November 19, 2015
Innovation of the Month: Regional Models of Cooperation
Using regional models of cooperation can help agencies and other stakeholders work together on transportation planning to improve decision making and achieve greater results.
The Alaska Department of Transportation, for example, is spearheading an initiative to improve coordination of transportation services among local and tribal governments, transit authorities and federal land management agencies.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is developing a statewide Freight Plan with input from metropolitan planning organizations. It’s also creating a travel demand model that will incorporate areas outside the stateâ€”including Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Islandâ€”and allow better coordination on future studies.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation is preparing a Long-Range Transportation Infrastructure Plan concurrently with the state’s coastal and regional metropolitan planning organizations. The goal is to coordinate efforts to address congestion, safety and commerce.
Read the regional models of cooperation case studies series for more examples of collaboration in transportation planning.
Florida Event Features Work Zone Safety
Federal Highway Administration staff discussed initiatives to make work zones safer at the annual meeting of the American Traffic Safety Services Association’s Florida chapter. During the November 6 event in Lake Mary, speakers highlighted the EDC smarter work zones and second Strategic Highway Research Program efforts to use project coordination, technology and speed management to enhance work zone safety.
Illinois 3D Workshop Sparks Valuable Discussions
About 70 participants from eight states attended a 3D engineered models workshop hosted by the Illinois Department of Transportation and FHWA in Springfield on October 28 and 29. Participants learned about using 3D modeling, automated machine guidance and geospatial information systems in designing, building and maintaining highways. Feedback from participants indicated that the information provided and roundtable discussions with peers were informative and the opportunity to discuss issues and ideas with people dealing with similar issues was very good.
Michigan Opens First Diverging Diamond Interchange
The Michigan Department of Transportation celebrated the opening of the state’s first diverging diamond interchange at I-75 and University Drive in Auburn Hills with a November 9 ribbon cutting. Michigan used State Transportation Innovation Council Incentive funds to send a team of local, state and federal partners to St. Louis, Missouri, in 2014 for a peer exchange on diverging diamond interchanges. Lessons learned during the exchange were incorporated into the I-75/University Drive project and a second diverging diamond interchange that’s now under construction. The Michigan DOT also developed a Diverging Diamond Interchange Informational Guide.
Virginia Road Diets Win National Safety Award
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s “Road Diets in Reston” project is among 10 projects and programs across the country that won 2015 National Roadway Safety Awards from the Roadway Safety Foundation and FHWA. The Reston road diets were designed to improve safety by reducing the number of lanes on 2-mile segments of Lawyers Road and Soapstone Drive that each carry 10,000 vehicles a day and were prone to speeding. After project completion, crashes decreased 69 percent on Lawyers Road and 67 percent on Soapstone Drive.