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Archive for the ‘Smart Growth’ Category

The Innovative DOT: Revenue Allocation and Project Selection

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
Innovative DOT: Area 2 - Revenue Allocation and Project Selection

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Scarce transportation dollars need to be spent where they do the most good. But making changes to long-standing practices, some of which are ensconced in law, can be difficult and present a hurdle to state departments of transportation (DOTs) looking to get the best bang for their buck. Pressing forward with revenue allocation and project selection reform represents a major way in which DOTs can deliver projects with greater impact more quickly. Many agencies are now reforming project selection and formula funding processes for sub-state units of government, often tying proposed spending to state, departmental, and/or local goals and objectives.

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The Innovative DOT: Focus Area 1 – Revenue Sources

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
NRDC - The Innovative DOT - Focus Area 1

The era when fuel taxes alone could cover robust highway construction and maintenance programs is over. Even then, non-highway modes often struggled for support. Funding transportation out of general revenue is problematic, both be-cause it is subject to changing budget priorities and because it underprices transportation, creating excess demand. State departments of transportation (DOTs) need new sources of dedicated revenues, preferably tied to user fees in cases where excess demand—which is both economically and environmentally costly—can be curtailed through the market-style discipline that such fees impose. User fees may also appeal to stakeholders’ sense of fairness, making them more politically palatable than “subsidies” from general tax revenues.

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Freeing the Grid: Net Metering & Interconnection Best Practices

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
definitions

INTERSTATE RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNCIL
VOTE SOLAR
One significant lesson that is apparent upon reviewing the wide variety of existing state standards is that inconsistency is the nemesis of clean energy development. It creates confusion among consumers, undermines the ability of businesses to operate efficiently across utility service territories or state lines,
and increases costs to all program participants — utilities, consumers, businesses and commission staff — by forcing these stakeholders to master the idiosyncrasies of each individual state’s programs.

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Climate Change & Resilience: Recommendations to the President

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
High tide flooding in Broward County, Florida. Photo Credit: Paul Krashefski.

PRESIDENT’S STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LEADERS TASK FORCE ON CLIMATE PREPAREDNESS AND RESILIENCE
At state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, leaders are making bold decisions on ways to invest in more resilient infrastructure, revise land use, update building codes, and adjust natural resource management and other practices to improve the resilience of their communities to climate impacts. The Federal Government has a critical role to play in supporting these efforts by ensuring that Federal policies and programs incorporate climate change, incentivize and remove barriers to community resilience, and provide the information and assistance communities need to understand and prepare for climate risks.

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Streetfilms: Pittsburgh Mayor Boosts Cycling & Livability

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Streetfilms: Pittsburgh Mayor Boosts Cycling & Livability

Mayor Bill Peduto is putting the rest of the United States on notice. His city is on the rise and he fully intends on implementing bicycling, walking and complete streets policies that enhance and make his city more attractive to young talent and business. For the first time in over half a century, Pittsburgh is expecting an increase in residents as the trend in the number of people moving back to cities grows.

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Future of Rail 2050

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
This graphic depicts countries and territories with 2050 urban populations exceeding 100,000. Circles are scaled in proportion to urban population size.

ARUP
This thought-piece focuses on the passenger and user experience. The journeys imagined here are intended to generate a conversation about the future and provide the big picture context for future planning and decision-making by the rail industry and by governments. They are also intended to set out a forward-looking and inspiring vision for rail. With the increasing pace of technological change, perhaps the more imaginative scenarios will come to fruition. The case studies indicate trends taking place in rail. They are early signs of possible directional change, and reveal directions in which the future could be heading. Whether these become more widely implemented remains to be seen.

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West Valley City, UT: Traffic Modeling of Transit Oriented Development

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Figure 2.4 The example of two neighborhoods with different levels of connectivity (Source: New Jersey DOT)

MOUNTAIN-PLAINS CONSORTIUM
Throughout the Wasatch Front Metropolitan Region, the majority of land use development forces people to drive in order to access their destinations. This is due to low density and mostly single use developments built on poorly connected street networks with several cul-de-sacs and few routing options for transport system users. Even though the development of Wasatch Front has the legacy of transit supportive land uses in the region’s city centers and previous street car suburbs, the connection between them is still such that it encourages driving as the dominant mode of transportation. Designing streets and street networks that would support TOD environments is still considered with hesitation as the potential solution for traffic congestion and increasing travel demand. One of the reasons for this might be the need to evaluate the effects that TOD has on traffic operations.

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Estimating Bicycling and Walking for Planning and Project Development

Monday, August 18th, 2014
Figures 1-1 and 1-2: Location of employment activity in Arlington County &  Bicycle and pedestrian networks in Arlington County

NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM

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Five Years of Learning From Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Figure 1: Many Americans prefer to live in more convenient, walkable neighborhoods. Source: National Association of Realtors 2013.

PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
Many of our communities and housing options, built for a different time, are not what Americans want today. Research from the real estate industry shows that more people want to live in more convenient, walkable neighborhoods (Figure 1). A National Association of Realtors survey showed that half of Americans prefer a neighborhood with a variety of housing types, including multifamily and single-family homes; shops, restaurants, and amenities within walking distance; and nearby public transportation over a neighborhood with only single-family homes and few transportation options besides driving. Walkable communities are particularly important to millennials, who make up the largest percentage of the U.S. population; one research firm estimates that about 70 percent of them see walkability as “important” or “vital” when choosing a home.

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The Effect of Smart Growth Policies on Travel Demand

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Table 1. Summary of Background Research Assessment

STRATEGIC HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM
TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
While the transportation-land use connection and the impact of various smart growth strategies on travel demand are well-documented, practical guidance and tools for interpreting these insights to make them useful at key project decision points have been lacking. The objective of SHRP 2 Capacity project C16 was to provide transportation planning agencies with improved tools and methods for more accurately and comprehensively integrating transportation investment decision-making with land development and growth management.

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