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Phil M. Garvey

Garvey & Associates

Mr. Garvey’s academic background is in psychology, visual perception, and experimental design. He has been designing and running human factors research experiments that explore the interaction between humans and their visual environment for more than 30 years. He wrote the human factors chapter on signage for the Handbook of Transportation Engineering published by McGraw-Hill. In other related work, Mr. Garvey wrote the Federal Highway Administration’s guidelines for changeable message sign visibility, and FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices chapter on community wayfinding signs. He has also conducted several studies evaluating the effectiveness of temporary traffic control devices (e.g., arrow panels and drums) for use in highway construction work zones for PennDOT and the FHWA. In addition to his highway work, Mr. Garvey has been conducting original human factors research to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of commercial signs (storefront and billboard) since 1994. His research studies in this area have examined the impact of commercial signs on the light pollution, and the effect on sign visibility of font, color, internal vs. external illumination, mounting height, lateral offset, parallel vs. perpendicular mounting, conventional sign lighting levels, and most recently, electronic message center brightness levels.

Mr. Garvey’s expertise in human factors led to his selection as chairman of the National Academy of Sciences' Transportation Research Board’s Committee on User Information Systems, a post he served for six years. He also established TRB’S Committee on Advanced Traveler Information Systems. ATIS is TRB’S liaison with the international intelligent transportation systems (ITS) community, which is concerned with testing and developing emerging technologies for information transfer between environments and users. In 2004, Mr. Garvey was invited to join the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices’ Human Factors Resource group, a post he stills holds, and in June of 2006 he was appointed Chairman of the National Committee’s Human Factors Task Force. After 23 years as a senior researcher in the College of Engineering at Penn State, Mr. Garvey has formed his own firm, Garvey & Associates, to continue to provide transportation safety consultation and expert witness services.

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