In a national competition held by the U.S. Department of Transportation, CTS has been selected to lead a new $10.4 million regional University Transportation Center consortium focused on improving transportation safety.
The new Region 5 Center for Roadway Safety Solutions will be a regional focal point for transportation safety research, education, and technology transfer initiatives. The region includes Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The two-year consortium will focus its research on regional issues related to high-risk road users and systematic safety improvements. Within these areas, the consortium will address multiple modes of transportation across a variety of topic areas, including roadway departures, urban and rural intersections, pedestrians and bicyclists, and commercial vehicle drivers. The consortium will also explore transportation safety engagement in the region’s Native American communities.
The CTS-led consortium was one of 33 federal grant recipients selected out of 142 applicants. Other consortium members in CTS’s winning proposal are the University of Akron, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Western Michigan University.
“The new consortium will allow us to bring together the diverse strengths and expertise of our members to work toward the shared goal of improving safety,” said Laurie McGinnis, director of CTS and chair of the new regional center’s Advisory Board. “Together, we can do much more to save lives on our roads than we could do alone.”
Max Donath, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota and an internationally recognized leader in transportation safety research, will serve as the director of the new Region 5 center.
“This award will allow us to bring together a multidisciplinary team of researchers from across the region to improve safety for broad groups of travelers,” Donath said. “We’ve made great strides in transportation safety in the past 20 years, but that’s not enough for the families and friends of the 4,500 people who died on our region’s roads in 2011. We need to determine and deliver the next wave of transportation safety improvements.”