‘The Monitor” Newsletter

 


THE MONITOR 


                    OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF ITS PENNSYLVANIA              

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

As this year quickly comes to a close, I reflect on my year as president with appreciation.  I am grateful to a board who passed numerous motions to provide training to our community, sponsorships at various events, scholarship money to a well deserving student, and generous donations on behalf of our membership.  I am also thankful for a team of professionals both on and off the board who volunteered their time this year.  Hundreds of hours were dedicated to organizing the Legislative Roundtable, our Annual Meeting and related Demo, social gatherings, and other events throughout the year – and it’s all done by us for us to promote the ITS industry in Pennsylvania.

These are exciting times for the future of not just ITS, but transportation.  I challenge all of us to continue to join together to make it happen regardless of your affiliation.  I look forward to working with all of you as I continue my role as Immediate Past President including working with the new incoming Board of Directors.

Thank you for a great year!

Sincerely,
Laurie Matkowski
ITSPA President
.

ITS PENNSYLVANIA
2016 ITS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD  

Every year, ITSPA provides an award for the person who has shown dedication to advancing our industry through technology and operations.  This year’s winner, and first female recipient, is Amber Reimnitz from the PA Turnpike Commission.  Over the past year, in Amber’s role as the Traffic Operations Project Manager at the PA Turnpike, she has been solely responsible for the oversight of the design and deployment of numerous ITS assets.  In her role as President and Immediate Past President of ITS PA, Amber oversaw the success of the ITS America Annual meeting, held in Pittsburgh, PA, which showcased the technology evolution of that region and the state. 

Over the past year, Amber has worked with ITS PA board of directors and members to demonstrate the importance of organization in Pennsylvania. This lead to two (2) consecutive ITS America State Chapter of the Year Awards. Amber has also dedicated time to the Governors School, in which she taught exceptional students, selected throughout the Commonwealth, the importance of the roles of PA Turnpike and other Transportation agencies in mobility, safety and commerce.  And during her free time, you can see her playing volleyball or running around the PTC buildings at lunch, along the river in Harrisburg, or in Philadelphia preparing for her next 10K, Half Marathon or Spartan Race.

ITS PENNSYLVANIA
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 

In September, Carmine Fiscina retired from the Pennsylvania Division Office of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) after over 53 years!  Carmine served as the Technology and Safety Engineer for PennDOT District 6-0 (the Philadelphia metropolitan area) and was involved in nearly every major roadway and transportation project in the District over the 38-plus years he was assigned to the area, including the completion of I-95, the Blue Route (I-476) and the Vine Street Expressway (I-676), as well as the complete reconstruction of the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76).

His public service dedication and relentless advocacy for ITS was recognized at his retirement with the ITSPA Career Achievement Award.  This is his second award from ITS PA, as Carmine also received the ITS PA Person of the Year Award in 2009.

We wish him a well-deserved retirement!

ITS PA LEGISLATIVE NEWS UPDATE   

Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement SB840 –  Did NOT pass
Passed Senate 48-0;  however it never made it out of the House Transportation Committee.  Likely to be re-introduced next year.
Toll Enforcement Reciprocity SB1096 – PASSED as Act 165
Passed 48-0 in Senate in September and was amended and passed by House Transpo.  The original SB1086 was amended to HB2025 (omnibus) and passed through Senate during the last week of October and signed by the Governor in early November. Link:
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2015&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2025&pn=4069AV Testing SB1268/HB2203 – Did NOT pass
Revised version of SB1268 was introduced but not moved in November.  Plan is to re-introduce next year.

ITS PA SPONSORS TRANSPORTATION CAMP PGH NOVEMBER EVENT  IN PITTSBURGH    

Pittsburgh held its first Transportation Camp on Saturday, November 19th, 2016. This “unconference” was attended by over 100 participants that were interested in shaping the explosive pace of change in technology, shared use mobility, the integration of transportation and the built environment, and a host of other transportation issues. The participants suggested, selected, led, and reported on the session topics that day.   The session topics and notes can be found here.

Other Transportation Camp activities included a transportation themed “Hack Night” Friday evening and a tour of Port Authority of Allegheny County’s West Mifflin transit maintenance facility on Sunday morning.

Transportation Camp PGH would like to thank sponsors like Uber, Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants, Gannett Fleming, Michael Baker Intl., Whitman Requardt & Associates, ITS PA, and zTrip for making the 2016 camp possible.

ITS PA AND WTS SPONSORED PITTSBURGH PIRATES GAME SOCIAL EVENT HELD IN SEPTEMBER 

Pictured above:  Pittsburgh Pirates game social event, September 2016
ITS PA and WTS Pittsburgh held a joint Pirate game social on September 9th.  Over 25 members of ITSPA and WTS Pittsburgh and their families enjoyed the game against the Reds.  The Pirates, unfortunately, came up short 4-3.  Oh well, better luck next year!

2016 ITS PA / MASITE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
EVENT IS A STATEWIDE SUCCESS

Pictured above:  Speakers at the Annual Conference, 2016
The ITSPA and MASITE annual conference event brought new and old faces within the ITS and transportation industry once again, this time at Toftrees Golf Resort & Conference Center in State College, PA on August 28-30.  The meeting featured many exciting and informative breakout sessions, a technical connected vehicles demo held by ITS PA and NOCoE, and many  other fun social events.  Thank you to all of those who volunteered their time and efforts, and to those who participated in this year’s conference!

HIGHLY CONNECTED:  REMINISCING THE ITS PA / NOCoE SPONSOR CONNECTED VEHICLES DEMO 
(EDITORIAL BY CHUCK YORKS)

Pictured above:  The NOCoE – ITSPA demo video, now available to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auuoUpjc2h0

It is sometimes said that true success is when a project has no specific heroes, and no one cares who takes the credit. In the case of the incident management technology-safety link demo at the MASITE/ITS PA conference, no one remembers who deserves the credit. Call that a win-win for all.

The genesis was a dream that traffic incident management’s connection to ITS planning, device engineering, placement, and utility was something that could be showy for all concerned. The combined annual meeting was a great opportunity, the Penn State test track facility a perfect venue.

And the players lined up quickly, and willingly. Volvo, whose commitment to technology and innovation is legendary at Penn State, was led by Skip Yeakel’s demonstration of in-vehicle connectivity that alerts and slows big rigs in advance of incident scenes. Southwest Transportation Institute provided the guts on early warning, and demonstrated how vehicles and drivers receive early warning of response vehicles, or incident scenes.

The key, though, was people. People stepped forward.

Shawn Kauffman of Centre Region Emergency Management, stepped up, along with Pleasant Gap Fire Company’s Lou and Tracie Young-Brungard,. John and Cathy Tennis of John Tennis Towing brought the wreck and the tow vehicle.

Laurie Matkowski, our ITS PA President, was an enthusiastic seatmate to PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards, and that, folks, is where the magic happened.

The Secretary joins our hope that we improve safety by taking care of each other, working and planning together, dreaming and scheming together, and in the end delivering safety solutions through implementation of new ITS thinking.

The National Operations Center of Excellence funded the video, and Adam Hopps of Toxcel and Chuck Yorks of Gannett Fleming the overall organization and operations enthusiasm.

The first video has been made public by the National Operations Center of Excellence, and can be viewed at the following location: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auuoUpjc2h0

Future products will be vignettes featuring some ITS and transportation safety leaders and members will be informed when they are available.

The NOCoE/ITSPA video demo was also published in the NOCoE newsletter; please visit http://www.transportationops.org/user/register for more information and to subscribe.

WTS / ITS PA JOINT BIKING SOCIAL EVENT
(EDITORIAL BY KATE MUNDIE AND LAURIE MATKOWSKI)

Pictured above:  WTS Joint Event with ITSPA Featuring INDEGO Bike Share

On June 10th, WTS and ITS Pennsylvania hosted an afternoon urban bike ride instead of a typical lunch meeting. Participants experienced Indego Bike Share and had a fun outdoor event with real-world experience of cycling infrastructure. The day was perfect for over 30 novice and experienced riders to pedal about four miles through Center City Philadelphia. Kate Mundie of Urban Engineers and Laurie Matkowski of DVRPC (and current ITSPA President) planned a route that would feel comfortable for new riders and feature some ITS infrastructure points of interest.  Urban’s Jon D’Alba, an experienced racing cyclist, helped shepherd our peloton through the city.

We met at the Indego bike station at 19th and Walnut Street, where Cara Ferrentino from Indego helped people check out bikes.  A few people chose to ride their own bikes.

Most ITS infrastructure is for cars and drivers. Our tour looked at ITS infrastructure through the lens of a bicyclist, and highlighted bike and pedestrian infrastructure as well.  We stopped at the bicycle and pedestrian counter on the Schuylkill Banks Trail where Laurie explained how the counter works and how people can get that data free from DVRPC through their website.  From there, we rode east on the Pine Street bike lane and experienced the “Green Wave” signal timing- a traffic calming measure. The final stop on our infrastructure tour was looking at CCTV cameras at 9th and South Street. This type of camera in the city could link to PennDOT’s Traffic Management Center, the Philadelphia Police Department, or the City of Philadelphia’s Traffic Operations Center. The ride ended at the Indego station at 6thand Race Street. From there, we all walked down the street to a happy hour and networking event at the Independence Beer Garden.

The goal of the ride was to have fun, introduce Indego bike share to more people, and see transportation technology from a different viewpoint. At the end of the ride, Cara invited people to get Indego memberships. Laurie shared that since our ride to plan the bike route a few months ago, she has been using Indego bike share several times a week to get around the city.

It was a great afternoon riding our bikes through Philadelphia, and any time we can get those in the transportation engineering industry to see infrastructure from a different perspective, it’s a good thing!

ITS PA ANNUAL STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED

Pictured above:  Scholarship winner Danielle Schroeder pictured with ITSPA’s Kevin Conahan

ITS PA has annually awarded a $2,500 scholarship to an individual that demonstrates exemplary aptitude in the areas of civil and/or electrical engineering in the transportation industry. All applicants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program and obtain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to be considered.  The 2016 ITS PA Scholarship was presented to Danielle Schroeder, in her senior year at Drexel University.

The scholarship Committee and the Board of Directors would like to congratulate Danielle on her accomplishments, and wish her continued success within the field of engineering in the future.

  GET TO KNOW THE BOARD! 

WHO: Larry Bankert

WHAT: Associate Vice President, Toll Services

WHERE: Michael Baker International

ROLE OF BOARD MEMBER:
Board of Directors

CONTACT:
larry.bankert@mbakerintl.com; 717-831-7328 (O)

HOMETOWN: Dillsburg, PA

EDUCATION/ACCREDITATION: B.S. Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University; Licensed P.E. in PA; and a PTOE

FAVORITE FOOD/DRINK: Spaghetti / Water (I know…boring)

FAVORITE MOVIE: Star Wars or Raiders of The Lost Ark

BEST DAY AT WORK: Most days – especially when I get to interact with great teammates and clients and write on a whiteboard or flipchart

WORST DAY AT WORK: Plowing through emails all day

WHEN I’M NOT WORKING: Enjoying time with my wife and 3 kids, running, singing along to music, and helping Success With Honor, a PA-based non-profit I’m involved with

IF HE HAD AN ITSPA MAGIC WAND, HE WOULD USE IT TO: Eliminate all fatal crashes in Pennsylvania (sounds a lot like highly automated vehicles)

Thanks Larry for sharing your profile!

Job Opportunities

Position:  Traffic Operations Project Manager

This position is responsible for performing tasks that are aimed at the efficient movement of traffic and goods throughout the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) highway system, such as work zone management, incident and emergency response, winter operations, and operational planning. For more information and to apply, please visit our application system.

Position:  Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Project Manager

Gannett Fleming has an immediate need for a talented and experienced Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Project Manager professional who can step in and lead major ITS design projects. You will have the opportunity to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment that is focused on client needs and project delivery. For more information and to apply, please visit our website.

Position:  Sales Representatives

Daktronics has two sales positions that sell, into the Transportation market, a full range of products for transportation applications include fixed Dynamic Message Signs, indoor/outdoor LED displays, Passenger Information displays and advertising displays. Two Sales Representative positions are currently available, located in Boston, MA, and Chicago, IL. For more information and to apply, please visit our website.

 

 

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April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016