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RAd Readings

Department of Transportation

RAd Readings

RAd Readings is a new resource for Research Administration news and updates regarding research projects. Stay up to date with the latest research news and learn more about how MDOT Research impacts the transportation industry.

Benefits of Dynamic Message Signs on Driver Behavior and Traffic Flow

May 19, 2022

Dynamic message signs can be updated frequently to give drivers real-time updates about crashes, lane closures, inclement weather, and other relevant information. New MDOT research provides insight into the length, display duration and wording of effective messages so that drivers receive the info they need to make safe decisions in real-time. With greater understanding of how dynamic message signs should be used to get drivers’ attention, MDOT can maximize its budget and keep traffic moving safely. 

Research Spotlight: Quantifying Effectiveness and Impacts of Digital Message Signs on Traffic Flow

Evaluation of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs on Freeway Interchange Ramps

May 05, 2022

Slowing down and adhering to posted speed limits are keys to reducing deadly crashes, especially at freeway exit ramps. New MDOT research shows that targeting custom messages from dynamic speed feedback signs can be a powerful life-saving tool, alerting drivers when they’re going too fast and reminding them to lower their vehicle’s speed around curves.

Research Spotlight: Dynamic signs along Michigan’s freeway ramps improve driver behavior

Innovative Contracting Provides Flexibility to Customize Project Results

April 28, 2022

Bicyclists and pedestrians made up about 20% of all traffic fatalities in Michigan in 2020. To make roadways safer for these vulnerable users, @MichiganDOT is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the state’s infrastructure with nonmotorists’ needs in mind. This #MDOTResearch project identified and documented a variety of design strategies and technologies that have worked well in other communities across the country. That info, combined with input from stakeholder groups across the state, will ensure all road users are considered in decisions involving Michigan’s transportation system.

Research Spotlight: Synthesis of National Best Practices on Pedestrian and Bicycle Design, Guidance, and Technology Innovations

Evaluating Safety and Traffic Improvements Along Michigan’s First Flex Route

April 14, 2022

The 9-mile stretch of US-23 north of Ann Arbor is Michigan’s first flex route, but given its success it likely won’t be the last. With nearly 70% of users reporting their satisfaction with the route’s technologically advanced traffic mitigation strategies, MDOT now has a prototype for adding flex routes to other congestion-prone roadways in the state.

Research Spotlight: Evaluation of an Active Traffic Management System with Part-Time Use of the Inside Shoulder

Innovative Contracting Provides Flexibility to Customize Project Results

April 07, 2022

MDOT’s innovative contracting program provides incentives for contractors to meet certain objectives – from completing projects more quickly to getting jobs done with less travel disruption – and rewards professionals who come up with thoughtful, creative solutions. New #MDOTResearch shows which strategies work best to achieve the desired results, leading to greater innovation and increasing efficiency on projects across the state. 

Research Spotlight: Innovating Contracting Best Practices

Restoring Sloped Areas Along Michigan's Urban Freeways

March 24, 2022

High winds, poor soil, pollution and steep terrain all contribute to a harsh and hard-to-grow environment along Michigan’s urban highways. Turf grass has traditionally been the go-to greenery solution, but its high-maintenance needs and short root system make it less ideal for these sloped areas. Determined to create green spaces that can prevent erosion with less upkeep, MDOT conducted a multi-year study that identified a variety of plants and installation practices that can result in beautiful and beneficial landscapes in even the toughest environments.

Research Video Spotlight: Slope Restoration on Urban Freeways

MDOT Research Contributes To Driverless Cars

March 02, 2022

A recent BBC article, How Driverless Cars Will Change Our Worldhighlights the research being completed at Mcity to help further develop the Autonomous Vehicles, or driverless cars. Did you know, MDOT has contributed $3 million in research funding to the facility? Learn more about the research project behind the funding by visiting the link below.

Connected/Automated Vehicle and Infrastructure Research

Measuring the Effect and Value of Intermediate Diaphragms on Bridges

February 10, 2022

A new Research Spotlight highlights MDOT’s efforts to determine when intermediate diaphragms should be used for stability in certain precast concrete beam bridges. Modeling data will help MDOT’s bridge designers decide when and what types of beams require extra lateral support.

Research Spotlight: Development of Guidelines for the Use of Intermediate Diaphragms on Precast Concrete Beam Superstructures

MDOT Prepares its Workforce for Emerging Transportation Technologies

February 03, 2022

A highly trained and specialized transportation workforce will help MDOT make the most of emerging technologies for years to come. A new MDOT Research report forecasts the skills that will be needed and recommends strategies to retrain current staff and recruit new workers to meet the demands of the future.

Research Spotlight: High-Tech Workforce Preparation for Emerging Transportation Technologies

New Standards Foster Success Roadside Planting

January 06, 2022

Grassy slopes along Michigan’s urban freeways once posed safety hazards and logistical challenges for MDOT maintenance crews. But thanks to new MDOT Research that shows just what to plant and how to achieve great results, these areas can become useful green spaces that reduce erosion, keep pollutants out of Michigan’s waterways and practically eliminate the need for maintenance. 

Research Spotlight: Slope Restoration on Urban Freeways