This summer, the CMS completed its first full
year of activities. During that year, grants for
research projects were awarded, various educa-
tional programs were created, conferences and
seminars took place, and our annual report was
published and disseminated.
As we begin our second year, I see our ac-
tivities revolving around three distinct research
areas: congestion pricing, traffic simulation,
and transportation and land use planning.
Faculty and students in Civil Engineering are
collaborating with colleagues in Industrial and
Systems Engineering on improving congestion
pricing and making it more appealing to the
public. Transportation researchers are working
with the McTrans Center to improve on traffic
simulation algorithms, ranging from two-lane
highway operations to roundabout modeling.
Finally, transportation planners from Urban
and Regional Planning and Civil Engineering
are developing new approaches for considering
the interactions between land use and transpor-
tation to improve urban systems.
Last month, our second call for pre-pro-
posals was issued, and invitations have been
extended for full proposals. External reviewers
will evaluate the full proposals, and we hope
to call on experts such as you to assist in the
process. We expect to announce the awards in
Upcoming educational activities planned
for our second year include the continuation
of our summer internship program, continua-
tion of our concurrent degree in Transportation
Engineering and Urban and Regional Planning,
and exploration of educational activities in
collaboration with the Industrial and Systems
Engineering Department. A second concurrent
degree program is in the preliminary stages of
its creation as several students from Industrial
and Systems Engineering have expressed inter-
est, thanks to our strong ties and continued
collaboration with that department.
In the last few months we hosted two
visiting students from the University of Twente
in the Netherlands. Martijn Siemerink and
Tamo Vogel joined us this summer to conduct
research for their undergraduate thesis. Martijn
worked on the evaluation of incidents on capac
ity using simulation, while Tamo investigated
evacuation strategies using CORSIM. The two
students presented the results of their work
on November 7th, 2008 to CMS students and
faculty. They also talked to us about their home
country, and we had the opportunity to learn
about a different approach to transportation!
This past November, we held our first
"Congestion Mitigation Strategies Symposium"
which featured U.S. House of Representatives
John Mica (R-7th), the ranking member of the
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Featured guest panelists also included David
Brown, Chair of Broad and Cassel and former
Florida Transportation Commission Chair,
and Linda Watson, the Chief Executive Officer
of LYNX, Orlando Transit System. Many UF
faculty, students, staff, and transportation pro-
fessionals around the state of Florida attended
Our Distinguished Lecturer this fall was
Dr. Mike Meyer of the Georgia Institute of
Technology who spoke on "Climate Change
and Transportation: Cause and Effect Challeng-
es for Civil Engineering." This presentation
was held at UF's Electronic Deliver of Graduate
Education (EDGE) facilities and made available
as a live webcast. The presentation has been
posted on the CMS Web site (Distinguished
Lecturer Seminar Series).
As for our technology transfer activities,
we collaborated with the Florida Transporta-
tion Technology (T2) Transfer Center on a
roundabouts seminar given by Ken Sides,
P.E., PTOE, AICP, from the City of Clearwater.
The turn out and interest expressed by many
transportation professionals in Florida was
excellent, and we expect to continue our close
ties and collaboration with T2 in the future.
We invite you once again to read through
our fall 2008 newsletter. As always, we wel-
come suggestions and hope to hear from you in
the near future.
Lily Elefteriadou, Ph.D.
Congestion Mitigation Strategies
Congressman John Mica (R-7th) was the featured speaker at the Congestion
Mitigation Strategies Symposium held at the University of Florida's Emerson
Alumni Hall in November 2008.
Congressman Mica was joined by Linda Watson, CEO of LYNX Orlando
Transit System and C. David Brown, II, the former Florida Transportation
Commission chair and now chair of Broad and Cassel, a law firm with various
Dr. chue locations throughout Florida. All three spoke on the various transportation
i Jissues in Florida.
Congressman Mica addressed the importance of investing in public trans-
portation and in developing a strategic national transportation infrastructure
plan. Brown stressed the importance of improving mobility by creating a solid
investment structure and indicated that transportation planning is an essential
first step to land use issues. Watson gave an overview of LYNX and explained
how transit programs in Orlando have improved congestion and service to the
public at large.
The panelists fielded questions from members of the audience, which
Included students, professors and other transportation professionals.
The symposium was sponsored by Transportation Research Center and the
Center for Multimodal Solutions for Congestion Mitigation.
To see a video recording of this event, visit the CMS Website at http:/ /cms.
ce.ufl.edu and go to News.
Top: (left to right) Lily Elefteriadou, Congressman John Mica, Linda Watson
Bottom: (left to right) Siva Srinivasan, Yafeng Yin, Ruth Steiner, Lily Elefteriadou,
Congressman John Mica, Scott Washburn
Distinguished Lecturer Sem inar Series Michael D. Meyer, Ph.D., professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Lecture Topic: Climate Change and Transportation:
Cause and Effect Challenges for Civil Engineering
Dr. Michael Meyer indicated that the transportation sector is a sig- lll
nificant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions that evidence sug-
gests is a major cause of climate change. His presentation examined
two aspects of this relationship as it affects transportation engineer-
ing: the emissions generated by the transportation sector as well as
the potential effect of climate change on the transportation system.
Strategies for addressing both aspects were presented, as well as
thoughts relating to the likely direction that the United States will
take in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through transportation
actions. Included in these strategies were the actions on how to
improve traffic flow and reduce congestion, as well as new vehicle
technology and fuels. Examples from different parts of the United
States as well as other countries were given.
* *e s le arc
Abdulnaser Arafat, Ruth Steiner, llir Bejleri
(center, in monitor), Allison Fischman,
A back entrance to a school in Seminole
County that depicts a walking path between
residences and an elementary school
Middle schoolers in Seminole County
walking across an intersection guided by a
WE'VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE slow moving traffic through a school zone, parents dropping off
their children and anxious drivers not so patiently waiting for the line of cars to begin moving again.
For many drivers, this congestion amounts to countless hours lost in commute time. For the environment,
this means more pollution, and for children, a decrease in physical activity and possible health implications.
Through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) Active Living Research Program and
the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), researchers at the University of Florida are looking at how
coordinated planning policy, as related to school locations, affects the number of children walking or riding
their bicycles to school.
Ruth Steiner, an associate professor of urban and regional planning at UF, said the project materialized
while working on a FDOT grant.
"One of the things we kept wondering about was how the policies related to density of land develop-
ment, street connectivity, and how the mix of land uses affect walking and bicycling," Steiner said. "We are
really focusing on children's travel to school, and the question asked is what are the public policies affecting
The number of children in the United States who walk or bike to school has declined steadily over the
last four decades. In 1969, 48 percent of students walked or bicycled to school, but by 2001, that number had
dropped to 15 percent. This has implications nationwide because of the increase in obesity and Type II diabe-
tes. Another implication is the congestion created as a consequence of parents driving their children to and
from school during peak commute times and the increase in pollution as a result of congestion in general.
"The RWJ Foundation's goal is to improve the health in the country, and this is their focus children's
health," Steiner said. "Children are eating more than they used to and exercising less, so they are watching TV
and sitting at the computer more, playing video games. And then there is what we would call utility travel,
and children walking to school are part of that utility travel."
The study included four school districts
in Florida: Hillsborough, Orange, Pasco and
Seminole. These school districts were exam-
ined to determine the transportation effects
of several policy areas, including multimodal
transportation planning policy, coordinated
school planning policy and federal and state
Safe Routes to School programs. The school
districts represented the Orlando and Tampa
Bay areas. The counties were selected because
of large populations (over 400,000 in 2006),
high enrollment (over 30,000 in 2005-2006
and with over 20 percent growth from 2000
to 2005), and at least 30 elementary schools
representing a wide range of time periods
in which the schools were built. To measure
actual levels of walking and bicycling in the
selected school districts, thirty-two elemen-
tary schools and eight middle schools were
randomly selected to participate in teacher-
administered in-school transportation surveys
over a three-day period.
Allison Fischman, a master's student in
urban and regional planning, was involved
with the project and was responsible for inter-
viewing school principals on the travel pat-
terns of their students. She was also involved
with gathering data on pedestrian networks
around the schools. Her fieldwork involved
surveying the pedestrian environment around
a school for facilitators (sidewalks, trails) and
impediments (fences, highways) to walking.
Fischman noted that impediments to walking
may include more than hazardous roadways.
"There were barriers that were not easy
to measure such as drug dealers, graffiti on
the walls and broken down sidewalk infra-
structure," Fischman said.
The data suggests that from the selected
elementary schools surveyed in the Orlando
area, Orange and Seminole school districts
had the greatest number of students walk-
ing or bicycling to school with 14.8 percent
and 13.4 percent, respectively as compared to
school districts in the Tampa Bay area with 11
percent in Pasco and 7.6 percent in Hillsbor-
ough, which had less of a tendency to walk or
ride their bikes to school.
Data also indicates that counties with
longer histories of coordinated school loca-
tions and multimodal planning, such as
Orange and Seminole, tend to have more
students walking and bicycling to school.
The low number of walkers in Hillsborough
County could be the result of the numerous
roadways and hazardous conditions for walk-
ers. Although survey results suggest that few
Hillsborough County students are walking
to school, a potential walkability analysis
shows there is high potential for walking and
bicycling to school in the older parts of the
county, such as in the city of Tampa. These
parts of the county generally exhibit high
levels of street connectivity, sidewalks, and
overall a better pedestrian environment.
Current technology such as Geographic
Information Systems (GIS), a tool that pro-
vides researchers with geospatial data and
coordinate points, was used in this study to
measure the potential for walking to school.
Ilir Bejleri, an associate professor of urban
and regional planning at UF, is an expert on
GIS and collaborated on the project.
"We wanted to see the correlation
between the location of the students and the
school they go to, and the routes they take
to find the shortest path, based on the street
network," Bejleri said. "We were also able to
determine the walking areas that are based on
an average walking speed."
Bejleri explained that based on the
schools' street network, the size of an area
within 10 minutes of walking distance could
be estimated. But even with this tool, the
information extracted might not be reliable
because street network data might not be up
"If you were to take the street network
as it is, most street segments don't have all
the information to be able to accurately deter-
mine the connections that will allow people
to walk," Bejleri said. "So we did a lot of data
collection and then cleaned it up to bring the
data to the level where they could be reliable
Abudulnaser Arafat, an urban and re-
gional planning doctoral student working on
the project, created a GIS analysis tools for the
project. He said that most of the work using
GIS was not typical.
"Much of the GIS work in the project is not
the routine GIS analysis," Arafat said. "Most
of the analysis simply could not be calculated
in GIS in one step or interactively, so we had
[to create] an automation program using new
methodologies, which dealt with the data and
the analysis at the parcel level."
The GIS tool and methodologies created
for this project will be used for analysis on other
research projects in the future, Arafat said.
Russell Provost, a master's student
working on the project, said that GIS helped
the team measure these indexes for the buf-
fers for each school.
"So not only do we know how many
students are within two miles, we also know
what percentages are actually attending
that school," Provost said. "We can have 500
students within two miles of that school but
perhaps only 20 percent of them are zoned or
attending that school."
The study used a two-mile distance to
analyze the potential for walkability because
Florida law specifies that children living with-
in two miles of a school can be bused only if
walking conditions are hazardous. The study
cautions that some students living within that
distance may not be walking to school at all,
especially if parents consider the distance too
long or hazardous for their children to walk
or bike to school.
In the end, the decision on where to
locate schools is a long-term policy decision
that is made by school districts and local gov-
ernments. At the same time, parents weigh
many factors when they choose which school
their child attends. This study attempted to
explore how the location of the school and
related policies affect a student's ability to
walk to school.
"If all the kids in the neighborhood
are going to school, that is a decision of
the school board," Steiner said. "But if you
have school choice, it is a policy decision to
allow children to attend a school out of their
neighborhood, and parents are going to have
to drive them. I'm not saying one or the other
is better, it's just that anyone of these policies
will have implications for traffic congestion."
W hen you speak to Sherrilene Classen, you feel as though you just rode in a 55-mile cycling event with
her, or participated in one of her fitness classes at the local health and fitness center in Gainesville. She
is pure energy and has the ability to pull you in as you listen to her passionately talk about her research,
students and life in general.
Classen, an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) at UF, is an affiliated mem-
ber of the CMS and also a member of the center's Internal Steering Committee. Her vision in collaborating with
the CMS is to examine how human factors can be considered in alleviating congestion issues. She is a bright,
ambitious and caring woman who has always wanted to work in a profession where she could contribute to the
well being of mankind.
As a young person, she was always interested in people, in wellness and in the strategies to accomplish
those things. Occupational therapy for Classen is a profession that embodies her core value of helping others live
a healthy and productive life.
Her dream turned into reality
"As a child, I always wanted a job where I could make a contribution," Classen said. "That has always been part
of my internal make up, and OT to me was one of those professions in which I could embrace my values, and
through application of specialized knowledge, help folks to live life to its fullest."
Classen is from Bloemfontein, a mid-size city in South Africa. She attended the University of the Orange
Free State for her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy, worked for a few years in psychiatry in Cape
Town, South Africa and then traveled to the United States to work as a clinical therapist. This experience led her
to complete a Ph.D. in occupational therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., followed by
post-doctoral work at UF where she also simultaneously completed a master's degree in public heath. She is not
your traditional "cookie-cutter" occupational therapist.
Occupational therapy is a rehabilitation profession that focuses on empowering people to continue living a
"normal" life even after experiencing a traumatic, disabling, life changing event. Such an event may cause physi-
cal, mental or emotional distress, social imbalances and even spiritual changes which may prevent a person from
resuming every day activities such as performing self-care functions, participating in work, school, community
or leisure and social activities.
Occupational therapists assist people
through rehabilitation, remediation, educa-
tion, consultation and referral to overcome the
functional limitations caused by these events.
They help devise strategies to prevent onset
of adverse or secondary conditions and sug-
gest compensatory ways to ensure continued
independence. Occupational therapists help to
promote function and well-being to perform
the task of living.
Classen is an accomplished researcher with
more than 30 peer reviewed articles, publica-
tions and book chapters, but it is her current
research that truly defines her. Classen is the
principal investigator currently working on a
study funded by the National Institute on Ag-
ing to create a safe driving behavior measure,
or SDBM, for people over the age of 65. The
study's purpose is to help older drivers stay
on the road longer by creating an "instrument"
that will help therapists, family members or
the older driver themselves to detect driving
behaviors that need to be improved upon, and
then to provide strategies to assist them in
finding ways to do so.
Classen said that in the Untied States,
driving evaluations are available to senior
citizens, but the cost is usually high and unaf-
fordable for many people. Moreover, these
driving evaluations are not generally covered
or reimbursed by Medicare, so people usually
end up paying about $240 to $300 out-of-pock-
et, she said.
"To help create a measurement of safe
driving behaviors for benefiting the popula-
tion at large we have developed, from previous
research and with stakeholder input (older driv-
ers, family members/caregivers, community
steering committee, advisory committee), a tool
to reflect safe driving behaviors. This measure-
ment instrument is in the process of being final-
ized before we will validate it in 2009 against
actual on-the-road studies. We hope to validate
the tool as a criterion measure for predicting
actual on-the-road driving performance.
"After validation we plan to translate the
findings to communities, where we will test its
effectiveness. The next step will be dissemina-
tion of information, on a population-based
level, to older drivers, their family/ caregivers,
advocacy (e.g. AARP) and professional organi-
zations (e.g. American and Canadian Occupa-
tional Therapy Associations) in North America
Along with Paul Hoffman, principal
investigator and director of research at the
North Florida South Georgia Malcom Randall
VA Center, Classen is studying the driving per-
formance issues of returning military person-
nel with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Her
aim is to identify appropriate driving-related
therapies or interventions to help these drivers
be safer on the road. A grant from the Malcom
Randall VA Center is funding the study.
Literature is scarce on what happens to
soldiers once they return from war, especially
after been exposed to multiple explosions from
rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explo-
sive devices (IED's) and land mines.
"Traumatic brain injury is particularly
interesting to me because one assumes that
for a TBI to occur, one needs to experience
external trauma to the head, but that is not so,"
Classen said. "Some of these soldiers are being
exposed to, for example, a missile going off in
near range, and the sound waves of the mis-
siles may cause forces with a shearing and/or
tearing impact to the structures of the brain,
resulting in a TBI."
TBI is one of the most common problems
facing soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghani-
stan, she said. TBI falls within three categories:
mild, moderate and severe. People with mild
or moderate TBI may be driving, and studies
report attention-related problems under chal-
lenging conditions, such as driving during peak
traffic conditions. The problem is generalizing
that information to a population that has been
exposed to totally different circumstances than
the generally researched civilian TBI population.
"Thus, our study is descriptive in nature,
and the main aim is to identify characteristics
of driving behaviors (e.g., type and num-
ber of errors made) in people with TBI, by
observing them drive simulated scenarios on
a driving simulator."
The study also takes into account the
co-existence of post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) with TBI, which is highly prevalent in
these post-deployed soldiers. Upon returning
home, anecdotal evidence from clinicians inter-
viewing these military members suggest that
these military personnel may associate stimuli
such as road debris, overpasses or dense brush
with previously occurring traumatic events
experienced on the battlefields of Iraq and Af-
ghanistan. These stimuli may trigger an anxiety
response while on the road and may potentially
endanger other drivers or themselves.
"In one interview that I have attended,
the person told us (the physician and me)
that he feels more comfortable driving in the
middle of the road, and he consistently scans
Classen believes the empirical data will
shed light on the driving performance issues
of post-deployed military personnel who
sustained a TBI and/or PTSD. This informa-
tion will help researchers to better understand
where driving-related intervention is neces-
sary to keep the returning military personnel
members on the road safer or to suggest use of
alternative transportation if they can no longer
Students as tomorrow's leaders
Classen enjoys working with her undergradu-
ate and graduate students. She considers them
to be important members of her team.
"It is not about what students do not
know, but about what they, what we, can do
collectively in a team to solve problems and
find answers to clarify important research
questions, "Classen said. "It is indeed about
seeking and pursuing opportunities, with
dedication, commitment and hard work so that
[students] can become effective researchers and
future leaders in the health sciences.
"I see my students of today as the lead-
ers of tomorrow. I think effective mentorship
is very important for two reasons: 1) to let
students or fellows know they are believed in,
even if they do not yet fully believe in their
research or clinical competency, and 2) to
help create opportunities for growth so they
can mature into research-oriented clinicians or
Q&A with Debora Rivera
Director of Transportation Operations
Florida Department of Transportation, District Six
Topic: Express Lanes on 1-95 in South Florida
Debora Rivera is a member of the CMS's External Advisory
Board and was invited for a Q&A with the CMS on the 1-95
Express Lanes project in South Florida.
There are many methods for mitigating congestion,
so why did Florida Department of Transportation
(FDOT) choose to use Express lanes?
Well, the decision to use express lanes was complex there
were so many factors which affected the decision to move
forward with this type of project. To begin with, South
Florida was and still is one of the most congested urban
areas in the country, and 1-95 had been plagued by severe
congestion, increasingly longer travel times and reduced trip
reliability. Funding constraints, limited widening options
along the corridor, and the astronomical costs of the elevated
option required finding alternatives to the traditional, sup-
ply-side approaches to congestion relief. On top of that,
the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes were no longer
providing the congestion relief benefits they were intended
to offer. 1-95 is also an important bus transit corridor in
Miami-Dade County, but transit service which the region
increasingly depends on for mobility was becoming less at-
tractive because of the corridor's poor performance.
The express lane concept seemed like the best fit for our
situation. Express lanes offered an effective demand-manage
ment solution, and could be implemented in a much shorter
time frame with significantly lower financial, environmental
and social impacts, bringing congestion relief to the corri-
dor's users years sooner than would otherwise be possible.
Another reason why 1-95 was a good fit for the concept was
that the corridor had been improved with several Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITS) elements including a ramp
metering effort nearing operational status and that was being
aggressively managed to reduce non-recurring congestion.
The application of technology and management strategies to
support tolling seemed like a logical and natural extension.
Plus, South Florida has several toll roads and two premier
toll agencies Florida Turnpike Enterprise and Miami-Dade
Expressway Authority, and South Floridians are not adverse
to tolls. Also, public support for increasing hours of opera-
tion or occupancy requirements of the HOV lanes without a
practical alternative for commuters unable to form carpools
seemed very unlikely. By including transit elements in the
Top: Debora Rivera, P.E. at
her office in Miami
Bottom: An artist's rendering
of the 1-95 Express Lanes
scope of the 95 Express project, we were able to expand the
choices that commuters have, and offer realistic and practical
options that HOV lanes alone do not.
And then the United States Department of Transporta-
tion (USDOT) announced its Urban Partnership Agreement
(UPA) and the pieces seemed to fall into place. We had a
project concept that made sense for us and fit perfectly into
the Tolling, Technology, Telecommuting and Transit criteria
that USDOT wanted to see integrated into projects. We
needed the funding to get the project off the ground, and
USDOT wanted to select partnerships with innovative,
practical, cost-effective ideas that could be implemented
more quickly than traditional projects. We also had a strong
partnership that was formed to pursue the UPA the FDOT,
the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization,
Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Miami-Dade
Transit, Broward County Transit, the Miami-Dade Express-
way Authority and the Florida Turnpike Enterprise.
How was this project funded?
The project was funded in part by the USDOT UPA grant
which provided approximately $62.9 million in discretion-
ary federal funding of which about $19.5 was for transit.
The Florida Legislature was also very supportive of the
project, committing an additional $35 million in funding.
The rest of the project funding will come from the project
itself in the form of toll revenue. But without leaders both
within FDOT and the Florida Legislature who were willing
to see a new way of battling congestion and lend their
support to trying something that had never been done in
Florida, the project wouldn't have been funded at all. And
then the planning, finance and project concept folks who
were involved in putting the UPA application together did
an amazing job. As you can imagine, the competition for
the grants was fierce with over 21 dozen applications sub-
mitted from around the country. We were very fortunate
to be one of only five UPAs awarded.
What are some of the impacts you are expecting
from the project?
The biggest near term impact is that once the project is
complete, commuters will have new and better commute
choices that offer improved trip reliability and reduced
travel times. We feel that the key to project success will be
the fact that drivers have options they can choose to form
a carpool, join a vanpool, pay a toll for a reliable and shorter
commute, use a transit alternative, or do nothing different
at all and continue to use the general purpose lanes as they
did before. We expect to see congestion relief with modal
and peak shifts, and overall improvement for users of the
corridor during all periods of the day.
Have you collected any traffic operational perfor-
mance measures (delay, travel time, speeds, person/
vehicle throughput) for the current conditions, and
do you have plans to collect similar measures after
the system is operational?
We have historical performance data that has been collect-
ed as part of various studies and monitoring efforts over
the last few years within the limits of 95 Express. Most no-
table and comprehensive of these would be the "2006 1-95
High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane Monitoring Report." As for
whether we will be collecting data after the express lanes
are operational, absolutely! We expect to gather or be able
to calculate all sorts of performance measures including
speeds, volumes, travel times, and throughput. Much of
the data is essential not only for setting toll rates, but nec-
essary for the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the
facility's performance which is a requirement of the UPA.
The UPA evaluation will also look at the performance of
the transit service.
What do you believe is the future of the HOT lanes
in South Florida and Florida in general?
Well, 95 Express is the first express lane project, but right
around the corner is 595 Express, which will build three
express lanes running from 1-75 to 1-95, adding approxi
mately 11 miles to the 21 miles being developed with Phase
1 and Phase 2 of 95 Express. These projects will form the
backbone of a regional express lane network. Construction
on 595 Express is expected to begin in 2009 and complete
in 2014. Several other corridors in South Florida are under
study for the possible incorporation of express lanes into
the corridor concept. As far as the future of express lanes
around the state, I think that the success of our South Flor-
ida projects will make the concept more attractive to other
communities around the state battling congestion and its
adverse affects on the environment, mobility and economic
prosperity. I am aware of studies in both the Orlando and
Tampa areas looking at express lane concepts.
For part two of the Q&A with Debora Rivera, visit the CMS
Web site at http:/ /cms.ce.ufl.edu and click on http:/ /cms.
.*. ... .
semi-na rn &
r e; tH l rem-en] tn
he CMS celebrated Lap T. Hoang's
32 years of service from the Florida
Department of Transportation in
August with a seminar and retirement
reception in his honor. The event was
held at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at
the University of Florida, where many of his
friends, family and colleagues were gathered
for the occasion. Hoang was presented with
a plaque of appreciation by Lily Elefteriadou,
director of the CMS and the Transportation
Research Center at UF
Hoang, who has been the state traffic
operations engineer and manager of the Engi-
neering and Operations Office since 2002, gave
an overall assessment on transportation opera-
tions in Florida during his presentation. His
lecture entitled "Are We There Yet? An Assess-
ment of Florida's Transportation Operations,"
focused on the importance of operations in the
field of transportation and how that success is
Hoang is a UF alumnus and earned both
his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil en-
gineering. He is nationally known for his work
in signal systems and operations. Hoang joined
the FDOT in August 1976 following his gradu-
ation from UF's transportation engineering
program. During his long career with FDOT,
his professional leadership was well recognized
by his many friends and colleagues.
Ken Courage, professor emeritus with the
transportation group at UF, knows Hoang well.
Hoang was Courage's graduate student in the
1970s. Courage considers Hoang to be a very
talented and dedicated transportation profes-
sional who was not only a good student, but a
good role model for his children and an active
member of the community as well.
"Lap came to us at the worst of times
in his country," Courage said. "He arrived
without the financial support that most grad
students enjoy today. He became a leader in the
Vietnamese community at UF in the 1970s. His
many years of hard work and dedication earned
him the distinction of being one of the top state
traffic engineers in the nation. Somewhere
along the way he also managed to give us a
couple of very well educated children in thanks
for his success. Lap has truly achieved the
During his presentation, Hoang described
accomplishments in operations such as intel-
ligent transportation systems to manage and
track congestion on roads, the effective incident
management programs on Florida's highways,
the 511 phone number for traveler informa-
tion, work zone safety programs, the Interstate
95 Express Ways lanes in the Miami area and
more. Hoang said he sees congestion pricing
and managed lanes becoming more popular
in the future as it is a priority of Florida DOT
Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos.
The Interstate 4 managed lanes program
was defeated in a citizen's vote a few years ago,
and a law was passed preventing the establish-
Lily Elefteriadou presenting an appreciation plaque to Lap Hoang.
Lily Elefteriadou, Lap Hoang and his wife, Le-Tuong Hoang and
Lap Hoang during his presentation
ment of the program. That law expires next
year, and the FDOT will be ready to resume the
project, Hoang said.
Hoang also outlined the current philoso-
phy of FDOT, which consists of focusing on
customer service for the elderly, pedestrians, bi-
cyclists and motorists, resolving problems now
rather than forecasting those that could arise in
the future, collect performance outcomes to es-
tablish an operations databank, the importance
of management and real-time service and the
leasing of public assets to develop cash flow.
Hoang said that planning, design, construc-
tion and maintenance are areas where much
work has already been completed, but there is a
fifth, and very crucial area operations where
there is much work left to be done.
"I feel that this circle has not been closed,"
Hoang said. "Only in the past five years we
started putting operations on the map in Flori-
da. Even though we have achieved so much in
this area, I think we still have a long way to go."
In closing, Hoang reminisced about the
years spent at FDOT and said they were enjoy-
able and professionally fulfilling.
"I am very happy for the years I have been
with DOT," Hoang said. "I've had support
from great staff, DOT management and our
colleagues in the districts. This great profession
has allowed me to contribute to the quality of
life and safety of many people."
describe someone from the Florida Trans-
portation Technology Transfer (T2) Center
and you will hear the words passionate,
dedicated, determined and downright crazy
about what they do.
It all started in the early 1980s when the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
wanted to assist the 38,000 local transporta-
tion and public works agencies responsible for
nearly 90 percent of the nation's roads. These
agencies did not have adequate access to train-
ing and technical assistance to build and prop-
erly maintain their infrastructure. In partner-
ship with each state DOT, FHWA established a
technology transfer program now known as the
Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). To-
day's program has 58 centers: one in each state,
one in Puerto Rico, and seven that serve Native
American Tribal Indian areas called the Tribal
Technical Assistance Program (TTAP). Florida's
center was established in 1984 and serves as an
umbrella for a number of integrated technology
transfer initiatives and training programs.
Many of the directors across the nation
never expected to stick with the new program,
but the technology transfer bug bit, and bit
hard. That's true of Florida's Janet Degner and
Nina Barker, co-directors of that state's center.
Degner said she would assist with the center
"part time and no more than one year." That
was in 1987. Barker joined in the mid 1990s and
found a new passion in the safety arena. She
has dressed up numerous times as "Larry", one
of the crash dummies.
I ,_. i11...._ .. possible," Barker said.
"We've produced and delivered conference
newsletters in the middle of the night, lead a
field trip at 2 AM (yes, AM) to observe Precast
Concrete Pavement Systems (PCPS) in a real-
time installation procedure, and presented
training with no electricity."
LTAP/TTAP services are now utilized
by the entire transportation community: state
DOTs, municipal planning organizations
(MPOs), regional planning agencies (RPAs)
and private organizations. FHWA allowed each
center to use their respective funding to develop
and implement programs that meet the needs
of their transportation professionals while
focusing on the mission of fostering a safe,
efficient, and environmentally sound surface
transportation system by improving the skills
and knowledge of the transportation workforce.
Providing training, technical assistance, a free
lending library and quarterly newsletter are key
program efforts that strengthen and enhance the
professional skill sets.
The Florida T2 Center's newsletter reaches
over 17,000 transportation professionals and
decision makers around the state.
"Agency personnel appreciate the flex-
ibility of our training which can be customized
to meet their needs," Barker said.
Courses can be developed and delivery
methods include instructor-led, computer-
based, webinars, video based/instructor
assisted and self study. Topics are available for
professional engineers, supervisors, mangers
and field level employees.
Formal partnering agreements were estab-
lished with professional organizations including
AASHTO, APWA, ARTBA and NACE.
"Having access to partner resources great-
ly increases our ability to provide assistance,"
In addition, many LTAP centers, including
Florida's, have integrated their services with
other transportation education efforts, such as
four-year universities, two-year programs and
trade association curricula. Regional and annual
meetings bring together center personnel from
all 58 centers, allowing partners to focus on
how to provide better training and services and
The centers have worked so well that
FHWA expanded the idea and helped establish
technology transfer centers internationally.
"Our counterparts in other countries have
experience with many technologies that can be
applied here in the states," Degner said. "The
networking has grown to what is now one of
the most powerful transportation knowledge-
sharing groups in the world."
At FHWA's request, the Florida T2 Center
has organized and hosted a series of interna-
tional symposiums on technology transfer. One
drew participants from 58 nations. Florida
T2 has also contracted to present a number of
professional meetings, including the upcoming
TRB International Low Volume Roads Confer-
ence scheduled for 2011.
The Florida T2 Center assisted the FDOT
with their 2007 Research Symposium, a first
in Florida. The T2 Center also assists FDOT
in developing research promotional media.
FDOT is a well recognized leader in research
and implementation and provides cutting edge
and innovative ways to deploy and implement
research results. The Florida T2 Center will soon
house the FDOT-funded Pedestrian/Bicycle
Safety Resource Center.
The Florida T2 Center's association with
UF's University Transportation Center, Center
for Multimodal Solutions for Congestion
Mitigation and our Transportation Research
Center provides even greater opportunities
to deliver services and education, especially
important for students who will soon join the
workforce. Knowing that a center like Florida
T2 is available in every state to assist with their
professional needs and challenges can be a
Also under the T2 umbrella are the Product
Demonstration Showcase (PDS), the Highways
for LIFE (HfL) PDS, the Safety Circuit Rider
Program, and the Center for Transportation
Training. Visit t2.ce.ufl.edu for more informa-
tion. More information on these programs can
be found at http:/ /t2.ce.ufl.edu/.
How many folks can say they know at
least one person in each state and in dozens of
countries well enough to call them for assis-
tance? Across the nation and around the world
the technology transfer professionals, LTAP/
TTAP and partners in LTAP/TTAP do. We have
become a cose knit family here to serve the
transportation and public works community.
To learn more about the Florida T2 Center,
visit http:/ /t2.ce.ufl.edu/.
See-Through signal controller cabinet at UF
T e mystery of how traffic signals are oper-
ated can now be cleared up with the instal-
lation of a new see-through door on a signal
controller cabinet at the University of Florida.
Scott Washburn, an associate professor of
civil engineering at UF, came up with the idea
after trying to balance the use of the Signal
Control Laboratory between educational and
research purposes. Professors at the UF Trans-
portation Research Center (TRC) maintain a
signal control laboratory in Weil Hall at the UF
College of Engineering. Among other things,
this lab contains a fully functional signal
control cabinet and several signal heads. In
addition to research, the faculty members often
use this equipment for educating students on
the basics of signal control hardware. While
this lab is a great resource, it is also used for
research purposes. The control equipment is
often in a state that is not conducive for stu-
"Based on this complication when trying to
schedule demonstrations for the undergraduate
Introduction to Transportation Engineering class,
I came up with the idea of modifying the door of
an in-field signal control cabinet so that people
could see all of the components on the inside,"
Washburn said. "If this could be done for an
in-field cabinet that is cose to the university,
this avoids the complication of research projects
interfering with educational demonstrations.
"And with a see-through door, it would
not be necessary to open the control cabinet,
which always runs the risk of someone ac-
cidentally pressing a button or switch that
could alter the operation of the intersection,
especially if the power gets turned off."
Another benefit of doing this for an in-
field controller is that the general public can
see for themselves the sophisticated electron-
ic equipment that is required to run
a signalized intersection.
"In my conversations with the general
public about signalized intersection operation,
people always significantly underestimate the
level of sophistication of the hardware and
software required to run such an intersection,"
Washburn said. "After I give them some basic
background information, they always express
their amazement and indicate that they had
no idea it was that complicated to operate a
Last spring, Washburn took his idea to
Matt Weisman, a master's student in trans-
portation engineering at UF who is also an ITS
Operations Engineer for the City of Gainesville.
Weisman has numerous contacts with signal
control hardware vendors, so Washburn knew
that if anybody could help him bring this idea
to reality, it was Weisman.
Weisman spends a lot of time inside many
of the signal control cabinets in Gainesville and
has many stories about inquisitive passers-by
when he opens the cabinet door.
"Many of them are very curious as to
what is inside these nondescript mysterious-
looking aluminum cabinets," Weisman said.
"A typical question is, 'Is all of that stuff really
necessary?' My response is usually, 'If you
have a better way to do it, I am all ears.'"
Washburn and Weisman decided that the
ideal location for the new cabinet was at the
intersection nearest to Weil Hall, where the
Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering is
located. This location was also ideal because it
would allow faculty and students quick access
to the cabinet.
"Also, the basketball arena and football
stadium are located directly adjacent to this in-
tersection," Washburn said. "So on game days,
there would be thousands of people walking
by the cabinet, and those that are curious can
finally see what is on the inside of these myste-
The existing cabinet at this location dated
back to 1987 and contained old signal control
technology. As a showcase unit, the cabinet
needed to be updated. With financial contribu-
tions from Washburn and the City of Gaines-
ville, the new signal control cabinet was outfit-
ted with the latest signal control technology.
"The next step of this project is to install
video detection on one of the intersection ap-
proaches and install a small monitor inside the
cabinet so that students and bystanders can see
the video detection at work," Washburn said.
Top right: Matt Weisman with old signal controller cabinet
Left: Weisman and his crew installing the new cabinet with the
Bottom right: The newly installed signal controller cabinet at UF
located on the corner of Gale Lemerand and Stadium Road
Student spotlight Aaron Elias
T he decision was
obvious for him,
a chance to work
toward a career where he
could make a contribu-
tion to society, and where
his days would be split
between working outside
and crunching numbers
in the office. For Aaron
Elias, 25, a master's stu-
dent at UF, that career
path was transportation.
"I think [transportation at UF] is a pretty good pro-
gram," Elias said. "The professors are good, the projects
seem to be interesting, and Dr. Lily is helpful in the way of
trying to get your thesis going and guiding you on how to
do the research." Lily Elefteriadou, the CMS director, has
been serving as Elias' advisor.
Elias' research dilemma
Elias is currently working on an interchanges-related
project as a research assistant. He is collecting field data
that will be tested against models created a couple of years
ago, which estimate the capacity and quality of service at
interchange ramp terminals.
Elias explained that level of service is like a report
card for the road based on the letters A, B, C, D, E, and
F, where an A is excellent and an F means that an area is
While exploring roundabouts interchange ramp
terminals, the idea of doing his thesis on roundabouts
materialized. The original plan was to address issues related
to interchanges at roundabouts, but upon discussing these
issues with other transportation professionals, they were all
"So there went my original idea for my thesis topic,"
Elias said. "But I still wanted to do something with round-
abouts, so I came up with two options while discussing the
topic with Dr. Lily."
Option one entails developing an algorithm to prop-
erly simulate roundabouts in CORSIM. Option two involves
determining which traffic conditions are more appropriate
for using a roundabout versus a signal or stop sign. He is
now in the process of weighing those options before decid-
ing which one to pursue.
Follies in the field
A good chunk of a transportation graduate student's
time is spent gathering data in the field, which includes
long days replete with equipment setup, equipment
failures such as fogged up cameras and simply weathering
the elements. But what about those instances where the
student researcher observes poor driving? For Elias, the
most memorable moment came while gathering data for a
UF project in Boston, Mass.
"We saw someone driving up an on ramp to the high-
way in Boston and then decided they did not want to go
that way, so they put it in reverse and started backing down
the on ramp," Elias said. "I think he won the award for
worst driver in Boston."
Elias also said that while gathering data in Tampa, he
saw a driver do a U-turn at a red light.
"So they were in the left hand turn lane, and it was red
for both the through and left, but then they decided to just
make their U-turn anyway because apparently, U-turns are
not part of the signal in this person's view of the world."
Elias'advice for prospective students
Elias recommends that students take time to explore
what area of civil engineering they want to concentrate in
before they begin to take their specialization classes. Part
of that exploration period could be an internship through
UF's Transportation Research Internship Program (TRIP), if
a student is seriously considering transportation.
"You want to have a good idea of what you want to do
because you don't want to get a master's degree in trans-
portation, and then find out that you don't like it, and work
over in construction," Elias said. "Then you wasted all that
time getting a master's degree in transportation."
Elias recommends that students stay on top of their
game and work on their assignments ahead of time in order
to succeed in graduate school.
"Try to keep on top of things," Elias said. "In grad
school, classes are not usually set up like the typical un-
dergrad class. While there are tests, most classes focus on
the assignments and have end-of-term projects, which are
much more important to your overall grade. To keep on top
of these it is best to do little bits at a time throughout the
semester rather than waiting till the very end and pulling an
Summer 2008 Transportation Research Internship Program (TRIP)
While some students spent the summer
relaxing on the beach or backpacking
through Europe, others devoted their
time to learning about transportation. This
past summer, four undergraduates participat-
ed in the Transportation Research Internship
Program (TRIP) at UF Interns Jorge Barrios,
Andy Duce, Susana Roque and John Watson
worked with faculty and graduate students
on research projects funded by the CMS and
Jorge Barrios, 21, is an undergraduate student
majoring in civil engineering who likes to play
soccer, create Web sites and drink diet coke
for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Barrios first
learned of the internship at an American Soci-
ety of Civil Engineers student chapter meeting
at UF where CMS representatives were invited
to speak. Barrios is fascinated with transporta-
tion because he feels he can make a difference
in people's lives.
"There is something unique about
transportation, you can have a direct effect on
everybody," Barrios said. "I mean, 90 percent
of people have cars and drive everyday, and
your work directly affects them."
Barrios assisted associate professor Scott
Washburn on ARTPLAN, a level of service
analysis program for urban arterials. As a
skilled programmer, Barrios was given the
responsibility of working out the kinks in the
program and ran the "bug" reports for the
study. Barrios also did some data collection on
Newberry Road, a busy arterial in Gainesville.
Although the internship is over, Barrios
continues to work with Washburn on projects
and has his hopes set on the transportation
graduate program at UF He said the intern-
ship was worth his while.
"What I really liked was the learning
part," Barrios said. "I had no knowledge of
transportation engineering. I felt that I learned
more working [in the internship] than in two
semesters of class. It was like total immersion
into transportation engineering."
Andy Duce, 23, is an undergraduate student
majoring in civil engineering from Two Egg,
a small rural town in the Florida Panhandle.
Duce's favorite pastimes are riding his four-
wheeler, hunting and fishing and, on occasion,
riding hogs. As a former 4-H member, Duce is
an expert in judging the quality of seeds and
can even tell you the body condition of hogs
and cows. From small town to big town, Duce
worked with assistant professor Siva Sriniva-
san on a vehicle-miles-of-travel project funded
by the CMS. Duce said that his transportation
experience has been limited to the confines of a
classroom and was amazed that transportation
included other areas such as urban planning.
"I've never looked at it from that angle,
and it was very interesting, and I learned that
a lot goes into designing a city," Duce said. "I
worked on survey data with the urban [plan-
ning] department on mapping software to plot
the points where people are driving, just figur-
ing out what land use they are leaving from
and where they are going, to determine how far
someone is willing to drive based on their age,
income, home type and number of kids."
Duce continues to work with Sriniva-
san and is contemplating graduate studies in
transportation at UF Although planning was
interesting to him, Duce is eager to learn about
Susana Roque, 18, just finished high school and
is taking a few college-level courses as well.
She is leaning toward civil engineering because
of her father, Reynaldo Roque, a pavements
professor at UF Although not quite sure what
she would like to specialize in, Roque said she
enjoyed the internship program and felt it gave
her some direction.
"My internship did give me a better idea
of the kind of work I may be involved with in
engineering," Roque said. I i .. I learned
about new ideas and technology in the world
of transportation engineering. I also gained
valuable experience in how to summarize and
present information, which is essential to com-
munication within the field."
Roque's internship advisor was CMS di-
rector Lily Elefteriadou. Much of Roque's work
consisted of gathering data for Elefteriadou's
project on congestion alleviation.
"I researched vehicle-to-vehicle technol-
ogy, radar and sensor-based communications
systems in both vehicles and traffic signals,"
Roque said. "I would then summarize and
present the information to Dr. Lily or the
Roque is now in a study-abroad program
in Spain and Switzerland for one year, but
upon her return, she will begin her studies at
Stetson University in DeLand, Fla.
John Watson, 22, expects to graduate with a
bachelor's degree in civil engineering in spring
2009. As one of TRIP's summer interns, he
heard about the program in his transportation
engineering class. Although he has already
decided on being a transportation engineer,
he applied to the program to gain practical
Watson said the strength of the internship
program is in its people, and in that it offers
many opportunities beyond the classroom.
"I think the faculty and students are
definitely advantages to the program, and the
networking opportunities to get involved are
fairly vast," Watson said.
Watson worked on an NCHRP inter-
change ramp study with CMS director Lily
Elefteriadou and her team. He said the experi-
ence expanded his knowledge in transporta-
tion, and he discovered along the way that
roadway design and urban planning interested
him the most.
Back row: Ruth Steiner, Siva Srinivasan, Lily Elefteriadou, Scott Washburn
Front row: Susana Roque, Andy Duce, John Watson, Jorge Barrios
Win Poster Competition
(Left to right) Ziqi Song, Yingyan Lou, Abigail Osei-Asamoah, Dimitra Michalaka, Alexandra Kondyli, Abishek Komma, George Chrysikopoulos
Various students from the transportation graduate program at UF attended the 2008 TRANSPO Conference in Orlando this
fall. A total of five posters were presented at the conference. Alexandra Kondyli won an award for Best Student Poster for
her work on "Driver Behavior at Freeway-Ramp Merging Areas: Focus Group Findings." Abishek Komma and Abigail
Osei-Asamoah won second place for their poster on "Estimating Capacity of a Signalized Intersection with a Left-Turn Lane
using a Probabilistic Approach." Other UF transportation students attended and displayed their work: Dimitra Michalacha
on "Proactive and Robust Dynamic Pricing Strategies for High Occupancy/ Toll Lanes;" Ziqi Song on "Nonnegative Pareto-
Improving Tolls with Multiclass Network Equilibria;" and Yingyan Lou on "Freeway Service Patrol Deployment Planning for
Incident Management and Congestion Mitigation."
Visiting Student Researchers
from the Netherlands
Martijn Seimerink and Tamo Vogel from the University of Twente, Netherlands spent one semester at UF
conducting their undergraduate thesis as part of the graduation requirements for civil engineering students at
Siemerink worked with associate professor Scott Washburn on the effects of incidents on freeway capacity
and Vogel worked with professor Lily Elefteriadou on evaluating evacuation strategies in an urban area using a
Both students expressed gratitude for the opportunity to conduct their thesis research at UE They said they
Tamo Vogel and Martijn Siemerink both enjoyed being a part of the Gator Nation.
CMS Annual Picnic
The TRC/CMS held its annual picnic at Lake Wauberg on October 5, 2008.
About 40 faculty, students and staff attended.
"The picnic is a great way to bring together everyone associated with
transportation at UF," CMS Director Lily Elefteriadou said. "We have a
big group of students, faculty and staff, and this is a good opportunity for
everyone to meet and socialize outside work."
Lake Wauberg offers many activities that students and faculty took
advantage of while at the picnic. Many rode bikes through the various
trails, played volleyball and others scaled a 55-foot climbing wall located
on the park's south side. It was a day full of food, fun and activities.
Lake Wauberg is a University of Florida recreational park located a
few miles south of campus on U.S. 441. It is nestled on the edge of a Florida
State Park savanna known as Payne's Prairie.
The transportation group at one of the picnic pavilions at Lake Wauberg
UF FLORIDA Non-Profit Org
Center for Multimodal Solutions for Congestion Mitigation PAI D
512 Weil Hall Gainesville, FL
P.O. Box 116580 Permit No. 94
Gainesville, FL 32611-6580
Phone: 352.392.9537, Ext. 1409
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Unvrst of Flrd
PO Bo 1158
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