PennDOT Connects – Is Your Municipality Ready?

Trans Associates has been at the grass roots level developing long range transportation plans for communities and municipalities since its inception in 1989. Whereas other firms provide traffic engineering and roadway design to supplement their primary services, Trans Associates focuses solely on traffic engineering, transportation planning and transportation design. Our project experience includes comprehensive transportation plans with related studies and asset inventories, roadway improvement design, traffic signals and systems design and pedestrian and bicycle (multi-modal) facilities.

There is a new opportunity for communities to realize planned improvements within PennDOT project scopes.  PennDOT Connects is a new transportation project approach that engages local communities in the PennDOT project development planning process.  PennDOT will be reaching out to local communities to discuss planned improvements prior to the preliminary engineering phase of a project. Areas of collaboration include safety concerns, bicycles and pedestrian facilities, transit access, stormwater management, local and regional plans and studies and more.  Sound terrific?  There may be one small catch. In order to incorporate a community’s desired improvement into a PennDOT roadway improvement project, the community would need to demonstrate this need as part of a written comprehensive plan.  Do you want bike lanes?  Check your comprehensive plan and be sure it is up to date and inclusive of your infrastructure needs.

Trans Associates can assist with updating comprehensive plans to address desired transportation improvements.  We help communities to consider transportation alternatives that promote healthier communities through active recreation or promote downtown retail and living options through pedestrian-friendly streets.  We focus on plans that are cost effective and sustainable.  Our process identifies and coordinates with the full range of diverse stakeholders in the land use and transportation planning process. 

The incorporation of pedestrian sidewalks or a wider shoulder for bicycle use is a small incremental cost increase on a large scale roadway project.  As a stand alone project, the cost is often, unfortunately, cost prohibitive for the community.  Is your community’s comp plan up to date?  If not, call us today and we can get started with the process of realizing your community’s transportation goals.

Roundabout Design Experience

Roundabouts are a common form of intersection control used throughout the world and increasingly in the United States.  According to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program‘s Report 672, roundabouts have been demonstrated to be safer for motor vehicles and pedestrians than other forms of at-grade intersections. 

TA has analyzed and designed roundabouts incorporating features accommodating a particular set of circumstances.  Such designs have included:

  • Channelized lanes
  • Expandable design to accommodate a second circulatory lane
  • Bike and pedestrian accommodations
  • Diverging ramps to a shared bike/ped path
  • Traversable central island to accommodate larger vehicles

TA helped design a roundabout near West Virginia University’s football stadium that can be converted during game days with an additional entry/exit accessing a parking lot.  The roundabout is somewhat unique in that it lies on a 7 percent grade.

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Some of us get to have all the fun!

Here is Mike Young, EIT, getting ready to hit the streets of Greensburg, PA. He is all set to collect data from a cyclist’s perspective using a camera mounted to his bike. Trans Associates is performing a study to determine the best connecting pathways to link up the hospital with the Greensburg Business District and the Five Star Trail.