Transportation Journal Publishes Low-Volume Roads Safety Study

WTI safety researchers Ahmed Al-Kaisy, Levi Ewan, and graduate student Fahmid Hossain have published a study on safety improvements for low-volume roads.  For “Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads,” the research team investigated 27 safety improvements commonly used on high volume roads, and determined that appoximately half would also also be cost-effective to implement on roads with low traffic volumes.

Citation: Al-Kaisy, A., Ewan, L., and Hossain, F. (2017). Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads. Journal of Transportation Safety and Security. Volume 9, Issue 3: pp 369-382.

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis: Research Published

Researchers from the Center for Health and Safety Culture have published a study in Transportation Research regarding driving under the influence of cannabis. “Cultural predictors of future intention to drive under the influence of cannabis (CUIC)” was authored by Nic Ward, Jay Otto, William Schell, Kari Finley and their research partners. In addition to identifying predictors, the article identifies strategies to address cultural perceptions about driving after using cannabis that may be effective in reducing these driving behaviors.

Citation: Ward, N., Otto, J., Schell, W., Finley, K., Kelley-Baker, T., and Lacey, J. (2017). Cultural predictors of future intention to drive under the influence of cannabis. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. Volume 49 (August): pp 215-225.

“Pop-up” Street Project Gains Local Attention

In Bozeman, Montana, local media outlets are helping to bring attention to a temporary traffic calming project led by WTI’s Dani Hess and the City of Bozeman. At the corner of Tracy Avenue and Tamarack Street, volunteers from the neighborhood, and from Big Brothers Big Sisters, along with the City Streets Department helped paint colorful crosswalks and installed pedestrian medians made with plants and straw wattles.  The goal is to slow traffic and call more attention to cyclists and pedestrians who share or cross the road, in an area that includes both the Fairgrounds and the local Senior Center.

The installation, which will be in place for one-week, is one component of the Transportation Demand Management partnership between WTI, the City of Bozeman, and Montana State University. This project was also made possible by a mobile Pop-up Project Trailer funded by a grant from the AARP Livable Communities initiative awarded to WTI and the City of Bozeman. Going forward, the trailer will be available for use by other neighborhoods and local groups who want to take the first step in working towards safer multimodal streets in Bozeman.

For more photos and video, check out the feature article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, or Dani’s interview on NBC Montana.

Temporary traffic calming installation, pedestrian crossing in Bozeman, Montana
Temporary traffic calming installation in Bozeman, Montana

WTI Researchers Take Center Stage at National Public Lands Conference

Steve Albert leads closing session on the future of transportation in public lands
Steve Albert leads closing session on the future of transportation in public lands

The Western Transportation Institute played a prominent role in the recent Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands, held in Washington, DC from September 11 -13. Steve Albert and Natalie Villwock-Witte served on the planning committee for this national conference, which brought together practitioners from around the country to exchange ideas on how to enhance mobility, environmental stewardship, and visitor expericence in public land settings.  Several researchers were invited to present their work during the three day forum: Tony Clevenger co-led a workshop on wildlife crossings in Banff National Park, Rebecca Gleason and Taylor Lonsdale presented guidance on improving safety on rural roads with both vehicle and bicycle traffic, and Natalie Villwock-Witte gave presentations on both collaborative approaches to road safety plans and generational interest in visiting US Fish and Wildlife Refuges. Linda MacIntyre of the National Park Service led a workshop on congestion management, in which she highlighted the Congestion Management Toolkit developed by Jaime Sullivan and David Kack. Karalyn Clouser’s research project on  using GIS to create a route identification system for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was presented by her BLM co-author T.J. Clifford.  At the end of the conference, Steve Albert led and facilitated the closing session, which addressed future transportation issues and challenges facing public lands.

WTI has a long history of leadership on public lands transportation issues. In 1999, WTI helped create and host “National Parks: Transportation Alternatives and Advanced Technology for the 21st Century,” one of the first national forums to call attention to the unique challenges of developing sustainable and context-sensitive transportation solutions in these environments.  Steve Albert has served on the TRB Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands since 2002, including six years as Chair of the Research Subcommittee.

Road Ecologists Author Book Chapter on Wildlife Crossings

WTI Road Ecology Program Manager Rob Ament and colleagues Renee Callahan and Hannah Jaicks (both of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation) authored a chapter in the recently published book Biological Conservation in the 21st Century: A Conservation Biology of Large Wildlife.  Their chapter is entitled ”Crossroads Conservation: Identifying Solutions to the Cultural Barriers of Transportation Agencies so Internal Champions of Wildlife Crossings Can Thrive,” and summarizes similarities and differences among states regarding their approach to wildlife crossings.  It includes results of Hannah Jaicks post-doc work interviewing department of transportation personnel in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming on barriers to building wildlife crossings.  This research was sponsored through a partnership with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

Citation: Jaicks, H., Ament, R. and Callahan, R. (2017). Crossroads Conservation: Identifying Solutions to the Cultural Barriers of Transportation Agencies so Internal Champions of Wildlife Crossings Can Thrive in Campbell, Michael O’Neal (editor), Biological Conservation in the 21st Century: A Conservation Biology of Large Wildlife (pp 91 -120). New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Katie Dively Presents at National Prevention Conference

Katie Dively of the Center for Health and Safety Culture was invited to speak at the 30th National Prevention Conference in Anaheim, CA on September 12, 2017.  She presented the results of a recent CHSC study aimed at understanding safety citizenship and proposed strategies for increasing prosocial behaviors.  “Safety Citizenship” promotes the concept of instilling a sense of responsibility in everyone for enhancing the safety of others.

Nic Ward Invited to Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety

Nic Ward of the Center for Health and Safety Culture recently traveled to Wisconsin to participate in the Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety. Wisconsin is launching a Zero in Wisconsin Campaign to reduce traffic fatalities, and Nic spoke on the importance of transforming culture in order to achieve sustainable change in safe driving behavior.  You can watch his interview with a local TV station here.

USDOT Secretary Chao Names Shankwitz to Motorcyclist Advisory Council

Portrait of WTI Researcher Craig ShankwitzWTI’s Craig Shankwitz has been appointed to serve as a Special Government Employee on the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) to the Federal Highway Administration.  His service will enhance the U. S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to address infrastructure issues of concern to motorcyclists.  Throughout this two-year appointment, Shankwitz will share expertise on the research and application of intelligent transportation systems, especially related to motorcycle improvement safety.  In February of 2017, Shankwitz was selected by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to serve on the Motorcycle Safety Research Consortium.  Shankwitz oversee WTI’s Automated and Connected Vehicle efforts.