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Compendium of student papers: 2011 undergraduate transportation scholars program.

Description: "This report is a compilation of research papers written by students participating in the 2011 Undergraduate Transportation Scholars Program. The papers in this compendium report on the following topics, respectively: 1) evaluating the impact of nighttime work zone lighting characteristics n motorists; 2) late night roadway visibility; 3) investigation of the use and pricing of the I-15 express lanes in San Diego; 4) intercity passenger rail access to airports: a case study at the Milwaukee airport; 5) development of a background complexity assessment tool; 6)identifying pavement preservation treatments suitable for performance-related specifications; and 7)arsenic content and retro-reflectivity of glass beads used in pavement markings."
Date: May 2012
Creator: Desorcie, Felicia; Jian, Ruoxin; Kelly, Pete; Larson, Shawn; Rasulo, Marcus; Rivera, Joshua et al.

Development of warrants for installation of dual right-turn lanes at signalized intersections

Description: "Right-turn lanes provide space for the deceleration and storage of right-turn vehicle, and separate turning vehicles from through movements. Dual right-turn lanes are increasingly used at urban intersections primarily for two reason: (1) to accommodate high right-turn demands and avoid turn-pocket overflows, and/or (2) to prevent right-turn vehicles that exit from a nearby upstream freeway off-ramp (on the left of the roadway) from abruptly changing too many lanes toward the right-turn lane at intersection."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Chen, Xiaoming & Li, Da

Performance measures for metropolitan planning organizations

Description: "The aim of this project is to consolidate available knowledge and provide guidance to transportation agencies, specifically MPOs, to help them incorporate performance measurement relating to transportation planning and operations. This research includes a survey of agency practices and agency needs, development of guidance on effective performance measurement and allied issues of strategic planning, goal setting, and data collection."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Moore, Devin; Ramni, Tara; Norboge, Nicolas & Turnbull, Katherine

Predicting damage in concrete due to expansive aggregates : modeling to enable sustainable material design

Description: "A poroelastic model is developed that can predict stress and strain distributions and, thus, ostensibly damage likelihood in concrete under freezing conditions caused by aggregates with undesirable combinations of geometry and constitutive properties.Sensitivity of the stress distributions to the aggregate and matrix constitutive parameters are assessed to allow improved concrete design."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Grasley, Zachary Charles & Rahman, Syeda

Development and validation of a testing protocol for carbon sequestration using a controlled environment

Description: "This project conducted initial testing to develop a method for quantifying plant and soil carbon sequestration capabilities under the controlled conditions of the Texas Transportation Institute's Environmental and Emissions Research Facility (EERF)."
Date: March 2012
Creator: Storey, Beverly B.; Foster, Derrold; Johnson, Jeremy & McFalls, Jett

Equity evaluation of vehicle miles traveled fees in Texas

Description: "This report used 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) Texas data to consider the equity impacts surrounding four vehicle miles traveled (VMT) scenarios. Results indicate that all of the VMT fee scenarios are essentially as equally vertically equitable as the current state gas tax system."
Date: March 2012
Creator: Burris, Mark; Larsen, Lisa. & Whitty, James M.

Fracture properties and fatigue cracking resistance of asphalt binders

Description: "The main objective of this study was to evaluate the inherent fatigue cracking resistance of asphalt binders in the form of a matrix with rigid particle inclusions. The underlying rational for this approach was to subject the binders to a state of stress that is similar to the one in a full asphalt mixture."
Date: March 2012
Creator: Bhasin, Amit.; Izadi, Anoosha & Motamed, Arash

Getting the parking right for transit-oriented development

Description: "The main objective of this study is to report the state-of-the-knowledge on parking regulations and practice influencing the planning, design, and implementation of TOD. The report first offers a narrative review of the published works on TOD-Parking. Based on the review findings it then presents a matrix of best parking practices for TOD."
Date: March 2012
Creator: Zhang, Ming.; Mulholland, Katie; Zhang, Jane & Gomez-Sanchez, Ana J.

Potential connected vehicle applications to enhance mobility, safety, and environmental security

Description: "Researchers first conducted a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art connected-vehicle research and technologies. Once researchers had a thorough understanding of the technology, they focused on selecting and developing the near-term practical applications that use connected vehicle technology. The research team then sought expert opinions from the Texas Transportation Institute working group during two brainstorming sessions, which produced two lists of potential applications and prioritized the applications based on deployment feasibility. In particular, a total of five applications were selected for development of the full concept of operations, including two in safety, two in mobility, and one in environmental security. These applications address various problems, including wrong-way driving and unprotected-grade-crossing crashes (safety): work-zone merge efficiency and safety, and freeway speed harmonization (mobility): and slippery pavement-related crashes (environmental security)."
Date: February 2012
Creator: Balke, Kevin N.; Songchitruksa, Praprut. & Zeng, Xiaosi

The design of a comprehensive microsimulator of household vehicle fleet composition, utilization, and evolution

Description: "The report describes a comprehensive vehicle fleet composition, utilization, and evolution simulator that can be used to forecast household vehicle ownership and mileage by type of vehicle over time. The components of the simulator are developed in this research effort using detailed revealed and stated preference data on household vehicle fleet composition, utilization, and planned transactions collected for a large sample of households in California. Results of the model development effort show that the simulator holds promise as a tool for simulating vehicular choice processes in the context of activity-based travel microsimulation model systems."
Date: January 2012
Creator: Paleti, Rajesh.; Eluru, Naveen; Bhat, R. Chandra; Pendyala, Ram M.; Adler, Thomas J. & Goulias, Konstadinos G.

Reviewing, analyzing and updating marketing strategies to increase public transit ridership

Description: This report explains that with the fuel prices increasing and environmental impact getting special attention, it is important to increase our knowledge of the best marketing practices to attract riders to public transits. In order to move people to public transit a deeper analysis of the decision variables and a strategy to promote public transit is required.
Date: January 2012
Creator: Lewis, Carol Abek

How fast is a fast train? : comparing attitudes and preferences for improved passenger rail service among urban areas in the South Central high-speed rail corridor

Description: "Using data from an Internet-based survey of residents in three communities in Central Texas-Waco, Temple, and Hillsboro-this research project examined the potential impacts of new intercity passenger rail service on small-or medium-sized communities located in the intermediate area between two larger urban areas that form the endpoints of a federally designated intercity high-speed rail corridor."
Date: December 2011
Creator: Morgan, Curtis Alan & Sperry, Benjamin R.

An alternative transportation fuels update : a case study of the developing E85 industry

Description: "As the United States imports more than half of its oil and overall consumption continues to climb, the 1992 Energy Policy Act established the goal of having "alternative fuels" replace at least ten percent of petroleum fuels used in the transportation sector by 2000, and at least thirty percent by 2010. Currently, alternative fuels consumed in Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFVs) account for less than one percent of total consumption of gasoline. This paper examines how alternative fuel E85 can be used to reverse that trend. In addition, this research paper will take a look at some of the ongoing government decisions concerning the use of the alternative fuel E85, and will discuss what policy makers might hold for the future in terms of the supply and demand of alternative fuels in the United States. This case study will be useful to all stakeholders involved in the transportation industry, including, but not limited to the government, policy makers, automakers, motorists, and researchers, eager to find a just balance with both a better transportation system and a healthy and clean environment."
Date: October 2011
Creator: Travare, Papa S. & Lewis, Sharon

Developing infrastructure for interconnecting transportation network and electric grid

Description: "This report is primarily focused on the development of mathematical models that can be used to support decisions regarding a charging station location and installation problem. The major parts of developing the models included identification of the problem, development of mathematical models in the form of bi-level and stochastic programming problems, and development of a solution approach using a meta-heuristic method."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Damnjanovic, Ivan & Kim, Seok

Investigate existing Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technologies for port cargo inspections

Description: "The goal of this research was to identify the most effective and efficient combination of NII technologies for inspecting cargo arriving at U.S. ports. For this purpose, a discrete-event simulation model was developed to simulate the cargo inspection procedure. By simulating the operations of different combinations of NII technologies, the effectiveness and efficiency of the various combinations were evaluated."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Salehi, Yasamin & Wang, Yubian

Managing commodity risks in highway contracts: quantifying premiums, accounting for correlations among risk factors, and designing optimal price-adjustment contracts

Description: "The main goal of this report is to investigate the impact of commodity price risk on construction cost and the optimal risk hedging of such risks using price adjustment clauses. More specifically, the objective of the report is to develop models that can help highway agencies manage commodity price risks. In this report, weighted least square regression model is used to estimate the risk premium; both univariate and vector time series models are estimated and applied to simulate changes in commodity prices over time, including the effect of correlation; while genetic algorithm is used as a solution approach to a multi-objective optimization formulation. The data set used in this report consists of TxDot bidding data, market-based data including New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) future options data, and Engineering New-Record (ENR) material cost index data. The results of this report suggest that the optimal risk mitigation actions are conditional on owners' risk preferences, correlation among the prices of commodities, and volatility of the market."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Damnjanovic, Ivan & Zhou, Xue

Megaregion freight movements : a case study of the Texas triangle

Description: "U.S. population growth is predicted to substantially increase over the next 40 years, particularly in areas with large regional economies forecasted to contain over two-thirds of the national economic activity. In Texas, population growth from 200 to 2040 is predicted to increase around 72% and produce a diverse population of some 36 million. This will comprise 12% rural and 88% urban, much of it in the 26 metropolitan areas. These population and economic estimates stimulated the exploration of appropriate planning strategies to address the needs of serving such growth, including a macro approach encapsulated in the term mega-regions. Although some planners are skeptical about whether this concept enhances traditional planning, it does merit examination in the freight transportation sector, which tends to get less emphasis in community and regional planning. Texas has at least one mega-region, and the largest-The Texas Triangle, comprising Dallas/Fort Worth-San Antonio-Houston-generates over 60% of the gross stat product. The project will consider the Texas Triangle with an emphasis on maintaining efficient future freight movement and will offer multimodel solutions to moving freight to , between, and within the metropolitan economies of the mega-region to 2050."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Harrison, Robert & Seedah, Dan

Prioritization of highway maintenance functions using multi-attribute decision making with fuzzy pairwise comparison

Description: "As is the case for most of the Departments of Transportation in the U.S., the Texas Department of Transportation has been experiencing fluctuations of budget for maintaining and preserving its highway infrastructure over the recent years. If the maintenance budget shortfall lasts for an extended period of time, the condition of the highway network would be harmed directly or indirectly since some maintenance work would be deferred or canceled. Thus, in order to control and minimize the risk caused by maintenance budget reductions, it is important for highway agencies to adjust their maintenance and rehabilitation policies to accommodate budget fluctuations. This thesis presents a methodological framework that helps highway agencies quantify the risks to highway networks, and revise the highway routine maintenance work plans to minimize the impact of budget fluctuations. The proposed methodology aims to assist highway agencies in prioritizing and selecting maintenance functions according to the risk of not performing a specific maintenance activity. Also, this methodology considers the subjective nature of decision makers' assessments, allowing different levels of confidence and different attitudes toward risk to be captured as the uncertainty and imprecision involved in the decision making process. In the case study, the proposed methodology is tested with a set of data obtained from the Texas Department of Transportation. The result is compared with the outcome obtained from the crisp Analytical Hierarchy Process using the same set of data. The outcomes from the two methodologies are very close, validating the effectiveness of prioritizing highway maintenance functions using Multi-Attribute Analysis with Fuzzy Pairwise Comparison."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Zhang, Zhanmin & Liu, Wenxing

Senior automobile crashes and fatalities in Texas : are older Texas drivers safe?

Description: Many factors can contribute to a senior being involved in a traffic accident, i.e. poor vision, declining health, roadway hazards, and declining driving skills, etc. Throughout the U.S., laws are being enacted to ensure that seniors can continue driving without harming themselves or the general public. Katie's Law (H.B. 84) represents an attempt to make roadways safer for senior drivers in Texas. Katie's Law requires that elderly persons age 79 and over must renew their licenses in person at Department of Safety offices. this study examines data from Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT's) accident records during 2003-2008, to determine if enacting Katie's law resulted in a decrease in senior fatalities, Finally, the study ends by looking at additional senior friendly transportation initiatives.
Date: September 2011
Creator: Goodwin, Gwendolyn C. & Price, Anthony

Testing information to improve communication with communities and decision makers

Description: "This work focuses on important concepts in making information available to decision makers and the public, specifically focused on the Transportation Industry. The emphasis is on the PowerPoint presentation and enhancing the message through this medium. Critical elements include adhering to the assigned time limit, incorporating animation, font size, including images, techniques, and preparation. While much information is available on-line about presentations, audiences at too many transportation meetings view substandard presentations, which likely negatively affect understanding and decision-making. Blending available information, focus group feedback and observations yield a foundation for transportation planners in improving presentations to constituents."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Lewis, Carol Abek & Hall, Kadijah