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Jul 31 - Aug 3, 2022

Sheraton New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana Visit Event Website

Tuesday, August 2
2:30 - 3:30 PM

Massillon Road was set for improvements due to frequent crashes, congestion, and accessibility issues throughout the corridor. This heavily traveled corridor was experiencing problems related to traffic safety, delay and backups, sight distance, and bicycle/pedestrian accommodations. One of the biggest challenges in the corridor was adequately addressing current and future access point locations along the corridor.

B&N studied and redesigned a one-mile stretch of Massillon Road that included two busy intersections and tied into Green's downtown, making enhanced accessibility and aesthetics important. The project included the development of three preferred alternatives. With stakeholders and public input, the selected alternative included three roundabouts with access management that minimized property impacts through the corridor.

B&N Presenter:

Claudio Figueroa, PE

Tuesday, August 2
4:00 - 5:30 PM

Over the past decade, there has been an alarming number of deaths within work zones. In 2019, there were 762 fatal crashes related to work zones, accounting for 135 worker deaths. To help create safer work zone spaces and reduce the risk of crashes, changeable message signs are used to enhance worker safety and improve driver awareness. Historically, changeable message signs update drivers of upcoming work zone conditions. However, sign information provides few details on the type of delay (whether traffic is moving at reduced speeds or stopped) and the exact location of the slow or stopped traffic begins, leading to extensive congestion and driver frustration.

Smart Work Zones (SWZ) were developed to improve this issue. SWZ utilizes technology, like sensors or radar, to detect vehicle presence and provide real-time updates of work zones and traffic control conditions. If drivers are given details regarding the type of delay and the location of where it begins, this will help them decide whether they should find an alternate route or remain on the roadway.

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise identified our SR 417 resurfacing project as an ideal candidate for a pilot project for the first SWZ incorporation on a design bid build project in the state. This project is an ideal pilot project for an SWZ due to the high speeds that drivers are accustomed to driving and the amount of traffic along this corridor. This SWZ consisted of a queue warning detection with a Portable Changeable Message Sign (PCMS) 0.75 miles in advance of portable traffic sensor equipment used to detect the speed of vehicles in advance of the work zone. The PCMS provided messages to drivers saying, “CAUTION SLOW TRAFFIC”/”X MILES AHEAD” when speed was detected to be 25 MPH to 55 MPH, and “CAUTION STOPPED TRAFFIC”/”X MILES AHEAD” when speeds were detected to be 25 MPH or below. The speed limit of the road is 70 MPH under normal conditions.

The SWZ development for this project also included writing the specification for the equipment needed to communicate to the drivers in advance. The specification was written to ensure the devices would not only communicate with the advanced PCMS boards but would also provide alerts to Navigational applications like Waze and Google Maps, which in turn can provide drivers with an alternative route. SWZs provide an advantage over traditional work zone signage in the increased safety for both workers and motorists due to their real-time communication with motorists. SWZs can be an instrumental tool in helping meet the goals of Vision Zero. 

B&N Presenters:

Ryan Williamson, PE

Janey Walls, PE

Wednesday, August 3
9:00 - 10:30 AM

For a person on a bicycle at signalized intersections, trail crossings, or midblock locations, knowing how long they must wait to receive a green indication is valuable information. In the international context, this information is often provided by small, nearside bicycle signal heads that contain a countdown display to visually convey the waiting times. This paper presents research results to investigate the comprehension of bicycle countdown timer displays in the US context. The study conducted an online survey to analyze the understanding and preference of three alternative bicycle countdown timer displays.

Respondents were recruited by two recruitment methods: mailed postcards (568 responses) and social media ads (772 responses). The study installed a countdown timer with circular disappearing dots at an intersection in Portland, OR, and an intercept survey was conducted of users (29 responses). For both surveys, comprehension rates were established by coding open-ended responses to a question about the display's intended meaning.

The surveys found that the bicycle signal countdown displays were intuitive, and over 60% of online survey respondents and 52% of the intercepted cyclists fully understood the intended meaning. Partial comprehension increased to over 70% and 97% of intercepted would result in safe user interpretation. A countdown timer may also improve the waiting experience for stopped cyclists, as 70% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that they would feel better about waiting at an intersection if a bicycle countdown timer was present. 

B&N Presenter:

Douglas Cobb, PhD, PE, PTOE, RSP2I

Claudio Figueroa, PE, Traffic Engineer

Traffic Engineer

Ryan Williamson, PE, Project Engineer

Project Engineer

Janey Walls, PE, Senior Traffic Engineer

Senior Traffic Engineer

Douglas Cobb, PhD, PE, PTOE, RSP2I, Traffic Safety Engineer

Traffic Safety Engineer