ITE Journal - April 2021 - 22

| inside the industry

Leveraging Technology to Enhance
Transportation Practices in Times of Crisis
By Amir Rizavi,
P.E., ENV SP (F),
Director of
Transportation
Systems, VHB

Adapting to change and continuing critical business
functions despite serious, disruptive incidents is a huge
opportunity to make a positive impact on the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry
and our communities. Having responsive yet flexible
continuity plans in place allows businesses-including
those who contribute to the built environment-to
remain resilient, innovative, and collaborative during
times of disruption, such as the recent global pandemic, economic shutdown, and political unrest. If the
COVID-19 pandemic has imparted any lessons, it's that
businesses and organizations can transform quickly to a
dynamic environment that withstands both culture and
workflow disruptions.
VHB is a 1,600-person company serving the eastern
seaboard of the United States by providing integrated

VHB's Intersect tool and Healthy Mobility Model keep projects moving.
22

Apri l 2021

i te j o urn al

consulting services to public- and private-sector
clients. The company's global risk committee frequently
examines business disruption scenarios, such as
cyber-attacks and natural disasters or global pandemics. The Business Continuance Program prepared VHB
to meet the challenges resulting from COVID-19 across
its footprint, even as various regions were impacted
differently, allowing focused time to develop solutions
and tools most helpful to teams and clients during the
pandemic and beyond.

Collaboration Across Teams
The Applied Technology and Transportation teams
at VHB frequently partner to develop data-driven,
technology-empowered tools to keep projects moving
forward, positioning the transportation industry to
restore service and passenger confidence.
" We serve a variety of markets by collaborating
with other VHB teams, data providers, and technology
companies, " explains Steve Anderson, GISP, director of
Applied Technologies. " Together, VHB's Transportation
and Applied Technology teams continue developing
and implementing new innovations to help clients keep
their mobility projects on track, even during COVID19, using data and analytics to make more informed
decisions and deliver smart solutions. "
Once stay-at-home orders were put into place in
March 2020, everyday life was disrupted, and traffic volumes fell dramatically-in some instances greater than
75 percent. With traffic data collection being a critical
piece of advancing transportation projects, development of Intersect gave VHB the ability to leverage probe
data at intersections to produce traffic volumes during
atypical (and typical) conditions. Intersect's flexibility
allows data to be produced more efficiently than the
traditional counting of vehicles and can be collected
anytime, anywhere virtually, minimizing field work,
and improving safety.
COVID-19 also highlighted the need to address
existing health concerns and equitable access to
community resources. VHB's Healthy Mobility Model
correlates land use, mobility, and urban design factors
to estimate community health levels in a designated
area to assist in planning and designing communities


https://www.vhb.com/technology-solutions/ https://www.vhb.com/transportation-planning-and-engineering/ https://www.vhb.com/globalassets/experience/services/applied-technologies/intersect-white-paper.pdf http://projectapps.vhb.com/orlando/VHB_HCRA/index.html

ITE Journal - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - April 2021

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