|THOMAS J. KANE CONSULTING
| I came across an article in the November/December
2012 Issue of ITS International Magazine that caused me
to reflect on my advocacy for implementing ITS
strategies in medium and small-sized metropolitan
planning organizations (MPO).
The article discusses USDOT ITS JPO Director Shelley
Law's retirement. I met Ms. Law in the 1990's, when she
was with FHWA. This metropolitan area was referred to
Ms. Law regarding our metropolitan area's interest in
applying for a FHWA ITS Early Deployment Study (EDS)
grant. Through our connection with Ms. Law, this
metropolitan area was the smallest MPO to receive a
FHWA ITS EDS grant.
The Iowa State University Center for Transportation
Research and Education's (CTRE) and the late Dr. Tom
Maze led the study. The resulting ITS EDS (right) set in
motion this metropolitan area's work with the Iowa DOT
to integrate ITS as part of its traffic management system.
Today, this metropolitan area has one of the most
sophisticated ITS operations for a metropolitan area of
its size in the country.
Noting that Ms. Law's last job with USDOT was as Director
of the ITS Joint Program Office (JPO), that caused me
even further reflection. I had the privilege to work with
the ITS JPO in the 2000s, being invited to be part of a
team (PAUSE) offering input to the ITS JPO on "lessons
learned". (Experience-National page of this website).
|Template Source: PSDgraphics.com
Investment in ITS
"What makes a good follower? The single most important characteristic may
well be a willingness to tell the truth. In a world of growing complexity,
leaders are increasingly dependent on their subordinates for good information,
whether the leaders want to hear it or not. Followers who tell the truth and
leaders who listen to it are an unbeatable combination."
University of Southern California Sociologist Warren Bennis
Give the quote at the top of this page, how do you
provide, have available, or obtain good data for your
decisionmaking process? I turned to professionals to
help our leaders 'look into the future' with econometric
data from a third party. Multiple firms do this work, but
the one I had the privilege to become involved with was
the Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) group.
Through their model and the support of the Iowa
Department of Transportation, we were able to convert
to REMI's data for our horizon, and intermediate
REMI now has a new tool, Metro-Pl, which allows
planners to disaggregate data to the sub-county level,
rather than having to manually breakdown data from the
county level to whatever subarea geography you are
using for your project. REMI's Metro-Pl product will work
with you to break their data into your pre-defined
geography. Being able to work with a third party such as
REMI provided us the opportunity to work with impartial
and unbiased data for our planning efforts. Money well
spent from my perspective. Now that the Metro-Pl
software is available, why wouldn't one consider using
such a tool to integrate your data that is part of a
national, regional, statewide, and county data layers.
I suggest checking out Metro-Pl and how it might improve
how you project for your area's future.
One always feels that the project they have finished
is the best it can be and the process to arrive that the
conclusions reached were derived through a very
Some of us believe that one can strive always to
improve on what already has been accomplished.
Might I recommend that you take some time, if you
have not done so already, and check out the
Transportation Research Board's Transportation for
Communities - Advancing Projects through
Partnerships (TCAPP) website. Use this tool to check
your process for project delivery. How did you do?
Are you already using a proactive process, as
suggested in the TCAPP tool. Did you pick up some
ideas on how you might tweak your process? New to
the process, did you pick up some pointers about how
to or where to begin? Take some time to visit the
website, I think it will be worth your while.
TCAPP - Why Not Stop By
and Check It Out
Econometric Data Fitted to Your