Blog Archives

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

Travel behavior study shows drivers are spending less time traveling and more time at home

travelbehaviorSomething unprecedented has happened to Americans’ travel patterns. Even before the recent recession, total distance traveled per person had started to decline, and the rate of total vehicle travel had begun to steadily decrease as well.

In a new five-part series of research reports sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council, U of M researchers are delving into a set of rich data encompassing more than four decades of travel behavior surveys to enable the region’s transportation planners to better understand how its residents make decisions about whether, when, where, and why to travel.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Planning, Transportation research, Travel Behavior

Accessibility Observatory at TRB 2015

Staff from the Accessibility Observatory will be in Washington, DC, next week for the 94th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. We’d love to discuss our recent national transit accessibility report, our detailed transit accessibility datasets, plans for annual accessibility data updates, and pretty much anything else about accessibility analysis. We hope to see you there!

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Transportation research
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