Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Cable Stayed Bridge in Minneapolis

An important pedestrian/bicycle bridge over Hiawatha Avenue was opened in Minneapolis on November 8, 2007.  The Star & Tribune has a good article about the bridge.  It allows pedestrians and bicycles to cross over Hiawatha Avenue at about 26th Street instead of crossing at a traffic signal.  We did a study of Hiawatha Avenue in […]

Traffic Signals Failing Us?

Traffic signals aren’t exactly failing us, but the United States got a D in the recent National Traffic Signal Report Card.  (This is up from a D- in 2006…. baby steps I guess.)  Unfortunately the report doesn’t show the grades of individual agencies.  It is my understanding Mn/DOT does a pretty good job with their […]

City of Toronto Quantifies Health Impacts of Traffic Pollution

The City of Toronto took the extraordinary step of quantifying the health impacts of traffic pollution on their citizens.  “For the first time in Ontario, we have isolated the health impacts of vehicle emissions, and can demonstrate the potential health benefits of moving to a more sustainable transportation system,” said Dr. McKeown. “A 30 percent […]

Copying Free Aerial Photos Into Reports

Lots of companies have free aerials out on the internet – google, microsoft, ask, yahoo…. (then click on city) seems to have the crispest aerials for a wide area (go to and click on city).  Anyone who needs to put together reports about physical locations (engineers, planners, real estate appraisers, lawyers….) should have […]

Mn/DOT’s Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE) Report

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (aka Mn/DOT) put together a procedure last year for determining the correct traffic control to be placed at their intersections, which the nicknamed "ICE."  They put out a technical memorandum detailing what they are looking for, but it is pretty open ended.  Today I attended a class put on by […]

Mr. Traffic Engineer – What is Level of Service?

Traffic engineers grade the operation of an intersection as A, B, C, D, E, or F based on the amount of time each vehicle has to wait to go through the intersection during a particular hour.  We use grades to give non-engineers a feel for how the intersection operates.  We don’t want to get hung […]

I-35W Bridge Collapse – Traffic Management Lessons Learned

I attended an NCITE breakfast meeting yesterday where Jim Kranig from Mn/DOT and Don Sobania from the City of Minneapolis gave presentations on the traffic management response to the I-35W Bridge Collapse.  Here is my take on their presentations (these aren’t bullet points from their slides). Jim’s Top 5 Comments: Mn/DOT is very fortunate to […]

Top Ten Developments Needing a Traffic Study

A lot of developers ask me if they need a traffic study for their specific development.  For starters – if a government agency says you need one, you’ll need one. They aren’t going to approve your project or your access without it.  A lot of jurisdictions have their own policies, so check with the jurisdiction […]

Why a traffic engineering blog?

I didn’t know this until I was an undergraduate in the civil engineering department at the University of Minnesota, but there are actually engineers who try to improve the safety and efficiency of traffic.  This is news to most of the traveling public.  After a few traffic engineering courses, I decided this was for me.  […]

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