Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
PSA from Montgomery County, Maryland, has got to be one of the all-time worst examples of pedestrian shaming. The young girl with tire treads across her face, it’s implied, was struck and killed by a driver because she was “wearing black.”
The message was the county’s response to two recent pedestrian fatalities. According to the county, police will be
ticketing drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who break laws. The victim-blaming posters combined with the everyone-gets-fined approach to enforcement tells us this “safety campaign” won’t make pedestrians any safer.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Currently, most roads in the U.S. are designed around the needs of drivers, making them inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst for walkers and cyclists. With more vehicles on the roads, pedestrian fatalities are surging nationwide. You’ve already heard that autonomous vehicles stand to make streets much, much safer by putting a computer fully in charge of the split-second road-reactions that human drivers so routinely flub. They might also succeed in upending an age-old vehicular hierarchy: In a world where most cars are driving themselves, pedestrians could reign supreme.
That’s the premise of new research by Adam Millard-Ball, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He uses game theory to suggest that autonomous vehicles could benefit pedestrians by being more responsive to their behavior. “In most urban areas, pedestrians have many more rights than they actually assert,” says Millard-Ball—for example, they don’t always cross when they’ve got the light, fearing a collision. Once self-driving cars arrive en masse, walkers might be more even assertive than laws generally permit.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Greetings from the road!
I was back out again last week and this time I rolled into the VDOT District Trainers meeting (see picture- I don’t think they know they were being photographed)
Sharon White in Lynchburg was also able to help me find some people to talk to at the city level! One of our goals is to provide more training and resources to people at the city level. If you’ve received any of our materials, know of somebody who could use our help or just have questions feel free to give us a call!
I was also able to drop off gravel road construction guides to Public Works directors in Altavista and Farmville. If you need any other training, books or resources don’t hesitate to call our office, we’ll be glad to help.
Just a reminder- if you have a training room and would like to host one of our classes, please give Robin Carpenter a call! She’d be more than happy to work with you on setting something up. Her number is 434-982-2897.
If you weren’t in when I stopped by but you got an arm full of books and brochures and would like to talk about your training needs feel free to drop me a line (my email is below).
Watch for information about when I’ll be traveling to your location. Or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit.
I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.
Read the rest of the list here.
Monday, November 7, 2016
RICHMOND, Va. – Those playful deer and their wandering eyes mean motorists will need to be extra cautious over the next several weeks. As deer-mating season begins, the animals will become more active and are more likely to be seen on and around roadways.
In Virginia, drivers have a 1-in-94 chance of hitting a deer, according to recent
insurance industry claims data for July 2015 through June 2016, ranking the state 13th in the nation for deer-vehicle collisions.
Mating season, taking place now through December, is the most likely time for deer collisions to occur. While you may see a deer at any time of day during this period, they tend to be on the move most at dusk and dawn when they are very difficult to see.
VDOT seeks to reduce deer-vehicle collisions through message boards, wildlife research
To help motorists avoid collisions with deer and other wildlife, reminders to remain alert will be posted on digital message boards along Interstate 64 on Afton Mountain. This area is known to have regular wildlife activity and
seeshigher instances of deer collisions. The messages are running from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every other day through the end of November.
VDOT began this practice last year after the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC), VDOT’s research division, evaluated strategies to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
Other research projects are also in the works. In Albemarle County, VTRC studied wildlife behavior near two unfenced underpasses on I-64 and found that while animals used those paths to get to the other side of the interstate, there was still a high degree of deer activity along the road and a high frequency of deer collisions in those locations.
Beginning at the Ivy exit near mile marker 114, eight-foot high fencing will be
installed along the interstate leading up to one of those underpasses to help guide deer and other wildlife toward the underpasses and prevent them from attempting to cross the highway. This is expected to be complete by the end of November. Fencing will be installed at the second area near mile marker 110 at the Mechums River in early 2017. The full report detailing this strategy can be found online.
The project will be evaluated over time to determine whether it is successful in reducing collisions with wildlife.
What can you do to avoid hitting a deer?
Deer generally travel in groups. If you see one deer near or on the road, watch out for others nearby. They are also creatures of habit – once you see them in a certain spot, expect to see them again in that vicinity.
More driver tips:
- Drive the speed limit or reduce your speed when you see deer-warning signs
- Be on the lookout for deer at any time, but especially between dusk and dawn
- Use bright headlights when possible and appropriate
- Watch for animal eyes illuminated by headlights
- Maintain control of your vehicle when you see a deer, to avoid veering into oncoming traffic or off the road
- Always wear your seatbelt
If you hit a deer, contact law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. If the animal is dead, you may keep the carcass after
reporting the accident once an officer has seen the animal and provided a certificate of possession.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Transportation for America (T4A) and Sidewalk Labs announced today the sixteen members of a new T4A Smart Cities Collaborative to explore how technology can improve urban mobility, creating a tangible new opportunity for the scores of ambitious cities that did not win or weren’t eligible for USDOT’s Smart City Challenge. Over the coming year, the collaborative will bring together these cities to tackle the challenges related to implementing smart city policies and projects — sharing best practices and technical assistance, and piloting new programs.
Nearly 60 cities applied to be a part of the collaborative, which will hold its first meeting in Minneapolis on Nov. 9-10, 2016.
“We’re in the midst of the most transformational shift in urban transportation since the
start of the interstate era more than 50 years ago. And just like that era, cities have enormous potential to help or harm their residents with the decisions they make,” said James Corless, Director of T4America. “It’s incredibly encouraging to see this long list of cities proactively shaping the future to ensure that this monumental shift in transportation doesn’t shape their cities without their input and produce a new generation of transportation haves and have-nots.”
“We have spent the past several months speaking directly with cities across the country, and what we’ve heard is mobility is a major issue across the board. Cities know that technology offers ways to improve mobility, but exactly how to realize its potential isn’t obvious,” said Sidewalk Labs Chief Policy Officer Rohit T. Aggarwala. “Cities understand that they need to work together, but the question has always been how best to band these municipalities in partnership. This collaborative will be an unprecedented step in unifying these urban areas and accelerate solutions that provide affordable, efficient ways to get around.”
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
RICHMOND, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and property owners both play an important role in preventing drainage problems, which can cause dangerous flooding on roads, as well as premature roadway deterioration.
Now that fall is here, so are the leaves and the big job of removing them. As they
start to fall, leaves drift into ditches and culverts, clogging drain pipes. Here’s what property owners can do to help maintain good drainage:
Now that fall is here, so are the leaves and the big job of removing them. As they
- Keep debris such as leaves and grass clippings out of open channels, ditches, driveway pipes or any other location that could block the free flow of stormwater runoff.
- Prevent the discharge of pollutants, including pet waste and fertilizers, into the drainage system.
- Maintain all drainage facilities on private property when there is no VDOT, county or city right of way.
- Respect your neighbor’s property— leaves or debris can drift from one property to another, causing drainage problems for neighbors.
VDOT works to keep ditches, culverts, drains and other drainage systems located on state-owned right of ways and easements maintained and clear of debris. VDOT also responds to flooding or standing water, but only when it affects a state-maintained road or state-owned right of way. In addition, the agency replaces damaged or deficient storm sewer pipes and culverts, and conducts inspections on stormwater facilities.
continue after taking these steps, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623). VDOT will research inquiries and determine who has responsibility over the area of concern. See Drainage on Virginia’s Roads for more information.