Charles Cochran, a Project Manager on the Traffic [...]
Two years ago, we wrote about the annual Alabama Section Institute of Transportation Engineers (ALSITE) meeting that included an afternoon devoted to safety. Sain’s Vice President/Organization Development, Becky White, led this interactive and engaging session. This year’s meeting was held June 3-5, 2015 at The Beach Club in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and since safety has only continued to become more and more important, this was one of the overall themes for several sessions.
While Becky (also the current ALSITE Southern District Representative) attended this year, the session was led by officials from the Louisiana Division of the Federal Highway Administration. The session included lecture time and group exercises and was entitled, “Every Day Counts 3: Data-Driven Safety Analysis Workshop.” Data-driven safety analysis is an “innovation” of the Federal Highway Administration’s current Every Day Counts Initiative. The workshop discussed how to incorporate different types of safety analysis into highway investment decision making. A follow up presentation took place the next morning to review and summarize the discussion and group activities from the previous day’s workshop.
In addition to the professional development session focused on safety, the next two technical sessions continued the theme. We heard from other key members of our industry about teen driver safety advocacy, drowsy driving advisory applications and access management.
In addition to learning more about safety, the meeting provided opportunities to hear about new and innovative things happening in our industry here and around the world. One technical session covered traffic/transportation engineering practices in Europe, and another was about current challenges and opportunities from the Mississippi DOT traffic safety program. We also had a session about a new adaptive traffic signal system that is now operational in Gulf Shores.
The last conference session focused on complete streets, which are streets designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. We saw presentations about local complete street experiences from Fairhope, Mobile and Biloxi.
As the current President of ALSITE, it was great to see so many members of our organization come together at an event that was filled with informative speakers and engaging information. As a civil engineer, I learned so much and came home armed with new information to help me grow in my profession. I hope many other attendees felt the same way.