WSRTC Update - October 16th, 2015


UPDATE: Friday, October 16th, 2015

Several representatives of the Consortium member states and organizations attended the 2015 National Rural ITS Conference, August 9-12, at the Snowbird Ski Resort in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. In keeping with the venue’s mountainous locale, the goal of the conference was to "Elevate ITS by Traversing the Terrain to Rural ITS." Technical sessions covered a wide breadth of topics including traveler information, variable speed limits, road weather, operations, connected vehicles, asset management, and workforce development. The agenda included a tour of several innovative intersections deployed by Utah DOT and a look at UDOT’s Statewide Traffic Operations Center in Salt Lake City. Sean Campbell, Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information, and Ian Turnbull, District 2, represented California. Ron Vessey represented the Washington State DOT and Tom Moore represented the Nevada DOT. Doug Galarus and Leann Koon represented the Western Transportation Institute.

Monday afternoon’s agenda included two sessions with presentations about Consortium projects. Session B1 Using Partnerships to Improve Traveler Information provided some examples of how inter-agency and inter-state cooperation can improve delivery of traveler information. Doug Galarus presented Expansion of the Western States One Stop Shop for Rural Traveler Information. Sean Campbell provided additional insight and perspective as a roundtable panelist for the session. The One-Stop-Shop now covers 11 states and Doug and Sean shared the technologies used to expand the site, lessons learned, and plans for future expansion. Read more about this presentation in the OSS project update from October 16th, 2015.

Doug Galarus presenting "Expansion of the Western States One Stop Shop for Rural Traveler Information."

Photo by Doug Galarus

Session C1 Improvements to Traveler Information Systems & Data presented examples of increasing two-way dialog with the public within traveler information systems, integrating National Weather Service reports and data for predicting impacts, and incorporating observations from vehicle mounted data collection equipment. The session included a discussion on traveler information data quality and what several western states are doing to ensure accurate, timely, and reliable information is being presented to the public. Doug Galarus presented the results to date of the Consortium’s data quality incubator project in a presentation titled Data Quality for Aggregation and Dissemination of DOT Traveler Information: Best Practices. As a co-author on this presentation, Leann Koon was an additional roundtable panelist for the session. You can read about this presentation in the October 16th, 2015, COATS project update.

Doug Galarus discusses traveler information data quality. Leann Koon is seated to the right.

Photo by Doug Galarus

Sean Campbell was a moderator in Session R4 Asset Management – Tools to Manage Your Technology. He is pictured below leading the session:

As Session R4 moderator, Sean Campbell introduces the first speaker.

Photo by Doug Galarus

Leann Koon presented Agency Practices for Low-Visibility Detection and Communication in Session D1 Helping the Public Make Informed Travel Decisions. The presentation discussed various low-visibility warning systems around the United States and how the systems communicate warning messages to the public. David Veneziano and Leann conducted the project for Sonoma Technologies and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Leann Koon presents "Agency Practices for Low-Visibility Detection and Communication" in Session D1 "Helping the Public Make Informed Travel Decisions".

Photo by Doug Galarus

These presentations and others from the conference can be found in the proceedings at

In addition to the technical sessions and networking opportunities, the Consortium representatives held an informal meeting to discuss action items from the annual meeting and various topics of interest presented during NRITS.

Steering Committee members meet at NRITS. Left to right: Tom Moore, Nevada DOT; Ian Turnbull, Caltrans District 2; Sean Campbell, Caltrans DRISI; Ron Vessey, Washington State DOT.

Photo by Doug Galarus

Check back at the end of the year for information about the next Steering Committee meeting and upcoming WSRTC activities.