Posts Tagged ‘TRB’

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored NCHRP Report 791 – Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

by Christopher Menge

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Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) is pleased to announce the release of TRB’s NCHRP Report 791 – Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM), the final product of NCHRP Project 25-34, led by HMMH and supported by a team of consultants.

Noise is an important environmental concern for highway planners and designers, and through 2010, state highway agencies have spent $5.4 billion to abate the noise generated by federally-aided highway projects. Transportation agencies assess different aspects of highway noise to determine or predict community impacts during transportation planning, although procedures have varied by program and agency. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)’s Transportation Noise Model (TNM) is a computer program used for predicting noise levels and their impacts in the vicinity of highways. The TNM was developed in the 1990’s by a team led by HMMH under contract to the FHWA. The FHWA has provided substantial guidance for the routine application of the TNM; however, scenarios still exist for which there remains limited or no technical guidance.

Under NCHRP Project 25-34, HMMH was asked to investigate sixteen different research topic areas to identify best practices and provide significant guidance on applying TNM to accurately, consistently, and efficiently model traffic-generated noise in a variety of settings that has not been previously addressed by TNM. The objective of NCHRP 25-34 was to supplement existing guidance on applying the TNM by identifying best practices to model structure reflected noise; bridge expansion joints; signalized interchanges; intersections; area sources (e.g., weigh stations, park and ride lots, toll facilities, and service plazas); median barriers; roundabouts; and tunnel openings. The research determines the sensitivity and accuracy of methods to model multi-lane highways, rows of buildings, topography, ground zones, and tree zones, and identifies best practices for input parameters. The research also synthesizes the state of practice for analyzing the effects of wind and temperature gradients on sound propagation.

The results of NCHRP Project 25-34 are intended for use by experienced analysts, modelers, and designers. Report 791 will be of immediate use to experienced users of TNM by helping them to improve the accuracy and precision of their modeling results and inform decision-making related to the design of noise abatement measures.

TBT: TRB – The National Academy of Sciences

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

by Mary Ellen Eagan

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I’m at the Transportation Research Board (TRB)’s Keck Center in DC for several Aviation Group mid-year meetings this week. Here’s a bit of The National Academy history (lifted directly from the NAS website):

The National Academy of Sciences was founded on March 3, 1863, at the height of the Civil War.

The immediate roots of the NAS can be traced back to the early 1850s and a group of scientists based largely in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The group enlisted the support of Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson, who helped draft a bill for the incorporation of the National Academy of Sciences. Wilson brought the bill to the Senate on February 20, 1863, where it was passed on March 3. It was passed by the House of Representatives later that day, and was signed into law by President Lincoln before the day was over. The National Academy of Sciences had officially come into being with 50 charter members, who over the years would be joined by the election of the nation’s most distinguished scientists.

[T]he Academy shall, whenever called upon by any department of the Government, investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art, the actual expense of such investigations, examinations, experiments, and reports to be paid from appropriations which may be made for the purpose, but the Academy shall receive no compensation whatever for any services to the Government of the United States.

An Act to Incorporate the National Academy of Sciences[4]

Over the years, the National Academy of Sciences has broadened its services to the government. During World War I it became apparent that the limited membership—then numbering only about 150—could not keep up with the volume of requests for advice regarding military preparedness. In 1916 the Academy established the National Research Council (NRC) at the request of President Wilson to recruit specialists from the larger scientific and technological communities to participate in the Academy’s advisory work to the government.  Recognizing the value of scientific advice to the nation in times of peace as well as war, Wilson issued an executive order at the close of World War I asking the Academy to perpetuate the National Research Council. Subsequent executive orders, by President Eisenhower in 1956 and President Bush in 1993, have affirmed the importance of the National Research Council and further broadened its charter.

TRB is a division of NRC. I’m guessing Lincoln never could have imagined some of the discussions that go on in this building, but it somehow seems noble to be carrying out his vision.

ACRP Releases HMMH-authored Report on Energy Projects and Airports and Airspace

Friday, April 25th, 2014

by Stephen Barrett

HMMH is pleased to inform clients and colleagues of the official release of Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 108 “Energy Technologies Compatibility with Airports and Airspace.” This report is the first in a series of ACRP Reports on energy and airports that are expected for release in the next year. The HMMH-authored report reviews the aviation industry’s experience with a variety of energy technologies including solar, wind, oil and gas drilling, and traditional electricity generation and transmission, and provides guidance for future projects to avoid impacts on airports and airspace. The report is timely given the country’s focus on domestic energy production to serve economic and national security interests and to diversify energy generation sources toward cleaner fuels, including renewables. The guidance will also help airports as they consider opportunities to lease out underutilized non-aeronautical property for energy production.

ACRP Report 108

TRB e-circular “Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment” published

Friday, April 18th, 2014

By Mary Ellen Eagan

TRB recently published Circular E-C184: “Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment.” The following summarizes the content of the e-circular.

“Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment 2014” consists of twelve individually authored sections, representing the authoring experts’ opinions on issues that address the major environmental components affected by aviation activities, sustainable solutions that have evolved and continue to be developed to minimize environmental impacts, and the key processes that link aviation and the environment.

Readers of prior e-circulars in this series may notice that we no longer include a stand-alone section on “sustainability”.  This is because the Committee believes that sustainability is a cross-cutting issue that affects all topics in the environment – it is a way of operating, not an “issue”.  We have added several new topics to this volume:

  1. Natural resource management:  Airports are challenged to address natural resource management issues related to wildlife hazards, natural resource revenue generation (e.g., timber, minerals, energy), and water conservation.
  2. Renewable energy:  this section addresses major issues airports should consider when identifying and developing renewable energy alternatives.
  3. Public Health:  an emerging issue that several airports are facing is the need to develop health impact assessments and health risk assessments to respond to community concerns regarding the impact of airports on communities.

The individually authored sections of this e-circular represent the viewpoints of the attributed authors.  Members and friends of the TRB Environmental Impacts of Aviation Committee have also reviewed and contributed comments to these sections.

Many thanks go to the authors (listed below, by paper):

Environmental Impacts of Aviation on Human and Natural Resources  

  • Noise: Natalia Sizov (Federal Aviation Administration), Brad Rolf (Mead & Hunt), Mary Ellen Eagan (Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc.)
  • Air Quality: John Pehrson (CDM), Warren Gillette (Federal Aviation Administration), Brian Kim (Wyle), Prem Lobo (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
  • Climate Change: Judith Patterson (Science College, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada ), Mohan Gupta (Federal Aviation Administration), Rangasayi Halthore (Federal Aviation Administration), Anuja Mahashabde (The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA)
  • Water Quality: Dean Mericas (Mead & Hunt), John Lengel (Gresham Smith & Partners), Richard Davis (Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.)

Sustainable Solutions to Address Environmental Challenges

  • Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Preparedness: John Lengel (Gresham, Smith and Partners), Kristin Lemaster (CDM Smith), Judith Patterson (Concordia University), Andrea Schwartz Freeburg (Federal Aviation Administration)
  • Natural Resource Management: Dean Mericas (Mead & Hunt), Sarah Brammell (Environmental Resource Solutions)
  • Renewable Energy: Steve Barrett (Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc.), Bruno Miller (Metron Aviation), Phil Ralston (Port of Portland)
  • Aviation Alternative Fuels Development And Deployment:  Bruno Miller (Metron Aviation), Steve Csonka (CAAFI), Kristin Lewis (Volpe Center/RITA, Jim Hileman (FAA), Mark Rumizen (FAA), Nancy Young (Airlines for America), and John Heimlich (Airlines for America)

Processes and Tools for Implementing Sustainable Solutions

  • Environmental Review under NEPA:  Mary Vigilante (Synergy Consultants), Brad Rolf (Mead & Hunt), John Putnam (Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell), Donald Scata (FAA), Betsy Delaney (First Environment), Barbara Thomson (First Environment)
  • Environmental Management Systems And Sustainability Measurement: Mary Vigilante (Synergy Consultants), Brad Rolf (Mead & Hunt), John Putnam (Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell), Donald Scata (FAA), Betsy Delaney (First Environment), Barbara Thomson (First Environment)
  • Aviation Environmental Modeling Tool Suite:  James Hileman (Federal Aviation Administration), Christopher Roof (USDOT RITA)
  • Research Needs in Public Health In Aviation:  Burr Stewart (Burrst), Andrew Dannenberg (CDC), Brian Kim (Wyle), Daniel Jacob (Federal Aviation Administration)

 

ACRP Report Released on Defining and Measuring Aircraft Delay and Airport Capacity Thresholds

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

ACRP104coverLast week, the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) released Report 104: Defining and Measuring Aircraft Delay and Airport Capacity Thresholds. The ACRP report offers guidance to help airports understand, select, calculate, and report measures of delay and capacity. The report describes common metrics, identifies data sources, recommends metrics based on an airport’s needs, and suggests ways to potentially improve metrics.

Guidance and recommendations are provided regarding the relevance of particular delay and capacity measures by airport type, airport characteristics, and project lifecycle phase. The report suggests the most appropriate measurement tools at various points in the project development cycle, for specific items in each element, and for different types of airports. The report does recognize that it is not practical to have one threshold that can be applied to all airports.

The report includes additional metrics that would be helpful in the future, one of which is better communication of delays to the general public. The report summarizes that these communications should be easily understandable, able to be used as a common measure at any airport, and applied consistently across all airports. It was also noted that using a more positive metric, such as level of service, rather than using a term such as delay, which has a negative connotation, would better serve the public and the industry overall.

The research, led by TransSolutions of Fort Worth, TX, was conducted under ACRP Project 03-20. The other team members and primary authors of the report included Futterman Consulting of St. Petersburg, FL, Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. of Herndon, VA, and Jasenka Rakas of Berkeley, CA.

Click here to view the report.