September 19, 2021
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Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes
California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation
Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025
The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road!
Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval
Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night
Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director
Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights
Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior
Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
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Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025 The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road! Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
Sep
2021
17

Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes

AI-based traffic management platform to aid in real-time, automated incident identification, crash prediction and forecasting

COLUMBIA, MD / ACCESSWIRE / September 9, 2021 / Rekor Systems, Inc, (NASDAQ:REKR) (“Rekor” or the “Company”), a global AI technology company with a mission to provide intelligent infrastructure and insights that build safer, smarter and more efficient cities around the world, today announced that its Waycare Technologies subsidiary has been selected by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) for a pilot program to help reduce congestion and collisions in the Baton Rouge area and promote speed harmonization for a safer driver experience. The initial deployment, which kicked off July 15, 2021, focuses on some of the region’s most dangerous sections of highway: Interstate 10 (“I-10”) and Interstate 12 (“I-12”).

“Rekor has seen a sharp increase in demand from government agencies for real-time, AI driven insights from roadways,” said Robert Berman, president and CEO, Rekor. “The actionable insights derived from this platform, enables a broad set of applications for regional and state government departments and agencies to build smarter and safer cities. From traffic management and public safety to smart parking and citizen experience, Rekor is helping our government customers meet their respective missions.”

The Company will use its powerful AI algorithms and machine learning to analyze large data sets from various Louisiana agency sources as well as mobile apps, connected vehicles, and third-party systems to produce actionable traffic safety insights. To aid in this real-time, automated incident identification, crash prediction and forecasting, the company’s all-in-one traffic management platform has been integrated into LaDOTD’s Traffic Management Center (TMC) and Motorist Assist Patrol (MAP), providing the agency with collaborative tools for more efficient responses and planning. This application is a model for Rekor’s expanded focus on providing government customers with intelligent infrastructure and insights to build smarter, safer cities.

LaDOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson said of the program, “We are thrilled to kick off our deployment to investigate approaches to alleviating traffic congestion and improving road safety, especially on critical traffic corridors like I-10 and I-12. This deployment is designed to help improve driver commutes and reduce incidents, all the while bringing cutting-edge technology into the fold.”

As a result of the company’s numerous connected vehicle partnerships, LaDOTD will gain access to useful insights into driver behaviors and road incidents. With planned construction imminent along the I-10 and I-12 corridors, the pilot program will serve as a useful test to see how such technology can support travel demand management in the region. The pilot program is a typical first step for states to apply lessons learned before moving to a broader deployment.

“In just one month, we’re already integrating deidentified data from almost 14% of vehicles driving in the state of Louisiana,” said Paul-Matthew Zamsky, Strategic Partnerships, Rekor. “We are helping to increase LaDOTD’s roadway visibility by connecting to infrastructure to help manage transportation and communicate better in real-time.”

This deployment comes on the heels of a successful partnership with

Sep
2021
16

California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation

Two bridges were damaged and public transportation was disrupted Wednesday when a fire broke out in a Northern California homeless encampment. 

The large blaze was initially reported at 12:45 a.m. along a large encampment under a Sacramento light rail overpass near Interstate 80, Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Keith Wade told Fox News. 

A massive plume of smoke could be seen from the freeway. Footage of the aftermath taken by KCRA-TV showed several larges tires burned and multiple vehicles charred underneath the overpass where the heat caused chunks of concrete to fall. 

The blaze appeared to have traveled up an embankment and burned some vegetation. 

Around 36 firefighters responded to the scene. They were told a female took herself to a hospital but her injuries were not clear, Wade said. No other injuries were reported.

Two bridges were damaged and light rail traffic was briefly suspended. Engineers walked the rails and deemed them safe for the morning commute but are expected to check for long-term damage, according to the news outlet.

Fox News has reached out to the California Department of Transportation. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

One person told the news outlet that at least 40 people were displaced from the encampment. 

Sep
2021
15

Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval

The I-5 freeway is seen through the fencing at the back of Harriet Tubman Middle School in North Portland, April 9, 2021. ODOT’s proposed Rose Quarter expansion would bring the freeway even closer to the school grounds.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff / OPB

The Oregon Transportation Commission granted conditional approval on Thursday for a path forward to renovate and widen Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter corridor, as well as cap the freeway and allow for redevelopment of the former Albina district.

The commission’s unanimous decision follows the recommendation of Gov. Kate Brown last month that the Oregon Department of Transportation pursues “hybrid option 3.” That plan would essentially tunnel the freeway and provide economic opportunity for the region’s Black community in an effort to reclaim the Albina district.

Members of ODOT committees such as the Historic Albina Advisory Board and other stakeholder groups have consistently voiced their opinion favoring a project that focuses on restorative justice. Supporters say the idea behind this project model is to remediate historic harm caused by the freeway’s original construction and displacement of community members.

Approval of the hybrid 3 model is contingent upon ODOT providing a thorough analysis of the project’s cost structure and funding sources by December. It would also require ODOT and its contractors to update its diversity and subcontracting plans, as well as to reevaluate the project’s initial environmental impact study.

The commission’s decision followed a brief update on the project’s progress and regional planning work by ODOT’s staff including Rose Quarter Improvement Project Manager Megan Channell.

Channell delved into the specific details of how hybrid 3 varies from the original concepts of the I-5 Rose Quarter expansion.

A proposal for the I-5 Rose Quarter improvement project with three main modifications from previous design concepts, intended to reconnect the local street grid and support neighborhood access and environments.

A proposal for the I-5 Rose Quarter improvement project with three main modifications from previous design concepts, intended to reconnect the local street grid and support neighborhood access and environments.

Via I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project /

The largest difference is that the new model would produce a singular cap over the freeway instead of two separate caps proposed in the initial concept. Construction would be pushed back to begin in late 2023 with minor preparation work beginning earlier.

The cap would create a freeway tunnel through the Rose Quarter, relocate ramps to accommodate the cap and restore the street grid above. It would also remove some current pedestrian and bike links across the freeway and shift them to other streets.

The proposed cap would allow for light development on top of the freeway capable of holding buildings of up to three stories. It could be strengthened to accommodate up to six-story buildings.

“We heard that a successful highway cover design really is defined as one that brings investment into and provides long-term benefits to the Historic Albina community,” Channell said. “Also that access and safety would be provided for people walking, biking, driving and using transit for within and through the project area.”

The project’s cost has risen significantly from its initial price tag of between $715-795 million to upwards of $1.18 billion.

Sep
2021
14

Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights

Airline passengers got hit with a one-two punch during the coronavirus pandemic, first having their flights canceled or rescheduled because of Covid disruptions and then having their money locked up by an airline that offered only vouchers. Now, the Transportation Department, under orders from the White House, is cracking down.

Complaints from airline passengers, which soared last year, are up by over 500 percent, according to a new report by the agency, with over 100,000 submitted.

Passenger air travel was upended along with everything else in March 2020 as traffic plummeted to historic lows. Airlines, forced to cancel and reschedule flights, got billions of dollars from the government to keep making payroll. But to keep flying, they furloughed and laid off pilots and crew members.

After the vaccine rollouts, passenger travel demand shot back up — sooner than the airlines said they expected — so they ramped up schedules and expanded service. They have struggled at times to staff the flights they’ve sold, as bottlenecks in mandatory retraining have delayed the furloughed staff members from returning. Some have also chosen to hang back because of Covid concerns.

That means airlines have been even more exposed when outside events occur.

Early last month, Spirit and American airlines canceled hundreds of flights after a confluence of bad weather, technology outages, worker shortages and high summer demand. Hundreds of travelers were stranded, and piles of unclaimed luggage had to be roped off.

The scrambled schedules left some passengers high and dry.

Lenore Sek, 72, had booked a trip to Ghana to reunite with an old friend in the Peace Corps. When South African Airlines canceled her flight, it offered her only a credit for future travel.

“They were having a tough time, and I felt for them, but they are very big, and I’m very small, so $1,700 means an awful lot to me, and they can just send it to me,” she said.

For months, she tried calling and emailing the airline, to no avail.

“It makes you feel like this is crazy. I don’t understand. Who am I supposed to talk to?” Sek said. “There’s no one answering the phone. There isn’t a person who puts their name to an email. I was very discouraged, but I kept trying.”

Eventually she gave up on working with the airline directly and filed a complaint with the Transportation Department. Within two days, the refund was in her account.

The Transportation Department says that isn’t the way it’s supposed to go.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw a rash of flight cancellations by the airlines, and some of those airlines kept the consumers’ money,” said John Putnam, the Transportation Department’s acting general counsel.

“It’s clear-cut that if an airline cancels a flight, they need to pay a refund back,” Putnam said. “It needs to be a cash refund, and it needs to be a prompt refund. And that hasn’t been happening with all the airlines.”

In July, the Biden administration directed several federal agencies

Sep
2021
12

Morelle asks Secretary of Transportation to waive CDL requirement for school bus drivers amid shortage

When it comes to hiring more school bus drivers Morelle said current CDL requirements should not stand in the way of hiring more drivers.

“We’re not going to reduce the requirements that apply to the safety of children or transporting them, but if you have to be able to look underneath the hood of you know a tractor-trailer, and do some maintenance on it, I’m not sure why that would be a requirement that’s necessary for school bus drivers,” Morelle said.

Morelle reached to Secretary Pete Buttigieg, asking him to review the waiver request.

“Hopefully we’ll hear back from the Secretary’s Office, if not obviously we’ll follow through, but we want to do everything we can to ensure safety, but also make sure that we have enough folks to transport young people,” Morelle said.

News10NBC also asked Morelle about President Biden’s new vaccine mandates which were announced on Thursday. Morelle shares the President’s growing frustrations.

“We want to put an end to the pandemic, and the national emergency, and since there seems to be a real reluctance I think more forceful measures may be in order,” Morelle said.

The mandate requires all employers with more than 100 employees to ensure that they’re either all fully vaccinated, or show a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week.

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bob Duffy says vaccine mandates should not be placed on companies.

“Where it’s really an individual’s responsibility to do it either, or get vaccinated, or wear a mask and protect yourself, and others,” Duffy said.

Morelle added, “If the company has a federal contract, and chooses not to have a mandate in place then the really only way to sanction people for not following the mandate is to sanction the company, and say that you can’t do business with the federal government.”

Despite the shortage, First Student, one of the RCSD’s contractors, reports it is seeing an increase in driver applications. It says it’s taking more applications and it’s urging anyone interested to apply. Click here to apply.

Sep
2021
11

A Climate-Friendly Shift In Transportation Planning Would Bring Economic Benefits Too, A New Report Says

A significant investment in climate-friendly transportation infrastructure — like bicycle paths, better sidewalks and increased transit service — combined with a simultaneous shift away from emissions-generating highway expansion projects could result in some $40 billion in economic benefits, a new state analysis suggests.

Colorado’s Transportation Commission is considering a proposed rule that would require the state Department of Transportation and the state’s five metropolitan planning organizations to consider, measure and potentially offset the harmful climate effects of transportation projects.

A new cost-benefit analysis, published earlier this week, of that proposal attempts to quantify its potential effect on air pollution, road safety, traffic delays and more. The analysis projects that adopting the rule would likely lead to people driving less, resulting in fewer costly crashes and repairs.

“… I think it makes a very powerful case for big net benefits,” Will Toor, the state’s top climate official, tweeted of the analysis.

The proposed rule would require that state and local governments offset polluting road expansion projects — if they exceed a given emissions budget — with cleaner alternatives. That could result in a 28 percent shift in funding — roughly $6.7 billion by 2050 — toward cleaner projects, the analysis found.

The Transportation Commission is scheduled to vote on the rule at its November meeting. CDOT is hosting several public hearings on the rule before then.

Sep
2021
9

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (finally) opens new Ground Transportation Center for shuttle drop-offs, pick-ups

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Hopkins International Airport early Tuesday debuted the long-delayed $3.5 million Ground Transportation Center, for rental-car, off-site parking and hotel shuttle drop-offs and pick-ups.

The project has been years in the making, as airport officials have struggled to ease congestion on the increasingly crowded roadways in front of the terminal.

Features of the new facility include wooden benches, overhead lighting and heating, plus wide, covered walkways. The facility is immediately north of the terminal, just off the baggage claim area on the airport’s lower level.

Construction started in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic was bringing air travel to a halt in Cleveland and elsewhere. Work was expected to be completed last year, but unanticipated underground work delayed the project, as well as some COVID-related supply shortages, according to officials.

In addition, there remains some work to finish, including completion of a walkway to the Red parking lot and relocation of taxi cabs to the new location.

Airport Director Robert Kennedy said adjustments to the operation would be made based on feedback from travelers. “We’ve had a lot of good comments,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “We’ve had some negative ones too. And there are some people who want to be dropped off back on the roadway.”

The airport started rerouting some commercial traffic off the main terminal roadway back in 2015, during a facelift to the terminal façade. Instead of dropping customers at the terminal curb, shuttle buses for off-site parking lots and hotels were directed to a new spot near the airport garage, which necessitated a longer walk for travelers, plus trips up and down two escalators to get to the main ticketing and gate areas.

The changes, according to airport officials, were necessitated by an increasing number of local travelers using the airport, putting stress on the terminal roadways.

Travelers, however, were not happy about the longer walk, sometimes with luggage or kids in tow. In response to the criticism, airport officials in 2019 moved the drop-off and pick-up spot to the current Ground Transportation Center area, just north of the terminal.

Both locations, however, were considered temporary fixes, with flimsy structures providing little protection from the elements.

Those temporary structures have been replaced by more permanent and pleasant open-air canopies and waiting areas.

“It’s an easier, more intuitive location,” said Kennedy. “It should be more customer friendly.”

This new center isn’t exactly a long-term solution, either. Eventually, the Ground Transportation Center will be relocated again, as part of a much larger, $2 billion plan to rebuild the terminal at Cleveland Hopkins.

Read more: $2 billion plan to rebuild Cleveland Hopkins International Airport includes four new concourses, I-71 interchange, more

That may not happen for anther decade, however. In the meantime, here’s who will use the new facility:

* Travelers who use off-site parking lots, including Park ‘N Fly, Park Place and others.

* Travelers headed to one of several nearby hotels.

* Travelers headed to or from the airport rental car facility on

Sep
2021
8

Before you hit the road, review this Scouting transportation checklist


When you’re planning a road trip, you likely have a checklist.

Map? Check. Vehicle in good shape? Check. Snacks? Check.

When you’re planning a road trip for your Scouting unit, you should add another checklist to review before you leave.

Use the SAFE Transportation Checklist and Pre-Trip Inspection in your plans. These lists are designed to help you manage the risks associated with transporting Scouts.

What to review

Staying safe doesn’t start when you reach your meeting place or campsite; staying safe is what we do in all of Scouting. Driving requires safety attention as it can be very dangerous. See the Transporting Scouts Safety Moment here.

Here are some areas to focus on when transporting Scouts:

Supervision

Youth should be supervised by qualified and trustworthy adults who set the example for safety by obeying all traffic laws. Two-deep leadership is needed for the trip’s duration.

Assessment

Plan the route and the passenger list, both to and from the destination. Breaks should be planned. Drive time should be no more than 10 hours within a 24-hour period.

Make sure you meet vehicle liability insurance minimums and all passengers are in seats with factory-installed seat belts. If you’re operating a 15-passenger van, the manufacture date needs to be after 2005.

Fitness and Skills

Drivers are adults, 18 years old or older, with a valid license. Don’t drive when fatigued. Follow all applicable traffic laws.

When operating a tow vehicle, the driver must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate the vehicle with the attached unit.

Equipment and Environment

Adult leaders need to inspect their vehicles before the trip. Tires on each vehicle should be no more than 6 years old.

Leaders should monitor the environment for changing conditions, like the weather and road conditions. Have a communication plan in place.

If there is an incident, like an accident, first find a safe place and take care of any injuries. Preserve and document the evidence. Take photos, if appropriate. Immediately complete an incident report and notify your local council.

For more information on incident reports, go here. Review the Transportation Policy in the Guide to Safe Scouting here.

Sep
2021
7

Combined cost of housing, transportation key to affordability in northwest Vermont

I-89 as seen from the Williston Road overpass August 6, 2021. Photo by Riley Robinson/VTDigger

The populations of Franklin and Grand Isle counties both grew about 4.5% over the past decade, according to 2020 U.S. Census data released this month.

Experts have linked this growth to sprawl from Chittenden County — which grew 7.5% — as people opt for longer commutes in exchange for more affordable housing.

But the only transportation option for most workers who travel to the Burlington area is driving, which is the most expensive form of commuting for most people. 

Planners said that means it’s important to define affordable living in northwest Vermont not just by the cost of housing, but by the combined cost of housing and transportation.

“You end up without a net gain,” said Brian Shupe, executive director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, “if you lose the affordability of the cheaper housing by the higher transportation costs.”

As a rule of thumb, people should spend no more than 45% of their income on these combined expenses, Shupe said.

Franklin County households spend an average of 49% of their income on both costs, according to the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s Housing and Transportation Affordability Index, which is based on 2015 American Community Survey data.

In Grand Isle County, households spend an average of 55% on these costs, the index shows.

Catherine Dimitruk, executive director of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, said as more 2020 census data becomes available, she’s interested to see if the region’s average combined cost of housing and transportation continues to exceed what’s recommended.

“It’s often hard to trust the data because the numbers are so small, and they’re usually estimates,” she said, referring to counts in small communities. “So until we get some more of that granular data, it’s going to be hard to know.”

Bearing that caveat in mind — many Franklin and Grand Isle county communities grew in population from 2010 to 2020, the census data shows. 

The largest increases in Franklin County were in Fairfax, St. Albans Town and Fairfield. Fairfax grew by 729 people, or 17%. St. Albans Town gained 989 people, an increase of 16.5%. And Fairfield’s population grew by 153, or 8.1%.

On the Islands, the top gains were in North Hero and Isle La Motte. North Hero grew by 136 people, or 16.9%. Isle La Motte grew by 17 people, or 3.6%. 

Enosburg and Alburgh were excluded from VTDigger’s 2020 census analysis because they did not have comparative data from 2010.

Parts of Franklin and Grand Isle counties are served by Green Mountain Transit bus routes, but these play a comparatively small role in the region’s transportation network.

Dimitruk said the 116 bus, which runs along Route 105 between Richford and St. Albans, mainly serves workers at the St. Albans Town Industrial Park. The park contains some of Franklin County’s largest manufacturers, including Ben and Jerry’s and Barry Callebaut chocolates.

“We have a lot of really successful employers that are hiring

Sep
2021
6

Ozarks Transportation Organization asks for input for its Destination 2045 plan

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Ozarks Transportation Organization (OTO), the Springfield-area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), is taking public comment through September 15 for Destination 2045, the region’s long range transportation plan.

READ DRAFT PLAN: https://media.ozarkstransportation.org/documents/DraftDestination2045_08122021.pdf

Destination 2045 is the five-year update to the Ozarks Transportation Organization’s Long Range Transportation Plan. This plan looks to 2045 to determine transportation needs and priorities throughout the region. Solidified with public input, the OTO looks forward to implementing this plan during the five years until the next update.

Online Public Meetings:

OTO is hosting an online public meeting throughout the public involvement period. The public is invited to evaluate the plan recommendations, review background information and maps, and provide feedback through a quick survey. Join the meeting here: https://www.ozarkstransportation.org/what-we-do/destination2045.

A live public meeting will be held online Tuesday, August 31 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. OTO staff will be available to answer questions the public may have regarding the Plan and its recommendations. The public may join via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88991939024 or watch through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ozarkstransportationorganization.

Drafts of the Plan are available for review: · GiveUsYourInput.org (http://giveusyourinput.org/)

· City Utilities Transit Center, 211 N. Main, Springfield

· Springfield-Greene County Library Center, 4653 South Campbell, Springfield

· Springfield-Greene County Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expy, Springfield

· Christian County Library Nixa Branch, 208 N. McCroskey, Nixa

· Christian County Library Ozark Branch, 1005 N. 4th Ave, Ozark

· MoDOT Southwest District Office, 3025 E. Kearney, Springfield

· OTO offices at 2208 W. Chesterfield Blvd., Suite 101, Springfield

Comments can be submitted via: • Online at GiveUsYourInput.org (http://giveusyourinput.org/) • Email at comment@ozarkstransportation.org

• Mail at 2208 W. Chesterfield Blvd., Suite 101, Springfield, MO 65807

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.