ITE Journal - March 2020 - 4

| president's message
Signals Are Us
INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTION

International President
Ransford S. McCourt, P.E., PTOE (F)
Portland, OR, USA

International Vice President
Alyssa A. Reynolds Rodriguez, P.E., PTOE (F)
Assistant Director, Public Works,
City of Henderson, NV, USA

Immediate Past International President
Bruce Belmore, P.Eng., PTOE, VMA (F)

Director, Western Canada Transportation Planning, WSP,
Regina, SK, Canada

Directors
Gordon E. Meth, P.E., PTOE, PTP, RSP1 (F)

(Northeastern District) Transportation Engineering
Expert Witness, Robson Forensic, Cedar Knolls, NJ, USA

Jeff Riegner, P.E., AICP, PTOE (F)

(Mid-Colonial District), Vice President,
Whitman, Requardt & Associates, Wilmington, DE, USA

Scott Knebel, P.E. (M)

(Great Lakes District), Group Manager,
Crawford, Murphy, and Tilly, Columbus, OH, USA

Kristi M. Sebastian, P.E., PTOE (M)

(Midwestern District), Traffic Engineer,
Dakota County, Apple Valley, MN, USA

Kirsten Tynch, P.E., PTOE, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP (F)
(Southern District), Managing Director,
VHB, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Karen E. Aspelin, P.E., PTOE (F)

(Mountain District), Principal, MaxGreen
Transportation Engineers, LLC,
Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Cathy Leong, P.E. (F)

(Western District), Associate Director,
Wilson Okamoto Corporation, Honolulu, HI, USA

Carlos Ortiz, P.E., T.E., PTOE (M)

(Western District), COO, Advantec,
Consulting Engineers, Irvine, CA, USA

Jen Malzer, M.Sc., P.Eng. (F)

(Canadian District), Transportation Engineer,
City of Calgary, AB, Canada

Daniel Przychodzki (M)

(Global District) Team Leader, Transport,
City of Greater Dandenong, Victoria, Australia

Dale Picha, P.E., PTOE (M)

(Texas District), Traffic Operations Manager,
Texas Department of Transportation, San Antonio, TX, USA

Andrew Velasquez, P.E., PTOE (M)

(Florida Puerto Rico District) Program Manager - Planning
and Traffic Engineering, AECOM, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Ex-Officio Members
J. Andrew Swisher, P.E., PTOE

(Missouri Valley District) Project Manager,
HR Green, Inc., Des Moines, IA, USA

Jason Crawford, P.E. (F)

(Coordinating Council Chair)
Research Engineer/Division Head, Texas A&M
Transportation Institute, Arlington, TX, USA

Upon graduating from the University of California-Berkeley,
I had no idea the significant role traffic signals would play in
my career. While I received more than my share of Highway
Capacity Manual training from Dolf May, I didn't know jobs
revolved around traffic signals. Moreover, I wanted to pursue
transit-related planning and design and wanted little to do with
signals. I quickly learned that knowledge of signals provided
a gateway to transit projects. I had the great fortune to be
mentored by pioneers in transit priority (Hans Korve, P.E. (F),
RANSFORD S. MCCOURT,
Paul Olson, P.E. (F), Warren Tighe, Peter Coffey) and rapidly
P.E., PTOE (F)
found my fear of signals was unwarranted. I became curious
ITE International President
about how they could play an important role in safety, mobility,
and transportation solutions for communities.
Traffic signals are a highly visible and familiar aspect of people's daily lives that they may
not know much about. I coached youth sports for 10 years, and all the parents wanted to know
was how I was going to turn the signals green for them. When I would speak to high schoolers
about a career in transportation and asked about the height of a traffic signal, they would put
their hands a few feet apart. When enlightened that they were actually taller than many of
them (with backplates), they became incredulous.
Now when a person tells me they work on traffic signals, I ask, "What aspect? Planning,
analysis, design, systems, technology/equipment, construction, operations, maintenance,
timing, or priority?" I have benefitted from having experiences in all these areas and
discussions with passionate and knowledgeable people. There are many lions in our industry
who have advanced traffic signals. Mark Taylor, P.E., PTOE (M), Darcy Bullock, P.E.
(M), Eddie Curtis (M), Susan Langdon, P.E., PTOE (F), Pam O'Brien, P.E., PTOE
(M), John Thai, Wayne Kittelson, P.E. (M), Larry Head, Randy Johnson, P.E., PTOE,
ACTAR (M), John Fisher, P.E., PTOE (R), Ronnie Bell, P.E. (F), Michael Kyte, P.E.
(M)-the list goes on. I would encourage you at a future ITE meeting to seek out these people
to find out what they're curious about regarding signals. You'll be amazed at the developing
trends and how they likely relate to what you're doing.
From micro-simulation to advanced controllers to clearance times, ITE members are
constantly in pursuit of emerging practice using traffic signals to solve the mobility needs of
our communities. From big data to connected vehicle technology, how we plan, design, and
operate signals is changing. Our members are incorporating sustainability practices in design,
addressing climate change effects on pole designs, making communities more accessible,
improving community design with art on controller cabinets, and applying state-of-the-art
technology detection practices and data to improve safety. And I'm just getting started.
In this issue, we highlight the next step in a long journey to define yellow clearance
intervals. This change involves a diverse set of opinions and science. I know many of you
won't be as passionate about clearance time as others, but we're all passionate about reducing
fatalities. About one-quarter of all traffic deaths occur at intersections in the United States.
There's ground to improve, and people are looking to us. Traffic signals are us.

Abbas Mohaddes, P.E. (F)

(Industry Council Chair)
President and COO, Econolite, Anaheim, CA, USA

Institute of Transportation Engineers
1627 Eye Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006 USA
Telephone: +1 202-785-0060 | Fax: +1 202-785-0609

www.ite.org

4

Ma rch 2020

i te j o urnal

Ransford S. McCourt, P.E., PTOE (F)
ITE International President


http://www.ite.org

ITE Journal - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - March 2020

ITE Journal - March 2020 - 1
ITE Journal - March 2020 - 2
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ITE Journal - March 2020 - 4
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