Last month, more than 40 White Earth Nation students were introduced to a variety of transportation topics in a daylong session offered by the Roadway Safety Institute.
The program was part of the White Earth Indian Reservation Summer Academy of Math and Science, a two-week day camp for reservation youth in grades 4 to 8. The camp focuses on hands-on learning and uses Indian culture and heritage as a vehicle for studying math, science, and engineering. It is offered in partnership by the White Earth Nation and the University of Minnesota Extension.
While two-lane roundabouts almost always reduce fatal and severe crashes, they can also lead to a substantial increase in minor crashes. To help combat this problem, researchers with the Roadway Safety Institute are investigating solutions for reducing crashes at two-lane urban roundabouts.
The research, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, began in 2011 with a troublesome two-lane roundabout in Richfield, Minnesota. Following the roundabout’s construction, the number of property-damage crashes increased substantially at the site. Experts at the Minnesota Traffic Observatory (MTO) were brought in to make improvements and gauge their effectiveness with a before-and-after study.
Congratulations to the U of M’s Interdisciplinary Transportation Student Organization team for its first-place finish at the Institute of Transportation Engineers Midwest Region Collegiate Traffic Bowl in Chicago on June 26-29, 2016.
A new instructional video guides practitioners through the use of a spreadsheet tool that can help determine when it’s safe to use flashing yellow arrows for permitted left turns.
Traffic engineers can use the spreadsheet tool to determine at which times of day crash risk is sufficiently low to allow flashing yellow arrows to be implemented safely at a specific intersection. The tool was developed as part of a project sponsored by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board and led by Gary Davis, a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering at the U of M.
Researchers at the U of M’s HumanFIRST Laboratory are helping to make it faster and easier for Minnesota law enforcement officers to log the data they collect at the scene of a crash.
Nichole Morris, principal researcher at the HumanFIRST Lab, and her team redesigned the electronic crash report interface used by Minnesota law enforcement officers to improve the accuracy, reliability, and meaningfulness of crash data. Although at first glance these data appear to serve simply drivers and insurance companies, the information is highly valued because it is used by state and federal agencies, as well as researchers, to analyze and evaluate crashes, trends, and potential countermeasures.
As part of its research into the policy impacts of new transportation technologies under the Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness Program, the State and Local Policy Program at the U of M’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs hosted a series of roundtables examining this question in 2015-2016. The events focused on the impacts of the digital infrastructure, specifically self-driving vehicles.
The roundtables examined opportunities and obstacles for improved mobility and access for people who cannot drive, possible impacts on urban form, opportunities for freight transportation, and broader impacts of the digital infrastructure on the physical infrastructure. Roundtable participants included U of M faculty and research staff, key members of state and local governments, and interested citizens.
Gridlock Buster, an online traffic control game that teaches middle and high school students about traffic control, has a new look.
The newly redesigned game features updated, more user-friendly graphics and can now be played on tablets and mobile devices.
Gridlock Buster incorporates tools and ideas used by traffic control engineers in their daily work to teach students what it’s like to manage traffic flow. Players work their way through progressively more challenging levels, learning how to control traffic signals and ensuring that delays don’t get out of hand.