Trucks, transit, automobiles: If it has wheels, Transportation is the group

Carol Estes
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office

Transportation—when it works we barely notice; when it doesn't we are stuck in a traffic jam, involved in an accident, or waiting on a bus that never arrives. We demand that it be safe, efficient and affordable, no matter what mode we choose to use. It must be available to take us wherever we want to go, whenever we want to go there. It's a tall order, and the constant concern of the APWA Transportation Committee.

Charged with the mission "to provide APWA members with resources for exchanging and developing ideas, information, skills, knowledge, and technologies for the advancement of APWA's transportation objective and to develop and advocate environmentally sound, sustainable, cost-effective, and safe systems that enhance the livability and quality of life in our communities through active public involvement," the Transportation Committee is on the front lines of the constant battle to improve transportation. Some of the strategies the committee uses include:

  • Partnering with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) on transportation issues and projects
  • Monitoring federal transportation legislation
    Posting transportation issues and questions on the APWA website
  • Providing transportation-related educational sessions at Congress
  • Publishing transportation-related articles in the APWA Reporter
  • Creating subcommittees to provide information and guidance on current issues

This year, the Transportation Committee created a Smart Growth Subcommittee. The subcommittee is tasked with looking at growth and development issues as they relate to public works infrastructure and services. They will look at ways to involve the public works sector in early decision-making and planning activities and help to develop a forum for constructive conversation. The subcommittee is chaired by David Zelenok.

Winter Maintenance, a longstanding subcommittee of Transportation, has taken on added responsibilities with APWA's annual North American Snow Conference. Held in Lexington, Kentucky this past April, the subcommittee promoted and staffed a "hands-on" anti-icing demonstration. More than 250 attendees extended their stay in order to participate in the demonstration.

The Snow Conference was also the debut site of the Anti-icing/Road Weather Information System or AI/RWIS. The AI/RWIS Computer-Based Training is a self-paced, interactive, multimedia training experience that follows adult learning principles. Lessons are comprised of anti-icing and RWIS core content intermixed with review exercises, fun facts and links to definitions, a Knowledge Base and relevant Internet sites. Skills are tested in the Scenario Room, where students battle winter events in a simulated winter maintenance facility. Complete details are available in the APWA Publications and Resources Catalog.

Subscribers to the Transportation infoNOW Community have probably noticed the expanded content of the e-zine "Transportation Community News Update." The newsletter now highlights Smart Growth and transportation-related homeland security articles. Links to the Transportation Research Board News and FHWA announcements are also being posted to the community.

Want to know more about applying ADA requirements to public roads? Need new ideas for snow fighting in a sun-belt state? Want to know the latest on livable communities and traffic calming? Attend the 2004 Congress in Atlanta and take home the latest information and training on a variety of subjects. The Transportation Committee has provided sessions on many of the "hot topics" of today. Look over the session offerings on the APWA website and plan your complete transportation session itinerary.

The current members of the Transportation Committee are:

  • Rich Romer, P.E., Committee Chair, Principal, Orth-Rodgers Associates, Inc., Las Vegas, NV
  • Marshall Elizer, P.E., Board Liaison, Transportation Services Manager, Gresham, Smith, & Partners, Nashville, TN
  • Tim Haynes, Engineering Assistant IV, City of Regina, SK
  • Jere Meredith, Assistant Engineering Director, City of Kansas City, MO
  • William Reichmuth, Executive Director, Monterey County, CA
  • Kurt Weinrich, P.E., Director-DOT/FCD, Pima County, AZ
  • David Zelenok, Director of Public Works and Transportation, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Carol Estes, Staff Liaison, Technical Services Program Manager, APWA Kansas City, MO Office