NJLTAP – Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian Workshop

Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) is a Federal Highway Administration Every Day Counts (EDC-5) initiative.  The NJ Local Technical Assistance Program (NJLTAP), in association with NJDOT and FHWA, is holding an all-day workshop training event on October 31st with an instructor from FHWA Resource Center’s Safety & Design Technical Service Team.  The workshop training will provide an overview of the pedestrian safety crossing problem and identify resources and strategies for addressing it.

Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, and account for more than 16% of all traffic fatalities nationwide. New Jersey is a pedestrian safety focus state, meaning we have more pedestrian fatalities than the national average, at about 25%.  The “Spectacular 7” safety treatments to address pedestrian safety crossing problems will be reviewed. These are:

  • Rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs)
  • Leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs)
  • Crosswalk visibility enhancements
  • Raised crosswalks
  • Pedestrian crossing/refuge islands
  • Pedestrian hybrid beacons
  • Road diets

This is a full-day workshop with a group field exercise where participants will evaluate a nearby location for pedestrian safety and make recommendations for improvement if needed.

Agenda:

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Why STEP: Background and Data
  • Policies and Process
  • STEP Treatments
  • Site Visit
  • Report Out
  • Final Remarks and Evaluation

Instructor: Peter Eun, Transportation Safety Engineer, FHWA Resource Center’s Safety & Design Technical Service Team

Credits: 6 PDH, DCA CPWM credits applied for: 6 technical

There is no fee for this workshop, however advance registration is required.

For more information and to register for the event, visit NJLTAP Training & Events

Data-Driven Safety Analysis: New Jersey Case Study

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), in partnership with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and Burlington County officials, used predictive safety analysis tools to help secure funding for a modern roundabout at a rural intersection.  The intersection of county road 528 and county road 660 in Chesterfield Township had experienced severe crashes and had been identified for improvement in a prior study conducted by the DVRPC. However, state or county construction funding was not available. The team decided to apply for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding. However, HSIP requires a thorough safety analysis of projects before funding approval to ensure the chosen design provides the best benefit/cost ratio.

The analytical effort was recognized by the Federal Highway Administration in both a case study with links to several useful resources and the below video.

FHWA highlighted the data-driven safety analysis used by NJDOT and partners to select a roundabout.

EDC-5: STEP: Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian

Join the NJDOT Bureau of Research on Wednesday, October 30th for a Lunchtime Tech Talk! event on “EDC-5 STEP: Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian.”   This event will feature Peter Eun, a Transportation Safety Engineer with the FHWA Resource Center’s Safety & Design Technical Service Team in Olympia, Washington.  Mr. Eun currently co-leads the EDC-5 STEP initiative which is promoting 7 pedestrian safety treatments in 2019-2020.  He also co-leads the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Focused Approach to Safety.  His talk will explore how the systemic application of cost-effective countermeasures can help reduce pedestrian fatalities at both controlled and signalized crossing locations.

NJ PE and AICP credits are available. The event is free, but please RSVP ahead of time to reserve a seat to attend the event.

EDC-5 STEP: Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian
Date: October 30, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Location:  NJDOT HQ’s Multi-Purpose Room (MPR)
1035 Parkway Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08625

NJ STIC 2019 Summer Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) held its 2019 Summer Meeting on August 8, 2019 in the NJDOT Multi-Purpose Room. The STIC Meeting Agenda was distributed to the attendees.

After Welcome and Opening Remarks, the NJDOT Bureau of Research informed attendees of the results of an online survey distributed in April and May 2019 that sought to identify innovative practices being undertaken by Local Public Agencies (i.e. Regional, County, Municipal). The survey had several goals: to inform the target survey audience of the Every Day Counts (EDC) initiatives; to identify innovative initiatives that deserve greater recognition (news articles, awards) and invite the sharing of lessons learned; to encourage greater deployment of innovations; and to identify presentation topics for upcoming STIC Quarterly Meetings. Indeed, some of the participating respondents identified EDC-5 initiatives that may offer lessons learned that are “ripe” for sharing through future STIC-related presentations, articles, workshops, or peer exchange type events. The survey also revealed some higher priority topics for Local Public Agencies (LPAs) for future presentations, workshops, and other forms of technical assistance. An initiative to further align the LPA's priority topics in subsequent rounds of EDC with future workshops and trainings through the Local Technical Assistance Program was also discussed.

Also of interest to Local Public Agencies, the Bureau of Research informed attendees of the newly established NJDOT Local Aid Resource Center, a new statewide effort designed to serve the needs of the 21 counties and 565 local governments throughout the state. The new Resource Center is available to assist communities with project planning, project delivery, communications, grant applications, guidance through the federal process, and much more.

The FHWA provided a brief update of the status of Every Day Counts (EDC-5) Innovative Initiatives, noting that progress reports were recently submitted for the initial six-month milestone period (January-June, 2019).

Short presentations were given by the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams—Safety, Mobility & Operations, and Infrastructure Preservation—reporting on the activities planned and underway. More detail on the innovative initiatives can be accessed HERE.   The Infrastructure Preservation CIA Team gave a featured presentation on "High Friction Surface Treatments (HFST) that highlighted the benefits, lessons learned and challenges of applying HFST on state roads.

NJ STIC representatives from Local Public Agencies in Princeton Township, Monmouth County and Jackson Township provided a local perspective on EDC-5 innovative initiatives that are being institutionalized. The presentations highlighted key efforts and lessons learned to integrate data-driven safety in project selection in Monmouth County and implement pavement preservation treatment techniques in Jackson Township.

The NJDOT Bureau of Research described some of its recent communications efforts to raise awareness of the NJ STIC. The NJDOT Technology Transfer website contains a section describing the status of Innovative Initiatives through several EDC rounds and an  NJ STIC Outreach and Coordination webpage with information disseminated at recent conferences. The meeting closed with a Roundtable discussion that highlighted how the NJ STIC is evolving and using its outreach and communications tools (e.g., website, videos, trainings and workshops, and Tech Talk events) to further disseminate innovative practices among its diverse set of stakeholders.

The next STIC meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2019.

The NJ STIC Summer Meeting Presentations can be found here or in sections below along with some videos of skid measurement and the application of HFST shown during the High Friction Surface Treatments feature presentation.

Welcome; Roundtable Recap; STIC Survey; FHWA Update

CIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Feature Presentation: High Friction Surface Treatment

Feature Local Presentation: EDC 5 Innovations

Outreach & Coordination Efforts; Roundtable

Drone Program Reaches New Heights, Seeks to Go Higher

In May 2016 the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Division of Multimodal Services established the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program as a unit within the Bureau of Aeronautics.  The UAS program coordinator position was created within the Bureau of Aeronautics to lead NJDOT’s UAS initiatives. This position was established to provide leadership, guidance, and coordination for division flight operations. Other responsibilities of the position include ensuring compliance with state and federal aviation regulations, coordinating FAA airspace waivers and authorizations, assisting RFP efforts when contracting consultants, and informing NJDOT of public perception and liability.

In standing up the program, a survey was distributed to all other NJDOT Divisions to identify potential missions that could benefit from the integration of UAS. The 38 survey responses were analyzed and condensed into common mission categories such as structural inspections and construction project management. The missions were also evaluated to determine whether the use case had the potential to improve safety, increase efficiency, save time and save money for their routine operations. A suitable mission profile was developed and risk analysis conducted to create pilot projects for testing.

An early NJDOT study revealed the cost-effectiveness of high mast light pole inspections

UAS brings new tools forward for 3-D “Reality Modeling” with photogrammetry.

Initially, pilot project flights were conducted in support of structural evaluations, construction project management, traffic management, and watershed evaluations.   Valuable lessons were garnered from these initial pilot projects.  For example, a study of the benefits of using UAS for high-mast light pole inspections (HMLP) was shared with FHWA and a topic covered in NJDOT’s presentation at an invite-only national peer exchange held in Washington DC by the FHWA in 2018.

NJDOT’s UAS Coordinator, Glenn Stott, who had previously organized and hosted an NJDOT Peer Exchange on UAS, was invited to participate in the national peer exchange.  HMLP inspections, Stott observed, could be performed more quickly and less expensively than by traditional means. Cost savings include lost productivity due to the traveling public experiencing congestion issues. One advantage of UAS inspections is that they do not require shutting down a travel lane for a bucket truck to occupy. Furthermore, a UAS inspection only requires a crew of three to complete an inspection: two controllers: one pilot and one engineer, each with a camera and screen, and a third visual observer to monitor the site. Using this method, NJDOT was able to complete six or seven inspections per day compared with one or two using traditional methods, contributing to “significant” cost savings.

Going forward under EDC-5, the goal of the NJDOT UAS Program is the institutionalization of UAS technology and its integration throughout NJDOT operations. NJDOT hopes to leverage recently awarded STIC incentive funding to remove barriers in equipment and training toward advancing several potential use cases, including:

  • Survey Rendering of 3D Models. 3D modelling is a valuable tool that saves time and money by cutting person-hours and eliminating rework for transportation projects. 3D modeling of bridge decks and infrastructure is becoming a cost-effective inspection method for evaluating bridge decks to detect delamination in concrete. Using the right UAS technology, 3D modeling can rapidly determine the volume of stockpiles with a high degree of accuracy. Georgia DOT reports that that select UAS equipment can match GPS and LIDAR survey equipment and found the UAS reported volumes were within 1 percent of the traditional methods.
  • Watershed Resiliency. In March of 2018 NJDOT conducted several UAS photography missions along Routes 80 and 23 to support a Watershed Resiliency Analysis. Traditional photos were taken, but a thermal imaging capability would allow the NJDOT to more accurately determine the extent of flooding along our state highways. Thermal imaging overlays can more accurately define the extent of highway runoff and flooding issues. Thermal imaging is a better tool to detect water through the tall grass in flooded areas. Minnesota DOT has researched this use case and the NJDOT would like to expand on this research.

    Field tours demonstrate UAS capabilities to staff and partnering organizations.

  • Bat Counts Under Bridges. North Carolina is using infrared thermography to conduct counts on bat populations under bridges. New Federal regulations require state DOT’s to ensure they do not disturb a protected species while conducting inspections. The NJDOT Division of Environmental Resources has requested UAS assistance in conducting bat counts under bridges because they live in high and dark areas. A thermal imaging camera mounted on a UAS will confirm the presence of bats and should allow the counting of individual bats in near total darkness by detecting their body heat.
  • Thermal Inspections of Concrete Bridge Decks. Infrared thermography of bridge decks is becoming a valuable and cost-effective inspection method for evaluating bridge decks to detect delamination in concrete. The delamination photos can be rendered by addition of higher-end gaming computers into a 3D model that can be used to determine the exact location of each delamination.
  • Large Potholes and Longitudinal Joint Separations. The efficient identification of large potholes and longitudinal joints would require autonomous UAS that can be programmed to safely fly over long distances. Current regulations require small UAS to fly within the line of sight of the operator which makes this use case currently very inefficient and not cost-effective.
  • Thermal Imaging for Paving Project Management. DelDOT is examining the use of UAS to detect significant thermal anomalies during the laying of new asphalt. The UAS would take standard photographs and thermal photos of the same area. The photos would then be compared to detect potential quality issues in the new pavement. Sets of thermal and visual photos can be rendered through higher end gaming computers into a 3D model that can be used to generate a guide sheet to make it easier for work crews quickly find each problem area at the work site.
  • Construction Project Management. Several on-site inspectors, resident engineers, and traffic engineers have commented that the tiny UAS screen located on the UAS controller is difficult for a field team to view. A larger monitor mounted in the rear of the UAS Program vehicle can allow supervisors, upper management, and other non-participants to safely view UAS output in real time without interfering with the movement of the UAS crew.

Three years after its establishment, New Jersey’s UAS Program, continues to reach new heights as it discovers how it can effectively work with NJDOT’s divisions and bureaus to improve safety, increase efficiency, save time and save money in routine operations.  The UAS program challenges both the agency’s leaders and staff to adapt to new technologies, seek the training to develop new skills, and find new ways to collaborate to advance innovations in its transportation operations.

E-Construction and Partnering Peer Exchange

State DOTs presented on e-construction initiatives.

On June 11 and 12th, NJDOT hosted a Peer Exchange on e-Construction and Partnering with the support of FHWA’s designated subject matter expert and support team.  During the two-day event, representatives of five state DOTs and the FHWA NJ division office convened to highlight and share current practices, policies and procedures, funding sources, and implementation challenges (see Agenda).

In welcoming participants, NJDOT laid out several topics of interest for the peer exchange.  NJDOT explained that it had recently completed a pilot project using mobile devices in the field.  For that pilot effort, inspectors were able to input inspection data and create reports. The pilot study demonstrated that field data should be captured as quickly as possible, rather than wait until the inspector returns to the office.  NJDOT also sought more insights on using digital signatures securely to further its objective of implementing digital processes and advancing, eventually, toward a paperless system.  The department’s e-Builder process is just getting started with a rollout for construction in the next 3-4 months. NJDOT is also currently collecting data and information about e-ticketing.  With all of this, NJDOT made clear its interest in looking to share and understand lessons learned from other state DOTs to eliminate redundancies and missteps.

NJDOT also gave an overview of its vision for e-construction and how it seeks to use its Project Management Reporting System (PMRS) with e-Builder for final plans and specifications and AASHTOware Project for bid, award, and construction.  Similarly, the participating DOT attendees — Georgia, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky — described their agency’s experience with various e-construction systems, covering such topics as:  digital signatures; electronic approvals and signatures; cost sharing and partnering; mobile devices; and e-ticketing.

The event provided an opportunity to delve deeply into the technologies with peer agencies, exploring the major benefits, key challenges and lessons learned in implementing select systems. For NJDOT, the event led to several takeaways in relationship to implementation of e-Builder for construction; e-ticketing and data requirements; and building effective collaborative relationships with various bureaus and contractors, among other topics.

Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Safety Service Patrol Workers Continues

Video screenshot of hazard display message received

The rise of crowdsourced navigation applications and connected vehicle applications provide new opportunities to relay road service safety information to the motoring public.  NJDOT has initiated a Connected Vehicle: Road Service Safety Message pilot study that evaluates the effectiveness of using connected vehicle technology to alert the motoring public to the presence of safety service workers at an incident site. NJDOT is piloting the use of a Beacon Hazard Lights technology to alert drivers to the presence of workers when safety service vehicles turn on their hazard lights. The piloting of the technology has received the support of the NJ State Innovation Council (NJ STIC) and a STIC Incentive Funding grant of $39,600 awarded by FHWA.

The primary objective behind the initiative is to inform the public of the presence of Safety Service Patrol (SSP) personnel thru various services and applications that share real-time traffic and roadway information once they have responded to an incident or to help a motorist.  A short demonstration video of how a technology-equipped NJDOT safety service vehicle interfaces with crowdsourcing platforms in the field can be accessed here.

Periodic interim reports for the pilot study are being prepared to evaluate the technology’s application during the STIC grant period. Previously, NJDOT and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) personnel conducted a field evaluation of the technology following the device-equipped SSP vehicle then subsequently maintained a data log of the device’s activity in the field and through mobile and web-based interfaces.  In continuation of this effort, the NJIT team proceeded with a similar analysis by studying the correlation between the data recorded via the device log and the crowdsourced navigation applications web-based interface. In addition, the radio logs maintained by the Safety Service Patrol were used to further support this evaluation effort.

 

EDC-4 Final Report Highlights Innovations

The EDC-4 Final Report highlights the results of round four of the Every Day Counts program to rapidly deploy proven innovations to enhance the transportation system. “Every Day Counts: An Innovation Partnership With States” documents progress in accelerating the implementation of 11 innovations in 2017 and 2018 and success stories from States across the country.  View the report’s maps and highlights to learn how innovation implementation was advanced across the country.

New Jersey’s use of “Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC)” for the Pulaski Skyway deck replacement in northern New Jersey is a featured “Innovation Spotlight” example in this national report.  The report highlights NJDOT’s use of precast deck panels connected with UHPC, stainless steel rebar, and a polyester concrete overlay to maximize the durability of the new deck and minimize the need for future repairs and traffic disruption.  The project is recognized as the largest user of UHPC to date in North America.  Moreover, in 2012, when NJDOT selected UHPC for the Pulaski Skyway only five other transportation agencies had used UHPC for bridge construction.  Since then, the skyway has served as an informative example for other agencies. NJDOT continues to use UHPC connections and completed five other bridges in 2018, bringing the State’s total to nine bridges.

An online version of the FHWA report is viewable here.

 

Get Oriented with EDC-5 Innovations – Webinars and Baseline Report

In June 2018, FHWA announced the fifth round of Every Day Counts Innovations (EDC-5). From September 10-26, 2018, the agency held Orientation Webinars, 90-minute sessions to introduce each EDC-5 innovation area. The EDC-5 website posted webinar recordings, factsheets, and presentation slides following each session.

See the full list of orientation webinars for EDC-5 innovations here.

Every two years, FHWA works with state departments of transportation and other public and private stakeholders to identify innovative technologies that merit widespread deployment. State Transportation Innovation Councils (STICs) in all fifty states then meet to evaluate these innovations and lead deployment efforts.

Innovations for EDC-5 include weather-responsive management strategies, collaborative hydraulics, rural roadway departures, advanced geotechnical exploration methods, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), virtual public involvement, use of crowdsourcing to advance operations, project bundling, Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP), and value capture of transportation.

In Fall 2018, transportation leaders and front-line professionals from across the country gathered at five Regional Summits to discuss the EDC-5 innovations, exchange ideas with industry counterparts, and provide feedback to FHWA on resources needed to support innovation adoption.

The NJDOT team attended the Regional Summit in Albany, New York. Following the summits, New Jersey finalized its selection of innovations, established performance goals for the level of implementation and adoption over the upcoming two-year cycle, and initiated its efforts to implement the innovations with the support and assistance of the technical teams established for each innovation.

In the Spring of 2019, the FHWA issued a summary report, EDC-5 Summit Summary and Baseline Report that describes the Regional Summits and indicates the priority innovations for deployment being taken by the individual states.

NJ STIC 2019 Spring Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council recently held its 2019 Spring Meeting.  After the welcome and introductions, the FHWA provided a brief update of the status of Every Day Counts (EDC-5) Innovative Initiatives, noting that progress reports are quickly approaching for the initial six-month milestone period (January-June, 2019).

Short presentations were given by the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams -- Safety, Mobility & Operations, and Infrastructure Preservation -- reporting on the activities planned and underway to meet commitments for the current EDC-5 round.  The Mobility & Operations CIA Team gave a featured presentation on "Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs)" that described current research in-progress that seeks to identify and develop metrics, guidelines, and deployment strategies for real-time monitoring of traffic signal performance based on existing infrastructure resources and the transportation agency's needs. 

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the Burlington County Engineering Office jointly delivered the featured Local Public Agency presentation on "Signal Timing in Burlington County". The presentation described a traffic signal timing optimization project funded through DVRPC that followed a six-step signal timing process.  The project used a rapid field assessment method that involved real-time coordination with traffic operations control to fine-tune signal timings to safely improve travel times.   Key findings, lessons and the benefits of the project as well as a before and after video demonstrating improved travel times were shared with those in attendance.

The Bureau of Research described recent outreach and coordination efforts being taken at the National STIC network level and by the New Jersey STIC to raise awareness of the EDC-5 Innovative Initiatives, model practices and available resources.  The NJDOT Technology Transfer website's NJ STIC Outreach and Coordination webpage has more information on these activities.   To foster knowledge-sharing, attendees were also encouraged to complete the "STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey" that was launched recently.  The survey is targeted to Local Public Agencies and seeks to identify examples of successful implementation of innovative practices, among other topics.  The meeting closed with a Roundtable discussion that highlighted the value that the NJ STIC can bring in convening and sharing innovative practices among its diverse set of stakeholders.

The next two upcoming STIC meetings are scheduled for August 8 and November 19, 2019.

The NJ STIC Spring Meeting Presentations can be found here or in sections below along with Burlington County's before and after video of their signal optimization.

 

Welcome; Roundtable Recap; FHWA Update

CIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Automated Signal Timing Performance Measures

Signal Timing in Burlington County

Outreach & Coordination Efforts; STIC Survey; Roundtable