Since 2020, the AASHTO Committee on Environment and Sustainability has held a weekly webinar series throughout the month of September with each week’s segment hosted by one of its four subcommittees. This year, when the Cultural Resources Subcommittee sat down to plan their webinar, it became clear that there was one topic on everyone’s mind– and that was: Post-World War II construction (and what to do with it).
The Cultural Resources webinar on the topic illuminated the desire for more resources on how to best deal with post war construction as a practitioner. As such, the subcommittee is conducting their own nationwide survey of the state DOTs on their post war practices and protocols. Heading up that effort is Scott Williams, Cultural Resources Program Manager, Washington State Department of Transportation. Scott joins us on the AASHTO’s ETAP podcast to tell us about the project.
Laura Chace, president and CEO of ITS America, joins the ITE Talks Transportation podcast to discuss the MobilityXX Pledge, an initiative led by ITS America, The Ray and WTS to advance the role of women as leaders within the transportation industry. She also talks about current priorities at ITS America, including integrating new technologies under the Infrastructure and Investment Act, and the future of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. Laura also touches on how ITE can continue to partner with her organization to empower transportation professionals to improve their communities.
This year’s meeting will be of particular interest to environmental practitioners and is titled: Innovating an Equitable, Resilient, Sustainable, and Safe Transportation System. With over 800 information sessions and meetings, TRB will cover a wide array of topics across all modes within this year’s theme.
“One of the significant advantages of serving as AASHTO president is that it gives me a platform to address issues that matter,” says Dr. Shawn Wilson.
Dr. Wilson is the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and was elected AASHTO’s first African American president in October. During his tenure as president, Dr. Wilson will be facing ‘issues that matter’ head on. Each year the incoming AASHTO president identifies emphasis areas that will be the focus of their term; Dr. Wilson’s emphasis areas are Pathways to Equity and Partnering to Deliver. He, along with AASHTO Vice President Roger Millar of Washington State DOT, will work with AASHTO and the states to promote equity and to encourage participation in non-traditional partnerships.
Kelley Coyner, CEO and founder of Innovation4Mobility, discusses the current state of autonomous vehicle (AV) development and deployment, and how this technology marries accessibility, connectivity, electrification, and “shareability” to get the best possible outcome from our transportation system. She also touches on low-speed AVs in transit, including case study examples where these autonomous vehicles are being utilized to improve mobility and the quality of life in communities. Finally, Kelley ties the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to the critical ways in which US infrastructure needs to be improved for more widespread use of AVs.
From loss of sleep to loss of hearing, noise can pose a real threat. Recent studies have even identified a possible link between noise exposure and dementia. Traffic noise is a major contributor to noise pollution that fuels these negative health outcomes. Tires hitting pavement make up the majority of highway noise. Better modeling and barriers can work to mitigate this for folks living near areas with high levels of noise and DOT practitioners are working toward such solutions for all affected. Joining us on the podcast today is Noel Alcala, Noise and Air Quality Coordinator at Ohio Department of Transportation. Noel also heads the AASHTO Noise Working Group, which operates under the Committee on Environment and Sustainability. The noise working group convenes state DOTs and promotes discourse on, and works in reducing traffic noise and its negative effects. Reach out to Noel and the Noise Working Group at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ITE’s Lisa Fontana Tierney and Kevin Hooper discuss the newly released 11th edition of ITE’s Trip Generation Manual on this episode of the ITE Talks Transportation podcast. They address the significantly expanded database including person, walk, bicycle, transit, motor vehicle, and truck trip generation and characteristics associated with an individual development site or land use. They also highlight the expanded database including new and reclassified land uses as well as the addition of several land use subcategories. Lisa and Kevin also provide an overview of the updated features of the ITETripGen web app, which helps the analyst access trip generation data plots and supplemental trip generation materials more quickly and easily.
Joining us today to discuss the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (or IIJA) is Joung Lee, AASHTO’s Director of Policy and Government Relations. This episode of AASHTO’s ETAP Podcast was recorded while the House of Representatives was reviewing the IIJA. As the bill works its way to President Biden’s desk, AASHTO has been working to represent the interests of state DOTs, and has done so quite successfully. Four out of five of the Association’s core priorities have been incorporated into the most recent version of the bill.
Mark Hoffman, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Auburn University, and his graduate research assistant Karl Bohnenberger have been studying one of the lesser known contributors to poor fuel economy: rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is a measure of the effort required to keep a tire rolling. It might not grab headlines, but rolling resistance has a substantial impact on emissions and energy use. According to the US Department of Energy, conventionally fueled vehicles use up 11% of their fuel to keep their tires rolling, while electric vehicles use up to 25% of their energy for this purpose. As a result, reducing rolling resistance, as well as quality research on the subject, presents a valuable opportunity to improve vehicle efficiency and reduce the transportation sector’s carbon footprint. On this episode of AASHTO’s ETAP Podcast, Mark and Karl join us to chat about rolling resistance reduction as an attainable step toward a sustainable future.