Ready to move more in May? Join the Go Gallatin Challenge, which kicks off on Monday, May 10! It’s a two-week competition among organizations across the Gallatin Valley and surrounding areas to replace drive-alone trips to and from work by biking, walking, riding the bus, teleworking, and carpooling.
that log at least 3 trips a week will be eligible to win prizes from one of our
sponsors. Working from home? This year, getting outside on your wheels or
feet for exercise will also count towards points.
As part of its “Transformation Tuesday” series, the National Park Service (NPS) profiled three fellows from the Public Lands Transportation Fellows (PLTF) program who are currently serving NPS units or projects. PLTF Fellows are assigned to a federal land unit for one to two years, where they lead or support projects that enhance transportation options for visitors. Within the 2020 PLTF class, three Fellows are serving the NPS. (Read the full article on the NPS website.)
In a recent feature article, Montana State University News Service detailed the contributions of MSU students to future plans for Soroptimist Park in Bozeman, Montana. The students are part of the Community-Engaged and Transformational Scholarship (CATS) program, led by WTI, which matches projects identified and prioritized by Montana communities with students and faculty in relevant disciplines at MSU to assist in making those projects reality. During the Fall 2020 semester, students in two undergraduate courses in the MSU College of Agriculture gained hands-on experience working with the city of Bozeman on research, site visits, and design workshops, which culminated in recommendations and designs for renovating the park into a multi-use urban plaza.
The Clear Roads research program, which sponsors practitioner-focused winter maintenance research, is highlighting a recently completed severity index project on its website. For “Evaluation of SSI and WSI Variables,” the Narwhal Group and WTI collaborated to create a step-by-step guide to support implementing a severity index, paired with a flowchart tool that helps match users with existing indexes.
These tools will help winter maintenance agencies select the most appropriate storm severity index and winter severity index to compare storms across more than one winter season. “While a number of severity indexes exist, determining if you can apply or modify one for your needs or develop your own can be a daunting task. This guide and flowchart tool will support agencies in this task,” said Cold Climates Program Manager Laura Fay, who served as a co-PI. The final report is available on the WTI project webpage and there is a research brief on the Clear Roads project page.
Public Policy magazine In These Times recently interviewed WTI Road Ecologist Marcel Huijser for an in-depth article on wildlife crossings. “Toward a World Without Roadkill” highlights efforts by residents and local organizations near Great Smoky Mountains National Park to reduce the rising number of bears, deer, and elk being hit by vehicles on Interstate 40. Marcel discusses how mitigation efforts such as wildlife crossings can have significant conservation, safety, and economic benefits.
Along a historic parkway in Virginia, the National Park Service (NPS) will soon begin improvements to enhance safety for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. In a recent news release, the NPS announced planned safety measures for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which runs along the Potomac River near George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. The Parkway serves recreational and tourism users, as well as a growing number of commuters, which has led to increased congestion and safety challenges.
The recommended improvements stem from a major safety assessment conducted by WTI and Mead & Hunt on behalf of the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD) of USDOT. The GWMP Traffic and Safety Context Sensitive Solutions Assessment, led by Principal Investigator Natalie Villwock-Witte, studied traffic conditions and crashes at nine intersections on the Parkway, then developed individual recommendations for each. Proposed alternatives were designed to enhance safety, while maintaining the character of a national park setting. The full report is available on the project webpage.
In a recent article, High Country News provides an update on the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority, a Montana coalition that is working to revive a passenger rail line that would span 600 miles across the state. “Montana Counties Band Together to Reinvigorate Passenger Rail” summarizes efforts to secure local, state and federal support, as well as funding, to restore Amtrak service that would connect residents to some of the larger cities in the state, including Missoula, Bozeman, and Billings. WTI Director David Kack was interviewed for the article, discussing how rail service can provide valuable mobility options for people in rural towns who can no longer drive or who lack access to a vehicle.
On April 14, Center for Health and Safety Culture Principal Scientist Jay Otto was selected for “Pure Gold,” a Montana State University employee recognition program. Nominated by colleague Annmarie McMahill, Jay was recognized for his meaningful research projects and his “above and beyond” efforts to serve the university and community. Read the full story on the Pure Gold recipients webpage. Congratulations, Jay!
Join the GoGallatin MSU
Commuter Challenge this week
In October, WTI was awarded an Office of Outreach & Engagement Seed grant to begin a rebrand of the existing Bozeman Commuter Project. Four Montana State University students are working with WTI project lead Matt Madsen as a collaborative team to move the project forward (stay tuned to learn more about all the students!). The goal of the project was to create a more encompassing program, now rebranded as the Gallatin Commuter Project and GoGallatin. The existing BozemanCommute platform has become GoGallatin and provides all the same ride tracking, carpool options, transit schedules and other transportation demand management solutions.
To kick off the rebrand,
The Gallatin Commuter Project is sponsoring the GoGallatin MSU Campus
Commuter Challenge. This year’s challenge is open to all students and staff
at MSU and runs from April 5th – 11th. Join this
campus-wide event (and invite your friends), then start commuting this week via
biking, walking, taking the bus, carpooling, scootering, roller-blading, even
How Does it Work? By tracking your commute trips, you can be in the running for gift cards to local businesses. Once registered, track your commute as an individual or part of a team by joining or creating a team of your MSU colleagues, peers, and/or community members. If you need help, send us an email at email@example.com To see how your team is stacking up against other teams in a friendly competition, you can keep an eye of the leaderboard!
Rewards and incentives:
Every participant who logs 2 trips during the week will be entered into a
drawing for gift cards to various local restaurants and businesses! You can win
a gift card to one of these fine establishments:
Two WTI Road Ecology
Researchers will be the main presenters at a webinar on Tuesday, April 13,
at 11 am Mountain Time.
The National Center for Rural Road Safety (Rural Safety Center) is hosting a FREE, 1.5-hour online webinar on “Road Observation and Data System Project: Streamlining Animal-Vehicle Collision Data Collection.” This webinar will feature an overview of a wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) data collection system called ROaDS (Roadkill Observation and Data System), a user-friendly tool to collect information on vehicular crashes with large-bodied wildlife for both motorist safety and conservation purposes.
WTI Road Ecologists Rob Ament and Matthew Bell will be the presenters for this webinar, which will be of interest to transportation practitioners, Federal land management agency (FLMA) transportation managers and planners, and wildlife conservation personnel. For more information, visit the event registration page.