Infrastructure

SB-743, CEQA, and moving away from LOS

Saturday in LA

Yesterday the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released Updating Transportation Impacts Analysis in the CEQA Guidelines. It's the draft discussion SB-743 Environmental Quality: transit oriented infill projects, judicial review streamlining for environmental leadership development projects, and entertainment and sports center in the City of Sacramento. As the bill's name hints, the impetus for the legislation is the contentious proposed new arena for the Kings in downtown Sacramento though the effects will be felt statewide. 

Many of the concerns and questions raised by SB-743 lie in the proposed changes to litigation windows to CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). The proposed reforms could make it easier for projects to obtain exemptions from the full CEQA project, potentially making the development of previously contested projects easier. 

From a transportation standpoint, the biggest change to CEQA is the use of level of service (LOS) in evaluating the impact of projects. Instead of relying solely on LOS to determine the significance of transportation impacts, OPR proposes:

In developing the criteria, the office shall recommend potential metrics to measure transportation impacts that may include, but are not limited to, vehicle miles traveled, vehicle miles traveled per capita, automobile trip generation rates, or automobile trips generated.

Engineering groups like Western ITE suggested using vehicle miles traveled (VMT) instead of LOS to measure impact as it focuses only on automobile congestion at the expense of other modes. So now that it looks like we're moving away from LOS, what comes next? Researchers have already begun looking at how this will affect models and traffic studies. Fehr & Peers have developed an concise website describing the impacts of SB-743

Transport Infrastructure and the World Cup

III Congresso SIBRT

Last week the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Brazil. Mega sporting events, like the World Cup and the Olympics, often require mega infrastructure projects for the hosts. For this World Cup, preparations include building five new stadiums, including the much talked about Arena Amazônia in Manaus which almost wasn't ready for the first match, and several transport projects. Airports were considered a headache early in planning, and lots of money and time has been invested in airport upgrades for an already overtaxed civil air system. On the other side, several planned public transport projects, such as monorails in Sao Paulo and Manaus, were cancelled because they could not be delivered in time for the tournament. One of the few public transport projects that succeeded was Belo Horizonte's MOVE BRT, which launched in March 2014. 

Some researchers have called these projects a "missed opportunity" to improve urban mobility in Brazil. Others have focused on how these projects could have reduced transport greenhouse gas emissions if only they were built. (Some of them were quite sustainable.)

For a good roundup of World Cup transport projects winner and losers, NextCity provides a good overview

Friday Seminar: Reliability-Based Optimization for Maintenance Management in Bridge Networks

Brooklyn Bridge at Night, NYC

This week's Friday Semiar is all about bridge networks. UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate Xiaofei Hu presenter her research with the talk, "Reliability-Based Optimization for Maintenance Management."

Incorporating network configurations in bridge management problems is computationally difficult. Because of the interdependencies among bridges in a network, they have to be analyzed together. Simulation-based numerical optimization techniques adopted in past research are limited to networks of moderate sizes. In this research, a simple framework is developed to determine optimal maintenance plans for large networks with many bridges. The objective is to minimize disruption, specifically, the extra travel distance caused by potential bridge failures over a planning horizon and under a budget constraint. It is conjectured and then verified that the expected increase in vehicle-miles travelled due to failures can be approximated by the sum of expected increases due to individual failures. This allows the network-level problem to be decomposed into single-bridge problems and tackled efficiently. The computational effort increases linearly with the number of bridges.

The seminar takes place this Friday, April 18th, 2014 from 4-5 PM in 534 Davis. Cookie Hour will be in the library at 3:30.
in Bridge Networks

Friday Seminar: Adaptive Optimization Methods in System-Level Bridge Management

Halsted bridge

This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar features ITS Berkeley PhD candidate Haotian Liu presenting Adaptive Optimization Methods in System-Level Bridge Management.

An adaptive optimization approach, known as Open-Loop Feedback Control (OLFC), is presented for Maintenance, Repair and Replacement planning of systems of bridge components. The proposed implementation of OLFC in Bridge Management Systems is intended to improve bridge management decision-making and deterioration model learning. The OLFC approach is capable of providing more accurate models than the state-of-the-art methods and yielding system cost-savings over any planning horizon when condition survey data are used to update the bridge component deterioration models. OLFC also enables agencies to consider different model classes when learning deterioration models. To illustrate the desirability of this approach, a planning agency is considered to manage a system of facilities with limited prior knowledge of the deterioration models over a designated planning horizon. OLFC is shown to improve model accuracy and reduce system costs, with a demonstration of how to incorporate system budget constraints when the system is heterogeneous. The discussion is confined to bridge decks, the component of bridge structures that undergoes the fastest deterioration, but the methodology presented in this paper is applicable to all bridge components.

The seminar will take place on Friday November 22, 2013 from 4:00-5:00 PM in 534 Davis. Cookie Hour will be taking place as usual in the library at 3:30 PM. 

Book of the Week: ReThinking A Lot

 

This week's Book of the Week is about parking. Parking lots to be precise. ReThinking A Lot by MIT's Eran Ben-Joseph

There are an estimated 600,000,000 passenger cars in the world, and that number is increasing every day. So too is Earth’s supply of parking spaces. In some cities, parking lots cover more than one-third of the metropolitan footprint. It’s official: we have paved paradise and put up a parking lot. In ReThinking a Lot, Eran Ben-Joseph shares a different vision for parking’s future. Parking lots, he writes, are ripe for transformation. After all, as he points out, their design and function has not been rethought since the 1950s. With this book, Ben-Joseph pushes the parking lot into the twenty-first century.

Parking lots are something everybody has an opinion on. Here's an interview with Ben-Joseph on Marketplace where he discusses the book.  

And of course, you can check out the book from the library

Friday Seminar: A statistical process control framework to support health-monitoring

Overseas (Old) Highway Bridge, Missouri & Ohio  Key Channel

This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is all about infrastructure! Pablo L. Durango-Cohen from Northwestern University will talk about structural health-monitoring. 

In this talk, we describe development and field application of a process control framework to support structural health-monitoring and management of transportation infrastructure. The work is motivated by technological advances that allow for continuous, long-term, simultaneous collection of various response measurements, as well as the factors that contribute deterioration. The framework provides an integrated, generally-applicable (to various types of structural response data) statistical approach that links performance modeling and structural health monitoring. The framework consists of two parts: The first, estimation of statistical models to explain, predict, and control for common-cause variation, i.e., changes, including serial dependence that can be attributed to usual operating conditions. The ensuing standardized innovation series are analyzed in the second part of the framework, where we use single and multivariate control charts to detect special-cause or unusual events. We illustrate the proposed framework with analysis of strain and displacement data from the monitoring system on the Hurley Bridge (Wisconsin Structure B-26-7).

The seminar takes place Friday, November 8, 2013 in 534 Davis from 4:00-5:00 PM. Cookie Hour (of course) precedes in the library at 3:30. 

Great California Shake Out! Are you ready?

Oct. 18 1989 Cypruss Overpass Collapse

Today is the Great California Shake Out, a statewide earthquake drill.  Do you know what to do when the Big One comes? 

Ever since the 1989 earthquake and its effects on transportation infrastructure, such as the collapse of the Cypress Freeway (which of course was replaced) or the structural failure of a portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, there has been considerable research on seismic safety and stability. Are aerial BART stations safe? What are the optimal risk-based maintenance procedures to earthquake safety for bridges and highways?

Of course the Los Angeles region has its own concerns about the Big One, such as the disruption of freight logistics for the mega-region. How will the region's highways be affected? There were lots of lessons learned from the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which help inform projections for future risks.

If you want more research about earthquakes and California transportation, of course turn to TRID. For today, think about what you'd do when the Big One hits and how you prepare for such an event. 

Stay safe. 

Friday Seminar: How the Eastern Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Became a Megaproject

bay bridge

Today's TRANSOC Friday Seminar features UCTC Assistant Director Karen Trapenberg Frick will presenting about the evolution of the Eastern Span San Francisco-Oakland of the Bay Bridge from an ordinary bridge into a megaproject.

The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was opened after the Labor Day weekend, is a classic instance of a megaproject, not just because of its huge complexity, protracted timeline and “mega” cost (some $6.5 billion). It is also a textbook embodiment of what I have identified as the “six C’s” of a typical megaproject: colossal, captivating, costly, controversial, complex, and subject to issues of control.

The seminar will take place a 4:00-5:00 PM September 13, 2013 in 534 Davis Hall. And of course Cookie Hour in the library at 3:30. See you there!

Goodbye old Bay Bridge, Hello new Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge Under Construction

Starting this evening, the Bay Bridge will close and reopen Tuesday September 3 at 5:00 am. Over the weekend the final touches will be put on the new Eastern Span and on Tuesday morning, you can have a new driving experience across that span. You will no longer have to contend with the S-Curve. There will be bicycle and pedestrian access! (Though only to Treasure Island... and even that isn't quite ready yet.) The old span will still be around for some time though, as it's going to take 3 years to dismantle

Of course traffic will be a mess. 511.org has been suggested to help with trip planning and BART will be running 24 hours over the weekend. Transit is usually regarded as an effective tool to mitigate the impact of these sorts of closures. Could this sort of disrpuption lead to policy and travel behavior change?

Oh and we can't forget the launch of Bay Area Bikeshare

If you were lucky enough to go on one of the bridge tours this weekend, have fun! Everybody else, hold tight. 

The London Underground Turns 150

London_Train_Delay - 16.jpg

On this date in 1863 London's Metropolitan Railway opened for business between Paddington and Farringdon stations, making it the world's first underground railway line and the most iconic. Celebrations have included 150 stories from passengers, looking back on its impact on culture, a journey along the historic Central Line, lots and lots of pictures, alternate tube maps, and the Google doodle

The Underground's impact on London and transportation in immeasurable. The growth of the city is linked to the growth of the Tube. Some consider it as a model for infrastructure management and investment. The history of the London Underground is as much a story of civil engineering as it is transportation planning and urban development. Perhaps its legacy is that it is still running and continues to evolve

Syndicate content