility metrics capture both the benefits (17,000 jobs) and the costs (30 minutes) of travel. This makes them a valuable tool for understanding how well transportation systems fulfill their fundamental purpose: connecting people to destinations that matter, at costs they are willing to pay.

Posted in Accessibility, Land use, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research, Urban transportation

Access Across America: University of Minnesota ranks accessibility to jobs by transit in top U.S. cities

Access Across America: Transit 2014New research from the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota ranks the largest metropolitan areas in the United States for accessibility to jobs by transit. New York City came in #1. Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks #13.

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Posted in Economics, Land use, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

Does the variable speed limit system on I-94 reduce crashes?

Two years ago, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) installed a series of electronic speed limit advisory signs over I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The variable speed limit (VSL) system is designed to reduce congestion and help prevent crashes by recommending lower speed limits to drivers during periods of high traffic.

Although the verdict on the system’s effects on I-94 congestion is still pending, a recent study by researchers at the U of M’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory found that the VSL system has not made a measurable impact on crashes in a crash-prone stretch of freeway in downtown Minneapolis.

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Posted in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Safety, Technology, Traffic operations, Transportation research, Uncategorized, Urban transportation

UM, Access to Fun #6: Mall of America

UM, Access to Fun: Mall of America [Episode 6]

Welcome to Episode 6 of the “UM, Access to Fun” show with University of Minnesota student host Josh Lee.

In this week’s episode, join Josh for non-stop thrills as he takes the Metro Transit Blue Line to the largest mall in the country, the world-famous Mall of America.

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Posted in Accessibility, Pedestrian, Public transit, Urban transportation

Improving work-zone safety for visually impaired pedestrians

pedestriansNavigating sidewalks and intersections affected by road construction can be challenging for all pedestrians, but it’s especially difficult for those who are blind or visually impaired.

To help these pedestrians find their way safely, U of M researchers have developed a smartphone app that can detect upcoming work zones and provide routing instructions. The project, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), was led by senior systems engineer Chen-Fu Liao at the U’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory.

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Posted in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Pedestrian, Safety, Technology, Transportation research, Urban transportation

UM, Access to Fun #5: Lake Calhoun

Welcome to Episode 5 of the “UM, Access to Fun” show with University of Minnesota student host Josh Lee.

UM, Access to Fun: Lake Calhoun [Episode 5]

In this week’s episode, Josh uses carsharing to put in a little beach time at Lake Calhoun, one of the most popular destinations for cool, relaxing summer fun in the Twin Cities.

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Posted in Accessibility, Pedestrian, Public transit, Urban transportation

UM, Access to Fun #4: Mickey’s Diner

UM, Access to Fun: Mickey's Diner [Episode 4]

Welcome to Episode 4 of the “UM, Access to Fun” show with University of Minnesota student host Josh Lee.

In this week’s episode, join Josh on a visit to the incomparable Mickey’s Diner, the site in downtown St. Paul of several Hollywood blockbusters as well as as soul-satisfying food and quirky good service.

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Posted in Accessibility, Pedestrian, Public transit, Urban transportation
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