We are calling them the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia. India and China. At the bauma construction equipment trade fair, the world’s largest, this year will see a lot more Chinese exhibitors. In fact there will be about 125 more of them than the last bauma three years ago. In fact China will have its own hall. India will also be significantly better represented than three years ago.
Brazil and Russia are also up in terms of exhibitors, but not as much and the I and the C of BRIC, and bauma officials think that the recession’s squeeze on international travel dollars is the only thing stopping these new economies from being better represented. After all, as most countries report negative numbers in their construction industries, China and India are reporting growth.
Making Highway Workers Safer
The new ANSI 107 regulation update is now in effect, and highway workers need to meet new comprehensive regulations on U.S. highway worker high-visibility safety garment requirements.
A comprehensive update has been made to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The manual, which has been administered by the Federal Highway Administration since 1971, sets the standards for road safety throughout the country.
The MUTCD is the national standard for all traffic control devices, including traffic signs, pavement markings, signals and any other devices used to regulate, warn or guide traffic. This is the first comprehensive update to the manual since 2003.
The new provisions include:
Replacing highway signs with brighter, larger and more legible ones that are easier to understand at freeway speeds. States will begin using the newer signs as existing ones wear out.
Adding different lane markings for lanes that do not continue beyond an intersection or interchange to give drivers more warning that they need to move out of the lane if they don’t intend to turn.
Expanding the use of flashing yellow arrow signals at some intersections to give a clearer indication that drivers can turn left after yielding to any opposing traffic.
Changing the formula used to calculate crosswalk times to give walkers more time.
Identifying electronic toll collection lanes with purple signs – the first time purple has been sanctioned for use on highway signs.
Adding overhead lane-use control signs to reduce confusion among drivers in unfamiliar multi-lane roadways.
For an overview, visit http://mutch.fhwa.dot.gov.
To read about Tina Barbaccia’s experiences on the 3M test track and a Q&A with Glen Senior, human factors engineer, 3M Design and Vision Science, and for photos showing active lighting and low- and high-visibility garments — go to www.betterroads.com and click on “Web exclusive.”
More Hired Guns
A stunning number: 650 local governments use lobbyists to try and pry money from Washington for transportation projects.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, “Data from the third quarter of 2009 shows that, on top of the 650 cities and counties, those contracting with lobbyists include more than a dozen states, 90 mass transit agencies, 45 local development authorities, and 25 metropolitan and regional planning organizations.”
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