(First published by BikePortland.org)
Sue Groth’s job: use math and millions of dollars to stop injuries before they happen.
The team Groth leads at the Minnesota Department of Transportation has probably saved a few hundred lives over the last 10 years. In that time they’ve reinvented “highway safety” spending and seen traffic fatalities fall almost twice as fast as they have in Oregon and the rest of the country.
Groth is the plenary speaker at the Sept. 15 Oregon Transportation Summit hosted by OTREC at Portland State University. Michael Andersen of BikePortland spoke to her last week to talk about MnDOT’s daring decision to give up some of the “gobs of money” it gets for highway safety and hand it to local agencies instead.
What’s the nature of your work on the safety movement called Vision Zero, also known as Toward Zero Deaths?
My state happened to be one of the first to adopt it. We have had a program for over 10 years now and have had some pretty good success. We don’t have to accept the fact that 400 people a year die on the roads in Minnesota, or 33,000 nationally.
Tags: leah treat, minnesota department of transportation, oregon transportation summit, safety, sue groth, toward zero deaths, troy costales, vision zero
An OTREC report from Oregon State University looked at various center median and bicycle lane configurations, and how they affect traffic at road access points.
In the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO
) publication A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets
, commonly known as the Green Book
, access points include the intersections of public roads as well as driveway locations. In the Green Book, most of the supporting research for the spacing of driveways is based on standard highway design procedures. They include simple human factors and geometric principles, and have not been thoroughly evaluated based on a variety of road cross section configurations.
Principal investigator Karen Dixon
of Oregon State University sought to close this research gap by evaluating the influences of select cross-sectional-related design elements, specifically median configurations and bicycle lanes, on driveways.
Tags: bicycle infrastructure, karen dixon, oregon state university, otrec, research
A new OTREC report explores an innovative technique for making household travel data more widely available without compromising individual privacy.
Public agencies spend vast amounts of money collecting information in household travel surveys.
Survey respondents are guaranteed anonymity in exchange for their participation. In addition to asking which modes individuals use to get around, surveys learn where they live, where they work, their household sizes and demographic information.
Detailed geospatial referencing of the home, work and other travel destinations is common practice.
Such data can be of enormous use to planning professionals, but its dissemination must be balanced with the need to keep locations confidential.
Tags: otrec, portland state university, research
Congressman Earl Blumenauer called together a group of transportation policy makers on Monday, August 4, for a “Rebuilding and Renewing” forum.
Transportation professionals and officials from every level of government, from the federal to the local, met at Portland State University to discuss how to maintain and revive America’s transportation infrastructure.
As the Highway Trust Fund rapidly shrinks
and America’s deteriorating roads and bridges silently cry out for maintenance, Congress is in the process of trying to determine the best, most sustainable path forward.
During Monday’s forum, a variety of voices were sought out and listened to. Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Port of Portland, gave opening remarks and introduced Blumenauer, who spoke about dwindling highway funds and the need for investment in infrastructure to keep the nation’s economy alive.
Tags: infrastructure, livability, portland state university
Transit supporters offer up a host of arguments for their favorite form of transportation but may struggle to counter a response of “prove it.” This year’s Oregon Transportation Summit could help change that.
Fresh research showing some of the benefits of transit will keep the public transportation track lively and relevant during the sixth annual summit. Morning and afternoon workshops spotlight transit, bookending a luncheon keynote by noted transit planner Jarrett Walker.
The Oregon Transportation Summit takes place Monday, Sept. 15 at Portland State University.
University of Utah researcher Reid Ewing made national and international headlines recently with a study showing the effect of light rail in a busy travel corridor. The study, funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, was the first to document a drop in automobile traffic after the opening of a light-rail line. Ewing presents his research at a morning workshop, “Why Transit Makes you Feel Good.”
At the same session, Chris Bone of the University of Oregon will present on crowd-sourced evaluations of transit and Steve Callas of TriMet will present Portland State University-developed software to visualize performance data. Catherine Ciarlo of CH2M Hill moderates.
Tags: arthur nelson, ch2m hill, christopher bone, crowd-sourcing, human transit, jarrett walker, megan gibb, metro, nitc, oregon transportation summit, portal, public transportation, reid ewing, steve callas, transit, transit-oriented development, travel corridors, zgf architects