WTI Schedule for the 2023 TRB Annual Meeting

Many of WTI’s employees will attend the 2023 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting (January 8-12, Washington, D.C.) to participate in an international collaboration and ideas exchange. They will also share their own research and expertise in poster sessions, lectures, and council meetings.

“Expected to attract thousands of transportation professionals from around the world, the meeting program covers all transportation modes, with sessions and workshops addressing topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions. Workshops take place on the first and last day of the meeting.” (TRB Annual Meeting Homepage)

If you are attending TRB, we’d love to see you! Join us at any of the events listed on the schedule below.

Sunday, January 8th

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Laura Fay, presiding Low-Volume Roads Sustainable Pavement Design and Rehabilitation Methods (AKD30, AKP30) Workshop 1019 Convention Center, 202A

Monday, January 9th

8:00 AM – 9:45 AM Sajid Raza Statewide GNSS-RTN Systems: Survey of Practice Poster Session 2040, Board Number A203, Presentation Number TRBAM-23-00227 Convention Center, Hall A
8:00 AM – 9:45 AM Laura Fay, presiding Low-Volume Roads Conference Planning Meeting (AKD30) Marriott Marquis, Cherry Blossom (Mezz)
1:30 PM – 3:15 PM Patrick McMahon Blazing Trails in the 21st Century: Using E-Bikes to Map Trail Conditions in National Parks and Beyond Poster Session 3094, Board Number B712, Presentation Number P23-20670 Convention Center, Hall A
1:30 PM – 3:15 PM Charles Gould Laboratories on the Lakes: National Parks in Michigan: Drive, Walk, Ride, and Sail into a Multimodal Future Poster Session 3094, Board Number B713, Presentation Number P23-20672 Convention Center, Hall A
3:45 PM – 5:30 PM Laura Fay

Karalyn Clouser

Brooms, Blades, and Ice Breakers: Alternative Mechanical Snow Removal Innovations Lectern Session 2188, Presentation Number P23-20151 Convention Center, 102B
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Natalie Villwock-Witte

Karalyn Clouser

Laura Fay

Effectiveness of Highway Safety Public Education at Montana Motor Vehicle Division and Vehicle Registration Stations by Streaming a Variety of Safety Content Poster Session 2227, Board Number A110, Presentation Number TRBAM-23-01300 Convention Center, Hall A

Tuesday, January 10th

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM Jamie Sullivan, presiding Impact of Climate Change on Rural Areas Lectern Session 2057, Introduction & Concluding Remarks Convention Center, 115B
10:15 AM – 12:00 PM Patrick McMahon, presenting Towards a proactive climate adaptation model: Long-term access and resilience planning at North Cascades National Park Lectern Session 2057, Presentation #4 – 15 min Convention Center, 115B
10:15 AM – 12:00 PM Ahmed Al-Kaisy Identification of Potential Improvements to the Highway Capacity Manual Methodology for Rural Bicyclists and Bicyclist Classification Poster Session 3148, Board Number B626, Presentation Number TRBAM-23-02602 Convention Center, Hall A
1:30 PM – 3:15 PM Ahmed Al-Kaisy Capacity at All-Way Stop Control Intersections: A Case Study Poster Session 3147, Board Number B617, Presentation Number TRBAM-23-00822 Convention Center, Hall A
1:30 PM – 3:15 PM Sajid Raza

Ahmed Al-Kaisy

Influence Area at Signalized and Stop-Control Intersections: Operational Analysis Poster Session 3148, Board Number B627, Presentation Number TRBAM-23-01414 Convention Center, Hall A
1:30 PM – 5:30 PM Natalie Villwock-Witte, presiding Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands Committee (AEP20) Marriott Marquis, Liberty Salon K (M4)
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM David Kack, presiding/moderating Performance Assessment of Rural On-Demand Transit Service Lectern Session 3209 Convention Center, 147A

Wednesday, January 11th

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Laura Fay, presiding Low-Volume Roads Committee Meeting (AKD30) Marriott Marquis, Tulip (Mezz)
10:15 AM – 12:00 PM Jamie Sullivan, presiding Rural Issues Coordinating Council (A0040C) Marriott Marquis, Liberty Salon N (M4)

WTI Employees Take the Lead in Transportation as TRB Chairs

This January, three WTI researchers will have the honor and responsibility of presiding over committees they chair at the 2023 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting (January 8-12th) in Washington, D.C. TRB is one of seven programs housed in the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and facilitates research, the exchange of ideas, and guidance on all modes of transportation. As Chairs, Natalie Villwock-Witte, Laura Fay, and Jamie Sullivan will lead the Standing Committee on Transportation Needs in National Parks and Public Lands, the Standing Committee on Low-Volume Roads, and the Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council, respectively. The 2023 TRB theme will be Rejuvenation Out of Disruption: Envisioning a Transportation System for a Dynamic Future.

 

Jamie Sullivan, P.E., a Senior Research Engineer at WTI, has extensive experience in applied rural safety and operations research for Departments of Transportation and public lands management agencies. Her work focuses on advanced transportation technologies, including Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) design, implementation, and evaluation. Jamie is currently the Director of the National Center for Rural Road Safety (Safety Center) and Manager of the Public Lands Transportation Fellows program. She has employed her leadership skills as Chair of the TRB Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council, A0040C, since its inception in April 2020. It is “the hub of rural transportation issues, conversation, and research in the transportation community,” said Jamie, “and its mission is to promote rural transportation research needs and opportunities across all modes and disciplines within the entire TRB committee structure.” 

A0040C is one of four councils established to lead the TRB Technical Activities committees. “As a new council, I am excited for us to provide more support to committees and information on what we do and how we can work together,” noted Jamie, adding that the Council is currently organizing a group of rural-state representatives to help committees review and develop their rural research problem statements. A0040C will also host a session on the impacts of climate change on rural transportation at the upcoming Annual Meeting and publish a Rural Issue of TR News in Fall 2023.

 

 

Natalie Villwock-Witte, Ph.D., P.E., is an Assistant Research Professor/Research Engineer for WTI and has multi-disciplinary research experience. Her work has covered diverse topics from the development of transportation voucher programs to surveys of millennial’s transportation preferences. Natalie has also developed transportation safety solutions for the National Park Service and other federal agencies, which has prepared her to chair the Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands – AEP20. The Committee considers transportation of all forms on public lands, including national parks, federally managed lands such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holdings, and state parks.  

Natalie has a decade of experience with the Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands, where she started as a Young Member in 2012 before transitioning to Member in 2016. She took over as Chair in April of 2020 and has accepted the role for another three years. Under Natalie’s leadership, AEP20 was recognized with a TRB Blue Ribbon Award: Moving Research Ideas into Transportation Practice for utilizing new funding and re-engaging state representatives through the NCHRP program. 

Because public land stakeholders are so numerous and diverse, AEP20 has become a vital platform for ideas exchange and identification of research issues and directions between industry leaders in land management, tourism, university systems, consulting, and beyond. “I often find that listening to presentations provides me with a multitude of ideas for additional research avenues, some of which may tie into on-going research and some which may be entirely new,” noted Villwock-Witte, who expressed excitement for the new year. “The Committee recently completed a draft of our Triennial Strategic Plan, and we look forward to discussing its implementation. Our committee has also taken on the task of developing content for TR News and we’ve seen an incredible transition as our long-time members mentor and encourage participation by the next generation of transportation researchers.”

 

 

scenic portrait of laura fay with snow covered mountains and lake in backgroundLaura Fay, M.S. is a WTI Research Scientist who specializes in the intersection of transportation and cold climates. With over a decade of research experience, her work has explored a range of topics, including deicer impacts on pavements and Road Weather Information System (RWIS) development, and guided the implementation of new and innovative winter maintenance practices. Laura serves as the Program Manager for WTI’s Cold Climate Operations and Systems research group and chairs the TRB Standing Committee on Low-Volume Roads – AKD30. The committee focuses on new technology and practices that best support low-volume road users and owners, such as construction, operation, and maintenance techniques and administration strategies.

“The TRB Annual Meeting is an opportunity to meet face to face with committee members, colleagues, and friends to learn from others and share ideas,” said Laura, who has a long history with the Low-Volume Roads Committee. She served as a member for three consecutive years and was awarded the TRB Blue Ribbon Award for Implementation for her work as a key organizer of the 2019 Low Volume Roads Conference in Kalispell, MT. Laura was appointed Chair in 2021 but, due to Covid-19, was unable to attend the meeting in person last year. “That would have been my first annual meeting as committee chair,” she noted. “I feel like I missed out on the experience so I’m excited to be there in person and see all the hard work of the committee in action. I expect a lot of activity and excitement after the disruption of the last couple of years!”

PLT Fellow to Present NPS Transportation Research

Charlie Gould (B.A., History), a Public Lands Transportation Research Fellow (PLTF), will give his final presentation on innovative and emerging mobility technologies in National Parks on December 13th at 11:00 A.M. EST. The PLTF program assigns recent college graduates to a Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) unit or field office with a known transportation issue. The fellow works with staff to research and implement solutions while gaining career and public service experience. Participants may have the option to transition to a permanent position within their unit at the end of their fellowship.

As a PLTF, Charlie partnered with staff at Yellowstone National Park, Wright Brothers National Monument, and Acadia National Park to conduct autonomous vehicle research, pilot shuttle demonstrations, and investigate emerging technology solutions. His B.A. in History provided him with valuable experience in writing, research, and cartography, which he used to inform his work.  Charlie will continue his research as an Advanced Fellow through September 2024.

To join Charlie’s live presentation, please visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8645481247449260629

To learn more about the PLTF program, please visit: https://westerntransportationinstitute.org/professional-development/public-lands-transportation-fellows/

 

UTCs – TCUs Exchange Ideas at Albuquerque Summit

The Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility (SURTCOM) hosted a University Transportation Center (UTC) -Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The October 21st event, sponsored by a CUTC New Initiatives grant, brought together representatives from UTCs and TCUs nationwide to discuss strategies for advancing partnerships that will help connect Native American students to transportation careers and higher education.  Arlando Teller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Tribal Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, opened with a welcome and overview of the UTC program as well as additional US DOT grant opportunities. Patrick Nemons, Director of the Office of Safety Programs with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, provided attendees with resources and strategies for obtaining federal grants, focusing on the important role minority-serving institutions play in advancing the nation’s transportation programs.

Representatives from UTCs provided attendees with an overview of their research themes and outreach and education efforts, highlighting any existing UTC-TCU partnerships.  The majority of the Summit was spent on roundtable discussions with TCU attendees exploring themes related to research, training, and workforce development needs, linkages between two-year and four-year institutions, and education and outreach efforts to attract diverse students to transportation careers. The workshop wrapped up with a discussion on strategies and guiding principles for establishing mutually beneficial TCU/UTC partnerships.

WTI Employees Recognized for Years of Service

Every October, Montana State University hosts the Milestones in Service Award banquet to recognize employees who reached five-year employment increments during the previous fiscal year. This year’s event included seven WTI employees celebrating significant work milestones. Of special note are David Kack, WTI’s Executive Director and Director of the Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility (SURTCOM), and Neil Hetherington, WTI’s Visual Communications Manager, for whom 2022 marks 20 years as MSU employees.  Thank you all for your years of hard work and expertise!

20 Years

Neil Hetherington, Visual Communications Manager (WTI)

David Kack, MS, Executive Director (WTI) & Director (SURTCOM)

15 Years

Laura Fay, MS, Senior Research Scientist (WTI) & Program Manager (Cold Climate Operations & Systems)

Rebecca Gleason, MS, PE, Research Engineer II (SURTCOM)

5 Years

Luca Allaria, IT Support Specialist (WTI)

Shawna Page, Field Training Professional (Local Technical Assistance Program; LTAP)

Matthew Ulberg, PE, Director (LTAP)

SUMMER IS HERE – Time for Transportation Camp!

Students mix cement at transportation camp 2019

WTI is excited to announce two upcoming sessions of the Summer Transportation Camp at Montana State University – free weeklong camps for middle school students.

For: Middle School students (entering grades 6-9 in Fall 2021)

What: Two weeklong camps at the MSU Western Transportation Institute (9am – 3pm) to get everyone moving. Each day camp participants will explore a variety of science, engineering, and design topics related to promoting active, safe, and sustainable transportation systems.

Students prepare to use a microscope during a camp activity 2019

Activities will include:

– hands-on design challenges

– local trail explorations by bike

– field trips of discovery

When: June 21-25 and July 12-16, 2021

Cost: Free! There is no cost to camp participants thanks to a generous grant from the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

For more information and to register: http://wrtwc.org/center-initiatives/middle-school-summer-camp/

Go Gallatin Challenge Kicks Off on May 10

Logo for Go Gallatin Challenge from May 10 to May 21 with graphics of different transportation modes

Ready to move more in May?  Join the Go Gallatin Challenge, which kicks off on Monday, May 10! It’s a two-week competition among organizations across the Gallatin Valley and surrounding areas to replace drive-alone trips to and from work by biking, walking, riding the bus, teleworking, and carpooling.

Challenge participants that log at least 3 trips a week will be eligible to win prizes from one of our sponsors.  Working from home?  This year, getting outside on your wheels or feet for exercise will also count towards points.

For more information or to sign up for the challenge on the Go Gallatin Challenge event page. If you have questions, send an email to gallatincommute@montana.edu.

NEW NAME, NEW CHALLENGE: The Bozeman Commuter Project Has Rebranded

Join the GoGallatin MSU Commuter Challenge this week

2021 graphic logo for Gallatin Commuter Project

In October, WTI was awarded an Office of Outreach & Engagement Seed grant to begin a rebrand of the existing Bozeman Commuter Project. Four Montana State University students are working with WTI project lead Matt Madsen as a collaborative team to move the project forward (stay tuned to learn more about all the students!). The goal of the project was to create a more encompassing program, now rebranded as the Gallatin Commuter Project and GoGallatin. The existing BozemanCommute platform has become GoGallatin and provides all the same ride tracking, carpool options, transit schedules and other transportation demand management solutions.

2021 graphic logo for GO Gallatin

To kick off the rebrand, The Gallatin Commuter Project is sponsoring the GoGallatin MSU Campus Commuter Challenge. This year’s challenge is open to all students and staff at MSU and runs from April 5th – 11th. Join this campus-wide event (and invite your friends), then start commuting this week via biking, walking, taking the bus, carpooling, scootering, roller-blading, even pogo-sticking!

How Does it Work? By tracking your commute trips, you can be in the running for gift cards to local businesses. Once registered, track your commute as an individual or part of a team by joining or creating a team of your MSU colleagues, peers, and/or community members. If you need help, send us an email at gallatincommute@montana.edu To see how your team is stacking up against other teams in a friendly competition, you can keep an eye of the leaderboard!

Rewards and incentives: Every participant who logs 2 trips during the week will be entered into a drawing for gift cards to various local restaurants and businesses! You can win a gift card to one of these fine establishments:

  • Bangtail Bikes
  • Bridger Brewing
  • Columbo’s Pizza
  • Essy’s
  • International Coffee Traders

Registration Register on the Gallatin Commuter Project Platform at: https://bozemancommute.org/#/ to create an account, join a team, and log your commute trips! Faculty and Staff can register as part of the MSU Network; students can register as a part of the MSU Students Network. Want to join the WTI team? Follow this link to join: https://bozemancommute.org/s/western-transportation-wd.  More information is also available on the MSU Events page.

SAFETY CENTER WEBINAR: Roadkill Observation and Data System Project

ROADS project logo 2021 with image of deer crossing roadway

Two WTI Road Ecology Researchers will be the main presenters at a webinar on Tuesday, April 13, at 11 am Mountain Time.

The National Center for Rural Road Safety (Rural Safety Center) is hosting a FREE, 1.5-hour online webinar on “Road Observation and Data System Project: Streamlining Animal-Vehicle Collision Data Collection.” This webinar will feature an overview of a wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) data collection system called ROaDS (Roadkill Observation and Data System), a user-friendly tool to collect information on vehicular crashes with large-bodied wildlife for both motorist safety and conservation purposes.

WTI Road Ecologists Rob Ament and Matthew Bell will be the presenters for this webinar, which will be of interest to transportation practitioners, Federal land management agency (FLMA) transportation managers and planners, and wildlife conservation personnel. For more information, visit the event registration page.

TRB Annual Meeting Zooms Into Week Three

The NAS Transportation Research Board continued its revamped Annual Meeting last week, holding virtual technical committee meetings on a wide range of research topics. In this “snapshot” of what the forums look like this year, can you spot some familiar WTI faces at a Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands Committee event last week?

screenshot of 15 people attending a virtual committee meeting at the TRB Annual Meeting 2021

As a reminder, if you are attending the 2021 Annual Meeting, look for WTI researchers at the following events this week:

  • January 21 – Moving Research to Practice – Ahmed Al-Kaisy will present on research to create a new method for screening low-volume roads. (Workshop #1016)
  • January 22 – Rob Ament and Natalie Villwock-Witte will facilitate a workshop on National Standards for Wildlife Vehicle Data Collection (Workshop #1041)
  • January 22 – Ahmed Al-Kaisy will participate in a panel discussion on new safety developments on low-volume roads (Workshop #1044)