Issue 7 The Newsletter of The Intelligent Transportation Society of Texas
There is a lot going on in the arena of ITS nationally. At the ITS America Annual Meeting in Miami
Beach, Florida, there were eight separate sessions on the National ITS 10-Year Program
Plan and Research Agenda. The development of
the ITS Program Plan and Research Agenda is a joint effort of USDOT and ITS America. As initial deployment of ITS strategies have
already demonstrated their value, the ITS Program Plan has two major objectives:
state, motivate and explore the premise that investment in ITS research, development and
deployment is good policy for both public and private decision-makers. Such policy will result in substantial savings of
lives, time and money; in improved mobility and access to transportation systems; and
meaningful improvements in environment quality and energy usage. It will improve the overall quality of life and
enhance customer satisfaction.
outline the policy and research activities that need to be undertaken by public agencies
at multiple levels, by private industry, by research establishments and by the
transportation profession in order to meet the promise of ITS.
We will get additional insight into this important topic
at our own Annual Meeting in November. The
preliminary results of the development of this plan can be found on the ITS America web
ITS America is still accepting comments at this time.
In addition, the USDOT has partnered with a number of
associations to host a National Dialogue on Operations.
Traditionally, state DOTs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations have been
organized to manage construction projects. Now
that the Interstate System is complete and very few additional lane miles are being added
to the highway system, the transportation community must begin to focus much more effort
on effectively operating the infrastructure to get the most capacity out of what we have. This is a fundamental change for many
transportation agencies and one which requires a new mind set managing and
operating the existing transportation system so that its performance meets or exceeds
customer expectations. The USDOT held
five listening sessions across the country, one of which was held in Dallas in June. There are still several opportunities to
participate in the dialogue either through the National Summit on Operations in
Washington, DC in October or through the Electronic National Dialogue. You can reach the e-dialogue at . If you havent yet had a chance to
participate, please consider doing so. The
USDOT would like your input on identifying both barriers and opportunities to enhance the
way we manage and operation the Nations transportation system.
Hope to see all of you at the ITS Texas Annual Meeting
in College Station, November 14 16, 2001.
If you have any questions about ITS Texas, please feel free to contact me at TMSAMS@dot.state.tx.us.
ITS Texas President
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ITS Assists in Managing Traffic in Houston Flood
Now known as the Great Flood of 2001 in the Houston area, Tropical Storm Allison dropped an unprecedented record amount of rainfall on Houston causing homes and businesses near bayous, freeways and even the world renowned Texas Medical Center to flood. The ravages of Tropical Storm Allison and the impact it has had on this region has provided a new sense of awareness to the devastating potential of such a storm, but moreover how vitally important Houston TranStar is to the greater Houston region. Opened in April of 1996, Houston TranStar, the Transportation and Emergency Management center for the greater Houston region, is the only such center of its kind in the nation. Its is a unique partnership comprised of the City of Houston, Harris County, METRO and the State of Texas. Together these agencies combine their resources and expertise to provide a greater level of service to the citizens of the greater Houston region.
For the past 5 years it has functioned quietly in the background providing safe and efficient transportation and emergency management services 24 hours a day 7 days a week. However, during Tropical Storm Allison Houston TranStar played a major role in identifying heavy flooded areas, marshalling resources, communicating with citizens and assisting other local, state and national agencies address the devastation that was Tropical Storm Allison. During Tropical Storm Allison, Houston TranStar served as a one-stop shop for all agencies charged with addressing the demands of the region while ensuring that minimal loss of life and property is achieved. From the Emergency Operations Center housed at Houston TranStar, representatives from various government and private sector agencies served the greater Houston region with diligence, professionalism and an unwavering commitment to ensuring the greater Houston region was informed about and equipped for Tropical Storm Allison.
The mere fact that Houston TranStar was able to communicate with citizens, marshal local, state and national resources and minimize the impact on the region is a true testament to how effective this unique partnership is for the greater Houston region.
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Nominations of ITS Texas Annual Awards Program
All ITS Texas members are invited to submit nominations for the ITS Texas Annual Awards Program. The awards program will recognize any individual or group (e.g., a city, agency or company) for a project or other contribution in the fields of ITS policy, planning, design, deployment, research or education. The nomination should identify the ITS Texas member making the nomination (name, phone number, and e-mail address), identify the individual or group being nominated, and should describe the unique innovation, distinctive service or outstanding leadership making the nominee worthy of statewide recognition. Members are encouraged to keep nominations brief (200 words or less.) The Awards Committee will evaluate all nominations and select nominees to receive awards. Awards will be presented at the ITS Texas Annual Meeting. Please submit all nominations to Dave Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than Friday, October 19, 2001.
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Coming Soon! The ITS Texas Annual Meeting
Mark your calendars. The ITS Texas Annual Meeting is just around the corner. This year the Annual Meeting will be held November 14-16 in College Station, Texas. On Wednesday, November 14, Grant Zammit, a ITS Technology Specialist with Southern Resource Center of FHWA will be conducting a one-day workshop entitled "An Introduction to Applying TSIS 5.0." Technical tours of the TransLink Research Laboratory, the Driving Environment Simulator, and other research facilities will also be available. The meeting begins Thursday, November 15 at 8:00 a.m. in the George Bush Conference Center with the Products Show followed by the the Opening / Plenary Session which features Mr. Larry Yermack, Chair of ITS America, and Ms. Shelley Row with FHWA speaking on ITS in America: A National Perspective. Immediately thereafter is the Kickoff Luncheon at noon with the technical sessions resuming on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning and covering the following topics:
Innovations in Transit Priority
Developing TMCs in Texas
Tools for Evaluating ITS Benefits
ITS Applications Affecting Goods Movement
Use of ITS in Emergency Response and Special Event Planning
ITS in Neighboring States
Low-Cost Solutions that Work
511: Can it Happen in Texas?
TMCs: What Really Work
A reception is planned for Thursday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Rotunda of the George Bush Presidential Library. The meeting concludes on Friday, November 16 with the annual Business and Awards Luncheon.
Don't miss the chance to learn more about the ITS activities occurring in the state, renew old friendships, learn about new products, and have just plain old FUN!!!
All Registration will be on-line, so keep watching the ITS Texas Web Page for registration and other information.
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Is Gigabit Ethernet coming to a traffic signal near you?
A new high-speed communications
network, commonly referred to as Gigabit Ethernet or GigE is taking shape in College
Station, Texas. The network will be
capable of supporting more than 200 live-motion camera feeds at the same time. GigE is the next generation of the computer
network that runs in most office buildings today. Fully
standards compliant, and with a capacity a hundred times greater the most current
networks, the solution is scalable, easily managed, and highly cost effective. It is believed that this is the first roadside
implementation of Gigabit Ethernet for a traffic operations capability in Texas.
The key to reducing costs for this
solution is embracing standard communication technologies and migrating away from more
proprietary solutions. Although GigE is an
emerging solution for traffic applications, it has seen substantial implementation by
firms in other market sectors looking for high-bandwidth communications solutions.
Faced with a need for a scalable
communications system for a project need, the City of College Station and the Texas Transportation Institute examined
several solutions for a variety of factors, including ultimate capability, ease of
management, security, interoperability, cost, standards compliance, and the ability to
build out the system over time. Solutions
that were considered included, among others, Sonet,
FDDI, ATM, and various types of Ethernet. From
a traffic applications standpoint, Gigabit Ethernet was the leader in virtually every
decision category. The fact that an
ever-increasing number of traffic vendors are supporting Ethernet communications is
further testament to the long-term viability of this solution.
When the Phase I build out is complete
in December of this year, the network will connect multiple signalized intersections along
a several mile stretch of roadway in College Station, Texas. Multiple devices including video cameras and data
acquisition computers will use the network for their communications needs. The system is fully scalable to additional
roadways as funding becomes available in future phases of the project.
The impetus for this network is the College Station Integration Project, a three-year effort aimed at improving transportation system operations and management near an active rail corridor, the focus of the project is on integrating information on rail movements with emergency services providers. Application is also provided for improving the safety and coordination of traffic signal and pedestrian activities when a train event is in progress.
For more information about this Gigabit Ethernet system, contact Robert Brydia with the Texas Transportation Institute at (979) 845-8140 or email@example.com.
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ITS Texas is
sponsoring a training seminar on Fiber Optic Basics and Wireless
Communication such as CDPD. The course will be on September 28 from
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the TxDOT TransVISION training facility in Fort Worth,
TX. The cost for this course will be $25 for members and $35 for
non-members. The course provides a brief introduction to fiber
optics and wireless communication and is ideal for traffic engineers and
technicians with limited experience in fiber optics and wireless communications.
The topics to be covered in the course are as follows:
1. Basic fiber. Principles,
connectors, single and multi-mode
methods and connections
fiber, basics for handling in rooms, buildings, conduit, traffic equipment
equipment, common devices, costs, what an agency should own: OTDR’s, light
meters, fault finders, etc.
Budget for design.
Part 2. Basic fiber
modems and components for a working system
3. Application and Use
video around your WAN-city-state
communication format impacts traffic systems, i.e. proprietary JPEG, MPEG 1/2
traffic center to field device, one point to many points
traffic center to traffic center
options: install-operate-maintain or lease.
device connection, hybrid systems.
to CDPD and comparison to other wireless options
to transportation for device to center
communication: school flashers, DMS signs…
intensive communication: traffic signals
announcements will be issued by email soon.
For more information on the course, contact Russ Wiles with the City of
Fort Worth at WilesR@ci.fort-worth.tx.us
or at 817-871-7978.
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ITS America Call For Presentations and Papers
ITS Americas 12th Annual Meeting and Exposition is scheduled for April 29 May 2, 2002 and will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California
ITS America invites you to submit presentations or papers to be considered for publication and/or formal presentation. Recognizing that the pace of intelligent transportation systems technology development and deployment is accelerating, presentations as well as formal, in-depth papers will be accepted for consideration. Papers and presentations should discuss and explore recent, significant and quantifiable ITS initiatives, technological developments or deployments in one of the following topic areas:
Promoting ITS to Federal, State and local decision-makers
Expanding public awareness
Accelerating ITS deployment through innovative funding and policy approaches
Expanding ITS market opportunities domestically and internationally
Building consumer acceptance
Promoting ITS integration and interoperability
Developing new service delivery and procurement models
Identifying new areas of ITS research
Quantifying the ITS market
Education and Training
Identifying new/innovative delivery of ITS education and training
Operations, Infrastructure and Public Safety
Suggested Subject Areas include:
Architecture, Standards and Interoperability
Commercial Vehicle Applications/Intermodal Freight
Intelligent Vehicles and Human Factors
Enabling Technologies (e.g., telecommunications)
Policy, Legal, Societal and Institutional Issues
Submission Deadline is August 24, 2001. Submit 1) six paper copies of your paper, and 2) an electronic version on diskette. If accepted, a final version will be due on January 25, 2002. Format: Papers should be double-spaced, single-sided, left-justified in 12-point Times New Roman font. While there is no page minimum, please write succinctly.
For questions, contact the ITS America Meetings Department at 202-484-4847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CITE: Consortium for ITS Training and Education
CITE is a unique organization of universities, associations and private sector members focused on providing comprehensive ITS training and education. CITE has developed a number of interactive web-based courses geared to graduate students and current professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in ITS. Graduate level for-credit courses developed by CITE are offered through CITE member universities. Training courses for continuing education units are available directly through CITE.
CITE is offering all ITS America State Chapters and their members a 25% discount on all courses. This is a great benefit that State Chapters can offer their members. When registering for the course, chapter members just need to provide the name of their employer and the Chapter that their employer has joined.
Outlines and more information on all of CITEs courses can be found ator contact Kathy Frankle at 410-414-2925 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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Want to Submit an Article?
To submit an article for consideration to be included in the next ITS Texas Newsletter, please send your article to Kevin Balke at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (979)845-9899.
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