With all the positive impacts associated with Texas’ most recent oil boom, there are numerous challenges faced by communities and motorists. Researchers with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) are identifying those challenges in hopes of initiating research projects that will lead to solutions.
A series of free workshops will take place this month in three Texas cities — Midland, Arlington and San Antonio — aimed at identifying local problems in order to develop ways to prevent them in the future. The workshops are part of the recently started Comprehensive Transportation and Energy Systems Initiative. They will be led by TTI Senior Research Engineer Cesar Quiroga, a leading expert on the interactions between energy sector developments and the transportation infrastructure.
TTI’s Transportation Policy Research Center published Quiroga’s report, Oil and Gas Energy Developments and Changes in Pavement Conditions in Texas, last month. The report points to topics that are going to be covered at these workshops.
“There is no question about the economic benefits associated with the oil boom,” Quiroga says. “However, some of the downsides are pavement degradation, increased traffic volumes, safety concerns for all motorists, concerns about water shortages — it’s a big list, but that’s why these workshops are so important.”
Quiroga says the workshops are open to anyone that’s been impacted by the development that’s occurred in the energy sector.
“TTI’s vision is to create a world-class research environment dedicated to the interaction between energy development and transportation infrastructure,” Quiroga explains. “This workshop will bring all the parties together and will certainly get us moving in the right direction.”
As a result of the workshops, TTI will produce a document outlining potential research initiatives that will be shared with both public and private stakeholders.
The workshops are free, but registration is required. For more information about the workshops, visit: http://tti.tamu.edu/conferences/ctes15/