What We Do

The Institute conducts research on a number of key topics including:

  • Determining Success Factors in North American Pedestrian-Oriented Streets
  • Defining Best Practices in North American Public Transportation Integration
  • Transforming downtowns, central cities, and suburbs into sustainable communities
  • Defining the transportation factors in successful placemaking
  • Creating viable, sustainable transportation choices for individuals and communities
  • Fostering creation of “complete streets” which accommodate all modes of transport safely and effectively
  • Illuminating the purposes and benefits of various forms of public transportation
  • Advancing understanding of the important role of traffic calming in improving travel safety
  • Educating stakeholders on the importance of sustainable communities in improving public health
  • Enlightening communities and the general public on the link between transportation choices and air quality and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Informing communities about the advantages of high quality urban design, including the design of streetscapes
  • Highlighting the benefits from transportation demand management (TDM) efforts at work sites and within communities

 

Research Projects

  • From Complete Streets to Complete, Green, and Sustainable Streets: Working for Caltrans and the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University, the project is studying green and complete street segments, identifying methods and metrics to measure their benefits, and providing data, methods and guidance for Caltrans to use to supplement the Caltrans “Main Street, California” guide and to enhance their project planning and design review processes.
  • San Francisco Modal Equity Study:   This study compared the existing mode splits in San Francisco with how much roadway space is dedicated to each mode and also evaluates the maintenance costs by revenue source. Among our findings: Parking lanes in San Francisco constitute 15% of the paved roadway area, representing a real estate value of between $8 and $35 billion. Parking in San Francisco total 902 miles, 6 times the length of all the bike lanes (143 miles). 75% of all bike lane miles were built since 2000; bicycling constitutes 4% of the mode split but only 1.4% of the roadway space is dedicated to bicycle lanes. There are 36 lane miles of dedicated transit lanes vs. 211 lanes miles of freeway lanes.
  • SB 743 Transition Case Study Analysis:   On September 27, 2013 California’s governor signed SB 743 into law, in part mandating the transition from a level of service (LOS)-based to a vehicle-miles traveled (VMT)-based transportation impact analysis for environmental impact review in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities was hired by Changelab Solutions to perform a case study analysis of the ongoing efforts underway at a variety of local governments to comply with this change in the law. The objectives of this study were to identify and share lessons learned from local governments which have switched or are in the process of switching from LOS to VMT as the measure of traffic impacts for new development and growth in their communities.

Collaborations

  • World Energy Forum and Wells Fargo:   Transport Choices received a grant from Wells Fargo to fund scholarships for sixteen students to attend the World Energy Innovation Forum on May 4- 5, 2016 at Tesla Motors in Fremont, California. The Forum featured some of today’s most influential thought leaders in sustainable energy and transportation.
  • World Transport Policy and Practice  (WTPP):   Transport Choices received a grant from the Mazer Foundation to help fund this well-known journal on sustainable transportation.

Webinars and Presentations

  • DeRobertis, Michelle. “Global Inspiration for U.S. Urban Transport Innovation”. Presented at the Twelfth Global Studies Conference. Krakow, Poland. June 27, 2019.
  • DeRobertis, Michelle, Richard Lee and Bhanu Kala. “Evaluating Public Transit for a Regional Attractor”. Webinar for the Florida Department of Transportation. March 22, 2017.
  • DeRobertis, Michelle. “Transportation Studies in the 21st Century”.  Presented at ProWalk /ProBike /ProPlace Conference in Pittsburgh PA. September, 2014.
  • DeRobertis, Michelle. “Transit Coordination (not Consolidation): Example of the Stuttgart Germany Region”. Presented at Seamless Transit forum sponsored by SPUR, San Francisco. July 16, 2014.
  • Kott, Joseph. “A Future for Pedestrian Streets in America?”Presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Annual Conference, Portland, OR.  November 5, 2016.
  • Kott, Joseph. “Failure and Success of Pedestrian Streets in America” Presented at the International Conference on Transport and Health, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. June 13, 2016.
  • Kott, Joseph. “Transportation Planning for People: Right-Sizing the Car in Our Cities and Suburbs.” Presented at Let’s Get Moving, Silicon Valley! 2016 Summit, Microsoft Corp. Conference Center, Mountain View, CA. May 7, 2016.

Papers and Publications

  • Ferrell, Christopher. “Active Transportation and Health Effects of Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) Projects and Planning,” San Jose, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute, (2019) http://transweb.sjsu.edu/research/1826-Active-Transportation-Safe-Routes-Schools.
  • Ferrell, Christopher. “Measuring Incremental SB743 Progress: Accounting for Project Contributions Towards Reducing VMT Under California’s Senate Bill 743,” San Jose, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute, (2019) http://transweb.sjsu.edu/research/1825-Measuring-SB743-Progress-VMT.
  • DeRobertis, Michelle and Richard W. Lee. “The Tragedy of the Commons of the Urban (and Suburban) Arterial”. Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal, 87, 6, pp. 44-49. June 2017.
  • DeRobertis, Michelle, Richard W. Lee and Bhanu Kala. “How Should Public Transit Be Evaluated for a Regional Attractor: The Case Study of the San Francisco 49ers Football Stadium”. Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Journal, 87, 2, pp. 44-49. February 2017. http://transportchoice.org/category/blog/
  • DeRobertis, Michelle and Maurizio Tira. “Traffic Restricted Zones In Italy: The Most Widespread Traffic Control Strategy You’ve Never Heard Of”. Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Journal, 86, 12. December 2016.
  • DeRobertis, Michelle, John Eells, Joseph Kott and Richard W. Lee. “Changing the Paradigm of Traffic Impact Studies: How Typical Traffic Studies Inhibit Sustainable Transportation,” Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Journal, 84, 5. May 2014.
  • Thomas, Beth and Michelle DeRobertis. “Cycle Track Literature Review”. Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 52, pp 219-227. March, 2013.