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Last week, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) issued a statewide news release titled “Updated research looks in-depth at how poor road conditions will impact Oregon’s economy.” As the title suggests, the release explains that funding shortfalls for infrastructure will have significant negative impacts on the state economy and resident’s quality of life.
One of the reports that the release references, “Rough Roads Ahead 2,” relied on the Oregon Statewide Integrated Model (SWIM) to study an issue that many state DOTs are facing—declining revenue accompanied by increasing costs due to the need to maintain and/or replace deteriorating infrastructure. RSG’s Joel Freedman and Ben Stabler helped build the model that was used for the analysis, and—along with RSG’s Nagendra Dhakar—assisted Oregon DOT staff define alternatives to be tested in the model, analyzed model outputs, and interpreted results.
See Oregon’s Rough Roads/Pavement Reports website for more information.
Two RSG-involved projects received recognition at the American Council of Engineering Companies of NH (ACEC NH) Engineering Excellence awards banquet last week.
RSG assisted AECOM by collecting and analyzing traffic and survey data for the “NH Statewide Rest Area and Welcome Center Study,” which received an honorable mention.
In addition, the RSG project “Your Guide to Promoting Walking and Bicycling Accommodations in New Hampshire” received a Silver award. The guide, completed in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) and its Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Committee (BPTAC), informs bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders on how to most effectively engage in the transportation project planning and design process. The final product marries complex technical content with reader-friendly design and language, serving as both an outreach and educational resource for the public.
RSG’s proprietary location-aware market research app, rMove, was featured on NBC San Diego last week. RSG is conducting a household travel survey for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and, as the segment explains, is using rMove to allow for participation via smartphone. rMove is a platform that collects data on participants’ day-to-day movements and motivations to help organizations confidently plan for future transportation needs.
The study, which is taking place from August 2016 to March 2017, is projected to include data from 5,500 households. Compared to traditional survey methods, data collection via rMove will provide more accurate and robust data as well as more enjoyment and convenience for participants. Find out more at meetrmove.rsginc.com.
RSG Senior Director Steve Lawson’s appointment as adjunct faculty at the University of Vermont (UVM) was recently renewed by the university. In this role, Steve serves on graduate student committees and provides opportunities for professional experience to graduate and undergraduate students in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR). In addition, he serves in this role as a liaison with the school for collaboration on research, scholarship, and consulting projects.
Steve’s adjunct faculty appointment at UVM reinforces RSG’s commitment to its academic roots and the scientific rigor of our work.
RSG Director Joel Freedman presented “Enhanced Methods to Forecast Travel Behavior in Response to Travel Time Reliability and Pricing” at last week’s Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) webinar.
His presentation, which had 121 attendees, described the work undertaken to enhance the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) activity-based model’s sensitivities to priced infrastructure and travel time reliability. The enhancements implemented during this project are based on research conducted under the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) C04 track to improve understanding of how highway congestion and pricing affect travel demand.
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (Pittsburgh regional planning agency) freight plan that RSG helped create, in collaboration with WRA, was featured earlier this week in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The article, titled “Pittsburgh regional freight movement expected to increase 40 percent by 2040,” covered the highlights of the plan, particularly the dramatic increase in freight movement projected for the region over the next few decades and what performance measures should be carefully monitored to accommodate this growth.
RSG Senior Director Peter Plumeau was quoted in an article this week in “Transport Topics.” The article, titled “Experts Say Lack of Public Understanding Complicates Urban Freight Movement” highlights the topics covered at a Transportation Research Board (TRB) freight panel at the TRB Annual Meeting on Monday morning. In particular, the panel discussed the disconnect between the government agencies that regulate freight and the companies that move it.
RSG Director Steven Gayle was recently selected by Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) International President Shawn Leight to chair the ITE Strategic Initiatives Committee. This committee is tasked with working alongside the ITE Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and senior staff to develop recommendations to keep ITE relevant and growing in a world where both transportation and professional organizations are dynamically evolving.
RSG earned recognition as a Partner-level supplier for 2016 in the John Deere Achieving Excellence Program. The Partner-level status is Deere & Company’s highest supplier rating. RSG was selected for the honor in recognition of its dedication to providing products and service of outstanding quality as well as its commitment to continuous improvement.
RSG Director Joel Freedman will present this afternoon as part of Portland State University’s TREC seminar series. As a nationally recognized leader in the development and application of advanced travel demand forecasting models, Joel will share details about activity-based model pricing and reliability enhancements implemented in the San Diego, California region.
Interested to hear more? Tune in at 3PM ET to stream it live: http://trec.pdx.edu/events/professional-development/pricing-and-reliability-enhancements-san-diego-activity-based-travel
RSG Senior Consultant Ben Stabler presented at the INRO Model City Portland Conference in Portland, Oregon. His presentation, titled “Development of an Open Matrix Emme Integration Tool,” shared about the tool he worked with INRO to build that reads and writes open matrix for easier integration with third-party software. This tool is now being used by metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in Eugene, OR and Portland, OR.
Last week, the Burlington Free Press highlighted an RSG project for the City of Burlington, Vermont being led by RSG’s Corey Mack and staffed by Roxanne Meuse. South End Burlington’s “Little Five Corners” – a five-legged intersection traveled by residents, commuters, and visitors of the independent businesses and small park located there – has long plagued those passing through. RSG has been contracted to identify and develop alternatives for this challenging space to make it safer and more accessible for people walking and bicycling, as well as to enhance the neighborhood as a whole.
To ensure a vibrant public participation process, Corey modified the typical indoor public meeting and had participants gather at the site to walk around the intersection and discuss the current layout, significant concerns, and possibilities for improvement. Ideas were brought to life back at the table Corey had set up in the park with a large aerial photo of the intersection on which participants could draw and erase. Back in the office (just a few blocks from the project site), the RSG team will now incorporate the local insight and ideas discussed at this meeting into the project’s next steps.
John Hinckley, RSG’s Director of Air Quality Permitting, was recently invited to help develop a national woodchip heating standard to improve the performance, efficiency, and reliability of woodchip heating systems. He brings his expertise in emissions control and air quality permitting to the 15-member advisory committee, which represents diverse interests from across the country. The development of this standard will help improve air quality by reducing emissions from woodchip heating equipment.
RSG’s Karl Washburn was recently co-awarded US Patent 9,438,991, “Sound feedback system for vehicles”. This patent links autonomous “follower” agricultural equipment to a person monitoring their activity and health. Co-inventors include Karl’s former colleagues at Deere & Company – Julian Sanchez, Kristin Sullivan, and Noel Anderson.
RSG’s Kordel Braley spoke with Brigham Young University’s ASCE Chapter yesterday in Provo, Utah. He discussed RSG’s recent work on the Provo-Orem Transportation Improvement Project (POTIP), which will add general purpose lanes and bus rapid transit (BRT) along a congested corridor between Provo and Orem. RSG performed micro-simulation analysis, ridership forecasts, and analyzed the effects of transit signal priority (TSP).