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Peer grouping and performance measurement to improve rural and urban transit in Texas

Description: "Rural and small urban transit systems in Texas will become even more important with predicted changes in population trends. Rural demographic trends indicate growth in the number of persons age 65 and over coupled with a decrease in population density. Small urban area trends indicate substantial population growth and broadened geographic boundaries, yet resources to provide rural and small urban transit are limited. Therefore, transit managers find it is increasingly important to maximize service efficiency and effectiveness. The purpose of this research was to identify peer groups, performance benchmarks, and strategies used by successful transit providers to achieve high performance. The research project identifies peer groups based on the transit environment within which each agency operates, so that agencies can be compared to other operators who face similar environments. Peer group effectiveness and efficiency performance are examined within and between rural and urban peer groups, and high performers are identified for case studies. Through the case studies, key attributes are identified for achieving high operating efficiency and/or effectiveness. Performance strategies are categorized to provide transit providers with transferrable information to improve performance and increase the return on transit investment."
Date: September 2010
Creator: Arndt, Jeffrey C.; Edrington, Suzie; Sandidge, Matthew; Quadrifoglio, Luca & Perkins, Judy
Item Type: Report

Exploratory study : vehicle mileage fees in Texas

Description: This project evaluates Vehicle Mileage (VM) fees as a possible funding mechanism for meeting the State of Texas' long-term transportation needs. Researchers conducted listening sessions with the general public and stakeholders to gather input on the concept. Researchers also prepared a decision matrix that can aid policy makers in evaluating the various trade-offs in policy that will be encountered in vehicle mileage fee system development. This study identified both challenges and opportunities for implementation of VM fees.
Date: January 2011
Creator: Baker, Richard & Goodin, Ginger
Item Type: Report

Non-vital advance rail preemption of signalized intersections near highway-rail grade crossings

Description: The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) primarily uses simultaneous preemption of traffic signals near highway-rail grade crossings to clear queued vehicles prior to the arrival of a train at the crossing. At some intersections, 20 seconds of advanced warning may not be sufficient to allow the traffic signal to clear pedestrians using the normal clearance intervals between phases. The research developed an alternative method (non-vital advance preemption) of ensuring adequate pedestrian clearance in the presence of an approaching train without interfering with the normal preemption sequence at the intersection or installing costly additional track circuitry needed to provide advance preemption. Two strategies were investigated to ensure pedestrian clearance time. The first utilizes a lower-level preemption sequence to guarantee full pedestrian clearance to a terminating phase before the traffic signal starts the preemption sequence. The second strategy uses the pedestrian-omit feature to prevent the controller from activating the pedestrian interval if there is not sufficient time in advance of the start of the preemption sequence to provide full pedestrian clearance.
Date: June 2007
Creator: Balke, Kevin N.; Engelbrecht, Roelof Johannes & Ruback, Leonard G.
Item Type: Report

Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware test 3-11 on the Texas T101 bridge rail

Description: The Texas T101 bridge rail is widely used in the state of Texas. Previous testing demonstrated its ability to contain and redirect passenger cars and a 20,000-lb school bus. Based on this testing, the Federal Highway Administration accepted the T101 bridge rail as an NCHRP Report 350 TL-3 barrier. However, its impact performance with pickup trucks was never evaluated. Under research project 0-5526, Impact Performance of Roadside Safety Appurtenances, researchers conducted a performance assessment of Texas roadside safety devices to help evaluate the impact of adopting the new AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) guidelines on current hardware. Testing and evaluation of the T101 bridge rail was recommended as a high priority. This recommendation was based primarily on the absence of pickup truck testing on the system, and concerns that the 27-inch rail height may not be compatible with pickup trucks and SUVs under design impact conditions. The T101 bridge rail did not meet MASH evaluation criteria for test 3-11. The vehicle overturned after losing contact with the barrier.
Date: March 2011
Creator: Bligh, Roger P. & Menges, Wanda L.
Item Type: Report

Development of a MASH TL-2 guardrail-to-bridge rail transition compatible with 31-inch guardrail

Description: The TxDOT Design Division is in the process of developing new guardrail standards that comply with the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH). The new guardrail system will provide increased capacity and improved impact performance relative to the current design. A key feature of the new system is an increased in rail mounting height from 27 inches to 31 inches. TxDOT's current TL-2 metal beam transition is 27 inches tall and is not compatible with the new 31 inch guardrail system. While the high-speed, nested thrie beam transition system meets MASH guidelines and is compatible with a 31-inch guardrail, it would be cost-prohibitive to use it on all roadways. The objective of this research was to develop a transition that is suitable for use on lower speed roadways, less expensive and complex than the current high-speed (i.e., TL-3) transition design, and is compatible with a 31-inch guardrail. A low-cost guardrail-to-bridge rail transition was successfully developed and tested under MASH Test Level 2 conditions. It is compatible with a 31-inch guardrail and can connect to rigid concrete bridge rails. It is considered suitable for implementation on roadways that have traffic conditions appropriate for the use of TL-2 safety hardware. Use of this system provides significant savings in material and installation cost compared to the high speed transition system.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Bligh, Roger P.; Arrington, Dusty R. & Menges, Wanda L.
Item Type: Report

Development of a MASH TL-3 median barrier gate

Description: Report regarding a median barrier gate designed to both offer protection to motorists and easier cross-median access for emergency and maintenance vehicles.
Date: February 2011
Creator: Bligh, Roger P.; Arrington, Dusty R.; Sheikh, Nauman Mansoor; Silvestri, Chiara & Menges, Wanda L.
Item Type: Report

MASH test 3-37 of the TxDOT 31-inch w-beam downstream anchor terminal

Description: Report discussing the findings of a study into issues related to roadside safety devices: "The objective of this study was to develop a suitable replacement for the downstream 'turn-down' guardrail anchor system. The 'turn-down' guardrail anchor system does not meet mandated test requirements under MASH for upstream anchor application terminals; however, it does meet downstream requirements for previous crash testing standard" (abstract). It includes background information, system details, test requirements and evaluation criteria, crash test procedures, crash test results, and conclusions.
Date: October 2011
Creator: Bligh, Roger P.; Menges, Wanda L. & Arrington, Dusty R.
Item Type: Report

Delivery of workshops on corridor management and preservation in Texas

Description: "This report summarizes the delivery and outcome of a series of workshops conducted at 23 Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) districts across the state on corridor management and preservation in Texas. The workshops served as follow-up implementation work for research project 0-5606, "Creating Partnerships with Local Communities to Manage and Preserve Corridors." The report provides an overview of the project and documents the dates, locations, and attendance of workshops implemented during the three-year project period."
Date: September 2010
Creator: Bochner, Brian S. & Hard, Edwin N.
Item Type: Report

Internal trip capture estimator for mixed-use developments

Description: This report describes a spreadsheet tool for estimating trip generation for mixed-use developments, accounting for internal trip capture. Internal trip capture is the portion of trips generated by a mixed-use development that both begin and end within the development. The importance of internal trip capture is that those trips satisfy a portion of the total development's trip generation and they do so without using the external road system. As a result, a mixed-use development that generates a given number of total trips creates less demand on the external road system than single-use developments generating the same number of trips. This report describes the spreadsheet estimator and how to use it. It describes the data behind the estimator as well as how those data are applied. The two Texas mixed-use developments from which most of the data were derived are also described. This report is supplemented by the Excel® spreadsheet itself as well as task memoranda that document the survey data collected as part of this project.
Date: February 2010
Creator: Bochner, Brian S. & Sperry, Benjamin R.
Item Type: Report

Highway safety design workshops

Description: Highway safety is an ongoing concern for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). As part of its proactive commitment to improving highway safety, TxDOT is moving toward including quantitative safety analyses earlier in the project development process. To assist in achieving this goal, TxDOT research project 0-4703 developed the Roadway Safety Design Workbook for engineers responsible for highway geometric design. This Workbook describes quantitative safety relationships for specific design components known to be correlated with crash frequency. As part of TxDOT Project 0-4703, a series of workshops were developed to share safety information with TxDOT roadway designers. Information in the Workbook was used as the basis for the workshops. The workshops addressed rural highways, urban streets, and freeways. They included a mixture of classroom discussion and hands-on training activities for the participants. The participants indicated that the information presented in the workshops will be beneficial as they make decisions about highway safety improvements.
Date: November 2010
Creator: Bonneson, James A. & Pratt, Michael P.
Item Type: Report

School traffic workshop: dealing with Texas-sized problems around schools

Description: "This report summarized the series of "Traffic around Schools"" workshops conducted throughout the state of Texas to familiarize TxDOT employees and partner agencies with two key products from previous research projects (0-4286 and 0-5470) and other tools and guidance that are available for dealing with problems around schools."
Date: October 2011
Creator: Brewer, Marcus A.; Fitzpatrick, Kay & Cooner, Scott A.
Item Type: Report

Unknown foundation determination for scour

Description: This reports objective was to develop a global approach that would reduce the level of uncertainty associated with unknown foundations.
Date: April 2012
Creator: Briaud, J.-L.; Medina-Cetina, Zenon; Hurlebaus, Stefan; Everett, Mark; Tucker, Stacey; Yousefpour, Negin et al.
Item Type: Report

Realtime monitoring of bridge scour using remote monitoring technology

Description: The research performed in this project focuses on the application of instruments including accelerometers and tiltmeters to monitor bridge scour. First, two large scale laboratory experiments were performed. One experiment is the simulation of a bridge with a shallow foundation, and the other is the simulation of a bridge with a deep foundation. A series of instruments were installed on the simulated bridge to monitor the performance of the bridge due to scour. Both the shallow foundation experiment and deep foundation experiment show that accelerometers and tiltmeters can be used in scour monitoring events since both give warning of bridge failure successfully. Subsequently, two individual monitoring systems were designed and installed on two bridges: US59 over Guadalupe River Bridge and SH80 over San Antonio River Bridge in Texas. Realtime data are collected and transmitted to a computer server at Texas A&M University, which can be accessed remotely. The instrumentation on the two bridges does not show great hope of application of accelerometers to monitor bridge scour because of a lack of sufficient excitation from traffic. Another issue with the accelerometers is the high power consumption during the transmission of accelerometer data, which cannot be satisfied with a typical solar panel and battery. Tiltmeters can provide the integral behavior of the bridge, and therefore are very useful devices for scour monitoring. Guidelines and protocols for scour monitoring based on the US59 over Guadalupe River Bridge and the SH80 over San Antonio River Bridge are provided in the study.
Date: February 2011
Creator: Briaud, Jean-Louis; Hurlebaus, Stefan; Chang, Kuang-An; Yao, Congpu; Sharma, Hrishikesh; Yu, Ok-Youn et al.
Item Type: Report

Microsurfacing in Texas

Description: This report describes the current state of practice of microsurfacing in Texas and compares it to best practices extracted from existing literature. A survey of DOT personnel, contractors and emulsion suppliers in Texas provides insight into the most crucial factors contributing to the success or failure of a microsurfacing. From the results of the survey, literature reviews, case studies and site visits, the research team analyzed material selection and mix design methods, construction practices, equipment practices and performance measures for microsurfacings.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Broughton, Benjamin & Lee, Soon-Jae
Item Type: Report

Collision Loads on Bridge Piers: Phase 2. Report of Guidelines for Designing Bridge Piers and Abutments for Vehicle Collisions

Description: "An instrumented, simulated bridge pier was constructed, and two full-scale collisions with an 80,000-lb van-type tractor-trailer were performed on it. The trailer was ballasted with bags of sand on pallets. The simulated pier was 36 inches in diameter and was supported in the longitudinal direction by two load cells. Force-versus-time data were obtained from the load cells."
Date: March 2011
Creator: Buth, Eugene; Brackin, Michael S.; Williams, William F. & Fry, Gary T.
Item Type: Report

Research and recommendations for a statewide sign retroreflectivity maintenance program

Description: "This report evaluated Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) current sign retroreflectivity maintenance practices, assessed their effectiveness, and recommended statewide sign retroreflectivity maintenance practices that could be easily and effectively implemented to ensure that TxDOT would be in compliance with the new Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) language related to minimum sign retroreflectivity."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Carlson, Paul J.; Higgins, Laura L. & Re, Jonathan M.
Item Type: Report

Development of a model performance-based sign sheeting specification based on the evaluation of nighttime traffic signs using legibility and eye-tracker data

Description: "This report focused on the evaluation of traffic sign sheeting performance in terms of meeting the nighttime driver needs. Using the luminance requirements derived from the study and market-weighted headlamp flux matrices, the researchers developed an approach to sigh sheeting specification that is based on nighttime driver needs."
Date: September 2010
Creator: Carlson, Paul J.; Miles, Jeffrey D.; Park, Eun Sug; Young, Sarah; Chrysler, Susan & Clark, Jerremy
Item Type: Report

Development of a model performance-based sign sheeting specification based on the evaluation of nighttime traffic signs using legibility and eye-tracker data : data and analysis

Description: "This report presents data and technical analyses for Texas Department of Transportation Project 0-5235. This project focused on the evaluation of traffic sign sheeting performance in terms of meeting the nighttime driver needs. The goal was to develop a nighttime driver needs specification for traffic signs. Full information on the project is presented in Report 0-5235-1 Volume 1."
Date: September 2009
Creator: Carlson, Paul J.; Park, Eun Sug & Miles, Jeffrey D.
Item Type: Report

Evaluation of traffic control devices : year 3

Description: This project was established to provide a means of conducting small-scale research activities on an as-needed basis so that the results could be available within months of starting the specific research. This report summarizes the research activities that were conducted between September 2010 and August 2011. There were five primary activities and five secondary activities. The five primary activities were evaluating nighttime visibility along rural highways with bright signs, continuing the evaluation of lead-free thermoplastic pavement markings, evaluating contrast pavement marking layouts, continuing the evaluation of accelerated pavement marking test decks, and providing district support for hurricane evacuation routing. In addition, the researchers also started to evaluated criteria for setting 80 mph and 85 mph speed limits, evaluated bridge clearance signing, narrowed the focus of a rotational sign sheeting study, provided technical support for the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), and provided technical support for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) sign sheeting specification.
Date: March 2012
Creator: Carlson, Paul J.; Pike, Adam M.; Miles, Jeff D.; Ullman, Brooke R. & Borchardt, Darrel W.
Item Type: Report

Benefits of public roadside safety rest areas in Texas : technical report

Description: Report regarding efforts to develop a benefit-cost analysis methodology for safety rest areas in Texas and to demonstrate its application in select corridors throughout the state. This project also considers approaches to developing rest areas that could reduce costs to the public.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Carson, Jodi L.; Pezoldt, Val J.; Koncz, Nicholas A., 1964- & Obeng-Boampong, Kwaku Oduro, 1977-
Item Type: Report

Implementation report on PASSER V-07 training workshops

Description: "The objective of this project was to conduct one pilot workshop and five regular workshops to teach the effective use of the enhanced PASSER V-07 arterial signal timing optimization software."
Date: August 2009
Creator: Chu, Chi-Leung & Chaudhary, Nadeem A.
Item Type: Report

Safety and economic impacts of converting two-way frontage roads to one-way : methodology and findings

Description: In the research documented here, researchers develop information to communicate the safety and economic impacts of converting frontage roads from two-way to one-way. Researchers studied five locations in Texas where frontage roads were converted from two-way operation to one-way operation. Researchers identified a comparison site in Texas that remained two-way for comparison to four of the treatment (conversion) sites. Researchers developed accident modification factors (AMFs) related to frontage road conversion segments that roadway designers can use to guide frontage road conversion project planning. Researchers developed AMFs based on non-property-damage-only (non-PDO) crashes for segments and interchange intersections. Researchers developed 12 AMFs and provide confidence intervals around the estimates. Researchers describe how the AMFs were developed, associated caveats, and how to apply the AMFs. Researchers also document the process used to build the safety database from electronic data-sets and printed crash reports. Finally, researchers provide recommendations to facilitate and expedite future crash analysis. Researchers attempted to investigate the economic impacts of frontage road conversion by analyzing gross sales data, appraisal data, employment data, and surveys of business owners/managers and customers. Only the appraisal data and survey information were at the parcel level along the corridors and survey sample size was limited.
Date: January 2011
Creator: Eisele, William L.; Yager, Christine E.; Brewer, Marcus A.; Frawley, William E.; Park, Eun Sug; Lord, Dominique et al.
Item Type: Report