Message from the Managing Director
By Patrick Son
Getting lost in our day-to-day is inevitable, but given the timing and the fact that we are already halfway through 2017, I wanted to encourage everyone to find some time, take a pause, and try to plan ahead so that we can all be proactive in our work. This newsletter is jam packed with articles that are definitely moving us forward. From an RFP of a pilot program for driverless Truck-Mounted Attenuator, an update on the Solar Eclipse from AASHTO’s TransComm solar eclipse task force, best practices for high friction surfaces, to a new webinar on Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures, we have a lot to share.What you will see going forward from NOCoE are resources that will attempt to keep you ahead of the curve, even if it is just 1/10th of a second.
Putting Transportation Communications at the Top of the Solar Eclipse Story
By Matt Hiebert/AASHTO
Transportation probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you mention the Aug. 21st total solar eclipse, but when you consider the fact that millions of people will be hitting the road to witness the event, you might want to change your mind.
According to some estimates, Missouri could receive up to one million out-of-state visitors during the eclipse. Yes, that’s an extra million travelers on the state’s roads and bridges. Such a traffic surge requires planning by the Missouri Department of Transportation, and communication plays a big role in that effort.
Getting the media to understand the impact on the state’s transportation system and incorporating transportation safety messages into the narrative has become a high priority for the impacted states.
There are 14 states that are in the direct path of the total solar eclipse, but nearly all of the contiguous 48 states will see a partial solar eclipse. In an effort to coordinate messaging, share ideas, capture media outlets, and assist understaffed communications divisions, TransComm formed a Solar Eclipse Task Force. TransComm is the communications subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Please click here to read more and here to view NOCoE's August 21st solar eclipse resource page.
Webinar: Are Your Traffic Signals Ready for Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures?
Date: Thursday, June 15th
Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
This webinar is the first in a series that will familiarize participants with the technical aspects of Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs), how they fit into an objectives and performance based management framework, and implementation options that fit a range of agency capability and infrastructure situation. The webinar will provide an overview of the FHWA Every Day Counts Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures Initiative and available resources to promote implementation of the technology. Presenters will share knowledge and lessons learned about technologies and systems used by agencies to collect and analyze high resolution traffic signal data to manage the operation and maintenance of traffic signal systems, identify benefits, challenges and lessons learned from implementation of ATSPMs. Please click here to register and here for more information.
AASHTO T3 Training: Best Practices for High Friction Surfaces
This training focuses on the best practices involved in the application of high friction surface treatments on pavements that can dramatically reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities associated with friction demand issues, such as during wet conditions.
The course, recommended for 3 PDHs, cites recent State DOT case studies while also covering safety factors and other benefits, material specifications and durability, mixing processes, installation and application practices, post-installation and maintenance activities, project communication considerations, environmental factors, as well as best practices and lessons learned. This course is designed for technicians, inspectors, and supervisors with an interest in high friction surface treatments.
Please click here for registration and additional information.
MoDOT Seeks Participants in Driverless Vehicle Pilot Program
The best way to protect MoDOT workers in work zones may be to not have them there in the first place. The Kansas City District is turning to technological advances to test that theory.
MoDOT recently sent out a Request for Proposals to test driverless warning vehicles in slow-moving work zones like striping and sweeping.
"More than 80 of our trucks have been crashed into during slow moving operations since 2013. Each one of those trucks had a valuable MoDOT employee inside," said Kansas City Assistant District Engineer Chris Redline. "This pilot project would test the feasibility of removing workers from the rear protective warning truck, which would eliminate these types of injuries and potentially save lives."
If implemented, the pilot program would be the first of its kind in the country and possibly the world. For the pilot program, one vehicle using state-of-the-art driverless technology would be in the rear of a striping or sweeping work zone convoy. A driver would still be in the vehicle cab during the testing with the ability to immediately take over control of the truck. Advances in leader-follower vehicle technology have increased significantly over the years.
Please click here to read more.