Friday, March 22, 2019

Shifting attitudes with illusions

If you read the Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail,,, Vancouver Sun, Province, or National Post articles or heard interviews on international and North American radio and TV programs about the illusion, you’d know that drivers in West Vancouver were confronted with what seemed like a young girl running after a ball in front of their vehicle. In reality, it was decal on the pavement that looked like a real person. Signage near the 3D image read: You’re probably not expecting kids to run out on the road.

A group in Canada did something completely unique to raise awareness that there are more kids on the roads during back to school season. In fact, this campaign was a Canadian first. Preventable, BCAA Road Safety Foundation, and the District of West Vancouver launched a 3D illusion geared to make drivers slow down at high-risk intersections.

Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Town in Iceland Paints 3D Zebra Crosswalk To Slow Down Speeding Cars

In the small fishing town of Ísafjörður, Iceland, an exciting development in road safety has just popped up – almost literally. A new pedestrian crossing has been painted that appears to be 3D by way of a cleverly-detailed optical illusion.
Not only does the innovative design give foot-travelers the feeling of walking on air, it also gets the attention of drivers, who will be sure to slow down their speed once they spot the seemingly floating ‘zebra stripes.’ Icelandic environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla called for its placement in Ísafjörður after seeing a similar project being carried out in New Delhi, India. With the help of street painting company Vegmálun GÍH, his vision became a reality.
Scroll down to see photos of the fascinating installment taken by Ágúst G. Atlason of Gústi Productions, and let us know if you’d like to see one of these crosswalks in your own city.
See all the photos and watch a video here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Virginia Selects Contractor for Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Project

NORFOLK—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia has selected Hampton Roads Connector Partners, a design-build team, to deliver the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project. The fixed price ($3.3 billion) and fixed completion date (November 1, 2025) contract is expected to be executed in April 2019.
This announcement follows a yearlong competitive procurement that started in December 2017 with three qualified design-build teams. Two teams submitted comprehensive technical proposals and price bids. After detailed evaluation, the proposal submitted by Hampton Roads Connector Partners has been selected as the best value proposal based on bid price and technical score. The details of the best value evaluation will be presented to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) and the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) at their respective meetings in March.
The primary source of funding for the project is HRTAC, with applications for state and federal financial support in the process of being finalized. In addition, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will fund replacement of the bridge trestles on the Norfolk side.
“This project supports and expands critical transportation infrastructure, creating opportunity for families, military personnel, and businesses in the Hampton Roads region,” said Governor Northam. “I am proud of the hard work and negotiations that have taken place over this past year to deliver significant improvements that will relieve daily congestion, increase safety, and drive economic growth throughout this important corridor.”
“VDOT’s largest transportation project is being constructed in the heart of a region vital to Virginia’s economy, military readiness, and regional connectivity,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “This would not have happened without close coordination and strategic partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia and HRTAC.”
“HRTAC’s regional tax and user-supported funding, with anticipated state and federal funds, for the HRBT Expansion Project will continue to ensure future congestion relief and connectivity through regional solutions and partnership with VDOT,” said HRTAC Chairman Michael Hipple. “HRTAC and the Commonwealth Transportation Board are already funding partners in the delivery of more than a billion dollars’ worth of transportation projects that will enhance the quality of life and economic vitality in the Hampton Roads region.”
“This is a landmark day for our region and the Commonwealth. The hard-working citizens of the Hampton Roads region have asked for and deserve common-sense solutions to the traffic congestion that chokes our region,” said Chairman Chris Jones. “This infrastructure investment in the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is a win-win for our families, communities, and military personnel who rely on this vital structure every day.”
“This announcement is the culmination of five years of hard work among all the leaders in our region,” said Senator Frank Wagner. “From the creation of HRTAC to today’s announcement, we will ensure that our region’s economy will continue to grow and unite our region as never before. I want to personally thank Governor Northam and his team for making this day possible.”
This project will add two new two-lane tunnels. It will widen the four-lane sections of Interstate 64 in Hampton between Settlers Landing Road and the Phoebus shoreline, as well as the four-lane section of I-64 in Norfolk between the Willoughby shoreline and the I-564 interchange. More than 100,000 vehicles currently use this facility during peak travel periods.
“Today’s announcement signals a major milestone in this generational project that will improve accessibility throughout the region,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “VDOT is committed to collaborating with regional partners across the Commonwealth to deliver transportation solutions that work for the citizens in the communities we serve.”
Hampton Roads Connector Partners is a joint venture consisting of multiple partners, with Dragados USA serving as lead contractor and HDR and Mott MacDonald as lead designers. The team also includes Flatiron Constructors, Vinci Construction, and Dodin Campenon Bernard.
Additional information is available on

Monday, March 11, 2019

VDOT, Audi, and TTS Bring Traffic Light Information Technology to Virginia

RICHMOND, VA – Today, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine, Audi of America, and Traffic Technology Services (TTS) announced that more than 1,450 traffic signals in the Northern Virginia area now share real-time data with Audi’s Traffic Light Information (TLI) technologies, including Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA) and “time-to-green.”
Through data sharing, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provides real-time traffic signal information to Audi vehicles that are equipped with TLI. With time-to-green, the information sharing between VDOT and Audi can lead to improved operations and enhanced safety on arterial roadways. TLI lets drivers stopped at a red light know when that light will change to green and GLOSA provides speed recommendations to drivers to minimize stops at red lights.
In 2016, Audi worked with TTS to launch Traffic Light Information, an Audi feature that allows the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. VDOT’s support of the TTS vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) service through its SmarterRoads portal makes the agency the largest single data provider in North America for this system. TTS continues to work with VDOT to expand the capability into other regions throughout the Commonwealth. 
“VDOT’s collaboration with Audi, TTS, and other innovative companies leverages the Commonwealth’s data and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, preparing us for more connected and automated vehicles on our roadways,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “We are committed to improving safety, reducing congestion, and exploring opportunities to partner with the private sector.”
“We’re excited to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation to continue to bring industry-leading connectivity and mobility solutions to Audi drivers in the community near our Northern Virginia headquarters as well as to our customers across America,” said Mark Del Rosso, president, Audi of America. “Not only do vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies like GLOSA benefit drivers today, they’re also the critical steps needed as we continue toward an automated future.”
“The industry needs more agencies to lead the way like the Commonwealth has with their SmarterRoads portal.  It takes visionaries on both sides of a connected vehicle technology to make a system like this possible,” said Thomas Bauer, TTS chief executive officer. “VDOT and Audi are true pioneers that are advancing the state of the industry, and we are proud to work with both.”
Traffic Light Information, an Audi connect PRIME feature available on select 2017, 2018, and newer models, enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S.
When one of these select Audi models approaches a connected traffic light, it receives real-time signal information from the traffic management system that monitors traffic lights via the on-board 4G LTE data connection. When the light is red, the TLI feature will display the time remaining until the signal changes to green in the instrument cluster in front of the driver or in the head-up display (if equipped). This “time-to-green” information helps reduce stress by letting the driver know approximately how much time remains before the light changes.
Future iterations of V2I technology could include integration with the vehicle’s start/stop function, optimized navigation routing, and other predictive services. All of these services are designed to help reduce congestion and enhance mobility on crowded roadways.
Audi is the first manufacturer to launch Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA) in the U.S. GLOSA uses traffic signal information and the current position of a vehicle to display a speed recommendation that allows drivers to pass traffic lights during a green interval, in order to reduce the number of stops at red lights. The distance to stop, the speed limit profile for the area, and the signal timing plans are all used to calculate the speed recommendation displayed to the driver.
For more information, visit