Multi Institution Projects

A Platform for Proactive Risk-Based Slope Asset Management

PI: Andrew T. Metzger (UAF)
Co-Investigators: Pedro Arduino (UW), Michael Olsen (OSU), Armin Stuedlein (OSU), Joseph Wartman (UW)
Dates: 05/16/2012 – 10/13/2014
Final Project Report: PacTrans-2-UAF-Metzger

Unstable slopes, including landslides, rock falls, and debris flows, present significant risk to safety and regional commerce and represent a chronic concern for highway mangers. Due to the widespread spatial and temporal distribution of these problems, most states have, or are taking, measures to manage slopes along their highway alignments. However, given the physical nature of slopes along highway corridors, they pose a number of challenges when deciding where to allocate funds as well as from an overall asset management perspective. This is compounded by the level of effort currently required to survey, inspect and characterize slopes for the purpose of condition assessment. Slope assessment has traditionally been laborious and costly, but altogether necessary due to the potential consequences of a failure. Current best-practices for management do not necessarily facilitate proactive slope management — identifying and remediating hazardous conditions before a failure occurs.

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An Innovative Survey Design to Understand Sustainable Travel Behaviors

PI: Cynthia Chen (UW)
Co-Investigators: Anne Vernez Moudon (UW), Qing Shen (UW), Hejun Kang (UI)
Dates: 06/16/2012 – 10/6/2014
Final Project Report: PacTrans-3-UW-Chen

An innovative survey is being undertaken with rolling samples to address a major fiscal challenge faced by many MPOs. Faced with a small, but continuous budget, MPOs are increasingly unable to continue the current survey practice: conducting a large survey every 10 years. A rolling sample design also has other benefits over the current practice. Yet, for its implementation in household travel surveys, many questions exist. Some are technical issues, while others are cost and procedural-related. The primary purpose of this project is to understand these issues and provide recommendations for a future household travel survey with rolling samples.

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Educating Teenage Drivers in the Pacific Northwest Regarding the Dangers of Distracted Driving

PI: David S. Hurwitz (OSU)
Co-Investigators: Karen Dixon (OSU), Bryan Vila (WSU), Ahmed Abdel-Rahim (UI), Linda Boyle (UW), Billy Connor (UAF)
Dates: 05/16/2012 – 7/31/2014
Led By: Oregon State University (OSU) Professor David S. Hurwitz, this project is the PacTrans Multi-Institution Outreach Project for 2012-2013.
Final Project Report: PacTrans-7-OSU-Hurwitz

Driver distraction can be defined as the diversion of driver attention away from the driving task, and it can result from factors both within and outside of the vehicle (Sheridan, 2004). It can include anything that distracts a driver from the primary task of driving and has been categorized as follows: visual (e.g., reading a map), auditory (e.g., listening to a conversation), biomechanical (e.g., tuning a radio), and cognitive (e.g. ‘being lost in thought,’ and ‘looking but not seeing’) (Ranney et al., 2000). Most distractions are actually a combination of these, thus it may be more useful to categorize distractions according to the task that drivers are engaged in while driving (rather than the combination of the forms of distractions). For example, cell phones are associated with cognitive, auditory, biomechanical, and potentially, visual distractions.

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Digital Dissemination Platform of Transportation Engineering Educational Materials Founded in Adoption Research

PI: Shane Brown (WSU)
Co-Investigators: D. Hurwitz (OSU), M. Hallenbeck (UW), M. Kyte (UI), R. Perkins (UAF)
Dates: 05/16/2012 – 7/31/2014
Led By: Washington State University (WSU) Professor Shane Brown, this project is the PacTrans multi-institution Education Project for 2012-2013.
Final Project Report: PacTrans-6-OSU-Brown

National interest abounds in improving engineering education in the US. This interest stems from low performance on concept inventories (P.S. Steif, Dollar, & Dantzler, 2005; Paul S Steif & Hansen, 2006) concerns over the role of the US as a national economic leader (The National Academies, 2006), evidence of best practices in curriculum development and pedagogy, and a sense that we can just do things better. These concerns have led to the development of an abundance of materials and methods that are based on effective methods of development and/or been shown to be effective on student learning and other important educational outcomes.

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