NJ STIC 2020 Spring Meeting

NJ STIC’s first virtual meeting on May 6, 2020

NJ STIC’s first virtual meeting on May 6, 2020

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) Spring 2020 Meeting focused on the EDC-5 Innovative Initiative Virtual Public Involvement. The topic was appropriate to the times as STIC members gathered for the group’s first virtual meeting in response to NJ Executive Order 107 in force during the COVID-19 pandemic. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the May 6, 2020 meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the meeting.

After his Welcome and Opening Remarks, Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo introduced NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti who emphasized the distinction between virtual meetings, public meetings, and public hearings. She noted that NJDOT’s work continues during the lockdown and the agency will be instrumental in helping the state get back on its feet once re-opening begins. Division Administrator for the FHWA NJ Office, Robert Clark, and Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research, rounded out the Welcome and Opening Remarks setting the stage for primary focus of the Spring Quarterly STIC meeting on the implementation of Virtual Public Involvement (VPI) in everyday activities of transportation agencies.

Jill Stark from FHWA reviewed online tools to increase public involvement

Jill Stark from FHWA reviewed online tools to increase public involvement (click for presentation)

The meeting continued with presentations from representatives of FHWA, New Jersey’s three Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Monmouth County, Princeton and industry discussing how they have adapted to the need for virtual public meetings and the benefits and challenges associated with the transition to the online formats.

VPI Tools and Techniques - Jill Stark and Lana Lau from FHWA presented several resources, such as mobile apps, crowdsourcing tools, project visualizations, and online mapping, to enhance public involvement and offered several examples of their use in other state transportation agencies. Ms. Stark noted that virtual public involvement will not replace in-person meetings but can supplement traditional engagement activities.

DVRPC used the chat feature during the board meeting to take public comment (click for presentation)

DVRPC used the chat feature during the board meeting to take public comment (click for presentation)

During their talk, the FHWA identified several resources, including webinars and fact sheets, available on Virtual Public Involvement. The agency is also creating videos that highlight innovative and virtual public engagement strategies in use in state and local transportation agencies. An article on the videos, including the fact that NJDOT and NJTPA activities were featured examples, was a subject of recent post on the NJDOT Technology Transfer website.

MPO representatives reported on the need for quick technological transitions to remote work, experiences with online platforms, and related lessons learned.

NJTPA’s online survey was available in translation and participants could leave comments (click for presentation)

NJTPA’s online survey was available in translation and participants could leave comments (click for presentation)

DVRPC: Virtual Meeting Best Practices - Barry Seymour and Alison Hastings from DVRPC discussed increased public participation at their recent board meeting and the request for remote access to meetings going forward. Noting that reaching underserved communities just got harder, they emphasized features of their chosen meeting platform that increase accessibility, such as phone and computer audio, an app for cell phones, and closed captioning and audio channels for live translation.

Virtual Public Involvement - Mary Ameen and Melissa Hayes from NJTPA offered tips for online discussions, advocating for gearing the message to the audience, keeping meetings brief, providing multiple feedback options, and making the meeting mobile-friendly. Their Virtual Public Engagement Best Practices guidance is available online. They also offered examples from municipalities using online tools to reach their communities.

SJTPO is looking for alternatives methods of reaching populations lacking internet access (click for presentation)

SJTPO is looking for alternatives methods of reaching populations lacking internet access (click for presentation)

Virtual Outreach During COVID-19 in the SJTPO Region - Jennifer Marandino and Alan Huff from SJTPO spoke about the agency’s dive into the issue of limited access to online public involvement opportunities in low-income and minority communities. They have discovered areas in their region that require focused in-person public involvement. The agency is delaying public involvement on major issues and exploring alternative means for reaching the region’s population.

Monmouth County used a project website to inform the public and gather feedback (click for presentation)

Monmouth County used a project website to inform the public and gather feedback (click for presentation)

Monmouth County Bridge Replacement Projects: Virtual Public Meetings – County Engineer Joseph Ettore and Consultant Martine Culbertson spoke about the limitations of virtual meetings and the impact on project development on two Bridge Replacement Projects in Monmouth County. The speakers discussed design of a project website, the challenges of virtual public meetings, how to proceed when a project faces some local opposition, and the need to keep projects on track to retain funding.

Princeton used various methods to track and display feedback from public involvement activities (click for presentation)

Princeton used various methods to track and display feedback from public involvement activities (click for presentation)

Virtual Public Involvement: A Municipal Perspective - Deanna Stockton, Engineer for Princeton, discussed the challenges related to bid openings, and holding council, zoning board and planning board meetings, and shared some useful resources. She noted the need to meet MLUL requirements and deadlines associated with zoning and planning board project reviews and discussed the creation of permanent digital files.

Industry Presentation: Virtual Consultation Platform - The final presentation, from Orla Pease and Andy Thomas of AECOM, offered a STIC industry partner perspective, and highlighted a new online virtual meeting platform. The meeting closed with a brief question and answer session.

The Spring Quarterly STIC meeting offered an abundance of useful information, tips, and lessons learned related to virtual public involvement tools and strategies.


 

 

A recording of the NJ STIC Spring 2020 Meeting can be found here and to the right.

The NJ STIC Spring Virtual Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety and in sections below.

Click for entire presentation (10MB).
Virtual Meeting Best Practices by DVRPC
Monmouth County Bridge Replacement Project Virtual Public Meeting
Q&A and Thank You
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Virtual Public Engagement by NJTPA
Virtual Public Involvement: A Municipal Perspective
Presentation by FHWA
Virtual Outreach During COVID-19 in the SJTPO Region
Industry Presentation, Virtual Consultation Platform

NJ STIC 2020 Winter Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) held its 2020 Winter Meeting on February 5th, 2020 in the NJDOT Multi-Purpose Room. The NJ STIC Agenda was distributed to the attendees along with handouts highlighting examples of past and ongoing NJ STIC innovative initiatives and how STIC incentive funding grants have been used.

After welcoming remarks from the NJDOT's Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo and Robert Clark, FHWA's Division Administrator, Helene Roberts from the FHWA NJ Division Office provided a brief update of the status of New Jersey's progress on Every Day Counts (EDC-5) innovative initiatives. Short presentations were given by the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams—Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, and Mobility & Operations—reporting on the activities planned and underway. More detail on the innovative initiatives can be accessed here.

"Virtual Public Involvement" was the featured innovation topic for the meeting.  Representatives of New Jersey's three MPOs—Alan Huff from South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, Melissa Hayes and Ted Ritter from North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, and Alison Hastings from Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission—highlighted examples of their agency's efforts, performance metrics, lessons learned and challenges using social media, polling, videos, surveys, and mapping tools among other strategies.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research and Ms. Roberts then conducted an interactive polling exercise that invited attendees to use their cell phones to collaborate with the NJ STIC leadership team. Participants were asked a series of questions exploring their interest and soliciting their input on possible topics for a future STIC meeting that would feature breakout sessions on the EDC-5 innovative initiative. The results from the interactive polling exercise and informal feedback given throughout its administration will assist the leadership team in planning a future event.

Ms. Gendek noted that "NJ STIC Examples in Excellence" will be featured at the NJ TransAction Conference 2020 to be held on April 28, 2020 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City at 4:00pm. And look for an article on NJDOT's UAS Demonstration for the TRB representative to be published in the Jan/Feb 2020 TR News.  Attendees were also informed of an upcoming Tech Talk! Event, "Micromobility in New Jersey and Beyond"  scheduled for February 20, 2020 in NJDOT's Multi-Purpose Room for which registration is open. The event will highlight research conducted by the NJ's Bicycle Pedestrian Resource Center and feature speakers intimately familiar with Hoboken and Asbury Park initiatives to bring bike share and e-scooters to their communities. 

She also announced that the Bureau of Research would like to create short videos on STIC innovative initiatives that local agencies have implemented in order to highlight these accomplishments and encourage adoption by others. Contact her if you would like to participate.

Finally, attendees viewed the new NJ Build a Better Mousetrap video featuring Gerald Oliveto in NJDOT Operations Support and Engineering with the 2019 winning innovation, the Bridge Fender Navigation Lighting Reflective Backup System. The video and a fuller description of the competition and innovation, can be found on the Build a Better Mousetap page.

The Spring Meeting is scheduled for May 6, 2020.

The NJ STIC Winter Meeting Presentations can be found in sections below.

Welcome; FHWA Update; Roundtable Recap
CIA Team Update: SAFETY
CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation
CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations
MPO Implementation of Virtual Public Involvement
Interactive Survey & Results
Roundtable, Reminders & Announcements, Wrap Up

NJ STIC 2019 Fall Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) held its 2019 Fall Meeting on November 19, 2019 in the NJDOT Multi-Purpose Room. The STIC Meeting Agenda was distributed to the attendees along with several handouts that provide examples of NJ STIC innovative initiatives and how STIC incentive funding grants have been used.

After his Welcome and Opening Remarks, Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo and Assistant Division Administrator for the FHWA NJ Office Valeriya Remezova informed attendees that the New Jersey STIC was one of three STICs nationwide to receive an AASHTO 2019 STIC Excellence Award. FHWA's Center for Accelerating Innovation and the AASHTO Innovation Initiative partner to promote innovations and recognize excellence within a STIC. The STIC Excellence Award recognized the NJ STIC for:

“…developing a culture of innovation with broad stakeholder participation, shared metrics, and an engaged leadership. The STIC established processes to identify and move new technologies into practice, including an online portal to solicit potential ideas. The STIC also created three teams—Infrastructure Preservation, Safety, and Mobility and Operations—to champion innovations. A new web page features information on the STIC's innovation initiatives and a searchable innovation database. New Jersey's STIC is advancing unmanned aerial systems for bridge inspection and traffic incident monitoring, including developing guidance and specifications. To improve motorist and responder safety, the STIC is promoting the use of crowdsourcing applications to notify the public where NJDOT Safety Service Patrol vehicles are working on roadsides."

Following a brief celebratory award presentation, the FHWA's Helene Roberts provided a recap of the topics discussed during the national STIC meeting held on October 24th, 2019.  The meeting was recorded and pre-meeting presentation slides from the national meeting are available through the FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation portal for National STIC meeting recordings.

Tom Harman, Director of the FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation, provided an engaging presentation, Towards a Culture of Innovation, inviting participants to consider seven key attributes of an innovator. His discussion of innovation explored key elements of why and how an innovation may be adopted, or diffused, within an organization or community.  He also highlighted some possible barriers, or challenges, that key opinion leaders and leadership may wittingly or unwittingly place that impede the adoption of innovation within a large-scale organization. He pointed to select state DOTs that are leading the way among STICs nationally in promoting a favorable culture for adopting innovations, noting how agencies and individuals can be differentiated in part by their tolerance for the risk of failure and the time it takes to adopt an innovation.

Mr. Harman’s talk touched upon various Federal program funding vehicles available within the Center for Accelerating Innovation, highlighted select innovations that are being widely adopted throughout the nation, and shed some light on the "innovations of interest" currently being considered for innovation funding in the next round (i.e., EDC-6), or through some other renamed or rebranded program vehicle. He encouraged attendees to share their ideas for possible future innovations.

Mr. Harman was also joined by Karyn Vandevoort, Program Manager Analyst from FHWA’s Pennsylvania Division who helped facilitate discussion among the NJ STIC participants during Mr. Harman's talk as well as offered some remarks on the proceedings of a recent conference on innovation held in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Roberts from the FHWA NJ Division Office also provided a brief update of the status of New Jersey's progress on Every Day Counts (EDC-5) Innovative Initiatives. Short presentations were given by the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams—Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, and Mobility & Operations—reporting on the activities planned and underway. More detail on the innovative initiatives can be accessed here.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research, described recent communications and technology transfer efforts to raise awareness of the NJ STIC and its mission, including several recent Lunchtime Tech Talks, webinars and a video product.  The recently completed video, Drone Technology at NJDOT, was also shown to the attendees.   The video highlights some of the accomplishments of the UAS Program and how the adoption of the technology delivers benefits that are changing how DOT performs various operations.

The meeting closed with a Roundtable discussion that highlighted how the NJ STIC is evolving and using its outreach and communications tools (e.g., website, videos, trainings and workshops, and Tech Talk events) to further disseminate innovative practices among its diverse set of stakeholders.

The schedule of STIC meetings for 2020 was presented.  The Winter Meeting is scheduled for February 5, 2020.

The NJ STIC Fall Meeting Presentations can be found in sections below.

Welcome; Award; FHWA Update; Roundtable Recap
CIA Team Update: SAFETY
CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation
CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations
Guest Speaker Tom Harman
Video: Drone Technology at NJDOT
Outreach & Coordination Efforts; Roundtable

NJ STIC 2019 Summer Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) held its 2019 Summer Meeting on August 8, 2019 in the NJDOT Multi-Purpose Room. The STIC Meeting Agenda was distributed to the attendees.

After Welcome and Opening Remarks, the NJDOT Bureau of Research informed attendees of the results of an online survey distributed in April and May 2019 that sought to identify innovative practices being undertaken by Local Public Agencies (i.e. Regional, County, Municipal). The survey had several goals: to inform the target survey audience of the Every Day Counts (EDC) initiatives; to identify innovative initiatives that deserve greater recognition (news articles, awards) and invite the sharing of lessons learned; to encourage greater deployment of innovations; and to identify presentation topics for upcoming STIC Quarterly Meetings. Indeed, some of the participating respondents identified EDC-5 initiatives that may offer lessons learned that are “ripe” for sharing through future STIC-related presentations, articles, workshops, or peer exchange type events. The survey also revealed some higher priority topics for Local Public Agencies (LPAs) for future presentations, workshops, and other forms of technical assistance. An initiative to further align the LPA's priority topics in subsequent rounds of EDC with future workshops and trainings through the Local Technical Assistance Program was also discussed.

Also of interest to Local Public Agencies, the Bureau of Research informed attendees of the newly established NJDOT Local Aid Resource Center, a new statewide effort designed to serve the needs of the 21 counties and 565 local governments throughout the state. The new Resource Center is available to assist communities with project planning, project delivery, communications, grant applications, guidance through the federal process, and much more.

The FHWA provided a brief update of the status of Every Day Counts (EDC-5) Innovative Initiatives, noting that progress reports were recently submitted for the initial six-month milestone period (January-June, 2019).

Short presentations were given by the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams—Safety, Mobility & Operations, and Infrastructure Preservation—reporting on the activities planned and underway. More detail on the innovative initiatives can be accessed HERE.   The Infrastructure Preservation CIA Team gave a featured presentation on "High Friction Surface Treatments (HFST) that highlighted the benefits, lessons learned and challenges of applying HFST on state roads.

NJ STIC representatives from Local Public Agencies in Princeton Township, Monmouth County and Jackson Township provided a local perspective on EDC-5 innovative initiatives that are being institutionalized. The presentations highlighted key efforts and lessons learned to integrate data-driven safety in project selection in Monmouth County and implement pavement preservation treatment techniques in Jackson Township.

The NJDOT Bureau of Research described some of its recent communications efforts to raise awareness of the NJ STIC. The NJDOT Technology Transfer website contains a section describing the status of Innovative Initiatives through several EDC rounds and an  NJ STIC Outreach and Coordination webpage with information disseminated at recent conferences. The meeting closed with a Roundtable discussion that highlighted how the NJ STIC is evolving and using its outreach and communications tools (e.g., website, videos, trainings and workshops, and Tech Talk events) to further disseminate innovative practices among its diverse set of stakeholders.

The next STIC meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2019.

The NJ STIC Summer Meeting Presentations can be found here or in sections below along with some videos of skid measurement and the application of HFST shown during the High Friction Surface Treatments feature presentation.

Welcome; Roundtable Recap; STIC Survey; FHWA Update

CIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Feature Presentation: High Friction Surface Treatment

Feature Local Presentation: EDC 5 Innovations

Outreach & Coordination Efforts; Roundtable

NJ STIC 2019 Spring Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council recently held its 2019 Spring Meeting.  After the welcome and introductions, the FHWA provided a brief update of the status of Every Day Counts (EDC-5) Innovative Initiatives, noting that progress reports are quickly approaching for the initial six-month milestone period (January-June, 2019).

Short presentations were given by the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams -- Safety, Mobility & Operations, and Infrastructure Preservation -- reporting on the activities planned and underway to meet commitments for the current EDC-5 round.  The Mobility & Operations CIA Team gave a featured presentation on "Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs)" that described current research in-progress that seeks to identify and develop metrics, guidelines, and deployment strategies for real-time monitoring of traffic signal performance based on existing infrastructure resources and the transportation agency's needs. 

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the Burlington County Engineering Office jointly delivered the featured Local Public Agency presentation on "Signal Timing in Burlington County". The presentation described a traffic signal timing optimization project funded through DVRPC that followed a six-step signal timing process.  The project used a rapid field assessment method that involved real-time coordination with traffic operations control to fine-tune signal timings to safely improve travel times.   Key findings, lessons and the benefits of the project as well as a before and after video demonstrating improved travel times were shared with those in attendance.

The Bureau of Research described recent outreach and coordination efforts being taken at the National STIC network level and by the New Jersey STIC to raise awareness of the EDC-5 Innovative Initiatives, model practices and available resources.  The NJDOT Technology Transfer website's NJ STIC Outreach and Coordination webpage has more information on these activities.   To foster knowledge-sharing, attendees were also encouraged to complete the "STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey" that was launched recently.  The survey is targeted to Local Public Agencies and seeks to identify examples of successful implementation of innovative practices, among other topics.  The meeting closed with a Roundtable discussion that highlighted the value that the NJ STIC can bring in convening and sharing innovative practices among its diverse set of stakeholders.

The next two upcoming STIC meetings are scheduled for August 8 and November 19, 2019.

The NJ STIC Spring Meeting Presentations can be found here or in sections below along with Burlington County's before and after video of their signal optimization.

 

Welcome; Roundtable Recap; FHWA Update

CIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Automated Signal Timing Performance Measures

Signal Timing in Burlington County

Outreach & Coordination Efforts; STIC Survey; Roundtable

NJ STIC 2018 Winter Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council recently held its Winter Meeting. The meeting began with FHWA and NJDOT providing a recap of the Every Day Counts Round 5 (EDC-5) Regional Summit.   FHWA's Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager provided a brief overview of the EDC-5 Initiatives.  New Jersey along with all other states assessed its current efforts and set goals for implementation of the EDC-5 Initiatives for the next two year period, ending in December 2020 with reference to five stages of innovation.

EDC-5 Innovation Initiatives and NJ’s Baseline and Goals, 2019-2020

EDC-5 Initiative Baseline: January 2019 Goal: December 2020 Comments
Advanced Geotechnical Exploration Methods Demonstration Institutionalized With proposed activities expect to move it forward to institutionalized
Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing to the Next Generation of Engineering (CHANGE) Demonstration Demonstration EDC-4 carryover
Reducing Rural Roadway Departures Development Demonstration New initiative under EDC-5
Project Bundling Institutionalized Institutionalized Part of NJDOT toolbox
Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) Assessment Institutionalized EDC-4 carryover
Use of Crowdsourcing to Advance Operations Institutionalized Institutionalized Part of NJDOT toolbox
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Assessment Institutionalized NJDOT has been a national leader with many advancements planned
Value Capture Not implementing Not implementing Not formally advanced by STIC
Virtual Public Involvement Not implementing Not implementing Not formally advanced by STIC. Agencies may be making use of this initiative.
Notes: Not Implementing: State is not currently using the innovation anywhere in the state; Development: State is collecting guidance and best practices and building support with stakeholders and partners and developing an implementation process; Demonstration: The State is piloting and testing the innovation; Assessment: The State is assessing the performance of and process for carrying out the innovation and making adjustments to prepare for full deployment; Institutionalized: The State has adopted the innovation as a standard process or practice and uses it regularly on projects.

Presentations from the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams -- Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, and Mobility and Operations -- highlighted what has already been accomplished (in prior rounds of EDC Rounds 1 through 4) and further described how NJDOT plans to accomplish the goals for EDC-5 Initiatives.

Participants were informed about the availability of innovative funding programs through FHWA's Center for  Accelerating Innovative Programs to advance EDC-5 Initiatives and what New Jersey projects have already been funded through STIC Incentive Funding and the Accelerated Innovation Deployment Grant Programs. The meeting concluded with a roundtable discussion of the topics covered.

NJDOT will host the national STIC meeting on April 11, 2019.
Forthcoming NJ STIC meetings are scheduled for: May 7, August 8, and November 19, 2019.

Presentation slides:

Introduction and FHWA Update

CIA Team Presentation: Safety

CIA Team Presentation: Mobility and Ops

CIA Team Presentation: Infrastructure Preservation

Basic STIC Overview

Roundtable Discussion, Reminders, and Thank Yous

NJ STIC 2018 Fall Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council recently held its 2018 Fall Meeting. The meeting began with an update from the FHWA about NJDOT's progress on Every Day Counts (EDC-4) Innovations. The meeting continued with presentations from the three Core Innovation Area (CIA) Teams devoted to Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, and Mobility and Operations. The Safety CIA Team discussed progress on implementing road diets and shared a video that described its features and its benefits that had been produced by NJDOT. A roundtable discussion closed the meeting which included discussion of the importance and potential strategies for getting the message out on the innovations underway at NJDOT and by its STIC partners.  

Presentation slides:

Introduction and FHWA Update

CIA Team Presentation: Safety (Road Diets)

CIA Team Presentation: Safety (Data Driven Safety Analysis)

CIA Team Presentation: Infrastructure Preservation

CIA Team Presentation: Mobility and Ops

STIC Communication and Outreach Efforts

NJ STIC 2018 Summer Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council recently held its 2018 Summer Meeting. The meeting began with updates about Everyday Counts. The meeting continued with presentations on select projects (see below), an overview of STIC communication/outreach, a new idea disposition report and a roundtable discussion.

A stakeholder report about Innovations of Interest for Everyday Counts 5 (EDC-5) was also discussed and circulated.

Presentation slides:

Introduction and FHWA Update

Pavement & Drainage Management

CIA Progress Updates: Ongoing Innovations

CIA Team: Infrastructure Preservation

CIA Team: Mobility & Ops

CIA Team Presentation: Safety

STIC Communication and Outreach

Roundtable Discussion, Reminders and Thank Yous

NJ STIC 2018 Spring Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council recently held its 2018 Spring Meeting. The meeting began with an overview of the implementation status of STIC projects. The meeting continued with presentations on select projects (see below) and concluded with an overview of STIC communication/outreach and a roundtable discussion.

The complete 2018 Spring Meeting slides can be downloaded here: NJ STIC 2018 Spring Meeting.

Presentations include:

Implementation Status

NJ Infrastructure Bank

STIC Incentive Funding

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (not yet available for download)

CIA Teams

STIC Communication, Outreach and Reminders