AEM Difference
  • 35+ years of combined transportation experience
  • Experience in modes of surfect transportation
  • Relationships in all levels of government

Transportation Engineering

The Transportation Engineering group within AEM combines the expertise of professional transportation engineers and Ph.D.-level researchers with the extensive knowledge of AEM IT professionals to seek solutions to complex transportation challenges.  One of the goals of the Transportation Engineering group is to advance the state of the practice in the transportation field through the use of advanced data gathering, manipulation, and analysis techniques as AEM has successfully done in other sectors.  The Transportation Engineering group is led by Dr. Aimee Flannery and Dr. Kelley Klaver Pecheux who have a combined 35 years of research and applied experience in the field of transportation.  Specific areas of expertise within the Transportation Engineering Group include:

Transportation Operations:  AEM engineers have extensive experience with the operational analysis of transportation facilities.  Specific areas of expertise include operational analysis of roundabouts, highway capacity and level of service modeling and analysis, and multimodal modeling and analysis.  AEM engineers have contributed to several national research studies including Transportation Research Board studies resulting in new methodologies included in nationally recognized guidance documents such as the Highway Capacity Manual.  Other studies include the development of guidance documents for the design of multi-lane roundabouts to better serve pedestrian and bicycle travel, and the education of drivers to improve performance at multi-lane roundabouts. 

Safety:  Improving safety throughout the transportation network is the premier goal of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and AEM engineers recognize the importance of conducting research to enable agencies to meet their safety goal of reduced transportation-related deaths and injuries.  AEM engineers have performed numerous research studies and technology evaluations related to improving the safety of surface transportation facilities and their users.  AEM engineers have conducted research studies on improving the safety of pedestrians in general and, more specifically, around transit buses.  Other studies include the assessment of various traffic control devices for improving the safety of light rail transit crossings through signalized intersections, commercial vehicle parking issues, railroad-highway grade crossing safety, traffic incident management, and red-light running safety performance.

Best Practice and Guidance Documents:  Through various research efforts, AEM engineers have developed a wide variety of best practice and guidance documents for Federal and state clients.

Intelligent Transportation Systems:  Over the past 20 years, transportation agencies have increasingly turned to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to help solve transportation problems.  Agencies nationwide have implemented a wide variety of ITS technologies to increase the mobility and safety of the traveling public and to improve air quality.  AEM engineers have extensive experience in the evaluation of ITS technologies.  Specific technology deployments evaluated include the following:

  • Parallel freeway-arterial incident management system.
  • Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS)
  • Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS).
  • Real-time bus arrival countdown system.
  • Pedestrian safety countermeasures, such as pedestrian detection technologies.
  • Freight electronic screening (E-screening).
  • Electronic toll collection, such as E-ZPass®.
  • Transit bus side-object detection system.

Performance Measures and Level/Quality of Service:   AEM engineers have developed and applied performance metrics to measure and assess the performance of transportation facilities, including signalized intersections and urban streets, as well as for the evaluation of numerous technology deployments.  One specific area of expertise for AEM engineers is the multi-modal level of service analysis of urban streets.  This multi-modal methodology simultaneously estimates the level of service for pedestrians, bicycles, and transit in addition to the automobile mode.  Another specific area of expertise for AEM engineers is the development of customer-based performance metrics and the measurement of transportation customer satisfaction through the use of surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

Stakeholder Outreach and Customer Research:  AEM engineers have developed and administered a wide variety of surveys, focus groups, interviews, and workshops to gather information from both public and private transportation stakeholders.  Some specific examples of the applications of these methods include:

  • Use of focus groups to evaluate driver comprehension and assessment of traffic control devices at signalized intersections that interface with light rail transit.
  • Use of workshops to gather information on transit agency practices/approaches to mitigating collisions between transit buses and pedestrians.
  • Use of structured telephone interviews to gather information on customer research practices used by state departments of transportation.
  • Use of in-vehicle, on-the-road studies to gather information on drivers’ perceptions of the service quality of urban streets.
  • Use of an on-line panel survey of highway commuters to assess perceptions of congestion and incident management practices.
  • Use of intercept surveys of bus riders to assess perceptions of transit service and real-time bus-arrival information.
  • Use of focus groups to gather information from bus operators regarding pedestrian safety issues.