Kendra K. Levine's blog

Who was Adriana Gianturco?

Today is Is the name Adriana Gianturco familiar to you? She was the director of Caltrans from 1976 to 1983, the first woman to serve in that role. (Just this month Laurie Berman started her tenure as the director of Caltrans.)

An urban planner by trade, known for her affinity for using ice-plants as ground cover along highways, Gianturco advocated for policies that were controversial for their time - prioritizing transit and carpool lanes - which are more widely accepted today. Much of her time at Caltrans was shaped by the fiscal crises of the 1970s, advocating for maintenance rather than new construction. Another one of her legacies could be the halt of new freeway construction in California, but that is probably also more likely a result of the state's financial situtation than anything else. 

If you want to learn more about Gianturco, you can read this oral history interview with her. It's quite long though, so it might take some time. 

Imagine a California that banned the internal combustion engine by 1975


Newport Ave. at First St., Tustin, April 1966 flickr photo by Orange County Archives shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Can you picture a world where California banned the internal combustion engine by 1975? In 1967 California State Senator Nichoals C. Petris introduced SB 1291 which proposed just that:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, on or after January 1, 1975, no motor vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine shall be operated on the highways of the state. 

It's simple and bold language was a response to California's statewide smog problem, as reflected by the creation of the California Air Resources Board in 1967 to tackle the issue.  SB 1291 didn't make it out of the assembly, though it did scare auto makers into action. Petris continued to confront the role of personal automobiles and the internal combustion engine in the state's air pollution, working with groups like Stamp-Out-Smog, and enlisting the support of "consumer crusader" Ralph Nader

California began leading the way on pressuring the car companies in cleaning up tailpipe emissions which culminated in the Clean Air Act of 1970. 50 years later California is still setting an aggressive agenda in combatting air pollution, most recently with SB32: California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006

I-580 Variable Toll Lanes One Year On


I580 Monday night lights flickr photo by Images by John 'K' shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

It's been a year since the variable toll express lanes on I-580 through the Tri-Valley region were rolled out, and initial results are in. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

Since the combination express and carpool lanes opened in February 2016 on I-580, along the main route between the Bay Area and the Central Valley, more than 7.6 million drivers have taken advantage of them, according to a report released Thursday by the Alameda County Transportation Commission, which operates the lanes.

You can read the report here

As toll roads are used more often as a tool in transportation demand management, there is more data available for comprehensive evaluations of road pricing systems. As transportation funding evolves with a greater reliance on public-private partnerships that will often rely on tolls for cost recovery, it is important to understand how they will affect travel demand.  In the case of 580, they look to be a hit.

Electric vehicles are a drain on the UK electricity grid


ev charging point, Merchant City 02 flickr photo by byronv2 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Today, British Transport Minister John Hayes issued a statement that electric vehicles in the UK are taxing the electicty grid but trails of demand responsive smart grid technology should help ease the demand for power. He remarked, "We know the demand for electric vehicles places the national grid under pressure. It’s critically important – we are working on this. It’s particularly important that we charge smart, so we flex demand and take advantage of spare capacity."

In order to estimate demand, you need models for electric vehicle charging behavior which take into account facotrs like range anxeity and trip patterns. Using game theory, it might be possible to predict how different factors might affect behavior. Human behavior is only one side of the equation, energy storage and transmission technology is the other. Work in this area focuses on optimization with smart grids through cooperation. Others are developing genetic algorithms to manage the load. 

 

New LibGuide: Transportation Data!


flickr photo shared by Eric Fischer under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Have you ever felt overwhelmed looking for transportation data? This new Transportation Data LibGuide should make things a little easier getting started. It provides links to data sources from a number of modes to help you with your research. 

New TRB E-circular-- Multimobility and Sharing Economy: Shaping the Future Market Through Policy and Research


flickr photo shared by twicepix under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

This week TRB E-Circular 210, Multimobility and Sharing Economy: Shaping the Future Market Through Policy and Research was published.  Written by TSRC researchers Susan Shaheen, Adam Stocker, and Abhinav Bhattacharyya, the report covers the results of a wokshop that discussed the intersections of multimodal transportation, the sharing economy, and technology. 

Multimodal mobility is the use of a combination of different modes to get from one place to another. Multimodal mobility is growing in popularity, especially in urban centers with recurring problems associated with congestion, parking, and an overall lack of space. The shift from homogeneous to multimodal mobility has resulted in some shifts in the transportation sector, including land use and planning. Technology is moving at a tremendous pace, resulting in the evolution of modes like carsharing, carpooling, ridesharing, ridesourcing, bikesharing, and others, as well as improvements in existing public transit options. For riders, this has added a multitude of innovative mobility options, many of which were not available until recently. The sharing economy, which includes both business-to-consumer and peer-to-peer models of sharing of goods and services, has seen tremendous growth in the past decade. Many transportation startups—like Lyft and Uber which allow drivers to source rides to passengers using a platform to make money—leverage the concept of a sharing economy. Companies that are a part of the sharing economy have gained notable momentum in the past 5 years, giving rise to a multitude of service-based startups.

The full report can be found here

Closed July 1-July 4


flickr photo shared by m01229 under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

The ITS Library will be closed Friday July 1 for maintenance and Monday July 4 for the holiday. We will resume regular hours on Tuesday, July 5. 

This weekend, if you are going to a fireworks display, stay safe and sane while you sit in traffic leaving the event. There has been some research in how smart parking can help these kinds of events and how mobile networks can be leveraged to detect congestion more accurately. Crowd-sourced probe data can also be used to monitor the situation. And in areas where it's available bike share data can sense the pulse of activity, like Washington D.C. and the fireworks display at the Capitol Mall. 

Influence of weather on bus ridership


flickr photo shared by Reasonable Excuse under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

It's going to be another warm week here in Berkeley, as the Summer unofficially begins. A new article, "The influence of weather on local geographical patterns of bus usage" by Sui Taoa, Jonathan Corcoranb, Mark Hickmana, and Robert Stimsonc, in the Journal of Transport Georgraphy that looks at how weather patterns affect bus ridership. 

This paper broadens the research on weather and public transport usage by considering the micro dynamics of the effect that various weather conditions impose on micro geographic patterns of bus ridership in Brisbane, Australia. A smart card data set and detailed measurements of weather, allied with a suite of statistical and visual analytic techniques, are employed to capture the effect of weather on the local variations of bus ridership. While changes in weather conditions do not significantly affect bus ridership at the system level, some marked influence was found for rainfall, wind speed and relative humidity at a sub-system level. In addition, discernible variations of both the magnitude and direction of weather's effect were found at the sub-system level. Developing a more geographically detailed understanding of the effect of weather on public transport services serves as a critical first step towards establishing a more weather-resilient public transport system. This new understanding has the potential to contribute to an evidence base that can be used to proactively adjust public transport services in response to changes in weather conditions across different parts of the network. Further research is needed to assess how transferable our findings are to other public transport and climatic contexts.

The article can be read here

ITS Library Closed 5/27-5/30 for Memorial Day


flickr photo shared by Karol Franks under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

We'll be closed Friday May 27 through Monday May 30th in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume our normal hours on Tuesday, May 31. 

Memorial Day kicks off the United States' summer travel season, which means more traffic. Much has been written about the correlation of highway crashes and holiday weekends. There's been some recent work on how to forecast holiday travel with seasonal traffic models. Other researchers have explored how integrated multimodal travel information services might help alleviate holiday traffic patterns

Whatever your plans are this weekend, have a nice one! 

New issue of ACCESS out now!

 

ACCESS Magazine issue 48 (Spring 2016) is out now! 

Articles in the issue cover a range of topics from airport capactiy to balancing transportation investment and fragile environments.  You can read the whole issue online or wait a week, and we'll have hard copies in the library.

ACCESS is sponsored by UCCONNECT

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