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Due to limited resources and funding, state departments of transportation (DOTs) struggle to achieve their goals of improving safety, alleviating congestion, reducing environmental impacts, and helping to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods. In response to these challenges, DOTs across the country are reevaluating traditional practices, learning new skills, working more closely with stakeholders, and becoming more flexible in their approaches to problem solving. This handbook is a collection of case studies and innovative approaches DOTs have taken to make systems more efficient and effective under eight focus areas: revenue sources, revenue allocation and project selection, pricing, increasing transportation system efficiency, improving options for mobility and access, providing efficient, safe freight access, integrating transportation and land use decision-making, and improving DOT processes.
Developing and tracking accessibility metrics has many practical advantages, such as measuring how readily commuters can meet their needs and providing a common measure for assessing various transportation modes and modal investments. This guide addresses the need for accessibility measures in transportation and land practice, pointing to problems with existing metrics and introducing place-based metrics—cumulative-opportunity metrics and decay-weighted metrics. Additionally, this guide describes the types of transportation and land use data (i.e. level of stress traffic, U.S. Census data, walking and biking speeds) that are useful in calculating accessibility, with suggestions on how to obtain them and use them to calculate and report accessibility.
As opposed to conventional data and metrics, this report uses newer data sources and more advanced analytic tools to study Sacramento’s transportation system. In particular, this report utilizes accessibility metrics to identify locations with poor connections to existing transit, explain people’s travel behavior in those places, and evaluate possible improvements at key locations.
Many cities include minimum parking requirements in their zoning codes and provide ample parking for public use. However, parking is costly to provide and encourages increased automobile use, which is linked to traffic congestion, environmental degradation, and negative health and safety impacts. This study analyzed the relationship between increased parking and increases in automobile use. Results show that an increase in parking provision from 0.1 to 0.5 parking space per person was associated with an increase in automobile mode share of roughly 30 percentage points; these findings warrant policies to restrict and reduce parking capacity in cities.
Urban freeways create barriers to movement within cities, institutionalize social inequities, contribute to environmental degradation, and encourage suburban sprawl. As urban freeways approach the end of their useful lives, decisions on the fate of an individual freeway will be place specific, and must consider policy, budget, current and future transportation needs, and neighborhood impacts. This report outlines infrastructure and policy options for aging freeways, such as converting them to surface boulevards, constructing sunken expressways, relocating, completely removing them, and more.
Freight Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies help to increase overall transportation system efficiency by shifting the routes, travel times, operational characteristics, or transportation modes used to move goods. These strategies present more sustainable, cost-effective alternatives to increasing capacity on congested highways and roads that offer health, safety, environmental, and livability benefits as well. This report looks at the costs of transporting freight by highway and railroad, the costs allocated to shippers, taxpayers, and society, what and where freight TDM activities are being implemented, and how local governments can effectively implement freight TDM strategies.
To manage parking provisions and minimize the negative impacts of excess parking effectively, policy makers need a full understanding of how much existing parking is used and how factors affect its use. This paper presents a study of multi-family residential parking occupancy and related factors at 80 sites in Madison, Wisconsin. It found that during the evening peak, the existing supply of parking was only 67% occupied. This excess parking increases construction costs and congestion. Practitioners should put policies in place to reduce excess parking while ensuring that buildings provide the minimum amount of parking needed to satisfy demand.
This report compares estimates of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Hawaii under current conditions versus VMT when policies are implemented to manage travel demand. These policies include transportation demand management (employer-based programs that encourage employees to carpool, use transit, walk, or bike), parking reform, road or mileage pricing (i.e. increased taxes on gasoline, congestion charges in urban areas), improved access to walking and biking facilities, zoning policies that encourage denser, mixed-use development in suburban areas, and more. Under current conditions, VMT is expected to rise 16.6% above current levels by 2045; upon policy implementation, VMT could be reduced by 7.3 percent below current levels by 2045.
This report proposes a new approach to assessing and responding to land use-driven transportation impacts, called “modern mitigation.” Instead of relying on auto capacity improvements as a first resort, this approach builds on practice around transportation demand management (TDM) to make traffic reduction the priority. Current land use methods requires developers to provide parking and often to widen roads, which adds traffic. Transportation Demand Management, the method described in this report, focuses on rewarding low-auto-travel development and mitigating the traffic created by high-auto-travel development. Land use, zoning and building codes are powerful tools that cities can use to implement.
This report guides planning agencies and transportation decision makers in measuring accessibility and incorporating those metrics into decision making by outlining general concepts, data needs and availability, analysis tools, and other considerations in measuring accessibility. It describes different ways accessibility can be measured and demonstrates how the metrics can be used through project evaluation examples. It also describes the potential use of accessibility metrics in predicting outcomes such as travel demand and transit ridership.