2019 WDCSITE Technical Meeting at VDOT Recap

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.

Call for Volunteers: Maryland STEM Festival

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 

October 19 – Middle School Community Transportation Event – Takoma Park 

November 2 – 1st Annual Cambridge STEM Day – Cambridge 

Week of November 4 (specific date TBD) – Middle School Transportation Event – Takoma Park 

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; adam.greenstein@wsp.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! 

Baltimore Park/Stream Cleanup and Technical Discussions on Parks Recap

Thanks to the ITE Members and their families whom paddled the Middle Branch of the Patapsco to collect trash. The fifteen attendees collected almost thirty bags worth of trash plus, an animal carrier and plastic trunk. Many thanks to Molly and her staff at Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks (BCRP) for guiding our Canoe ‘N Scoop after we discussed the issues facing the Middle Branch Park area and the many potential future paths to redevelopment. We gained perspective as some of these issues including trash pollution partly caused by refuse thrown into storm drains by people assuming it is treated, shallow waterways in need of dredging, and the poor conditions of the Hanover Street Bridge were seen first-hand. Improvements considered, and part of ongoing Middle Branch waterfront design competition, aim to provide connectivity between surrounding land uses, such as turning the Spring Gardens Swing Bridge into a pedestrian bridge. It was a beautiful, sunny day to enjoy the unique recreational places the City has, and to take just a few hours out of our busy schedules to remind us how our consumption habits and actions can have a negative environmental impact.