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UK, U of L Chart Roadmap to Accelerated Transportation Projects

By George Lewis

Photo of Dennis Domer, director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, UK College of Design and  U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers
(Photo by George Lewis)
U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (right) speaks with Dennis Domer, director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, UK College of Design, following the news conference announcing the Academy for Community Transportation Innovation.

“I see the academy as paving the way for the compatibility, sustainability, efficiency and safety of transportation in the Commonwealth and significantly enhancing economic opportunities derived from a sound transportation system.”

-- Lee T. Todd Jr, President

 

Feb. 24, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville are using $4.2 million in federal earmarks obtained from U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers to establish the Academy for Community Transportation Innovation, U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers announced.

The academy combines education and research with the overall goal of enhancing the integration of transportation project development with community involvement and environmental sensitivity through a cooperative venture of the UK College of Engineering Kentucky Transportation Center (UK-KTC), the U of L Speed Scientific School Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“The academy will provide a new way of thinking to strike a balance between the issues of a diverse community and the means of transportation that serve the community,” Congressman Rogers said.

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. said the foresight of the Kentucky Congressional delegation is responsible for the community transportation benefits that are expected to result from academy programs.

“I see the academy as paving the way for the compatibility, sustainability, efficiency and safety of transportation in the Commonwealth and significantly enhancing economic opportunities derived from a sound transportation system,” Todd said.

Paul Toussaint, director of the UK Kentucky Transportation Center, envisions the new academy techniques and skills having national significance.

“We will seek opportunities to involve others in order to make this a national effort focused on providing community transportation innovations,” Toussaint said.

Academy projects under way include:

A professional development program consisting of nine sessions on issues important for future transportation leaders of the 21st century. Subjects planned include the importance and value of research, the global and national environment, finance and economics, impact of demographics, and public involvement, and decision making. The professional development program is also being used as a pilot for nine graduate-level students who are working on a transportation management certificate while at UK.

U of L-developed graduate level Web-based transportation courses available to engineering students throughout the state. The first course on urban transportation planning was presented in spring 2002. An additional course on intelligent transportation systems is being presented this semester. Web-based courses on traffic engineering, environmental analysis of transportation systems, highway design, and geographic information systems (GIS) are under development.

A program to enhance and expand the skills of transportation project managers and others covering the development of projects from start to finish.

A project for identifying the historic context of farms in the Bluegrass, in conjunction with the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation within the UK College of Design. This project will define the characteristics of historic properties and eliminate or minimize confrontations during project development. A report will be prepared summarizing findings followed by a workshop for preservationists.

A research project involving new methods of integrating, evaluating and displaying a variety of decision-making criteria in conjunction with GIS-based systems. This effort will use facilitation techniques and other commercial hardware and software to assess how people think and react to a variety of project criteria and how best to incorporate this thinking into the final project design.

A project with the UK Martin School of Public Policy and Administration to assess financing options and scenarios for state debt capacity. The analysis will lead to the development of models and guidelines to enable states to optimize debt management policies.

A U of L project, begun in July 2002, to address problems with highway noise and land use, both existing and future. The study will define who is responsible
for noise impacts and resultant remedies for adjacent land uses.

Development of a Web site, www.CTI-academy.org.

Several other projects are being considered for the academy in areas of research and education. They are being evaluated for funding with existing resources. Approximately 50 percent of funding has been committed.

“We believe the academy will greatly enhance the educational opportunities for both young students and the mid-level managers in transportation,” said UK-KTC Director Toussaint. “We also believe the much-needed research will significantly improve the delivery of transportation projects to the benefit users, industry and public agencies.”


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