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Winter 2016 Vol. 3, No. 1

New modeling for bike and ped traffic to improve planning, safety

biker and pedestrain traffic

Photo: David Gonzalez, MnDOT

Getting more people to bike or walk has been a high priority for transportation planners in recent years. But as the number of pedestrians and bicyclists using the transportation system increases, so does the potential for serious—even deadly—crashes involving these high-risk road users. RSI research is developing new methods and tools to help transportation engineers estimate bicycle and pedestrian traffic volumes and assess risk.

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Visit highlights crash record research

Image of Donath, Jones, Morris, Rosekind, Haney, Cooper, Achtemeier, and Tian

In February, NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind and regional administrator Darin Jones visited the HumanFIRST Lab on the University of Minnesota campus. The visitors heard results of a project that redesigned the electronic crash report interface used by Minnesota law enforcement officers to improve the accuracy, speed, reliability, and meaningfulness of data collected from the scene of a crash.

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Murphy named RSI Outstanding Student of the Year

Brendan Murphy holding award

The 2015 Outstanding Student of the Year recipient, Brendan Murphy, received the award from USDOT officials in Washington, DC, in January. Murphy says his research interests “lie at the intersection of urban connectivity, transportation equity, environmental sustainability, and livability.”

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Researcher spotlight: Frank Douma

Frank Douma

As director of the State and Local Policy Program at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Frank Douma specializes in projects that examine the role public policy, particularly law, plays in improving transportation safety.

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Researcher spotlight: Ron Van Houten

Ron Van Houten

Ron Van Houten is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University and a researcher with the Roadway Safety Institute. He is a behavior analysis expert in the areas of traffic safety, pedestrian safety, intelligent transportation systems, traffic calming, bicycle safety, seat belt use, and reducing impaired driving.

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Pedestrian workshop summary now available

Pedestrian crossing sign

In late 2015, the Roadway Safety Institute held three workshops designed to inform transportation practitioners about innovative treatment options for improving pedestrian safety. A summary report of the workshops’ content, including participant discussions at each event, is now available.

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RSI travel-award recipients participate at TRB

The Roadway Safety Institute provided 15 graduate students from its partner institutions travel awards to attend the Transportation Research Board’s 95th annual meeting in Washington, DC, January 10–14. As a result, students from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Minnesota Duluth, Auburn University, University of Akron, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had the opportunity to present research and network with other participants from across the country.

Exhibit teaches kids to be seen and be safe with reflectivity>

Kids learning about reflectivity at exhibit

Roadway Safety Institute staff taught more than 450 kids about reflectivity, pedestrian visibility, and safety at TechFest on February 27. The event, hosted annually by The Works Museum, introduces kids to engineering and technology concepts through hands-on activities and demos. The Institute’s exhibit piloted a concept that will be used in a permanent exhibit at The Works later this year.

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Regional UTCs join forces on research webinars

The Roadway Safety Institute and the Midwest Transportation Center at Iowa State University are jointly hosting a webinar series that shares the impacts of research conducted through these Regional University Transportation Centers. Both researchers leading the work and practitioners implementing results in the field share the spotlight during the webinars, which are streamed live and recorded for later viewing.

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Director: Max Donath
Editor: Amy Friebe
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Writers: Christine Anderson, Megan Tsai, Lexi Gusso
Web Team: Savannah Brausen