UFTI-T2 News – Quarter 4 2020


Here at the UFTI-T2 Center, we have been busy studying the SCP Effect. You may already be familiar with this effect: SCP stands for spouses, children, and pets! SCP is an effect that those who have been working from home can easily document as we have tried to balance personal time, family time, and work time at home. At UFTI-T2, we are starting to transition back to the office – safely – with limited and staggered on-campus hours for staff members through the end of the year. I’d like to thank all our clients and stakeholders for their patience, cooperation, and strong support – our staff has worked very hard to respond to your requests and deliver courses and materials. From our point of view, it has all worked fairly well, and we appreciate the positive feedback we’ve received from many of you. We’d also like to express appreciation to the UF staff in business, administrative, and physical services that have worked equally hard to keep everything moving smoothly.

In spite of all the changes and challenges, the past few months have been very productive ones at UFTI-T2. Working with Gainesville’s Regional Transit System (RTS), we recently concluded a research project on automated driver assistance systems – ADAS – that provide bus drivers with warnings about vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians approaching the bus. It was a pleasure to work with and interview RTS staff and drivers who are eager to explore and experience technology that can give them a safety advantage. Our research and demonstration of automated truck-mounted attenuators – ATMA – continues, as presented in the feature article in this edition of the newsletter. Briefly, ATMA automates a shield vehicle that follows a slow-moving, work vehicle to protect it from crashes, removing the shield vehicle driver from a hazardous situation. It was exciting to watch the technology in action during field trials on both closed loops and active roadways. We look forward to presenting the results of these projects in the near future.

The Transportation Safety Center (TSC) continues to work with Levy County and has completed partial field data collection. It has been an experience with travel limitation and staff interactions. The staff has adopted a new methodology by using dashcams to record field visits and conduct road safety audits. We will have more updates on this project in the next few months.

The UFTI-T2 Center staff has also spent time volunteering with professional societies. In the past quarter, UFTI-T2 Center staff members have been nominated to serve as project panel members for two National Highway Cooperative Highway Research Project (NCHRP). In addition, UFTI-T2 Center staff members have assisted the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council (TC3) in developing a new course on Road Safety.

We also have one of our staff members who has enrolled in graduate school and is now pursuing a Masters in Civil Engineering with a focus in sustainable construction engineering.

As I have mentioned before, UFTI-T2, with support from UF Information Technology and FDOT, worked quickly and efficiently to move in-person training to online training – with very positive results! Classes continued almost seamlessly, and another full schedule of training for the fall is announced in this newsletter.

Please continue to stay safe – COVID-prevention practices are more important than ever with the reopening of schools and the return to work.

As always, if there is any way that UFTI-T2 can assist you with training, resources, or research, please contact us.

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UFTI-T2 Center training courses are offered online through Zoom, with an online exam, if applicable.

Note that for FDOT Maintenance of Traffic/Temporary Traffic Control virtual trainings:

  • Paper and pencil exams available with an on-site FDOT-approved proctor and prior coordination with UFTI-T2 Center.

For more information and group discounts please contact Jasper Masciocchi at j.masciocchi@ufl.edu or (352) 273-1685. 

WEEKEND Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL TRAINING10/03/202010/04/2020
Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training10/06/202010/06/2020
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL TRAINING10/07/202010/08/2020
WEEKEND Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training10/10/202010/10/2020
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic Refresher – VIRTUAL TRAINING10/15/202010/15/2020
Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training10/21/202010/21/2020
Introduction to Data Analytics Webinar [FREE pilot offering]10/21/202010/21/2020
Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic Refresher – VIRTUAL Training10/22/202010/22/2020
WEEKEND Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL Training10/24/202010/25/2020
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL Training10/27/202010/28/2020
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic Refresher – VIRTUAL Training10/29/202010/29/2020Online
WEEKEND Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training10/31/202010/31/2020Online
Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL Training11/03/202011/04/2020Online
Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training11/05/202011/05/2020Online
WEEKEND Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic Refresher – VIRTUAL TRAINING11/07/202011/07/2020Online
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – Refresher – VIRTUAL Training11/10/202011/10/2020Online
Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training11/18/202011/18/2020Online
Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic Refresher – VIRTUAL Training11/19/202011/19/2020Online
WEEKEND Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training11/21/202011/21/2020Online
Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic Refresher – VIRTUAL TRAINING11/23/202011/23/2020Online
Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL TRAINING11/24/202011/25/2020Online
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL TRAINING12/01/202012/02/2020Online
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic Refresher – VIRTUAL TRAINING12/03/202012/03/2020Online
WEEKEND Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL Training12/05/202012/06/2020Online
Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL TRAINING12/08/202012/09/2020Online
WEEKEND Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training12/12/202012/12/2020Online
Pilot/Escort Flagging – VIRTUAL Training12/16/202012/16/2020Online
WEEKEND Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – VIRTUAL TRAINING12/19/202012/20/2020Online

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COVID-19 Challenges UFTI-T2 Center

The COVID‐19 pandemic continues to challenge the UFTI-T2 Center to innovate to meet the changing needs of our safety partners, which includes more than 1,500 nationally certified child passenger safety (CPS) technicians and instructors, 500 state-certified bicycle helmet fitters, and thousands of diverse state and local partners. The COVID-19 crisis has presented new challenges for most CPS technicians as more in-person car seat inspections are being conducted with social distancing using smartphones, tablets, and Web conferencing.

The Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center (OPRC) is working with local CPS technicians who want to hold virtual car seat checkups: providing free car seats, links to Safe Kids Worldwide virtual information and resources, and connecting them with other technicians who have experience providing virtual car seat education to parents.

The PedBike Safety Resource Center has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by developing an online training module that focuses on customer reporting for “tangible” items such as helmets and lighted or reflective arm or wristbands. PedBike Center staff host weekly “live” training sessions to help community partners understand which resources require signatures, how to collect the signatures and how to complete the online reporting process. The training concludes with a Q&A session to address specific concerns of participants. The new training module can be viewed here.

The UFTI-T2 Center’s Auxiliary Training Program started offering “virtual” courses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early April. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) approved the UFTI-T2 Center to provide virtual training for basic, intermediate, and advanced maintenance of traffic; pilot/escort flagging; and traffic engineering fundamentals courses. A virtual training link is sent to registered students prior to the course and center staff reach out to ensure students can connect to our video communication platform (Zoom) and to provide tips and tricks to make sure classes run smoothly. To date, more than 500 students, including FDOT employees, roadway construction and maintenance personnel, and emergency responders, have completed required training virtually.

Visit the UFTI-T2 training website to sign up for a virtual course, or see the schedule of upcoming course in this newsletter.

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PedBike Resource Center Announces New Online Training

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Resource Center is pleased to announce our new online training!

Our PedBike stakeholders continue to deliver services during the COVID pandemic, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Safety Office has requested online training for them.  The PedBike team has created an online training that focuses on how to report on your orders.  The online training aids in understanding the items that require signature reporting and those that do not.  The training also covers the nuts and bolts of reporting and will guide you through the entire reporting process.  The training consists of a recorded presentation followed by a Q&A session to answer specific questions about your reporting situation and usually takes less than an hour, depending on the number of attendees and questions. 

if you are interested in joining a future training session please visit our website for more information: https://www.pedbikesrc.ce.ufl.edu.

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UF Technical Assistance – Cities of Clewiston and Leesburg Win Infrastructure Funding

Last year, UFTI staff members attended several Safe Routes to School (SRTS) workshops around the state to offer technical assistance resources to communities with limited resources. From August to December 2019, Dr. Ruth Steiner’s and Dr. Nithin Agarwal’s technical assistance team included graduate students in the  Design, Construction, and Planning Department and professional staff from the UFTI Technology Transfer (T2) Center. The team worked closely with several communities in the state. Two cities, Clewiston and Leesburg, embraced the challenge of improving safety for students on their way to and from school and asked for assistance. They gathered all the necessary documentation and ultimately submitted a winning application to their district’s SRTS coordinator. Clewiston is situated on the southwest border of Lake Okeechobee, known as “Florida’s Inland Sea” and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the nation. Clewiston features access to the lake and a dense urban layout for residents, businesses, and public services in an otherwise very rural part of Florida. Clewiston has five public K-12 schools. On August 28, 2020, the mayor of Clewiston, Mali Gardner, was notified of an award to help provide additional sidewalks within the vicinity of existing schools and provide a more connected sidewalk network to encourage walking and biking to school.

Photo credit. www.marinas.com

Leesburg is located in Central Florida, between Lake Denham on the north and Lake Griffin to the south. Leesburg features a dense design for residential, commercial, and public facilities. On August 21, 2020, Leesburg’s Public Works Director, Neil Gaines, was notified of an award to provide to help provide additional sidewalks near the existing school to encourage walking and biking trips to and from school.

Photo credit: www.marinas.com

UFTI’s team is proud to be a part of making Florida’s routes to school safer, and looks forward to the additional infrastructure in Clewiston and Leesburg communities.  

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The October FDOT Research Summary includes:

  • Completed FDOT Research Projects, July 2020 – September 2020
  • Newly Funded FDOT Research, July 2019 – September 2020

Florida boasts one of the most active and innovative transportation research programs in the U.S. Each quarter, the UFTI-T2 Center prepares a summary of both completed and newly funded research. Use the link below to open a PDF that contains this quarter’s summary. As always, for complete information about FDOT research, visit the FDOT Research Center website.

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Career Opportunities at UFTI-T2

Assistant or Associate Engineer (T2 Center) This position is for a full-time non-tenure track faculty at the rank of Assistant or Associate Engineer. The incumbent will work at the Technology Transfer (T2) Center, which is a part of the University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI) in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment (ESSIE). The incumbent will work collaboratively with faculty, staff and students at the UFTI to develop and submit proposals and implement grants in the field of traffic operations, highway safety, and emerging technologies. Read more and apply.

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Searching for Safety or Technical Training?

T2 can work with you to meet your training needs.  Whether it is heavy equipment, project management, Traffic Engineering Fundamentals, or countless other topics.

We can provide an array of webinars geared to give you with the most relevant information without the need to travel.  Let us know your areas of interest, and we can work with our experts to provide training either in instructor-led or webinar formats.

Many of our courses are approved for Professional Engineer (PE) credits.

Contact Jasper Masciocchi at j.masciocchi@ufl.edu or 352.273.1685 to discuss your training needs.

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