Solving Uncommon Problems
Autonomous Vehicle Test Track Design
Pittsburgh is a leading city in developing smart transportation initiatives and Trans Associates is excited to be part of the process with our role in the design of autonomous vehicle test tracks. Solving uncommon problems in transportation is one example of how we provide a small firm client experience with big firm capabilities.
In order to meet the goal of ever-changing roadway conditions for autonomous vehicle testing, Trans Associates designed a test track with an open, flexible layout. The design accommodates variables such as unconventional intersections, roadway twists and turns, grading changes, pedestrian accommodations and signals. The signal systems were also designed to be changeable in order to mimic various signal conditions found in the U.S. and internationally.
Test tracks design include features related to pavement materials, pavement markings, lighting and street furniture. Our firm supplies initial concept plan layouts followed up by 2D and 3D models. Final deliverables include construction plans, specs, bid packages and construction monitoring.
Truck Parking Studies
A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Report published after a fatal bus accident in 1998 led to a restriction of non-emergency parking in clear zones along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This resulted in a reduction of the amount of truck parking available for long-haul drivers who need to meet rest requirements. Trans Associates assisted the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission with the development of strategies to mitigate truck parking demand and identify feasible cost effective solutions to increase truck parking capacity.
Three main priorities for identifying truck parking sites were identified: need, cost and constructability. A rating system was developed to evaluate each proposed site relative to the priorities. From an initial list of more than thirty, six sites were ultimately identified and conceptual design plans and detailed concept level estimates were provided for each of the six locations. In the end, one site was selected and designs are underway for a new parking facility.
Access Management Studies
Access management is a means to control the ways in which vehicles access major roadways by limiting access points, promoting a supporting street system, and preserving the safety and efficiency of the transportation system. TA was under agreement to Springfield Township, Mercer County, PA to prepare an access management study and update their current access management ordinance.
The study corridor was 2.3 miles of State Route 208 that includes the I-79 interchange, a 500,000 square foot outlet mall, various hotels and restaurants, and the Wendell August Forge. TA performed a comprehensive study that resulted in a new ordinance, recommended driveway and intersection spacing, and a parallel access road system.