Category Archives: Congestion Management

IBM Training Computers to Predict Traffic

A team of IBM researchers is working on a system that could warn drivers of congestion ahead of time. The team has combined sophisticated analytics software with a network of sensors already embedded in California roadways, according to the Associated Press. The team will use a database of past traffic tie-ups to predict what will happen in the future; one team member notes that a goal is to “give them [drivers] an idea of what this looks like 30 to 40 minutes from now.”

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Metro Roadways to be Improved

The Des Moines Register reports that several metro roadways will be improved over the next few months. The Fleur Drive viaduct over the American Discovery Trail will undergo a $1.1 million rehabilitation. Beginning May 2nd, the roadway will be closed for approximately three months.

Additionally, workers will add a new access point along Northwest 86th Street in Clive. Officials expect that this project will take about five weeks to complete, with kickoff expected in June.

Finally, a stop sign will be replaced with a yield sign at a Douglas Avenue intersection in Urbandale. The yield sign will keep traffic moving faster and will help keep westbound traffic from backing up.

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Traffic Signal Timing Reset in Ankeny

The Des Moines Register reports that the City of Ankeny completed a citywide study of its traffic signal timing. As a result, officials reset the timing on 42 of 46 signals in the city. Ankeny Public Works Director Paul Moritz notes that most, if not all, of the timings have been adjusted at this time. An Iowa Department of Transportation grant covered most of the expenses for the study.

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Banning All Driver Phone Use in Autos?

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood asserts that drivers are distracted by mobile phones, whether talking on the phone (even using a hands-free device) or texting. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is beginning research into all driver distractions, according to Bloomberg.

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Barriers to be Installed Along Interstates

On Tuesday, the Iowa Transportation Commission approved the expenditure of $5.8 million to install cable barriers along 90 miles of interstate medians. The barriers will be installed during the next construction season. The barriers will be installed earlier than previously planned as a result of numerous fatal accidents.

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Speed Cameras Save Lives

A new study finds that speed cameras do in fact reduce traffic injuries and deaths. According to Reuters, the study analyzed the results of 35 studies from countries around the globe to understand the impact of speed cameras. Researchers found that, when speed cameras were present, average speeds were reduced by up to 15 percent. The number of crashes also fell when speed cameras were in place.

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Slow Commute in Des Moines

An incident on Southeast 14th Street just east of the Capitol in Des Moines has slowed traffic this morning. According to the Des Moines Register, there is at least one serious injury as a result of the incident. Des Moines police state that northbound traffic is blocked between Maury Street and Court Avenue this morning.

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Car Sharing at Colleges

College campuses traditionally are known for congestion; many students feel the need to bring their own vehicles to campus, even if other alternatives are available. Now, though, some colleges, such as Boise State, West Virginia University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, are offering car sharing services in an effort to reduce this congestion and to be more environmentally conscious. Students can simply rent the cars for a specific amount of time and do not need to pay for gas or insurance, according to the Seattle Times. Do you think Iowa’s colleges and universities should implement similar programs?

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Managed Lanes for the Twin Cities?

According to the Star Tribune, transportation planning in the Twin Cities is undergoing major changes. Rather than attempting to keep up with suburban expansion, planners have chosen to adopt the notion of managed lanes on existing roadways, which will be available to “buses and drivers who are willing to pay extra to skirt stalled traffic.”

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Nine Days in a Traffic Jam

Since August 14th, thousands of motorists headed for Beijing have dealt with massive congestion issues. The congestion stretches over 60 miles and is due to maintenance construction. China Global Times reports that officials expect the congestion to last through the middle of September when construction is anticipated to be complete.

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