Blog Archives

Building partnerships with tribal communities to improve safety

tribal1The motor vehicle crash fatality rate is higher for American Indians than for any other ethnic or racial group in the United States. Although the number of fatal crashes decreased in the nation as a whole by about 21 percent from 1975–2013, it increased by about 35 percent on American Indian reservation roads.

“These are huge disparities,” says Associate Professor Kathryn Quick. “Clearly, this is an issue that needs to be explored.”

In a project sponsored by the Roadway Safety Institute, Quick and Research Associate Guillermo Narváez, both with the U of M’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, are collaborating with American Indian communities to better understand the transportation safety risks on tribal lands and develop strategies to mitigate these risks.

Posted in Pedestrian, Rural transportation, Safety, Transportation research

Kids learn to be seen, be safe at Tech Fest

rsisafetyexhibit-techfest2017-5532-240ppi-4928x3264On Saturday, Roadway Safety Institute (RSI) staff taught kids and their families how to “be seen and be safe” at Tech Fest, an annual event held at The Works Museum in Bloomington, Minnesota. The event, designed to inspire kids’ interest in engineering and technology, features hands-on activities and demos from the museum and its partners.

This year, kids explored RSI’s new permanent exhibit at the museum. The exhibit, which opened in late 2016, teaches visitors about reflectivity and why reflective clothing is critical for being seen by drivers at night.

Posted in Safety

Submit an entry to Minnesota LTAP’s Build a Better Mousetrap contest

Have you or one of your co-workers recently built an innovative gadget or developed an improved way to do a job? Show off your creativity and help other transportation agencies solve problems by submitting an entry to the Build a Better Mousetrap Competition!

The Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), housed at CTS, is participating in the 2017 contest, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration’s Local Technical Assistance Program and Tribal Technical Assistance Program.

Posted in Construction, Maintenance, Safety

Project seeks to ease traffic congestion in a roundabout way

roundabout1Freeways and highways aren’t the only urban roads with traffic congestion, even though traffic management strategies have been largely directed toward improving traffic flows there. So, U of M researchers have taken to city streets to reduce congestion in an innovative—albeit roundabout—way.

“There’s been a lot of research focused on controlling congestion on major highways and freeways, but there’s relatively less when it comes to looking at controlling traffic on urban arterials,” says Ted Morris, a research engineer with the Department of Computer Science. “It’s a very different picture when you get into urban arterials and the traffic behaviors going on there, because of the dynamics of route choice, pedestrian interactions, and other factors.”

Morris is part of a research team that aims to create a framework for testing and evaluating new urban traffic sensing and control strategies for arterial networks. The goal is to balance safety and efficiency for all users—especially in places where new types of urban transportation facilities are planned in the next few years

Posted in Infrastructure, Safety, Traffic data, Transportation research, Urban transportation

U of M researchers to tackle big transportation questions with new MnDOT, LRRB funding

U of M researchers have received funding from MnDOT’s Transportation Research Innovation Group and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) for 15 new projects beginning this summer.

Researchers will tackle a number of big transportation questions: How should our transportation agencies prepare for connected vehicle technology? Are unseen factors affecting safety at rural intersections? Can Twin Cities roadsides be used to grow habitat for endangered bumble bees?

Posted in Bridges and structures, Infrastructure, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Maintenance, Pavements, Pedestrian, Safety, Technology, Traffic operations, Transportation research, Urban transportation

How new research on millennials can inform future traffic safety efforts

By 2025, three of four workers worldwide will be members of the millennial generation—those born between 1982 and 2002. Effectively reaching and influencing this vast audience with traffic safety messages will require some insight into this generation, said Rodney Wambeam, speaking at the TZD statewide conference last November. During the opening session, Wambeam, a senior research scientist at the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center at the University of Wyoming, shared new research findings on millennials and how that could shape approaches to traffic safety and preventing substance abuse.

In the U.S., millennials currently number about 80 million—a number that is growing because of immigration. “This really is a global generation,” Wambeam noted. And it’s the single most diverse generation of Americans.

Posted in Events, Safety

Dangers of distracted driving highlighted at Open Streets

CTS partnered with Minnesota TZD to highlight the dangers of distracted and impaired driving at Open Streets Minneapolis on Saturday, October 1.

In its second year on campus, Open Streets closed several roads to traffic on the East and West Bank and invited students and area residents to walk, bike, skate, and play. Exhibits featured a variety of U of M offices, transportation organizations such as Metro Transit and Nice Ride, local businesses, and arts and entertainment.

Posted in Bicycling, Events, Pedestrian, Safety
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