October 2012 Catalyst

October 2012
Since the completion of the I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge in September 2008, University of Minnesota researchers have been using “smart bridge” technology to collect and analyze data about the bridge’s structural behavior in a project funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The research team has analyzed data from more than 500 sensors installed in the bridge, and the resulting information could impact future bridge designs and monitoring plans.
Research on bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the City of Minneapolis is helping policymakers and planners make better decisions about when and where to invest in nonmotorized transportation infrastructure. Led by Greg Lindsey, a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, a team of researchers used infrared counters to collect data on the use of Minneapolis trails by cyclists and pedestrians.
When a light-rail transit line begins service, surrounding neighborhoods often see significant gains in mobility and accessibility, but other effects may be less desirable. Researchers have measured these neighborhood changes using objective data, but few have examined neighborhood residents’ self-reported perceptions. To fill this knowledge gap and provide data for policymakers, University of Minnesota researchers surveyed residents and businesses along four Twin Cities transitway corridors.
What if your cell phone and social network could help deliver packages for you? This may be more likely, easier, and more beneficial to the environment than you might think, researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and Seoul National University report in Environmental Science & Technology. The study used models to investigate the potential environmental benefits of enlisting social networks to help deliver packages.
Publication Credits 

Publisher/DirectorLaurie McGinnis

Managing EditorPamela Snopl

EditorsChristine Anderson, Amy Friebe, Michael McCarthy

DesignerCadie Adhikary

Student InternsKristin Havercamp, Nicola Losik

WriterMegan Tsai