Does the variable speed limit system on I-94 reduce crashes?

Two years ago, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) installed a series of electronic speed limit advisory signs over I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The variable speed limit (VSL) system is designed to reduce congestion and help prevent crashes by recommending lower speed limits to drivers during periods of high traffic.

Although the verdict on the system’s effects on I-94 congestion is still pending, a recent study by researchers at the U of M’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory found that the VSL system has not made a measurable impact on crashes in a crash-prone stretch of freeway in downtown Minneapolis.

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Posted in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Safety, Technology, Traffic operations, Transportation research, Uncategorized, Urban transportation

UM, Access to Fun #6: Mall of America

UM, Access to Fun: Mall of America [Episode 6]

Welcome to Episode 6 of the “UM, Access to Fun” show with University of Minnesota student host Josh Lee.

In this week’s episode, join Josh for non-stop thrills as he takes the Metro Transit Blue Line to the largest mall in the country, the world-famous Mall of America.

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Posted in Accessibility, Pedestrian, Public transit, Urban transportation

Improving work-zone safety for visually impaired pedestrians

pedestriansNavigating sidewalks and intersections affected by road construction can be challenging for all pedestrians, but it’s especially difficult for those who are blind or visually impaired.

To help these pedestrians find their way safely, U of M researchers have developed a smartphone app that can detect upcoming work zones and provide routing instructions. The project, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), was led by senior systems engineer Chen-Fu Liao at the U’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory.

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Posted in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Pedestrian, Safety, Technology, Transportation research, Urban transportation

UM, Access to Fun #5: Lake Calhoun

Welcome to Episode 5 of the “UM, Access to Fun” show with University of Minnesota student host Josh Lee.

UM, Access to Fun: Lake Calhoun [Episode 5]

In this week’s episode, Josh uses carsharing to put in a little beach time at Lake Calhoun, one of the most popular destinations for cool, relaxing summer fun in the Twin Cities.

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Posted in Accessibility, Pedestrian, Public transit, Urban transportation

UM, Access to Fun #4: Mickey’s Diner

UM, Access to Fun: Mickey's Diner [Episode 4]

Welcome to Episode 4 of the “UM, Access to Fun” show with University of Minnesota student host Josh Lee.

In this week’s episode, join Josh on a visit to the incomparable Mickey’s Diner, the site in downtown St. Paul of several Hollywood blockbusters as well as as soul-satisfying food and quirky good service.

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Posted in Accessibility, Pedestrian, Public transit, Urban transportation

Technology shows promise in reducing rural intersection collisions

Warning sign While Minnesota has made much progress in reducing traffic fatalities, rural stop-controlled intersections remain an ongoing challenge. The Minnesota Department of Transportation launched the Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System deployment project in 2012 to work toward reducing crashes at such intersections.

The three-year project will deploy intersection conflict warning systems at up to 50 rural stop-controlled intersections statewide.

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Posted in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Rural transportation, Safety, Technology, Transportation research

UM, Access to Fun #3: Minnehaha Falls

UM, Access to Fun: Minnehaha Falls [Episode 3]

Welcome to Episode 3 of the “UM, Access to Fun” show with University of Minnesota student host Josh Lee.

In this week’s episode, join Josh on a visit to the magical Minnehaha Falls and surrounding park area.

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Posted in Accessibility, Pedestrian, Public transit, Urban transportation
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