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A paper written by RSG Consultant, Jeff Keller has been awarded first place overall in the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Data Competition. Jeff’s paper titled, “Using Random Forest Machine Learning to Predict Driver Behavior in a Dilemma Zone,” describes a means for applying the Random Forest machine learning method to vehicle operating environment data in order to identify drivers of behavior and to predict that behavior. These are desirable outcomes for policymakers who wish to recommend legislation regarding various distraction activities, such as texting or making phone calls, while driving. Automakers have also expressed interest in being able to predict, in real-time, events that may put the safety of vehicle occupants at risk. Jeff will present his findings on Sunday, January 12, at the annual TRB meeting in Washington, DC.
RSG is excited to announce that Michelle Lee has joined our Metropolitan DC office as a Senior Consultant. Michelle has sixteen years of experience in project management, database design, field team management, and all aspects of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She has been a certified GIS professional for over ten years, and has extensive experience with GIS technologies ranging from data conversions and transformations to computer-assisted mapping.
RSG Director, David Saladino, has been elected President of the New Hampshire Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (NHITE). David has over fifteen years of experience in transportation planning, traffic engineering, transportations facility design, and traffic operations, and has been with RSG for more than a decade. David has been a member of NHITE since 2003, and has served as the editor of the NHITE newsletter and website for over five years. Prior to being elected NHITE president, David most recently served as the chapter’s vice president, and he has also served as secretary/treasurer. David also chairs the Town of Enfield’s Tax Increment Finance District Committee and serves on the Town of Enfield’s Planning Board. He currently serves as vice-chair of the Hartford Development Corporation Board.
RSG is excited to welcome Michael Heaney to our staff as a Senior Consultant. Michael has spent the last decade founding and directing the Center for Park Management within the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). Michael’s work at the Center for Park Management focused on developing and providing implementation support for strategic business plans in national parks, as well as regional and national offices of the National Park Service. Prior to relocating to the USA, Michael did strategic business planning and product development for more than 10 years with Marks & Spencer, a major European retailer. Michael will be working out of his home office in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire.
RSG Senior Engineer and Market Street Gateway Project Manager, Dirk Grotenhuis, presented improvement ideas for the Market Street Gateway Project at a public input session in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday night. The input session, which drew over 50 residents and stakeholders, gave attendees the opportunity to review and comment on proposed improvements, including a “road diet,” new waterfront parks, landscaped medians, and new “pedestrian-scale” lighting. The project team hopes to have the public-engagement portion of the Market Street Gateway project complete by mid-January.
In light of the tragedy in the Philippines last week, RSG has donated $1,000 to the American Red Cross Typhoon Appeal. This donation continues RSG’s commitment to being a positive corporate citizen in the local and global communities, including supporting disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, and the earthquake in Haiti in recent years. For more information about disaster relief efforts in the Philippines or how to donate to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, please visit the American Red Cross website.
RSG recently completed an air quality permitting study for a new biomass heating plant at Norwich University, a project that will help the University save over $1 million in yearly heating costs. Norwich’s new biomass-fueled heating plant will produce an estimated 97% of the campus’ steam requirements and displace 657,000 gallons of fuel oil. The wood chips that will be used to power the new plant will be harvested within a 100 mile radius of the Norwich campus under Vermont’s Acceptable Management Practices program.
An RSG project is featured as a case study in the recently published National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide. The project examined three design alternatives for the complex Pearl-Prospect-Colchester intersection in Burlington, VT. Working closely with the City and Metropolitan Planning Organization, RSG developed a set of pilot improvements that improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, are quick to implement, and cost less than $20,000 to install. The design was implemented this summer and the pilot and study period will run until the end of October 2013. The Urban Street Design Guide is considered a new design manual for city streets today and demonstrates how streets of every size can be reimagined and reoriented as safe, sustainable public spaces for people walking, driving, biking, and taking transit.
RSG is excited to welcome Stacey Falzarano to the position of Senior Director of Human Resources. After an extensive local and national search, the selection board, comprising RSG’s operating team, corporate team and current human resources staff unanimously agreed that Stacey was the best fit for this role at RSG.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee grants the William M. Millar Award for the best paper in the area of public transportation.
Working with RSG, the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, and various stakeholders, Burlington’s Department of Public Works announced the start of a “solution-oriented pilot-program” at the Pearl Street/Prospect Street/Colchester Avenue intersection as part of the Pearl Street/Prospect Street/Colchester Avenue Scoping Study. This notoriously busy and problematic intersection, designated a high-crash location by VTrans, will undergo a number of changes during the pilot project including a new traffic pattern, signals, and signage. The piloted changes are part of a short term alternative being considered and will allow the project’s Steering Committee to evaluate and compare it to other longer term/higher-cost options that cannot be field tested.
The Town of Seabrook Planning Board recently voted to amend their Site Plan Regulations to include RSG’s traffic exaction formula for US 1 through Town. US 1 is a densely developed commercial corridor that faces significant development pressure and ongoing traffic congestion. RSG worked with the Town of Seabrook (NH) to develop a clear, understandable approach to developer traffic exactions (i.e., per trip cost that a developer must pay to develop along a specific corridor to fund road improvements) that would provide a fair and level playing ground for developers and allow the Town and NHDOT to finance critical improvements to the US 1 corridor. It is great to see our work making a positive impact.
The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of equal treatment under federal law for legally married same-sex couples, a position RSG supported in an employer amicus brief filed earlier this year on behalf of 278 employers nationwide. RSG was one of only two Vermont companies to sign the brief, which argued that DOMA forced employers to separate lawfully married employees into two categories—married same-sex couples and married opposite-sex couples—for taxation purposes and benefits administration.
Shadde Rosenblum, AICP, an expert in transportation planning, has joined RSG as a Senior Consultant.