An NCHRP project led by WTI is the focus of a current feature article in Traffic and Transit, a national transportation publication. “Mapping the Future of Rural Transportation Research” highlights the development of the Research Roadmap for Rural Transportation Issues (NCHRP 20-122), which will provide a detailed, long-term agenda for research aimed at improving rural transportation throughout the U.S., including the creation of a series of research needs statements on specific topics. The project is led by Principal Investigator Jaime Sullivan, in collaboration with Iowa State University.
To date, the project team has produced 15 topical research portfolios; 26 research needs statements; and 13 research problem statements, which are more fully developed project proposals ready to submit for funding consideration. Sullivan provided an update on the project at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, during the Rural Transportation Issues Coordination Council meeting, which she chairs. The new Council will serve as the home for ongoing activities related to the Research Roadmap project.
Each January, the
National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board holds its Annual Meeting
in Washington, D.C., a week-long forum that brings together thousands of
transportation researchers and leaders from around the world. Due to COVID, this year’s committee meetings,
workshops, and other events will all be hosted virtually, but will be spread
over four weeks to facilitate broad participation.
WTI staff members continue their long tradition of leadership in TRB committees and other activities. During the first week of the Annual Meeting, which kicked off on January 6, highlights included:
On January 7, Jaime Sullivan was introduced as the Chair of the
newly formed Rural Transportation Issues Coordination Council at the Council’s
Also on January 7, Natalie Villwock-Witte presided over the Transportation
Needs of National Parks and Public Lands Committee, for which she serves as
Matt Ulberg participated in the Low Volume Roads Committee on January 7
Andrea Hamre serves as the Paper Review Coordinator of the Public Transportation
Marketing and Fare Policy Committee, which met on January 8
Committee meetings will
continue this week, followed by presentations, workshops and poster sessions
during the last two weeks. If you are
attending the Annual Meeting, look for WTI researchers at the following events:
January 21 – Moving Research to Practice – Ahmed Al-Kaisy will
present on research to create a new method for screening low-volume roads.
January 22 – Rob Ament and Natalie Villwock-Witte will
facilitate a workshop on National Standards for Wildlife Vehicle Data
Collection (Workshop #1041)
January 22 – Ahmed Al-Kaisy will participate in a panel
discussion on new safety developments on low-volume roads (Workshop #1044)
January 25 – Laura Fay will present her research on Deicing
Alternatives at a lecturn session on Winter Maintenance (#1093)
January 26 – Advances in Travel Behavior Research – Andrea Hamre
will present a poster on the Chittendon County, Vermont project (Poster Session
January 26 – Laura Fay will preside over a Lectern Session on Low
Volume Road Improvements under the Great American Outdoors Act (#1241)
January 27 – Jaime Sullivan will facilitate a Lectern Session
on Hot Topics in Rural Transportation (#1280)
January 28 – Hot Topics in Ecology – Mat Bell will present a
poster on the FRP wildlife crossing project (Poster Session #1363)
Fourteen WTI researchers, affiliated faculty, fellows, and staff have returned from a busy and productive week at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The premier transportation research event of the year, the meeting is attended by more than 13,000 transportation leaders, practitioners, and researchers from around the world. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, addressed attendees at the Chair’s luncheon, speaking on initiatives to deploy innovative technologies such as V2X, or “vehicle to everything” communication.
WTI staff played key roles across numerous topics and forums – presenting research at panels and in poster sessions, participating in committees, and leading workshops. One of the highlights was the well-attended workshop on “Rural Transportation for Everyone: Policy and Practice in 2020,” led by Jaime Sullivan.
WTI researchers braved heavy snow, transit closures, and the partial government shutdown to attend the 2019 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in January. Nonetheless, they had a busy week with many productive opportunities to share their research and collaborate with peers.
A few highlights include:
WTI Director Steve Albert received a certificate of appreciation from the TRB Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands in recognition of his 12 years of leadership on committee activities.
Three Fellows from the Public Lands Transportation Fellows program had the opportunity to present posters highlighting their current projects:
Corinne Jachelski presented on trail, bicycle, and other alternative transportation upgrades underway at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Colorado.
Dylan Corbin’s poster highlighted his efforts to create a transportation plan that will expand public transportation and alternative transportation access to four sites within the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Vince Ziols presented on the bicycle network, shuttle services, and water taxis that are enhancing regional access to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
Jaime Sullivan’s workshop on the NCHRP Rural Research Roadmap project attracted an audience of more than 70 attendees interested in her progress report on the identification of the most critical research needs related to improving rural transportation. More than 500 research needs displayed on 20 posters inspired a lively discussion.
Karalyn Clouser and Zach Becker, our UTC Students of the Year (read their profiles here), were honored at a banquet during the opening weekend of the TRB meeting. The weather and transportation delays prevented Zach from attending, but Steve Albert and David Kack were on hand to cheer on Karalyn when she received her award.
Last week, Explore Big Sky published a special feature on its picks for the most important local news stories of the year. Top of the list – the $10 million federal TIGER grant awarded to the Big Sky, Montana region for roadway, transit, and trail improvements. In the article, WTI Program Manager David Kack discusses working with partners in the Big Sky community to identify critical transportation needs and develop the successful proposal. More information about the grant is available on the WTI news page.
WTI Researchers traveled to Fort McDowell, Arizona last week for the National Rural Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference and Exhibit, held in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of ITS Arizona, which focused on the theme of “Creating ITS Implementation Solutions for All Communities.”
WTI helped launch NRITS more than 25 years ago, and staff members continue to play a leading role by sharing their expertise at the annual forum. WTI Director Steve Albert opened the conference at the plenary session, presenting a history of NRITS and a eulogy for longtime NRITS champion, Bill Legg of Washington DOT. Later in the conference, Steve led the “Roundtable on Rural ITS,” which offered an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing rural areas interested in developing and implementing new transportation technologies. At the workshop on “Utilizing ITS for Rural Road Safety,” Natalie Villwock-Witte presented the Rural ITS Toolkit, which was recently updated by WTI staff through the National Center for Rural Road Safety. David Kack was a speaker at the “Multimodal Transportation Technology” workshop, where he presented on the Wyoming Intercity Bus Study, which provides a model for finding and filling transit gaps in rural areas, and Doug Galarus spoke at the “Rural ITS Weather Applications” workshop, where he presented on the Aviation Weather Information (AWI) system developed for the California Department of Transportation.