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Current Webinars

Addressing Bicycle-Vehical Conflicts with Alternate Signal Control Strategies

There is nationwide interest in supporting sustainable and active transportation modes such as bicycling and walking due to the many benefits associated with them, including reduced congestion, lower emissions and improved health. Although the number of bicyclists is increasing, safety remains a top concern. In urban areas, a common crash type involving bicycles at intersections is the “right hook” where a right-turning vehicle collides with a through bicyclist. While geometric treatments and pavement markings have been studied, there is a lack of research on signal timing treatments to address right-hook bicycle-vehicle conflicts.

Addressing Bicycle-Vehicle Conflicts with Alternate Signal Control Strategies, published in April 2018, is the first study to explore bicycle signal control strategies for addressing bicycle-vehicle conflicts. This study analyzed the operational impacts of traditional concurrent phasing, leading bike intervals (LBI), split leading bike intervals, and exclusive bike phasing in a microsimulation environment, and explored the safety impacts of traditional concurrent phasing, leading bike intervals, split leading bike intervals, and mixing zones using video-based conflict analysis. The microsimulation analysis revealed increased delays due to LBI, split LBI and exclusive bike phasing for the affected motor vehicle phases compared to traditional concurrent phasing. Using post-encroachment time (PET), a surrogate safety measure, conflicts between turning vehicles and bicyclists were investigated. While the split LBI treatment was useful in mitigating conflicts during the lead interval, the risk for bicyclists is shifted to the stale green portion of the phase. No correlations were found between the frequency of conflicts and elapsed time since green. With the mixing zone treatment, significant confusion was exhibited by both cyclists and drivers, with respect to the correct action to be taken.

Observation also revealed that a significant percentage of the vehicles merged into the mixing zone at the very last second, thus adding to the confusion. This study provides broad-based recommendations on the appropriate treatment to be implemented to reduce right-hook conflicts.

You can watch this webinar here for free. 

Speaker: Sirisha Kothuri, Portland State University

Webinar provided by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University

Meeting and Exceeding Mobility User Expectations with REal-Time Transit Information

Every day transit riders ask the same question: when’s the next one coming? To answer this question, transit agencies are transitioning to providing real-time transit information through smartphones or displayed at transit stops. 

The proliferation of transit planning and real time arrival tools that have hit the market over the past decade is staggering. Yet with transit ridership on the decline, agencies can’t afford to ignore the importance of providing accurate, real time information to their customers. Real-time transit information improves the reliability and efficiency of passenger travel, but barriers have prevented some transit agencies from adopting the GTFSrealtime v1.0 technology. A new NITC-funded study in May led by Sean Barbeau of the University of South Florida seeks to remove some of these barriers to make real-time transit info a universal amenity. As a public agency partner, moovel focuses on delivering simple, frictionless and accurate information through mobile applications. From mobile ticketing to multi/intermodal trip planning, booking and payment, moovel’s mobile apps take a customer-first approach to enhance the customer experience through an intuitive mobile solution.

This webinar will discuss the lessons learned from using GTFS and GTFS-realtime data in real-world applications and how these experiences lead to the development of the GTFS Best Practices (http://gtfs.org/best-practices/), GTFS-realtime v2.0 (https://developers.google.com/transit/gtfs-realtime/), and the open-source GTFS-realtime Validator tool (https://github.com/CUTR-at-USF/gtfs-realtime-validator).  These new tools and standards will help reduce the time needed to develop, test, deploy, and maintain GTFS and GTFS-realtime feeds, which will in turn lead to better quality real-time information for transit riders and better operational and analytics information for transit agencies going forward. The presentation will also discuss the challenges and experiences faced by moovel as a vendor in working with agency data to meet modern, customer expectations in delivering accurate, real-time transportation data.

KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES
  • Understanding of how customer expectations shape the delivery of information/data
  • Understanding of how transit agencies and their vendors can follow GTFS Best Practices and use the new GTFS-realtime v2.0 specification when implementing and maintaining data feeds, including putting in RFP requirements
  • Challenges of working with multiple transportation providers to provide accurate real-time information
  • Lessons learned from numerous focus groups and feedback studies
  • Learn how to run the GTFS-realtime Validator tool on data regularly to maintain high-quality feeds
  • Where the future of smart apps will take us and how we need to prepare for it

You can watch this webinar here for free. 

Speakers: Sean Barbeau, University of South Florida and Derek Fretheim, Moovel

Webinar provided by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University

Rethinking Streets for Bikes: An Evidence Based Guide of Bike-Friendly Street Retrofits

There is a growing demand for better infrastructure and fewer barriers to biking and other forms of space-efficient micromobility. Tackling daily trips by bike is easier on the environment, healthier for users and non-users alike, uses precious urbanized public and private land more efficiently, costs taxpayers less to build and maintain infrastructure, and when routes are safe and comfortable, moving by bike is also fun! Complete Streets policies are being adopted across the country, and there is an active conversation around the safety imperative of a Complete Streets approach. Yet, local officials often need both design guidance and the confidence on how to retrofit streets for people on bikes that will actually work.

To fill this gap, an interdisciplinary team of NITC researchers, including Marc Schlossberg and John Rowell of the University of Oregon, Roger Lindgren of the Oregon Institute of Technology, and Dave Amos of UC Berkeley (behind the popular City Beautiful video series) created this new public resource. Rather than using hypothetical designs or artistic renderings, the team showcases proven, high-quality, completed projects from a diversity of communities and contexts and does so in a visual way that can help communicate to a diverse set of stakeholders in any community. This new guide was funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, and is now available for FREE download, in full or by chapter.

Watch the video by clicking here.

The Economic Cost of Failing to Modernize Public Transportation

Webinar provided by the American Public Transportation Association. 

The Current Situation

Public transportation’s infrastructure woes are well documented.  The 2015 Conditions and Performance Report produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, estimated the overall State of Good Repair backlog to be at $89.9 billion and growing.  More than $50 billion in backlog exists just with the seven largest transit systems.  

Why Modernization Matters

The connection between asset condition and asset performance is clear.  Systems in poorer condition have higher maintenance costs and more frequent breakdowns.  Assets that have to be replaced unexpectedly can cause disruption to travelers.  This translates into delays and service reductions, which result in travel time cost increases for passengers.
Case studies clearly demonstrate that a regional economy can experience millions of dollars in losses (from lost revenue and repair costs) if unanticipated events strike a major transit system in less than a state of good repair. As cities throughout America compete to attract or retain key occupations and businesses, the condition and quality of public transit infrastructure plays a growing role in what makes a thriving regional economy. 
This report details how the following six public transit agencies are exploring and coping with their current SGR issues. 
  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) 
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) 
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) 
  • Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) 
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) 
  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

The Consequences of Not Investing in Modernization

Our failure to adequately invest in public transportation infrastructure holds back America’s economy. Absent of increased investment, the country would see $340 billion less in cumulative business sales over the next six years.  This translates to a loss of $180 billion in cumulative gross national product (GNP) and a loss of $109 billion in household income. This equates to over 160,000 fewer jobs. These losses are a product of decreases in efficiency and productivity from public transit delays and disruptions. In contrast, the economy benefits when transit operators can devote resources toward expanding and modernizing service in response to emerging growth.  ​

 You can read the one page summary here.