by Siriphong (Toi) Lawphongpanich, Ph.D.
Pareto-lmproving Congestion Tolls
C*.. H A N G E...........
Ur I i==
S With the spring semester drawing to a
close, the CMS has been busy at work
tracking research projects, organizing
4 9 events, managing the daily particulars
L of the Center and preparing for the
i activities of the next academic year.
S. In February of this year, we awarded
seven research grants totaling $633,012
and expect the first quarterly reports from those projects in
June. The selected projects originated from the Departments
of Civil Engineering (transportation), Industrial & Systems
Engineering and Urban & Regional Planning, and they all
show great potential for some fascinating research results. The
studies range in subject from pricing approaches for mitigating
congestion to multimodal solutions for large scale evacuations;
a study from our urban planning researcher will look at
developing general methods for measuring the transportation
impact on land use and location using vehicle miles-of-travel
and travel time.
March was very active with back-to-back events, as we held
our first meeting of the Center's External Advisory Board
(EAB) and the First Annual Student Conference. These two
events were truly a success. Feedback from our EAB members
during the meeting was very positive, and we received valuable
guidance and suggestions. We have begun to implement
one of the EAB's suggestions with the launching of our
first live webcasted seminar, which took place on April 25
(Distinguished Lecturer in Transportation Seminar speaker
Chandra Bhat from the University of Texas at Austin).
Additional information on our seminar series is provided in
this issue of our newsletter and on our Web site.
Our student conference attracted over 40 students, faculty,
staff and other transportation professionals, and also included
our EAB members. Students from the Departments of Civil
Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Occupational
In This Issue
Message from the Director ..................................................... 2
Spotlight on Research.......................... ............. ............ .... 4
FirstAnnual Student Conference.................................................6
Featured Researcher Ruth Steiner....................................... 8
Student Spotlight Genesis Harrod.................................... 10
National Older Driver Research and Training Center............... 12
Distinguished Lecturers.................................... .............. 14
Therapy and Urban & Regional Planning presented their
graduate research on various topics, with a poster session held
in the afternoon. Both the board meeting and the conference
were held in the facilities of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of
Art at UF. You can visit our Web site at http://cms.ce.ufl.edu
(see Seminars and News links) to view PDF files of the various
Three interns were selected for this summer's Transportation
Research Internship Program. This is a paid internship that
will run from May to August each year. Interns will work with
transportation faculty and contribute to on-going projects at
the center. They will be required to prepare research reports
on their projects and present their findings at the end of the
Back at the CMS home base, work is progressing quite
nicely. Our Web site is replete with information and postings
regarding our recent activities, and our staff is diligently
gathering data for our first annual report, due out this summer.
The Center's Internal Steering Committee (ISC) continues to
meet once a month. These meetings are valuable, as the ISC
members provide guidance and input on various decisions
affecting the Center. We have one addition to the ISC this
year, Sherrilene Classen, an assistant professor in occupational
therapy, and we are delighted to have her on board.
Looking further ahead this year, we will be issuing our second
call for proposals in September and anticipate an increase
in the number that will be submitted. In the fall, we plan to
offer various information sessions to students regarding the
transportation profession and graduate school opportunities.
These sessions will take place at UF and one or two other
As we are approaching the end of our first year, I am very
pleased with what the CMS has been able to accomplish. Our
success is the result of the combined effort from a group of
highly motivated and dedicated individuals that have come
together to address congestion problems. I look forward to
another exciting year, with new opportunities and challenges
ahead, and I am convinced that the human force powering the
CMS will continue to drive it forward in the future.
Lily Elefteriadou, Ph.D.
CMS Spring 2008
CMS Director Lily
Elefteriadou delivers her
opening remarks to the
EAB during the Center's
first meeting with the
External Advisory Board.
The CMS held its first External Advisory Board
meeting on March 6 and 7 at the Samuel P. Harn
Museum of Art in Gainesville. The objectives of the
meeting were to provide an overview of the Center's
current activities and plans for the future, and to solicit
the EAB's input and guidance on how the CMS can best
achieve its goals.
The CMS currently has 10 board members from
academia, public agencies, and the private sector.
"The EAB membership covers a wide spectrum of
the transportation profession, and they bring a huge
amount of expertise,"
"I believe thev are a
Laura Kelley, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority
Teresa Scott, City of Gainesville
Wayne Kittelson, Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
Max Crumit, The PBS&J Corporation
Genevieve Giuliano, University of Southern California
School of Policy, Planning and Development
Mark Hallenbeck,TRAC at the University of Washington
Tamara Christion, Federal Highway Administration
Ananth Prasad, Florida Department of Transportation
Richard Long, Florida Department of Transportation
Debora Rivera, Florida Department of Transportation
very crucial part of
the CMS, and I hope
we can keep them
as engaged with the
activities of our center
as they were at this first
remarks and a
general overview by
of the UF College of
the board members and
thanked them for their
involvement with the
The format of the meeting included presentations from
the CMS's Internal Steering Committee and advisory
Bill Sampson, a member of the ISC and director of the
McTrans Center, was thrilled with the board's concern
for the success of the CMS.
"I felt a sincere buy-in from the external members
showing a real interest in what the CMS wants to
accomplish," Sampson said. "And on the other side,
it was very apparent that the ISC was committed to
following through on thoughts and suggestions from the
Participating via conference call, EAB member
Genevieve Giuliano, senior associate dean of research
and technology at the University of Southern California
School of Policy, Planning and Development, presented
on "What Makes a UTC Successful."
Giuliano stressed the importance of balancing Center
goals, adhering to the Center's strategic plan, partnering
with the Florida Department of Transportation and
other university transportation centers in Florida and
nationally, and having a user-friendly Web site. She also
reminded the CMS of the importance of adhering to
the expectations and reporting requirements of the U. S.
Department of Transportation Research and Innovative
Technology Administration (RITA).
Board member Richard Long, director of research
at the FDOT in Tallahassee, had a practical approach
when addressing the CMS regarding FDOT research
priorities and partnership with UF.
Long said that the CMS should share research needs
and projects with other states, universities and centers
as a means to fund a larger effort with a fraction of the
money coming from each of the participating entities.
On the second day of the conference the EAB
resumed its activities with attendance at the Center's
First Annual Student Conference, where students from
transportation engineering, industrial and systems
engineering, occupational therapy and urban and
regional planning showcased their work. After the half-
day conference, the EAB resumed their meeting and
concluded by providing an on-site evaluation, which was
well-received by all members of the CMS.
Materials from the EAB meeting are posted on the
CMS Web site at http://cms.ce.ufl.edu/news. 4
by Siriphong (Toi) Lawphongpanich, Ph.D.
Although the concept has been around for more than 80 years
and many have recognized it as an efficient method for regulating
congestion, congestion pricing has become practical only recently due
to the advent of electronic tolling. When compared to the alternative
of building more roads, congestion pricing, especially via electronic
tolling, is more attractive and successful implementations (e.g.,
Singapore, Oslo, London and Stockholm) exist worldwide.
In the United States, Congress established the Congestion Pricing Pilot
Program in 1991, which authorized Federal Highway Administration
to enter into cooperative agreements with up to 15 state/local
governments, or other public authorities, to establish, maintain and
monitor congestion pricing projects. Later, Congress reauthorized
the program with a slightly broader scope under the name Value
Pricing Pilot Program. In August 2007, the U.S. Department of
Transportation entered into urban partnership agreements with five
cites (Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, San Francisco and
Seattle) under its new congestion initiative.
Despite the successes of congestion pricing projects in the United
States and abroad, governmental supports such as the Value Pricing
Pilot Program and U.S. Department of Transportation's Congestion
Initiative, and the rapid increase in traffic congestion in areas of all
sizes, getting the public to accept congestion pricing remains a major
At the 2006 Transportation Research Board Summer Workshop on
innovations in pricing, the former secretary of the Washington State
Department of Transportation Douglas McDonald, observed that
"despite our best efforts, opinion research shows we face a skeptical
public" and offered a $1,000 reward to an individual or group that
proposes the most effective communication tool for promoting road
pricing. Elsewhere, road pricing schemes proposed for Hong Kong,
Cambridge, England and Edinburgh, Scotland were not implemented.
Anthony May from the Institute for Transport Studies, University
of Leeds, reported in 2005 that 10 or more pricing proposals were
"largely abandoned" in United Kingdom.
To make congestion pricing more appealing the public, Toi
Lawphongpanich and Yafeng Yin of the University of Florida Center
for Multimodal Solutions for Congestion Mitigation recently received
funding from the National Science Foundation to explore a new class
of Pareto-improving congestion pricing schemes.
When compared to the situation without any pricing intervention,
schemes in this class reduce congestion or improve social benefit
while not making anyone worse off. At the fundamental level, the two
researchers contend that Pareto-improving pricing schemes are more
appealing to the public because these schemes make no one worse off
or increase the travel cost beyond what the public has been paying in
4 CMS I Spring 2008
Without Pricing Marginal Cost Pricing
Flow (UE) Time Flow Time Toll Time + toll
(1,3) 3.60 36.00 2.06 20.64 20.64 41.28
(1,2) 0.00 50.00 1.54 51.54 1.54 53.07
(3,2) 2.28 12.28 0.90 10.90 0.90 11.79
(3,4) 1.32 35.06 1.17 31.21 29.21 60.43
(2,4) 2.28 22.78 2.43 24.32 24.32 48.63
1-3-4 1.32 71.06 1.17 51.85 49.85 101.70
1-3-2-4 2.28 71.06 0.90 55.85 45.85 101.70
1-2-4 0 72.78 1.54 75.85 25.85 101.70
Costs to users 255.82 227.11 139.02 366.13
Table 1: Flow distributions with and without marginal cost pricing
terms of travel time before any pricing intervention.
To illustrate the unappealing aspect of traditional
congestion pricing schemes, marginal cost (MC) pricing
in particular, and the potentials of the Pareto-improving
(PI) approach, consider the network in Figure 1 in which
there is only one origin-destination pair (1, 4) with a
3 } travelers or users. (In
practice, the demand
t3(v)=10vi3 Tt34(v)=2+2'i can be measured in
units of thousands
St3(v )=10l+v3 4 or millions, e.g., 3.6
S 3 millions of travelers
want to travel from
t(-iv=50tSO+v .A= -1 .. node 1 to 4.) The
Figure 1:A five-link network
function next to each
link is the travel time
or link performance
Table 1 displays the link and path flow distributions
with and without MC pricing along with the associated
costs. The flow distribution without any pricing is a user
equilibrium traffic flow distribution. In the second and
third columns, the table lists the amount of flow (or
the number of users) on each link and path along with
the travel time such flow induces. Without any pricing,
travelers use only two routes 1 3 4 and 1 3 2
- 4. Both take 71.06 time units to arrive at node 4, the
destination. As such, the users of these two routes have no
incentive to switch to route, 1 2 4, a longer route with
a travel time of 72.78. Thus, the total travel time or delay
for the 3.6 users is 3.6x71.06 255.82, as reported at the
bottom of the third column.
Under MC pricing, tolls are of the form t'(v,)a, where
t'(va) is the derivative of the travel time function, and
vzis the flow on link a. As shown in Table 1, MC pricing
Without Pricing Pareto-lmproving Pricing
Flow (UE) Time Flow Time Toll Time + toll
(1,3) 3.60 36.00 2.24 22.40 0.00 22.40
(1,2) 0.00 50.00 1.36 51.36 0.00 51.36
(3,2) 2.28 12.28 0.61 10.61 18.35 28.96
(3,4) 1.32 35.06 1.63 42.75 5.91 48.66
(2,4) 2.28 22.78 1.97 19.70 0.00 19.70
1-3-4 1.32 71.06 1.63 65.15 5.91 71.06
1-3-2-4 2.28 71.06 0.61 52.71 18.35 71.06
1-2-4 0 72.78 1.36 71.06 0.00 71.06
Costs to users 255.82 234.99 20.83 255.82
Table 2: Flow distributions with and without Pareto-improving pricing
charges a toll on every link and the total travel cost (time
+ tolls) to each user increases to 101.70. When examining
the path flows, MC pricing forces 1.54 travelers to use path
1 2 4. These travelers suffer twice, once for having to
use a longer route (75.85 instead of 71.06) and the other
for having to pay tolls (25.85 time units). Overall, the total
cost to the 3.6 travelers under MC pricing is 366.13, which
is more than the total cost (255.82) without any pricing,
a cost consisting entirely of time or delay. However, MC
pricing yields less total delay (227.11) and generates toll
revenue (139.02) for the transportation authority. Thus,
under MC pricing, every user is worse off and the only
one better offis the transportation authority.
Table 2 compares the flow distributions with and
without PI pricing. Under PI pricing, there are tolls on
two links, (3, 2) and (3, 4), and the total cost (time +
tolls) for every traveler is 71.06, the same as that without
pricing. In addition, the total delay under PI is 234.99, an
amount less than the one without pricing (255.82). When
compared to the absolute minimum (227.11, as shown
in Table 1 under MC pricing), the delay under Pareto-
improving pricing is only 3.5 percent more. On the other
hand, there is a toll revenue of 20.83 that can be used
to, improve or subsidize the transit system to increase its
ridership. Thus, PI pricing in this example is ideal-no
user is worse off, there is less delay and the transportation
authority can improve or subsidize its transit system with
the toll revenue generated.
In two recent reports, Lawphongpanich and Yin formulated
and developed a technique for solving the problem of
finding PI tolls and provide results using transportation
networks from Sioux Falls and Hull. In one of these reports,
they indicate that PI tolls are relatively prevalent. When
these tolls do not lead to the desired level of congestion
reduction, approximate Pareto-improving tolls often do so
without making anyone severely worse off.
Some participants of the First Annual Student Conference gather for a break in the lobby of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.
The rain did not stop 45 students, faculty, staff
and other guests from attending the CMS's 1st Annual
Student Conference held at the Samuel P. Harn Museum
of Art on March 7, 2008, which showcased graduate
student work related to transportation conducted at UF.
Students presented on topics ranging from optimal
dynamic pricing strategies for high occupancy/toll
lanes to Florida as a model state for older drivers, with
representation from civil engineering, industrial and
systems engineering, occupational therapy and urban and
Abishek Komma, 23, a master's student in the civil
engineering transportation program at UF, was one of
the student presenters. His work was entitled "Modeling
the Departure Traffic Assignment Model for Managed
Lanes." He thought the conference was productive and
believes the presence of the CMS's External Advisory
Board was crucial.
"The attendance of the board was important because this
might translate into taking concepts from research and
trying to implement them in practice," Komma said.
"This, in fact, is one of the crucial and important factors of
most research and how the research can help improve the
state of practice. And, this complements the very reason
why CMS was established, to help develop innovative
solutions to the congestion problems."
The conference was held in conjunction with the first
meeting of the CMS's External Advisory Board, whose
members attended the conference and showed much
interest in the various showcased projects.
Laura Kelley is deputy director of finance, administration
and planning of the Orlando-Orange Expressway
Authority, and a member of the Center's external advisory
board. For her, the conference presented an excellent
forum to discuss and learn about the research taking
place at the CMS.
"The CMS Student Conference was a tremendous
opportunity for leaders of the transportation industry
to learn and comment on the important congestion
mitigation research being conducted at the University,"
Kelley said. "The information made available through
CMS research to our agency and other transportation
agencies around the country enable us to better serve the
future mobility needs of our country."
Kelley is extremely interested in the congestion pricing
studies currently being researched at the Center. She
said that as the central Florida region continues to grow,
the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority will
need to consider many congestion mitigation options,
such as optimal dynamic pricing and discrete time
priced managed lanes to continue to provide customers
with predictable travel times, which also maximize
throughput on expressways.
6 CMS I Spring 2008
Grady Carrick, a Ph.D. student in transportation engineering, discusses his study on the data collection needs for work zone
incidents at the Chandler Auditorium of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art during the student conference.
Scott Washburn, an associate professor of civil engineering
at UF, believes that developing ties with the transportation
community in Florida and in the United States is vital to
the success of the CMS.
"The EAB members are all prominent figures in the
transportation profession and bring a great deal of
experience, knowledge, and insight to the table,"
Washburn said. "Obtaining input from these individuals
is invaluable to the mission of our center, and it is also a
confirmation of our capabilities and potential, that these
prominent individuals want to be involved in our center
The Departments of Urban and Regional Planning
and Occupational Therapy were well represented at
the conference. Kezia Awadzi of occupational therapy
discussed why Florida is considered a model state for
older drivers. Abdulnaser Arafat, a doctoral student in
urban and regional planning, presented on using network
distances using spatial interpolation.
Awadzi admits that when the CMS was first created
in the fall of 2007, she found it hard to envision how
occupational therapy would fit together with the research
mission of the Center.
"I saw the first call for proposals, which was specifically for
congestion studies, and at the time, I did not see a tie with
OT," she said. "After attending the student conference, I
kind of saw a tie because of some of the social factors that
were in the studies presented an indirect way to influence
the travel time. For example, if older drivers were to drive
at a certain time of the day and regulate their driving it
would impact the traffic patterns."
Sandra Winter, a doctoral student in occupational therapy,
agrees. She said that after listening to a couple of the
presentations she was able to see ties with occupational
therapy and their work with older drivers.
"For example, one person was going to look at focus
groups to describe people merging and merging behaviors
on ramps from the interstate," Winter said. "And there was
feedback from the audience, specifically to say 'In your
focus groups, are you recruiting one type of driver, are
you going to look across the spectrum?' and we generally
have access to information that can help explain the
percentage of older drivers and the characteristics of how
they drive and influence things like merging behavior and
Student presentations can be viewed by visiting the CMS
Web site at http://cms.ce.ufl.edu/seminars >
Ruth Steiner, associate
professor of urban
and regional planning
at UF, talks about land
use and planning
at a joint CMS and
seminar this spring.
After nearly two decades of research and practice
in the area of urban and regional planning, Ruth Steiner,
associate professor of urban and regional studies at UF,
still maintains an active research program that is rapidly
becoming an important part of the CMS.
Steiner specializes in the coordination of land use
and transportation with an emphasis on alternative
modes of transportation. She is a member of the CMS's
Internal Steering Committee and is a real champion for
collaborating with the Center.
"It's a natural fit and only logical," Steiner said. "We
are all trying to solve the same problem, but we are seeing
things from a very different perspective, and that meshing
of perspectives is a really good way of thinking about how
we can come up with creative solutions that neither side
would have come to on its own."
Collaboration between urban and regional planning
and transportation at UF is only recent, however. In the
past, priorities were mostly placed on the engineering
aspects of transportation, and little common ground
existed with those researching urban planning, she said.
"The emphasis in transportation at that time was signal
timing and traffic operations and the more engineering
aspects of transportation, while I was doing research in
pedestrian and bicycle planning, which is not exactly
mainstream transportation planning either," Steiner said.
But the winds of change brought in a different
perspective when the current CMS Director, Lily
Elefteriadou, was hired.
The concurrent degree program
The collaboration between the two departments led
to the creation of the Concurrent Degree Program in
Transportation Engineering and Urban Planning. The
program promises to prepare students for a successful
career in the interdisciplinary field of planning, designing
and operating urban infrastructure. Two students have
already enrolled in the program, and Steiner expects it to
"Planning students spend a lot of time working with
engineers and vice-versa," Steiner said. "The real advantage
is that the concurrent degree gives graduates a leg-up in
the market. They are of value to their employer, as they
understand both sides."
The building of the concurrent degree was a process
that developed over time, she said. Her meetings with Siva
Srinivasan, an assistant professor in the transportation
engineering group, yielded the logistics and structure for
the program. The two reviewed dual degree programs at
other universities before determining UF's requirements.
Steiner's involvement is very useful to the CMS because
her expertise in transportation policy complements
the civil and coastal engineering faculty's focus on the
analysis, modeling and operation of transportation
systems, Srinivasan said. He also pointed out that the
relationship with urban and regional planning assists
the Center in pursuing transportation research within
the broader context of understanding and improving the
overall urban system.
Her research program
Steiner is finishing up a transportation concurrency
project for multimodal transportation systems in Florida.
The study is looking at ways to sustain the flow of
automobile traffic while at the same time designing viable
8 CMS I Spring 2008
New Concurrent Degree Program for Transportation
Engineering and Urban and Regional Planning
The CMS is now offering a concurrent degree in transportation engineering and urban planning. The
program already has two students and it is expected that its numbers will to grow as more and more
students become aware of the benefits associated with acquiring this great blend of skills.
The concurrent degree program was created to prepare students for a career in the interdisciplinary
field of planning, designing and operating urban infrastructure. Students in this program take courses
in transportation engineering and urban planning and earn a Master of Engineering (M.E.) (or a Master
of Science M.S., if the student's undergraduate degree was not in engineering), and a Master of Arts in
urban and regional planning. Students take a total of 73 credit hours (30 in transportation engineering
and 52 in urban planning, with nine credits shared between both degrees). The program takes three years
to complete. Funding opportunities are available for students through the CMS or the Departments of
Civil Engineering and Urban & Regional Planning.
For more specific information, including admission requirements and faculty contact information, visit
"What we are trying to say is that we know we have to
keep automobile traffic flowing because it is important to
the economic future of the state," Steiner said. "So we are
trying to develop the right kinds of incentives to do the
right kind of planning."
She said the problem with concurrency is that
redevelopment of a viably fit downtown, for example,
might pose a problem if the roads are congested. With
multimodal planned transportation, the idea is to design
a community balanced for all modes of transportation,
such as cars, buses and bicycles, including sidewalks and
trails for pedestrians.
Another project Steiner is working on involves children's
travel to school. The project is funded through the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation, which is dedicated to
reversing the increase in childhood obesity.
"What they are concerned with is travel to school as an
active mode of transportation and as a mode of physical
activity," Steiner said. "The connection to obesity is that
we see it as a function of activity because kids are spending
more time in front of the TV or playing computer games
and probably eating more junk food."
In the 1960s, almost half of children walked or bicycled
to school, and today less than 13 percent do, Steiner said.
"What I am trying to look at in the study is the role of
location of schools and what effect that has on children's
ability to walk to school," Steiner said. "We are measuring
the specific use of land and the neighborhood surrounding
it at three different levels: How many kids live close to the
school (the relationship between residential density and
the school), what happens when you adjust for policies of
the school board (how attendance zones are drawn), how
major roadways may affect that relationship, and how
many kids are actually walking to a sampling of schools."
With a grant recently funded by the CMS, Steiner
is working on a vehicle-miles-traveled project. In this
project, Steiner and co-investigator Srinivasan are looking
at designing a system to decrease the amount of trips
people take by automobile with the potential of reducing
the distance traveled during these trips.
Life before UF
The agricultural academics would love it. Steiner can talk
milk, milk fat, Holsteins, Brown Swiss and mixed breeds.
That's what happens when you are born on a dairy farm
"I had to milk cows and had to do farm work since the
age of 6 or so," Steiner said. "There was a dairy cooperative
that my father sold milk to called Lake-to-Lake, you
know like the Land-o-Lakes brand, and my father also
worked in a small engines factory in a small town called
New Holstein, Wis."
Her mother was a homemaker turned teacher's aid after
raising 16 children. Steiner is child number seven.
After graduating from high school, Steiner studied
history at Lawrence University in Wisconsin and then
received her MBA from the University of Wisconsin-
Miliwakee. Her goal was to lead a corporate lifestyle and
become a businesswoman. However, involvement in her
local Milwaukee community and with the Sierra Club
changed her path in life.
This active participation in community planning is
what eventually led Steiner to the University of California
at Berkeley where she finished a master's degree in city
planning. For the next few years, she worked for the
Vermont Public Service Board and worked on energy
continue on page 11
National Older Driver Research and
Training Center NODRTC
If you've ever had an aging loved onewho refuses
to give up driving, you know that it can be difficult to
convince them to do so, especially when they have not
realized that their driving days might be coming to an
end. With Florida being a haven for retirees, anticipating
the needs of older drivers is a pressing issue.
In Florida, 18 percent of the population is 65 and older,
Kezia Awadzi, Ph.D. (front) and doctoral student Sandy
Winter, both of occupational therapy at UF.
and it is estimated that one in four residents will be older
than 65 by the year 2020. That age group will take 80
percent of their trips by car.
But for seniors in the state, the National Older Driver
Research and Training Center at the University of Florida
offers valuable resources such as driving assessments,
strategies for safe driving and counseling for those who
can no longer drive but want to preserve a sense of mobility
in their community.
The Center was established in 2000 under the name of
Seniors Institute on Transportation and Communities
but became the NODRTC in 2003 to reflect a national
focus after receiving grants from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention and the Federal Highway
Administration. The NODRTC is also funded by the
Florida Department of Transportation and the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Research at the NODRTC draws its expertise from an
interdisciplinary group of faculty and students, which use
high-tech tools such as a high-fidelity driving simulator
and various instrumented vehicles to conduct studies.
Older drivers, however, are not the only segment of
Florida's population being researched by the NODRTC.
Investigators are also studying driving in other age
categories, especially in those with limited mobility,
through the creation of the Institute for Community
Mobility, the umbrella center housing the NODRTC. Co-
director of the NODRTC, Dennis McCarthy, explains.
"A lot of the things that we discovered are applicable and
beneficial not only to senior citizens but also to younger
people and people with disabilities," McCarthy said. "In
addition to that, we had a substantial number of people
for whom we recommended that they stop driving. For
a lot of these people, there are very few options to enable
them to stay mobile once they have stopped driving, so,
recognizing the importance of this, we decided to broaden
our scope of work that we are looking at."
The ICM includes all age groups without disabilities,
which spans the spectrum from driving to riding in other
vehicles, he added.
Regardless of age, congestion certainly exists in most
communities, and the CMS believes that by collaborating
with the ICM/NODRTC, they can arrive at some very
important conclusions regarding the impacts of driver
characteristics on congestion.
"There are three major components in the transportation
system: the infrastructure, the vehicle and the driver,"
said CMS Director Lily Elefteriadou. "What research
has shown is that individual driver behavior, such as lane
changing decisions, greatly affects traffic. The NODRTC
is greatly positioned to help us understand the impact of the
driver on traffic operations and congestion initiation.
The ICM/NODRTC also has a notable academic
program. It offers doctoral studies in rehabilitation
science and research opportunities for post-doctoral
fellowships, among other programs. KeziaAwadzi, a post-
doctoral researcher, is a product of the NODRTC. She
said she became fascinated with older driver research,
while working as a graduate assistant on a Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention project with Sherrilene
Classen, an assistant professor in occupational therapy at
the NODRTC. Awadzi likes the dynamic nature of older
10 CMS Spring 2008
"The main component of older driver research is that you
move in different directions, like you do something on
medication, something on injury and driving, so in the
end you begin to see a bigger picture," Awadzi said. "There
is a lot of opportunity to expand, and because people are
working on different projects, you get to know what is
going on outside your own, and you get to find ways to use
what you've learned to make yourself a better researcher."
Sandy Winter, a doctoral student in the rehabilitation
science program at the NODRTC, agrees. She said that
older driver research is a complex public health issue because
it involves many factors, including medical conditions as
they relate to crashes and the behaviors that lead to them
such as personal, social and psychological factors. Winter
is working with Classen on her dissertation and will use
these qualitative factors to contribute to the development
of a measure for safe driving behavior for older adults.
Winter believes the strength of her program also comes
from the skilled faculty at the NODRTC.
Classen's research focuses on creating a public health
model for promoting and predicting safe driving among
older adults and on investigating the differences between
younger and older drivers on varying road conditions. She
believes her association with the CMS will help her learn
about congestion and its effects on older drivers, so that
she may offer useful and safer driving strategies to the
"Better understanding congestion and associated traffic
factors will help us to conceptualize the ever increasing
environmental demands," Classen said.
With Classen's participation in the ISC, Elefteriadou
hopes to join forces with her and others from the ICM/
NODRTC on future projects.
"We are very excited about collaborating with the ICM/
NODTRC because we see an excellent opportunity to
shed some light on the impacts of driver behavior on traffic
and congestion, as well as on the contribution of specific
driver actions on congestion initiation," Elefteriadou
As the aging population in the state of Florida continues
to grow, the presence of senior citizens on its roads will
likely increase. But with the NODRTC comfortably
established, this segment of the population will continue
to benefit from the valuable information available to them
when driving will no longer be an option.
For more information on the NODRTC, visit
Climbing further along the academic ladder, Steiner
went back to UC-Berkeley to begin her Ph.D. studies.
She worked with a researcher at the Lawrence-Berkeley
National Laboratory who wanted someone with land use,
air quality, energy and transportation experience.
She admits that at the time transportation was her
weakest link, but she began to explore the relationship
between transportation and planning, asking herself
questions and merging the two areas in her study.
"Questions came up on how to create communities
where people have choices about transportation and are
not dependent on automobile use," Steiner said. "I did
my dissertation on neighborhood shopping centers and
looked at what mode of transportation people used to get
Hard work pays off
Steiner is the first woman to be tenured in the Department
ofUrban and Regional Planning atUF, an accomplishment
she is quite proud of.
"I got my tenure in 2002," Steiner said. "A lot of the
planning departments were created in the 60s and 70s
when there weren't that many women. But now, out of a
faculty of 10 here at UF, there are four female faculty. I
am a trail blazer."
But Steiner doesn't rest on her laurels. She continues
to train students and involves them in various data
collection projects such as the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation-funded project. For the past two months,
graduate assistants and student assistants traveled with her
to various locations in Florida to collect data throughout
the spring semester.
But seeing her students complete their programs,
graduate and become part of the transportation
community is the greatest satisfaction for an educator,
"I've had about 60 research assistants, and they are all
over the country doing transportation planning," Steiner
said. "I am proud to have trained the next generation of
continued from page 9
Ruth Steiner Urban and Regional Planning
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presentation 6a 663un n h
Lecturer Seminar Series
Chandra Bhat, Ph.D.
Adnan Abou-Ayyash Centennial Professor in Transportation Engineering
Universityof Texas atAustin
This spring Chandra Bhat gave a presentation entitled Incorporating
Residential Self-Selection Effects in Activity Time-use Behavior: Formulation
and Application of a Joint Mixed Multinomial Logit Multiple Discrete-
Continuous Extreme Value Model. The study used a joint model system
of residential location and activity time-use choices that considered
a comprehensive set of activity-travel environment (ATE) variables,
including socio-demographic variables, as determinants of individual
weekday activity time-use choices. A sample of 2,793 households and
individuals residing in Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area
were used for the joint model system estimations. The study found that modifying the activity-
travel environment can lead to small changes in individual activity time-use patterns, even
after controlling for residential sorting effects. These changes, however, were relatively small
compared to the influence of demographics on individual time-use patterns.
Fred Mannering, Ph.D.
Professor of Civil Engineering
In fall 2007 Fred Mannering traveled to UF to give a talk on the analysis of
drivers' risk compensation response to vehicle safety features. Mannering's
talk focused on research he conducted in response to virtually constant
fatality rates despite the introduction of many new safety features in
vehicles such as front and side airbag systems, antilock braking systems,
traction control and electronic stability control. A possible explanation is
that fatality rates are not decreasing because drivers are using the safety
features to drive in a more aggressive manner, which is offsetting the
impact of new safety features. In Mannering's research, he and his colleagues used disaggregate
data from the 1990s to analyze the effect of airbags and antilock brakes on automobile safety
and found that both of these features had no statistically significant effect on the likelihood of
an accident or injury severity. The research suggests that drivers are trading off enhanced safety
for speedier trips.
Samer Madanat, Ph.D.
Xenel Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Institute of Transportation Studies
University of California, Berkeley
In spring 2007, Samer Madanat presented a lecture entitled "Optimization
of Maintenance and Replacement Policies for a System of Heterogeneous
Infrastructure Facilities." The talk addressed the determination of optimal
maintenance and replacement policies for a system of heterogeneous
facilities. At the system level, the policies were obtained using a reliability-
based framework, based on policies that are optimal at the facility level.
The facility-level policies were determined by using a finite-state, finite-
t horizon Markov decision process in which the state of the Markov chain
contained information on the history of maintenance and deterioration. Optimal conditions for
the continuous-case system-level problem were derived and explained intuitively. A numerical
study also showed that the results obtained in the discrete-case implementation of the solution
were valid approximations of the continuous-case results. The system-level formation can be
efficiently solved, which makes it suitable for systems of realistic sizes.
CMS Director Lily Elefteriadou
and CMS Coordinator Ines Aviles-
Spadoni spoke to students at Rose-
Hulman Institute of Technology
in Terre Haute, Ind., about
transportation research and graduate
opportunities at UF.
Rose-Hulman is a four-year, private college that specializes in
teaching engineering, science and mathematics. The 2008 U.S.
News & World Report's survey of higher education listed Rose-
Hulman as the No.1 engineering institution whose highest
degree is a bachelor's and No. 1 in five engineering departments:
mechanical, electrical, civil, computer and chemical.
"We chose to visit Rose-Hulman because of its excellent
reputation in engineering education, coupled by the limited
exposure of their students to the transportation profession and
its challenges" Elefteriadou said.
She indicated this activity was organized to partly fulfill one of
the CMS's most important goals: to attract highly competent
students into transportation.
According to Sue Niezgoda, an assistant professor of civil
engineering at Rose-Hulman, students in the department are
bright and motivated self-learners that were at the top of their
class in high school when they came in as freshmen.
"Students really like to be challenged with their work and are
extremely focused on problem solving," Niezgoda said. "This
is one of the first places that I have taught in which I received
evaluation comments from students suggesting that I make
homework assignments harder. Yes, harder."
Intellect aside, these students really struck a chord with
Elefteriadou and Aviles-Spadoni when they visited with students
at the school.
"First of all, interacting with Andrew Pinkstaff, the Rose-
Hulman ASCE student chapter president, was a real pleasure
CMS Director Lily Elefteriadou delivers a technical presentation to a
room full of students as part of the recruitment activities during the
Center's visit to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
because he was always ahead of the game while coordinating
things on his end," Aviles-Spadoni said. "And when we got
there, it was just our general interactions with the students
during the presentation and during lunch which made the trip
Pinkstaff believes the CMS's visit to Rose-Hulman was a great
success, and that students benefited from the information
provided to them on the various opportunities within the CMS,
especially with respect to graduate school.
Tapping into this pool of highly qualified students will have its
challenges for the CMS. Because Rose-Hulman is primarily
an undergraduate institution, most students are not exposed
to research and do not consider graduate school, and they end
up being heavily recruited by industry. Although the faculty at
Rose-Hulman encourages students to consider graduate school,
a large percentage of them enter the professional world.
Niezgoda thought that the event as a whole was well planned
and hopes the CMS returns in fall 2008 to encourage the great,
young minds at Rose-Hulman to consider graduate studies in
transportation at UF.
"In a small number of students, I saw a spark of interest in
graduate school generated, particularly when they discovered
that there were funding opportunities to pursue a graduate
education," Niezgoda said. "I think the more presentations like
this that we can offer our students, the better. It will expose
them to the graduate school experience, and more will become
interested over time."
Genesis Harrod likes to drive, and
while cruising south from Gainesville to her
native Orlando along Interstate 75, the idea
of becoming a transportation engineer and
urban planner materialized.
"I had a conversation with my martial arts
teacher, who had just finished a degree in
urban planning at UF," said Harrod, 23, a first year
master's student at UF. "That conversation sparked an
interest for me in the field. And from the transportation
engineering perspective, I liked the more practical side of
using my mathematical skills since my bachelor's degree
is in mathematics."
She set out to find away to combine all of her interests, and
became an original in doing so. Harrod is the first student
at UF to be in the concurrent master's degree program in
transportation engineering and urban planning.
Harrod is also the first student from the Center for
Multimodal Solutions for Congestion Mitigation (CMS)
to win the Annual Student of the Year Award sponsored
by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which was
awarded to her in January during the 87th Annual
Transportation Research Board Meeting in Washington,
The 'Genesis' of the Concurrent Program
With the initial idea born out of a casual conversation
with her karate instructor, Harrod decided to apply to
the master's program in both urban planning and civil
"I essentially did everything you are not supposed to do
when applying to graduate school," Harrod said. I took
the GRE late, and I applied late. I spent all summer on my
toes waiting for an answer, and in the meantime, all my
friends were getting into other graduate schools, so it was
a very tense summer."
But never did she think she would be accepted into both
"My thoughts were to start out in one program and prove
myself academically, but it was by chance that I got into
both, so I thought I would just go full force at that point,"
That summer, while working at the Jurassic Park River
Adventure in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in
Orlando to earn money for graduate school, she received
a call from her mother telling her that a letter from the
University of Florida had arrived. She was hesitant,
however, to have her mother open it.
"I work with tourists, so the nature of my job requires
me to be happy," Harrod said. "I have to be all nice and
friendly to people, you know, it's my job, I have to be
nice. So, I did not want her to open it and give me the
news until I got home. But then I went 'yeah, let's open it
anyway.' And so she opened it, and I was like screaming
in the office and my mother was screaming on the other
That was in late July 2007, and after hearing from both
departments, she began to prepare for meetings with
Ruth Steiner, an associate professor in urban planning,
and with Lily Elefteriadou, the director of the CMS.
"I went through the catalog and started coming up with
classes to see how the two programs would match, so I
made my own preliminary plan and then contacted Dr.
Steiner and Dr. Lily," Harrod said.
Little did Harrod know that while she had been
formulating the idea of a concurrent program in urban
planning and transportation engineering, Steiner, along
with Siva Srinivasan, an assistant professor in civil
engineering, had already discussed the possibility of
creating such a program at UF earlier that summer.
"Within a few weeks, before we could even finalize the
curriculum, I learned that Genesis had applied to both
programs and wanted to complete them as concurrent
degrees," Steiner said. "She had even figured out which
paperwork she needed to fill out to make this happen.
Thus, she can be seen as the 'genesis' of the concurrent
Plans for the Future
Although she's still "trying to figure it out," Harrod says
she is drawn more to the research aspect of academia but
is exploring every opportunity that comes her way. This
summer, Harrod will be working as an intern at HDR, a
national architectural and engineering firm with an office
located in Gainesville.
14 CMS I Spring 2008
The Genesis File
* Genesis Harrod is a Student Government Senator
* Her first time going to both Washington, D.C. and
TRB was during the January 2008 meeting
* Did not receive her driver's license until she was 21
* Is a member of the Butokukan Karate Club at UF
* Was born on February 17, 1984 in Asheville, North
* Her mother is a teacher at Chain of Lakes Middle
School in Orlando
* Likes to eat lemons
* Has never been out of the U.S. but wants to visit
Africa and Japan
A group photo of the 2008 Student of the Year
Award Recipients at a banquet sponsored by the
Council of University Transportation Centers at
the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.,
in January of this year.
Christina L. Cozart
Rod Diridon, Paul Brubaker, Genesis Harrod and Norman Minetea CMS
University of Florida
512 Weil Hall
PO Box 116580
Gainesville, FL 32611-6580
P. 352.392.9537, ext.1409
Front cover photo courtesy of Paul Schatz, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority
UW |UNIVERSITY of
Center for Multimodal Solutions for Congestion Mitigation
512 Weil Hall
P.O. Box 116580
Gainesville, FL 32611-6580
Phone: 352.392.9537, Ext. 1409