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FHWA R&T Now - March 2014
A news update of research, technology, and development from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
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SHRP2 Implementation Update
FHWA is working closely with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to implement the priority products resulting from the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). The centerpiece of the implementation strategy is the SHRP2 Implementation Assistance Program, launched in 2013 to help transportation agencies begin to deploy SHRP2 products. Participants include State departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, tribal agencies, and FHWA Federal Lands Divisions.
Currently, 9 products from the first two rounds of the implementation assistance program are being put into practice on approximately 135 different transportation projects in 38 States and the District of Columbia. The third round participants were set to be announced in March, deploying 5 new SHRP2 products and bringing the total number of States involved to 47. The solicitation period for the fourth round will open in late May, offering opportunities to implement 12 additional SHRP2 products or product bundles.
For more information, contact Carin Michel, 410-962-2530, email@example.com, or visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/goshrp2.
FHWA to Hold Infravation Web Conference
On March 28, 2014, FHWA will hold a Web conference to make U.S. entities aware of and prepare them for seeking partners for the Infravation Program. Infravation is infrastructure plus innovation. The Infravation Program is the first cooperative research initiative between FHWA and other national road administrations developed from the ground up. The program allows U.S. entities such as academic institutions, State departments of transportation, and businesses to participate in the research along with entities from other countries. Infravation is an important complement to FHWA’s national research agenda, including its Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program. It is expected to accelerate the consideration and development of innovations, especially in the areas of advanced systems, materials, and techniques for road infrastructure.
For additional information about the Infravation Program, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/resources/infravation.cfm. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.
FHWA Issues Broad Agency Announcement for EAR Program
FHWA issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the EAR Program covering the following topics:
- Virtual Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory for Highway Structures
- Applications of Massive Data and Data Mining Techniques Relevant to Safety Data
- Behavioral based (or agent based) National Freight Demand Modeling
- Freight Data Development and Enhancement to Support National Freight Transportation Analysis, Modeling, and Forecasting Practices
The BAA will close on April 23, 2014. For a copy of the full notice, please see the announcement posted at www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=eb2b847a4349c13205a1900dc8c74b1a&tab=core&_cview=0.
FHWA Sponsors Cell Phone Data and Travel Behavior Research Symposium
On February 12, 2014, FHWA’s Office of Highway Policy Information, with support from the EAR Program, sponsored the Cell Phone Data and Travel Behavior Research Symposium. The event brought together data providers in private industry, researchers in academic fields, and other professionals from both public agencies and private business and institutes to explore opportunities and challenges using cellular location data for national travel behavior analysis.
Discussions centered on the availability of cellular data and the common types of licensing agreements, applications of cellular data and how it can be leveraged, fusion of cellular data in terms of merging the data with other data sources, and validation of cellular data to determine accurate and meaningful results.
Particular focal points included applications and limitations of land use models and data and using surveys in conjunction with cellular location data to facilitate accuracy and precision. The symposium was sponsored in cooperation with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Travel Survey Methods Committee, the TRB Special Task Force on Data for Decisions and Performance Measures, and the Task Force on Understanding New Directions for the National Household Travel Survey. FHWA anticipates publishing a summary of the symposium proceedings by summer.
For more information about the symposium, contact Brad Gudzinas, 202-366-5024, email@example.com. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.
EAR Program Opens Window on Transportation Research for Georgia State Students
An EAR Program project examining how driver risk preferences influence choices of route and travel departure times is introducing the next generation of students to the world of transportation research. The study, “Behavioral Sciences Approach to Testing, Validating, and Establishing Best Practices for Alternative Highway Revenue Collection: Experiments on Driving Under Uncertain Congestion Conditions and the Effects on Traffic Networks from Congestion Pricing Initiatives,” is funded by the EAR Program, in partnership with the University of Central Florida and Georgia State University (GSU).
Participating in the project opened up a new window on transportation issues for several GSU students, who were drawn from many different backgrounds unrelated to transportation. For more information, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/resources/students_ear_program.cfm.
FHWA Massive Data and Data Mining Convening Workshop
On March 14, 2014, FHWA’s Office of Safety Research and Development, with support from the EAR Program, sponsored the workshop, “Massive Data and Data Mining Convening.” The panelists and attendees represented academia, Federal government, and professional transportation organizations. The Office of Safety Research and Development sought to understand the advances of domain experts, how to work with large and disparate data sets, and to consider compatible practices that might help explain why crashes occur and suggest innovative means of preventing crashes and roadway deaths and injuries. FHWA anticipates publishing a summary of the workshop by summer.
For more information about the convening panel, contact Ana Maria Eigen, 202-493-3168, email@example.com. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recruitment Begins for the LTPP Warm-Mix Asphalt Experiment
FHWA has opened the recruiting period for test projects to be included in the newest experiment of the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Program. The recruitment period for the new warm mix asphalt test sites runs from now until May 2014. This is an excellent opportunity for highway agencies to learn about the long-term performance of different warm mix technologies available today. FHWA is looking for projects that will be constructed in 2014 and 2015 for this national study. There are numerous benefits for highway agencies that participate in this new experiment.
For further information on the nomination process, site requirements, and highway agency responsibilities, contact Aramis Lopez, 202-493-3145, email@example.com.
Draft Protocol for Measuring Bridge Approach Transitions using Profilometers
In collaboration with the LTPP Program, the FHWA Geotechnical Engineering Research Team initiated a study to quantify the bump at the end of the bridge. The bump at the end of the bridge has long been studied for highways and railways, yet experts from across the transportation industry continue to identify it as one of the most prevalent substructure factors affecting bridge performance. In the pilot phase, a draft protocol was developed that described the procedure to measure the bump at bridge approach transitions using inertial profilers, which collect longitudinal profile data and have other capabilities. Subsequently, the protocol was used on four Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge Systems (GRS-IBS) and four conventional bridge approach transitions to compare the response. Researchers found there was a notable difference. Future work is planned to finalize the protocol for use across the country with the initial data collection focusing on the comparison of new and existing GRS-IBSs with conventional bridge structures in similar areas.
For more information, contact Jennifer Nicks, 202-493-3075, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jack Springer, 202-493-3144, email@example.com.
Report: Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior
Pedestrian-vehicle crashes are both common and deadly. The majority of pedestrian fatalities occur outside marked intersection crosswalks. Influences of pedestrian and environmental factors on crossing location choice were examined in this study. Pedestrian crossings at 20 different locations were recorded and analyzed. Data analysis results suggested that the vast majority of crossings (89 percent of the total observed) took place in the marked intersection crosswalks, and that drivers are highly likely to yield to pedestrians in those marked crossing locations. Results also showed that using strategies such as flowerbeds to separate the sidewalk from the roadway will reduce the proportion of crossings outside the marked crosswalks. A model to predict pedestrian crossing location is provided. The model uses various environmental variables as predicting factors and was shown to successfully predict an average of 90 percent of the crossings.
The full report, Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior (Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-098), is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/13098/13098.pdf.
For additional information or questions regarding this study, please contact Ann Do, 202-493-3319,
Ann.Do@dot.gov, or Jim Shurbutt, 202-493-3420, Jim.Shurbutt@dot.gov.
TechBrief: Where Pedestrians Cross the Roadway
This technical brief describes research on the environmental influences on where and when pedestrians cross the roadway across 20 different sites.The document is a technical summary of the report, Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior (Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-098).
Where Pedestrians Cross the Roadway (Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-099) can be accessed at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/13099/index.cfm.
For additional information or questions regarding this study, please contact Ann Do, 202-493-3319, Ann.Do@dot.gov, or Jim Shurbutt, 202-493-3420, Jim.Shurbutt@dot.gov.
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