WSRTTIF Update - December 16th, 2016


UPDATE: Friday, December 16th, 2016

Save the Date! The WSF Steering Committee is excited to announce the 12th Annual Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum to be held June 20th, 21st, and 22nd, in scenic Yreka, California. We’ve just released the Call for Abstracts – we are seeking both presentations and live demonstrations about rural ITS topics and technologies. If you have implemented or improved a project because of participation in a past Forum, we highly encourage you to submit an abstract for presentation/demonstration at this year’s event. Check out the 2017 Call for Abstracts for more information about the Forum’s technical program.

Participants listen to a technical presentation at the 2016 Forum.

Photo by Doug Galarus.

The Western States Forum is unique. Presentations and demonstrations at the Forum are very technical, detailed reviews of how ITS projects work or don't work. Speakers are given an extended amount of time to really delve into the nuts and bolts of how a project works, whether it relates to equations, source code, component-level discussion, or lessons learned. Another unique aspect of the Forum is that questions and discussion are encouraged throughout the presentation, not just at the end. The agenda also includes extended breaks and multiple opportunities for participants to network with other ITS practitioners to discuss Rural ITS technologies and how these technologies are being utilized to improve operations and safety in their own district or state.

At the 2016 Forum, ODOT’s Blaine Van Dyke presented the solar powered portable data collection trailers that were developed to monitor traffic in work zones. Sean Campbell from Caltrans DRISI raises his hand to ask a question during a presentation at the 2016 Forum. Steve Pyburn, FHWA-California, stands to ask a question and discuss a point made by one of the speakers at the 2016 Forum. At the 2016 Forum, Joe Schmit presented WSDOT’s Highway Activities Tracking System (HATS) that was developed for use with maintenance division iPads.

Photos by Leann Koon and Doug Galarus.

A wide variety of topics related to ITS design and engineering in rural areas can be discussed, such as:

  • Design, engineering and installation of rural ITS field applications, such as warning and safety systems
  • Design, installation, calibration and evaluation of roadside traffic detection equipment (loop or non-intrusive)
  • Applications of microwave, radio, cellular, 802.11 WiFi and/or WiMax communications
  • Custom IT application development
  • Innovative applications of commercial IT applications
  • Lessons learned with application and development of standards and specifications (e.g., NTCIP, DOT specifications)

Previous Forum agendas have included topics in all of these areas, with speakers hailing from multiple state DOTs, universities, and other transportation related offices. Here are a few examples:

To get a feel for the depth and breadth of the technical content expected for the Western States Forum, visit the Forum website at

Participant David Arias (Caltrans District 6) checks out the functionality of a newer Caltrans LX controller cabinet, on display as part of Herasmo Iniguez's presentation in 2016. During a networking session at the 2016 Forum, speakers Jeff Worthington and Mike Beyer from Caltrans District 2 discuss and demonstrate topics from their presentation including a redesigned RWIS RPU, and in-pavement and out-of-pavement sensors and their associated software. Chris Strong (City of Gresham, OR) on the left and John Castro (Caltrans Headquarters Operations) on the right work together using WSDOT’s Highway Activities Tracking System (HATS) iPad application while Joe Schmit conducts his live demonstration of the system during the 2016 Forum.

Photos by Leann Koon and Doug Galarus.

If you are involved with a rural ITS project you think would be of interest to other technology practitioners, we would encourage you to consider submitting an abstract for presentation and/or demonstration at the 2017 Forum. For more information about the Forum and instructions on how to submit an abstract, please visit the Call for Abstracts page on the Forum website.

The deadline for submitting an abstract is Friday, January 20, 2017.