Tom Pyle, Chief, Office of Pavement Management at Caltrans
This Week's Items of Interest
March 1, 2016
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Sustainability  - Leadership Change
SACRAMENTO - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

Steven Cliff, 46, of Sacramento, has been appointed senior advisor to the chair at the California Air Resources Board. Cliff has served as assistant director of sustainability at the California Department of Transportation since 2014.  (
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Caltrans Sustainability Challenge, Take this Quiz and Win this Coin.
How much do you know?

Sustainability has been an important part of the mission of Caltrans for the last two years. Test your knowledge of sustainability concepts, best practices as well as the efforts of Caltrans. You may be the winner of this coin.

The Rules
The rules are simple, enter the required information and take the test. Submit your answers to this quiz. Two quiz takers will be awarded the Caltrans Sustainability Coin. Coin one will be awarded to the first person who submits all the correct answers. The person who finishes the quiz in the quickest time will win the second coin. You will only be able to answer and submit this quiz once. Once you advance to the next question, you cannot go back. 
Planet - Innovation - GHG Reduction
Well-maintained roadways improve fuel efficiency

A recent collaboration between the CSHub and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) showed that phenomena associated with pavement-vehicle interaction (PVI), including roughness and deflection, accounts for 1 percent of overall fuel consumption on California highways.

"While a passenger car wouldn't achieve significant gas savings, road stiffness could make an enormous difference for 40-ton trucks, with up to 4 percent gas mileage savings," Ulm toldENR. "If we can save 2 million tons of CO 2 per year, at the aggregate level, this becomes extremely important in a low-carbon economy."  (2.29.16)
People - Mode - Culture Change
Are Americans leaving cars behind?

America's love affair with driving seems to be cooling off, while our obsession with urban living is heating up.
The percentage of Americans holding driver's licenses has  fallen sharply  over the past several decades, especially among the young. In 1983, more than 91 percent of 20-to-24-year-olds held a license. By 2014, that number had dropped to approximately 77 percent and shows little sign of recovering. Meanwhile, big cities are  growing faster than the country as a whole . The Pew Research Center found that 48 percent of Americans would choose  walkable urban areas  over suburbs, a number that is expected to grow. How will these two trends collide?  (2.29.16)
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People - Mode - Bicycle
Denmark's smart traffic signals prioritize buses and bicycles to promote sustainability

Even though 40 percent of Copenhagen residents commute by bike every day, the capital of Denmark is pushing further to become a leader in sustainable transportation. In order to achieve  Copenhagen's goal of carbon neutrality by 2025 , the city is installing an Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan to help make bicycles and buses get around easier than ever.

Watch this amazing 3 minute video on Bicycle Rush Hour at Copenhagen  (2.23.16) 
Prosperity - Rail Freight - Drones
INet introduces rail inspection drone

Industrial Networks (INet) introduced details of a new INet Rail Automation Drone (IRAD1) on 24 February. The system is designed to conduct autonomous scans of rail-yards for inventory and inspection purposes.  Equipped with a collision detection and avoidance system, IRAD1 is designed to function as an autonomous automated equipment identification (AEI) scanner to give rail shippers a greater amount of flexibility in their railyards.  (2.29.16) 
Planet - Climate Change - Cost
New York Outspends Other Cities on Climate-Change Countermeasures

New York City spends more to brace for rising seas and other side effects of climate change than any other of the world's 10 biggest cities-about $2.2 billion last year-outstripping spending by London, Paris, Beijing, Mexico City and other megacities, according to an analysis released Monday by researchers at the U.K.'s University College London.
While policymakers debate how best to curb global greenhouse-gas emissions that many scientists consider a leading cause of rising temperatures, efforts to adapt to the consequences of climate change have become a growth economy, steadily rising about 27% during the past seven years, the analysts said.   (2.29.16) 
Planet - Resiliency - Planning
Preparing for the Inevitable Sea-Level Rise

Scientists are struggling to figure out the timeline for how climate change will affect vulnerable waterfront communities. Between 1901 and 2010, global sea levels rose an average of 0.19 meters, or roughly seven inches. Over the next century, they'll continue to rise-but at this point, that's one of the few things scientists know for certain. Less understood is how fast they'll rise, or where in the world these changes will be the most pronounced-information that will be crucial in helping coastal communities adapt to climate change. (2.29.16)
People- Transportation - Vision
Garcetti, transit leaders envision an L.A. of self-driving cars and Hyperloop
US Transportation Secretary  Anthony Foxx did not mince words.  The future of Los Angeles and the West "looks crowded," he said, conjuring nightmarish images of gridlock in the minds of the hundreds of Angelenos.

But over the course of more than three hours Monday, transit experts, business executives and policymakers such as Foxx also presented hopeful visions of an exciting and high-tech transportation future. Later in the 21st century, they said, people will sit in self-driving cars, freight will move at 750 mph though vacuum tubes, and the Los Angeles International Airport will finally connect to rail.
"I think this is a decade of incredible re-imagining of our city," Mayor  Eric Garcetti said. "I think technology will fundamentally change how we get around."  (2.29.16)
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