8:00 a.m. – Welcome and Plenary Session
Telework During COVID: Leveraging Behavioral Science to Improve Virtual Work and the Future of Commuting
Ashley Whillans, Harvard Business School; Joseph Sherlock, Center for Advanced Hindsight
Working from home has become the "new normal" for employees around the world. In the post-pandemic work environment, telework may continue to play a role in minimizing carbon emissions from single-occupancy vehicle commutes. How can we maximize the potential of virtual work? In this webinar, Joseph Sherlock of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University and Dr. Ashley Whillans of Harvard Business School will share insights from their research about how commute habits have changed in response to work-from-home orders, and how teleworking has affected life and work. Together, they will illustrate how a better understanding of behavioral science can improve virtual work. They will also share behavioral principles to encourage employees to opt-in to virtual work when going back to the office starts to become reality. Finally, they will discuss strategies for improving uptake of alternative forms of transportation post-COVID-19.
9:15-10:00 a.m. – Networking Time
Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council
Chris Clark, Xcel Energy; Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Commissioner, MnDOT; Rolf Nordstrom, Great Plains Institute; Emma Struss, City of Bloomington
Moderator: Brad Hamilton, WSB
In order to meet Minnesota’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets outlined in the Next Generation Energy Act, state level action is needed. There are many opportunities for immediate action in the transportation sector. The Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council (STAC) makes recommendations to the MnDOT (MnDOT) to help the agency reduce carbon pollution from transportation in Minnesota. This presentation will include an overview of the STAC process and STAC recommendations to MnDOT. A panel of STAC members will describe their experience participating in work groups focused on reducing vehicle miles traveled, fueling and powering transportation with clean energy, and enhancing transportation system resilience to our changing climate.
Arterial BRT: The (Network) Next Generation
Adele Hall, SRF Consulting Group; Kyle O'Donnell Burrows, Metro Transit
Moderator: Ashley Hudson, Bolton & Menk
Ridership growth on the A Line (opened on Snelling Avenue in 2016) and the C Line (opened on Penn Avenue in 2019) has been steady and significant. The rider response to A Line and C Line investments offers proof of concept: build high-quality, high-capacity transit lines in dense urban neighborhoods, and they will be well-used services with a high return on the public's investment. As momentum for arterial BRT builds, construction continues: D Line (Emerson/Fremont/Chicago Avenues) will open in 2022, and planning is well underway for B Line (Lake Street/Marshall/Selby Avenues) and E Line (Hennepin/France Avenues). So, what's next? Where will F Line be? G Line? H? Join presenters from Metro Transit's BRT Projects department and SRF Consulting to learn where the next generation of arterial BRT lines will be built and the engagement, planning, data analysis, and evaluation that went into making the decisions.
Connecting Minnesota: Leveraging the Highway Network to Support Broadband and Future Technologies
Kristin White, MnDOT; Mike Misrahi, Ernst and Young; Rohit Tandon, MnIT Assistant Commissioner
The State of Minnesota believes that by strategically investing in broadband, we can use this infrastructure to save lives with CAV technology, and also provide better access to transportation, jobs and health care, make communities safer, and advance equity so no community is left behind.
How Can We Address Inequities in Minnesota through Transportation?
Dave Cowan, Tara Olds, MnDOT; Nissa Tupper, MnDOT – Complete Streets; Gloria Jeff, MnDOT – Rethinking I-94
Moderator: David Peterson, Bolton & Menk
Transportation plays a critical role in everything we do. It provides us access to markets, health care, education, communities, and recreation. However, not everyone has the access they need nor the access they want. The current transportation system doesn't meet the needs of all people in Minnesota and transportation inequities can further perpetuate other inequities in our state by creating additional barriers to access. This session will explore what offices within MnDOT are doing to address current inequities within transportation and what they are doing to not create new inequities with our ever-changing transportation system. How is MnDOT examining equity in a holistic manner, looking at equity from the lenses of community, sustainability, active transportation, and emerging technologies?
Honoring Our Veterans through the Highway 22 "Victory Drive" Corridor
Robert Jones, MnDOT District 7; Peter Muehlbach, WSB
Moderator: Ronda Allis, MnDOT
Highway 22 in Mankato is designated as "Victory Drive." The project included a landscape plan for the 12-mile reconstruction project along with monuments at each end of the project. These were constructed to honor all five branches of the military, now recognizing all military veterans instead of just those that fought in WWI and WWII.
Got a Bike Plan? Now Implement It!
Renae Kuehl, SRF Consulting Group; Chad Millner, City of Edina
Moderator: Andrew Plowman, WSB
The "Bicycle Facility Implementation Guide" was developed by the LRRB, based on a survey of local agencies' bicycle facility design practices, questions, and concerns. It is intended to demystify common questions about appropriate facility selection and designed to help practitioners confidently implement low-stress bicycle transportation networks. The Guide provides information on the variety of bicycle facility selection and design guidance documents available, and it identifies which to use as primary resources in Minnesota. This presentation will highlight key components of the document and how agencies can use it to implement bicycle facilities.
Lighting Roads for Safety
Derek Leuer, MnDOT
The presentation will include a focus on the safety-oriented policy of Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation (WisDOT) for managing their statewide roadway lighting system. The presentation will provide context for WisDOT’s policy for applying lighting as a roadway safety measure, including considerations for maintenance, energy management, and performance measures. Intersection lighting is an important topic when it comes to safety in a rural context. See how MnDOT and St. Louis County have come together to deliver on the lighting needs in the community. Learn about the challenges that come from finding a power source and who is responsible for maintaining a power source. Discover how solar power can be used in these settings along with the drawbacks to using solar power from the people that work in this area on a regular basis.
Climate Resilience and Transportation at MnDOT
Jeffrey Meek, MnDOT
Moderator: David Montebello, SRF
Minnesota has recently closed out its wettest decade on record and is experiencing increased rainfall depths, intensities, and frequencies. These changes can have meaningful and direct impacts on the transportation system and are expected to increase in the coming years. MnDOT staff will share a brief overview of current efforts to anticipate the impacts of these projected conditions, determine the most vulnerable assets, and increase transportation resilience to benefit all Minnesotans.
Unlike Anything Else: Supporting a New Environmental Approach for Unique Needs on Highway 13
Paul Morris, SRF Consulting Group; Angie Bersaw, Bolton & Menk, Inc.; Carolyn Adamson, MnDOT
Moderator: Jason Staebell, Hennepin County
Highway 13 provides both north/south and east/west connections for south Metro commuters crossing the Minnesota River via I-35W and Highway 169 in Savage and Burnsville. But did you know that this segment of Highway 13 has double the region’s average heavy truck trips and is the only access to one of the busiest multimodal ports for agricultural commodities serving Greater Minnesota and the Upper Midwest? To address mobility and safety needs to be addressed in this corridor, MnDOT faced the challenge of securing environmental approval for both the corridor vision and the design of the port access. The solution was found in the Hybrid Environmental Assessment, a new tool developed with FHWA that combines corridor- and project-level environmental reviews. This presentation will summarize the technical and environmental analyses, evaluation metrics, and public engagement strategies that the project team employed to support the hybrid EA process and meet the unusually tight timeframe.
Safety Evaluations: Reduced Conflict Intersections, Flashing Yellow Arrows, and Pedestrians at Roundabouts
Maxwell Moreland, Mark Wagner, MnDOT
Moderator: Jake Duppong, Stonebrooke Engineering, Inc.
The Safety Section of MnDOT's Office of Traffic Engineering is conducting evaluations that focus on the safety impacts of reduced conflict intersections, pedestrians and bicycles at roundabouts, and flashing yellow arrows. These evaluations use multiple analysis techniques to review crash data at locations with these treatments in Minnesota. The impacts these treatments have on crash severities and crash types are being analyzed and will be discussed in this presentation.
Gold Line BRT: Partnerships Pave the Way to Minnesota's First Dedicated BRT
Lisa Wall, Kimley-Horn and Associates; Chris Beckwith, Metro Transit; Ed Sanderson, MnDOT
Moderator: Scott Reed, HDR
As the first of its kind in the Twin Cities Metro, the Gold Line project has established a unique partnership between Metro Transit, MnDOT, Ramsey County, and Washington County to deliver this $461M transit project. The presentation will focus on this unique partnership, discussing how numerous agencies came together to make key design decisions for the project and provided key leadership roles on the project. We will specifically explore the Interstate 94 right-of-way, discussing solutions that were implemented to mitigate right-of-way pinch points along the Interstate 94 corridor for existing and future conditions.
Nationwide Scan of Reconstruction Project Experience
Steph Fenner, Gloria Jeff, MnDOT
Moderator: Janelle Borgen, Ideate Consulting
MnDOT conducted a nationwide scan of Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to identify states and localities with reconstruction project experience where earlier construction had harmed communities of color. Key project findings included that as reconstruction projects are increasingly becoming the norm for DOTs and MPOs across the country, the goal of public engagement should be that the public speaks while the DOT listens, and that this project can set the tone for how MnDOT is perceived into the future. These findings and others will be discussed as this presentation will outline which states and cities participated, as well as an overview of each project's background, current status, demographics, and structure. Additional content relates to recommended practices for future projects and how this research informs MnDOT's Rethinking I-94 project.
Separated Bikeways for All Users: A Hennepin County Experience
Bryan Nemeth, Bolton & Menk, Inc.; Jason Pieper, Hennepin County
Moderator: Kelly Agosto, Hennepin County
Separated bikeways, including cycle tracks, have recently been implemented throughout Minnesota. Since these are relatively new, there are numerous lessons to be learned from the different designs and their impact on users and maintenance activities. Hennepin County recently completed two separate bikeway designs: one in Minneapolis and one in Richfield. Both projects provided an opportunity to understand the benefits and shortcomings of the designs that can then be implemented on future separated bikeway designs. We will review the 66th Street design in Richfield and the results of the Cycle Track evaluation implemented on Washington Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis, as well as how the projects influenced 4th Street in Minneapolis, Lyndale Avenue in Richfield, and each other.
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. – Networking Time and Lunch
Using Location-Based Services Data for Calculating the Greenhouse Emissions of Communities in Minnesota's Metropolitan Region
Catherine Manzo, StreetLight Data; Liz Roten, Mauricio Leon, Metropolitan Council
Moderator: Tony Fischer, MetCouncil
It's one thing to know that transportation is a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions. It's another to quantify how much. And in order to make meaningful changes for our climate, it's critical to find out. Local governments have historically lacked appropriate resources and technology for conducting climate action planning for transportation and land use. Time, resources, and technical assistance have all been barriers to learning the information they need to make meaningful changes. Luckily, thanks to advances in big data resources derived from mobile devices, innovative use of Census data, and extensive research, these barriers are breaking down. To address the scarcity of transportation emissions data in Minnesota, the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities has developed greenhouse gas emission estimates for transportation and land for cities, townships, and counties of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region. In this session, Mauricio Leon and Liz Roten of the Metropolitan Council, along with Catherine Manzo of StreetLight Data, will demonstrate how they've leveraged big data to centralize research, save public funding, and enable communities to focus their efforts on implementing strategies to become more sustainable, rather than doing data analysis.
Rapid Transit for All in Rochester
James Gersema, SRF Consulting Group; Jarrett Hubbard, City of Rochester
Moderator: Andrew Wells, Rani Engineering
To accommodate future growth in jobs, homes, retail, and hotels, Rochester aims to have 50 percent of commuter trips travel to downtown by modes other than single-occupancy automobile by 2040. This includes transitioning the proportion of commuters arriving by transit from the current 10 percent to 30 percent. This will be achieved by creating multimodal transit, walking, and bike connections and a network of walkable streets linked to public spaces. Rochester Rapid Transit, the first phase of a new rapid transit system, will be a key component of this strategy. Rochester Rapid Transit will streamline current transit service in the corridor by replacing several shuttles currently operated by Mayo Clinic and providing dedicated transit lanes to accommodate local bus service and Rapid Transit. Rochester Rapid Transit will operate on 2nd Street SW, one of the most heavily used corridors in the City of Rochester, carrying more than 21,800 vehicles and 13,000 transit riders each day. The corridor is already near capacity, and congestion causes significant delays for transit users, drivers, and others traveling through the area. Closely coordinated with the Destination Medical Center and Mayo Clinic, this rapid transit line is focusing on improving accessibility and efficiency of transit through this already-dense and rapidly growing area.
MnDOT TH 55 Connected Corridor Project: Lessons Learned and Next Steps
Frank Perry, Matt Gjersvik, WSP USA Inc.; Dan Rowe, MnDOT
Moderator: Margaret Donhue, Transportation Alliance
This session will provide information on MnDOT's TH 55 Connected Corridor program. Members of the MnDOT management and consultant design team will cover what was learned on the topics of corridor planning, installation and integration, CV hardware procurement and system operation. MnDOT's next steps related to the corridor and future CV environments will be covered as well.
MnDOT's New MH Precast Beams
Arielle Ehrlich, MnDOT
Moderator: Andrew Nordseth, Stantec
In 2018, the MnDOT (MnDOT), in collaboration with our MnPA (Minnesota Precast Association) partners, developed standard plan details for 30-, 35-, and 40-inch-deep prestressed "I" shape concrete beams. This presentation will address the development of the new shapes and other innovations in the MnDOT precast beam procedures.
Planning Inclusive Walk Audits and Demonstration Projects
Kristen O'Toole, Maria Wardoku, Alta Planning + Design; Emily Smoak, Minnesota Department of Health
Moderator: Katie Toghramadjian, Isthmus Engineering
Planning and street design processes benefit from incorporating the expertise of people with disabilities; when a street is accessible for people with disabilities, it is accessible for all people. The Minnesota Department of Health, through the Inclusive Pedestrian Planning project, is studying two aspects of pedestrian planning: walk audits and demonstration projects. Walk audits are a common public engagement activity used in pedestrian planning, but often are not accessible to or inclusive of people with disabilities. The Inclusive Walk Audit Facilitator's Guide provides specific guidance and information on how to better include people with disabilities and to highlight disability in walk audits so that planning processes are more inclusive. The Guide centers the experiences of people with disabilities—it was developed with a work group that consisted entirely of people who identify as having a disability. The presentation will describe methods for including people with disabilities in virtual and in-person walk audits. It will also describe suggestions to organize and lead more inclusive meetings, whether virtual or in person. The session will discuss strategies for more inclusive demonstration projects especially as they relate to developing virtual walk audits to gain insight about temporary pedestrian-focused projects.
Pedestrian Safety: A Best Practices Tool Kit and Case Study on US Route 1 in Howard County, Maryland
Albert Guiney Engel, Paul Silberman, Mead & Hunt
Moderator: Samantha Lorenz, Terra Soma
State and local transportation agencies, along with consultants, are faced with the challenge of responding to citizen requests and implementing pedestrian safety improvements that respect the variety of contexts where they are needed, while still conforming to driver and pedestrian expectations that apply to a larger area. This session will explore how the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration established consistent, quantitative best practices guidelines for pedestrian safety treatments across the state's diverse urban, suburban, and rural areas. To illustrate how the guidelines work, the session will present how they were applied to the case of US Route 1 in Howard County, Maryland, a redeveloping suburban corridor with growing pedestrian activity.
MnDOT's Statewide Pedestrian System Plan: An Equitable Approach to Investing in Walking
Jacob Rueter, Hannah Pritchard, MnDOT; Kristen O'Toole, Colin Harris, Alta Planning + Design
Moderator: Ken Johnson, MnDOT
MnDOT began work on its first Statewide Pedestrian System Plan in March of 2019; the plan will be completed in early 2021. The project builds upon Minnesota Walks, a guiding document that established a joint vision for walking held by both MnDOT and the Minnesota Department of Health. The Statewide Pedestrian System Plan translates the Minnesota Walks vision into action items for MnDOT. Major themes echoed throughout the plan include creating a multimodal transportation system, advancing equity, and mitigating climate change. These themes are described throughout the plan in terms of investment guidance, recommended pedestrian improvements according to land use context, and policy recommendations to center the plan in MnDOT's day-to-day work. The plan's recommendations were informed by hearing from priority populations throughout the state including people of color, Native Americans, people with disabilities, older adults, youth, people with low incomes, and small rural communities. Public engagement encompassed two phases and invited people into a conversation about how MnDOT can better meet the needs of people walking.
The Integration of Natural Capital to Mitigate Climate Change
Ginny King, Dale Grove, Stantec Consulting
Moderator: Luke Charpentier, MnDOT
Economic challenges, climate change impacts, social demand for quality of life improvements, and expanding urban sprawl are all impacting transportation projects. Managing these issues is a challenge, but it also provides an opportunity for the transportation community to use Natural Capital to develop sustainable practices that support the pressures and demands that come with them. This presentation will provide an overview of a practical integration of Natural Capital into transportation projects to manage for climate change in concert with generating additional benefits, cost effectively.
Anoka County-MnDOT ADA Small Business Initiative
Rich Haavisto, MnDOT Office of Advancing Equity; Jerry Auge, Anoka County; Mary Schmidt, MnDOT
Moderator: Farveh Makhssous, Sambatek, Inc.
In 2020, MnDOT and Anoka County embarked on a partnership to build the capacity of small businesses to prove they can perform ADAAG standards on Anoka County infrastructure. This presentation will describe the innovative approach to making government infrastructure accessible to all and demonstrate a capacity-building approach that is replicable across many types of public works.
MnDOT Use of Bridge Move Techniques and Precast Deck with UHPC
Matt Christie, WSP USA Inc.; Paul Pilarski, MnDOT
Moderator: Marc Parker, Collins Engineers, Inc.
During the 2019–2020 construction seasons, WSP partnered with MnDOT to replace two bridges at one of Minnesota's busiest interchanges, joining trunk highways I-494 and I-94 in Woodbury, MN. Two different accelerated bridge construction techniques were used in replacing the existing bridges. A bridge slide of one of the existing bridges onto a temporary alignment was used to minimize impact to the traveling public during new bridge construction. In addition, precast deck panels utilizing ultra-high performance concrete were implemented.
A New Look at Pedestrian Safety: Examining Statewide Roadway Risk Factors in Context
Thomas Hillman, Jessica Schoner, Toole Design Group; Sonja Piper, MnDOT Office of Traffic Engineering
Moderator: Kristine Hernandez, MnDOT
The MnDOT's Office of Traffic Engineering initiated a research project to analyze pedestrian crashes and systemic risk factors across the state. The goal of the project is to better understand the underlying factors contributing to pedestrian injuries and fatalities to support MnDOT in selecting appropriate and effective countermeasures and programmatic changes. The session will review the analysis methodology, results, and preliminary data gaps identified.
Highway 52 Connected and Automated Vehicle Study
Jacob Folkeringa, SRF Consulting Group; Cory Johnson, MnDOT
Moderator: Jamie Bents, WSP USA, Inc.
The Highway 52 CAV study is a partnership among MnDOT, SRF, the Highway 52 Coalition, and other stakeholders to understand which CAV technologies could benefit the communities between Saint Paul and Rochester. These applications could help solve winter weather driving challenges, work zone safety concerns, or other applications the study will review. These CAV technologies will be used to advance safety, equity, accessibility, mobility, and sustainability on Highway 52.
Community Station Creation: How Rochester and Its Residents Are Designing Its First BRT
Alicia Valenti, SRF Consulting Group; Jarrett Hubbard, City of Rochester
Moderator: Sophia Ginis, MetroTransit
The Rochester Rapid Transit Project is the first of a series of planned investments in bus rapid transit (BRT) in Rochester, MN. The Rochester community is highly civically engaged, and it is a priority of the City to create a project that is embraced by and welcoming to all its residents, employees, and visitors. To this end, the City coordinated with diverse community organizations to hire a team of ten Rochester residents who are working with project staff to codesign the Rochester Rapid Transit stations in a way that reflects their community values and priorities. The codesign process is particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it enables project staff and codesigners to conduct meaningful community engagement while adhering to social distancing and other public health guidance.
Data-Driven Approaches to Identifying Nonmotorized Transportation Needs
Steve Gazdik, Austin Hauf, WSB
Moderator: Haila Maze, Bolton & Menk
MnDOT initiated Rethinking I-94 to develop a vision for I-94 between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The I-94 corridor serves multiple transportation modes and is home to roughly 34,000 residents and many destinations that are commonly identified as desirable for people walking and biking, including transit stops, grocery stores, schools, parks, and more. To better understand baseline conditions, MnDOT conducted several analyses including pedestrian and bicycle travel sheds and Multimodal Level of Service (MMLOS), and it leveraged a web-based interactive GIS tool known as Datafi. Because Datafi is GIS-centric, it allowed for easy communication of results alongside data on key destinations, existing and planned facilities, StreetLight data, and other key datasets. The tools and analyses provided an improved understanding of needs and travel sheds for people walking and biking. Learn how MnDOT leveraged digital tools to identify needs in the corridor and communicate the message in easily understood formats.