NOCoE Newsletter September 2015

Message From the Executive Director

By Dennis Motiani

Download PDF

Another exciting month comes to an end. One of the major highlights of this month was the "Leadership in TSM&O" video webinar. I always felt that something should be done to bring ideas and advice from transformational leaders such as Carlos Braceras and Malcolm Dougherty to people who are unable to attend out-of-state conferences or workshops.

This video webinar allowed us to make that happen; it's far more engaging to see speakers instead of just hearing them. NOCoE held this first video webinar on  September 29th.

Thanks to Don Hunt, Carlos Braceras and Malcolm Dougherty for making it a huge success. Approximately 120 participants heard what I felt were visionary comments and helpful technical information.

Feedback from the post-webinar survey included comments such as: “Very nice layout, with speakers to the side in clear video." "Much better than the usual WebEx or Lync webinars." “Excellent discussions." "Need to have more of them.”

NOCoE assisted AASHTO staff with the “The 21st Century—How State DOTs Are Utilizing New and Emerging Technologies" panel during the AASHTO annual meeting in Chicago this month.

It was truly a fantastic session with Michael Walton (University of Texas), Maurice Rached (Maser Consulting) and Ken Lund (PricewaterhouseCoopers) speaking on Unmanned Aerial Systems, Lidar Technology and Future workforce respectively. Don Hunt did an exceptional job of moderating the panel.

Under the leadership of NOCoE's Tony Kratofil (Michigan DOT), the Technical Advisory Committee met in person for the first time during the AASHTO annual meeting. A major part of the day was dedicated to the topic of work force development.

It was agreed in concept to (1) Have a summit around late spring in 2016, (2) Invite industry leaders including Human Resources experts (3) The topic of discussion at the summit would be workforce development, training/professional development, recruitment/hiring, advancement, (4) and lastly the discussion would be centered around today’s needs as well as future needs (10+ years). Tony would love to get your input and feedback on this issue. 

Also during the AASHTO annual meeting, former NOCoE Board Member John Barton was the recipient of the President's Special Award of Merit.
This prestigious award is bestowed upon an individual who has made outstanding and exemplary contributions to the work of the Association. Congratulations to John.

While speaking engagements allow me to share NOCoE news with others, it has also allows me to learn about new things that state DOTs are doing around the country. For example, my recent trip to Wisconsin. I met Brian DuPont of Wisconsin DOT, who shared with me the use of “ORANGE PAVEMENT MARKING” and “WORK ZONE SAFETY GATE”, which they have successfully utilized.  I will share more information about these items in the next newsletter. I also had an opportunity to visit Maryland DOT-SHA for a CMM workshop. Sharing partner agencies ideas and good work has always been focal to Center’s objectives. So, I thought about trying this new approach to share the outstanding work done by various agencies. While I was at the MDOT-SHA offices, I asked SHA officials questions and learned Maryland has been involved in interesting projects. I have attached portions of this discussion in a Q&A format which will give you an insight on the fantastic work that Maryland DOT has done in last few years.

One of the challenges I have noticed when hosting webinars is the time constraint. Prospective participants sign up for the webinar, however some of them are unable to participate on the day of the event as they have competing priorities. For this reason, we record our webinars and then post them for future viewing. The NOCoE is also trying a new approach; we recorded a webinar offline, (meaning without a time restraint or an audience) with the idea of offering information in a manner that would prove less disruptive to varying schedules. One such webinar, “IOWA DOT TCP Program,” is now available on the NOCoE homepage. We plan to do quite a few of these. The next pre-recorded webinar will be on “Innovative Intersection Design” and should be accessible at the end of October.

Saying Farewell and Thank You to Dennis Motiani
By Shailen Bhatt, NOCoE Board Chair, Executive Director Colorado Department of Transportation  

When Dennis Motiani, National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) Executive Director informed me of his decision to resign and move back to the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area, I and the NOCoE board accepted his news with great regret.

Throughout this past year, Dennis has provided the needed leadership in establishing many of the Center’s current services including workshops, webinars, a virtual peer exchange and several person-to-person peer exchanges. He was also "front and center" promoting the Center in his continued outreach and engagement efforts. Under Dennis’ leadership, the NOCoE site has seen a significant increase in site content and the registration of new users. He has set the Center on a course for success and the NOCoE Board thanks him for his generous efforts. Although he will be missed, we are excited for him and the great things we know he will accomplish in the future.

AASHTO, in collaboration with the Institute of Transportation Engineers and ITS America, will begin a search for a new leader for the Center, who will build on the past success and help us make the NOCoE the leading resource for transportation professionals, especially the transportation systems management and operations (TSM&O) community.

This Is Not Your Father's Highway
By Kirk Steudle
, Director, Michigan DOT
Since the invention of the motor car, there has been a long-standing partnership between technology and transportation. Today, that partnership is stronger than ever, and growing in ways that were unheard of just a generation ago. This is evident in the many ongoing efforts in the automated and connected vehicle space. This evolving technology will transform the way transportation agencies deliver services to meet the ever-changing needs of 21st century mobility. Michigan is at the forefront of this technology, building on this state’s position as the global center of automotive research and development. To read more, please click here.

Making the Traffic Signal System World Class
By Mark Norman, P.E., PTOE
Manager, Traffic Signal Operations, Utah DOT

Like many agencies, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has concluded that it cannot always build its way out of transportation problems. Innovation, creativity, risk, and increased transparency are necessary to meet a growing society’s transportation needs.

In 2011, UDOT senior leaders challenged the traffic signal program to become “World Class” because of the large return on investment it expected from improved signal operations. Performance measurement, which historically has been a labor intensive and cost prohibitive means of gathering data, was identified as a necessary component of a world class signal operation. To read more, please click here.

MDOT DUAP Project By Collin Castle, P.E., Connected Vehicle Technical Manager, Michigan DOT and Lee T. Mixon, P.E., President, Mixon Hill, Inc.
The connected vehicle (CV) initiative by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is designed to increase the safety, mobility, and the environment of the traveling public. Consequently, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has begun programs focused on collecting vehicle status and conditions data related to the roadways. Michigan is home to one of the largest CV programs in the United States - Safety Pilot Model Deployment. MDOT has begun investigating ways to utilize this data to manage agency performance, and transportation system operations. To read more, please click here.

UDOT Winter Road Weather Index
By Jeff Williams, Robert Clayton and Cody Opperman, UDOT

The Winter Road Weather Index was a 2015 winner of the Best of ITS, Best New Sustainable Practice. Williams, Clayton and Opperman offer insight on this winning program.The need for detailed information and expectations of road clearance is critical in making the most of resources during weather events. State DOTs must find new and innovative ways to collect, analyze and share data with partners and customers. The UDOT Weather Program is critical to the unique landscape of Utah. The Winter Road Weather Index (WRWI) was created to measure and set performance levels and monitor safety of roads. To read more, please click here.

USDOT Announces New Connected Vehicle Basics Website
Via USDOT Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

The USDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) is excited to announce the launch of a new site describing the basics of connected vehicles in plain English. This technology will wirelessly connect our vehicles to each other, our roads, and our personal mobile devices so that they can exchange information about their position, speed, brake status, and more and provide warnings and recommendations to drivers accordingly. The website is a great resource for the public to learn more about connected vehicles. To read more, please click on the links above.

Crash Prediction Method for Freeway Facilities with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Vehicle
The Florida Department of Transportation has released a report that develops methods for estimating the expected crash frequency of urban freeway segments with high-occupancy vehicle or high-occupancy toll lanes. Click here to view report PDF.

Register With NOCoE and Join the Discussion Forum!
We hope you will find the NOCoE ( to be a place where you can share information as well as receive it – we encourage you register and share in our discussion forum your latest work plan, specific challenge you are facing with operations practice or a new technology, and techniques you’ve used to empower your staff. This is YOUR transportation operations resource and we are interested in your feedback to continually improve our portfolio of services. Please feel free to contact the Center with your suggestions, either through the website or at