Blog Archives

Supply chains for grain, medical technology are featured in freight roundtable

Grain and medical technology may not seem to have much in common, but they share at least one trait: both are key industry clusters that help drive Minnesota’s economy. At a roundtable held by the U’s Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness (TPEC) Program, speakers discussed trends in grain and medical-sector supply chains and the implications for freight transportation policy and investments.

TPEC director Lee Munnich opened the event. “Transportation is necessary—but not sufficient—for economic growth,” he said. “In our research, we look at how well the transportation system is working for the economy, and in particular, for the industry clusters that are so important to an area.”

Posted in Economics, Events, Freight, Land use, Transportation research

Autonomous vehicles and traffic safety: promises and challenges

Jim HedlundTo prepare for autonomous vehicles (AVs), states have complex challenges to address—not the least of which is anticipating a mix of AVs and regular vehicles on their roads for decades. During the TZD statewide conference October 26, Jim Hedlund, principal of Highway Safety North, shared this and other findings from a recent report he authored for the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.

AVs are not necessarily driver-less. Rather, these vehicles are classified on a scale ranging from Level 1, which use established technologies such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance but still give control to the driver, to Level 5, which are completely self-driving at all times.

When all vehicles are autonomous, Hedlund said, transportation will become a service, rather than something people own, and crashes will be greatly reduced, since currently about 94 percent of crashes are caused by human error. But predicting just how quickly AVs will be adopted is complicated.

Posted in Events, Safety, Technology

CTS Research Conference to explore funding, policy innovation

In November, CTS will conclude our 30th anniversary celebration at the annual Transportation Research Conference. The one-day event will celebrate CTS’s first 30 years and explore what comes next by presenting new learning, emerging ideas, and the latest innovations in transportation.

The conference will be held November 2 at the Commons Hotel on the U of M east bank campus. Plenary sessions will explore how we pay for transportation infrastructure and highlight transportation policy innovation.

Posted in 30th anniversary, Events, Transportation research

Moving from mobility to accessibility

Road winding through the landscape of a city, including businesses, homes, and trees.For several generations, transportation policymakers and practitioners have favored a “mobility” approach, aimed at moving people and vehicles as fast as possible by reducing congestion. However, the limits of this approach have become more apparent over time, as residents struggle to reach workplaces, schools, hospitals, shopping, and numerous other destinations in an equitable and sustainable manner.

Researchers have been able to define this challenge more precisely and elevate the importance of “accessibility” over the past few decades, but the adoption of new policies, tools, and investments by practitioners remains slow and uneven across most regions. During CTS’s 2017 Spring Luncheon presentation, Brookings Institution fellow Adie Tomer offered highlights from the institution’s Moving to Access Initiative, which visualizes challenges of the current mobility model, impediments to adopting an accessibility-focused approach, and a vision for where metro areas can go from here.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Events, Land use, Planning

More diversity but fewer workers among expected population changes

We’re in a period of rapid demographic change—and that will have significant implications for Minnesota’s workforce, including in the transportation industry.

As Minnesota’s population continues to age for the next two decades, its emerging workforce will be more racially and ethnically diverse than those retiring. In a session at the Minnesota Airports Conference this spring, Peter Mathison with the Wilder Foundation shared these and other insights on Minnesota’s current population make-up and predictions of where it’s headed in the next 20 years.

Posted in Aviation, Events, Workforce development

CTS Spring Luncheon: Moving to Access—Is the Current Transport Model Broken?

Image of a cityscapeFor several generations, urban transportation policymakers and practitioners around the world favored a “mobility” approach, aimed at moving people and vehicles as fast as possible by reducing congestion. The limits of such an approach, however, have become more apparent over time, as residents struggle to reach workplaces, schools, hospitals, shopping, and numerous other destinations in an equitable and sustainable manner.

At the CTS Spring Luncheon, Brookings Institution fellow Adie Tomer will explore how the Institution’s new Moving to Access initiative is looking at innovative policies, tools, and techniques that can help ensure that all people—regardless of income or demography—get where they need to go.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Events

Share your work at the 2017 CTS Research Conference

If you have completed or participated in an innovative research, implementation, or engagement activity, please consider sharing your work at our 2017 Research Conference. The event is scheduled for November 2, 2017, at The Commons Hotel in Minneapolis.

Potential presenters may submit a brief abstract for either a lectern presentation or a poster to be shared at the conference. The submission deadline is April 24, 2017.

Posted in Events, Transportation research
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