Portland’s New Bike Share Marks Some Early Triumphs

People ride Biketown bikes in Portland (Felicity Mackay/PBOT)
Portland’s new bike share, Biketown, has already had some modest successes. Twenty-six percent of users said they had used the bike share program instead of driving a car, and 64 percent said they’re biking more. The program also reported some upsides for local businesses: 71 percent of tourists who used the bikes said they did so to reach stores or restaurants, and 69 percent of local riders said they were more likely to visit a business near the bike-share stations.... Read more

Developing and Advancing Effective Public Involvement and Environmental Justice Strategies for Rural and Small Communities

This sidewalk in Altamont, NY (pop. 1609) features a brick treatment, pedestrian scale lighting, street banners and colorful plantings. (Credit: Alta Planning + Design / CC-BY-SA)
This report from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was developed to help transportation planners, practitioners, and other decision makers develop effective, locally-appropriate, and replicable strategies for public involvement in transportation planning and programming in small and rural communities. The report provides case studies and resource information to better engage environmental justice communities, as well as strategies that will mitigate or avoid prospective environmental justice issues. Read report... Read more

Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks

This sidewalk in Altamont, NY (pop. 1609) features a brick treatment, pedestrian scale lighting, street banners and colorful plantings. (Credit: Alta Planning + Design / CC-BY-SA)
This FHWA document is intended to be a resource for transportation practitioners in small towns and rural communities. It applies existing national design guidelines in a rural setting and highlights small town and rural case studies. It addresses challenges specific to rural areas, recognizes how many rural roadways are operating today, and focuses on opportunities to make incremental improvements despite the geographic, fiscal, and other challenges that many rural communities face. Read report... Read more

Every Place Counts Design Challenge Summary Report

usdot-every-place-counts-cover
This report from the U.S. Department of Transportation summarizes the experiences and lessons learned from the four selected cities – Spokane, WA; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – that participated in the Every Place Counts Design Challenge. Every Place Counts leveraged federal, state, and local resources for practices that enhance mobility and access while building opportunity and equity for local neighborhoods. Read report... Read more

Suburbs Increasingly View Their Auto-Centric Sprawl as a Health Hazard

Traffic congestion in Bethesda, Maryland (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
Planners in Prince George’s County have talked for years about reshaping communities to help residents fetch a gallon of milk via a walk or bicycle ride, rather than add to stifling traffic congestion by having to drive. But planners say they’re increasingly treating the Maryland county’s low-density, auto-dependent design as more than a traffic problem. More often, they say, they’re considering sprawl a health hazard. Read more... Read more

Automakers Prepare for an America That’s Over the Whole Car Thing

Riders on the Los Angeles subway’s Expo rail extension (Brad Torchia / The New York Times)
For decades, automakers have been able to count on a fundamental fact of American life: You pretty much need a car to get around. But due to new technologies and demographic and economic trends, many young Americans do not consider owning a car a necessity — or a necessary expense. So carmakers are looking ahead to a day when the automobile plays a smaller role, or even no role at all, in many people’s daily routines. Read more... Read more
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