Category Archives: Policy and Planning

New Project: The Impact of Deferred Maintenance in Minnesota

Expenditures for maintenance are not keeping pace with the needs of the local transportation system. When local governments face fiscal stress, planned maintenance gets postponed to make funding available for other purposes. As deferred maintenance grows, the work and investments needed to bring an asset into a good condition grow too.

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New Project: Autonomous Vehicles – What Should Local Agencies Expect?

Connected Automated Vehicles (CAV) are part of tomorrow’s transportation future happening today. The evolution of vehicle technology is shifting how drivers interact with the infrastructure around them. Local agencies are beginning to respond and anticipate these changes, while CAV manufacturers request to test their vehicles on local roadways further pushing the urgency on local agencies.

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New Project: Assessing the Economic Effects of Context Sensitive Main Street Highways in Small Cities

Complete Streets is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation.

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Cooperative Agreements Bring Benefits and Risks for Local Governments

This article was originally published in Catalyst, July 2020.

Local government contributions for Minnesota’s roadway system have increased in recent years. This includes local spending on trunk highways—the roads under MnDOT’s jurisdiction—that are part of local transportation systems.

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Student Project Analyzes Road-Funding Tools for Small Suburban Cities

This article was originally published in Catalyst, July 2020.

The City of Ramsey is wearing down its roads faster than it can fund their maintenance and construction. In light of this, the city is investigating ways to fund road projects sustainably, and it partnered with the University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) to advance the investigation.

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Knowledge Books Preserve Expertise of Retiring Workers

MnDOT has successfully piloted a European knowledge retention method to preserve the expertise of retiring workers who are subject matter experts. The agency has produced interactive multimedia books that use graphics, video and written material to present valuable information on concrete pavements, asphalt pavements and steel bridges, learned over a person’s entire career, for use by future engineers. 

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Shared Autonomous Vehicles: Dispatch Model Optimizes Service

This article was originally published in Catalyst, May 2020.

Waymo and Uber have started trials of shared autonomous vehicle (SAV) service in several US cities. Without the expense of drivers, autonomous service could one day make the cost of a ride so low that people choose SAVs for their daily transportation needs instead of owning a vehicle.

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Low-Cost Pavement Condition Forecasting Software Eases Local Road Planning

The Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) has added pavement condition forecasting technology to an existing, web-based roadway inventory tool that will enable counties to generate low-cost maps and reports that help them prioritize their work by showing how roadway conditions will look under different construction scenarios for decades to come.

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Asset Management Guide Addresses needs of Local Agencies

The Minnesota Local Road Research Board has published a new guidebook to help local agencies get started on developing a consolidated asset management system. The guide addresses the particular needs of smaller groups to effectively and optimally manage their roadways, buildings, vehicles, equipment and other assets.

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