Congrats to Metro Transit on receiving the APTA System of the Year award

soybadgeCongratulations to Metro Transit on receiving the 2016 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award from the American Public Transportation Association! The annual award, also known as System of the Year, reflects accomplishments made between 2013 and 2015.

According to a Metro Transit press release, those accomplishments include growing ridership, expanding access, advances in sustainability, and overall success in system safety. Metro Transit was selected among agencies from across North America that provide more than 20 million annual passenger trips. The award will be presented at the APTA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA, in September.

Posted in Public transit, Transportation research

White Earth Nation students learn about transportation, safety

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.

Posted in Education, Safety

Improving safety of two-lane roundabouts

roundaboutWhile 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.

Posted in Safety, Traffic operations, Transportation research

U of M finishes first in regional ITE Collegiate Traffic Bowl

13590289_10208303139569206_2921138596167886872_nCongratulations 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.

Posted in Education

New instructional video: spreadsheet tool for flashing yellow arrows

33705 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.

Posted in Safety, Traffic operations, Transportation research

Deployment of new crash report interface improves data quality, reliability

crashreporting2Researchers 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.

Posted in Safety, Technology, Traffic data

21st century technology may change transportation equity issues

equity1As 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.

Posted in Intelligent vehicles, Planning, Public transit, Technology, Transportation research, Urban transportation
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