In its March newsletter, the Mountain States Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association highlighted the release of Rob Ament’s recent task reports on using woolen products for erosion control. “Evaluation of Effectivenss and Cost-Benefits of Woolen Roadside Reclamation Products” is a research partnership among the Montana Department of Transportation, WTI, and KC Harvey Environmental, LLC. The release of the reports was also announced by the Transportation Research Board’s Daily New Service. The task reports are available on the MDT website here.
Natalie Villwock-Witte’s research on the transportation preferences of Millennials in rural areas continues to draw the interest of regional media outlets. Last week, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle picked up the story, including a feature article in its March 10 edition.
Montana State University has released its research expenditures for 2016, and WTI had the second highest expenditure level among all academic departments and research units. WTI’s research expenditures for the year totaled $6.3 million, and we were just edged out of the top spot by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemestry ($6.6 million). Research expenditures across campus totalled more than $94 million in 2016. Congratulations, everyone!
Montana State University is highlighting WTI research on its website this week. MSU News posted a feature article about Natalie Villwock-Witte’s research on the transportation preferences of rural Millennials, and the publicity it has received by national publications including Wired Magazine. If you missed it, you can read the article here.
The Montana Department of Transportation selected multiple MDT/WTI collaborative research projects to highlight in its Winter 2017 Research Newsletter. Eli Cuelho’s project to develop a standard specification for a new gravel base course design was featured on the front page (“Development of a ¾-inch Minus Base Course Type A Specification for Montana”). The newsletter also provides an update on the Traffic Safety Culture Transportation Pooled Fund, which is a joint effort by the Center for Health and Safety Culture, WTI, MDT and nine other states. In addition, there is a feature article about one of the Pooled Fund projects (“An Assessment of Traffic Safety Culture Related to Driving After Cannabis Use”), a study conducted by Nic Ward, Jay Otto, Kari Finley, and Kelly Green. To read the full issue of MDT’s newsletter “Solutions,” click here.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has announced the release of the final report for“Mobility Mindset of the Millennial in Small Urban and Rural Areas.” Authored by P.I. Natalie Villwock-Witte and Karalyn Clouser, the report focuses on a survey of residents in four states to understand whether Millennials in small urban and rural communities have the same mobility mindset as those in large cities. The collaborative research was sponsored by the University Transportation Center program, through the Small Urban and Rural Livability Center (SURLC). MnDOT offers an excellent fact sheet on the project, as well as the full report.
Last week, WIRED magazine published a feature article on its website about one of WTI’s projects documenting Millennial transportation trends. “Rural Millennials Still Dig Driving. They Have No Choice” highlighted the findings of WTI’s survey of Millennials in four states (Minnesota, Montana, Washington, and Wisconsin) to determine whether there are differences in transportation preferences between Millennials in urban and rural areas. Principal Investigator Natalie Villwock-Witte was interviewed for the article about her project, which found that 87% of rural Millennials prefer to drive themselves to work, as compared to 75% or Millennials in urban areas. Read the full article here.
On Sunday, The Missoulian published a feature article called “Wildlife crossings reveal quirks in road safety,” highlighting the completion of WTI’s US 93 wildlife crossings evaluation project on US 93. P.I.Marcel Huijser is interviewed in the article, which you can read here. As we reported in last week’s Newswire, the project represents a 14 year collaboration by WTI, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The full report is available on theMDT website.
Understanding the Cultural Influences related to Driving After Cannabis: The Center for Health and Safety Culture completed a research project with the Transportation Pooled Fund on Traffic Safety Culture. The purpose of this research project was to understand which specific aspects of traffic safety culture predict the decision to drive under the influence of cannabis (DUIC). As more states decriminalize and legalize medical and recreational use of cannabis (marijuana), traffic safety leaders and public health advocates have growing concerns about DUIC. The results of this project help distinguish differences in culture between users and non-users of cannabis regarding traffic safety as well as provide recommendations for next steps. To review the final report, please visithttp://www.mdt.mt.gov/research/projects/cannabis-use.shtml. To watch a recording of a webinar on this subject, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBhCM7MVq3o.
The Montana Department of Transportation has released the final report for “US 93 North Post-Construction Wildlife Vehicle Collision and Wildlife Crossing Montioring on the Flathead Indian Reservation Between Evaro and Polson, Montana.” This report summarizes 14 years of research conducted between 2002 and 2015. The research focused on the effectiveness of the wildlife crossing structures installed along 56 miles of US 93, aimed at reducing collisions with large mammals. The study also documented how often the crossing structures were used by wildlife, specifically by white-tailed deer, mule deer, and black bear. Finally, the researchers conducted cost-benefit analyses and formulated recommendations. Principal Investigator Marcel Huijser led the research for all 14 years, in partnership with numerous past and present WTI researchers, including Amanda Hardy, Tiffany Allen, and James Begley. In addition, Whisper Camel-Means (a former WTI graduate fellowship student) and her colleagues at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes were key contributors.