At OSU

Current Projects

1. "Confounding Factors of Commercial Motor Vehicles in Safety Critical Eventsfunding agency PacTrans Regional UTC, 09/16 to 09/17 (UTC Multi-institutional Project)

The proposed study will seek to uncover existing relationships between the Hours-of-Service (HOS) observations and a set of potential confounding factors related to time-of-day (TOD). These relationships will be addressed by controlling for confounds. Within the TOD confound we will examine two primary competing factors; circadian rhythm and traffic density variation. Where a confound is not directly observable, a suitable instrument will be sought and implemented. Following the development of the relationships between Safety Critcal Events (SCE’s) and the above factors, we will explore opportunities for, and constraints to, the deployment of operational adjustments to reduce SCE’s. These operational adjustments include actions by both industry and transportation agencies. Such actions include delivery schedule adjustments to avoid highest risk TOD and HOS interactions, should such an interaction be demonstrated as significant. 

2. "Understanding Truck Parking Behavior and Choice of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators: Impacts on Roadway Safety" funding agency PacTrans Regional UTC, 09/16 to 09/17 (UTC Small Project)

In summary, this research aims to address the issues related to CMV parking behavior and choice of US based CMV operators, lack of linkages between survey data and existing crash data and modeling the limitations from previous work through the development and comparison of heterogeneity based methods; The results of this study can be immediately used by safety planners and the trucking industry. 

3. "Understanding Freight Behavior in the Pacific Northwest: An Evaluation and Application of EROAD Data to Freight Demand and Forecast" Modeling funding agency PacTrans Regional UTC, 09/17 to 09/19 (UTC Small Project)

Overall objective of this work is to utilize a previously unused private data source to analyze freight movements in the Pacific Northwest.  This objective will be achieved through the application of a private data source acquired as part of an ongoing study with EROAD. EROAD is a company that develops and implements technology to modernize traditional paper-based systems within the trucking industry. As part of this modernization, EROAD collects the data used for modeling and forecasting freight movements. However, EROAD data has yet to be used for such an application.

4. "A Framework to Evaluate Causes and Effects of Truck Driver At-Fault Crashes in Oregon" funding agency Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), 09/17 

Large truck crashes have a considerable impact on society and the economy. Although Oregon experienced a decrease in the number of truck driver at-fault crashes (757 to 709) in 2015, the number of fatalities associated with truck crashes increased from 34 to 54 for the same period. While most truck driver at-fault crashes result from poor driving habits (speeding, following too close, unsafe lane changes…) it is not clearly understood how driving habits have been affected by the increased presence of smartphones, on-board technologies, and other controllable distractions. A recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that distracted truck driving was a factor in 71 percent of all truck driving accidents.

This research will evaluate the impact of distracted driving on truck driver at-fault crashes, examine the effectiveness of existing counter measures, and identify new counter measures. The research objectives will provide a framework to evaluate trends in truck driver at-fault crash injuries in Oregon and identify specific factors affecting crash fatalities.

Past Projects

1. "Lifeline Network Resiliency and Recovery for Emergency Response" funded by Cascadia Lifeline Program (CliP's), 10/13 to 09/14

A crucial part of this emergency response is the post-earthquake recovery from the immediate disaster in terms of transportation network resiliency. That is, what is the current “health” and condition of the transportation network after the event. The challenge to any recovery effort is deciding which recovery projects to undertake first. This can be daunting for recovery decision makers since resources are usually limited and many transportation links may be down. So the question arises, which project to undertake first? And which has the greatest recovery reward in terms of the water, power, and transportation network connectivity? Because a healthy resilient water, power, and transportation network will guarantee that first responders can travel to the affected areas and it will ensure that economic recovery occurs more rapidly, thus minimizing the loss of life and maximizing recovery time.

Therefore, the purpose of this project is then to develop a resilience-based network framework that aids in the prioritization of projects that will minimize the impacts of large disasters (e.g., earthquake, tsunamis, etc.).

2. "Lifeline Network Resiliency and Recovery for Emergency Response" - 2nd year funded by Cascadia Lifeline Program (CliP's), 10/14 to 09/15

A crucial part of this emergency response is the post-earthquake recovery from the immediate disaster in terms of transportation network resiliency. That is, what is the current “health” and condition of the transportation network after the event. The challenge to any recovery effort is deciding which recovery projects to undertake first. This can be daunting for recovery decision makers since resources are usually limited and many transportation links may be down. So the question arises, which project to undertake first? And which has the greatest recovery reward in terms of the water, power, and transportation network connectivity? Because a healthy resilient water, power, and transportation network will guarantee that first responders can travel to the affected areas and it will ensure that economic recovery occurs more rapidly, thus minimizing the loss of life and maximizing recovery time.

Therefore, the purpose of this project is then to develop a resilience-based network framework to handle heavy vehicle movements for post-disaster revocery.

3. "Potential for freight mode shifting in Oregon" Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), 07/15 to 12/15

The purpose of this study is to prepare information on freight mode choice in a form that supports the State of Oregon in making informed decisions in the area of freight-related investments and long range planning activity. The study goal is to facilitate understanding of conditions necessary for freight mode shift to occur. In order to meet this goal, the following objectives will me met:  

  • Describe how firms make logistical decisions and how that translates into mode choice, including multimodal aspects;
  • Describe differences in freight logistics by commodity characteristics. Provide detailed examples for representative Oregon commodities.
  • Identify market conditions necessary for mode shift to occur.
  • Identify Oregon commodities with potential for mode shift and describe the “tipping point” conditions necessary for shifts to occur.
  • Create illustrative examples of Oregon commodities with mode shift potential, assume market conditions change and the shift occurs, and describe the impacts to facility operations. For example, suppose commodity A moves by truck and totally shift to rail. How much rail capacity is used? How much highway capacity is opened up?

4. "Truck Parking: An Emerging Safety Hazard to Highway users" funding agency Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), 08/15 to 06/17

The shortage of truck parking has been identified as an issue across the state of Oregon as indicated by the recent solicitation of interest by ODOT for a Biggs Junction truck parking facility public/private partnership opportunity. This research will focus on Biggs Junction at I-84 and the entire US 97 route through Oregon in order to contain project scope, but the methodology could be applied to other Oregon Freight Corridors. Therefore, to adequately assess commercial vehicle parking needs and analyze safety on high-use corridors in the State, the research objectives are:

  • Review and summarize what other states are doing to address the truck parking shortage and related safety implications
  • Identify data available and methods to measure the extent of the problem (e.g., identifying truck parking supply and demand)
  • Gather opinions of commercial motor vehicle operators and commercial truck stop operators with regards to parking shortages and parking location decisions
  • Estimate future demand for truck parking based on freight forecasts prepared in the OFP, identify priority locations where truck parking is an issue (e.g., rest stops, exit ramps, shoulder of the road) or likely to become an issue
  • Identify safety impacts of potential truck parking enhancements 

 


 

At UTEP

1. “Unified Planning Work Program” Funded by the City of El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization," 7/11 to 6/14,
The El Paso MPO through this program funded two Projects: .

1a. "Systematic Approach to Evaluate Potential Park and Ride Facilities"

Park and Ride (P&R) facilities promote transit ridership by providing an attractive option to car drivers. They enable potential users to drive to their locations where they can park their cars and take transit services to complete their destinations.
Although the concept of P&R has been implemented in many cities in the United States and integrated with different transportation modes such as mass rapid transit (MRT), light rail transit (LRT), high occupancy vehicle (HOV), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), among others, no systematic approach has been developed to assess the feasibility of a potential P&R facility. This research proposes a systematic methodology, which consists of the following tasks, to evaluate potential P&R facilities.

1b. "Warehouse Location and Freight Attraction in the Greater El Paso Region," funded by CAIT Tier I UTC, FHWA flow through, 1/13-12/13 (see Federal Agencies for description) 

2. “Integration of Data Sources to Optimize Freight Transportation in Texas,” funded by Texas Department of Transportation 12/11-8/13

Freight transportation is critical to the economic prosperity of any region. The challenge, however, lies in disaggregating freight transportation demand to flows that can be assigned onto a state and region’s transportation network. Disaggregated freight flows are necessary to:

  • provide a clear picture of freight movements on the transportation system;
  • determine the impact of freight on a region’s infrastructure and the implications in terms of funding;
  • evaluate strategies for improving freight mobility;
  • forecast system performance;
  • mitigate impacts of truck traffic on general mobility, and
  • to improve the safety performance of the transportation system.

The passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 initiated an increasing interest in freight modeling within statewide planning efforts, particularly the evaluation of current and future freight transportation capacity necessary to ensure freight mobility. Although freight models have started to emerge as tools to inform transportation policies, a critical challenge in the development of these models remains insufficient and inferior quality data. Theobjectives of this study are (a) to develop a strategy for integrating and collecting available freight data, (b) explore the feasibility of entering into a data sharing partnership with the freight community for the collection of detailed and robust freight data that will satisfy the needs of transportation planning agencies, (c) develop a prototype Freight Data Architecture Business Process, Logical Data Model and Physical Data Model documents supporting a separate IT project developing a database, and (d) advise TxDOT on the cost-effectiveness of acquiring and maintaining a freight data sharing partnership to populate the Freight Data Architecture.

3. “El Paso Regional Ports of Entry Operations Plan,” funded by Texas Department of Transportation, 2/10-12/10

The overall purpose of the project, which will be lead by the Prime Contractor, is to review all existing ports of entries within the Receiving Agency’s El Paso region; analyze how the ports currently function; and develop recommendations to improve cross-border mobility in the region. The study region encompasses the Receiving Agency’s entire El Paso region, from Santa Teresa, New Mexico to the Tornillo/Guadalupe Point of Entry.

4. “Synthesis of Operational Use of Real-Time Commercial Traffic Routing Data”, Funded by Texas Department of Transportation, 9/10-8/12

Traditionally, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and its districts have collected traffic operations data through a system of fixed-location traffic sensors, supplemented with probe vehicles using transponders where such tags are already being used primarily for tolling purposes and where their numbers are sufficient. In recent years, private providers of traffic data have entered the scene, offering traveler information such as speeds, travel time, delay, and incident information. The question that this research project answered were the following: 
Whether TxDOT could and should utilize the data offerings by private sector providers to supplement its own data collection efforts and, if so, how.

  • The research also determined the following:
  • What data are available from private providers (either free or for purchase);
  • What other states are doing with data from private providers;
  • Opinions of TxDOT decision-makers on the utility of these data sources;
  • How the data should be normalized, combined, and delivered for TxDOT or other public sector partner agency use; and 
  • A recommended path for implementing the TxDOT response.

5. "Warehouse Location and Freight Attraction in the Greater El Paso Region," funded by CAIT Tier I UTC, FHWA flow through, 1/13-12/13

The objectives of this project are to develop a methodological approach to analyze current and future warehouse/distribution center locations along border regions that can provide greater accessibility and mobility for increasing bi-national freight flows and that are economically feasible. In addition, this project seeks to identify warehouse/distribution center locations that have the potential to improve safety. To accomplish these objectives they propose the following set of work aims to identify current and planned locations of warehouse/distribution centers (through a survey), to identify potential locations that meet the criteria of warehouse/distribution center and that promote increased accessibility, mobility and safety (Zone – Land Use by code), and to assess the monetary feasibility (costs) of the potential location

6. “BGREEN – Building A Regional Energy and Educational Network: A Partnership to Integrate Efforts and Collaboration to Shape Tomorrow’s Hispanic Sustainable Leadership,” Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 9/11 to 8/14
This grant funded the following project:

"Attitude Towards Green Warehousing in El Paso, Texas: An Exploratory Analysis"

  • The increasing reliance on fossil fuels by today’s emerging economies has a profound implication on the sustainability of many warehousing and distribution logistical systems worldwide. Hence, this research attempts to fill the gap in current green warehousing literature by investigating how warehousing and distribution facilities view greener strategies as a way to increase operation efficiency through a stated preference approach, namely and industry survey. A survey instrument was developed and conducted to identify warehousing characteristics, green practices, and current green views of warehouse managers in El Paso, Texas. The survey results found a balanced outlook within the environment and business needs. Companies revealed the importance of investing on the environment, while also improving operational efficiencies and lowering costs, in spite of an economic downturn. Others showed indications of incorporating green strategies for the purpose of benefiting the company, and if these investments are not too costly.

8. “Transatlantic Dual Masters Degree Program in Transportation and Logistics Systems,” Funded by U.S. Dept. of Education, 9/10 to 8/14

The United States (U.S.) and European Union (E.U.) are the two largest trading partners in the world. In 2007, the freight shipment between U.S. and E.U. amounted to €440 billion. Although universities in U.S. and E.U. countries have their distinct transportation and logistics degree programs cater to the road and freight systems in their respective regions, there is no transportation program that focuses on the transatlantic movement of people and goods. This Dual Masters Degree Program in Transportation and Logistics Systems (ATL) will be the first of its kind of such program. The objectives of the program are:

  • To provide a rigorous and yet flexible graduate level transportation & logistics curriculum that will meet the needs of U.S. and E.U. students;
  • To prepare students from E.U. and U.S. for careers in international/transatlantic transportation and logistics;
  • To provide opportunities for faculty and staff in the partnering universities to jointly conduct research and supervise students;
  • To expose students, faculty and staff with professional practices, innovative research and cultural understanding at the E.U. and U.S.; and
  • To establish a long-term and tangible cooperation between the partnering universities.