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Fundamentals of Transportation Engineering: A Multimodal Systems Approach [Hardcover]

Jon D. Fricker , Robert K. Whitford

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Book Description

March 22 2004 0130351245 978-0130351241 1

Combining topics that are essential in an introductory course with information that is of interest to those who want to know why certain things in transportation are the way they are, the book provides a strong emphasis of the relationship between the phases of a transportation project. The volume familiarizes readers with the standard terminology and resources involved in transportation engineering, provides realistic scenarios for readers to analyze and offers numerous examples designed to develop problem solving skills. The volume examines transportation basics, traffic flow theory and analysis, highway design for performance, modeling transportation demand and supply, planning and evaluation for decision-making, design of highway for safety, design of intersections for safety and efficiency, pavement design, public mass transportation, air transportation and airports and environmental issues/emerging technologies. For those interested in transportation engineering.


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From the Inside Flap

Between the two of us, we have taught a course called "Introduction to Transportation Engineering" more than 30 times since the Fall semester of 1984. As we worked together to improve the course, we continued to move farther away from the textbook that we had adopted. We began to assemble a set of course notes that, over time, began to resemble chapters of a textbook. Although we think there are several good transportation engineering books on the market, none of them seemed to fit our style of teaching and, more importantly, the styles of learning that we see in our students. We prefer to encourage classroom discussion, use computer tools to augment lectures, form small groups for in-class discussions or out-of-class problem solving, and base assignments on real-world situations. We see the need to lead students toward improved learning and away from the usual practice of using class time for extensive note taking.

Our course notes finally reached the point where we used them in place of a published textbook. The notes covered all facets of transportation engineering, not just highway modes. Although the emphasis is on highway and air transportation, there are lessons on railroad and waterborne modes of transportation, the systems aspects of transportation economics and program evaluation, public transit, and logistics management. Because we realize that this scope is ambitious for an introductory course, we adopted certain strategies that have proven successful:

  1. Integration of topics
  2. Clear, enunciated objectives
  3. Special discussion boxes
  4. A large number of examples that are based on real situations
  5. Hundreds of photographs and other illustrations.

These features are continued in this textbook.

SEQUENCE AND FLOW OF TOPICS

An introductory course in Transportation Engineering is susceptible to being simply a series of fragmented topics. We have addressed this problem in several ways:

1. Because a system cannot be operated before it is designed, and a system cannot be designed until it is planned, we have put the chapters in our textbook in an order that reflects this. However, planning in transportation can be rather abstract and mysterious to an undergraduate engineering student. For this reason, we put topics of greatest familiarity to students—traffic—near the front of our textbook.

2. To minimize the fragmented nature of the topics and to emphasize the relationship between the phases of a transportation project:

A. We have invented the mythical County of Mythaca, with cities and towns of various sizes and various transportation challenges.

B. We begin each chapter in our textbook with a Scenario. These Scenarios are meant to orient the student to the material about to be covered in the chapter. The material in that chapter is meant to provide the student with knowledge and methods that can be used to address the problems stated in the Scenario.

There is about 20 percent more material than can be covered in a single-semester course at the junior-senior level. The text is structured so that, in most cases, sections within Chapters 6 to 13 can be skipped without major loss of continuity. With a modicum of care, the instructor can change the sequence in which the chapters are covered. The Engineering Economy portions of Chapter 5, however, ought to be covered before the economic analyses in the Transit (Chapter 10) and Air Transportation (Chapter 11) chapters are encountered.

CHAPTER OBJECTIVES

For many years, we have had the following objectives in mind as we taught "Introduction to Transportation Engineering":

  • Provide the student an adequate basis for deciding which more specialized transportation courses to take.
  • Familiarize the student with the standard terminology and resources involved in transportation engineering, in case the student would need to conduct such an analysis in the future or work with someone else who was doing so. This situation occurs in our capstone senior design course.
  • If this would be the only transportation course a student would take, give the student enough of an appreciation of transportation issues to be an informed citizen and professional engineer.

In recent years, we have found it helpful to be more explicit in what we want to accomplish in the course and in its components. We have adopted the Instructional Objectives method advocated in the National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI) Workshop, for several reasons. The instructional objectives for each chapter are presented immediately after the Scenario. In our opinion, the NETI-based objectives:

  • Lead to a clear statement of capabilities that a student is expected to acquire.
  • Are observable and measurable.
  • Form a sort of contract between teacher and learner.
  • Impose a measure of discipline on the authors as we seek to present material in textbook format.

The word "Fundamentals" appears in the title of this book, because topics that every student of transportation engineering should know are emphasized. Also included are some topics that are "nice-to-know" or just interesting. Interspersed in the textbook are items that are meant to reflect the enjoyment that can come from the study of transportation engineering. It is our hope that a student who has read this textbook will never look at a traffic signal, traffic sign, semitrailer truck, or airport runway the same way as before.

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Unfortunately, our experience has been that many students are not easily convinced to come to class prepared. One feature of our text that may help in this regard is the "Think About It" boxes in most sections. These boxed questions are placed in the text wherever a pause to think about the material being presented would be helpful to the student. Often, there may be more than one way to approach the problem being presented. To assist the instructor in leading the discussion in class, an instructor's guide will include the ideas we had in mind when we inserted the "Think About It" boxes.

The most important guidance for this textbook comes from the questions asked by students after class and during office hours. In response to their feedback, we have made numerous changes to the content and style of the text. The result is a presentation style that is more inductive than the traditional textbook.

From the Back Cover

Fundamentals of Transportation Engineering: A Multimodal Systems Approach is intended for the first course in Transportation Engineering. Combining topics that are essential in an introductory course with information that is of interest to those who want to know why certain things in transportation are the way they ~re, the text places a strong emphasis on the relationship between the phases of a transportation project. The text familiarizes students with the standard terminology and resources involved in transportation engineering, provides realistic scenarios for students to analyze. and offers numerous examples designed to develop problem-solving skills.

Features:
  • Non-automobile modes addressed extensively: Public transit, air transportation, and freight modes.
  • Purposeful, but flexible sequence of topics.
  • Ongoing case study of a single region called "Mythaca," which shows students the interconnections between many transportation issues.
  • Chapter opening scenarios: Each chapter begins with a scenario designed to orient students to a transportation problem that might confront a transportation engineer.
  • Scenarios, examples, and homework problems based on the extensive experience of the authors.
  • Traditional, standard transportation engineering combined with the needs of future transportation engineering.
  • Special Discussion Boxes: "Think About It" boxes provide students with highlighted topics and concepts to reinforce material.

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Amazon.com: 2.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Confusing Textbook Nov. 27 2009
By C. Castaneda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was the textbook used in my transportation class, and I hated it. Many of the homework problems do not provide enough information, nor does the book provide enough guidance. It is true that engineering involves making assumptions and designing on your own, but this textbook was not very good in teaching you where to even begin.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing Oct. 27 2011
By Raedene - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Pros:
Thorough exploration of subject matter
Lots of examples

Cons:
Confusing layout (sections are indistinguishable from examples)
Buries important equations and variable definitions in the text
No color, and few pictures besides confusing diagrams
Homework problems often have arbitrary wording and don't give enough information
1.0 out of 5 stars So many errors and it is so unclear Feb. 19 2014
By Thuy-Nhu Nguyen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has so many errors! It is so outdated, too. The practice problems are unclear, not all information is given, or they mistype the way the bullet points or lettering have to be. All this makes things so much more confusing. We always go ask the professor for help and even he has no idea what the book is asking and has to pull out his solutions manual to see what the author meant. I wish the professor will stop making the students each semester buy this book. It is a waste of money. This book needs to have a major update on its next edition ASAP.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Dec 3 2012
By Eno Zeneli - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The exercises are very well explained and the book follows a logical order in the chapters explained. The exercises and samples in metric values are very helpful for European students and professors.
0 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transportation Engineering Textbook Sept. 29 2005
By M. Sidhu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
New textbook in mint condition. Shipping was FAST via UPS. This seller is GOOD.

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