Call for Papers: Special Issue of Economics of Transportation in Honor of Herbert Mohring

Call for Papers
Special Issue of Economics of Transportation
in Honor of Herbert Mohring
Economics of Transportation, the journal of the International Transportation Economics Association, invites papers for a special issue in honor of Herbert Mohring, who passed away on June 4, 2012. All submissions will go through a regular peer review process. Papers submitted to the special issue can be on any topic in transportation economics. Papers on topics related to Mohring’s work are especially desirable. Mohring is best known for his work on transportation economics themes such as efficient pricing and capacity provision and the resulting implications for self-financing, and scale economies in public transport.
The special issue will be guest-edited by Marvin Kraus of Boston College (kraus@bc.edu). To submit a paper, visit http://www.journals.elsevier.com/economics-of-transportation/ and indicate that your submission is for the Special Issue in Honor of Herbert Mohring. Any questions or problems should be directed to the guest editor.
Timetable for Submissions
* Deadline for initial submission of papers: February 1, 2013
* First-round referee reports returned to authors by May 15, 2013
* Deadline for submitting revised papers: September 1, 2013
* Second-round referee reports returned to authors by December 1, 2013.
* Deadline for submitting final drafts of papers: December 31, 2013
* Expected publication: Early 2014

Call of Papers: Spatial and Land Use Implications of Taxis, Jitneys, Paratransit and Flexible Transportation

David King of Getting from here to there will be editing a Special Issue of JTLU on “Spatial and Land Use Implications of Taxis, Jitneys, Paratransit and Flexible Transportation”. If you are doing research in the field, contact him.

Positions: Shanjiang Zhu -> George Mason

Nexus alumnus, Shanjiang Zhu was just appointed to an assistant professor position at the Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering Department in the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University.
ShanjiangZhu

CEIE Welcomes Dr. Shanjiang Zhu | GMU CEIE:

The CEIE Department is pleased to welcome Dr. Shanjiang Zhu to the CEIE Department in August 2012. Dr. Zhu obtained his doctorate from the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, in 2010, and extended his research in transportation planning and engineering as a research scientist at University of Maryland for two years. His research interests include agent-based travel demand models, integrated models of micro-simulation and macroscopic demand models, applications of GIS/GPS in transportation modeling, sustainable transportation, and transportation economics. He enhances the current curricula by integrating problem-oriented teaching philosophy with his research experience in various transportation-related projects, especially those with immediate applications in addressing local transportation problems. Dr. Zhu is currently teaching the Introduction to Transportation Engineering (CEIE 360). He looks forward to working with CEIE students both in the classroom and on transportation-related research projects.”

The Fall and Rise of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge – Part 7: Replacement | streets.mn

Cross-posted from streets.mn: The Fall and Rise of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge – Part 7: Replacement

 

The Fall and Rise of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge – Part 7: Replacement

 

The replacement bridge cost $251 million, funded almost entirely by federal government. We can debate whether the federal government should have paid for it (it was originally built with 90 percent federal contributions, 10 percent state, but matches recently are much more balanced), since most traffic using the Bridge both originated in and is destined for Minnesota. With Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar then Chair of the House Transportation Committee, there was plenty of political support behind this.

The replacement bridge was hurried, completed by September 2008, several months ahead of the original schedule. This is good, a lack of a bridge costs the economy. (Xie and Levinson estimated between $127,000 and $170,000 per day, MnDOT estimated $400,000 per day). The contractor received $200,000 per day bonus for early completion. So perhaps in an economic sense, too much was paid to complete it a few months early.

Rebuilding a collapsed bridge is of course a crisis, but it is also an opportunity to do something interesting. Rushing designs may mean that ideas are missed. What was built is a functional bridge, and there are state-of-the-art real-time structural health monitoring systems installed, so I have no fear driving over it. It was also ensured that the Bridge would be compatible with any future light-rail transit lines, though none are planned for this bridge (and how they would transition from the center of the Bridge to any reasonable destination is extremely unclear). But could more have been done?

The snow removal and icing problem was not considered. Minnesota is famous for its winters. The previous I-35W bridge had installed a de-icing system (in response to earlier crashes), which had been speculated to be responsible for corrosion of the structure. While the NTSB did not find that, de-icing chemicals do have environmental consequences.

A solution not considered was air rights. A bridge over the Mississippi is expensive. But imagine having a 2 or 3 story office building hanging from below, and/or built above the highway. The views from the River are fantastic. It will not impair other views of the river especially much, and would generate a significant amount of revenue to pay for reconstruction. One example would be the historic London Bridge, which had houses and stores along the side, encroaching on travelways. There are better ways to combine transportation arteries with development opportunities, and creative design can show the way.

Why did we not build a habitable structure above the road deck, so that offices, residences, hotels, etc. could share the view? It would have increased the profile of the Bridge by two stories, but created an enormous amount of leasable space, leases which could have paid for themselves and the Bridge. Obviously it would increase the initial construction cost, and perhaps time, but that would be amply repaid over the long-term. That structure would further have shielded the roadway from ice and snow, reducing road snow clearance costs and crashes.

The bridge opened in the early darkness of September 18, 2008. A parade of first responders, and then a bulge of traffic all hoping to be the first (and none succeeding) went across. Soon the Bridge was attracting 120,000 vehicles per day, measurably off the pre-collapse levels.

 

Other Parts in Series: Part 1 – IntroductionPart 2 – StructurePart 3 – CommunicationPart 4 – PoliticsPart 5 – EconomicsPart 6 – TrafficPart 7 – ReplacementPart 8 – Policy Implications