July 2014 Catalyst

July 2014
The Green Line officially began service on June 14, linking downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis and running through the heart of the University of Minnesota campus along Washington Avenue—and right by the CTS offices. There are three stops on campus: the Stadium Village Station (just east of TCF Bank Stadium), the East Bank Station (on Washington Avenue between Harvard and Union streets), and the West Bank Station (on Washington Avenue between 19th and Cedar avenues). More than 225 light rail trains will glide through campus each weekday.
Thinking about how today’s changes may shape the future of transportation is more important than ever. “It’s critical that we understand the significance of things that are taking place and prepare for what may come,” said former Utah Department of Transportation CEO John Njord in the opening session of the CTS research conference. Njord spearheaded the Transportation Research Board’s “Foresight” project—part of the organization’s forward-looking NCHRP Report 750 Series. The project looks at the impacts of factors such as declining gas-tax revenues, self-driving cars, and perhaps most importantly—the possibility that Americans are losing their appetite for driving.
Pedestrian crossings are an important feature of the multimodal transportation system, enabling pedestrians and bicyclists to safely access destinations on either side of streets or highways. To help Minnesota transportation agencies evaluate pedestrian crossings and determine where improvements are warranted, the Minnesota Local Road Research Board funded the development of a new guidebook for practitioners. The guidebook is designed around an 11-step evaluation process that engineers can use to evaluate an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing location in a systematic way.
During the past decade, a number of major weather events have disrupted or damaged transportation networks. According to staff scientist Joe Casola with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, in some cases trends in the frequency or intensity of these events can be linked to longer-term changes in the climate, while in all cases the events demonstrate the vulnerabilities associated with our transportation infrastructure and services. During the luncheon presentation of the CTS research conference, Casola outlined some of the climate trends that will affect our nation’s transportation systems and identified a number of ways to build resilience into transportation systems.
Publication Credits 

Publisher/Director: Laurie McGinnis
Managing Editor: Pamela Snopl
Editors: Christine Anderson, Amy Friebe, Michael McCarthy
Designer: Cadie Adhikary
Freelance Writer: Megan Tsai