The Benefits of Regional Collaboration: Workforce Development, Construction Management, and RTSMO

Source Organization

This webinar discusses the lessons learned, in promoting collaboration and coordination and ultimately the development of a process that links goals, context, objectives, strategies and tactics that is currently being incorporated into the guiding principles of traffic signal program management, signal operations and maintenance processes, system engineering and procurement and the importance of performance measurement to sustain resources. This webinar focuses on the ways that regional collaborative efforts have led not only to the intended purpose, but also provided opportunity for workforce development, construction management, and strengthened programmatic structures.


  • Natalie Smusz-Mengelkoch – Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.


  • Eddie Curtis (FHWA, Arterial Management Program)
  • Kenn Fink (Kimley-Horn) and Kate Shearin (GDOT)
  • Steve Levine (TRANSCOM)

The presentations include:
GDOT Regional Collaboration Leads to Workforce Development
The presence and structure of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Regional Traffic Operations Program (now known as SigOps) has led to a collaborative environment throughout the region which extends to State and local agencies, consultants, vendors, and contractors alike; working together in pursuit of a common vision of enhanced safety and mobility for the Atlanta metro area. The Atlanta Regional Traffic Operations Program (RTOP) was first established in 2010, primarily focused on the optimization of traffic along congested arterials. Over the years, the program and participants have evolved; built and strengthened relationships; and together, implemented innovative strategies which has led do a highly technical and advanced workforce both in the private and public sectors.
TRANSCOM Regional Collaboration Leads to a Coordinated Construction Management
Following a major construction conflict in the mid-1980s, the Port Authority established a Trans-Hudson Task Force to support initiatives that would sustain and enhance interstate transportation capacity and services. A major discovery of their effort was the need for greater construction coordination amongst agencies within the region. The Port Authority convened a meeting of regional transportation leaders to discuss the situation. The member agencies were pioneers in the adoption of TSMO and understood the need for an organization whose mission would be to improve the mobility and safety of the traveling public by supporting its member agencies through interagency communication and the enhanced utilization of their existing traffic and transportation management systems. The resulting solution was the creation of TRANSCOM (also known as Transportation Operations Coordinating Committee) which is a coalition of 16 member agencies that are represented by every major transportation agency in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region.
Regional Collaboration of Traffic Signals
The Federal Highway Administration office of Operations has encouraged and supported a regional approach for over a decade or more. The office of Operations has worked diligently with local agencies across the United States to promote coordination and collaboration. The FHWA Arterial Management Program observed the success of regional traffic signal programs between 2007 and 2010 after development of the Traffic Signal Report Card. After documenting case studies and promoting the concept of regional coordination the program turned its attention to leveraging these regional programs to promote the implementation of technologies such as adaptive control and automated traffic signal performance measures.

Target Audience
The intended audience for this webinar include: TSMO professionals, Traffic Operations Specialists, and Traffic Engineers throughout the industry; public, private, vendors, and contractors.

Learning Objectives

  • Learning objectives include:
  • Provide ideas and potential initiatives through various lessons learned.
  • Determine ways to leverage TSMO programmatic structures to support future opportunities.
  • Identify how your current TSMO efforts can be enhanced or expanded to create more efficient solutions.

Presenter Bios

Steve Levine: Steve Levine became the Executive Director of TRANSCOM in September of 2017. Founded in 1986, TRANSCOM has become a national model of how separate agencies can work together cooperatively to serve the travelling public. TRANSCOM (Transportation Operations Coordinating Committee) is a coalition of the 16 major highway, transit and public safety agencies in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region. It is uniquely organized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, headquartered in Jersey City, NJ. Prior to joining TRANSCOM, he had a diverse mix of public and private sector transportation experience. His prior experience in the private sector included serving as the E-ZPass® NY Program Manager at Conduent and senior consulting positions with Jacobs Engineering, Group, Kimley-Horn and Associates, and TransCore ITS. He also spent 13 years with the Texas Department of Transportation in the Houston District Office. He holds an M.P.A. from Baruch College, a Master’s in Civil Engineering from Penn State and Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from The Cooper Union. He is also a member of the ITS NY and ITS NJ Boards.

Natalie Smusz-Mengelkoch: Natalie Smusz-Mengelkoch brings over 20 years of diverse experience within Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) planning and engineering—having led projects within all implementation phases from programming, planning, and systems engineering to design, integration, and operations. Natalie's well-rounded experience includes working on a variety of project types from statewide TSMO plans to complex signal systems and CAV deployments. Her recent work has served clients including USDOT, State DOTs, MPOs, Counties, and local agencies. Natalie is currently serving on the executive management team supporting the recently awarded, Complete Trip – ITS4US Deployment Program project Safe Trips in a Connected Transportation Network. Natalie leverages innovative solutions, existing deployments, and collaboration to make a positive impact through the use of transportation technology to support safety, mobility, sustainability, and accessibility for all.

Kate Shearin: Kate Shearin is the Metro Atlanta Signal Operations Engineer in the Georgia Department of Transportation Office of Traffic Operations. She is currently over the Georgia Regional Traffic Operations Program (RTOP). In this role, she is establishing a statewide Traffic Signal Operations program covering the entirety of Georgia which is possible through the deployment of new traffic signal software and communication. Kate serves on the board of Georgia ITE as the Past President and holds a Bachelors and Masters in Civil Engineer from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and almost 2 year old son.

Kenn Fink: Kenn has worked for Kimley-Horn for over 27 years. He is the project manager for GDOT’s Regional Traffic Operations Program (RTOP). Kenn’s career has been primarily in the areas of traffic operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems. Kenn is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and Texas A&M.

Operations Area of Practice

  • Regional Traffic Signal Operations & Program Management
  • Traffic Signal Timing

Organizational Capability Element

  • Education, Training & Professional Activities

Event Type

  • Webinar

Content Type

  • Presentation

Publishing Organization

  • NOCoE

Document Downloads

Project Website

View webinar recording on YouTube.

Issue Date
February 18th, 2021
Downloads Back to Search Results