3 panel photo: from left to right: solar and wind power, emissions from vehicle tailpipe, a a tree-lined country road going into bright sun

TRC research evaluates how transportation impacts energy use, air pollutant emissions and the environment to identify more sustainable solutions.  

Bridge-steam network assessment to identify sensitive structural, hydraulic and landscape parameters for planning flood mitigation

bridge

Principal Investigator: Mandar Dewoolkar

Co-investigators: Donna Rizzo and Arne Bomblies

Project Sponsor: Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center

This project will develop an analysis method to understand how localized changes at a given bridge, stream or road affect the entire river corridor. This will help transportation agencies in managing their bridge and stream assets for maintenance and capital planning for upgrades, and also address stakeholder concerns raised in response to planned alterations.

 

Cool and Sustainable Sidewalks

Tree lined sidewalk, with a school bus and semi-truck in the background

Principal Investigator: Gregory Rowangould

Co-Investigators: Brittany Antonczak, Claude Morelli, Mahmoud Taha, Moneeb GenedyStephen Montano, Patience Raby

Project Sponsor: EPA

Our technical challenge is to design a sidewalk that can be built using recycled and less energy- and carbon-intensive materials with the thinnest possible thickness, to reduce material use and limit heat storage capacity. By revisiting the materials and techniques that cities and towns use to build sidewalks, we believe it is possible to identify more durable, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective approaches than are commonly used today.

 

Evaluating Equity and Effectiveness in Vermont's Electric Vehicle Purchase Incentive Programs

electric vehicles are parked in front of Vermont's capitol building

Principal Investigators: Parker King & Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: University of Vermont

The project aims to inform the design of EV incentive programs, particularly in smaller and rural communities that have not been the focus of prior investigation and where the market penetration of EVs has been lower. The project will also contribute to a greater understanding of how incentive programs can be designed to improve program effectiveness and equity for lower income and rural households.

 

Evaluating the Timeline of Particulate Matter Exposure from Urban Transportation and Land-Use Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies Using a Novel Modeling Framework

Exhaust fumes from a vehicle's tailpipe

Principal Investigator: Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: EPA

The aim of the proposed research is creating a clearer picture of how changes in land-use patterns and transportation systems affect population exposure to particulate matter (PM) pollution from vehicle traffic. The research also aims to understand how the timing of land-use and transportation system changes, particularly those strategies intended to mitigate climate change, affect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and cumulative exposure to PM emissions. Finally the research will consider how well changes in PM emission inventories, which are widely used to assess improvements in air quality, correspond to changes in PM exposure. 

 

Evaluation of processed glass aggregate for utilization in transportation projects as a sand borrow

Overhead view of a person riding a bicycle on a tree-lined bike path

Project Sponsor: Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center

The overarching goal of this project is to catalyze the use of Processed Glass Aggregate (PGA) as a substitute for increasingly scarce sand borrow material in transportation projects in Vermont, in New England, and beyond. 

 

Exposure-based Extreme Heat Vulnerability Mapping to Inform Adaptation and Mitigation of Extreme Heat Exposure Risk in Small Cities and Rural Settlements

a city with mountains in the background, with an orange haze from heat

Principal Investigators: Elizabeth Doran and Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: NOAA

This project will identify where people all across Vermont are exposed to excessive heat produced by transportation infrastructure, map areas of vulnerability (where there is higher heat and populations at greater risk of adverse health impacts from heat exposure), and help state and municipal agencies target solutions to the places and people that most need them.

 

Modeling Electric Vehicle Charging Scenarios for New York and New England

an electric vehicle charging

Principal Investigator: Jonathon Dowds

Project Sponsor: National Center for Sustainable Transportation

This project aims to utilize detailed travel behavior data to calculate time-specific regional demand for electric vehicle charging, specifically for the New York/New England region.

 

National Assessment of Near Roadway Vehicle Traffic Emissions Exposure Risk

a line of cars stopped on a highway in a haze of emissions

Principal Investigator: Gregory Rowangould 

Project Sponsor: Environmental Defense Fund

Description: This research will conduct a national scale study to evaluate exposure risk to air pollution from on-road vehicle traffic in every community. The project will identify exposure risk to emissions from different types of vehicle traffic, including passenger vehicles and trucks and evaluate how exposure risk varies with the socioeconomic composition of communities.

The 2021 Vermont Transportation Energy Profile

cars in front of a building

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Dowds

Project Sponsor: Vermont Agency of Transportation

The 2016 Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) included three goals and nine supporting objectives related to reducing transportation sector energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The 2021 Vermont Transportation Energy Profile will be the fifth installment of a biennial reporting series that evaluates Vermont's progress toward achieving these transportation sector goals and objectives. 

 

Value of VTrans Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

parked cars with fall foliage and mountains in the background

Principal Investigators: Jonathan Dowds & Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: Vermont Agency of Transportation

The purpose of this research is to improve the Agency’s ability to assess the value of external research projects with a specific focus on developing and demonstrating a qualitative assessment strategy that can be applied to all research projects.