Vox Media has produced a new video about wildlife crossing structures, which it released to its news website Vox.com last week. “Wildlife crossings stop roadkill. Why aren’t there more?” is a six-minute video that introduces why wildlife crossings are needed, how they work, where they are currently used, and how effective they are. Much of the foundational information and data about wildlife vehicle collisions is attributed to the 2008 National Wildlife Vehicle Collision Reduction Study and Report to Congress, which was authored by WTI’s Marcel Huijser, Pat McGowen, Tony Clevenger, Rob Ament, and additional researchers from the WTI Road Ecology program. Also, Tony Clevenger is interviewed on-camera in the video about the successful wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park. The video is available to view on the vox.comwebsite.
Last week, the National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) highlighted a report by the Small Urban and Rural Livability Center (SURLC) in its online newsletter. The “Intercity Bus Stop Analysis,” authored by WTI’s Karalyn Clouser and David Kack, analyzed demographics in each of the forty-eight contiguous states, and provided an analysis of the number of rural and small urban communities that have access to the Greyhound intercity bus service network. RTAP described the publication as a resource that “should help state DOTs as they determine whether intercity bus service needs are being met in their states.” Read the RTAP newsletter here, or access the full Intercity Bus Stop Analysis on the SURLC website.
Using native plants for roadside revegetation is the lead story in the “Weed Post,” a monthly newsletter by the Montana State University Extension Office and the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign. The article describes successful research by Rob Ament (WTI), Monica Pokorny (Natural Resources Conservation Service), Noelle Orloff (MSU) and Jane Mangold (MSU), which demonstrated that establishing diverse, perennial plant communities on roadsides is a sustainable technique that helps to manage noxious weeds and other invasive plants. This project was funded by the Idaho Department of Transportation. You can read the full newsletter article here.
Another Montana Commuter Challenge is in the books, and WTI made a solid showing in this year’s standings. Logging 781 miles over 98 trips, we just barely missed the top ten, falling in line behind Bangtail Bikes with 101 trips. Together we saved 765.38 lbs of CO2 emissions and burned 38,269 calories. That’s approximately 163 tacos, for something easier to wrap your head around. 😊
Sixty teams participated in the Bozeman Commuter Challenge this year, making up a significant portion of the 171 teams statewide. We’re looking forward to an even bigger crowd next year as we work with businesses and employers around Bozeman to encourage active transportation and sustainable commutes!
Got your bike, walking shoes, or bus schedule ready? May 1 is the first day of the Bozeman Commuter Challenge. Special thanks to the Montana State University News Service for highlighting the event last week in a story on the MSU website. WTI will use Bike Walk Montana’s Commuter Challenge website to keep track of miles and compete both statewide and locally. It’s not too late to sign up at www.mtcommuterchallenge.org Look first for the WTI Team and register yourself with our team. The Challenge is open to anyone working in the greater Bozeman area, there is no cost to enter, and participants are eligible to win great prizes from some of Bozeman’s best local businesses. WTI’s Dani Hess was featured in KBZK’s coverage on the event last week. For questions, email Dani Hess at email@example.com
Breaking News – WTI named “Beyond Traffic Innovation Center” by USDOT
This morning, the US Department of Transportation announced that the Western Transportation Institute has been selected as one of its new “Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers.” These Centers will build on the Department’s Beyond Traffic 2045 Report, which outlined critical transportation trends for the next 30 years. According to USDOT, the selected centers were recognized as “forward-thinking and influential institutions that are capable of driving solutions to the challenges identified in Beyond Traffic through research, curriculum, outreach, and other activities.” WTI is one of only 18 universities nationwide to receive this designation; moreover, it is one of only three centers selected to focus on the mobility challenges in rural areas of the United States. Watch for updates as we receive more details on our new center!
The Highway Engineering Exchange Program (HEEP) is an international organization that promotes advances in transportation engineering through the exchange of knowledge and information technology. The 2016 International HEEP Conference was held September 11-15 in Helena, Montana.
HEEP offers a student competition with cash prizes as part of its Educator Student Participation Program (ESP). Maia Grudzien, an MSU undergraduate in Civil Engineering mentored by Computer Science faculty member Brittany Fasy, took home the top student prize of $1,000 for her presentation on “Safer Roads Tomorrow through Analyzing Today’s Accidents.” Sam Micka, a PhD student in Computer Science mentored by faculty advisor Brendan Mumey, received the second place award of $750 for his presentation on “Efficient Monitor Placement for Multipath Traffic Flows.”
Student presenters provide a 20 minute presentation before the general meeting audience and a judging panel during the IHEEP annual conference. Presenters are evaluated based on their understanding of the subject, the strength of their oral presentations, effective use of presentation aids, professional appearance and demeanor, and their interactions with the audience. Congratulations to our two MSU award winners and their faculty mentors!
The Center for Health and Safety Culture has been approved as an official university center by the Montana State University Board of Regents. Professor Nicholas Ward from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering has been appointed as the Director of the Center.
With this official designation, the Center is pleased to announce the launch of its new website (www.CHSCulture.org). This website includes information about their latest research model for growing positive culture to sustain safe and healthy behaviors in communities.
The new research model to measure, understand, and transform culture is called the Positive Culture Framework (PCF). This framework is grounded in validated models of human social behaviors related to health and safety and considers a broader set of cultural influences in addition to norms. Specifically, the new model has expanded beyond Positive Community Norms to include the most current evidence of cultural factors that influence health and safety behavior.
Need to attend a meeting on campus? Need lunch from Town and Country? Need to run an errand downtown? Need some exercise and fresh air? Hop on a WTI BikeShare bike! The five bike fleet can be found on the bike racks below the WTI building and they are marked with yellow tape or WTI signage. No need to sign them out – just return to the WTI building bike rack. Helmets, pumps, or other tools are available on the 3rd floor if you need them (contact Taylor Lonsdale ex. 7031). Take a break from sitting at your desk and go ride a bike!