The Federal Highway Administration has very quietly acknowledged that the driving boom is over. [...]
the agency’s more recent forecast finally recognizes that the protracted post-World War II era has given way to a different paradigm.
The new vision of the future suggests that driving per capita will essentially remain flat in the future. The benchmark is important because excessively high estimates of future driving volume get used to justify wasteful spending on new and wider highways. — usa.streetsblog.org
“Penn Station did not make you feel comfortable; it made you feel important.” [...]
Unlike McKim’s monument, today’s Penn Station — where many visitors, both domestic and international, encounter New York City for the first time — certainly does not make you feel important. Comparing the vanished terminal with this tawdry replacement, the Yale architectural historian Vincent Scully once wrote, “One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat.” — nytimes.com
California's bullet-train agency will officially start construction in Fresno this week on the first 29-mile segment of the system, a symbol of the significant progress the $68-billion project has made against persistent political and legal opposition. [...]
But the milestone marked by Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony also will serve as a reminder of the enormous financial, technical and political risks still faced by the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco project. — latimes.com
At the broadest level, it's fair to say that urban mobility didn't have the most encouraging day. In recent years, conservative transportation policy has been much more inclined to favor highways serving rural and outer suburban regions than alternative modes that boost balanced city networks [...] But at the city and county level, where most transit initiatives occur, the midterms yielded a number of big victories, in keeping with the general success of transit ballot measures in recent years. — citylab.com
Before the end of this year, the Federal Highway Administration will release its own guidance on designing protected bike lanes.
The agency’s positions on bicycling infrastructure has matured in recent years. Until recently, U.S. DOT’s policy was simple adherence to outdated and stodgy manuals like AASHTO’s Green Book and FHWA’s own Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) — neither of which included protected bike lanes. — usa.streetsblog.org
With views of the downtown skyline, the $1.1 billion new Indianapolis airport has been celebrated for its sense of place, and for treating its passengers as "guests," much the way the hotel industry does. It has its own civic plaza, a light-filled central space with 35-foot ceilings that functions as the nexus of activity—every passenger, whether arriving or departing, passes through—where half of all the airport's shops and restaurants reside. [...]
What is Indy doing right? — citylab.com
Tilikum Crossing is the nation's first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. [...]
"Transit has a huge impact on urban planning. I mean, if you look at our city, it was designed around streetcars. On some level, it has to be part of their DNA." — citylab.com
Fleets of self-driving lorries could be tested on UK roads as soon as next year, according to reports. [...]
The initiative would cut fuel consumption, backers said.
However, the plan has been criticised by motoring groups which said such a fleet would be "intimidating" to other road users. — bbc.com
Ridescout, the “Kayak of ground transportation” that aggregates over 300 rideshare services, announced today that it will integrate carpooling into its app. This move comes on the heels of recent announcements from Uber and Lyft, which on the same day earlier this month revealed they would gradually begin to allow their users to carpool. While ridesharing has up to this point been a mostly single-user service, Ridescout’s announcement reinforces a general trend toward multi-user integration. — urbanful.org
Today, Uber is announcing UberPool, a new feature that will let you pick up other riders on the way to your destination and split the bill.
While the feature should do a lot to cut costs for passengers, not everyone will want to ride with a stranger in addition to the driver picking them up; Uber notes that the new feature also serves as a kind of “social experiment.” [...]
Starting August 15 a public beta will launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. — techcrunch.com
Central Atlanta Progress, a nonprofit corporation of Atlanta business leaders, has released the documents from a recent assessment of Downtown Atlanta parking. They include reports on the existing parking situation and recommendations for “improving the customer parking experience in Downtown Atlanta.” [...]
The first sting was felt when I read this nugget from the report:
A person’s first and last impression of a city begins and ends with parking.
Ouch! I beg to differ. — ATL Urbanist
With so many crossovers in private operations, public data, and private uses, our future transit agency would blur the line between public and private sectors in a way we haven’t yet pioneered. The challenge is one of governance, bureaucratic turf, organizational development, planning, and public policy, not simply one of technology. Technology is just a tool, and our human institutions can either make use of it or try to ignore it. — urbanomnibus.net
The wisdom of surrounding transit stations with "seas" of park-and-ride lots may be turning. In theory, park-and-ride seems like a great transportation compromise, converting full-trip drivers into part-trip riders. In practice, the opposite often occurs, with former non-drivers now commuting part of the way by car.
That unexpected practical shift can increase vehicle miles traveled in a metro area, subverting the sustainability goal of transit. — citylab.com
Cars offer more than just convenience: they can give lower income Americans an economic leg up. [...]
While tracking households that had participated in two federal housing voucher programs, [a study] found that car owners were twice as likely as transit users to find jobs and four times likelier to retain them. Car-owning households were also able to locate near better neighborhoods and schools. This reaffirmed previous work ... arguing that car ownership plants the seeds for upward mobility. — thedailybeast.com
The just-elected new Mayor of Paris, Madame Anne Hidalgo, has prepared a revolutionary sustainable mobility project whereby virtually all of the streets of the city will be subject to a maximum speed limit of 30 km/hr.
The only exceptions in the plan are a relatively small number of major axes into the city and along the two banks of the Seine, where the speed limit will be 50 km/hr, and the city’s hard pressed ring road (périphérique) [...]. — World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities
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