WSRTC Update - April 20th, 2020

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UPDATE: Monday, April 20th, 2020

Representatives from the WSRTC met recently in Corvallis, Oregon, during the biennial Northwest Transportation Conference. The meeting’s agenda and official minutes can be found here and on the WSRTC Documents page. Twelve individuals from the Consortium member states, WTI/MSU, Utah State University, and FHWA were in attendance.

The meeting was called to order by Sean Campbell (Caltrans DRISI) on March 10th, 2020. After introductions, Sean welcomed everyone and reviewed the purpose of the meeting and the planned agenda.

Leann Koon gave a quick update on plans for the 15th Annual Western States Forum, slated for June 16-18, 2020, in Yreka, California. A record 17 abstracts were submitted this year and eight were chosen to present. Speakers hail from seven different states and Washington, D.C. However, a week after the WSRTC meeting, the 2020 Forum was canceled due to national and global health concerns. We’ll have more information about the 2021 Forum later this year so please check back here and on the Forum website!

Sean Campbell updated the group on the status of the Pooled Fund and the associated task orders, along with the budget, state commitments, and related. The Statement of Work for Task Order 13 WSRTC Meeting Coordination, Website Maintenance, and Western States Forum Support has been submitted. This Task Order will cover meetings and travel support to the 2020 ITE Annual Meeting (NRITS) and the 2020 ITS World Congress, in addition to support for the Western States Forum. The second phase of the WSRTC Pooled Fund is set to expire at the end of 2020. The group agreed to seek a two-year time extension for this phase and expressed interest and support for a third phase to start in 2023.

Doug Galarus gave an update on the three current, multi-phase, WSRTC projects: Automated Safety Warning System Controller (end date 8/2020), One-Stop-Shop for Rural Traveler Information (end date 8/2020), and WeatherShare (end date 6/2021). All of the projects are moving along well. The Controller system is being ported to the Caltrans 2070LX ATC (with Linux operating system). Caltrans District 2 has been testing the system and the project team will release another update soon. The OSS project team has been investigating methods for maintaining the long-term viability of the system. They are finishing a unified version (desktop and mobile) that should be ready in the next month. The WeatherShare system is being moved to Caltrans IT. The project team has developed an installer and is working on documentation for the system.

Doug will be moving to Montana Tech in Butte starting in August of this year. Sean Campbell wished him well and recognized Doug for being a crucial part of the WSRTC and its projects. The entire group echoed those sentiments.

The traditional roundtable discussion of ITS projects that are being conducted across the WSRTC region closed out the meeting. Check out the meeting minutes to read more about these rural ITS activities.

As mentioned, the Consortium meeting was held during the Northwest Transportation Conference which is held every two years. Topics from this year’s conference included: Planning for Emerging Technologies, Connected/Autonomous Vehicle Preparation, Taming Big Transportation Data, Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Engineering Automation Tools, Environmental Uncertainty, Changing Demographics, Smart Mobility Projects, and the Urban Design Initiative.

The WSRTC will meet again this summer so check back later for an update!