Small Projects Year 1 (2012-2013)
PI: Scott Hamel (UAF)
Dates: 03/01/2012 – 11/01/2013
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities owns and maintains over one-hundred high-mast light poles that are up to 170 feet tall. These poles are used to illuminate intersections and freeways in the central and south-central regions of Alaska. The poles, which are used throughout the lower 48, have experienced scrutiny in the last decade after a number of catastrophic failures across the country. As part of its review of these structures, the Alaska DOT has found widespread and continual loosening of the anchor bolt nuts at the base of the poles. The design and performance of the poles is based on an assumption of tightened anchor bolts, and the loose nuts endanger nearby traffic and pedestrians. Given their height and proximity to major roadways, collapse of these poles would likely cause significant damage and multiple fatalities.
The ability to produce reliable and accurate travel time or space mean speed information is becoming increasingly important in the Pacific Northwest region. New capabilities to relay traveler information to motorists through smart devices and in-vehicle systems is making such information more useful. Such travel time information is also important in determining construction delays, as well as for the purposes of signal timing and supporting congestion relief efforts.
PI: Qing Shen (UW)
Dates: 09/16/2012 – 11/01/2013
Bicycle use is being promoted for a variety of social benefits. Because of the benefits associated with bicycling, jurisdictions across the central Puget Sound region and the nation have been investing in improvements to bicycle infrastructure. Academic and professional literature provides a basis for generally understanding bicycling behavior. However, less is known about the benefits of one facility type over another, or the potential inducement of new bicycle users when a policy intervention improves bicycling conditions.
Developing a Robust Survey Methodology for Collecting Information on the Port Truck Drayage Industry
PI: Anne Goodchild (UW)
Dates: 07/01/2012 – 11/01/2013
Efficient freight transportation is critical to our region’s economic competitiveness and environmental health. Increasing pressure on the roadway infrastructure, and concern about air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, heighten the state’s interest in supporting solutions that might move cargo off roads. Unfortunately, existing tools used to compare investments—especially across modes (e.g.in rail and road infrastructure)—are not sufficient to truly measure their economic and environmental impact or accurately evaluate tradeoffs between modes. This leaves transportation agencies with little foundation to support decision making and limits the state’s ability to identify innovative solutions that benefit the state, such as public-private partnerships that might increase the attractiveness of rail or barge transport.
PI: Timothy Larson (UW)
Dates: 06/16/2012 – 06/15/2013
Near-road monitoring of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in major urban areas in the U.S. will be required by 2013. It is not yet known exactly how many urban areas will be in attainment of the new NO2 air quality standard, due to a lack of historical near-road monitoring information. The answer is sensitive to the exact siting of these monitors with respect to the roadway and EPA’s siting guidance for near-road NO2 monitors is not yet officially established.