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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
This magazine is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information.
|Publication Number: Date: Sept/Oct 1997|
Issue No: Vol. 61 No. 2
Date: Sept/Oct 1997
"Along the Road" is the place to look for information about current and upcoming activities, developments, trends, and items of general interest to the highway community. This information comes from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sources unless otherwise indicated. Your suggestions and input are welcome. Let's meet along the road.
Policy and Legislation
Secretary Slater Commends the D.C. Seat Belt Law
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater commended the District of Columbia for enacting a primary enforcement seat belt law that will serve as a model for the nation. The new law, enacted on April 9, 1997, becomes effective Oct. 1, 1997. The primary enforcement law allows law enforcement officers to stop vehicles and issue citations for no other reason that not using seat belts. Forty-nine states have laws requiring motorists to use seat belts, but only 11 have primary seat belt laws. The goal of the law is to increase seat belt use by 12 to 15 percentage points within a year. The district now has a seat belt use rate of 58 percent, 10 percentage points lower than the national average.
Management and Administration
HITEC Signs MOU With ITS America
The Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center (HITEC), a center of the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ITS America to work to move highway -related innovations into practice thorough technology evaluations. HITEC and ITS America will offer complimentary services and work together to promote educational events for the industry.
Virginia Starts to Build "Smart Road"
Virginia's Transportation Board awarded a $17.3 million contract for the first phase of construction on the 9.5-kilometer highway that will link Interstate 81 and Blacksburg, Va. The nation's first "Smart Road" will offer a direct route for motorists and provide researchers and product developers a research lab for testing the latest transportation technologies. The Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT), Virginia Tech's Center for Transportation Research, and FHWA will build the road in phases and hope to have more than one kilometer of the Smart Road ready for research purposes by summer 1998.
-- Smart Travel Virginia
ITS America Petitions FCC
ITS America petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to add Intelligent Transportation Services as a mobile service with co-primary status in the 5.850 to 5.925 GHz band. Currently, FCC's Location and Monitoring Service, a part of the FCC's Transportation and Infrastructure Radio Services, covers the 902- to 928- MHZ bandwidth. This 902- to 928- MHZ bandwidth, which is used by ITS interests for toll and commercial vehicle operations, is too small and too congested to support current and future dedicated short-range communications applications, according to the petition. The petition must undergo a lengthy review process, which will probably take nearly two years to complete.
-- ITS America
Public Information and Information Exchange
DOT Provides $100,000 for "Smooth Operator" Program
Secretary Slater announced that the U.S. DOT will provide a $100,000 grant to "Smooth Operator," a regional public awareness and enforcement program targeting aggressive drivers in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The program involves conducting aggressive driver traffic enforcement on the Capital Beltway.
D.C. Mayor Tests Traffic Signal Control System
During ITS America's Seventh Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., in June, Mayor Marion Barry Jr. rode with an ambulance crew through intersections equipped with a 3M Opticom Priority Control System. The system, created to make proceeding through traffic stopped at a red light safer, helps to prevent dangerous predicaments by allowing the ambulance to change the traffic signal. To operate the system, an ambulance is equipped with an emitter and sends a beam to a detector attached to a traffic signal, which will then change a red light to green. This demonstration was the first step in testing the priority control system and was made possible through a partnership between the D.C. Department of Public Works and the Federal Highway Administration.
-- ITS America
ITS America Honors Traveler Information Systems
ITS America announced top achievement awards last month at the society's Seventh Annual Meeting and Exposition. The winners included TravInfo, an up-to-the-minute traffic information service for San Francisco travelers; Houston TranStar, a traffic and emergency management service; and the Atlanta Traveler Information Showcase, a real-time traveler information disseminator.
-- ITS America
NCAC Presents 1997 Collection to Smithsonian
The FHWA/NHTSA National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC) at the Virginia campus of The George Washington University submitted material to the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection of Information Technology Innovation at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Each year, the Computerworld Smithsonian Chairmen's Committee nominates individuals who are using information technology to improve society. Under the Transportation category, FHWA/NHTSA submitted information on computer crash simulation software that lowers the cost of testing automobile structures and provides more complete data for researchers and regulators.
-- Computerworld Smithsonian Awards
Evaluation Service for Innovative Building Technologies Is Created
The Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) and the National Evaluation Service (NES) have formed an evaluation service designed to expedite the introduction of innovative technology into the building marketplace. The service has come about after two years of planning through the Partnership for Building Innovation and will be administered by the NES. Through the expert panel process, the service will evaluate all types of building technologies, including products, designs, and construction processes.
Jane Garvey Named FAA Administrator
Jane Garvey, former deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, was confirmed as the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration by voice vote in the Senate on July 31.
ASCE Honors Sen. Warner and Rep. Oberstar
Gloria Jeff Is Acting Federal Highway Administrator
Gloria Jeff, FHWA associate administrator for policy, will serve as acting federal highway administrator. Transportation Secretary Slater made the announcement Aug. 4.
Anthony Kane Is Acting Deputy Federal Highway Administrator
On Aug. 4, Secretary Slater appointed Anthony Kane, FHWA executive director, to serve as acting deputy federal highway administrator.
Thomas Pasko Retires
Tom Pasko (right) receives an award from Bob Betsold, FHWA associate administrator for research and development, at his retirement celebration.
Tom J. Pasko retired Aug. 1, 1997, after 36 years of service with FHWA. He was director of the Office of Advanced Research from 1992 to 1995 and was most recently in charge of intergovernmental programs. He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University and completed additional graduate-level courses at Cornell University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania.
ACPA Appoints New President
Valentin J. Riva has been named president of the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA). Riva is ACPA's third president since the association was founded in 1964. He succeeds M.J. Knutson, who will be retiring later this year.
-- American Concrete Pavement Association
Harry Lum Died Aug. 7
Harry Soi-Lun Lum died Aug. 7. Lum retired Oct. 1, 1994 after 25 years of service with FHWA. He served in the Design Concepts Research Division, Office of Safety and Traffic Operations Research and Development.
Carl Izzard Died July 8
Carl F. Izzard, a former director in the Office of Research and Development from 1968-1970, died July 8 at the of age 92. Izzard, called the "Father of FHWA Hydraulics" because of his extensive research and contributions to the industry, earned a degree in civil engineering from Stanford University and attained a master's degree in hydraulics engineering from the University of Iowa. During his 43-year career with FHWA, he established a hydraulic research branch in the Office of Research, created an integrated research program for the entire Office of Research and Development, and was a founding member of the Urban Hydrology Research Council of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and his two daughters, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Curtis Shufflebarger, Jr. Died Aug. 4
Curtis L. Shufflebarger, retired chief of the Interstate and Program Support Branch of the Office of Engineering, died Aug. 4. Shufflebarger, who had a 30-year career with the FHWA, primarily in the Office of Interstate and Program Support, Federal Aid and Design Division, Office of Engineering, retired five years ago. He was a graduate of Virginia Military Institute. He is survived by his wife, Virginia, his two children, and four grandchildren. Conferences
American Trucking Associations Members to Gather in Las Vegas
The American Trucking Associations will hold their 1997 Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas from Oct. 19-22. The conference will examine the future role of the trucking industry. Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.) and Alma Johnson Powell are among the planned speakers at the conference.
-- American Trucking Associations