TECHNICAL COMMITTEE NEWS

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

William Reichmuth, P.E., Executive Director, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, California; Chair, APWA Transportation Committee
Carol Estes, P.E., Technical Services Program Manager, APWA Kansas City office

Transportation—how do we know when it works? When it flows, it works. Amazing how similar that is to water and sewage. When it doesn't flow, we are stuck in a traffic jam, involved in an accident, or waiting on a bus that never arrives. We demand that transportation be safe, convenient, 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 for public works professionals, 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, especially the National Transportation Operations Coalition (NTOC)
  • 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
  • Advancing educational opportunities for APWA members
  • Advocacy for resources for projects, operations, and maintenance

The APWA Transportation Committee. Front row: Andy Lemer, Jere Meredith, and Carol Estes. Back row: Rich Romer, John Schans, Tim Haynes, David Zelenok, and Marshall Elizer. Not pictured: William Reichmuth.

Last 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 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 has also prepared a policy on "Sustainable Communities" for the APWA Board's consideration. The subcommittee is chaired by David Zelenok.

Winter Maintenance, a longstanding subcommittee of Transportation, continues to set the standard. The North American Snow Conference, held in mid-April in Kansas City, featured educational sessions, technical tours, vendor displays, roundtables, and many opportunities for interaction with the public works professionals who work long shifts during snow season and face challenges of dwindling budgets, high equipment maintenance requirements, and a motoring public with even higher expectations. Yes, Winter Maintenance has "hot topics"—among them were anti-icing programs, from tried-and-true salt brine to programs in experimental testing as well as use of GIS/GPS systems. The Winter Maintenance Subcommittee is chaired by Bret Hodne.

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 2005 Congress in Minneapolis 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:

  • William Reichmuth, P.E., Executive Director, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, CA; Committee Chair
  • Marshall Elizer, P.E., Transportation Services Manager, Gresham, Smith, & Partners, Nashville, TN; Board Liaison
  • Tim Haynes, Engineering Assistant IV, City of Regina, SK
  • Andy Lemer, Ph.D., President, The Matrix Group, LLC, Baltimore, MD
  • Jere Meredith, Assistant Engineering Director, City of Kansas City, MO (retired)
  • Rich Romer, P.E., Principal, Orth-Rodgers Associates, Inc., Las Vegas, NV
  • David Zelenok, P.E., Mobilization Assistant to the Director of Plans and Programs, Headquarters, Air Force Space Command; Smart Growth Subcommittee Chair
  • Carol Estes, P.E., APWA Technical Services Program Manager, Kansas City, MO; Staff Liaison

Also involved in the activities of the Transportation Committee are Bret Hodne, Superintendent of Public Works, City of West Des Moines, IA, and Winter Maintenance Subcommittee Chair; and John Schans, FHWA liaison, Washington, D.C.

William Reichmuth, P.E., can be reached at (831) 775-0903 or reichmuth@tamcmonterey.org; Carol Estes, P.E., can be reached at (800) 848-APWA or cestes@apwa.net.