The George Wright Society has honored RSG Sr. Director Steve Lawson with their Social Science Achievement Award. The award is given in recognition of excellence in social science research, management, or education related to parks, reserves, and other protected areas.
Steve stands in a unique position at the intersection of theory and practice in public lands planning and management. He has conducted research in some of the United States’ most iconic national parks and has published extensively in the field’s most prominent journals, authoring and co-authoring dozens of influential papers. Though he secured a tenured faculty position in academia, he chose to transition to a consultancy where he could focus on applied projects—putting ideas into action at national parks, national forests, and other protected lands.
To celebrate his dedication, he will receive a Social Science Achievement award plaque, a year’s complimentary membership to the GWS, and recognition at a future GWS award ceremony.
We are looking forward to learning from others and sharing our work with three presentations at the 2019 Innovations in Freight Data Workshop this week in Irvine, CA.
The workshop is a two-day event to bring together freight data users and decision makers to learn and share the latest applications of emerging freight data sources, development of value-added features, integration of data sets, and other innovations.
In December of 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—the first federal law in over a decade to provide long-term funding certainty for surface transportation infrastructure and investment. It expires in September 2020 which, in legislative terms, is right around the corner.
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) International President Bruce Belmore just appointed RSG Director Steve Gayle to serve on a new ITE Reauthorization Task Force around this legislation. Steve, a past president of ITE, has been asked to contribute his policy expertise and knowledge of transportation planning and the federal requirements that govern MPOs.
The Task Force will deliver specific bill recommendations to the ITE Board of Direction later this year. They will use these to develop the official policy of ITE and both organization and individual members will then use this policy as a basis for talking to Congress.
We are proud to have played a key role in the report Who’s on Board 2019: How to Win Back America’s Transit Riders published by TransitCenter, an organization committed to improving transit through innovation. The study, released last week, draws on results from focus groups and a survey of 1,700 transit riders in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Denver, and New Orleans. The findings provide insight into the causes of declining transit ridership and shape solutions for transit agencies aiming to win back riders.
RSG-led research for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) is featured in the latest issue of the Transportation Research Board’s TR News. The article, “Research Offers Insights on Highway Noise,” highlights two of RSG’s research projects, NCHRP 25-52 and 25-44.
Traffic noise from highways can negatively affect human health and quality of life. Though federal legislation has required state DOTs to anticipate and mitigate noise effects of proposed new highways and expansion projects since the 1970s, they continue to receive traffic noise complaints. These two NCHRP reports offer new insights for noise specialists, project designers, and policy makers.
We're looking forward to sharing some of our work and learning from others at the 2019 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC next week. We’ll be moderating four sessions and giving sixteen presentations at the event, covering a range of topics—from meteorological effects on highway noise to the impacts of delivery drones on transportation.
The TRB Annual Meeting program covers all transportation modes, with sessions and workshops addressing topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions. The program is expected to attract over 13,000 transportation professionals from around the world. We are proud to be a sponsor.
RSG Director Jonathan Slason is presenting this week at the Vermont Economic Conference. The event, sponsored by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, will take place today in Burlington (VT) and tomorrow in Castleton (VT).
Jonathan’s presentation will cover Vermont demographic trends and their implications on housing demand. He will also summarize local and national survey work and how it relates to where people prefer to locate and discuss how those decisions then affect transportation, land use, and affordability.
Have you thought about how you’ll get to work (or home? or the grocery store?) over the next two decades? Under requirements for long-range transportation planning, state departments of transportation and regional metropolitan planning organizations are required to have a multimodal transportation plan with a minimum time horizon of 20 years. Because manufacturers and shared fleet operators suggest that CAVs will be present on the highway system in significant numbers well before 2038, the planning community will require procedures and methods to address the potential positive and negative direct and indirect outcomes from their deployment.
In response to this, TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) recently published Research Report 896: Updating Regional Transportation Planning and Modeling Tools to Address Impacts of Connected and Automated Vehicles, co-authored by RSG. Volume 1 of the report summarizes guidelines to help agencies update their modeling and forecasting tools to address expected impacts of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on transportation supply, road capacity, and travel demand components. Volume 2 explores ways to develop new planning and modeling processes that include CAVs in the transportation environment.
Find more, including a presentation that can be adapted for presentations to agency decision makers, here.
Is transit dying? While transit agencies once celebrated that millennials were unusually predisposed to use transit and live in urban areas served by transit, today we find that the demographic boost is largely over. The TransitCenter recently published “Growing Up and Away from Transit,” co-authored by RSG’s Greg Spitz. The article explores this shift, what it may mean for the future of transit, and what transit agencies will need to do to keep up.
RSG Director Jon Slason presented last week at the Vermont Development Conference in Burlington, VT. His presentation, “Demographics and Housing: Envisioning the Future of Vermont Living,” was alongside Betsy Bishop of the Vermont Futures Project. Their interactive session shared details on the rapidly changing dynamics of housing in Vermont and hosted a discussion on how to address these challenges.