Given the many benefits of parks, there’s growing interest in whether these green spaces are distributed equitably in urban areas. When researchers study park accessibility, they typically assume that people will use active modes of transportation (biking and walking) to reach their destinations. Few studies have considered automobile and transit accessibility.
A new analysis from the U of M helps fill this gap. It applies a comprehensive measure of park accessibility to determine the differences across space and population groups for Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhoods. Kristin Carlson and Jacqueline Nowak conducted the assessment last year as part of their graduate coursework for Professor Jason Cao of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Annually updated research from the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota ranks 49 of the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States for connecting workers with jobs via transit.
The new rankings, part of the Access Across America national pooled-fund study that began in 2013, focus on accessibility, a measure that examines both land use and transportation systems. Accessibility measures how many destinations, such as jobs, can be reached in a given time.
Though rankings of the top 10 metro areas for job accessibility by transit remain unchanged from the previous year, new data comparing changes within each of the 49 largest U.S. metros over one year helped researchers identify the places with the greatest increases in access to jobs by transit. Cincinnati and Charlotte improved more than 11 percent. Seattle, which ranks 8th for job accessibility by transit, improved nearly 11 percent. In all, 36 of the 49 largest metros showed increases in job accessibility by transit.
CTS has been celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a look back at significant milestones. One of our goals for the anniversary was to show how research progresses over time to lead to new knowledge.
Today at our annual Transportation Research Conference, we debuted a video about an important research topic: accessibility metrics. In the new video, Andrew Owen, the director of the U’s Accessibility Observatory, explains how accessibility looks at the end-to-end purpose of transportation: fulfilling people’s need to reach destinations.
As the movement to promote bicycling as a means of transportation has grown, so has the amount of money governments and nonprofit organizations are investing in the nation’s urban bicycling infrastructure. A concern, however, is whether these investments are distributed equitably among neighborhoods.
In a new study, U of M researchers looked at this issue using Minneapolis as a case study and found that though inequities still exist, equity is improving.
For several generations, transportation policymakers and practitioners have favored a “mobility” approach, aimed at moving people and vehicles as fast as possible by reducing congestion. However, the limits of this approach have become more apparent over time, as residents struggle to reach workplaces, schools, hospitals, shopping, and numerous other destinations in an equitable and sustainable manner.
Researchers have been able to define this challenge more precisely and elevate the importance of “accessibility” over the past few decades, but the adoption of new policies, tools, and investments by practitioners remains slow and uneven across most regions. During CTS’s 2017 Spring Luncheon presentation, Brookings Institution fellow Adie Tomer offered highlights from the institution’s Moving to Access Initiative, which visualizes challenges of the current mobility model, impediments to adopting an accessibility-focused approach, and a vision for where metro areas can go from here.
A new 10-episode podcast is exploring what commuting in the Twin Cities is like—and what it could be.
Here to There, developed by Apparatus and Transit for Livable Communities & St. Paul Smart Trips, examines the inextricable link between the ways we commute and the ways we live.
Each episode focuses on a different “destination”—defined not as a place but as a goal for the Twin Cities mobility system. Episode destinations include accessibility, equity, cohesion, and flexibility.
In conjunction with Bike to Work Week, Brendan Murphy gives an update on the Accessibility Observatory’s work measuring access to jobs by bicycle in this guest post.
People are steadily increasing the rates at which they choose to bike to where they need to go, and with that comes the need to focus more intently on whether our road, trail, and path systems do a good job (or not) of getting people on bikes to destinations safely and efficiently.