Headline News

Join our mailing list to receive a weekly transportation news round-up, plus Berkeley Transportation Quarterly, our research news publication.
  • nybikelanes.jpg

    A big reason for opposition to bike lanes is that, according to the rules of traffic engineering, they lead to car congestion...But the general wisdom doesn't tell the whole story here. On the contrary, smart street design can eliminate many of the traffic problems anticipated by alternative mode elements like bike lanes. A new report on protected bike lanes released by the New York City Department of Transportation offers a great example of how rider safety can be increased even while car speed is maintained.

    CityLab
  • ...The FHWA monthly "Traffic Volume Trends" report shows that drivers traveled 261.7 billion vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in June, which according to FHWA is the most since June 2010. Travel on all roads increased by 3.7 billion miles in June, 1.3 percent more than June 2013. June also showed the largest single-month gain this year and the fourth consecutive month of VMT growth.

    AASHTO Journal
  • Tesla Motors, the electric carmaker, is planning to build its giant battery factory in Nevada after a five-state competition, according to a source who asked not to be identified because the announcement has not been made.

    USA Today
  • ..."Wait times are really important to people's demand for and confidence in using the services," said study co-author Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley'sTransportation Sustainability Research Center. "The differences between ride sourcing and taxicabs are notable."Almost two-thirds of riders said taxis typically took more than 10 minutes to arrive at their homes during daytime on weekdays, while only about 10 percent ever had to wait that long for an on-demand ride service, according to the study. "That's partially because taxis are really constrained by regulations; there aren't enough taxis to respond to the demand," said Lisa Rayle, a doctoral candidate in city planning at Berkeley, who led the study.

    SF Chronicle
  • astazero11-660x440.jpg

    Volvo wants to eliminate crash-related deaths in its cars by the end of the decade. To get there, it is developing autonomous features that reduce human error by making cars better at driving themselves. Whether it’s safely following cars in traffic or automatically stopping when drivers make risky turns, ensuring these systems work properly takes a lot of testing.

    Wired
  • lead_large.jpg

    Since the U.S. streetcar revival relies heavily on transportation subsidies, it's only fair to expect the latest wave of streetcar lines to produce benefits related to (wait for it) transportation. But the new systems in operation—ten by the latest tally, with a few dozen more being planned—have left much to be desired on that seemingly essential count. Notwithstanding the legacy system in New Orleans, the best evidence to date places streetcars somewhat outside the transit network, more a tool for tourism than city mobility.

    CityLab
  • State road safety officials are warning drivers to be on the lookout for children on bikes with the start of the new school year. The California Highway Patrol also points out that the new state law requiring drivers to give cyclists 3 feet of space when passing goes into effect Sept. 16.

    Sacramento Bee
  • Central Valley farmers trying to halt construction of California's bullet train have asked the state's highest court to review the project, setting up another possible legal showdown over the controversial San Francisco-to-Los-Angeles rail line.

    Mercury News
  • ...Yes, the driverless car has the potential to prevent an astounding loss of life, given more than 1.24 million people across the world die in road traffic accidents every year, according to the World Health Organization. But there’s still a long list of obstacles the cars can’t handle — a list so long that their range is limited to less than 1% of U.S. roads, according to a progress report released Thursday. The car can only follow routes that have been extensively mapped. Data collected by special sensor vehicles must be analyzed, and the whole process requires a lot of effort.

    MarketWatch
  • Toyota Motor Corp., which helped popularize hybrid vehicles with its Prius, is set to introduce a hydrogen-cell car for the masses — something which Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said could “change society,” according to a recent Nikkei Asian Review report...What makes the new Toyota hydrogen car different is the price. While the Nikkei says Hyundai’s hydrogen Tucson goes for about $145,000, Toyota has said its FCV will cost just 7 million yen, or a little over $67,000.

    MarketWatch