Big data could fuel reduced congestion worldwide

With more than a billion vehicles on roads around the world, traffic congestion affects millions of people each day. Traffic congestion eats up precious time and money, and sometimes results in psychological and physical health implications.

Traffic congestion can seem inevitable. However, TomTom, a global leader in navigation and mapping products, is challenging this conventional thinking. In its Traffic Manifesto, TomTom advocates using big data analytics and smart mobility to reduce traffic congestion for all.

Posted in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Technology, Traffic data, Uncategorized

Green Line LRT: accessibility impacts in Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Sunday, June 14, marks the one-year anniversary of the start of service on the Twin Cities’ Green Line LRT route. At the Accessibility Observatory, we like to celebrate transportation anniversaries the way we wish everyone would: with a detailed evaluation of access to destinations.

Posted in Accessibility, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research, Uncategorized, Urban transportation

Has Motorization in Minnesota Peaked?

This post features an analysis of data from the Minnesota Transportation Finance Database. The graph above shows motorization trends in Minnesota during 1980-2013. The four panels are about VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled), VMT per person, VMT per registered driver, and

Posted in Minnesota Transportation Finance Database

Local Efforts Account for the Largest Share of MN Roadway Expenses

This post features an analysis of data from the Minnesota Transportation Finance Database. Many people think that roadway expenses are mainly paid by transportation special revenues in particular federal and state fuel taxes. In fact, local property tax has been

Posted in Minnesota Transportation Finance Database

New video highlights how U of M transportation research makes a difference

CTS aired a new video—”How does University of Minnesota research make a difference?”—at our Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on April 6. The video highlights research initiatives from 2014-2015, including projects focused on flashing left-turn signals at intersections, “self-healing” pavement, and transit amenities.

Posted in Accessibility, Environment, Freight, Infrastructure, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Land use, Pavements, Planning, Public transit, Technology, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

Science Museum seeking photos about the future of the Twin Cities

If you’re interested in a creative challenge, the Science Museum of Minnesota is requesting photos for an upcoming exhibit about the future of the Twin Cities. Full details and submission instructions are on the Science Museum’s website; the deadline is

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Posted in Urban transportation

Salt-tolerant sod and seed mixes bring greener roadsides to Minnesota

turfgrass1For Minnesota’s roadside grasses, life isn’t easy. To survive, grass must be able to withstand extreme stresses including drought, heat, disease, soil compaction, poor quality soils, and high levels of road salt. Ideally, it could survive all that while still looking lush and green.

“Many roadsides, especially in metropolitan areas, need to look good,” says Eric Watkins, associate professor in the Department of Horticultural Science. “In addition to aesthetics, quality roadside vegetation is needed to prevent erosion and maintain water quality from roadside runoff.”

In 2010, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) noticed a number of its new sod and seed plantings were failing and asked U of M experts to take a look at its specification.

Posted in Environment, Maintenance, Transportation research
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