Researcher Spotlight: Randy Machemehl
With rapid population growth comes urban growing pains, a topic Dr. Randy Machemehl has tackled often over the years as a CTR researcher. His broad range of research expertise encompasses transportation system operations, public transportation systems planning and design, traffic data acquisition, and bicycle safety. Currently the Associate Chair for Academic Affairs & Professor, and holding the Nasser I. Al-Rashid Centennial Professorship in Transportation Engineering, Dr. Machemehl served as the CTR Director of from 1999 to 2012. He first joined the UT Austin faculty in 1977, and continues to contribute to the practical advancement of the transportation field—particularly in combating congestion.
In March 2016, the City of Austin recruited CTR to help drive Austin’s transportation systems into the future and help Austin attain its urban maturity. Dr. Machemehl will helm the resulting five-year technical services agreement, deploying CTR’s research to help the City better allocate their transportation resources, create system improvements that reduce cost and commute time for drivers, and improve mobility and safety. “Our goals are to assist the City of Austin in solving transportation problems, use these opportunities to teach our students the newest methodological approaches to real problems, and develop new methodology to enable solutions to problems that could not previously be solved,” Dr. Machemehl states. This arrangement will facilitate data collection that can inform the City’s decision making and improve traffic flow in the Austin roadway network.
Dr. Machemehl’s expertise in urban traffic solutions was recently tapped in a well-received interview in the Alcalde (the UT alumni magazine), titled “The Traffic Solution No One is Talking About,” in which he described travel-demand management: low-risk, low-cost strategies such as telecommuting, flex time, and carpooling. In November, the Washington Post also turned to Dr. Machemehl for his thoughts on the effect of dynamic message signs on traffic flow.
Find out more: CTR published Dr. Machemehl’s handy guidebook summarizing travel demand management strategies like telecommuting; this guidebook provides case studies and specific strategies recommended for Texas metro areas. The Travel Demand Management Guidebook is a TxDOT-sponsored research product (6-0702-P2).