Welcome to “Research Recap,” our series highlighting recent reports, studies and other findings in sustainable transportation policy and practice, in case you missed it.
Urban Green Field Potential
The potential and best measures for converting underutilized commercial real estate to green space in eleven U.S. cities was assessed in a new study conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology, with support from the Speedwell Foundation. Titled “Red Fields to Green Fields,” the study used financial models from the U.S. Department of the Interior and data from the Federal Reserve to determine the economic, health, social, policy and engineering impacts of creating green fields in the eleven subject cities. In June, five of the eleven assessed cities—Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Hilton Head Island—presented their study findings in Washington, D.C. The proposed green field plans for the five cities reportedly have the potential to result in the creation of 20,000 acres of new parkland and an estimated 300,000 new jobs.
Personal Vehicle Purchasing
Recent automotive industry sales figures from Ford indicate possible consumer buying-behavior shifts. Since last December, industry-wide small car purchases increased from 19 percent to 24 percent. In May of this year, in the category of midsize sedans, 80 percent of Ford Fusan buyers chose the four-cylinder engine over the V6, up from 50 percent when the vehicle was released in 2006. Similarly, more than 55 percent of the F150 trucks sold in May of this year were of the V6 engine option, rather than the V8. In regards to two-wheeled vehicle buying, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, scooter sales and service increased by almost 50 percent over the first three months of this year.
Fewer Female Cyclists
The Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals released the results from their survey on why more women don’t cycle. From the 13,000 women respondents, the study found that lack of convenience was cited most at 22 percent as the top reason for not cycling. Following convenience was lack of infrastructure at 14 percent, and lack of bike friendly places at 8 percent. In further examining the component of convenience, 22 percent of respondents cited time as the most influential deterrent, followed by weather at 21 percent, and distance at 17 percent. Women in New York City, for example, only make up roughly 20 to 25 percent of cyclists.
Transit Stop and Station Priorities
Public transit station managers make safety and security their number one priority, indicates a new study assessing the opinions of transit station managers on transit stops and stations priorities. Conducted by Michael Smart, Mark Miller, and Brian Taylor of the University of California Berkeley and Los Angeles, the study, “Transit Stops and Stations: Transit Managers’ Perspectives on Evaluation Performance,” uncovered the following station manager priorities, listed from most to least important:
- Safety and security
- Pedestrian/vehicle conflicts
- Schedule coordination
- Operating costs
- Stop/station equipment reliability
- Comfortable environment
- Adequate stop/station space
- Interagency cooperation
- Facilitation of passenger flows
- Accommodation of vehicle movements
- Protection of passengers from weather
U.S. Parking Prices
Midtown Manhattan is the most expensive city for both daily and monthly parking in the United States, according to the newly released numbers of Colliers International’s Parking Rate Survey. Topping the list for most expensive monthly parking, Midtown Manhattan’s median monthly parking rate was $541, followed by Downtown Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle. In the category of daily parking rates, Midtown Manhattan was the most expensive at $41, followed by Honolulu, Boston, and Chicago. Click here, for more of the survey findings.