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Allegheny

Carnegie Mellon awards $400,000 in inaugural Smart Mobility Challenge

Aaron Aupperlee
| Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, 11:33 a.m.
Traffic has increased in Cranberry Township as an 18.3 percent growth in population has occured in the Cranberry Corridor from 2000 to 2010.
Louis Raggiunti | Cranberry Journal
Cranberry Journal
Traffic has increased in Cranberry Township as an 18.3 percent growth in population has occured in the Cranberry Corridor from 2000 to 2010. Louis Raggiunti | Cranberry Journal

Carnegie Mellon University increased the purse for its Smart Mobility Challenge to more than $400,000 after the university realized $300,000 wasn't going to be enough.

CMU's Traffic21 Institute and its Mobility21 National University Transportation Center announced the winners of the Smart Mobility Challenge last week.

Winning projects included ones to develop software to study parking in Mt. Lebanon and Dormont with an eye toward changing prices in order to increase revenue; redesign Millvale's gateway where city streets, Route 28 ramps, railroad tracks, Girty's Run and the riverfront meet; and use the latest technology to better track traffic, pedestrians and cyclists in Bethel Park and Greensburg.

“We are thrilled to receive such a robust response from forward-thinking municipal leaders,” said Ramayya Krishnan, dean of Heinz College, which houses the Traffic21 Institute.

“This speaks to the mobility challenges faced by our communities, the willingness of municipalities to tackle them directly and the potential of deploying technological solutions grown right in our own backyard,” Krishnan said.

Five faculty teams from CMU will work with Bethel Park, Cranberry, Dormont, Greensburg, Neshannock, McKees Rocks, Millvale and Mt. Lebanon. The challenge received 26 submissions spanning eight counties in Western Pennsylvania. The Traffic21 and Mobility21 institutes decided to kick in another $100,000 to the competition after it saw how vital the projects would be to the areas that submitted them.

Officials in Neshannock will team up with CMU researchers to develop an app that will connect people to share rides on their commute to promote ride-sharing, lower emissions and make it easier to access urban areas.

Cranberry will study how to use social media and data to better predict and then notify travelers of traffic delays along Interstates 79 and 376.

McKees Rocks will use data and analysis from the CMU Mobility Data Analytics Center to prepare for the impact of the CSX intermodal rail terminal's opening.

The Smart Mobility Challenge was announced in June. It promised to connect CMU transportation research and innovation with municipalities in Western Pennsylvania. This was the first year of the challenge.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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