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Open Streets Initiatives Benefit Physical, Social Health of Communities

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Open Streets initiatives temporarily close streets to automobile traffic so that people may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing and socializing. Although the movement is gaining popularity in the United States — more than 100 different cities have hosted Open Streets events since 2008 — little is known about planning and implementing them. In a new paper Amy Eyler, PhD, and Aaron Hipp, PhD, both assistant professors at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, explore the development and implementation of Open Streets initiatives and make recommendations for increasing the capacity of organizers to enhance their success.

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Wireless Sensors and Flying Robots: A Way to Monitor Deteriorating Bridges

As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, Tufts University engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time.

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No-Power Wi-Fi Connectivity Could Fuel Internet of Things Reality

University of Washington engineers have designed a new communication system that uses radio frequency signals as a power source and reuses existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to provide Internet connectivity to battery-free devices.

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More California Gas Stations Can Provide H2 Than Previously Thought

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A study by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories concludes that a number of existing gas stations in California can safely store and dispense hydrogen, suggesting a broader network of hydrogen fueling stations may be within reach.

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The Future of High-Speed Rail in the U.S. And Beyond

Wayne State University, in partnership with the University of Michigan and Drexel University, has launched a two-and-a-half-year study of the imagination — or l'imaginaire — of high-speed rail (HSR) in America. The study is part of a larger comparative international study piloted by Dr. Max Bergman at the University of Basel and led by French, American, South African, Indian and Chinese research teams that is exploring the role of the “imaginaries” in choices relative to train and rail infrastructures. In other words, the study will examine what motivates decision makers (both leaders and users) in regard to championing or using trains both in and of themselves and within the context of the future of transportation as a whole.

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Global Survey and Interactive Map Score Urban Developments That Embrace Low-Emission Transportation to Grow Cities of the Future

A global catalog of 50 urban developments on six continents maps out the growing trend of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). The survey, compiled by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), using its TOD Standard evaluation tool, shows which projects connect people conveniently, affordably and safely to jobs, shopping, education and other opportunities that cities provide.

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Is the Power Grid too Big?

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Researchers are asking whether there is a "right" size for the U.S. power grid; they believe that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout, likening the grid behavior to sandpiles: “Sandpiles are stable until you get to a certain height. Then you add one more grain and the whole thing starts to avalanche.”

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'Super Circles' to Lessen Rush-Hour Headaches

While Mother Nature continues to challenge drivers across the country, a team of traffic engineers is working hard on a new way to make rush-hour commutes safer and faster in any weather. “We can’t do much about snow falling, but we can do something about road capacity and congestion,” said Joseph Hummer, traffic engineering expert and Wayne State University College of Engineering chair of civil and environmental engineering.

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Widespread Rural Broadband Essential to Success of Schools and Businesses

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