Last month, the U of M’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) announced that the City of Ramsey, located in Anoka County, will be its next partner community. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Ramsey and the U of M will work together on approximately 20 multidisciplinary projects from the city’s Strategic Plan.
Now in its fifth year, RCP is an initiative supported by the U’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs that organizes yearlong partnerships between the University and Minnesota communities, matching graduate and undergraduate students to projects identified by the chosen community. RCP’s goal is to provide the community with efficient access to the resources and expertise of the U, offer students a professional opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to a real-world project, and provide faculty with ready-made applied-learning opportunities for the classroom.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month—a perfect time to remind all drivers to put safety first, put down their devices, and focus on driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed nearly 3,500 lives and injured approximately 391,000 people across the country in 2015. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
At the University of Minnesota, efforts to reduce distracted driving range from research projects to education initiatives.
CTS and the Roadway Safety Institute provided 21 U of M graduate students with travel awards to attend the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, in January. The travel awards allow students interested in transportation to learn about the latest transportation research and network with professionals.
Some of the students also shared their research in poster and lectern presentations. This year’s student presenters included 2017 CTS student award winners Jingru Gao, Mengying Cui, and Jueyu Wang.
Last semester, 39 students in the U’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program explored ways to integrate a Minneapolis neighborhood—the North Loop—into the sharing economy. Located just north of downtown in the Warehouse Historic District, the neighborhood has experienced revitalization and increasing property values in recent years. In the class, student teams created 13 proposals on topics such as parking reallocation and walkability.
This guest post, written by three students in the course, highlights their work related to bike sharing and equity.
As cities across the U.S.—from college towns to major urban centers—have introduced bike sharing into their mix of transportation options, elected officials, advocacy organizations, and social justice groups are raising questions about equity. Racial segregation and disparities continue to plague U.S. cities, and people are rightfully questioning whether bike sharing combats, perpetuates, or has little effect on these challenges. At the center of the conversation around bike sharing and equity are two questions: (1) What is the purpose of bike sharing? and (2) Who is bike sharing intended to serve?
We interrogated these questions for our final project in our Land-Use Planning course, taught by Fernando Burga, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. With a focus on Minneapolis-St. Paul’s nonprofit Nice Ride bike sharing system, we examined the location of bike sharing stations in relation to demographic and economic data.
This July, CTS will once again host the National Summer Transportation Institute for students entering grades 7-9.
The free, two-week program introduces kids to transportation topics and aims to spark their interest in science, engineering, and transportation careers.
Car to Go. Hour Car. Uber. Lyft. Nice Ride. These and other “shared-use mobility” options are making their way into more cities across the country, including RCP’s partner community, Brooklyn Park. As the City prepares for the arrival of light-rail transportation (LRT) service and evaluates options for improving mobility for residents without access to an automobile, it is considering whether—and how—to integrate such services into its transportation planning.
As a suburban community, Brooklyn Park is nowhere near as dense as Minneapolis or St. Paul. This has created challenges for the City in thinking about how to include services like Hour Car or Uber as solutions to current transportation needs. They may not seem like an obvious choice for a suburb, but through robust community engagement efforts, City staff learned that residents were interested in more shared-use mobility alternatives. The City is now considering such options as a larger, targeted investment in transportation.
Mumble strips, bridges and waterways, surveying, pavement construction, and highway noise sampling are just a few of the topic areas explored by students in this year’s Summer Transportation Internship Program.
The program, offered jointly by CTS and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), allows U of M civil engineering undergrads to gain real-world experience in transportation and hone their professional skills.