PacTrans Project Reports
LOW-COST REMOTE WEATHER INFORMATION SYSTEM PHASE I AND PHASE 2Remote Weather Information Systems (RWIS) are an important part of deciding maintenance activities and scheduling. However, the cost of RWIS limits the number of systems that can be deployed. Because of the lack of power and the high power budget of commonly used systems, some locations are not suitable for RWIS even though the information would be of great value. This project focuses on the development of a low-cost, low-power RWIS that is suitable for remote locations and allows for a higher density of RWIS. The system produced under this study uses less than 10 watts of power and costs less than $10,000 for the basic system. The system has performed well in Fairbanks, Alaska, over two winters. In addition, the system has been fully integrated into the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities RWIS network.
MIXED-USE SAFETY ON RURAL FACILITIES IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST: Consideration of Vehicular, Non-Traditional, and Non-Motorized UsersIn the United States, one in 12 households do not own a personal automobile and approximately 13% of those who are old enough to drive do not. Trips by these individuals are being made in one of many other possible modes, creating the need to “share space” between many forms of travel. The goal of this project is to: improve safety and minimize the dangers for all transportation mode types while traveling in mixed-use environments on rural facilities through the development and use of engineering and education safety measures. To that end, this report documents three specific efforts by the project team. First, a comprehensive literature review of mixed-use safety issues with consideration of non-motorized and non-traditional forms of transportation. Second, a novel analysis of trauma registry data. Third, development, execution and analysis of the Pacific Northwest Transportation Survey geared toward understanding safety perceptions of mixed-use users. Most notably, findings indicate that ATVs (and similar non-traditional-type vehicles) are used on or near roads 24% of the time and snowmachines are used on or near roads 23% of the time. There are significantly more (twice as many) ATV-related on-road traumas in connected places than isolated places in Alaska and three times more traumas in highway connected places than in secondary road connected places. Comparably, bicycles had 449 on-road traumas between 2004 and 2011 whereas ATVs had 352 on-road traumas. Users of all modes who received formalized training felt safer in mixed-use environments than those who reported having no training at all.
Laboratory Procedure for Measuring the Effectiveness of Dust Control PalliativesCreation of fugitive dust on unpaved roads results in the loss of up to 25 mm (one inch) of surface aggregate annually (FHWA, 1998). On these roads, shearing forces created by vehicles dislodge the fine aggregate fraction (silt and clay) that binds the coarse aggregate. Turbulent airflow created by vehicles loft these fine particles in plumes of fugitive dust that impact health, safety, and quality of life. The loss of these particles results in raveling of the road surface, culminating in large annual losses of surface aggregate. Chemical dust control (palliatives) is an attractive option. However, there are currently no accepted field or laboratory performance testing procedures for chemical road dust palliatives. The lack of a method to predict palliative performance forces engineers and road managers into a trial-and-error methodology or reliance on personal judgment and supplier claims to determine what will work best on their unpaved road or runway surfaces. The overall objective of this research was to finalize the development of a laboratory test procedure for evaluating different dust control formulations and application rates required to effectively control the airborne suspension of dust particles in the size range (aerodynamic diameter) of 10 μm or less.