News and Events


RSG Director Appointed to ITE Task Force

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.


RSG Contributes to Impactful Study on Transit

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.

The report and its findings have already been featured on Wired and StreetsBlog USA, among others.


Transportation Research Board’s TR News Highlights RSG’s NCHRP Research

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.


2019 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting

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.

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2019 Vermont Economic Conference

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.

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NCHRP Publishes RSG Co-Authored Report on Updating Regional Planning and Modeling Tools to Address Impacts of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

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.


RSG Senior Director Published on TransitCenter

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.


2018 Vermont Development Conference

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.

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RSG Authors National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report on How Sound Barriers Reflect Noise

Noise barriers do not just block noise, but can also generally change the way noise is experienced around them. To further explore this issue, the Transportation Research Board (TRB)’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) recently published the RSG-coauthored report Field Evaluation of Reflected Noise from a Single Noise Barrier, which analyzes the characteristics of sound reflected from a noise barrier to the opposite side of a highway. Residents living opposite newly added single noise barriers sometimes complain about increased traffic noise. Currently available analytical tools are limited in their ability to evaluate this reflected noise and some of the subtle changes in the quality of sound that can occur when it is reflected. Therefore, it is a challenge to determine conclusively if complaints about reflected noise are the result of actual or perceived changes in noise characteristics, and to identify locations where absorptive surface treatments could be beneficial.

The study compares reflected noise from sound barriers with different surfaces and examines both the levels, frequencies, and quality of reflected noise to better understand how it is experienced by communities. The report is accompanied by several appendices, a tool, and a guide. Learn more and check them out at:

RSG Director Shares Experience with New Assisted Driving Technology

While car manufacturers once touted their acceleration and high performance, now, it’s the included safety features that garner the most attention. RSG Director Jonathan Slason shares his recent experience with new assisted driving technology in his article “A Plea for Drivers to Slow Down… Assisted by In-Vehicle Technology.”