Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Reception Honoring North I-25 Expansion Partners

On August 31st, a range of local and state officials came together to honor those involved in the expansion of I-25. The reception began with a welcome by the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, then followed with a presentation by Shailen Bhatt. Senator Bennet, Senator Garnder, Congressman Polis, and Congressman Ken Buck spoke as well. Larimer County Chair Donnelly wrapped up. Along with the TIGER grant recently won, the reception celebrated the collaboration of all eight Larimer County municipalities that came together in agreement to use revenue raised through the temporary increase in the County's road and bridge mill levy.

Overall, the I-25 Express Lanes project will include:
  • One express lane in each direction
  • Rehabilitation of pavement throughout the corridor
  • Additional ITS
  • New park-n-ride facility with slip ramps at Kendall Parkway
  • Replacement of the Cache la Poudre River Bridge.
For more information about the I-25 Express Lanes project, read more on the CDOT website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

London Buses to Display Real-time Traffic Updates

TfL bus in London. Image credit: Flickr


Often, buses and cars are seen as two separate modes of transportation, seemingly at odds with each other. Transport for London (TfL), the transit operator of the Tube, London Buses, and other transit in London, is planning to change that. TfL is piloting a technology which will install digital information boards on the rear of the buses. The digital information boards will display real-time traffic conditions, which the agency hopes will help improve journey reliability on London roads. Additionally, the data is publicly available through TfL's API website.

For more information about this pilot project, read the article on the TfL blog.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Transportation Matters Summit on November 1st

Summit Flyer   Image Credit: CDOT

The 2016 Transportation Matters Summit is taking place on November 1st in downtown Denver. This year's summit will focus on the customer experience and will showcase how technology and best practices in transportation and other industries can elevate and possibly even transform the customer experience. As noted by CDOT, users of the transportation system pursue freedom and connection through travel, and nearly every aspect of their lives is impacted by transportation.

The Summit will be held at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver and includes a lunch keynote and two rounds of break-out sessions.

For additional details and to register for the event, visit https://www.codot.gov/summit

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Prospect Road to reopen Friday after road construction

Prospect corridor on Google Maps


On Friday, August 26, at 3:30 PM, Prospect Road in Fort Collins will reopen west of Interstate 25. For the past three months, the City of Fort Collins has been working on a major flood control project in the corridor. The project created a new channel directing floodwater under Prospect Road to the Poudre River with the addition of six new culverts. Additional work will continue into November.

For more information, read the article on the Coloradoan.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Big Transit Plans Go Before Voters in November

Light rail in Seattle. Image credit: Flickr


2016 is a big year for transit - four of the country's largest cities are putting new tax levies on the ballot to expand transit. Putting the measures on the ballot is a risk, but transit agencies hope to take advantage of the 2016 presidential election turnout. The taxes are mixed, between property and sales taxes, but will greatly increase the funding available for transit projects.

Detroit - $4.6 Billion, 20-year property tax would provide funding for a commuter rail line between Detroit and Ann Arbor, four new bus rapid transit routes, additional cross-county bus routes, and additional local bus service. The plan would also meld the four existing transit providers with a shared fare card and a common call center.

Atlanta - $2.4 Billion, 40-year sales tax would provide funding for additional bus service, expanded rail routes, and better technology. Atlanta City council put an additional sales tax on the ballot to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the city.

Seattle - $54 billion, 25-year property, sales, and car-tab tax would provide funding for doubling the light rail network, new commuter rail and bus rapid transit.

Los Angeles - $860 million per year sales tax would provide funding for both highway improvements and new transit projects.

For more information, read the article on Governing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

U.S. Driving Up 3.3 Percent In First Half of 2016, New Federal Data Show

Image Credit: The Coloradoan
Vehicles in the U.S. traveled a combined 1.58 trillion miles in the first half of 2016, up 3.3 percent as compared with the first six months of 2015 according to data published yesterday by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Nationwide, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in June 2016 was 3.2 percent higher than June of last year, with increases in VMT in nearly every state. Colorado experienced the 14th highest percentage increase in VMT from June 2015 to June 2016, at 3.7 percent. FHWA notes the increase in VMT indicates higher demands on the nation's roadways, which highlights the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure.

The data, published in the monthly "Traffic Volume Trends" report, estimates miles traveled by passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks. To learn more, view the FHWA press release.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Study shows drivers and cyclists prefer protected bike lanes


Laurel Street Protected Bike Lane, Fort Collins. Google Maps

Road space can seem like it is at a premium in many of the region's towns, but a new study from the San Francisco Bay Area has found interesting results. In a survey of 1,177 people in 2011, respondents were asked to rate their level of comfort on a series of roads designed for 25-30 miles per hour with cyclists. The road designs included no infrastructure, sharrows, bike lanes, and separated bike lanes. Respondents preferred two designs with a similar vein: barrier-separated bicycle lanes. A running theme in the answers was the separated bicycle lanes make cyclists more predictable on the road and reinforced drivers need to be aware of bicyclists - benefiting both the riders and drivers.

For more information about the study, read the article on Streetsblog or read the study on ScienceDirect.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Self-Driving Transit Vehicle Technology

Image Credit: _Suminch_ Flickr

While transit ridership has dropped in New York City, the most transit-friendly city in the U.S., new autonomous buses might save ridership. Driver-less bus pilot projects are in place in several countries including Switzerland, Greece, China, the Netherlands, and the UK to test and implement the idea. 

There has been an effort to prioritize autonomous transit over personal vehicles, but challenges remain. Moving from a fixed-route system to a flexible route may detract from the effectiveness of transit. Additionally, varying from fixed-route service may add vehicle trips which would increase congestion. However, it is estimated a large mode shift to autonomous vehicles which communicate together would provide a faster, better experience for users.

For more information about self-driving transit vehicles and the full article, click here: Can self-driving technology save the bus? by Alissa Walker, Curbed

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

CDOT receives $15M TIGER grant for I-25


I-25 at SH14. Image credit: Google Maps

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) received a $15 Million TIGER grant to help expand I-25 in Northern Colorado. The grant will assist CDOT with the $230 Million project, which will construct a new, 14-mile managed lane between SH 14 and SH 402. Local, state, and federal funding will help to fill in the remaining needs. As most drivers have seen, traffic congestion has increased along the corridor and will continue to increase.

For more information, read the article from the Denver Business Journal.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 20 Public Meeting on US 34 Big Thompson Canyon Permanent Repairs

           US 34             Image Credit: CDOT
A public meeting on the US 34 permanent repairs will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, at Ellis Ranch in Loveland. The meeting will clarify the construction schedule and traffic impacts for the project, which begins in August and will continue through June 2017. The meeting includes a formal presentation on summer construction activities and traffic control plans starting in October, followed by a question-and-answer session. The meeting will not address the specifics of the permitting process for canyon residents or the detailed schedule for fall construction. Information on those two topics will be available in September.

Construction on US 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon begins in August with short-duration lane closures and traffic stops for rock-blasting between mile point 77 (just east of Drake) and mile point 80 (in the Cedar Cove area). The delays will be limited to intermittent closures of 20-30 minutes.

From late October through June 2017, through-traffic will not be permitted in the canyon. Only canyon residents and emergency services will have access through a permitting process. Travel on US 34 will be allowed east of mile point 80 and west of mile point 77. The detour route for travel between Estes Park and Loveland will be US 36 and CO 66.

For more information on the project, please visit the CDOT project page.
For additional meeting details, please visit the public meeting site.