Blog Archives

Moving from mobility to accessibility

Road winding through the landscape of a city, including businesses, homes, and trees.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.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Events, Land use, Planning

New podcast explores commuting in the Twin Cities

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.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Bicycling, Pedestrian, Planning, Public transit, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

Commute by bike: job accessibility and bicycles

jackson street bikepathIn 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.

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Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Bicycling, Planning, Transportation research, Urban transportation

CTS Spring Luncheon: Moving to Access—Is the Current Transport Model Broken?

Image of a cityscapeFor several generations, urban transportation policymakers and practitioners around the world favored a “mobility” approach, aimed at moving people and vehicles as fast as possible by reducing congestion. The limits of such an approach, however, 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.

At the CTS Spring Luncheon, Brookings Institution fellow Adie Tomer will explore how the Institution’s new Moving to Access initiative is looking at innovative policies, tools, and techniques that can help ensure that all people—regardless of income or demography—get where they need to go.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Events

Accessibility Observatory research featured as U of M highlight from 2016

Last week, the Accessibility Observatory was featured on the University of Minnesota Inquiry blog as a highlight from a year of excellence in research in FY2016.

The post highlighted the Observatory’s new National Accessibility Evaluation Pooled-Fund Study, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and 11 other transportation agencies across the country. As part of the $1.6 million, five-year project, Observatory staff will create a new national accessibility dataset at the Census block level that describes accessibility to jobs for both driving and transit.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Bicycling, Pedestrian, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research, Urban transportation

New report ranks accessibility to jobs by auto in top U.S. cities

nationwide_accessibility_autoA new report from the Accessibility Observatory estimates the accessibility to jobs by auto in the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States. The report also estimates the impact of traffic congestion on access to jobs in the same areas.

The report—Access Across America: Auto 2015—presents detailed accessibility and congestion impact values for each metropolitan area as well as block-level maps that illustrate the spatial patterns of accessibility within each area. It also includes a census tract-level map that shows accessibility patterns at a national scale. The report is part of the Access Across America study, which began in 2013.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Land use, Traffic data, Transportation research, Urban transportation

New video showcases CTS annual highlights

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 12.51.31 PM.pngA new video showcasing our research and education highlights over the last year debuted in April at our Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. Highlights include research on accessibility, jobs and transit, the national freight economy, and bridge monitoring as well as our transportation summer camp for middle schoolers.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Bridges and structures, Education, Public transit, Transportation research
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