July 2016 Catalyst

July 2016
Unemployed, transit-dependent workers are often caught between a rock and a hard place: they may be qualified for suburban jobs they have no way to get to, but unqualified for downtown jobs they could easily reach by transit. These two statements describe the interconnected problems of spatial mismatch and skills mismatch. In a new study, U of M experts analyzed conditions in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and laid out an approach for reconciling those mismatches by coordinating transit planning, job training, and job placement services.
A series of roundtable discussions hosted by the Humphrey School’s State and Local Policy Program investigated the policy impacts of new transportation technologies. The roundtables specifically explored the impacts of the digital infrastructure and self-driving vehicles. Discussion topics included opportunities and obstacles for improved mobility and access for people who cannot drive, possible impacts of self-driving vehicles on urban form, and broader impacts of the digital infrastructure on the physical infrastructure.
While two-lane roundabouts almost always reduce fatal and severe crashes, they can also lead to a substantial increase in minor crashes. To help combat this problem, researchers with the Roadway Safety Institute are investigating solutions for reducing crashes at two-lane urban roundabouts. The research, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, began in 2011 with a troublesome two-lane roundabout in Richfield, Minnesota—at the time, one of the few modern urban roundabouts in the Twin Cities.
Gridlock Buster, an online traffic control game that teaches middle and high school students about traffic control, has a new look! The newly redesigned game features updated, more user-friendly graphics and can now be played on tablets and mobile devices. Gridlock Buster incorporates tools and ideas used by traffic control engineers in their daily work to teach students what it’s like to manage traffic flow.
Publication Credits 

Publisher/Director: Laurie McGinnis
Catalyst Editors: Pamela Snopl, Christine Anderson
Contributing Editors: Amy Friebe, Michael McCarthy
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Freelance Writer: Megan Tsai
Web Team: Toni Prekker, Savannah Brausen