Skip to content


August 13 - 16, 2023

Oregon Convention Center 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232 Visit Event Website

Sunday, August 13
1:00 - 5:00 pm  |  B113-114

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) early estimates show that an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020 and that fatalities continue to increase in the first half of 2021. This is unacceptable, as no person should have to die while using the roadway system. To accelerate the reduction in deaths, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has adopted a Safe System Approach that accommodates human error and understands that human bodies have limited ability to tolerate crash impacts. To advance Safe System Approach implementation, FHWA initiated a project to identify safe system solutions for highway safety improvement projects. The goals of this project are to understand the best practices regarding safe system solutions through an extensive literature review, develop a new approach to selecting countermeasures through the Safe System Hierarchy of Effectiveness, and developing both a project-based and policy-based framework alignments to measure the safe system alignment in projects and policies. This project will help practitioners and researchers understand both measurement and application of the Safe System Approach.

B&N Presenter:

Douglas Cobb, PhD, PE, PTOE, RSP2I

Tuesday, August 15
10:15 - 11:45 am  |  Exhibition Hall

The traveling public is demanding increased mobility while displaying less tolerance for delays, increased travel times, and inconvenience because of congestion. This demand is forcing designers to become more creative with the maintenance of traffic (MOT) during construction while focusing on work zone safety, reduced congestion, improved travel time reliability, and better warning systems for routes and lane changes.

This presentation will highlight some innovative strategies to add to the MOT toolbox, including the use of TSMO infrastructure, zipper merges, freeway re-alignment, use of interchange ramps to divert traffic, and even modifying the interchange configuration in a project that wasn’t addressing an interchange improvement. These examples will be shared through several case studies that will discuss the project background, challenges, and solutions that were evaluated and a detailed discussion on the selected innovative MOT strategy. 

The presentation will also cover the costs and benefits and the public reaction and how with each innovative solution, there was a process to “sell” the concept to the project owner, stakeholders, and public.

B&N Presenter:

Brian Toombs, PE

Tuesday, August 15
2:00 - 3:30 pm  |  Exhibition Hall

To identify a preferred solution for current and future mobility and safety, a comprehensive corridor planning study was performed for the City of Green, Ohio. Problems to be addressed were intersection capacity, intersection safety, and safety related to left turns into and out of the many driveways located along Massillon Road. The study especially emphasized the lack of appropriate facilities to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.

B&N developed and facilitated a planning process, performed technical analysis on current conditions and alternatives and led a public and stakeholder involvement process that included three public meetings, website engagement, small group meetings with key stakeholders and multiple City Council work sessions.

Three roundabouts were selected to be part of the solution and were the key to the transfiguration of the character, safety and operation of this central corridor in the City of Green. The implementation of roundabouts and corridor-wide access management with a continuous median was a concern for some stakeholders. To gain buy-in, B&N utilized graphics and videos to illustrate the benefits of the proposed corridor operation.

The solution created a four-lane road with three multi-lane roundabouts, bike and pedestrian accommodations and access management throughout the corridor to create a more holistic, complete streets approach. This corridor was transformed from a congested, difficult to access and unattractive two-lane road with high crash occurrences to one that is significantly safer, highly attractive, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly, efficient and positioned for future growth.

The road can now accommodate nearly twice its previous traffic load with roundabouts used to maintain traffic flow as more vehicles traverse the route. The Massillon Road Improvements project is an excellent example of how communities can benefit from taking a holistic view of an entire corridor to address multiple needs. The presentation will summarize the story of a very successful Massillon Road Improvements project and share striking before and after aerial photographs. 

B&N Presenter:

Steve Thieken, PE, PTOE, AICP

Tuesday, August 15
2:00 - 3:30 pm  |  Exhibition Hall

Approximately 75% of fatal crashes in Hillsborough County, Florida, occur on roads with posted speeds of 40 mph and higher. Selecting an appropriate speed when planning or designing a roadway is critical to balancing safety and mobility. Historically, speed selection has been based on the FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and the American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials’ a Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets policies that rely heavily on the 85th percentile speed. However, the 85th percentile speed is based on driver behavior and is often much higher than the speed drivers SHOULD be traveling at on the roadway. As a result, both nationally and internationally, researchers and practitioners are attempting to approach speed selection differently, using context-based speed-setting approaches.

The first approach is Target Speed which is defined as the highest speed vehicles should operate in a specific context. It reflects the planned or desired goal for the roadway from the long-range plan of the community it serves. Target speed often cannot be achieved in existing conditions, but rather in future conditions that leverage multiple projects to achieve a desired speed through changes in roadway design, context/land use updates, and changes in user types.

The second approach is Design Speed, which is the speed at which vehicles can travel safely on the roadway and is heavily influenced by geometric conditions (e.g., functional classification, radii, etc.). Both speed approaches have limitations in that Target Speed is very subjective, while Design Speed focuses on specific roadway design factors that can yield higher design speed selections. Hillsborough County aims to develop two methodologies to identify Target and Design Speeds for arterials and collectors. The methodologies and tools will help County staff and practitioners provide less subjectivity when selecting Target Speeds and provide flexibility for selecting lower Design Speeds for projects on both existing and new roadways.

B&N Presenter:

Linda Wu, PhD, EI

Tuesday, August 15
4:00 - 5:30 pm  |  A105-106

Building trail connections between small urban cities and rural villages can open doors for active transportation, support economic development, and provide equitable and safe transportation for underserved populations. In this session, learn how two Ohio communities explored alternatives to create trail connections that served local amenities and looked toward future routes to regional trail systems knowing that commuters will bike ten miles or more. Through planning studies, the Village of St Paris, Ohio, and Springfield, Ohio, studied corridors to create phased plans for local trail improvements.

Leveraging abandoned railroad right-of-way, the Village of St. Paris, a rural community of 1,800 residents, studied a 14-mile corridor passing through their village center past a historic Pony Wagon Museum and connecting local school district buildings to the community. The trail extended beyond the village, entering the City of Springfield 10 miles to the east, connecting to the Simon-Kenton Trail system, a 35-mile regional trail through three counties and four cities. The Simon-Kenton Trail ultimately connects to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a 78.1-mile trail system traveling from Springfield, Ohio, to the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. The western trail extension will extend four miles to connect to a future trail that is under development by the adjacent county and leading into the City of Piqua. Planning efforts utilized drone footage to quickly capture photos and video of the existing rail bed conditions, providing the Village with detailed information to guide their planning process and decisions. With the initial phase moving forward utilizing state capital funding, the Village is focusing on creating a local connection first to encourage active transportation and support a safer route to school for students living within walking and biking distance to the school campuses.

In the City of Springfield, a city of 58,760 residents, the City wanted to explore a trail extension along the western edge of the City to connect to the Simon-Kenton Trail and extend to the Mad River Gorge and Nature Preserve, a 91 acre preserve with a series of natural climbing cliffs that have gained national attention from climbers. This potential economic draw created by this preserve and the desire to connect recreators to the businesses in downtown Springfield and to the Simon-Kenton Trail led to the study of a phased trail along abandoned railroad beds, local streets, and existing city properties. The Clark County Park Preserve received Transportation Alternatives funding to move forward with Phase 1 of the Mad River Trail effort, creating a connection between the Preserve and local rural roadways to establish an accessible trail to the Preserve and the climbing cliffs.

Session attendees will learn innovative ways to capture long corridor footage for planning efforts, explore preliminary design strategies to create funding estimates and implementable solutions, understand phasing opportunities to move projects forward, and engagement strategies to address public concern and gain support.

B&N Presenter:

Amy Rosepiler, PE

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

Traffic Safety Engineer

Brian Toombs, PE, Interchange Specialist and Project Engineer

Interchange Specialist and Project Engineer

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

Director, Columbus Transportation Division

Linda Wu, PhD, EI, Traffic Studies Analyst

Traffic Studies Analyst

Amy Rosepiler, PE, Director, Columbus Roadway Design Section

Director, Columbus Roadway Design Section