Some 2,925 first-year students moved into 37 residence halls
Saturday, Aug. 28. Each dorm had a welcoming theme, and
students wearing brown and green T-shirts greeted
assisted new students. Here, resident adviser Paul McIntosh
dons a straw hat and shades in keeping with his hall's
message: "Don't Worry, Be Humphreys." For more
day scenes and a profile of the entering class, see article
"Fall semester commences Sept. 1."
Smart Travel Laboratory keeps traffic flowing in metropolitan
Smith, assistant professor of civil engineering, is
of the Smart Travel Lab, based at U.Va., which interprets
from highway video cameras to monitor traffic flow. The lab
works with VDOT's Virginia Beach Smart Traffic Center to
its staff quickly spread the word about traffic slowdowns or
accidents by notifying drivers via message signs on the road
and highway advisory radio announcements.
Brian Smith has his way, traffic forecasts will someday be as
as weather forecasts.
under way at Virginia's Smart Travel Laboratory at U.Va. will
drivers in metropolitan areas better predict traffic patterns
adjust their travel plans accordingly, whether to ease a
or avoid holiday traffic, such as that expected during the
Labor Day weekend, said Smith, co-director of the lab and a
assistant professor of civil engineering.
lab also expects to help the Virginia Department of
analyze massive amounts of traffic data piped in from the
Washington and Hampton Roads metro areas. More effective
of the data will help VDOT respond faster to changing traffic
and improve the flow of traffic.
in 1998, the lab conducts cutting-edge research that combines
data with traffic-simulation models to create forecasts of
volume and travel times. U.Va. researchers also have helped VDOT
design and upgrade its sensing systems and identify and fix
lab is directed by Smith and Cathy McGhee, a civil engineer with
the Virginia Transportation Research Council, the research
VDOT. Other U.Va. professors of civil and systems engineering
specialize in transportation issues and a contingent of
and graduate students round out the center's staffing.
provided primarily by U.Va., VDOT, the Virginia
Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
lab is currently working with VDOT's Smart Traffic Center in
Beach, which receives traffic data from 600 vehicle sensors and
features a wall of 38 video monitors linked to cameras set up
19 miles of the area's most congested roads, Interstates 64 and
264. Smart Traffic Center controllers monitor the camera images
24 hours a day and can respond to traffic slowdowns or accidents
quickly by contacting a Freeway Incident Response Team and
the traveling public of the adverse conditions via variable
signs and highway advisory radio announcements. Full