Eastern TTAP at
Michigan Tech

Pathways Newsletter
Winter 2016
 

Program Director
John Velat

Editor
Scott Bershing

Web Developer
Chris DelReal

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2016 Wisconsin Tribal Transportation Conference Summary
The 2016 Wisconsin Tribal Transportation Conference included a tour of Oneida Nation transportation and cultural sites.
The 2016 Wisconsin Tribal Transportation Conference included a tour of Oneida Nation transportation and cultural sites, including bridges and overpasses featuring Oneida artwork.

The 2016 Wisconsin Tribal Transportation Conference was held at the November 1 & 2, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay. The annual meeting is coordinated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Wisconsin Inter-Tribal Task Force and provides an opportunity for tribal leaders and representatives to express concerns, highlight issues, and make recommendations regarding statewide tribal affairs as it relates to transportation. The annual conference engages tribal, state, local, and federal professionals to provide opportunities for exchanging ideas, networking, and building new relationships to enhance services and address tribal transportation concerns.

This year's conference brought together over 200 participants and presenters representing over fifty tribal, state, local, and federal agencies. The conference included a community tour of the highlighting infrastructure and transportation facilities featuring artwork and stories from the Oneida Nation.


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Minnesota Government-to-Government Tribal-State Relations Training
Mark your calendar!
Tentative dates for 2016-17 training sessions

Registration for Jan. 9-10, 2017 now open!

Register now

  • Hosted by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe at the Grand Casino Hotel, Hinckley
  • $335 (includes meals and refreshments.
  • By Dec. 19, mention code TRI0109 or the group name UMD Continuing Education Tribal-State Relations to receive the discount room rate ($63.20 plus tax) at Grand Casino Hinckley.

NOTE: These dates are subject to change.

  • Mille Lacs Hinckley - January 9-10, 2017 (Monday-Tuesday)
  • White Earth Nation - April 24-25, 2017 (Monday-Tuesday)
  • Location To Be Determined - June 19-20, 2017 (Monday-Tuesday)

At a glance


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MDOT Plow Data Drives Faster Snow and Ice Removal

Nate Fisher operates an MDOT tow plow during a winter storm in February 2016. MDOT now has automatic vehicle location (AVL) devices on all of its winter road maintenance equipment. These systems report where each truck is, and they gather data from other sensors in order to help better plan for winter storms. (MDOT Photo)
Nate Fisher operates an MDOT tow plow during a winter storm in February 2016. MDOT now has automatic vehicle location (AVL) devices on all of its winter road maintenance equipment. These systems report where each truck is, and they gather data from other sensors in order to help better plan for winter storms. (MDOT Photo)

Fast facts:
- MDOT started installing automatic vehicle location (AVL) devices on its winter road maintenance equipment in 2013. These systems report where each truck is, and they gather data from other sensors.
- MDOT feeds that information, plus additional pavement and weather data and forecasts, into its maintenance decision support system (MDSS).
- AVL and MDSS have helped MDOT reduce salt consumption. MDOT spends about $30 million on salt in an average year. 

December 12, 2016 -- Connected vehicle technology is helping MDOT clear snow and ice from roadways faster -- making winter a little easier for drivers and saving taxpayers money.

MDOT started installing GPS-based automatic vehicle location (AVL) devices on its winter road maintenance equipment in 2013. These systems report where each truck is, and they gather data from other sensors to report details like atmospheric conditions, camera images, and speed and salt application rates for each vehicle.

MDOT feeds that information, plus additional pavement and weather data and forecasts, into its maintenance decision support system (MDSS), which it uses to better plan for winter storms. It's a powerful combination for managing plowing and salting operations. "Monitoring snowplow speeds and material application helps us apply efficient salting practices," said Melissa Howe, region support engineer for MDOT's Maintenance Field Services Section. "Maintenance supervisors can also easily adjust shifts based on the timing of a storm so we have plows on the roads precisely when they're needed, adding people proactively rather than reactively."

MDOT has installed AVL/GPS on all of its plows and some county road commissions are also using the technology. With multiple systems in use, MDOT and counties are collectively researching how to expand the deployment of this technology while coordinating and standardizing its use.

AVL and MDSS have helped MDOT reduce salt consumption, contributing to an estimated 2.2 percent increase in efficiency. MDOT spends about $30 million on salt in an average year, so even modest reductions in salt use save a lot of money. There's more to come: MDOT operations and maintenance engineers have improved the system interface to show more detail and more accurate locations, and they expect even greater efficiencies as MDOT gains experience with the system.

Ben Hodges, transportation maintenance supervisor at MDOT's Grand Ledge garage, checks on plow location information, pavement and weather data in the maintenance decision support system (MDSS) during a winter storm in February 2016. (MDOT photo))
Ben Hodges, transportation maintenance supervisor at MDOT's Grand Ledge garage, checks on plow location information, pavement and weather data in the maintenance decision support system (MDSS) during a winter storm in February 2016. (MDOT photo)

With cost-savings and safety in mind, MDOT promotes a number of best practices to boost salt use efficiency during winter maintenance. The department is encouraging its drivers to drive slower when possible while applying salt so more stays on the road. MDOT is also investigating new application systems to keep the salt from bouncing out of driving lanes. Other "sensible salting" solutions include setting application guidelines for winter conditions, using weather stations to better target areas that will benefit most from salt, and pre-wetting the salt so it sticks to the road and starts working faster.

In the interest of safety, there are some times when MDOT and its contract county road commissions and municipal public works departments will hold off on the salt. During normal winter conditions, when temperatures are between 20 and 30 degrees, salt works great for melting snow and ice so plows can more easily blade it from the roadway. Below 20 degrees, however, and salt takes longer to work, and may increase the speed at which roads refreeze. Below 10 degrees, the roads refreeze even faster, making them icier and slipperier than if salt hadn’t been applied in the first place. In those conditions, it's safer to use sand instead.

Working together with its county road commission partners on a number of fronts, MDOT will continue to improve the way it responds to winter's annual snowy, icy attack on Michigan roads. The goal is safer driving and cost-savings for Michigan taxpayers.

Michigan Department of Transportation. (2016, December 12). MDOT plow data drives faster snow and ice removal. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from MDOT News and Information, http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,4616,7-151-9620-399362--,00.html

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Green Lights on Snowplows Improve Safety

New green flashing lights are being incorporated on winter maintenance vehicles in Michigan this winter. And while motorists are used to green meaning go - in this case, green means slow down.

In an effort to reduce crashes, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and
several Michigan county road commissions and municipalities will be using green and amber lights that may be flashing, rotating or oscillating on 70 percent of their winter maintenance vehicles.

Studies suggest that humans can differentiate more shades of green than any other color. Better visibility with green lights means safer roads for winter maintenance workers and motorists. 

As the lights on trucks are replaced, the new green lenses are being incorporated. 

Wider use of the green lights is a result of legislation that amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to allow for the use of the color green on maintenance vehicles.

Additional information is also available on the When Green Means Slow Infographic

Michigan Department of Transportation (2016, December 06). MDOT - green lights on Snowplows improve safety. Retrieved December 13, 2016, from MDOT News and Information, http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,4616,7-151-9615-398769--,00.html

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Wisconsin Drugged Driving Awareness Campaign

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) teamed up to warn of the dangers of drugged driving.

In 2015, 149 people were killed in drug-related crashes in Wisconsin. WisDOT says it is a 200 percent increase over the previous decade.

New television and radio public service announcements were released at a news conference in Madison on Wednesday.

“The Dose of Reality campaign has been raising awareness about prescription drug abuse and correcting the myths surrounding this epidemic,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “The myth that prescription drugs are totally safe because they are prescribed by doctors is just not true. The dose of reality is driving under the influence of prescription drugs is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. I am grateful for the chance to team up with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and look forward to working together to prevent injuries and deaths on Wisconsin roads.”

WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb said, “In addition to illegal drugs, the overuse and abuse of prescription medications, especially when combined with alcohol, severely impairs driving ability and judgment. Drugged drivers are in grave danger of killing or injuring themselves and innocent victims. Law enforcement officers have extensive training and experience in identifying drivers impaired by alcohol and use many of those same procedures to identify drugged drivers. With our collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, we are striving to prevent drugged driving through effective education and enforcement efforts.”

NBC15, W. (2016, December 7). Drugged driving awareness campaign. Retrieved December 12, 2016 from http://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Drugged-driving--405268465.html

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2018 BIA Grants Writing Training at the 2017 Lifesavers Conference

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Office of Justice Services (OJS), Indian Highway Safety Program (IHSP) is pleased to announce 2018 BIA Grants Writing Training at the 2017 Lifesavers Conference. Training will be held at the Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The 2018 Grant Writing will take place on March 25, 2016 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Tribal employees interested in attending this session will need to register through Lifesavers at http://lifesaversconference.org/registration and complete the attached application to send back to the BIA IHSP for approval. Information for the session is also listed under the Pre/Post Conference Meetings on the Lifesavers website. Those who attend BIA IHSP Grant Writing Training have the option to attend the Lifesavers Conference. The Lifesavers registration fee has to be paid in order to attend Grant Writing Training. All Tribal employees who are interested in submitting an application for FY2018 Highway Safety Grants are encouraged to attend. The BIA IHSP will reimburse registration fees and travel expenses in an RFR format upon receipt of an FY2018 Grant Application.

Tribal employees who are actively working on traffic safety initiatives may submit an application to attend Lifesavers Conference March 26-28, 2017. Travel will be reimbursed beginning March 25-29, 2016. Eligible tribal employees will include those who work in Law Enforcement, Tribal traffic safety planning programs, tribal EMS, Fire, Injury Prevention (Child Passenger Safety, youth programs and traffic safety programs) and Tribal Criminal Justice programs. Tribal employees are not required to attend the Grants Writing training, but will also need to submit the attached application to the BIA IHSP for approval. Travel will be reimbursed beginning March 25-29, 2016. The BIA IHSP will reimburse registration fees and travel expenses in an RFR format.

The deadline for applications is March 6, 2017; Tribal employees can contact the BIA IHSP office for questions or concerns at (505)563-3780.

--
L.G. Robertson, SAC, COTR
Bureau of Indian Affairs-Office of Justice Services
Indian Highway Safety Program
1001 Indian School Rd NW
Albuquerque NM 87104
lawrence.robertson@bia.gov

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AAA Study: Drivers Getting Under Seven Hours of Sleep Face Heightened Crash Risks

Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel," said David Yang, the foundation's executive director. "Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk."

But much of the population is driving drowsy, research indicates. The motor club's safety organization noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said 35 percent of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily.

"And with drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year, AAA warns drivers that getting less than seven hours of sleep may have deadly consequences," it said.

AAA said symptoms of drowsy driving can include having trouble keeping eyes open, drifting from lanes or not remembering the last few miles driven. But it also noted that more than half of drivers involved in fatigue-related crashes had experienced no symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel.

It said drivers who get just five to six hours of sleep are 1.9 times more likely to have a crash than those who get the full seven hours. And the risk more than doubles if they lose another sleep hour, to 4.3 times more likely.

What's more, the driving risk rate soars after that, AAA said, as drivers who get less than four hours of sleep are 11.5 times more likely to have a crash than someone who sleeps the recommended amount.

The foundation's report, "Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement," said drivers who miss three to four hours of that recommended seven sleep hours in a 24-hour period more than quadrupled their risk of a crash compared with drivers who get the full seven hours of sleep.

It added that this is the same crash risk the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration associates with driving over the legal limit for alcohol.

"Managing a healthy work-life balance can be difficult and far too often we sacrifice our sleep as a result," said Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA. "Failing to maintain a healthy sleep schedule could mean putting yourself or others on the road at risk."

AASHTO. (2016, September 12). AAA study: Drivers getting under Seven hours of sleep face heightened crash risks. Retrieved December 12, 2016, from AASHTO Journal, http://www.aashtojournal.org/Pages/120916drowsy.aspx

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2017 National Tribal Transportation Conference - Save the Date
September 25-29, 2017
Tuscon, Arizona

The 2017 National Tribal Transportation Conference will be held September 25-29, 2017 in Tuscon, Arizona. More details will be available as the planning process continues.

Please visit www.ttapnttc.com for more information.

NTTC Save the Date card

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Eastern TTAP Client Needs Survey
We Need Your Input!

The Eastern Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) at Michigan Technological University has developed a client needs survey to help us identify the priority transportation training and technical assistance requests for the tribes in the Midwestern and Eastern BIA regions.

We realize your time is valuable, but please take a few minutes to complete this survey.  Your contribution can help strengthen and improve transportation services for not only your tribe, but all the tribes in our service area.

The information gathered on this questionnaire will be used for planning purposes only.  Your responses and any individual information you provide will not be given out to any private, federal, state, or local agency.  The questionnaire is for addressing tribal transportation needs and issues and assisting the Eastern TTAP with meeting those needs. We will follow up this fall with a program assessment that will allow you to evaluate our performance.

Please note that the survey is set up so you can respond anonymously, or you can optionally provide your contact information which will be useful to us if you have specific training or technical assistance needs or concerns.

Click Here to provide feedback.


Request Training or Technical Assistance for Your Agency

Click Here to request training for your organization. Eastern TTAP can assist you with road safety plans, road safety audits, and inter-agency safety projects. Please contact us for more information or to schedule these activities.

If you don't see a topic listed or have a suggestion for training that you'd like to have at your tribe, send us a suggestion.

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Pathways is published quarterly by the Eastern Tribal Technical Assistance Program, which is in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and part of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute at Michigan Technological University. The Eastern Tribal Technical Assistance Program is part of a nationwide effort jointly financed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). It intends to relay the latest technology and information on tribal roads and bridges, tourism, recreational travel, and related economic development to tribal transportation and planning personnel. Tribes in the Eastern TTAP region include those in the Midwest and Eastern BIA Regions. Contact the TTAP office to submit articles and suggestions.

The Eastern TTAP logo was created by Sally R. Brunk, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Eastern TTAP and Pathways are sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer.
 
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation
under Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH6114H00006.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
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