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Speaking

October 25 - 26, 2022

Greater Columbus Convention Center Columbus, Ohio Visit Event Website

Roundabouts are a proven safety improvement that reduces high-severity crashes. Designers have to balance the required size of the roundabout to sufficiently reduce speeds with the impacts these speeds have on adjacent properties. Sometimes these impacts, along with higher construction costs, lead to feasible alternatives being dismissed, eliminating the potential safety benefits at a problematic intersection. What if there is a way to introduce a low-cost and low-impact roundabout while still achieving the expected safety benefits? Enter the compact roundabout! The compact roundabout sets the geometry of the roundabout within the existing pavement limits at an existing intersection, eliminating Right-of-way needs and impacts to adjacent properties. 

This presentation will highlight the evolution of compact roundabouts and their appropriate use. Best practices from two states, Washington and Wisconsin, that have used these recently will be shared. Wisconsin is currently re-writing their roundabout design guidance to include more language on compact roundabouts, and Washington has indicated their use of compact roundabouts will continue to increase. This presentation will highlight the design of ODOT’s first compact roundabout, a fast-tracked design and construction project scheduled to be open to traffic in late Fall 2022. Join Adam Koenig and Daniel Soroka as they provide insight on the safety benefits, design strategies, philosophy, summary of coordination with ODOT, communication with the locals, and lessons learned during the implementation of this innovative design. 

B&N Presenter:

Daniel Soroka, PE

In 2020, people drove significantly less because of the pandemic, yet the number of people involved in fatal transportation crashes rose eight percent since 2019 to over 42,000. Even prior to 2020, transportation-related fatalities consistently averaged about 35,000 - that’s 35,000 more than the acceptable number: zero. Traffic crashes unexpectedly take lives, but these tragedies are preventable. 

The Secretary of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration continue to emphasize equity, speed, safe multimodal options, distraction, and other challenges that impede progress toward zero roadway deaths. To support this focus and provide direction to transportation agencies, FHWA is promoting a Safe System Approach (SSA). The purpose is to re-frame transportation policies and priorities, culture, and coordination efforts to create safe spaces for all road users.  

Planners, engineers, and designers all play a role in SSA implementation. This presentation will highlight how to address safe road users, safe vehicles, safe speed, safe roads, and post-crash care during planning and programming. 

B&N Presenter:

Kendra Schenk, PE, PTOE, RSP2I

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) uses the Ohio Hauling Permit System (OHPS), developed by Promiles, to evaluate more than 335,000 permit loads annually. Many of these permits involve non-standard gauge (NSG) axle loads, meaning vehicles with axle widths not equal to standard six feet. ODOT currently evaluates these vehicles by applying modifiers to standard the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) distribution factors before running the automated analysis process using AASHTOWare Bridge Rating Tool. When analysis results indicate that structures are incapable of carrying a permit load, ODOT engineers either apply restrictions on hauling of loads or perform more rigorous and time-consuming evaluations of individual structures. 

The modifiers used for the NSG loads were based on historical precedent and not supported by research. To improve the accuracy of NSG axle vehicle  evaluation , avoid over-stressing of bridge components and keep response time to its permit customers at reasonably low. ODOT initiated a research project to determine modification factors for AASHTO live load distribution factors for concrete box beam, concrete slab, concrete I-beam, and steel multi-beam structures. 

The research team conducted a parametric study of bridge behavior under NSG axle loads to support the calculation of modifiers for standard gauge distribution factors. The study consisted of a series of finite element analyses examining the effects of typical NSG axles on common bridge types found on the Ohio Highway System. The research team performed the following tasks to support the development of the study: 

  • Review of the OHPS Process: The team met with ODOT engineers and permit technicians to understand the current method used to evaluate NSG axle loads.  
  • Review of Typical Permit Loads: Configurations and data of typical NSG vehicles evaluated by ODOT were collected and tabulated. The team used this data to establish a set of axle loads for the parametric study that represents the range of vehicles normally encountered.
  • Review of Standard Structure Designs: ODOT Bridge Standard Construction Drawings were used to develop span ranges and member sizes for the study that is representative of the state inventory. 

Finite Element Model Configurations: Guidance from FHWA and other engineering sources was reviewed to establish criteria for finite element models for each bridge type included in the study. 

The resulting study included 168 bridges and 34 axle configurations, including 33 NSG axles and one standard gauge axle. Analysis data was collected for each axle type on each structure, and the results were tabulated for evaluation by the research team. Output from the parametric study was used to generate correction factors for the distribution of NSG axles relative to standard gauge axles. The modification factors were calculated for each bridge by dividing the section force (moment or shear) produced by a standard gauge axle by the corresponding force produced by the NSG axle.  

The presentation will discuss the methods used to perform the research, the findings and conclusions, and the application of the results within the OHPS for the evaluation of NSG axle loads. Representatives from the consultant research team and ODOT will be present. 

B&N Presenter:

Travis Butz, PE

Downtown Cleveland, Ohio, is a busy place full of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and motorists. Yet, many of its streets are wide, auto-dominated, grey, and feel unsafe to non-motorists. Aiming to improve safety, mobility, and livability, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) launched a Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) Study to consider the issues, establish a vision, and recommend a slate of projects, programs, and policies to address them.  

This session considers how we Move Forward Together for a Brighter Tomorrow from several perspectives. First, the session will delve into the role of NOACA—an MPO that manages funding and planning approvals but does not implement them. The downtown study will produce a framework plan, a collaborative document amongst the implementors City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Agency (GCRTA), and other public and private entities. This document establishes a shared vision and goals and presents recommended projects, programs, and policies to help achieve the vision over ten years. In essence, how do we Move Forward Together as implementing and partner agencies to achieve our shared vision. 

Second, we will look at the practicalities of how to move people safely and efficiently by a variety of modes in an area where right-of-way, funding, and priorities are constrained. These include traditional priorities such as managing peak hours and special event congestion, but also the need to sufficiently and safely accommodate other users—pedestrians, bicyclists, scooters and transit riders. More than “How to make Complete Streets work,” we will discuss how we used the plan’s policy elements to guide decision-making when compromise was needed. 

As we discuss the study and resulting plan, we’ll delve into common issues communities face when developing transformative plans. Including technical (capacity analyses, potential to reroute traffic flows) as well as issues of conflicting interests amongst plan partners and how to move past those to achieve progress on those issues on which we can agree. 

Please join Kelley Britt, Manager of Strategic and Long-Range Planning with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), and Eric Lowry, AICP, Senior Transportation Planner with Burgess & Niple, as they discuss this innovative and exciting project to plan the future of transportation in downtown Cleveland. 

B&N Presenter:

Eric Lowry, AICP

Large, successful projects require strong partnerships and much collaboration between many people over a long period of time. This presentation will tell the story of such a project (Massillon Road from I-77 to SR 619 in Green, Ohio) from the concept stage through final construction. The presentation will also share keys to success and lessons learned during the project development process  that highlight funding, project initiation, local government approvals, public and stakeholder involvement, analysis, design, and construction. 

Important roles and perspectives of various key collaborators such as City staff and elected officials, AMATS, ODOT District 4, design consultants, utility companies, construction managers and inspectors, and construction contractors will be discussed and shared. 

Specific examples to be discussed of successes due to partnership and collaboration were: 

  • Funding
  • Gaining public acceptance for the project 
  • Reducing the complexity, R/W, and cost of the project by proactively adjusting to advances in analysis methods 
  • Strong communication during construction – internal and with the public 
  • Constructing a complicated project without a detailed (and costly) Maintenance of Traffic plan.

Roundabouts were the key to the transfiguration of the character, safety, and operation of this central corridor in the City of Green. This presentation will briefly describe the history of safety and transportation studies in this corridor, the process that led to roundabouts being considered and selected, and the distinct and grand benefits that selecting roundabouts had on the transformation of this corridor. This corridor transformed from an unattractive, congested, difficult-to-access corridor with high crash occurrence into an attractive corridor that is bicycle and pedestrian-friendly and efficient. Safety was significantly improved due to the elimination of signalized intersections and all direct left turns to or from the many driveways along the corridor – an ideal access management solution. Roundabouts provide convenient U-turn locations to provide left-turn access. 

The presentation will include a series of before and after photography, videos, and time-lapse photography, to illustrate the transformation and public reactions since the project’s opening. 

B&N Presenter:

Steve Thieken, PE, PTOE, AICP

Pedestrian and bicycle facilities are some of the most sought-after amenities for municipalities, and these features have proven to attract residents, businesses and visitors. Like many organizations, the City of Hudson, Ohio, wants to provide safe, ADA-compliant and efficient facilities for its community.

To achieve this goal, the City engaged LJB Inc. to conduct a study to increase pedestrian safety in its “downtown” area, consisting of about 3 miles of roadways across three corridors and a shopping district. The City anticipates an increase in pedestrian destinations and volumes, so it is critical to ensure ADA compliance, improve pedestrian safety by alleviating pedestrian and bicycle crash risk and encourage pedestrian and bicycle travel throughout the project study area.

This session highlights the pedestrian safety study conducted for this community, including the process, details and results. The study focused on identifying opportunities for improvements and evaluating pedestrian travel ways, including sidewalks, curb ramps, bicycle facilities, crosswalks, roads, crossings, etc., within the City’s public right of way.

Based on the results of the study, the City is evaluating recommended improvements at 40 locations, as well as the option to establish a Pedestrian District around Downtown Hudson to create a more pedestrian-friendly character by using a reduced speed limit and adding high-visibility crosswalk markings and signage. Recommended improvements throughout the 40 locations include curb extensions, RRFBs, high visibility crosswalk markings and refuge islands. Other general recommendations include widening sidewalks as they are replaced, adding sidewalks to the other side of roads where they are missing, design of curb ramps during replacement to ensure ADA compliance, designation of alternative bicycle routes and use of crossing guards where few gaps exist in traffic. 

B&N Presenter:

Molly Loucks, PE

Daniel Soroka, PE, Roadway Engineer

DANIEL SOROKA, PE
Roadway Engineer

Kendra Schenk, PE, PTOE, RSP2I, Safety Engineer

KENDRA SCHENK, PE, PTOE, RSP2I
Safety Engineer

Travis Butz, PE, Senior Bridge Engineer

TRAVIS BUTZ, PE
Senior Bridge Engineer

Eric Lowry, AICP, Senior Transportation Planner

ERIC LOWRY, AICP
Senior Transportation Planner

Steve Thieken, PE, PTOE, AICP, Director, Columbus Transportation Division

STEVE THIEKEN, PE, PTOE, AICP
Director, Columbus Transportation Division

Molly Loucks, PE, Transportation Project Manager

MOLLY LOUCKS, PE
Transportation Project Manager