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U of M to lead $10.4 million regional consortium on transportation safety

Researcher in Driving Environment Simulator (DES)In a national competition held by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) has been selected to lead a new $10.4 million regional University Transportation Center (UTC) consortium focused on improving transportation safety.

The new Roadway Safety Institute will be a regional focal point for transportation safety research, education, and technology transfer initiatives. The region includes Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

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University of Minnesota develops warning system

Traffic Technology Today, October 18, 2013

To help drivers pay more attention in work zones, researchers from the University of Minnesota developed the Intelligent Drum Line (IDL) system prototype. The portable, dynamic warning system project was led by John Hourdos, director of the U of M’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory, and sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

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Experts say more I-94 lanes from Twin Cities to St. Cloud not best fix for congestion headache

StarTribune, October 13, 2013

Solving chronic traffic congestion on Interstate 94 between the Twin Cities and St. Cloud is not likely to be as simple as adding additional lanes. Some political leaders have supported that approach as a solution to chronic backups, particularly in stretches closer to the Twin Cities. But the St. Cloud Times reported Sunday that engineers and traffic experts say it’s not that simple, and could even end up making bottlenecks worse.

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No quick fix for busy I-94 through Central Minnesota

St. Cloud Times, October 13, 2013

Is solution to congestion more lanes, user fees or improved transit? Adding another lane to Interstate Highway 94 between St. Cloud and the Twin Cities may seem like an obvious solution to the traffic backups that often frustrate motorists. But engineers and transportation experts say it isn’t that simple to ease the flow of vehicles in one area without causing problems somewhere else. Adding another lane is not only expensive, it wouldn’t solve the congestion and could even make the bottleneck near the Twin Cities worse.

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U of M Center for Transportation Studies selected to lead new $10.4 million safety consortium

UMNews, September 30, 2013

In a national competition held by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) at the University of Minnesota has been selected to lead a new $10.4 million regional University Transportation Center consortium focused on improving transportation safety.

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Congestion-reduction measures on I-35W: How well do they work?

congestionIn an effort to combat congestion in our country’s urban areas, the United States Department of Transportation launched the Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA) program in 2007. The program infused nearly $900 million into transportation-related projects in four cities nationwide, including the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Minnesota’s projects—which include the installation of MnPASS dynamic toll lanes and variable message signs—focused on improving traffic flow in the I-35W corridor between Minneapolis and the city’s southern suburbs.

To understand the effectiveness of the traffic operations measures implemented under the UPA, University of Minnesota researchers examined three separate but related areas: the effects of a new variable speed limit (VSL) system, the impact of severe weather conditions on road safety, and the behavior and traffic impacts of bus rapid transit (BRT) operations. Their work was funded by the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute.

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