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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.
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: http://www.trb.org/NCHRP/Blurbs/178305.aspx
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.”
Did you know that meteorology can affect the sound adjacent to highways? RSG will be leading a Transportation Research Board (TRB) webinar on September 25 titled, “Meteorological Effects on Roadway Noise.” Presenters will describe the quantitative research and public outreach materials that state highway agencies can use to screen for meteorological influences and explain the effects to the public. Presenting alongside RSG’s Ken Kaliski will be Roger Wayson of AECOM, Darlene Reiter of Bowlby and Associates, and Erik Salomons of TNO. It will be moderated by Aaron Hastings of Volpe Center.
Learn more and register at: https://webinar.mytrb.org/Webinars/Details/1220
RSG Director Chris Leggett’s research was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. The article, “Estimating the Value of Lost Recreation Days from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” describes a recreation choice model developed for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to assess recreation-related losses resulting from the spill.
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) recently published Research Report 882: How Weather Affects the Noise You Hear from Highways, which documents the meteorological effects on roadway noise propagation under different atmospheric conditions. Highway noise changes from day to day and hour to hour—not just because of variations in traffic volumes, vehicle mix, and speed, but also because of the weather. The report, authored by RSG in cooperation with Bowlby & Associates, TNO, Wyle, Northeast Wind, and Volpe Center, develops guidance to identify when atmospheric conditions should or should not be considered in noise analyses.
Tools were developed to help explain these effects to the public, including a self-paced narrated slide presentation as well as a customizable four-panel brochure. In addition, a tool was developed to help predict the frequency of favorable and unfavorable atmospheric conditions given specific airport weather data. Check out the report and download these at http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/177926.aspx.
With the hustle and bustle of today’s busy world, we now have more sound and light pollution than ever before. Have you ever wondered what impact that has on the world around us, especially the great outdoors?
In their new book, “Natural Quiet and Natural Darkness,” RSG’s Steve Lawson and co-authors explore that concern and suggest best practices for studying, managing, and protecting natural quiet and natural darkness in the national parks and related reserves.
With the prevalence of online shopping, it isn’t all that surprising that many consumers are now using the internet to purchase their groceries as well. Buyers that once couldn’t imagine not personally picking out their produce are now turning to grocery delivery services for the ease and convenience. But, with that ease and convenience come environmental and societal implications. Recognizing this, food-centered site Epicurious explored the issue in their article “Everything You Should and Should Not Feel Guilty About When Ordering Groceries.”
The article quotes RSG Director Erica Wygonik’s research on the topic, which found that “ordering groceries online could reduce carbon emissions anywhere from 20 to 75 percent.” But, before you fill up your virtual shopping cart, the article also points out that “though there is potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions, there are other toxic side effects of delivery trucks that are felt more immediately.”
Learn more and check out the full article at: https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/environmental-impact-online-grocery-shopping-article
RSG’s household travel diary study in the Twin City region was recently featured in the Metropolitan Council’s newsletter. The article highlights this spring’s data collection, which is using a smartphone-based travel survey (rMove™) for the first time. We’re excited to get rMove in the hands of Twin City residents and to help the region keep pace with all the factors changing the way we travel.
RSG Director Chris Leggett was published in the University of Chicago Journal Marine Resource Economics. His article, titled “Assessing the Economic Benefits of Reductions in Marine Debris at Southern California Beaches: A Random Utility Travel Cost Model,” evaluates the influence of marine debris on an individual’s choice of which beach to visit for recreation.
RSG’s, Steve Gayle, will be co-presenting the webinar titled, “Creating a Regional Transportation Planning Organization to Help on the Road to Zero” on March 20th.
The webinar is hosted by the National Center for Road Safety and will include an overview of the FHWA funded RTPO Fact Sheets: an RTPO 101 series and an RTPO Noteworthy Practice, as well as, case studies from Ohio and Washington. Steve will present information on “RTPO State of the Practice,” an RSG project with the FHWA Office of Planning.
For more information and to register for the webinar, please visit the link below.
RSG’s Erica Wygonik was featured in a recent article on the redevelopment of the historic McIntyre Federal Building in Portsmouth, NH. She provided expertise at the city’s public input session on transportation and parking for the redevelopment project.
We’re excited to see RSG’s research on drone delivery service included in a recent article titled, “I Had Lunch Flown in by Project Wing.” A study by RSG and Professor Goodchild from the University of Washington found that Project Wing’s drone delivery service generates 22 times fewer carbon emissions than a delivery vehicle over an average delivery trip in Canberra, Australia. This reduction in carbon emissions ties with Project Wing’s goal of making delivery more environmentally friendly and reducing road congestion.
Tuesday, February 27
1pm – 2pm ET
Please join the third in a four-part webinar series focused on results from the National Survey of Attitudes of Wind Power Project Neighbors. This free webinar will focus on an RSG-led investigation of various predictors of reported ability to hear turbines and stated sound annoyance, including modeled project sound levels, local background sound levels, objective measures of people and place, and self-reported subjective descriptors. It will feature Ryan Haac, Ken Kaliski and Matt Landis from RSG and Ben Hoen from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
We’re excited to be certified as a great workplace for the fifth consecutive year by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. RSG earned this credential based on extensive ratings provided by its employees in anonymous surveys. A summary of these ratings can be found at http://reviews.greatplacetowork.com/rsg.