Top 15 Strategies for Building Focus

I asked what your current number one challenge at work is in last year’s reader survey.  Several of you brought up the ability to focus.  This isn’t a technical transportation related challenge, but it is a very real 21st Century challenge that many of us struggle with. I’ve done a lot of research on the […]

5 Things to Know About Minnesota Traffic Signal Maintenance

Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting On May 22, 2015, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a transportation funding and policy bill that included traffic signal timing optimization. Here are the top five things you need to know about this Minnesota law: Impacts any government agency that owns at least […]

Spack Enterprise is 15 Years Old!

I incorporated Traffic Data Inc in February 2001 – 15 years ago! It was the beginning of Spack Enterprise. At the time I was the staff traffic engineer for Maple Grove.  I asked the city engineer for permission – I couldn’t afford to lose my job over a little night/weekend company.  After consulting with the city […]

Obama Administration Pledges Nearly $4 Billion to Advance Self-Driving Cars

I’ve written a lot recently about autonomous cars. There has been a sudden increased interest in this topic and honestly some major advancements in technology and commitments from big players in the transportation (and sometime non-transportation) industries. The latest news is the an announcement from the Obama administration. The Obama administration has pledged nearly $4 […]

Counting Snowmobile Trail Crossings

While much of a traffic engineer’s focus is on counting vehicle traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. But on occasion, we have the opportunity to do some truly interesting counts. This is a case study on how video traffic counting technology can be used for snowmobile trail crossings. A couple of years ago, Curt Anderson from Scott […]

Naturally De-Icing Asphalt

Koc University Develop Salt-Impregnated Asphalt

Researchers at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey have developed a new asphalt mix that de-ices itself by slowly releasing a salt mixture.  Specifically, potassium formate is combined with the water repelling polymer styrene-butadiene-styrene, which is then added to the bitumen that goes into making asphalt. Since road salt is hard on cars and their tires, […]

Introducing the Engineer’s Guide to Citizen Traffic Requests

Any traffic engineer who has been involved in public meetings or who serves a city knows that drivers consider themselves traffic experts. In many ways, they are right. For the specific routes they drive every day, they likely know more about where operational issues come up, what the signal timing is like, and especially where […]

Ford and Google Announce Partnership to Mass Produce Self Driving Cars?

I was excited to read this post on Yahoo Autos that said Ford and Google will be announcing a partnership at the gigantic Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. This would be a game changer.  Google has built the technology platform for self-driving cars, but doesn’t produce vehicles.  Ford mass produces vehicles, but is woefully behind […]

Spack Consulting 2016 Traffic Study Pricing Guide

Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting Besides offering an unconditional guarantee for our work because we believe in our processes and abilities, we also believe in transparency. As regular readers know, we routinely share information about how we operate, research we’ve undertaken, and tips/tricks we use in our studies. […]