Posts filed under ‘Highway Engineering’

How Engineers are Fighting Traffic

We have been asked NJIT to post this great and informative infrographic that they have produced.  As you may know 25% of road congestion is caused by traffic collisions. Autonomous cars are one of the many technologies that will hopefully lead to a reduction in collisions and congestion. The Google car is said to have only been involved in 11 accidents during the 1.7 million miles the cars have traveled.

As you can see, by 2050 70% of populace will drive 4 million vehicles through urban areas and this is just one of the reasons that it is critical for the congestion problems to be improved. The graphic also shows many of the ways that engineers are trying to overcome this national problem.

Road Congestion Relief: How Engineers are Fighting Traffic (Click on InfoGraphic for larger view)

Congested roadways are common problems that all drivers have to deal with. Whether commuting to work or enjoying a leisurely drive through the city, it is a problem that causes a great deal of stress and unnecessary frustration. However, while it is still a large problem, many engineers are dedicating their time and resources to identifying why this problem exists and what they can do to make the problem more manageable for drivers in everyday situations. By understanding the statistics that surround road congestion problems, both engineers and drivers will be that much closer to determining how a solution can be reached. To learn more about how engineers are helping relieve traffic congestion problems, checkout the infographic below created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Masters in Civil Engineering Online degree program.

 

Road-Congestion-Relief-Infographic_final

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May 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm 1 comment

Sustainable Highways, Transportation & GREENROADS?

The CivilEngineeringCentral.com blogs have often discussed the need for sustainable transportation in the US. Whether we discussed transit, high speed rail, the SCHWEEB or SkyTran, we are fascinated with the concept of finding a way to be better to our planet while getting where we need to go when we want to get there. One thing is for sure, the majority of us will not give up our cars and highways will always be needed.

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) has developed the Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool, INVEST (Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool), version 1. INVEST was built using the FHWA concept of sustainability. FHWA describes how sustainability in highways:

A sustainable highway should be planned or replaced, financed, designed, constructed, inspected, operated and maintained in a way that provides sustainable benefits related to three principles: Social, Environmental, and Economic. 

 with the understanding that highways are one part of transportation infrastructure, and transportation is one aspect of meeting human needs. In addition to addressing environmental and natural resource needs, the development of a sustainable highway should focus on access (not just mobility), moving people and goods (not just vehicles), and providing people with transportation choices, such as safe and comfortable routes for walking, cycling, and transit.

Sustainable transportation may be described or defined in many ways that broadly address environmental, social and economic impacts, safety, affordability, and accessibility of transportation services. Transportation agencies address sustainability through a wide range of initiatives, such as ITS, livability, smart growth, recycling, planning and environment linkages…Transportation planning processes that incorporate these values and integrate the elements of sustainability should be the foundation from which to implement sustainability decisions as a project moves forward. Measures of project success include a wide range of indicators, such as travel performance, gains achieved through material selection, and construction methods.

Are you familiar with GREENROADS and the GREENROADS rating system? Do you think it is worthwhile to worry about sustainability  with our highways and “promote environmental stewardship, accountability and integrity”  or is this just another “roadblock” to development?

 By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
  View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

August 15, 2012 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

Traffic Fatalities Report – How Are Civil Engineers Saving Lives?

 
 Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com

View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

A report released on April 1st by the US Department of Transportation concluded that US traffic fatalities are its lowest level since 1949. 

The basis for this decline, and some  noted in the report, are numerous:

*  The Recession – People travel less during down a down economy 

*  Technology – Employers now allow employees to work from home more often as they can easily log into a secure server and be as equally productive at a lower cost to the employer

* Vigilant Drunk Driving Enforcement – Recent  legislation makes the legal limit .08 in all states and those guilty of drunk driving are being held more accountable for their actions…and rightfully so!

* Improved Vehicle Safety – Three-point seatbelts now required in all cars; airbags in many cars now envelop passengers; advanced design of the outer shell

Tradition shows that traffic engineers, transportation planners, and highway engineers also play a major role in highway safety by:

* Designing improved barrier systems via 3D modeling

* Better controlling traffic at access points

* Better controlling traffic through construction zones

* Applying ITS programs to enhance highway safety

* Developing public transit alternatives (i.e. HSR) that appeal to the public

For those of us who are not engineers, for those who are currently studying or looking to study civil engineering in college,  and for those engineers whose area of expertise falls outside of transportation, what are some of the current and future innovations from a civil / transportation engineering perspective that have contributed to this decline and that will hopefully contribute to the future decline of this statistic? 

This blog is receives over 5,000 visitors each month, most of which are civil engineering professionals.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this very topic and hopefully for generating some great discussion!

 

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

April 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm 5 comments

Is There A Future in Civil/Structural Shweebeneering?

By Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC, home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

Wooooo Hooooo! Let's Shweeb!

Wooooo Hooooo! Let's Shweeb!

Well, you can thank this week’s blog to my new hobby of “tweeting.”  One of the other professionals that I follow made a “tweet” that led to a way cool website whose idea is worth mentioning.  The future of this “pod in the sky”  is likely “pie in the sky,” but it makes one wonder what the future of transportation could look like.

Pollution, carbon emissions, global warming, traffic congestion, green cars…these are all the industry headlines that plaster the Internet and your favorite trade publications every week.  Well, a group of engineers and designers in New Zealand have created a mode of transportation that eliminates nearly all of the environmental concerns that are under such scrutiny today.  No, it’s not a magic carpet ( how sweet would that be?).  And it’s more primitive and environmentally efficient than SkyTran.  Ladies and Gentleman, I introduce to you…

THE SHWEEB

The world’s first human powered monorail, The Shweeb is “the most efficient vehicle on earth, the most inexpensive infrastructure of any proposed urban transit and one of the highest capacity systems available – potentially delivering thousand’s of people per hour in a very small airspace. All this with zero carbon emissions and no parking worries or cost!”

Six years in the making, entrepreneur and design team leader Geoffrey Barnett finally constructed The Shweeb in 2007 ” in direct response to the transportation needs of today and the future.”   As of today, The Shweeb concept is Shweeb3 nothing more than a ride at an adventure park in New Zealand.  But  Barnett and his team are convinced that The Shweeb is the way of the  future.  This is definitely a very cool concept that on the surface would solve many of  the traffic and congestion and environmental pollution problems that  we face today.  It would also be an emerging engineering concept that possibly would challenge and excite transportation engineers of all types.

Environmentally speaking, this is a great idea, but Clearly Geoffrey and his team have their work cut out for them as they continue to push this concept of a human powered monorail system.  Personally speaking, I am skeptical at best. The “pod” itself that one drives in has little to be desired in the way of comfort and the issues are infinite- what happens if the chain or the pedals break – would Triple A (AAA) show up?  How would one travel with family or clients?  And what about ventilation? Plus, I have no desire to show up for work or a lunch meeting as a soaking wet sweat ball!  We would need Xzibit and the crew from the MTV show Pimp My Ride to develop some nice custom Shweeb vehicles to better suit our needs 🙂 !

Check out The Shweeb in action:

I read on Gizmodo.com, “Well, thank your lucky stars that the people who run our cities have at least some sense in their heads, because it would be highly doubtful for this to appear in the flesh anytime soon.”

Do you believe this engineering concept will ever come to fruition in any way, shape or form as an alternative form of transportation within our urban communities? Or is it merely a pipe dream that will never get beyond the gates of a Six Flags amusement park?

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civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

July 29, 2009 at 4:00 am 8 comments

Can You Name That Highway?

By Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC, home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

My father and grandfather were chemical engineers, my younger brother studied civil engineering, my older sister scored over 1400 on her SAT’s.  Apparently that “smart” gene, along with the gene that provides a full head of hair, managed to bypass me.   Though I never even had the chance to be an engineer, I have always been fascinated with the final products that are churned out by architects, engineers and construction professionals.  I remember a couple of years ago when we were developing the website for Precision Executive Search and I was in search of some cool aerial photos of some crazy interchanges.  We ended up going with photos of bridges to go along with our tag line of “Bridging The Gap,”  but we found some pretty amazing photos that we ended up not using.   Besides my intrigue with long span bridges, highway tunnels, elevated highways and uniquely designed and structurally sound buildings, I am even more fascinated with the design and construction of the interchanges that can be found in some of the most traveled areas across the globe.  What our audience of civil engineering professionals is capable of accomplishing is nothing short of amazing to me.  

So, after perusing  the Internet I came across some cool videos (accompanied by music, so turn down your speakers if you are in cube world)  that blast through some of the craziest highways and interchanges around the globe.  I began to wonder,

Who within our blogosphere could identify some of these interchanges?


 Maybe you designed or built one of them, maybe you proposed or bid on one of them,  maybe you attended a conference where it was profiled, or, maybe you hit it up every day on your way to work.  Whatever the case may be, I would like to challenge you to….

 

NAME THAT INTERCHANGE!!

 

Thanks for participating…we look forward to your responses!

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March 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm 4 comments


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