Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Institute of Transportation Engineers - Oregon Section - Technical Workshop

Registration Online at
Leadership in the Profession
Oregon ITE Winter Workshop - Feb 1
Location: ODOT Region 1 – 123 NW Flanders, Portland, OR

8:00 - 8:30       Registration & Networking                                      (Refreshments)
8:30 - 8:45       Introduction
Bob Pappe, Oregon Department of Transportation State Traffic Engineer

8:45 - 9:00       Overview of the Day
Peter Koonce, Portland Bureau of Transportation & Oregon ITE President

9:00 - 10:00     Perspectives on Leadership from the Director or Transportation Level
                        Tom Miller, Portland Bureau of Transportation Director
                        Cam Gilmour, Clackamas County
                        Martha Bennett, Metro Chief Operating Officer

10:15 - 12:00   Highway Capacity Manual 2010 – An Introduction and its Application
Mark Vandehey, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. – Lead on HCM 2010
                        Luigi Casinelli, HDR – NYCDOT Case Study on HCM 2010 Application

12:15 - 1:30     The CEOs Perspective on Leadership                       (Lunch provided)

We are in a time of unprecedented economic challenge. What qualities are CEOs looking for in employees and how does that relate to ITE members and advancement of the profession?

Mark Vandehey, Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
                        Mia Birk, Alta Planning & Design
                        Randy McCourt, DKS Associates
                        Ralph Batenhorst, HDR

1:30 - 2:30       Applying Performance Measures – What’s the Future Hold?
            Moderator: Tom Armstrong – City of Portland Bureau of Planning
Lidwien Rahman, ODOT Region 1 – Alternative Performance Measures Study
                        Peter Koonce, PBOT – Measures that Move us Toward our Multimodal Future
Joe Marek - Clackamas County – Incorporating Safety into MOEs

3:00 - 4:00       Advances in Data Collection & Performance Measures of Tomorrow
                       Kelly Clifton, Portland State - New Techniques in Data Collection
                        Ted Trepanier, INRIX – New Sources of Data from the Private Sector
                        Steve Perone, PTV America  - Modeling and its Role on Performance

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Advice for TRB Committee Involvement

I often get asked by young professionals about what I have done to be involved with TRB. I began my involvement in the Transportation Research Board Meeting #TRBAM with activity surrounding the Kittelson interest in Highway Capacity Manual research. The foundation of that work was a solid base to start branching out to get involved in activities that were more diverse than what Kittelson was involved. This cognizant choice was a function of my interests and what I saw of as a need for the firm. This allowed diversity of the "brand" and growth of the staff involved. There was another person involved in this sort of work at the time, so it wasn't entirely a jump to a new topic either.

Looking back, the combination of a new business line or one that could be enhanced by even more dedication to the effort, I found that the chances to lead for a young professional were ample and while from a financial standpoint did not make the most sense; the company was exceptional in its interest and dedication where they would follow people that had a passion for a particular topic. Blending the expertise in KAI's core Operations business and complimentary topics was a recipe for success provided that both parties are willing to make the investment.

Back to the TRB story...
The Traffic Signal Systems Committee added me as a younger member which was a great entry into the inner circle, sitting at the Big Kids table at the formal meetings. The experience was daunting at the start, but slowly by volunteering time and organizing efforts (workshops on Sunday, paper reviews, strategic planning, etc) it lead to greater exposure and an understanding of teaming arrangements both in the research community and for local projects. It lead to a payback over the long term, not often something that a corporate quarterly financial report would highlight.

Once you have initially started with a Committee, coordination with other people across TRB is of interest to diversify the range of topics that you can get involved with. In the private sector this can help build that next group of professionals that would continue to grow the market.

Tips for getting more involved in a Committee
1. Analyze the activities they are doing and think about how well they are doing them and if you can help (website, social media - who is in charge of this?, newsletter - do we have one?)
2. Email the Committee chair and or Secretary and start a dialogue to inquire if they have any ideas.
3. Sign up to develop a Research Problem Statement, joint with another Committee. The other Committee may not know your experience level and your technical understanding in your topic may be higher than theirs. If you are new to the profession this is difficult, but you certainly add value in the other Committees work.
4. Attend the meetings. I know it can be hard to get there, but it means a lot to the Committee Chair. It is sort of a Catch 22, it helps to be on a Committee to get your company/agency to pay for the trip and that's always going to be a barrier.

Monday, January 23, 2012

TRB Day 2 : Traffic Signal Systems Committee Meetings

It was a TRB that I will never forget. It was on this day that I was named the TRB TSSC Chair. Reading that, it is a corny statement, but it is a nice achievement and I look forward to making a few changes here and there as I can. My play by play twitathon of the action is copied below.

Prior to that tweet, I had reported on the Signal Timing Subcommittee which is also provided below. I am not sure whether this is worthwhile or of interest to folks, but it does perhaps provide a little more exposure to signal timing efforts within TRB as a whole by using the hashtag "#" and the TRBAM which of course stands for TRB Annual Meeting. Referencing various folks doing the work ends up getting broader exposure and sharing the good news. It seemed to be a nice way to share and the younger folks seemed a bit more interested in the social media than the older professionals.

This whole use of Twitter is very much inspired by Mayor Sam Adams' dedication to the site, so if anything I should blame him for this. In all seriousness, it is helpful in remembering ideas and people, so I think long-term it is a good way to recall ideas (similar to blogging or journaling).

There was definintely a lot of interest in signal timing as exhibited by the last post of this binge tweeting session.