Five researchers with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) were honored with Outstanding Paper Awards during ceremonies at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, January 10-14 in Washington, D.C.
Three TTI researchers are the recipients of TRB’s esteemed Fred Burggraf Award, designated to honor transportation researchers 35 years of age or younger.
Lead author Michael Pratt and co-authors Srinivas Geedipally and Adam Pike received the recognition for their paper, “An Analysis of Vehicle Speeds and Speed Differentials in Curves.” The Texas Department of Transportation project analyzed state crash data and traffic operations on roadway curves, suggesting where high-friction pavement could be used to prevent crashes.
The work was also recognized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials as a High-Value Research Project. Pratt presented the project during a TRB poster session.
The award was named after Burggraf, who served as TRB director from 1951-1964.
Associate Research Scientist Raul Avelar and Senior Research Engineer Karen Dixon were honored with the prestigious Patricia F. Waller Award, given each year to the best paper in the area of safety and system users. Their paper, “Evaluation of Intersection-Related Crash Screening Methods Based on Distance from Intersection,” was first recognized for an Outstanding Paper Award by the TRB Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation Committee.
As a result of their analysis, the researchers recommend that departments of transportation (DOTs) consider crashes as intersection-related up to distances of 300 feet from signalized intersections for higher-speed facilities. Currently, most DOTs use a maximum of 250 feet to consider crashes as intersection-related.
“We found that numerous crashes occur out to 300 feet, and as a result, intersection-related crashes go underreported,” Dixon says. “With this wider area of influence, we feel that safety can be improved near intersections with modifications in traffic control, signal timing and countermeasures.”
The Waller Award was named for a former Technical Activities Group Council chair. Waller was a clinical psychologist, researcher and advocate for policy reform in transportation safety and injury control.