WSRTC Update - December 12th, 2018


UPDATE: Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

The annual meeting for the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium (WSRTC) was held just prior to the 13th annual Western States Forum (June 19, 2018). The agenda, meeting presentation, and the meeting minutes can be found here and on the WSRTC Documents page.

Sean Campbell called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM Pacific Time. Introductions were made by everyone at the meeting site in Yreka, California. Sean reviewed the purpose of the meeting and the planned agenda.

WSRTC committee members counter-clockwise from upper left: Don Anderson (Caltrans District 2), Jeremiah Pearce (Caltrans District 2), Tyler Laing (Utah DOT), Doug Spencer (Oregon DOT), Seth Daniels (Nevada DOT), Jim Whalen (Nevada DOT), Sean Campbell (Caltrans DRISI), and Leann Koon (WTI/MSU).

Sean Campbell welcomes WSRTC Steering Committee members at the start of the annual meeting.

Photo by Doug Galarus

The first item of business was welcoming a new member state into the Consortium. Welcome Utah! Tyler Laing from UDOT expressed how they were glad to be a part of the Consortium and were looking forward to leveraging the Forum and Consortium to help develop ITS in rural areas.

Leann Koon provided an overview of the 2018 Western States Forum. There were nine presentations on the agenda this year and weather/road weather management was a common theme. Speakers came from six different states with several new faces. Those at the meeting gave a synopsis of their upcoming presentation. Participants came from diverse backgrounds as well: eight states and Washington D.C., five state DOTs, the California Department of Water Resources, the Idaho National Laboratory, the Southwest Research Institute, IBM, three universities, and half of the Caltrans Districts as well as Caltrans Headquarters and DRISI. You can review the technical content and images from this year’s Forum on the Forum website’s 2018 Past Forum page. You can also read about the 2018 Forum on the WSRTTIF’s project pages in the update from January 15th, 2019.

Next, Sean Campbell explained the history of COATS and the WSRTC, noting that the COATS project had come full circle as early COATS meetings were held at this location (Best Western Miner’s Inn). The COATS Phase 7 project is set to end next year. This phase is the last in a partnership with roots going back to 1991. Future incubator projects and support for the Western States Forum will go through the WSRTC. Sean discussed the status of the Pooled Fund and the various Task Orders. He mentioned future discussions about a third phase of the WSRTC as well as state contributions to the pooled fund. The group agreed to revise the WSRTC Charter to include Utah as a Member State and Utah State University as a Member Research Institution.

There have been 11 WSRTC task orders, 10 of which have been completed to date. Task Order 11 is the current meeting coordination and travel support task. Starting September 1, 2018, Task Order 12 will be the Automated Safety Warning Controller System. The project team at Utah State University (USU), led by Doug Galarus, will be taking the system from the commercial off the shelf MOXA platform and running it on the 2070 LX. The team will also work to get Python running on the system.

Task Order 13, One-Stop-Shop (OSS) for Rural Traveler Information Phase 4, will also start soon led by Doug Galarus at Utah State University. The project team will update the system to accommodate changing feeds and Google APIs. Server space will also be addressed as the question of future maintenance of the system is discussed.

Incubator projects were briefly discussed. A handbook for the Western States Forum operations has been drafted and will be finalized soon. Given staffing levels and changes, the group consensus for the other projects was to complete as much as possible with the staff and resources available. Future incubator projects will be conducted through the WSRTC.

Other projects of interest to the group were discussed including Professional Capacity Building (PCB) for Communications and Integration of Aviation AWOS with RWIS. Don Anderson also mentioned Caltrans leadership training sessions as a source of potential project ideas.

The group gathered informally at the National Rural ITS Conference in Fort McDowell, Arizona, in October. Look for an update soon!

The meeting concluded with the traditional roundtable discussion of rural ITS projects that are being conducted across the WSRTC region. Take a look at the meeting minutes to see what the member states are working on.

To review the meeting minutes, click here, or go to the Consortium's Documents page. The presentation from the meeting is also on the Consortium's Documents page.