January 2018
To park or to develop is a key question for transit station area planning. While park-and-ride facilities are one of the primary ways that transit riders reach stations, using the surrounding land for development allows passengers to shop or do other activities and can help reduce auto dependence. U of M researchers studied how far park-and-ride users are willing to walk, which factors influence that willingness, and which factors are the most important to park-and-ride users’ decision to walk.
Members of the public often hear news about the deteriorating state of the nation’s infrastructure, but in general they are unaware of the efforts and costs required to maintain and operate the transportation systems they rely on every day. In a recent study, U of M researchers sought to better understand stakeholder attitudes, knowledge, and engagement about financing for local road system management.
Choosing the best or most cost-effective pothole repair method is complicated. To help solve this puzzle, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of different methods based on durability, road safety, ride quality, and driver satisfaction. Using the findings, they then developed decision trees in both flowchart and flash card form to help road crews choose the most suitable method for each repair and compiled best practice guidelines.
The U of M Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships recently began a project that connects small- and medium-sized farms to wholesale markets using existing infrastructure. The pilot project is the first in the nation to develop and test “backhauling” as a way to help these farms get their produce to wholesalers for wider distribution.