May 4, 2017
Innovation of the Month:
Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian
The Every Day Counts (EDC) innovation of the month for May is safe transportation for every pedestrian (STEP), a program of cost-effective countermeasures that can help reduce pedestrian crashes at uncontrolled crossing locations.
Pedestrians account for more than 17.5 percent of all traffic fatalities. More than 66 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur at nonintersection locations such as midblock areas. About 16 percent happen at intersections with no signals or stop signs.
By focusing on uncontrolled crossing locations, agencies can make targeted investments that address a significant national safety problem. The STEP countermeasures can also enhance the quality of life for pedestrians by overcoming barriers to safe, convenient, and complete pedestrian networks.
webinar on the STEP program.
Register for a Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center webinar on Incorporating Bicycle Networks Into Resurfacing Projects from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on May 10. The webinar will focus on road diets, one of the five STEP countermeasures.
View State Transportation Innovation Council Web Conference
FHWA speakers emphasized the importance of State Transportation Innovation Councils (STICs) in promoting new technologies and practices during a national STIC Web conference on April 27. A speaker from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, one of three recipients of the 2016 STIC Excellence Award, shared insights on how the agency advances a culture of innovation. A Wisconsin Department of Transportation presenter discussed highlights of a workshop on best practices for effective STICs.
Missouri Innovations Competition Celebrates 10th Year
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) celebrated its 10th Innovations Challenge Showcase in Springfield on April 18. The 60 innovations displayed—winners of regional employee innovation competitions—vied for 12 statewide awards in project, productivity, and tool and equipment categories. Over the past decade, the program received more than 1,500 submissions with nearly 250 approved as best practices to help MoDOT staff work better, faster, and more safely.
Weather-Savvy Roads Topic of DC Forum
FHWA staff promoted the EDC-4 effort on road weather management—weather-savvy roads at the American Meteorological Society’s Washington Forum in Washington, DC, this week. The presentation highlighted the 26 State transportation departments that have signed up to implement two strategies—the Pathfinder process and integrated mobile observations—to manage the surface transportation system ahead of and during adverse weather events.
Washington Workshop Explores Ways to Streamline Projects
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) applied lean methodology, which aims to create more customer value with fewer resources, during an April 24 workshop on capital transportation projects. The workshop enabled WSDOT staff to evaluate ways to better integrate processes used to develop large projects, including National Environmental Policy Act, interchange justification report, and value engineering processes. WSDOT received Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration funds to use lean methods to streamline processes and knowledge practices as part of its Practical Solutions strategy.
Floating Bridge Named America's Top Engineering Feat
WSDOT’s State Route 520 floating bridge won the 2017 Grand Conceptor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The award honors the Nation’s best overall engineering achievement. Completed using the design-build project delivery method, the bridge over Lake Washington between Seattle and Medina, WA, is the longest floating span of highway in the world at 7,708 feet. The bridge was one of 162 projects vying for ACEC’s top award.
Seattle Introduces New Traffic Signal Control System
Seattle, WA, has a new high-tech tool to ease congestion along one of the city's worst traffic bottlenecks—the Mercer Street corridor. On April 24, the city introduced an adaptive signal control technology (ASCT) system that could shave minutes off travel times between 3rd Avenue West and I-5. The ASCT system, installed at 32 signalized intersections, works in real time to sense changing traffic volumes and adjust the timing of green lights.
West Virginia Deploys Innovative Pavement Techniques
The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) is pursuing pavement preservation techniques in EDC-4. After experiencing asphalt pavement joints that deteriorated at a faster rate than the rest of the pavement, WVDOT began applying a 3-foot-wide course of micro-surfacing on longitudinal joints. This technique seals the existing joint and is cheaper, faster, and safer to implement than traditional longitudinal joint repair processes.
As a result of EDC-2, WVDOT is using high-friction surface treatments (HFST), pavement overlay systems with exceptional skid resistance, as a safety tool throughout the State. The agency uses HSFT to reduce crashes at curves with a data-driven, focused application. After HFST was applied on an I-64 curve in Kanawha County, the crash rate dropped from 250.1 to 41.0 per million vehicle miles traveled.
Nominations Open for 2017 STIC Excellence Award
Nominations for the 2017 STIC Excellence Award are open until July 1. FHWA's Center for Accelerating Innovation partners with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Innovation Initiative on the award, which recognizes STICs that have achieved significant results in fostering an innovative culture. The Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Vermont STICs received the inaugural STIC Excellence Awards in 2016.