Grain and medical technology may not seem to have much in common, but they share at least one trait: both are key industry clusters that help drive Minnesota’s economy. At a roundtable held by the U’s Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness (TPEC) Program, speakers discussed trends in grain and medical-sector supply chains and the implications for freight transportation policy and investments.
TPEC director Lee Munnich opened the event. “Transportation is necessary—but not sufficient—for economic growth,” he said. “In our research, we look at how well the transportation system is working for the economy, and in particular, for the industry clusters that are so important to an area.”
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.
As part of the Global Transit Innovations (GTI) program, Humphrey School Associate Professor Yingling Fan is writing a new book that will share lessons learned from her study of transit development in 20 U.S. metropolitan regions.
GTI was established last year by CTS in partnership with Fan, who also serves as GTI director. In this Q&A, Fan shares thoughts about her upcoming book, the link between transit and urban development, what’s needed for a transit revival, and more.
A 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.
A special issue of Transport Policy focused on transit investment and land development features papers authored by three CTS scholars: Jason Cao, Yingling Fan, and Andrew Guthrie.
Giving people more options to bike or walk to their destinations has been a high priority for transportation planners in recent years. But as the number of pedestrians and bicyclists using the transportation system increases, so does the potential for serious—or even deadly—crashes involving these high-risk road users.
“To best prevent bicycle and pedestrian crashes, transportation planners need a better idea of how many people are using nonmotorized transportation and what their exposure to risk is,” says Greg Lindsey, a professor in the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and researcher at the Roadway Safety Institute.
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Metropolitan Council staff and leaders are working with U of M researchers to better understand industry clusters and how local planning decisions and regional infrastructure investments can encourage private investment.
The Council’s Committee of the Whole recently invited Lee Munnich, director of the State and Local Policy Program (SLPP) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Humphrey School associate professor Yingling Fan to present and discuss their research on industry clustering.