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New app alerts drivers to construction zones

Work Zone App

The University of Minnesota (U of M) Center for Transportation Studies has developed an app that will pair directly with technology in construction areas to alert drivers approaching work zones. 

Click here to read the full article from Roads & Bridges

Trantex NEW 20HDFF does it again!

The 20HDFF was once again put to the test and was incredibly successful.  

This latest challenge involved the removal of 24” CROSSWALK TAPE.  Several attempts were made by various manufacturers with little to no success to date.  The most recent involved a drum style “Grinder” which also fell far short of expectations.  This heat generating Grinder design reactivated the glue which further complicated removal attempts.  It also removed too much asphalt as it attempted to break through the tape.    This customer all but gave up on finding an equipment removal choice.

Enter Trantex:  

20HDFF tape3       20HDFF tape2

The 20HD and the 20HDFF both have become incredible forces in the removal of thermoplastic due to the non-heat generating design.  The Trantex design is also minimally invasive, therefore the surface left behind is virtually unblemished.  Trantex felt the 20HDFF could handle this challenging application due to the innovative design which delivers the above mentioned benefits (no heat generation, fast removal, and non-invasive removal).  The decision was made to demonstrate the 20HDFF which features 48 pins on each of its three cutters.  At the same time, Trantex had no concern that the tape might not break apart, nor have the tape “wind up” into a ball on the underside as others had experienced.  This lack of concern proved out and the 20HDFF’s performance surprised everyone in attendance.  As the cutters rolled, the pins penetrated, and broke apart the tape into smaller manageable pieces.  As we removed we approached the tape from above and from both sides allowing the removed tape fragments to collect dust and aggregate taking the sticky nature away which led to the successful removal.  A drum style cutter does not have this capability.  The 20HDFF was also set to simply penetrate the tape and not the surface so the removal area remained intact and more than ready for the follow-up thermoplastic application.

The Customer:

The customer was having a hard time believing what they were seeing and wanted to personally remove a second and more difficult, tape removal area.  For this removal Trantex placed the 20HDFF in the customer’s hands so they could see how simple and easy it is to get complete removal, yet leave the surface blemish free.  A key benefit to the 20HDFF’s design is that the road surface is not “marked” with a repeated and consistent scarring.  The 20HDFF left no penetration or pattern behind and the removal area still resembled the surrounding road surface.  Once the second removal was completed, these “first time users” they were convinced they found the solution they had been looking for.  This customer was incredibly impressed as were all in attendance.  So much so that they HAD to see the condition of the machine’s underside to see WHAT design handled this application with ease.  They also wanted to see what “mess” had accumulated.  What they saw was NO ACCUMULATION and the underside was perfectly clean with NO build-up whatsoever.

Put the Trantex 20HD family to the test:
If you are unhappy with your current line removal results, rest assured, there is a better way!

    

 

Arlington Community Chosen

Arlington Among Texas Communities Chosen as Testing Grounds for Automated Vehicles

Arlington is among select Texas communities chosen as a national test site for the research and development of self-driving vehicles.

As a test site, Arlington will help the USDOT develop guidelines for automated vehicle technologies. Initial testing will take place on closed research proving grounds, such as the University of Texas at Arlington campus and the Interstate 30 managed lanes.

“Arlington has a history of innovation dating back decades when we first recruited General Motors to bring its assembly plant to our community,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “We now have a Transportation Committee made up of our residents to push the envelope on technology and innovation to take our City’s transportation plan into the future. That’s why we were so pleased to play a role in the research and testing of Autonomous Vehicles. Technology like this will be the future and signifies great opportunity for transportation.”

Participating in this transportation research aligns with the Arlington City Council Priority to Enhance Regional Mobility.

Arlington has numerous factors that make it an ideal testing site, which include the City’s state-of-the-art Traffic Management Center as well as its Entertainment District, which draws millions of visitors each year to its sports venues, theme parks and Convention Center.

“Arlington offers a comprehensive real-world AV test environment along I-30 in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Arlington’s population of 380,000 is socio-economically diverse and currently underserved by transportation mode choices, providing potential for AV Technologies to act as ladders of opportunity and improve mobility,” the Texas AV Proving Ground Partnership wrote in its bid for the national designation.

The Texas AV Proving Ground Partnership has proposed three testing grounds in Arlington:

UTA: The campus provided an opportunity for deployment of AVs in low-speed and somewhat closed environment. Given the large campus, there are many deployment opportunities, including on-road movement from remote parking areas and off-road movement within the campus.

Streets: Arlington has an extensive street system that can be utilized for AV testing at low to moderate speeds. UTA’s campus is directly adjacent to the downtown urban core, providing a test environment linking campus pathways to local streets. Two long-running shuttle services operate within the Entertainment District to connect area hotels and destinations. They could be readily adapted for AV testing. Streets within the Entertainment District are good candidates for testing during light traffic periods between events, as well as moving large numbers of people during events. As AV technologies are proven, deployment along more city streets offering a wider variety of conditions will be possible.

Highway: Interstate 30 between I-35 in Fort Worth to I-35 in Dallas is a modern multi-lane expressway. It includes a 10-mile, reversible, protected, managed lane facility operated by TxDOT, which can be closed during off-peak hours. Thus, AV testing on I-30 can start in the protected environment of the closed managed lanes, followed by testing in the relatively stable conditions of the managed lanes with regular traffic, and finally, testing in the general purpose lanes.

Automated vehicles aren’t the only type of transportation technology being explored in Arlington. Earlier this month the City of Arlington announced a data-sharing partnership with Waze, the free, real-time crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers. Designed as a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information, the Connected Citizens Program promotes greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads for citizens of Arlington along with more than 100 other partners around the world.

U.S. driving up 3.3% in first half of 2016

traffic light

FHWA's 'Traffic Volume Trends' report shows gains in nearly every state

New data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving reached 1.58 trillion miles in the first six months of 2016, beating the previous record of 1.54 trillion miles set last year.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report—a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel—show that more than 282.3 billion miles were driven in June 2016 alone, which is a slight increase over the previous June. The increase in driving highlights the growing demands facing the nation’s roads and reaffirms the importance of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which is investing $305 billion in America’s surface transportation infrastructure—including $226 billion for roads and bridges—until 2020.

In June, U.S. drivers increased total mileage among all five regions of the United States. At 4.1%, traffic in the West led the nation with the largest percentage increase in unadjusted vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and continued a streak of consecutive monthly increases that began in October 2013.

centerline logosupplies a wide variety of traffic and safety products.

With traffic volumes increasing steadily, Centerline can cover all your needs!

 

Speed Bumps VS. Speed Humps

Although you may have thought the difference between "speed bumps" and "speed humps" was mere terminology, the two are actually different traffic calming solutions with several distinguishing aspects of appearance, design, and application. Here is a guide to the major differences between these two options.

Use

Speed bumps have long been widely used in parking lots to ensure that vehicles slow to a crawl. This reduces hazards for pedestrians by aiming to keep vehicle speeds down to about five miles per hour. Speed humps, on the other hand, have a gentler slowing function. Traffic can continue to drive safely at fifteen to twenty-five miles per hour where speed humps exist. Because of this, speed humps are used on public roads, although mostly in residential areas where the speed limit is fairly low. Speed bumps are occasionally also used on these types of roads, but this can obstruct traffic flow, so they're usually saved for private roads and parking lots.

The reason for these differences in use stems from differences in design. Speed bumps slow traffic more because their greater height (six inches) offers a much more sudden bump than that of a three- or four-inch high speed hump. In addition, the speed hump is usually long enough that the up-and-down changes in road height are felt one at a time rather than simultaneously. As a result, the speed hump provides two relatively gentle motions rather than the jolt a speed bump produces.

Installation

The installation process is broadly similar for both speed bumps and speed humps, although there is a difference in installation time because a speed hump covers more road surface. However, there are different installation processes depending on what type of material is used. Rubber or plastic devices are installed by bolting a pre-formed piece to the road, whereas those made of traditional asphalt are installed by layering asphalt in the correct shape until the desired height is reached.

Weather

Weather variables can affect the application and performance of both speed humps and speed bumps. For example, both can be more difficult to see in the dark or in rainy or inclement weather. But their application in bad weather is another distinguishing factor, because they are not equal when there's snow on the ground. Both are a nuisance to snowplows, but speed bumps are worse. Speed humps, because they're lower to the ground and less invasive, are less of a hassle for snow plowing equipment. However, some plastic speed bumps are actually designed to be removed when cold weather sets in. These types of speed bumps may be an excellent choice for areas that are covered in snow for a large part of the year.

 As you can see, speed bumps and speed humps are designed for different situations and thus have different identifying characteristics. By comparing these characteristics with the job at hand, you can tell which one will be the ideal traffic calming solution for your project.

For more information, or for advice on choosing the best traffic calming option, contact Centerline today. 800-321-1751.

Top 5 Best Practices for Installing Highway Safety Items

As an experienced contractor, you know that lifelong learning and an open mind are two of the hallmarks of true professionalism. Here are five best practices for installing highway safety items such as post bases, highway barriers, reflective markers, and guard rails.

1. Source only the best materials

You don't want a fiasco like this one on your hands. Using the best safety items on the market can not only save your business from lawsuits, but can (more importantly) save lives as well. Budgeting more for a higher quality product is always the best policy where highway safety is concerned. Cutting corners, especially for items expected to withstand impacts (such as highway barriers and guard rails), may exact a high cost in lives.

2. Use the right tools for the job

You may wonder which epoxy is best for your installation. There is no one "best epoxy" on the market. Instead, different epoxies are tailored to different purposes. Some (such as E-bond 1240-1241) are developed for use on traffic markers. Others are specialized for low temperature use. If there's no specialized epoxy for the project you're planning, you may be best off using an all-purpose option.

3. Consider the temperature and time of day

Most epoxy cures best in temperatures around 60 to 70 degrees, so you'll need to adapt your plans to the environment. Epoxy behaves differently in extreme temperatures and humidity. In a warmer environment, drying time shortens drastically, making it harder to apply the epoxy before it solidifies. On the other hand, hardening slows to a crawl when temperatures are cold. So what's the best time of day for your installation? It could be early morning in the summer months or, for the same job, midday in the winter months.

4. Plan enough hardening time

This is a big factor for installations that use epoxy, such as reflective marker installation. Epoxies often have both a "set" time and a "cure" time. The product information should contain guidelines for determining these two periods. In general, the epoxy should be able to set in three or four hours at the ideal temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (this varies by product). But if you're applying the epoxy at night or in winter, you'll need to factor in a longer wait period to account for the slower hardening. If your project involves installing post bases in concrete, planning will also be affected by the length of time the concrete takes to harden.

5. Finally, use an inspection checklist to check your work

If you're well-trained and well-organized, you know your installations have nothing to fear from inspections. However, a self-check of your work can guarantee that you'll pass with flying colors. You can self-check with a publicly available checklist, such as this guard rail checklist from the Iowa DOT, or you can order one online. The checklist used in your area will be the most helpful for your installation, since lists may vary from region to region.

These five tips can help you efficiently plan and complete your installation project while achieving the maximum level of highway safety. Use tips like these in conjunction with formal professional development to keep your professional abilities well-rounded and up-to-date! For more information about highway safety, contact Centerline today. 800-321-1751.

Road Marking: The Best Restoration and Repair Options

Applying markings to roads is a science. Not only are there different materials for markings, but also there are different surfaces for roads. Given that, there are many reasons why you may need to repair or restore road markings. In this article, we explore some of the options that fix or restore the safety corridor that road markings provide on highways, in parking lots, and on city streets.

Road Usage

How the road usage becomes a consideration of how to maintain or repair road markings. In this case, there are two variations of roads that should be considered. High-speed roads and roads that are not high-speed roads.

If the markings seem to be spreading, then they should be replaced as needed rather than repaired. The problem is that under high-heat the road causes the marking material to soften and spread or even lift off from the surface. To repair, grind off the existing markers and replace with an Alkyl based thermoplastic material. This kind of problem usually occurs on freeways and other high-speed driving surfaces. Alkyl based thermoplastics work well on high-speed roads.

Signs of Deterioration in Road Markings

Cracks: If the markings on the road become cracked it is usually because of thermal stress caused by overheating, low temperatures (seasonal), application errors, or differences in road marking thickness. In areas where it gets hot in the summer time or cold in the winter, consider changing to a better grade thermoplastic product. In areas where the weather is more stable, repair or restore the markings by grinding off the cracked sections and reapplying those markings so that the application is even and to the proper thickness.

Road Markings that Turn Black: The problem is most likely that the road marking material has a softening point that is too low. To correct, replace with a high-temperature grade marking material. This can be applied in patches to restore road markings or as fix-all for an entire project. Most often, blackening occurs in spots, rather than across an entire project.

Lifting, Flaking, and De-bonding: The most likely problem is that the road surface was not properly prepared prior to the application of marking material. If the lifting or flaking occurs in patches, grind off those markings, prepare the surface and reapply the new product.

If the de-bonding or lifting occurs in larger areas, the cause is most likely due to too much moisture in the road surface material. There is not much you can do to repair this problem other than remove the moisture from the road surface material and reapply the marking material.

Discoloration of Road Marking Material: The cause of discolored road marking materials is usually due to overheating the materials to the point of scorching. Scorching can occur because the material was heated too fast, too often, or too many times. The only way to fix or repair this problem is to replace the markings.

When we talk about road markings as a science, we mean it. There are proper ways to work with each type of road marking material. There are exact ways to prepare each section of road surface before applying road marking materials. For the best results, consult an expert. FL TransCor is happy to help answer any question you have about which product to choose, how to prepare the surface, and how to apply the product. Put our expertise to work for you.

Parking lot markings and the ADA

The first thing to know is that parking lot markings are in part regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) If your parking lot was constructed after January 26, 1993 then full compliance is expected. For those parking lots constructed prior to January 26, 1993 then your parking lot must be updated to remove barriers and come into compliance with the rules of the ADA. 

Parking Lots are not the Same

The regulations for parking lots change depending on a few factors. For example, a parking lot associated with a medical building, such as a doctor's office or dental office requires more handicap parking stalls than a parking lot for a shopping mall or a grocery store. Parking stalls also have to a specified width and additional space on either side to allow handicapped people to use their wheelchair or wheelchair lift with ease. Also consider that there are two types of handicapped parking spaces. Those are van accessible and non-van accessible parking stalls. The reason is that handicap vans are often wider, and most employ a lift mechanism of some kind. Non-handicap parking stalls are used by people with a regular car and may not need as much room to enter or exit the vehicle. 

Special Rules for ADA Parking

  • When marking ADA parking space, each space must be a minimum of eight feet wide. In addition to the eight-foot parking space, a special aisle must also be present and marked.  For ADA van parking stalls, the aisle must be a minimum of eight feet wide. So for ADA van parking an eight foot wide parking stall plus an eight food aisle is needed. For ADA non-van parking stall, the aisle must be a minimum of five feet wide. So for ADA non-van parking stalls, the stall must be eight feet wide, and the aisle must be five feet wide. The stall and the aisle must be marked so that it is clear which the parking stall is and which is the aisle. To help save space, the ADA rules permit parking aisles to be shared by adjacent parking stalls. 
  • The end of each ADA parking stall must be clearly defined and marked. 
  • Each ADA parking stall must have a handicapped parking sign and for spaces designated as ADA van parking the signage must read “Van Parking” under the Handicap icon. 

Investing in Good Parking 

Parking lots are designed to make it convenient for patrons of a building or store to find easy parking, even when they handicapped. So a parking lot is an investment in your business. How many people walk twelve blocks to buy a heavy item? Not many people will walk a half of a block to buy a lightweight item. When it comes to marking your parking stalls, make sure that you or the company that you use is utilizing good equipment and supplies, such as signs and paint that will last year after year. The longer your investment lasts before it must be repaired or replaced, the higher ROI you receive. If your business is about the bottom line, then consider how the investment in a quality parking lot adds to your bottom line. FL Transcor stocks all of the best equipment and supplies needed to create a world-class parking lot that is also ADA compliant. If you have a parking lot that needs repainting or rebuilt, please visit our online store. We are happy to answer all of your questions when you are ready to invest in your parking lot.

What's New

We expect to see Graco outfit the LineLazer 250SPS with a 2 pump system next year. Check out this pic of a test unit with 3 GUNS and a pressure bead system, putting down a 36 inch line!

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