Welcome to the NJ Transportation Research Collaboration Community

The New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) Bureau of Research staff works directly with university and other research professionals to find solutions to improve the safety, mobility and accessibility of New Jersey’s residents, workers, visitors and businesses. Our goal is to enhance the quality and cost effectiveness of the policies, practices, standards and specifications that are used in planning, building and maintaining New Jersey's transportation infrastructure.

NJDOT’s Bureau of Research is interested in soliciting ideas from NJDOT’s research customers and other transportation stakeholders for the NJDOT Research Program.   We are interested in your research ideas – particularly, ideas that can turn problems into solutions that can be implemented.  We use this website to gather and share ideas as a first step in the development of fundable research proposals. 

Register to Participate. Registered participants can log in to submit a new idea, comment on submitted ideas, or vote on the ideas to show your support.  You may submit ideas at any time. Click on the “Submit New Idea” button on the top right-hand corner.

Deadline for Next Research Round.  The deadline date for submission of new research ideas to help inform the next round of research RFPs was December 31, 2017. Research ideas will be prioritized by the Research Oversight Committee after this date, and high priority research needs will be posted as proposals.  RFPs will be posted on the research RFP web site: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/refdata/research/research_procurement.shtm. The next deadline date for solicitation of research ideas for a subsequent round of research RFPs will be set a later date.

Who Can Submit a Research Idea?  NJDOT’s research customers and other interested transportation practitioners (e.g., MPOs, county and local governments, and other transportation subject matter experts from trade, universities and NGOs).  Our interest is in soliciting research ideas to address critical existing and emerging transportation needs in New Jersey.

Who Are NJDOT’s Research Customers?  Subject matter experts from NJDOT, NJ TRANSIT, and the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission are most often our research customers. Research ideas typically must have a "champion" among our research customers. Ideally, a "champion" is an individual holding a responsible position within a division, bureau, section or unit who is prepared to sponsor or advance a research idea from its inception to study completion. 

How Do Ideas Inform Research Needs Statement Development?  Ideas are not research needs statements or proposals. Submission of a research idea does not preclude individuals or groups from Institutes of Higher Learning or other eligible research organizations from subsequently bidding on a Request for Proposal prepared and issued by the Bureau of Research. 

How Do I Submit an Idea?  Only registered participants may submit an idea.  Click on the “Submit New Idea” button on the top right-hand corner.

Questions about How to Register?  Please email our site administrator: ideas@njdottechtransfer.net

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For more information about NJDOT Bureau of Research, visit our website: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/refdata/research/

Questions about this NJ Transportation Research Ideas website?   Email us: Bureau.Research@dot.nj.gov or call us: (609) 530-5966.

Planning & Environment

Retrofitting stormwater retention ponds to alleviate harmful effects of road salts: A pilot study

Application of deicing road salts during winter months results in contamination of surface and groundwater. The serious ecological impact on aquatic life is caused not only by the increased salt ions, but also because salinity increases mobility of metals that are generated by road transport activities. Studies have shown that existing best management practices (BMPs), such as routing salt-contaminated stormwater to retention ...more »

Submitted by (@dsarkar)

Idea Submitted by : Dibyendu Sarkar

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Idea Champion - Who at NJDOT, NJ Transit or NJ Motor Vehicle? (if known) : Kinan Tadmori, NJDOT

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Retrofitting existing stormwater retention ponds with floating treatment platforms with hydroponically grown vetiver grass will combat increasing salinity in surface and groundwater, as well as mitigate metal pollution. This is a cost-effective and low impact, low maintenance technology that can protect the aquatic ecosystem from harmful effects of deicing road salt application.

Voting

19 votes
Ideate

Planning & Environment

Biochar to reduce NOx emissions and nutrient runoff from soils in urban/suburban areas

Mitigation of nitrogen, N, pollution is a central component of pollution control and stormwater and runoff management. Excess nitrogen, N, in soils is an extremely important problem for water and air quality, with nitrogen sources in soil ranging from wastewater, agriculture, and atmospheric deposition. Motor vehicles, electric utilities, and industrial processes are the largest sources of atmospheric NOx in the United ...more »

Submitted by (@lrfreire)

Idea Submitted by : Lucia Rodriguez-Freire

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : New Jersey Institute of Technology

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Pollution control is a critical component for NJDOT and NJDEP. The use of biochar has the potential to minimize NOx emissions which will help to improve the overall health in the cities/counties/states where implemented. In addition, it will contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to comply with the New Jersey Global Warming Response Act of 2007. Furthermore, biochar promotes nitrogen immobilization in soils, which will reduce nitrogen (nutrients) loads in nearby water bodies, improving New Jersey water quality and water management.

Voting

11 votes
Ideate

Design and Construction

Benchmarking Bridge Deck Deterioration with Advanced Infrastructure Materials

Deterioration of bridge decks and other components results in costly maintenance preservation, increased traffic, and reduced service life. Federal, state, and local transportation agencies have increasingly been deploying advanced infrastructure materials, such as MMFX reinforcing steel, ultra high-performance concrete (UHPC), and stainless steel reinforcement, among others, to improve the long-term durability of bridge ...more »

Submitted by (@bandelt)

Idea Submitted by : Matthew J. Bandelt and Matthew P. Adams

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : New Jersey Department of Transportation

Idea Champion - Who at NJDOT, NJ Transit or NJ Motor Vehicle? (if known) : Not identfiied

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Planning for the construction of the next generation of bridges and the preservation of current infrastructure assets requires knowledge of the performance of emerging infrastructure materials in comparison to those presently used in practice. This project will help NJDOT and local transportation agencies understand how emerging materials perform in New Jersey’s harsh environmental and service-loading conditions. Further, the project will establish life-cycle costs associated with the use of a range of emerging materials for capital allocation planning.

Voting

10 votes
Ideate

Design and Construction

Smart Roadway Energy Harvesting

The Piezoelectric Electric Generator utilizes the phenomena that electricity is generated when crystal is under pressure. The application of this technology is widely used in our daily life, from the rubber tube that DOT uses to count vehicles on the roads, to the cigarette lighters that utilize piezo ignition to give us fire. By embedding a series of Piezoelectric Electric Generators under the pavement, piezoelectric ...more »

Submitted by (@site.admin2)

Idea Submitted by : Edward Liu

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : NJDOT / Bureau of Traffic Engineering

Idea Champion - Who at NJDOT, NJ Transit or NJ Motor Vehicle? (if known) : Chris Barretts, Division of Highway and Traffic Design, Bureau of Traffic Engineering

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Energy harvested from this technology is stored in the electronic capacitors of the storage system. The accumulated energy can be used to power traffic lights, street lamps or even routed into the grid. It could also assist with real-time information about congestion and traffic counts.

Voting

9 votes
Ideate

Planning & Environment

Drone-based hyperspectral imaging technique for monitoring plastic pollution

We often see plastic bags or other garbage hanging on trees, along the roadside, slipping down the storm drain, and floating in the ocean. There are over 51 billion pieces of litter on our nation’s roadways, 4.6 billion of which are larger than four inches in size. Plastics takes 19 % of 51.2 billion pieces of litter on roadways nationwide. 1.4 billion beverage containers on our nation’s roadways: Beer bottles: 30%; Soft ...more »

Submitted by (@wzhang81)

Idea Submitted by : Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Developing a consortium and partnerships between academia, industries, and the public could bring down the average cost and leverage resources and technical expertise. Government entities such as NJDOT and NJDEP must upgrade existing structures and management plans to mitigate plastic pollution and traffic or health risks. Reducing plastic pollution on public traffic systems could also alleviate other environmental impacts of plastics such as microplastic pollution, which derives from decomposition of bulk plastic materials. Microplastic pollution endangers aquatic species and through food chain systems, human health is compromised by these persistent and ubiquitous microplastic particles. Therefore, devising next-generation functional monitoring devices is a research priority that benefits the society and leads to sustainable traffic engineering technologies.

Voting

9 votes
Ideate

Multi-Modal System Components and Users

Understanding the Impact of Transportation Network Companies on Conventional Transit in NJ

The rapid growth of transportation network companies (TNC) in the US has prompted some researchers/planners to predict a future marked by coordinated services provided by TNCs and transit agencies that would benefit TNCs, transit agencies, and people at large. However, it has also led others to predict the annihilation of conventional public transit by TNCs because of the convenience of the latter. It has thus become ...more »

Submitted by (@devadeka)

Idea Submitted by : Devajyoti Deka, Ph.D.

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Idea Champion - Who at NJDOT, NJ Transit or NJ Motor Vehicle? (if known) : NJ TRANSIT

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Delay in understanding the effects of TNCs on transit in NJ can have two serious consequences. First, conventional transit may lose a part of its current riders to TNCs. Second, opportunities for mutually beneficial coordinated service between transit and TNCs would be missed.

Voting

8 votes
Ideate

Policy and Organization

Bus Ridership Data Analysis System

Developing a comprehensive Bus Ridership Data Analysis System would allow NJ TRANSIT to better anticipate travel demand, more effectively ensure that all communities are provided equitable service, and better target its customer outreach efforts. Currently, NJ TRANSIT uses fare revenue as an indicator of passenger ridership. The agency also relies on passenger surveys to obtain samples of ridership demographics as well ...more »

Submitted by (@sodonnell)

Idea Submitted by : Susan O’Donnell, Senior Director Business Analysis & Market Research

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : NJ TRANSIT

Idea Champion - Who at NJDOT, NJ Transit or NJ Motor Vehicle? (if known) : Aaron Reisner, Senior Transportation GIS Analyst, NJ TRANSIT

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

As New Jersey’s demographic makeup and development patterns continue to change at a rapid pace, travel patterns and demands continue to shift as well. The State’s transit agency requires a practical way to track these trends so that it can respond to them, adjust service patterns, and offer appropriate communication services to its customers. At the same time, NJ TRANSIT increasingly seeks to perform more robust analyses to ensure compliance with Title VI Civil Rights regulations prohibiting discrimination. The Bus Ridership Data Analysis System will provide the access and querying capabilities necessary to effectively safeguard against discriminatory policies and submit more precise Title VI compliance reports to the FTA.

 

The benefits of the effort will be several- fold. The origin-destination surveys themselves will provide a very necessary update on ridership trends on several routes that have not been surveyed in years, allowing for more tailored routing and scheduling. A more precise understanding of customer demographics and travel patterns will enable NJ TRANSIT to better tailor its customer communication plans. Identifying the factors causing discrepancies between the various ridership datasets will lead to more accurate ridership data as well as enable NJ TRANSIT to develop the Bus Ridership Data Analysis System. This effort will, in turn, lead to better information on passenger loads, payments methods, and individual bus stop usage. NJ TRANSIT can use these findings as input for forecasting models, farezone delineation efforts, and other bus service planning activities, ultimately better serving all NJ TRANSIT bus customers.

Voting

7 votes
Ideate

Operations & Preservation

Quantifying the Effectiveness of Bridge Interventions

Understanding the effectiveness and optimal timing of preservation, maintenance and repair activities (termed interventions) are pivotal for bridge asset management. Although extensive resources are dedicated to these activities annually, their impact on the long-term performance of bridges is not well understood. One reason for this lack of understanding is the sheer complexity involved. The effectiveness of interventions ...more »

Submitted by (@yunbai)

Idea Submitted by : Yun Bai, Saeed Babanajad, David Masceri, Frank L. Moon

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers University

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

This research is essential to fully leverage all of the advanced tools now available for infrastructure asset management that promise to improve economic competitiveness and operational efficiency. The research outcomes would (1) lead to a better understanding of the principal factors that influence the effectiveness of bridge interventions, (2) identify promising roadmaps to improve the effectiveness of interventions, and (3) contribute to robust decision making algorithms that are capable of accounting for the uncertainty associated with interventions.

Voting

7 votes
Ideate

Operations & Preservation

Infrastructure Capital Planning for Top-level Decision-Makers

Strategic capital planning for infrastructure asset management is a complex decision making process, involving the identification, screening, evaluation, comparison and prioritization of multiple activities under alternative funding scenarios. It is especially challenging for agencies when managing a large number of assets that compete for limited financial, material and manpower resources to produce smooth cash flows ...more »

Submitted by (@yunbai)

Idea Submitted by : Yun Bai, Saeed Babanajad, Frank L. Moon

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers University

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

The envisioned tool to be developed under this project would visually communicate budgetary needs, project requirements, and trade-offs to top-level decision makers, and would support NJDOT’s compliance with the TAMP federal mandate. In addition, the tracking capabilities of the envisioned tool would support continual improvement of decision-making processes, which would in turn result in better infrastructure integrity with fewer resources and lower budget overrun risk.

Voting

7 votes
Ideate

Operations & Preservation

Influence of Platooning Trucks on Bridge Strength, Serviceability and Durability

Given the significant savings in fuel consumption (due to improved air dynamics) and the relatively simple control schemes required (compared to other autonomous vehicle scenarios) truck platooning is expected to be one of the first applications of autonomous vehicles. Although much work is ongoing in the realm of control schemes, communication protocols, signage, driver training, and policy, little (if any) attention ...more »

Submitted by (@dmasceri)

Idea Submitted by : David Masceri, John DeVitis, Frank Moon

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Center for Advance Infrastructure and Transportation, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Examining the influence of truck platooning on bridge performance in a preemptive manner will allow NJDOT to avoid any unanticipated consequences that may result from this practice (e.g. durability issues, increased maintenance, serviceability failures, etc.). At a minimum, by bringing any potential issues to light at the early stages of this practice, NJDOT can develop and/or influence policies to minimize any negative impact of truck platooning on bridge performance.

Voting

7 votes
Ideate

Operations & Preservation

Visual Inspections through Information Technology

Effective management of highway bridges in New Jersey relies on the quality, accuracy, and completeness of visual inspection data. Although the use of inspection data within management systems presupposes that the data is dependent exclusively on bridge condition, past research suggests that it is also strongly influenced by human and other factors. For example, the reliability of visual inspection data has been shown ...more »

Submitted by (@dmasceri)

Idea Submitted by : David Masceri, Yun Bai, John DeVitis, Frank Moon

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Center for Advance Infrastructure and Transportation, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Improving visual inspection data through reducing biases resulting from human and other factors has the potential to greatly improve the effectiveness of management practices, especially in the realm of project identification and prioritization. In addition to improving inspection data in the future, simply understanding the biases implicit in historic inspection data will allow decision-makers to guard against their undue influence within asset management practices.

Voting

6 votes
Ideate

Operations & Preservation

Lifecycle Data Repository for Bridges

Realizing the full potential of bridge asset management requires a cradle-to-grave “biography” of each bridge asset, which fully documents its design, construction, and operations, inclusive of inspection, maintenance, preservation, and repair activities. To be truly useful, the data repository that would house this information needs to be comprehensive in nature, facilitate seamless (if not automated) data entry, and ...more »

Submitted by (@saeed.babanajad)

Idea Submitted by : Saeed Babanajad, Yun Bai, David Masceri, Franklin Moon

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other : Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), Rutgers University

Idea Champion - Who at NJDOT, NJ Transit or NJ Motor Vehicle? (if known) : NJDOT

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

The outcome of the proposed study will equip NJDOT with a roadmap to construct and maintain a data repository capable of housing data across the entire life-cycle of all their bridge assets. By providing both better context for asset management decisions as well as a means for continual quality improvement, the envisioned data repository will have a significant impact on the ability to improve the life-cycle performance of bridges throughout New Jersey.

Voting

6 votes
Ideate