Covers Rutherford and McDowell Counties
Covers Polk County
| RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is improving its policy that focuses on evaluating every mode of travel for projects. The changes will enhance the safety and efficiency of the state’s transportation network. Members of the N.C. Board of Transportation on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution in support of implementing amendments to the department’s Complete Streets policy. NCDOT adopted the Complete Streets policy in 2009. |
The policy directs transportation engineers and planners to take into account and incorporate different types of transportation into road projects, where feasible. The various transportation modes include driving, walking, biking, rail, aviation, and public transit. The board’s vote on Thursday supports NCDOT’s ongoing efforts to update and implement improvements to the Complete Streets policy.
“The goal is a policy that does a better job considering different forms of transportation as projects are being developed – and not just considered at the end of project development,” Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon told the board on Thursday. Trogdon recognized members of a technical team who have been working over the past year to improve the department’s Complete Street policy. “This team helped us move toward turning that goal into reality – to build projects people need, want and will use,” Trogdon said.
The board’s action Thursday will lead to an improved internal process for planning and constructing transportation projects and, ultimately, reduce fatal crashes and pedestrian deaths as part of the department’s Vision Zero initiative.
|The N.C. Department of Transportation is seeking public feedback on theuse of drones, which are quickly becoming an important part of the state’s transportation landscape. |
NCDOT’s Division of Aviation launched an online survey this week to gather peoples’ comments on drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). “Public input has been an important part of our program from the beginning and will be even more important as we move forward,” said Basil Yap, UAS program manager for NCDOT. “We want to make informed decisions based on what people in our state want and what they are concerned about.”
NCDOT has been at the forefront of finding new and innovative ways to use emerging drone technology to benefit people. This includes using them to inspect bridges, monitor storm damage and deliver life-saving medical supplies.
The survey will ask peoples’ thoughts and concerns about the current and future applications of drones. It will include questions on noise, privacy and safety issues, and the way drones can improve peoples’ lives through the delivery of medical supplies, and assistance with search and rescue operations. The survey can be found online at www.ncdot.publicinput.com/3139 and takes only a few minutes to fill out. It can be answered by anyone, even someone who has never seen a drone.
The department recently introduced new technology in several busy work zones aimed at reducing backups, easing congestion and improving safety when two lanes of traffic merge into one lane.
The Dynamic Zipper Merge uses speed sensors on the side of the highway several miles before drivers must move into a single lane in work zones. The sensors feed data to a message board that changes based on the traffic patterns approaching the work zone.
This type of merge is intended to work like a zipper. By encouraging drivers to use both lanes up to the merger point, and then to take turns getting into the single lane, they experience less stop and go traffic, reducing backups and making travel safer.
The technology is being tested to see where it may help in other work zones.
Early bird registration is open for the 2020 North Carolina Transportation Summit taking place Jan. 8-9 in Raleigh.
Hear from experts across the state and around the world discussing new and emerging transportation technologies and ways that we must prepare now to keep communities moving and connected.
Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are also available.