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. 

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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.

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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. 

December News

VN Engineers and the Connecticut Department of Transportation Team to Expand Safe Routes To School

VN Engineers is currently working with the Connecticut Department of Transportation on a program that will encourage children in grades K-8 to walk and bike to school in a safe and fun manner. This program, Safe Routes to School (SRTS), is very beneficial for every stakeholder. It promotes healthy lifestyles and helps to increase children’s interest to learn in school. It also helps to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion and helps to increase neighborhood safety. VN Engineers, Inc. will be reaching out to all of Connecticut’s elementary and middle Schools to inform them about the program and to help them get their SRTS Program started.   VN Engineers is reaching out to the schools and parents in various ways including phone calls, newsletters, SRTS website, public events, press releases, you tube videos, surveys and working with educational organizations such as the Parent Teacher Organization. Once a school expresses interest in starting a SRTS Program, VN assists with their planning workshops, provides them with guidance on how to receive grants from different funding sources, conducts site assessments, conducts bicycle and pedestrian safety classes and helps with the promotion and operation of their first walk to school day event.

Safe Routes to School Testimonial

"The experience with the Safe Routes to School Program here at Orchard Hill has been wonderful. It is a community-building event, which we have, a monthly walk to schools.

It really brings out so many students, parents as well as staff who walk with us to school. Also the safe Routes program has made some great safety improvements   that really get our kids walking and biking to school so much so that last year our PTO purchased another bike rack that is used continuously because we’ve had so many kids walk and bike or scooters to school and again the safety improvements that have come about through the Safe Routes Program have really helped with that. So since my time here I’ve seen so many more students walk and bike to school.

We always tell them it is good to be active before school. It helps with getting them ready, and getting their brain ready for learning.

My favorite part of the Safe Routs to School Program is definitely our monthly walk to schools, as I said before it is such a community building event in which we have so many members of our school community come and walk with us."

Mike Tortora/Principal
Orchard Hill Elementary School / South Windsor

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September News

VN Engineers Wins CSCE ACE Award For Transportation Management Plan

VN Engineers was challenged with researching and addressing various issues with the Lake Avenue and West Street Corridor that are very important to the City of Danbury and its’ surrounding region. The Lake Avenue – West Street Corridor, which is classified by ConnDOT as a principal arterial, is a major feeder road for I-84 as well as a major route to Danbury’s Downtown area.

The purpose of this study was to prepare a systematic assessment and prioritization of Lake Avenue and West Street transportation corridor needs, such that a well-organized final plan of implementation would be available for use in future funding prioritization for design and construction projects.

For this study, existing conditions information was obtained and reviewed including accident data, land use, and traffic volumes. Traffic volume data from the past 12 years was reviewed in order to project existing traffic volumes in the corridor to the future 2032 design year for additional analysis. An evaluation of the roadway network was performed which included capacity analysis and a review of roadway geometry and traffic control devices. The signalized intersections in the corridor were evaluated using SYNCHRO and estimated delays, volume to capacity ratios, and Levels of Service were reported for existing, 2032 “no-build” and 2032 “recommended” scenarios. The low clearance railroad bridge, located over West Street contributes to major operational, safety, drainage, and maintenance issues in the corridor. Solutions to alleviate some or all of the issues at this location were considered and discussed. Access management, along with pedestrian, transit, and bicycle accommodations were also reviewed and recommendations were made for improvements to improve mobility in the corridor for all modes of transportation. Recommendations to address safety, functionality, and aesthetics were all selected to complement each other and provide an updated vision for the corridor. The landscape architecture firm of DALA (Didona Associates Landscape Architecture) also participated on this study and provided a vision of the streetscape design and landscape architecture along the project.

 

CSCE ACEC


Expanded Services with Video and Web Site Production

Based on the needs of key engineering/architectural clients and state agencies, VN Engineers has expanded services to include high-quality video production and website development.  Whether you are looking for a video to summarize a project, fulfill a community outreach effort or highlight an element for a project pitch, VN Engineers can help you with all your video and website efforts. 

Educational Videos (Single and Multiple Series Formats)

Corporate Videos

Public Outreach Videos

Project Summary Videos

Project Website

 

 

 


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