Summary of 2019 Technical Meetings and Training
NCSITE provided opportunities to earn almost 40 professional development hour credits and 16 AICP Certification Maintenance credits in 2019 alone through presentations at Council Meetings, User Group Meetings, the Mid-Year Meeting, and the Annual Meeting on a wide variety of topics.
NCSITE’s six (6) active users groups – Simulation & Capacity Analysis, ITS, Safety, Signal Systems, NEPA, and Bicycle & Pedestrian –promote information sharing and technical training that focuses on specific areas of expertise. User groups typically meet one to four times per year in various locations throughout the state. Highlights for 2019 included:
- The SimCap User Group hosted several Lunch-n-Learn webinars this year with approximately 20-30 participants at each. One on “New Features of TransModeler” on Feb 20th, one on “MaaS Solutions: Transportation Planning for Future Mobility and Smart Cities offered by PTV Group” on March 17th, and one on Streetlight Data on June 19th.
- The ITS User Group focused its efforts on collaboration with the Signal Systems User Group and with ITS Carolinas, who is leading the region in ITS and connected vehicle technology.
- The Signal Systems User Group held a joint workshop with the ITS User Group in Greensboro, NC on July 31st. The meeting featured three presentations and a networking lunch over a half-day session, discussing a variety of signals and technology topics such as connected vehicles, coordinated adaptive ramp metering, and Greensboro’s Smart City initiative. The event received positive feedback and had 46 attendees, which is a great turn out for a local meeting not hosted in Raleigh.
- The NEPA User’s Group, led by Steve Brown (HDR) and Emily Love (Stantec), continued to hold regular bi-monthly meetings in 2019. Chris Werner, NCDOT Director of Technical Services, and the Environmental Policy Unit continue to provide updates at each meeting with a focus on NCDOT activities and updates. Additional topics throughout the year included regular updates on Project ATLAS, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), the NCDOT Public Involvement Manual Update, Express Designs & Project Scoping Reports, and NCDOT bicycle and pedestrian division overview. The group includes active participation and collaboration with NCDOT and FHWA, has grown to almost 200 members.
Held for the first time since 2014, the Technical Retreat was organized and led by the Young Member Council at Haw River State Park’s educational conference center on September 19-20. The two-day event featured presenters across a variety of technical transportation topics including multimodal efforts within NCDOT, alternative intersections, and transportation planning. In addition to the technical seminars, the event included a guided hike and concluded with a leadership panel featuring 2019 NCSITE President Eric Lamb and 2017 NCSITE President Mike Surasky.
The 2019 NCSITE Mid-Year Meeting was held in Wilmington, North Carolina, May 30-31, which had over 80 people in attendance. The TPC assisted in the development of the technical agenda for the Mid-Year meeting. Technical presentations included Alternative Intersections, Long Range Planning, On-Schedule and On-Budget, Looking to the Future, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Level-Boarding with Precision Docking, North Carolina Heavy-Truck Crash Patterns, Pedestrian Countermeasure Evaluations in North Carolina, A Hurricane of Traffic Engineering – Response & Recovery from Florence, Best Practices for LAPP Projects, and Web-Based Application of the Highway Capacity Method in Analyzing Louisiana Work Zones
The 2019 NCSITE Annual Meeting was held on November 21st at the NCSU McKimmon Center in Raleigh. The event was attended by over 400 people and included presentations on a variety of topics including Beyond CAP-X: Combinations of Alternative Intersections That Might Be Worth a Look, SPOT 6.0 Scoring, Integrated Project Delivery, Triad Regional ITS Strategic Deployment Plan, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Level-Boarding with Precision Docking, North Carolina Heavy-Truck Crash Patterns, and Pedestrian Countermeasure Evaluations in North Carolina. The keynote speaker was Randa Radwan from UNC HSRC. The presentation provided a review of the technical aspects of developing a small area study that evaluates the effects of three separate State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects in close proximity to another with overlapping purpose and need statements. The study utilized an integrated approach that included both traffic forecasting and traffic simulation in single document. The study included the development of a multi-hour validated base model developed from intersection counts and origin-destination data derived from passive data provided by StreetLight Data, Inc.
The NCSITE Councils and User Groups all contributed to hosting various sessions for the meeting, as did the combined student chapters. The student session once again included the annual Quiz Bowl competition. The lunch program included the swearing in of the 2019 board, a speech by incoming president Josh Hurst, the presentation of eight NCSITE awards, and the award of multiple NCSITE scholarships to many university students.