Category Archives: Policy and Planning

New Project: Assessment of Pedestrian Safety and Driver Behavior Near Automated Vehicles

With the number of automated vehicles increasing on our roadways it is important to understand their potential impacts and how other road users will interact with them. In the future, there will be a more pronounced shared levels-of-automation transportation network, with fully manual, partially automated, and fully automated vehicles sharing the same Minnesota roads. While planners and engineers have a reasonable idea of how humans drive around other humans, what is not as well-known is human driving behavior around automated vehicles.

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CTS Webinar: The Health and Transportation Nexus—A Unified Model Integrating Multiple Mechanisms for Collaborative Planning

Transportation is a crucial contributor to health: it not only directly shapes the social and physical environments in myriad ways, but it also determines the types of places where people can live, learn, work, and play in their everyday life.

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Museum Exhibit Reveals I-35W’s Impact on a South Minneapolis Community

This article was originally published in Catalyst, February 2022.

Many Minnesotans have driven on I-35W through Minneapolis without giving any thought to how the freeway was built—or the impact it’s had on the community. Thanks to the work of several U of M researchers and Twin Cities residents, we now have the opportunity to learn just that.

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Putting Research Into Practice: Decision-Making Tools for Roadway Management

New guidance and a process framework will help local agency engineers with varying levels of expertise and resources benefit from the experiences of their peers. Using these tools, engineers can take manageable, proactive steps to prioritize investments that maintain and preserve transportation networks. 

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New Project: Advancing Equity in Accessibility and Travel Experiences: The Role of Gender and Identity

In the early 1990s, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Yet the state continues to use male-female categories when investigating the role of gender in transportation issues such as travel behavior and transportation accessibility. Since a person’s identity can have a significant influence on their own and others’ behavior and experiences, excluding gender diversity in this type of transportation research could result in an incomplete understanding of the issues and perceptions about quality of life.

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New Project: Maximizing Transportation Assets by Building Community Connection Through Innovative Development of Rights of Way and Airspace

Transportation agencies throughout the United States are focused on repairing the damage that highway construction has caused in communities.

MnDOT seeks partnerships with communities, businesses, and government entities to better utilize state highway lands and airspace.

These partnerships aim to enhance economic wellbeing and quality of life. Projects like highway caps and development of spaces underneath highways can increase equity, reduce disparities, and limit environmental impacts.

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New Project: Enhancing Managed Lane Equity Analysis

Managed lanes, like Minnesota’s E-ZPass express lanes, are designed to improve mobility and travel time reliability for transit users, carpoolers and other motorists during peak travel hours. The lanes provide many societal benefits such as increased transit ridership, higher vehicle occupancies, more reliable travel options, and reduced traffic congestion and pollution.

However, because the lanes use pricing to deliver these benefits, they must be designed, constructed and operated equitably. The key is striking a balance that’s fair for everyone.

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New Project: Improving Transportation Equity for All by Centering the Needs of Marginalized and Underserved Communities

Government policies often prioritize the needs of the dominant group or culture, resulting in systems and services that benefit some people more than others. To better address the transportation needs of underserved communities, transportation agencies must first understand people’s lived transportation experiences. Listening is a critical first step toward mitigating the effects of marginalization and discrimination in transportation.

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New Project: Assessing the Effects of Highway Improvements on Adjacent Businesses

Highway improvement projects in metropolitan areas can offer a variety of benefits, including greater safety for travelers and increased activity for businesses near the roadway. However, improved roads may also negatively impact long-standing businesses as new retailers and chain stores displace them.

A greater understanding of the effects of highway improvements on businesses in the Twin Cities’ commercial corridors will help MnDOT deliver projects more successfully.

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