June-July News

Why 12 Foot Wider Traffic Lanes Are Not Safer Than 10 Foot Lanes

Traffic Lanes...Wider is Not Better

One would assume that a wider traffic lane would be safer but a recent study by Jeff Speck AICP, LEED-AP, CNU-A, Honorary ASLA provided convincing data to show the opposite to be true.  During a Future of Transportation series Mr. Speck challenged the current conventions that 12-foot traffic lanes are safer than 10-foot lanes. This was especially relevant for city streets with the main problem focused on speed. Simply put, drivers tend to speed when they have more room and when they go faster accidents become more harmful.  

In a new study, Dewan Masud Karmin P.Eng., PTOE, evaluated dozens of intersections in Toronto and Tokyo. His study linked lower crash rates to narrower lanes with 10 to 10.5 foot lanes showing reduced speeds and less severe collisions. 

Narrow Lanes Are Safer

Based on this data, the ideal lane width is around 10.2 feet in Tokyo (3.1 meters) and 10.5 feet in Toronto (3.2 meters). Interestingly crash rates increased as lanes got too narrow and they also rose as lanes got wider. Karim declared that these results “clearly demonstrate why ‘conventional wisdom of lane width’ does not hold up to scientific scrutiny.”

 

Crash rates in Toronto (blue) and Tokyo (green) were lowest in lanes between 10 and 10.5 feet wide.

Tokyo (blue) tends to have narrower travel lanes than Toronto (orange), which might explain why collisions occur there at slower speeds.

Narrow Lanes Still Carry Lots of Traffic

The current rationale for larger lanes is that 12 foot lanes reduce congestion but with proper planning 10 foot lanes can provide a larger benefit as recently demonstrated in New York City. To make way for bike lanes many streets were narrowed, providing a safe alternative transportation option for city inhabitants. 

r3ulnojaapgve8sjec4c


Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering

VN Engineers Inc. offers roadway design services from corridor studies to the management of NEPA style preliminary engineering to environmental studies. We use an integrated team approach to the design process which draws from our construction management experience. With input from our construction staff, our designers are able to produce high quality constructible and biddable plans. Working as a subconsultant we have partnered with dozens of firms to provide traffic, M&PT/MOT, signal and lighting plans. 

  • Planning Services (Roadway/Bike/Ped) 
  • Design of Signalization
  • Traffic Impact Studies
  • Illumination Design
  • Tunnel Illumination
  • Parking Loading and Geometric Design
  • Signing and Pavement Markings
  • Maintenance and Protection of Traffic during Construction
  • Data Collection Origin and Destination Surveys
  • Parking Studies
  • Traffic Management Studies
  • Traffic Calming
  • Traffic Operations Studies
  • Traffic Safety Enhancement
  • Utility Coordination
  • GIS Mapping Services

Reconstruction of I-95 Northbound in the Long Wharf Area, New Haven, CT 92-649

VN Engineers, Inc. is a subconsultant responsible for Operational Analysis and Capacity Analysis for six signalized intersections and three un-signalized intersections using SYNCHRO and Highway Capacity software.  We have collected accident data, summarized in collision diagrams and prepared warrant analysis for four intersections. 

VN also prepared PE report-outlining improvements which address safety and operations to I-84 and the Route 34 and Route 25 intersection, including acceleration lanes, deceleration lanes, taper lengths and the need for turning lanes. The design of three traffic signals and traffic signal improvements for four signalized intersections including quantities and special provisions.

Additionally, we have conducted traffic signing inventory of I-84 and surrounding roadway network.  VN has prepared preliminary and final ground mounted and overhead signing plans, including guide signs, regulatory signs and warning signs as well as any other signs required for the freeway corridor, ramps and local streets.  Prepared quantities and special provisions.

ShareEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPrint this pagePin on Pinterest

April-May News

CSCE Engineer of the Year Award

VN Engineers VP Robert Gomez Awarded CSCE 2015 Civil Engineer of the Year

On May 20th 2015, VN Engineers' Robert Gomez was honored at this year's CSCE ACE Awards with the Civil Engineer of the Year (Private or Public).  His contribution on many key projects in Connecticut such as CTfastrak, NHHS High Speed Rail Project Grade Crossings, Bridge Rehabilitation Program (Killingly, Meriden & Windham, CT), Bradley International Airport, New Terminal “B” Passenger Facility and Associated Improvements (Windsor Locks, CT) and Safe Routes to School (Statewide, CT) as well as his dedication to mentoring and guiding young engineers as they start their careers in Civil Engineering were cited as contributing to his nomination and award.  

Having worked in FL, RI, NY and CT with over 29 years of experience, he has worked at both large and small engineering firms. With his recent book Looking Forward to Monday, Robert has focused on educating tomorrows engineers and has spoken at universities, libraries and transportation seminars, motivating students to pursue careers in civil engineering. "Giving future engineers the tools to succeed in our ever-changing industry is the reason I speak at these schools".  

  • Woman’s Transportation Seminar - Hamden, CT
  • Russell Library - Middletown, CT
  • United States Coast Guard Academy - New London, CT
  • University of Hartford West - Hartford, CT
  • Quinnipiac University - Hamden, CT
  • Marist College - Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Broward College, FL

CSCE recognized his efforts with the book and his focus on giving engineers a sense of day-to-day life in civil engineering and tools to succeed in both large and small companies.  

CSCE ACEC


Providing Opportunity and Growth for New Engineers

An integral part of VN Engineers philosophy as a WBE/DBE is making sure we give young engineers the opportunity to get hands-on experience and form strong foundations for promising careers. We provide them with a diverse learning experience while still allowing them to have fun during the summer.  We are proud of the 2015 VN Engineers Summer Interns and look forward to having them onboard.  

Miranda Garcia

Miranda Garcia

Miranda was born and raised in Cheshire, CT and is the youngest of 3 children, including a 25-year-old brother and a 23-year-old sister. She is going into her junior year at the University of Connecticut and intends to graduate in May of 2017. She is currently undecided on her major, but has already begun to pursue minors in both Business and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys playing on The Club Field Hockey Team at Uconn and spending time with her friends and family. Outside of school she also enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time on the beach. 

Alexis Ruest

Alexis is attending the University Rhode Island where she is studying Civil Engineering and her anticipated year of graduation is 2016. In addition to working this summer, She is also playing and coaching volleyball. Alexis is looking forward to a busy summer with the company and having fun with her friends.

Andrew Amarone

Andrew is heading into his senior year at Roger Williams University where he is studying Civil Engineering. At school, he is a member of the Roger Williams University Division III Men's Tennis Team and an active member in the American Society of Civil Engineers chapter at Roger Williams. His anticipated graduation is May of 2016. He has interned at VN Engineers the past two summers and looks forward to being part of the team again this summer. 

February-March News

VN Engineers Celebrates Opening Day of Connecticut’s CTfastrak Busway

Design Excellence 

CTfastrak is a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) facility along an exclusive 9.4 mile corridor, between downtown New Britain and downtown Hartford.  This project posed many complicated design related issues, including the layout of the two-lane Busway running parallel to an active railroad.  The project contained three bus stations and the design of three bridges adjacent to active railroad bridges. The Busway was a controversial project that required a steadfast public involvement effort.  VN Engineers Design Team was involved in the roadway design and the design and permitting for the proposed drainage system, noise wall design, site design, utility coordination, illumination, preparation of detour plans and signalization for the project.

CEI Services

Once the CTfastrak project moved into the construction phase our CEI Team was awarded multiple projects that included the construction inspection of large segments of the project.  Our team was involved in construction of multiple stations, bridge reconstruction and replacement, roadways construction, and relocation of railroad.

  • Contract 1, Project No. 88-177: Construction of CTfastrak from Main Street to Stanley Street and the construction of New Britain Station, demolition reconstruction of the bridge over Route 9, reconstruction of Route 72 off and on ramps. Subconsultant to AI.
  • Contract 2, Project Nos. 88-178 & 93-166: Construction of CTfastrak from Stanley Street to Cedar Street, development of two stations, two new bridges, reconstruction of Florence Street and replacement of the existing Cedar Street Bridge. Subconsultant to STV.
  • Contract 3, 63-643 & 93-180: Construction of CTfastrak from Cedar Street to Sigourney Street and construction of seven stations, eight new bridges, two culverts to be installed under Amtrak rail lines, a new bridge carrying Flatbush Avenue over Amtrak and CTfastrak, plus construction of an Amtrak maintenance road. Subconsultant to Gannett Fleming.
  • Contract 4, Project No. 63-670: Construction of CTfastrak from Sigourney Street to Asylum Street and construction of one station, two new bridges, and the relocation of approximately one mile of railroad. Subconsultant to Urban Engineers
  • Contract 5, Project Nos. 63-641/671: Replacement of the existing Broad Street Bridge over Amtrak rail lines and CTfastrak, reconstruction of Broad Street from Capitol Avenue to Farmington Avenue. Subconsultant to Urban Engineers


VN Engineers Pennsylvania Office Opens

As part of VN Engineers ongoing expansion the Pennsylvania office is now open.  The PA office is the next step in providing Design Excellence and Construction Inspection Services throughout the northeast.  VN Engineers is now able to provide the same level of service to our PA clients, that our clients in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Florida have benefited from for 30 years.

For all inquires please contact us at:

1700 Market Street
Suite 1005
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 366-2405

ShareEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPrint this pagePin on Pinterest

January News

VN Engineers Plays Key Role in Reconstruction of I-95 Interchange 14 and 15 in Norwalk, CT

Design Services: Sub-consultant to Lochner

VN Engineers was responsible for Preliminary and Final Traffic Engineering Design Services for the reconstruction of I-95 Interchange 14, Norwalk, CT.

Our Design Team conducted capacity and network analyses utilizing Synchro, SimTraffic, and HCS software programs. They designed four interconnected traffic signals, including required revisions to an existing utility pole mounted hard wire traffic signal interconnect system. The signals are located on Route 1 (Connecticut Avenue), within a coordinated traffic signal system to the north and to the south of the project limits. Notable intersection improvements include the incorporation of exclusive left turn lanes and associated protected and permitted phasing patterns. Revised intersection time splits were installed to minimize delays, reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The team documented existing and design year traffic analysis levels of service in a traffic analysis report with supporting calculations. They also prepared time of day timing patterns for peak and off peak periods. A traffic signal interconnect plan was developed to depict required work of the existing utility pole mounted interconnect. The plan detailed the installation of a new utility pole mounted interconnect to address the geometric roadway widening of the Route.  VN Engineers also coordinated several overhead utilities to facilitate pole relocation work that met the needs of all vested utilities in a dense urban environment. Detailed estimates and special  provisions were prepared.

VN prepared preliminary and final ground mounted and overhead signing plans, including guide signs regulatory signs and warning signs, as well as any other signs required for the freeway corridor, ramps and local streets. Permanent pavement markings were designed and quantities, special provisions and proposal estimate were developed.

Community Outreach/Public Involvement/Construction Inspection: Sub-consultant to HAKS

VN Engineers is also providing construction inspection services for this project as well as the development and on ongoing maintenance of the I-95 Norwalk Exit 14 and 15 Improvement Project website (www.I95norwalk.com).  Functioning as the main site to communicate with the local residents, business, and the driving population the site describes the project and ensures that all traffic detours and potential impacts on drivers are shared with the general public.  The I95norwalk.com site includes a historical view of the projects site from the ground breaking ceremony to the current month's progress.

Due to its effective and simple to navigate structure, CTDOT recently recognized VN Engineers' web design services as a model for current and future CTDOT projects.

195Norwalk Website