Blog Archives

Twin Cities transit service improvements helping to increase transit’s appeal over time

Light-railThe Twin Cities transit system changed dramatically between 2000 and 2010: service improvements included the launch of light-rail transit and a high-frequency bus network.

“The changes were implemented in response to growing demand and to provide long-term, high-quality service, increasing accessibility and mobility in the growing region,” says Jonathan Ehrlich, planning analyst with the Metropolitan Council.

And according to a new study by U of M researchers, the changes are working.

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

CTS participates in U of M efforts to make cities smarter, more sustainable

smartcityA recent post on Inquiry, the U of M’s research blog, highlighted how University researchers are participating in a variety of efforts related to “smart cities.” These efforts are designed to develop solutions related to transportation, energy, housing, and more for the cities and communities of the future.

The post cites CTS as one of many University centers contributing expertise to the U’s smart city initiatives.

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

Congestion, accessibility, and the future of transportation metrics

traffic congestionLast month, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute released its 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, the latest in an occasional series of reports focused on automobile congestion in U.S. metropolitan areas. Using data from INRIX, these reports estimate the costs of congestion, represented by the number of “extra” hours that automobile commuters spend by traveling at low, congested speeds instead of high, uncongested speeds. The implication is that our cities function best when they allow cars to move fast.

Detailed congestion data are a critical component of our work at the Accessibility Observatory. But for us, automobile congestion is only part of the whole picture. We approach all of our research and evaluation projects with the understanding that all travel is motivated by a desire to reach destinations, and that no study of transportation is complete unless it looks at both the costs and benefits of travel.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Planning

Census report looks at U.S. commuting patterns; U of M report analyzes Twin Cities’ patterns

Evening Skyline, Minneapolis

A recent report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau looks at commuting patterns by U.S. workers in 2013 using data from the American Community Survey. It highlights differences in rates of automobile commuting by key population characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, and the types of communities in which workers live.

You can also find an extensive analysis of commuting behavior that was produced locally. In a recent multifaceted study sponsored by the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, U of M researchers analyzed travel behavior over time in the Twin Cities.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Economics, Land use, Planning, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

New book: The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport

51soqNnHkAL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_A new book by Professor David Levinson, RP Braun/CTS Chair in the U of M’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, is now available on Amazon.

In the The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport, Levinson and co-author Kevin J. Krizek at the University of Colorado Boulder propose that traffic—as most people have come to know it—is ending and explain why.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Intelligent vehicles, Planning, Technology, Urban transportation

Green Line LRT: accessibility impacts in Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Sunday, June 14, marks the one-year anniversary of the start of service on the Twin Cities’ Green Line LRT route. At the Accessibility Observatory, we like to celebrate transportation anniversaries the way we wish everyone would: with a detailed evaluation of access to destinations.

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

New video highlights how U of M transportation research makes a difference

CTS aired a new video—”How does University of Minnesota research make a difference?”—at our Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on April 6. The video highlights research initiatives from 2014-2015, including projects focused on flashing left-turn signals at intersections, “self-healing” pavement, and transit amenities.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Environment, Freight, Infrastructure, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Land use, Pavements, Planning, Public transit, Technology, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation
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