The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) Fall 2020 Meeting, held on November 6, 2020, focused on the introduction of EDC-6 Innovative Initiatives and summary of experience of EDC-5 initiative implementation. The topic anticipated the beginning of the Every Day Counts (EDC)-6 two-year program in January 2021. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.
After Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo offered his Welcome and Opening Remarks, Valeriya Remezova, Deputy Division Administrator for the FHWA NJ Office, and Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research, rounded out the Welcome and Opening Remarks and set the stage for the primary focus of the Fall Quarterly STIC meeting on the transition from EDC-5 to EDC-6.
FHWA EDC-5 Innovation Updates. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, gave a brief update on NJDOT’s progress on institutionalization of EDC-5 initiatives. She presented a dashboard that displays the current and planned stage of deployment over the 2-year cycle for each innovation initiative, and tracks projects and funding under the STIC Incentive Grants and the Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration Grant programs.
Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) Team Leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC-5 initiatives on topics of Safety, Mobility and Operations and Infrastructure Preservation.
Featured Presentation: Weather Savvy Instrumentation. Sal Cowan, Senior Director of Transportation Mobility at NJDOT, gave a presentation on the Weather Savvy Roads Pilot Project, a demonstration project funded through an Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Grant that involves equipment installation and development of a web interface that enables real-time monitoring of roadway conditions. This winter will provide an important test of the system’s capabilities.
Featured Presentation: Weather Savvy Instrumentation
EDC-6 Innovations: Priorities – Interactive Polling Exercise. Helene Roberts introduced each of the seven EDC-6 Innovative Initiatives with a brief description. Initiatives include strategies that focus on people, products and processes. A poll was conducted for each of the initiatives to gauge interest in the initiative among STIC members, and what kind of technical assistance would be most helpful in working toward institutionalization of each initiative. Helene noted that the responses will inform the NJDOT discussion around adoption of the EDC-6 initiatives.
EDC-5 & Other Initiatives – Challenges and Lessons Learned Break-Out Sessions. Meeting participants were divided into break-out sessions to explore their agency experience of the EDC-5 initiatives including the status of implementation and any challenges encountered. Participants were asked what kind of technical assistance would be most valuable as the agencies and organizations work toward institutionalization of these initiatives. Discussion also explored topics for Tech Talks! and success stories of innovation implementation throughout the State.
Reminders and Updates. Asst. Commissioner Mike Russo encouraged NJ STIC members to enroll in a mileage-based user fee (MBUF) study being sponsored by the Eastern Transportation Coalition (formerly the I-95 Corridor Coalition). The study is exploring an MBUF as a possible sustainable solution for transportation funding in New Jersey. The study needs participants; more information is available here.
Helene Roberts announced the FHWA EDC-6 Virtual Summit to be held on December 8th-10th. Registration is open to the public and the link to register is here. The Summit offers in-depth information on the new innovative initiatives, and an Innovation Showcase that will feature examples of STIC and non-STIC innovations from across the country in order to expand their use and impact.
The Fall Quarterly STIC meeting offered an opportunity for STIC members to share experiences of the EDC program and to contribute to the adoption of EDC-6 innovative initiatives in the next program round.