Sustainable Highways Initiative

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2018 SmartWay Excellence Awards Announced (10-2018)
The recipients of the 2018 SmartWay Excellence Awards have been announced by the EPA. The program recognizes shipping and logistics companies for improving freight efficiency and reducing emissions in their supply chains. Fourteen companies will receive the awards on October 29th in Austin, Texas.

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International Conference on Ecology and Transportation Set for September 2019 (10-2018)
The International Conference on Ecology and Transportation (ICOET) will be held September 22-16, 2019, in Sacramento, California. The tenth biennial event will be hosted by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), with support from the Federal Highway Administration. The ICOET program includes podium presentations, posters, field trips, and exhibits on topics of interest to researchers, biologists, engineers, planners, project managers, administrators, and policy makers. The conference is organized by the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Road Ecology Center, the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC Davis.

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City of Akron Converts Highway into Forest (9-2018)
The City of Akron, Ohio has transformed its Innerbelt Freeway into a temporary green space called the Innerbelt National Forest. The Forest offers spaces for community amenities, trails, play spaces, and an outdoor museum. This short-term project is part of the city’s program to engage the public to find permanent options to use the entire former freeway site.

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Recommendations for Cutting U.S. Transportation Energy Use in Half (9-2018)
The “50x50 Coalition” (comprised of utility companies, public interest groups, unions, public officials, technology companies, and vehicle manufacturers) has released a report containing strategies that the United States can implement to reduce transportation sector energy by 50% by 2050. These recommendations include accelerating electric vehicle proliferation, creating stricter fuel economy standards, enhancing the efficiency, service, and affordability of public transit systems, and increasing the research and development of alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure.

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Webinar Recording: Innovative Stormwater Management (7-2018)
The recording of AASHTO’s webinar on best management practices (BMPs) for State DOT stormwater management is now available.

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Rhode Island Plans for Future Climate Realities (7-2018)
Rhode Island has released a report, “Resilient Rhody,” containing climate adaptation strategies that prioritize investments, identify actions, leverage planning, and provide resources and tools for practitioners to equitably reduce the impacts of climate change.

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Alternative Fuel Corridor Expansion in the Midwest (7-2018)
The first meeting of the Midwest Alternative Fuel Corridor Convening was held at the Minnesota DOT to discuss expanding alternative fuel corridors. An analysis of designated corridors and infrastructure was presented, along with strategies for enhancing multi-state collaboration, visibility, and revisions to the Alternative Fuels Data Center Station Locator Redesign and Corridor Tool.

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INVEST for Bridge Replacement Project in Ohio (7-2018)
The Spring 2018 issue of Public Roads highlights Ohio DOT’s use of FHWA’s Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool (INVEST) to help the agency consider sustainability issues when evaluating the new Cuyahoga River bridge. INVEST was utilized by Ohio DOT to track sustainability goals over the course of the project, and it helped the agency improve recycling practices, enhance the peregrine falcon habitat, and reduce energy consumption.

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Action Plan for Zero-Emission Vehicles (7-2018)
The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management’s Multi-State Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Task Force has released an action plan for years 2018-2021. The plan includes methods to expand the ZEV market by using ZEV ‘ride and drive’ events to increase public awareness, and recommends that States enhance the recharging and fueling infrastructure network via public and private investment, the use of financial incentives, and the electrification of public and private fleets.

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Publications
Photograph of a rural, divided, four-lane highway on a sunny day. Each lane pair has orange and white striped barrels along the middle lane stripe. Two trucks are traveling in the left lane of the farthest road.
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Case Study: PennDOT Connects Program (10-2018)
PennDOT has been engaging communities and partner agencies to ensure a range of needs, such as environmental stewardship, safety, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations are included in all new road projects. The “PennDOT Connects” Program implements a formal planning-phase process to consider and document community needs for each project prior to developing project scopes.

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U.S. DOT Announces Automated Vehicle 3.0 Guidance (10-2018)
The U.S. DOT has released new Federal guidance for automated vehicles entitled “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0” (AV 3.0). The updated language details how U.S. DOT will modernize definitions and terms in the context of automated systems, support the development of automation-related voluntary standards, and how FHWA will also update the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to factor in connected and automated vehicles.

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Urban Heat Island Effect Detailed in NOAA Maps (10-2018)
Maps developed by NOAA depict the urban heat island effect in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore on hot summer days, including the influence of roadways on temperature patterns. NOAA has shared these maps with officials so that they may use them to inform resiliency plans and implement cooling strategies.

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Eco-Driving Information Systems Analyzed in Report (9-2018)
The National Center for Sustainable Transportation has published a report describing how in-vehicle information systems can improve fuel economy by changing driver behavior. This is known as “eco-driving,” and provides the driver with feedback displayed in instrument cluster displays, after-market devices, or on personal mobile devices.

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How to Measure Long-Distance Travel (9-2018)
A report on measuring long-distance and intercity travel has been released by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation. The report utilized a mobile device-based dataset and interviews to determine how to best measure long-distance travel, how that travel affects well-being, how access to long-distance travel varies among socio-demographic groups, and the environmental impacts associated with it.

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Sustainability Implications of On-Demand Ride Services Analyzed (9-2018)
The National Center for Sustainable Transportation published a report showing how on-demand ride services could possibly improve sustainability and mobility through a series of strategies. These strategies include incentivizing taking trips with multiple passengers, improving intermodal connections, and enhancing access to underserved populations.

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Sustainable Transportation Roadmap Issued by NRDC (7-2018)
The Natural Resources Defense Council released a report containing strategies for the implementation of a modernized, sustainable transportation network. The report details several “building blocks,” such as bike/pedestrian friendly streets, clean energy vehicles, improved land use planning and public transit, and equitable community design.

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Quick Guide: Project-Level Air Quality Analyses (7-2018)
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program issued a new quick reference guide on project-level air quality analyses. It bridges the gap between traffic analysis and air quality analysis to ensure that the right traffic inputs are prepared and provided to support air quality analysis (which is organized by air pollutant type). The guide also provides an overview of traffic data requirements, NEPA reevaluations, and traffic mitigation strategies.

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Report on the Impacts of Traffic Noise and Light on Wildlife Crossings (6-2018)
A report by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation studies the impacts of artificial light and noise on wildlife use of crossings under or over highways. Overnight road traffic noise data from four California highways was used in addition to wildlife crossing structure historical data for 20 days during the summers of 2012, 2015, and 2016. The report suggests that wildlife use of crossing structures may be disrupted by noise and light from traffic.

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Photograph of a male, dressed for work, riding a bike in a bike lane next to a moving car. The bike rider is wearing a safety helmet and a backpack.
Upcoming Events
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There are no events to list at this time.
Please check back soon.

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World Road Association’s Seminar on Climate Adaptation in Cuba
November 8-10, 2017
An international seminar on climate adaptation, disaster, and risk management for road organizations will be hosted in Havana, Cuba on November 8-10, 2017 by the World Road Association.

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American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Annual Meeting
Nov 12-15, 2016
The AASHTO annual meeting will be held in Boston, MA in November. The meeting provides an opportunity for transportation executives to network and share the latest in industry policies and innovations. Registration coming soon.

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Websites

Federal Government Links

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NEPAssist web-based application

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Federal Facilities Environmental Stewardship and Compliance Assistance Center Transportation Program Area

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Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Livable and Sustainable Communities Webpage

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