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Developing global perspectives on dealing with traffic congestion

ASU professor Ram Pendyala (right) with Alaa Ashmawy, Dean of Engineering at American University in Dubai

June 14, 2007

Ram Pendyala, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, recently returned from a trip to the Middle East where he participated in a governmental conference on traffic in Kuwait and gave a presentation at American University in Dubai (AUD). He also explored a partnership with AUD and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU).

Coinciding with the United Nation’s Global Road Safety Week, the Kuwaiti conference “Traffic in Kuwait: Contemporary Issues” was organized by the Kuwait Traffic Safety Society and the Higher Traffic Council. The two-day conference addressed growing traffic problems in Kuwait and the rest of the industrialized world.

Traffic experts and policy makers from the United States, Sweden, Turkey, Canada and Arab and Persian Gulf states participated, along with representatives from the United Nations. Pendyala, who was the keynote speaker, opened the forum by discussing the safety implications of rapid growth in travel demand and presenting statistical models. Developed with colleagues at ASU, the models can be used to predict the severity of accidents based on roadway, environmental, vehicle and driver factors.

In Dubai, Pendyala gave a presentation at AUD on travel demand forecasting and modeling methods and their applications for solving traffic congestion to faculty, students and professionals, including private consultants and staff from the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

In talks with the university’s engineering dean, Pendyala suggested collaboration with the school and ASU on both education and research efforts. Pendyala plans to submit a joint proposal with the AUD engineering dean to the Dubai RTA to conduct workshops, facilitate transfer of technology and undertake research activities that would assist the organization in handling traffic growth in Dubai.

Writer: Deanna Evans

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