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Research

Recent Developments

Listed below are recent developments pertinent to research from the past six months. If you would like to suggest a recent development on this topic, please submit a short description to AASHTO (including any pertinent links) on the Share Info with AASHTO form.

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FHWA Evaluates Research and Technology Activities

The Federal Highway Administration has issued a report to evaluate ongoing and completed research and technology (R&T) activities. The report includes 16 evaluations conducted by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to ensure transparency, accessibility and responsiveness of R&T for stakeholders. The evaluations include qualitative data to trace the diffusion of R&T recommendations, track the adoption of those recommendations, and determine the impact of adoption. The report focuses on initial findings of six evaluations that address adaptive signal controls; the geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system; gusset plates; national household travel survey; roadside revegetation; and roundabouts. For more information, link to the report. (August 2016)

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Newsletter Highlights Research from Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability UTC

The Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability University Transportation Center was highlighted in the Sept. 2016 issue of the UTC Spotlight monthly newsletter. The center develops tools, processes and services in a collaborative environment to help solve transportation sustainability problems. Some of the center’s projects address the simultaneous removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from stormwater by zero valent iron and biochar in bioretention cells, a Light Detection and Ranging system for air quality, a decision support tool for nutrient credit exchange and network-wide impacts of eco-routing applications. For more information, link to the newsletter. (9-1-16) 

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AASHTO Extends Deadline for TERI Research Proposals

Research proposals are being accepted until May 30, 2016, for the Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas (TERI) Database. TERI is a central storehouse for tracking and sharing new transportation and environmental research ideas. The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO maintains TERI and keeps all content current. Suggestions for new ideas are welcome from practitioners across the transportation and environmental community. Proposal due date has been extended until May 30, 2016. For more information link to the call for proposals; to submit your ideas, visit TERI.

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Strategic Plan, Research Roadmaps Completed for AASHTO Standing Committee on Environment

A strategic plan and series of research roadmaps for AASHTO’s Standing Committee on Environment (SCOE) has been completed under a project of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP 25-25/Task 95). The plan includes high level goals and objectives for the SCOE full committee, as well as each of the four subcommittees. It also includes research roadmaps for each of the subcommittees and additional interest areas including: the Subcommittee on Air Quality, Climate Change, and Energy; Subcommittee on Communities and Cultural Concerns; Subcommittee on Environmental Process; Subcommittee on Natural Resources; as well as additional topics of Extreme Weather Events and Stormwater. For more information, link to the Strategic Plan. (8-31-15)

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Florida DOT Studies Twenty-Four Hour Traffic Volume

The Florida Department of Transportation has conducted a study of 24-hour traffic peaking characteristics and the relationship to off-hour levels of service. The variation of volume between peak hours, peak-shoulders and off-peak hours of service on both limited-access and arterial roads were examined in order to inform planning with regard to road usage, lane construction, speed limit decisions and other issues. The study found that severe congestion occurred less than 50 percent of the time in most facilities. Also, freeways and other limited-access highways saw severe congestion for four hours per day and moderate congestion for 10 hours, while arterial roads saw severe congestion for five hours and moderate levels for 11 hours. For the full report, link to Twenty-Four Hour Peaking Relationship to Level of Service and Other Measures of Effectiveness. (8-19-15)

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FHWA Announces SHRP2 Round 6 Selections, Round 7 Products

The Federal Highway Administration has announced the organizations that have been selected for implementation and technical assistance through the 6th round of the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). The organizations hail from 18 states and are carrying out projects for proof of concept and user incentives and as lead adopters, including utility investigation technologies, the Work Zone Impacts and Strategies Estimator Software and PlanWorks. In addition, the anticipated products for Round 7 include a focus on renewal through bridge design and construction materials and reliability work through data toolkits and planning models. The administration also has launched the “Milestones” newsletter highlighting specific achievements in the SHRP2 program for capacity, renewal, reliability and safety, such as the Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Program’s effort to trail all 1 million emergency responders in the country on incident response. For more information, link to projects announcement or Milestones newsletter. (8-12-15)

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Research Center Releases Series of White Papers on Transportation Technology

The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Transportation Research has released three white papers addressing transportation technologies focusing on autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and cloud computing and crowdsourcing. The white papers examine current practices and uses for these technologies, ongoing research, specific innovations and future opportunities for implementation. Increased safety, transit efficiency, the flow of data between consumers and stakeholders, and encouraging increased use by the transit population are highlighted, as well as strategic implications in Texas for each area of technology. For the full series of white papers, link here. (6-1-15)

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FHWA Announces Round 6 of SHRP2 Implementation Assistance Grants

The sixth round of implementation assistance has been announced by the Federal Highway Administration for the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). The program will provide funding and technical assistance for six products from SHRP2’s Renewal and Capacity focus areas, including the PlanWorks web resource, which supports collaborative decision making in transportation planning and project development. Applications are due by June 26. For more information, link here. (5-28-15)

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APA Receives Grant For Regional Planning

The American Planning Association has received $145,000 in grant funding from the Federal Highway Administration to implement a project assisting local governments and regional planning agencies in transportation planning that addresses regional issues. The project will be carried out in partnership with Georgia Tech’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development and will extend through late 2016. For more information, link here. (5-27-15)

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FHWA and AASHTO Announce SHRP2 Implementation Assistance Program Round 5 Recipients

The Federal Highway Administration and AASHTO have announced the recipients of implementation and technical assistance in Round 5 of the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). The recipients come from 20 states and the District of Columbia, and include departments of transportation and various planning commissions. The assistance covers the 3D utility location data repository, performance specifications for rapid renewal, railroad-DOT mitigation strategies and the planning process bundle. For more information, link here. (3-27-15)

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AASHTO Issues Call for Environmental Research Ideas

Ideas for research on environment-related issues in transportation are being sought by the AASHTO Standing Committee on Environment (SCOE) for funding under the National Cooperative Highway Program, Project 25-25.  The program funds quick-response research for SCOE and must be completed in less than 15 months. Projects funded under the NCHRP 25-25 program are intended to develop analytical methods, decision-support tools, procedures, and techniques to assist state DOTs with environmental stewardship, program development, and project delivery. Ideas can be submitted through the AASHTO Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas Database (TERI). For more information, link to the Fact Sheet. (4-3-15)

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TRB Study To Examine Vehicle to Infrastructure Deployment

The Transportation Research Board is carrying out a National Cooperative Highway Research Program study addressing intelligent transportation system (ITS) technology decisions in light of the deployment of vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. The project will examine the processes of transportation agencies, connected vehicles and their place in existing and future infrastructure and the relationship between ITS technologies and connected vehicle use through engagement with stakeholders and pilot agencies. For more information on the project, link to http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=3922. (3-18-15)

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DOT Releases Research Database

The Department of Transportation has released a searchable database encompassing all recent research, development and technology products sponsored by the agency. The DOT Research Hub website will provide detailed access to various research portfolios, as well as references to reports and products. For more information and access to the database, link to http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/172203.aspx. (3-2-15)

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AASHTO Releases Report for 2014 SHRP2 Developments

AASHTO has released a report summarizing the accomplishments and product implementation made under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) in 2014, including tools for assessment, road design and geotechnical solutions. The report offers a breakdown by state of products implemented and their methods of participation under the Implementation Assistance Program, as well as highlights of SHRP2 outreach that took place through the year.  For the full report, link to http://shrp2.transportation.org/documents/home/SHRP2_Year_in_Review_2014_Brochure_VIEW.pdf. (2-20-15)

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FHWA Publishes Fact Sheets Concerning Planning and Environment-Related Research

FHWA has issued fact sheets summarizing recent research by four offices authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) to facilitate better transportation decision-making and efficiency while protecting the environment. The fact sheets cover research regarding human environment, planning, natural environment, and project development and environmental review. Each fact sheet describes the goals of the office and its featured research activities. For more information, link to http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/map-21_research/resources/publications/ (2-10-15).

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RFP: Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment (NCHRP 25-25)

The National Cooperative Highway Research Program is soliciting proposals to support the NCHRP 25-25 fast-turnaround research program for AASHTO’s Standing Committee on the Environment. The RFP intends to select two to four task-order contractors to carry out specified quick-response environmental research activities and who will be afforded the opportunity to compete for individual studies selected annually over the next 3 years (renewable for 3 additional years). Current topics include air quality, historic roads and historic properties, endangered species, and stormwater. For more information, link to the RFP. (1-28-15)

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