The Western States Rural Transportation Consortium (WSRTC), comprised of California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada, has been established to facilitate and enhance safe, seamless travel throughout the western United States. The Consortium seeks to promote innovative partnerships, technologies and educational opportunities to meet these objectives. Additionally, the Consortium seeks to provide a collaborative mechanism to leverage research activities in a coordinated manner to respond to rural transportation issues among western states related to technology, operations and safety. Consequently, activities of the Consortium are focused on technology transfer/education (Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum) and incubator projects (small scale research projects intended to serve as a “proof of concept” for larger subsequent efforts) centered on the Consortium pillars of technology, operations and safety.
WSRTC: Annual Meeting Held in Yreka - June 21, 2016
Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
The annual meeting of the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium (WSRTC) was held June 21, 2016, just prior to the start of the 11th Annual Western States Forum. The agenda and the meeting presentation, as well as the meeting’s minutes, can be found here or on the WSRTC Documents page.
Photo by Doug Galarus.
The meeting was called to order by Doug Galarus of WTI with a welcome and review of the agenda. Introductions were made around the group.
Leann Koon presented a brief overview of the 11th Annual Western States Forum. Nine technical presentations were given by speakers from the California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state departments of transportation as well as the Idaho National Laboratory. Forty-seven (47) participants represented six states, five state DOTs, several Caltrans districts and divisions, FHWA, City of Gresham (OR), three universities, and the Idaho National Laboratory. Check out the Forum’s project page and the Forum website’s 2016 Past Forum page for an overview of the event as well as technical content and photos.
Sean Campbell and Ron Vessey discussed the status of the WSRTC Pooled Fund, task orders, and renewal of the Pooled Fund after expiration. They reviewed the Consortium’s budget and status of the open task orders to date.
Leann Koon reviewed the objectives and status of the Data Quality for Aggregation and Dissemination of DOT Traveler Information task. A report has been drafted and sent to the WSRTC for review. The group discussed the need for the project indicating that data quality seems to be an endemic problem. The group also discussed the need for national engagement on the topic in order to address the challenge. You can read more about this incubator project and take a look at the report in the COATS project update from August 22nd, 2016.
Doug Galarus briefly mentioned prior incubator projects. The Chain-up Delay Tracking with Bluetooth project is not at the point of deployment, but is still a possibility in the future. The evaluation of the Fredonyer Summit Icy Curve Warning System was completed earlier this year. The final report and more information about this project can be found in the COATS project update from February 24th, 2016. The sixth phase of COATS ended on June 30th.
Doug Galarus reviewed the status and activities of a number of spin-off projects of interest to the WSRTC. These included Professional Capacity Building (PCB) for Communications, California Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems (COATS) Phase 7, Integration of Aviation AWOS with RWIS Phase 4, WeatherShare Integration with Caltrans QuickMap, and Automated Safety Warning Controller.
Leann Koon gave a quick review of the Consortium website, including the changes made since the last annual meeting. In addition to regular project updates, a page listing all published documents for each project was launched. Ranging from Fact Sheets to WSRTC meeting minutes, from final reports to Quick Start Guides, this page organizes WSRTC documents by project and release date, making it simple and easy to find resources related to the Consortium and the various projects. You can browse the Documents page on the Consortium website at http://www.westernstates.org/Documents/Default.html.
Two proposals for new incubator projects were submitted and discussed at the March 2016 WSRTC meeting. The project proposals and the notes and discussion from the Steering Committee’s review of the proposals are on the Consortium website’s Projects Page.
A revised proposal for Winter Travel Times from Mexico to Canada and Wendover to the Sea was reviewed and next steps determined. The group will report back on a teleconference this fall. The proposal for Automated Safety Warning Data Feeds and Virtual Changeable Message Signs was put on hold until resources needed for the winter travel times project are determined.
The Consortium aims to improve rural transportation by cultivating thought processes for thinking long term and accomplishing tasks in new and innovative ways. With that in mind, the group discussed alternative means for soliciting incubator project proposals.
The meeting concluded with the traditional roundtable discussion about Rural ITS and related projects each of the member states are working on. Due to a change in job responsibilities, this was John Carson’s (Caltrans District 1) last Consortium meeting. The group expressed thanks for participating in COATS and WSRTC activities for many years! John is in the center of the photo below.
Photo by Doug Galarus
Teleconferences will be held this fall and/or winter to discuss the incubator project and conduct WSRTC business. The next annual meeting will be held at the 2017 Western States Forum.
Check back later this fall for more information about the next incubator project.
Sean Campbell, P.E.
Chief, ITS Special Projects Branch
Caltrans, Division of Research, Innovation,
and System Information
1227 O Street, PO Box 942873
Sacramento, CA 94273-0001
(916) 657-4580 (fax)
sean_campbell "at" dot.ca.gov
Caltrans Rural Program Steering Committee Chairman:
Ian Turnbull, P.E.
Chief, Office of ITS Engineering and Support
Caltrans District 2
1657 Riverside Drive
Redding, CA 96001
(530) 225-3299 (fax)
ian_turnbull "at" dot.ca.gov
Doug Spencer, P.E.
Intelligent Transportation Systems
Oregon Department of Transportation
Eugene, OR 97402
Doug.L.SPENCER "at" odot.state.or.us
Washington State DOT Lead:
Ron Vessey, P.E.
ITS Field Operations Engineer
Washington State Department of Transportation
PO Box 47344
310 Maple Park Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98504-7344
(360) 705-6826 (fax)
vesseyr "at" wsdot.wa.gov
Rodney D. Schilling, P.E.
Assistant Chief Traffic Operations
Traffic Operations Division
Nevada Department of Transportation
1263 S. Stewart Street
Carson City, NV 89712
roschilling "at" dot.nv.gov
Systems Engineering, Development & Integration
Western Transportation Institute (WTI)
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 174250
Bozeman, MT 59717-4250
(406) 994-1697 (fax)
dgalarus "at" montana.edu
Nathaniel T. Price
ITS / Operations Engineer
Oregon Division and FHWA Resource Center
530 Center St NE, Suite 420
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 399-5838 (fax)
nathaniel.price "at" dot.gov