Extreme speeds during the pandemic captures police attention

Extreme speeds during the pandemic captures police attention

Extreme speeds during the pandemic captures police attention

In response to a dramatic increase in speeding drivers beginning with the pandemic stay-at-home advisories in 2020 and continuing now, traffic safety experts and law enforcement officials are working to understand the behavior.

On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Carol Flannagan, director of the Center for Management of Information for Safe and Sustainable Transportation (CMISST) at the  University of Michigan (UM) and research professor at UM’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), talks about her research and theories about the epidemic of speeding and other risky behavior.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/10830605-extreme-speeds-during-the-pandemic-captures-police-attention

TMT - Extreme Speeds

This comes as the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are once again partnering on a regional traffic safety campaign. As noted in their news release: “As part of the ‘Great Lakes, High Stakes’ campaign, dozens of municipal, county and Michigan State Police (MSP) law enforcement agencies across Michigan will focus on speeding drivers between June 18 and 26.” 

Among other topics, Flannagan talks about the challenging decisions for auto manufacturers in rolling out automated vehicle (AV) technology. She acknowledges that it’s much easier for AVs to communicate and predict what other vehicles will do rather than what humans will do.

She also discusses:

  • Effectiveness of high-visibility enforcement and impacts on driver behavior.
  • Crash stats. From 2011 to 2019, fatalities were flat, but in July 2020 the rate of speeding-related fatalities spiked.
  • Frontal automatic emergency braking is effective, reducing frontal crashes by 50 percent.
  • Manufacturers have been shifting from warning systems for drivers to automatic systems, which is much more effective.

Also discussed, the resistance and challenges to acceptance of Advance Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and projections for broad adoption. Just this week, the NHTSA released data on the topic, but there are concerns about context.

And a reference to a supercut video of Elon Musk predicting the timeframe for broad deployment of AV technology.


Podcast photo: Carol A. Flannagan, Ph.D., Research Professor, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

Listen now at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205.

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.

200 millionth vehicle crosses the Mackinac Bridge

200 millionth vehicle crosses the Mackinac Bridge

MBA header July 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     MEDIA CONTACT

June 15, 2022                                                                           James Lake

906-250-0993

LakeJ1@Michigan.gov

200 millionth vehicle crosses the Mackinac Bridge 

Fast facts:

– At 6:18 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, the Dalman family of Tawas City drove the 200 millionth vehicle across the Mackinac Bridge since its opening on Nov. 1, 1957.    

– On Sept. 6, 2009, Richard Snyder of Clare, Michigan, drove the 150 millionth vehicle across the bridge.

ST. IGNACE, Mich. ­ It was a chance occurrence, but it still makes for a cool story.

After driving the 200 millionth vehicle across the Mackinac Bridge at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, the Dalman family of Tawas City now has the bragging rights and the sole claim to this milestone. Kurt Dalman was driving, with passengers Anna Dalman, and their children, Seth and Teresa.

“We’re headed to Pictured Rocks. This will be the kids’ first big hike,” Anna Dalman said. “We were very surprised. We had no idea (this milestone was coming up).”

Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) Chairman Patrick “Shorty” Gleason, member Caroline Cheeseman, and MBA staff met the Dalmans outside on the toll plaza after they drove their 2021 Toyota Corolla hybrid through the booths, paying $4 cash in the northbound direction. They presented the family a framed print of the Mackinac Bridge, while Amy Millard, executive director of the Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce, and Lora Brown, executive director of the St. Ignace Visitors Bureau, gave them a gift basket full of local items.

“It’s our customers who pay the tolls that support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Mackinac Bridge, so it’s only right that we recognize this milestone in the bridge’s 65-year history,” Gleason said on the occasion. “The bridge has been a critical connection for our state for more than six decades now, but it’s remarkable to know that so many vehicles, and countless more people, have crossed in that time.”

On Sept. 6, 2009, Richard Snyder of Clare, Michigan, drove the 150 millionth vehicle across the bridge.

Construction on the Mackinac Bridge began in May 1954 and the completed structure was opened to traffic on Nov. 1, 1957. The MBA’s sole source of funding is from tolls and fees collected, with all revenue used to maintain, operate and protect the bridge. More information about the bridge can be found at www.MackinacBridge.org.

 

Photo caption information:

Mackinac Bridge 200 millionth vehicle.jpg – The Dalman family of Tawas City, far right, received a local gift basket and a framed print of the Mackinac Bridge after they drove the 200 millionth vehicle across the bridge. Left to right: MBA Chief Bridge Engineer Julie Neph; Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Millard; St. Ignace Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lora Brown; MBA Member Caroline Cheeseman; MBA Chairman Patrick “Shorty” Gleason; Seth Dalman; Anna Dalman; Teresa Dalman; and Kurt Dalman.

Extreme speeds during the pandemic captures police attention

Funding roads like public utilities – through user fees

Funding roads like public utilities — through user fees

The fuel tax has long been the preferred method of funding road building and repair in the United States, as this brief history outlines. That has been the case in Michigan for nearly a century, with fees for registering vehicles also contributing to the funding pool.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/10764139-funding-roads-like-public-utilities-through-user-fees

Talking Michigan Transportation podcast player - Road funding

A recent study on mileage-based user fees (MBUF) observes that the gas tax was a benefits tax based on the users-pay/users-benefit principle, meaning the tax is paid in proportion to the benefits received. Someone who drives a lot receives more benefit from the roads than someone who drives less frequently. People who drive more also put more stress on the pavement. The study, completed by the Reason Foundation and the Michigan-based Mackinac Center, provides an outline for how to rethink road funding, in light of diminishing returns from fuel taxes as fuel economy improves and major automakers shift to building more electric vehicles.

Baruch Feigenbaum Portrait

On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Baruch Feigenbaum, senior managing director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, talks about the study. Later, Aarne Frobom, a senior policy analyst at the Michigan Department of Transportation, offers his perspective.

Aarne Frobom Portrait

Among discussion points:

• Is it time to rethink transportation funding and treat roads as public utilities with a similar rate-making process?
• Would an MBUF be subject to periodic increases when justified by increased operating and capital costs, via a public process?
• What’s in it for the driver?
• How many old systems of assessing fees and taxes would this alleviate?
• Could this finally separate road-user fees from fuel prices?

The discussion comes as Section 615 of House Bill 5791 asks MDOT to conduct a study of the feasibility of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as a basis for transportation funding in replacement of motor fuel taxes.


Podcast photo: I-75 in Otsego County viewed from Winters Road overpass.

First portrait: Baruch Feigenbaum, senior managing director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation.

Second portrait: Aarne Frobom, a senior policy analyst at the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Listen now at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205.

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.

MDOT virtual open house June 16

MDOT virtual open house June 16

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     MEDIA CONTACT

June 7, 2022                                                                            Rob Morosi

                                                                                                   248-361-6288

MorosiR@Michigan.gov

MDOT virtual open house June 16 to discuss Second Avenue bridge slide over I-94 in Detroit

Detroit, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) invites the public to attend a virtual open house regarding the upcoming Second Avenue bridge slide over I-94 in Detroit. The bridge slide is expected to take place in mid-July. During this virtual event, there will be a brief presentation on how the bridge slide will occur, the duration of the I-94 closure, and detours, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Who:

MDOT staff and project consultants

Interested residents and local stakeholders

When/Where:

Thursday, June 16, 2022 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Zoom virtual public meeting: click here for zoom meeting

To join by phone without using internet, call toll free: 877-853-5247

Webinar ID: 874 7727 4329

Passcode: 807595

Thursday, June 16, 2022

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Zoom virtual public meeting: click here for zoom meeting

To join by phone without using internet, call toll free: 877-853-5247

Webinar ID: 842 3797 6290

Passcode: 620154

Accessibility:

Accommodations can be made for persons who require mobility, visual, hearing, written, or other assistance for participation. Large print materials, auxiliary aids or the services of interpreters, signers, or readers are available upon request. Please contact Orlando Curry at 517-241-7462 or complete Form 2658 for American Sign Language (ASL) located on the Title VI webpage: https://www.Michigan.gov/MDOT/Programs/Title-VI. Requests should be made at least five days prior to the meeting date. Reasonable efforts will be made to provide the requested accommodation or an effective alternative, but accommodations may not be guaranteed.

Project information:

The original Second Avenue overpass was built in 1954. The new bridge will be the first network tied arch structure in the state of Michigan. Network refers to the cables that are crossed from the top of the arch to the bottom of the structure on each side. The skeleton of the new bridge was built offsite at Wayne State University and will be rolled into place using self-propelled modular transports. Both directions of I-94 will need to be closed between I-75 and M-10 (Lodge Freeway) for seven days during bridge slide work, anticipated to begin Sunday, July 10.

Extreme speeds during the pandemic captures police attention

Rail director touts opportunities presented by Sec. Buttigieg

MDOT rail director touts opportunities presented by Sec. Buttigieg announcements

On Thursday, June 2, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Thursday in Michigan $368 million in rail infrastructure and safety grants to 46 projects in 32 states, with about $30 million flowing to Michigan.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/10732129-mdot-rail-director-touts-opportunities-presented-by-sec-buttigieg-announcements

TMT - Sec Pete announces rail grants

On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Peter Anastor, who directs the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail, talks about the economic benefits to the rail companies and businesses they serve.

Buttigieg made the case for the grants in an op/ed published in the Detroit Free Press:

President Biden tasked us with strengthening our supply chains, speeding the movement of people and goods, increasing production, and helping usher in newer, cleaner and cheaper energy – all of which will lower costs for families. And thanks to the president’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have the resources we need to do just that.

MDOT Rail Peter Anastor

The grants include $21.3 million for a proposed project to improve track and rail assets operated by the Great Lakes Central Railroad just north of Ann Arbor, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

The second grant of up to $8.7 million will go to the West Michigan Railroad Co. to pay for infrastructure improvements on roughly 10 miles of track in southwest Michigan.

Anastor also discusses other exciting improvements going on with passenger rail service in Michigan, including ongoing enhancements on the Detroit-Chicago corridor to increase speeds to 110 mph. Elsewhere, advocacy continues for Traverse City-to-Ann Arbor passenger rail service.

Secretary Pete announces rail infrastructure and safety grants

U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg was in Michigan this week to make several transportation announcements.


Podcast photo: A blue Great Lakes Central Railroad freight train in the Selma & Tufford rail yard in Cadillac, Michigan.

Portrait: Peter Anastor, Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail director.

Listen now at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205.

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.

MDOT lifts traffic restrictions to ease Memorial Day travel

MDOT lifts traffic restrictions to ease Memorial Day travel

MDOT E-mail

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                MEDIA CONTACTS
May 25, 2022                                                       See regional contact information below.

MDOT lifts traffic restrictions to ease
Memorial Day travel

Safety benefits:
– MDOT is suspending work and lifting traffic restrictions wherever possible this holiday weekend to ease congestion and increase safety (104 out of 165 projects).
– AAA Michigan estimates more than 1.1 million Michigan residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 7.9 percent increase from last year.
– Although some equipment and traffic configurations will remain over the weekend, suspending construction operations improves safety for workers and motorists.
– Remember to buckle up, stay alert and avoid distractions at all times when driving.

LANSING, Mich. – This Memorial Day weekend, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is removing lane restrictions on more than 63 percent of its road and bridge projects statewide to ease traffic delays for holiday travelers. AAA Michigan estimates more than 1.1 million Michigan residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 7.9 percent increase from last year.

Beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, May 27, and continuing until 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, 104 out of 165 projects statewide will have lane restrictions removed. While motorists will see suspended operations in most MDOT work zones for the weekend, drivers are advised that equipment and certain traffic configurations may remain in place, like temporary shifts or shoulder closures.

“As life continues to get back to normal as normal can be coming out of the pandemic, it’s clear folks are going to be doing a lot of traveling this holiday weekend and into the summer,” said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. “We have more work happening than ever thanks to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan program, which means more work zones to be aware of. We implore all drivers to slow down, stay alert and avoid distractions in all work zones. While you’re depending on us to fix the roads, road workers are trusting you with their lives. Let’s make sure everyone makes it home each and every night.”

MDOT oversees I, M, and US routes and is responsible for nearly 10,000 miles of state highways, which carry more than 50 percent of all traffic and approximately 70 percent of commercial traffic in Michigan.

For up-to-date information on MDOT projects, view the list of statewide lane closures on the Mi Drive website at www.Michigan.gov/Drive

The following is a list of work zones that will remain active or have lane restrictions during Memorial Day weekend. If necessary, detour routes will be posted at the project location.

Upper Peninsula

– M-28 in Munising, Alger County, has two lanes open between Commercial Street and Bay View Street with a traffic shift.

– M-64, Ontonagon County, has one lane open in alternating directions over the Floodwood River west of Ontonagon via temporary signals.

– M-64, Ontonagon County, has one lane open in alternating directions over the Halfway River west of Ontonagon via temporary signals.

– M-129, Chippewa County, has one lane open in alternating directions over the Munuscong River via temporary signals.

– M-183, Delta County, has one lane open in alternating directions via temporary signals at a culvert crossing 2 miles south of US-2.

– US-2 in Bessemer, Gogebic County, will have the outside westbound lane closed between Clayberg and Mine streets.

– US-41 (College Avenue) in Houghton, Houghton County, has a posted detour in place for southbound US-41 traffic.

– US-41 in Marquette will have one southbound lane closed from Blemhuber Avenue and Furnace Street.

– US-41/M-28 carpool lot near Alberta, Baraga County, will be closed.

– US-45 in Ontonagon County, has one lane open in alternating directions over Roselawn Creek via temporary signals River southeast of Ewen.

For more information, contact MDOT Superior Region Communications Representative Dan Weingarten at 906-250-4809. Follow the Superior Region on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDOT_UP.

Northern Lower Peninsula

None.

For more information, contact MDOT North Region Communications Representative James Lake at 906-250-0993. Follow the North Region on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDOT_Traverse.

West Michigan

– 14 Mile Road, Osceola County, is closed over US-131. Detour posted.

– I-96, Kent County, has one westbound lane open with a traffic shift between Whitneyville Avenue and 36th Street. The following ramps will be closed:

  • The eastbound I-96 ramp to westbound M-6,
  • The eastbound M-6 ramp to eastbound I-96, and
  • The 36th Street entrance ramp to eastbound I-96.

– I-96, Kent County, has the eastbound ramp to southbound US-131 closed with a posted detour. The M-37 (Alpine Avenue) ramp to southbound US-131 is also closed.

– I-96, Muskegon County, has one lane open in each direction at Hile Road near US-31.

– I-96, Muskegon County, has one lane open in each direction over Norris Creek near Fruitport.

– I-196, Kent County, has westbound lanes shifted at the I-196 Business Loop (Chicago Drive) interchange in Grandville. The eastbound I-196 exit ramp to Chicago Drive is closed, and the Chicago Drive entrance ramp to westbound I-196 is closed.  

– I-196, Ottawa County, has a traffic shift with two westbound lanes open and one eastbound lane open between Hudsonville and Zeeland.

– M-179 (129th Avenue), Allegan County, has the entrance ramp to southbound US-131 closed.

– US-31, Allegan County, has the northbound lanes closed at I-196 with traffic detoured to M-40. The southbound US-31 exit ramp to Washington Avenue/Blue Star Highway is closed.   

– US-31, Mason and Manistee counties, is closed between Hoague Road and Fox Farm Road. Detour posted.

– US-131 Business Route (19 Mile Road) in Big Rapids is closed between 220th Avenue and Northland Drive. Detour posted.

For more information, contact MDOT Grand Region Communications Representative John Richard at 616-262-1565. Follow the Grand Region on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDOT_West.

Southwest Michigan

– I-69, Calhoun County, has one lane open in each direction from I-94 to M-78.

– I-69, Calhoun County, has one lane open in each direction between M-60 and Marshall Drive.

– I-94, Berrien County, has two lanes open in each direction with a traffic shift from I-196 to Britain Avenue. The southbound I-196 ramp to eastbound I-94 is closed and detoured.

– I-94, Kalamazoo County, has ramp closures at Portage Road; Portage Road has one lane open in each direction with no left turns at Kilgore Road.

For more information, contact MDOT Southwest Region Communications Representative Nick Schirripa at 269-208-7829. Follow the Southwest Region on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDOT_Southwest.

Central Michigan and Thumb

– Lapeer Road, Lapeer County, is closed over I-69 and detoured.

– I-69, Genesee County, will have two lanes open in each direction from Hammerberg Road to M-54. Ramps at the I-69/I-475 interchange are closed and detoured.

– I-69, Lapeer County, will have one lane open in each direction from Lake Pleasant Road to Newark Road.

– I-75, Genesee County, will have three lanes open at Coldwater Road with traffic shifted.

– US-23 Connector, Arenac County, will have one lane open in each direction. The southbound I-75 ramp to eastbound US-23 Connector will remain closed. US-23/M-13 has one lane open in each direction through Standish. Worth Road and Lincoln Road are closed over I-75, with Melita Road closed over the US-23 Connector.

– M-65, Arenac County, will have one alternating lane of traffic open via a temporary signal from Main Street to East Turner Road.

– M-25 in Port Huron, St. Clair County, has one lane open in each direction from Hancock Street to M-136.

– M-90, Sanilac County, is closed and detoured over the Black River via Todd Road, Galbraith Line Road, and Wildcat Road.

For more information, contact MDOT Bay Region Communications Representative Jocelyn Garza at 989-245-7117. Follow the Bay Region on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDOT_Bay.

Southern Michigan

– I-69, Clinton County, has the following restrictions:

  • One lane of I-69 is closed in each direction with a traffic shift between I-96 and Airport Road.
  • The eastbound I-96 ramp to eastbound I-69 is closed.
  • The Francis Road ramp to eastbound I-69 is closed.
  • The eastbound I-69 ramp to Airport Road is closed.

– I-69, Eaton and Calhoun counties, has the following restrictions:

  • One lane of I-69 is closed in each direction with a traffic shift between I-94 and Ainger Road.
  • One lane of southbound I-69 is closed at M-50.
  • The southbound I-69 ramp to M-50 is closed.
  • The N Drive ramp to northbound I-69 is closed.

– I-75, Monroe County, has one lane closed in each direction from north of Erie Road to north of Otter Creek Road.

– I-75, Monroe County, has the following restrictions:

  • The southbound I-75 left shoulder and left lane are closed from I-275 to north of Swan Creek.
  • The southbound I-75 exit to Swan Creek Road/Newport Road (Exit 21) is closed.
  • The Swan Creek Road/Newport Road ramp to southbound I-75 is closed.

– I-496, Ingham County, has the following restrictions:

  • One lane of I-496 is closed in each direction between M-99 (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) and Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • The Cedar Street/Larch Street ramp to westbound I-496 is closed.
  • The Pennsylvania Avenue ramp to westbound I-496 is closed.
  • The westbound I-496 ramp to Grand Avenue is closed.
  • The Grand Avenue ramp to eastbound I-496 is closed.
  • The eastbound I-496 ramp to Pennsylvania Avenue is closed.
  • The eastbound I-496 ramp to Cedar Street/Larch Street ramp is closed.

– M-59, Livingston County, has one westbound lane closed from Tipsico Lake Road to US-23.

– US-127, Ingham County, has one lane closed in each direction from the Jackson County line to M-36.

– US-127, Jackson County, has one lane closed in each direction just north of McDevitt Road.

– US-127/M-50 (West Avenue), Jackson County, has one northbound lane closed at I-94. The northbound US-127/M-50 (West Avenue) ramp to westbound I-94 is closed and detoured.

– US-24, Monroe County, has one lane closed in each direction with a traffic shift from Townsquare Boulevard to Newburg Road.

For more information, contact MDOT University Region Communications Representative Aaron Jenkins at 517-243-9075. Follow the University Region on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDOT_LanJxn and www.twitter.com/MDOT_A2.

Metro Detroit

Macomb County 

– M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) has two lanes open in each direction between 12 Mile and 14 Mile roads; the eastbound I-94 ramp to M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) is closed.

– M-59 has two lanes open in each direction between M-97 (Groesbeck Highway) and I-94.

Oakland County 

– Grand River Avenue will be closed and detoured 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday, May 30, between Gill Road and Orchard Lake Road for an event.

– I-75 has two lanes open in each direction between I-696 and 14 Mile Road; the I-696 ramps to northbound I-75 remain closed.

– M-5 has three northbound lanes open between 13 Mile and 14 Mile roads.

– M-24 (Washington Street) will be closed and detoured 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday, May 30, between Broadway Street and East Street for an event.

– US-24 (Dixie Highway) will be closed and detoured 9:30 a.m. – noon Monday, May 30, for an event between Sashabaw Road and Williams Lake Road/Walton Boulevard.

Wayne County

– I-75 has the southbound ramp to Schaefer Avenue closed.

– I-75 will have three lanes open in each direction between Clay Street and Caniff Street.

– I-94 has two westbound lanes open at Outer Drive.

– I-94 will have the following restrictions:

  • The Frontenac Street, Burns Street, Cadillac Avenue, M-5 (Grand River Avenue), and Second Avenue bridges are all closed over I-94.
  • The eastbound I-96 ramp to eastbound I-94 will remain closed.
  • The eastbound I-94 ramp to northbound I-75 will remain closed.
  • The Beaubien Street ramp to eastbound I-94 will remain closed.

– I-275 has two lanes open in each direction between Eureka and 6 Mile roads.

– M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) will have two northbound lanes open between Randolph Street and Brush Street.

– M-8 will have one lane open in each direction between John R Road and Goddard Street. Dequindre Street will have one lane open in each direction over M-8.

– M-85 (Fort Street) will have one lane open in each direction at Woodmere Street.

– M-85 (Fort Street) has one lane open in each direction under I-75.

– M-153 (Ford Road) has two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane open between Evergreen Road and Outer Drive. Southbound Hines Drive is closed from Outer Drive to M-153.

– US-24 (Telegraph Road) has two lanes open in each direction between I-94 and US-12.

For more information, contact MDOT Metro Region Communications Representative Diane Cross at 248-752-0336. Follow the Metro Region on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDOT_MetroDet.