WDCSITE and ASHE Chesapeake held their annual joint traffic-themed meeting. Presentations covered topics in ITS infrastructure, transit signing and real-time data applications, and regional county-level transportation planning efforts and traffic safety initiatives. There was a great mix of members from ASHE and ITE, and there were plenty of attendees who are not members of either association. Despite the serious nature of the presentations, there were great laughs, shocking revelations, and tough questions. After the technical presentations, there was a happy hour, followed by dinner with an evening talk by Carole Delion of MDOT SHA, who discussed policy and standards-development issues involving CAVs. The industry is moving forward in the realm of CAVs, but we’re certainly hitting plenty of challenges along the way. MDOT SHA and other government partners at the federal, state, and local levels strongly encourage all of us to be engaged in the technical conversations, legislative discussions, and program development initiatives surrounding autonomous vehicles.
The event had approximately 45 attendees, including retirees, students, private consultants, VDOT staff and other public sector members from neighboring entities (Fairfax County, Montgomery County, MWCOG).
Bud Siegel (NOVA District’s LAP Program Manager) presented an overview of the Local Administered Program and changes to the LAP Delivery. Major functions of the LAP Section includes fiduciary oversight and assisting localities (counties, cities, towns) with the administration of transportation projects using state and/or federal funds. Bud announced to the group that after 21 years, he will be leaving VDOT to seek new endeavors at the Town of Leesburg.
Bill Cutler (NOVA District’s Construction Engineer) discussed various transportation-related statistics pertaining to Northern Virginia: 2.4 million residents, 14,000 lane miles and more than 500 miles of regional bike facilities. Bill oversees $500 to $700 million in construction projects in a given year. The presentation included various construction programs within VDOT, as well as regional project budgets and schedules. Much construction is taking place around the region, including I-66 eastbound widening inside the beltway and Route 7 widening from Tysons to Reston.
The third presenter of the evening was Abi Lerner (Associate Manager of Special Project Development, a section of VDOT Megaprojects), but not before receiving the International Director Award. Abi’s presentation was on the I-495 Express Lanes extension from the Dulles Toll Road to the American Legion Bridge and beyond into Maryland. The goal of the project is to reduce congestion, provide additional travel choices and improve travel reliability. However, there are challenges, such as minimizing disruptions to the existing nature of GW Memorial Parkway, tolling concessionaire compatibility between Virginia and Maryland, bridge widening, and acquiring R/W.
The event was well attended and folks seemed to enjoy the selection of boxed dinner sandwiches from Panera.
The WDCSITE Board is in the process of planning STEM events in our region with school students to increase youth awareness around transportation. You as WDCSITE members have a unique opportunity to participate in these activities through the Maryland STEM Festival – this is a month-long festival that promotes STEM all around the state from October 11 through November 10. One of ITE’s primary goals as an organization is to promote transportation to school students through STEM activities, which encourages them to consider future studies and career paths in transportation and related fields.
We would love to have you join us at these events to help engage students in transportation-related activities. Some of the events we are planning are below. Please contact Adam Greenstein (410-246-3843) if you would like to be part of the WDCSITE team in making these events memorable and enjoyable for our region’s young minds!
October 12 – Maker Day Celebration – Columbia
- Location: Universities Space Research Association (USRA) – 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046
- Time: 2-5pm
- Age group(s): all
October 19 – Middle School Community Transportation Event – Takoma Park
- Location: Takoma Park Community Center – 7315 New Hampshire Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912
- Time: 3:30-5pm
ITE will be leading this event, providing interactive opportunities for middle school students. This will include opportunities utilizing activities developed by ITE: Making Traffic Signs, Can I Stop in Time?, and Traveling Around Town.
November 2 – 1st Annual Cambridge STEM Day – Cambridge
- Location: Cannery Way – 400 block of Race Street, Cambridge, MD 21613
- Time: 9am-12pm
- Age group(s): all
Week of November 4 (specific date TBD) – Middle School Transportation Event – Takoma Park
- Location: Takoma Park Middle School – 7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910
- Time: TBD (during the school day)
November 9 – Morgan State University STEM Expo – Baltimore
- Location: Murphy Fine Arts Center – 2201 Argonne Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218
- Time: 10am-2pm
- Age group(s): all
This event will be led by staff from Morgan State University, so we will be one of several groups participating. We are working with a group called “Learning Undefeated” to plan demonstrations and hands-on activities. We have been in touch with the MSU ITE student chapter, and their members will be engaged to join us. Activities will vary throughout the day, so you are still encouraged to join us even if you cannot attend the entire event. This provides a great opportunity for our professional members to engage directly with the student chapter members. This will include opportunities utilizing activities developed by ITE: Making Traffic Signs and Traffic Congestion.
ITE STEM Resources
In addition to the resources listed above for specific events, other STEM resources are available on ITE’s website that provide guidance and examples of activities for different age groups and settings, including resources outside of ITE. Please visit this website, and let us know if you have any topics or activities that you’d like to consider incorporating in these events.
Please contact Adam Greenstein (410-246-3843; email@example.com) if you would like to be part of the WDCSITE team in making these events memorable and enjoyable for our region’s young minds!
We look forward to having you as part of our team to promote transportation to our region’s youth!