January 2014 Catalyst

January 2014
Although bike share systems are becoming more popular across the United States, little is known about how people make decisions when integrating these systems into their daily travel. For example, when more than one bike share station is located nearby, how do users choose where to begin their trip, and what factors affect their decision? In a study funded by CTS, U of M researchers sought to answer this question by investigating how people use the Nice Ride bike share system in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The project included an examination of Nice Ride’s affects on job accessibility and the development of a model to predict station choice.
New streetcar lines are in the planning stages in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Proponents cite not only the lines’ ability to strengthen the transit system, but also their potential as catalysts for development. Estimating the impacts of streetcars is challenging, however, as most U.S. lines operate in downtown areas with many interrelated factors at play. A recent U of M research project examined the issue through the prism of one city’s experience: post-Katrina New Orleans.
Roundabouts are a fairly recent addition to the road system in the United States, and their relative newness has made them a topic of discussion and debate. While roundabouts dramatically reduce the incidence of fatal and severe-injury crashes compared to traditional signalized intersections, drivers continue to misunderstand the rules of the roundabout, resulting in improper use and avoidable collisions. In a recent study, researchers in the Minnesota Traffic Observatory at the U of M examined driving behavior and safety before and after signing and striping changes were applied at a two-lane roundabout in Richfield, Minnesota.
In the not-too-distant future, your car will warn you if you’re getting drowsy, remember where potholes are on your route home, and apply the brakes at intersections. Advanced driver-assist systems combined with “big data” are moving us quickly to this day—offering the possibility to greatly reduce crashes or even make them a thing of the past. At the CTS Fall Luncheon, Luca Delgrossi from Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America gave his perspective of where we stand today, what’s in development, and when to expect it on the road.
Publication Credits 

Publisher/Director: Laurie McGinnis

Managing Editor: Pamela Snopl

Editors: Christine Anderson, Amy Friebe, Michael McCarthy

Designer: Cadie Adhikary

Student Intern: Lexi Gusso

Freelance Writer: Megan Tsai