Friday, April 28, 2017

This magic Dutch traffic light helps bicyclists avoid stopping

Flo Kiosk in Utrecht    Image Credit: Springlab
A new traffic system in the Netherlands is providing cyclists with information to help them catch green lights. The system, known as "Flo", was installed at an intersection last week in Utrecht. The Flo kiosk detects approaching cyclists' speed 120 meters before the traffic light, and tells cyclists if and how to catch the light. If the cyclist needs to speed up, the kiosk displays a hare. If slowing down will help them catch the light, they see a tortoise. If their current speed will get them to the light in time, the kiosk displays a thumbs up. If there is no way to catch the light, they see a cow. The system was developed by Springlab to address a common complaint among urban cyclists: frequent stops at traffic lights. One kiosk has been installed in Utrecht, and two more are planned in the next couple months.

For more information, read the article in CityLab.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Transfort Sunday service may arrive in August

Image credit: City of Fort Collins
Fort Collins City Council supports 365 day-a-year bus service, but is divided on the number of routes. At a council work session on Tuesday, Transfort officials presented three options for a pilot program to expand limited transit service to Sundays beginning in August 2017. Each option included MAX, the South Transit Center, and Colorado State University Campus. Council members differ on the additional routes they would like to see added. The level of coverage will have a significant impact on the operating costs to the city and the university. Transfort will likely plan for the largest of the three options and be prepared to scale down. Council is expected to make a decision on the matter in Late May or early June.

Read more about the route options from the Coloradoan.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Upcoming Public Meetings in Loveland and Greeley for the US 34 PEL Study

US 34   Image Credit: Google Maps 
Safety and mobility are important considerations for the US 34 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study. The study, which began earlier this year, is a collaborative effort by CDOT and the US 34 Coalition to examine the US 34 corridor from Loveland to Greeley and identify improvements. Next week, two public meetings will be held for the public to learn about the study and share their thoughts.

Upcoming public meetings will take place on:
More information on the US 34 PEL Study is available from CDOT.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Millennial values could boost public sector investment

Image credit: Flickr
In a recent survey, Standard Life Investments reports 65 percent of millennials care more about social and environmental issues than about investment returns. Compare this with less than half of those age 35-to-44 and only one-third of those over age 45. Governing Columnist Justin Marlowe suggests this trend could be a boon for states and localities if they tell their story correctly.  “Impact Investing” involves money that supports organizations working toward things like pay equity, affordable housing, and clean water and it is hitting the mainstream. Impact credit rating agencies tell investors how well an investment aligns with their social impact objectives. Criteria for these ratings include “health, wealth, earth, equity, and trust.” In many cases government bonds must receive four- or five-star ratings to be included in social impact portfolios. This means if local governments can quantify their steps towards improving mobility, affordable living, social services, and environmental sustainability, they could stand to gain a lot.

Read more from Governing.

Bill calling for passenger rail study along I-25 heading to governor

Southwest Chief. Image credit: Flickr

Good news for people who wish to bring rail transit to Northern Colorado: the existing Southwest Chief Commission will expand its mission to "facilitate the future of a Front Range passenger rail system that provides ... service in and along the Interstate 25 corridor." The Commission will expand to 13 members, adding and diversifying the representatives. Potential stops for the rail line would be Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, Denver, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. The bill now waits for Governor Hickenlooper's signature.

CDOT has studied a regional rail service along I-25 as part of the North I-25 Environmental Impact Statement:

For more information, read the article from the Longmont Times-Call.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Colorado the 15th-least distracted driving state according to study

Driving while distracted. Image credit: Paul Oka/Flickr

Zendrive, a data analysis company, did a 3-month analysis of 3 million anonymous drivers across the United States. Their big finding: cellphones were used during 88 out of 100 trips. During an hour long trip, drivers spent an average of 3.5 minutes using their phones. This is important to note because distracted driving is extremely dangerous: studies say a driver taking his or her eyes off the road for two seconds increases his or her chances of collision by over 20 times. At high speeds, two seconds can really add up. Time spent on their phones increases the farther east a driver lives, with Vermont having the highest ratio of average daily trip time compared to the average amount of time drivers used their phones each day. Colorado was ranked as the 15th least distracted state.

For more information, read the blog from Zendrive.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Transfort offering free late-night bus service this summer

Image credit: Transfort

Transfort, the transit operator in Fort Collins, will offer free late-night bus service from downtown Fort Collins this summer. The Gold Route, which operates from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, will runs every fifteen minutes. Beginning at Mountain Avenue and Remington Street, the route continues to Laurel and Washington, Elizabeth Street and Taft Hill Road, and Prospect Road and Taft Hill Road. Funding is being provided by the Association of Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU) through the end of summer. Those who use the service can park all night in the parking garage can receive a voucher for $5.

More information is available from the Coloradoan and Transfort.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

To improve mobility, U.S. DOT is all in on data

Image credit: US DOT
Data creation is at an all-time high and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is using that data to better plan infrastructure. Their Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) is a multimodal partnership working to improve ITS deployments through data sharing, data standardization, and public and private partnerships.

A variety of infrastructure projects in the works now are producing data to improve safety and mobility into the future. These projects center around vehicle automation, collision avoidance, truck platooning, and signal phase timing. On the ground, this data is better connecting traditionally underserved communities to job centers in Columbus, Ohio and guiding connected vehicle pilot programs in Wyoming, New York City, and Tampa, FL. Additionally, through a research data exchange, registered users can download data from similar “next-gen” transportation projects.

ITS JPO partners with various federal agencies, state and local governments, academic institutions and private partners.

Learn more from FutureStructure.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CDOT among 10 DOTs to receive 2016 Perpetual Pavement Award

U.S. 40 through Rabbit Ears Pass    Image Credit: Google Maps  

The Colorado Department of Transportation won its 2nd Perpetual Pavement Award for a 10.5-mile section of U.S. Route 40 through Rabbit Ears Pass in Grand, Jackson, and Routt counties.

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) announced the awards earlier this week. The Perpetual Pavement Award recognizes state DOTs and local agencies for quality structural design and well-performing asphalt pavement that is at least 35 years old. The road must not have suffered a structural failure and cannot be resurfaced more frequently than once every 13 years. The award celebrates long-life asphalt pavements, design excellence, quality construction, and value to taxpayers.

The awards were presented by the APA based on evaluations by engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University.

For more information, read the Asphalt Roads News Post.

Emergency Relief from FHWA helps restore transportation in states across the nation

Washed-out road in Colorado during 2013 floods   Image Credit: US DOT 
Colorado is receiving the largest share of Emergency Relief (ER) funding out of 40 states from a federal award announced on Thursday, April 6.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'s ER program helps repair highways and bridges after natural disasters or catastrophic failures.

U.S. Transportation Secreatry Elaine L. Chao approved the $768.2M award last week. Colorado will receive $124M in reimbursements for repairs to roads damaged during the 2013 floods and for a section of I-70 in Glenwood Springs damaged by a rock slide in 2016.

For more information, read the US DOT's Connections Blog Post.