NJ STIC 3rd Quarter 2022 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened virtually for the 3rd Quarter Meeting on September 19, 2022. The NJ STIC Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the Microsoft Teams platform chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

Brandee Chapman, NJDOT Innovation Coordinator greeted the meeting participants, followed by Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that there are three months remaining in EDC-6 and the EDC-7 cycle will begin in January 2023. She does not have information about the initiatives that will be part of the next cycle, but they should be announced soon. The EDC-7 Summit will likely be held in early December as a virtual event, featuring some states that have used the initiatives successfully, and will be followed by a NJ Caucus, where the NJ STIC will discuss the opportunities and barriers of the new initiatives and consider what initiatives New Jersey should pursue. The final reports for EDC-6 will be completed in January 2023.

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support.

There was a brief break during which meeting participants could take part in a transportation trivia quiz through Mentimeter.

Featured Presentation – Safety CIA Team. The featured presentation was delivered by Daniel Lisanti, Manager, and Jeevanjot Singh, Section Chief for the Bureau of Safety, Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs (BSBPP).

Mr. Lisanti noted that the Bureau comprises three units: the Office of Safety Program Management, Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, and the Office of Complete Streets Implementation. The Bureau manages the federally-funded Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) for all roads in the State, manages the implementation of the 2020 New Jersey Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) for Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, and serves as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Complete Streets Implementation. The Bureau also manages technical projects that identify, inventory, review and analyze safety concerns along state and non-state roads, and suggest safety countermeasures, among other responsibilities.

Currently, the Bureau has 214 active HSIP projects in various stages of development. Mr. Lisanti gave an overview of the Bureau and the evolution of the programs over the past decade, explaining that HSIP funding increased and NJDOT shifted from funding low-cost, quick-fix maintenance projects to supporting larger scale capital improvement projects.

Mr. Lisanti reviewed the Bureau’s previous STIC-related accomplishments which include work on the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) initiative for EDC-4 and EDC-5 involving an action plan for pedestrian crossing countermeasures at uncontrolled locations, and systemic safety projects for midblock crosswalk safety improvements. For EDC-3, the Bureau used STIC funding to hold local safety peer exchanges to discuss Data Driven Safety Analysis and substantive safety and the systemic safety approach.  Related to the EDC-5 initiative Reducing Rural Roadway Departures, NJDOT held a three-day virtual training with FHWA and the FHWA Resource Center.

The Bureau has changed focus to consider why crashes happen, and to take steps to proactively address the risk of a crash. Projects include Horizontal Curve Safety Assessment which is nearing completion, Wrong Way Driving, and forthcoming safety assessments for School Zones and Intersections. Other areas of focus include Vegetation Safety Management and Midblock Crosswalk Improvements on NJDOT roadways.

Ms. Singh reviewed several improvements to the Safety Project Delivery Process to institutionalize safety in all of their projects. The Bureau is using condensed CD checklists in the limited scope process for the Horizontal Curve Sign Program and High Friction Surface Treatment to fast-track deployment. They have included Highway Safety Manual analysis and Complete Streets checklist activities to the Capital Project Delivery Process network diagram to ensure project managers are aware of requirements for HSIP projects. The Bureau is working with consultant selection teams for proposal reviews for HSIP projects to determine the best consultant team. The Bureau has developed a Post Deployment Evaluation process which incorporates three and half years of data. This process has been submitted to FHWA for approval. If approved, the process will be used for assessment of Center Line Rumble Strips, High Friction Surface Treatment, and Road Diets. Ms. Singh discussed the introduction of split funding and job order contracting for Safety Project Delivery using HSIP monies. The Bureau is diversifying their project portfolio and coordinating with NJDOT Maintenance on vegetation management, with Technology on wrong way driving warning systems, pedestrian detection systems, and Lead Pedestrian Intervals, and with Communications on Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and public outreach.

As previously noted, the Bureau is responsible for SHSP implementation. Ms. Singh noted a robust process that has engaged 200 stakeholders. She provided an update on progress on the original 35 priority actions and noted that 22 action items have been added for Year 2.

Finally, Ms. Singh made note of the Safety Resource Center (SRC), a one-stop centralized clearinghouse for transportation safety in NJ. The SRC disseminates information and connects multimodal transportation experts, public officials, academia, and the public to industry resources such as safety trainings, technical standards, guidance, plans, research, case studies, best practices, and technical assistance. In the future, the SRC will be responsible for the NJDOT SHSP plans and updates.

 Reminders and Updates. Ms. Chapman closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

The NJ STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey has been distributed via email. Responses will be shared at a future STIC meeting and innovative initiatives will be featured through the NJDOT Technology Transfer program. The survey will help identify examples of implemented EDC initiatives and other innovative practices in New Jersey, and consider the challenges of implementing innovative practices. Please share the survey with your networks – the target audience is members of local public agencies, MPOs and other transportation professionals. Responses are due by September 30th. The survey can be found here.

Ms. Chapman announced the 2022 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition Winner – The Sawcut Vertical Curb. The Sawcut Vertical Curb method involves cutting a typical 4-inch curb to 2-inches to comply with updated standards for guard rail. The existing guide rail can remain in place while cutting the curb and the construction crew can remove and upgrade the guide rail later. This new method saves time, money, and improves the safety of both work crews and road users.

Ms. Gendek and Ms. Chapman submitted the Sawcut Vertical Curb as the first nomination to the annual AASHTO Innovative Initiatives competition earlier this month, and a winner will be selected by the end of the calendar year. The competition is for proven advancements in transportation technology and AASHTO is using the competition to accelerate adoption of innovations by agencies nationwide.

FHWA featured NJ STIC in the September/October issue of the Innovator publication. Using excerpts from our presentation at the National STIC meeting, the article mentions the STIC Communications Plan, piloting of the Let’s Go! Workshop, and more. You can read the full article at the link here.

Ms. Chapman reported that she attended the 2022 State Innovation Forum in San Diego, CA. The purpose of the forum was to exchange ideas with DOT Innovation peers, helping to shape the future of transportation innovation. Attendees also included AASHTO, TRB, and FHWA who were looking to gain insight into new tools and learn about the needs of the group.

The 2022 NJDOT Safety Summit will be held as a virtual event on October 11, from 10am-12pm. Go to saferoadsforallnj.com for more information.

STIC Incentive Program funds are still available for 2022 and more funds will be available soon for the coming year. The FHWA offers these funds, as well as technical assistance, to support the costs of standardizing innovative practices in a state transportation agency or other public sector STIC stakeholder. NJ STIC receives $100,000 each year. Ms. Chapman asked that the STIC network members communicate these grant opportunities through their networks. Local public agencies are eligible to apply. Find more information, including examples of allowable activities and prior recipients, here.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research, and Mike Russo provided closing remarks.

A recording of the NJ STIC September 2022 meeting can be found here.

The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and or in sections below.

NJ STIC September 2022 Meeting Recording

Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

Feature Presentation: NJDOT Innovative Approach to Safety

Reminders, Announcements, and Thank You

NJ STIC 2nd Quarter 2022 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) held its second Quarterly Meeting of CY 2022 on June 15, 2022. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Attendees to the online meeting had opportunities to offer comments or ask questions, or use the chat feature.

Brandee Chapman, NJDOT's Innovation Coordinator, greeted the meeting participants and facilitated the meeting procedings. Michael Russo, NJDOT Assistant Commissioner, provided Welcome and Opening Remarks.

FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, FHWA's Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager, noted that there are six months left in EDC-6 and the EDC-7 cycle will be beginning in January 2023. She does not have information about the specific innovations that will be part of the next cycle. The EDC-7 Summit will probably be held in early December as a virtual event and will be followed by a NJ Caucus where the NJ STIC will discuss the opportunities and barriers of these new innovation initiatives and consider what initiatives New Jersey should pursue.

Ms. Roberts noted that New Jersey was a featured state at the National STIC meeting held on June 1st.   The NJ STIC presentation team highlighted several initiatives including the Let’s Go Workshop, the Communications Plan, and the UAS Program.  A recording of the National STIC meeting and the NJ presentation can be found here.

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support.

The Safety update provided a timely overview of a new federal program, Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A), authorized under the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill.  Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Local Governments are among the eligible recipients for planning and action implementation grants for safety improvements.  A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was recently issued, and the briefing presentation covered, among other topics, eligibility requirements, funding levels, grant types, cost share and match provisions, and key deadline dates for questions and submissions.

The Earn and Learn Program, an innovative partnership of the HCCC and IUOE, draws the upon a state labor grant, NJ PLACE 2.0.

Featured Presentation – Strategic Workforce Development.  The featured presentation(s) explored the potential roles of community college, union and state agencies in establishing workforce training and apprenticeship programs to meet the needs of 21st Century construction jobs in transportation.  The presentations were given by Lori Margolin, Associate Vice President, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Hudson County Community College (HCCC); Nick Toth, Director, Office of Apprenticeships, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL); and Greg Lalevee, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825.

Feature Presentation #1 - Continuing Education & Workforce Development, Hudson Community College. Ms. Margolin described the mission of the college and her office focusing on student success and diversity, equity and inclusion. She spoke about the Earn & Learn program, an innovative dual education program created with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825 that allows individuals to earn an Associates degree while gaining hands-on instruction and earning a paycheck in the Union’s apprenticeship program. For this initiative, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) developed a new concentration within the Technical Studies degree major tailored to the needs of IUOE Local 825. Participants are supported through funding from Local 825 and a NJ Department of Labor PLACE 2.0 grant. Ms. Margolin’s office works with employers who are having trouble finding eligible workers. HCCC builds training programs which include experiential learning and create career pathways for students, identifies a diverse pool of candidates, and develops short-term solutions while building a talent pipeline. HCCC is the administrative lead for the Construction Center for Workforce Innovation created this year as part of the NJ Pathways to Career Opportunities Program. The Center will focus on expanding career pathways in construction, creating new partnerships with K-12 schools and 4-year colleges and universities, and expanding the dual education program with new partners.

Virtual Reality (VR) is being used by the IUOE to prepare workforce for operating the equipment and technology of the 21st Century.

Feature Presentation #2 - NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Office of Apprenticeships.  Mr. Toth noted that the Murphy administration’s prioritization of apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs resulted in the creation of the Office of Apprenticeship in the NJ Department of Labor (NJDOL) in 2018. The Office partners with US Department of Labor, and is the one-stop shop for NJ employers, nonprofits, and educational institutions that are working with registered apprenticeships, a formal program that advances workforce development. NJDOL is seeking to expand apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship in high-growth fields. The Office of Apprenticeship seeks to be the connection between educational institutions, employers and advocacy organizations. Mr. Toth reviewed several of the specific programs offered including GAINS, NJ PLACE 2.0, and NJ BUILD. These programs ensure that employers get the talent they need and, with an emphasis on equity and inclusion, provide entry points for everyone. All grants have language that helps to remove economic barriers to training and upskilling through targeted investments. He discussed pre-apprenticeship programs that provide classroom training and curriculum, strategies for long-term success, access to support services, hands-on training, facilitated entry, and occupation-specific training.

Mr. Toth noted that a fairly new requirement of Public Works Contractor Registration is participation in a registered apprenticeship program. The program is one means by which the state of New Jersey can maximize benefits to NJ residents when spending state resources. The contractors that NJDOT is working with have to comply with this new law, and the Office of Apprenticeship can work with these contractors, and provide funding to help them comply with the law. The number of registered apprenticeship programs has increased by 77 percent since Gov. Murphy took office and NJDOL has doubled the number of women in registered apprenticeship programs.

The IUOE Training Facility offers "hands-on" opportunities for using milling and pavement equipment in the winter months.

Feature Presentation #3 - International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). Mr. Lalevee began by explaining that the IUOE is comprised of heavy equipment operators who build the critical infrastructure that NJ residents use every day. Mr. Lalevee noted that Local 825 assesses market needs in order to create a 21st Century workforce that can work on future transportation, energy, and clean water projects. Local 825 chose to establish a technical college that would upskill union members to gain competence with new technology including artificial intelligence, full robotic controls, GPS controls, among others. The Union sees value in partnering with the county Vo-Tech schools to provide a pipeline of future participants for its apprenticeship program. The Union recently hired an in-house academic to create curricula and build partnership, such as the Earn & Learn program developed with HCCC. Mr. Lalevee described their training facilities and equipment in South Brunswick. He noted that two significant barriers to entry to apprenticeships have been transportation and childcare. Part of the incentive for establishing a technical college was to take advantage of NJDOL programs to fund transportation for program participants. He noted that apprenticeships at IUOE Local 825 are in demand.

Mileage-Based User Fee Pilot Program. Zenobia Fields, NJDOT Director of Government and Community Relations, announced that Eastern Transportation Coalition and NJDOT are launching Phase 4 of the Mileage-Based User Fee Pilot Program. Current funding for transportation infrastructure comes from the gas tax. With a shift to electric and hybrid vehicles, a new funding approach is needed. With an MBUF program, drivers pay for the miles they travel. NJDOT is looking for 400 members of the general public to register for the pilot. Go to the website for more information and to sign up by July 31st to participate.

Reminders and Updates. Ms. Chapman closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

The NJ STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey has been distributed via email. Responses will be shared at a future STIC meeting and innovative initiatives will be featured through the NJDOT Technology Transfer program. Please share the survey with your networks – the target audience is members of local public agencies, MPOs and other transportation professionals. Responses are due by July 15th.  Use this link to the NJ STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey.

The Bureau of Research has prepared a NJ nomination for the 2022 STIC Excellence Award and named several initiatives including the creation of the new CIA Team, the Innovation Coordinator position, and the STIC Communications Plan, piloting of the Let’s Go Workshop, the EDC-6 Caucus, and the NJ highlight at the National STIC meeting, among other accomplishments. The nomination will be circulating soon for signature and endorsement.

Ms. Chapman noted that STIC Incentive Program funding is available. The program provides up to $100,000 per state. Applications are due by August 2022. Local Public Agencies are eligible to apply. The NJDOT Bureau of Research has developed a set of guidelines for project administration for selected projects.

Sal Cowan spoke in recognition of Sue Catlett who is retiring from NJDOT after 39 years of service.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research, and Mike Russo provided closing remarks.

 

A recording of the NJ STIC June 2022 meeting can be found here.

 

The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and or in sections below.

NJ STIC June 2022 Meeting Recording

Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

Feature Presentation: Strategic Workforce Development

Announcement: Mileage-Based User Fee Pilot Program

Reminders, Announcements, and Thank You

NJ STIC 1st Quarter 2022 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened online for the 1st Quarter Meeting on March 16, 2022. 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.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Andy Swords, Director, Division of Statewide Planning, who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

Ms. Gendek then introduced Brandee Chapman who has recently been hired as the NJDOT Innovation Coordinator. Ms. Gendek noted the importance of dedicated innovation staff and thanked NJDOT administration for supporting this position. Ms. Chapman will eventually become the NJ STIC Coordinator and NJDOT’s Innovation Subject Matter Expert and will support the Bureau of Research in becoming a hub of innovation.

FHWA EDC Innovations Update. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, reported on the status of progress on EDC initiatives. She thanked the CIA Team Leaders and SMEs for their progress report and efforts. She noted that there are only nine months left in the two-year EDC-6 cycle and observed that there may be more progress being made than has been reported.

Ms. Roberts and Ms. Gendek made a call for Every Day Counts Round 7 ideas with a focus on Safety, Equity, and Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.  The deadline for submitting suggestions for Round 7 innovations is April 11, 2022. Ms. Roberts explained that FHWA is looking for innovations that are "market-ready" — that is, they have been proven in deployment but are currently underutilized among the states.  Through an extensive vetting process, FHWA will pare down the list from the call for ideas to approximately 10 innovations. Ms. Gendek added that if you have an innovation that requires a little more research to be ready for implementation, please send the idea to her at NJDOT Bureau of Research.

Ms. Roberts and Ms. Gendek engaged the NJ STIC meeting attendees with an Interactive exercise. Click for results.

Ms. Roberts and Ms. Gendek reminded everyone that New Jersey will be a featured state at the next National STIC meeting on June 1, 2022 at 2.00 PM.  They asked those in attendance to pull out their cell phones and participate in an interactive exercise seeking suggestions on possible topics and innovative initiatives that NJ should highlight during the national meeting.

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of the prioritized EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support.

Featured Presentation #1 — Commercial Vehicle Alerts.  The first featured presentation described an initiative to proactively deploy New Jersey Commercial Vehicle Alerts to improve safety and traffic incident management. Sal Cowan, NJDOT Senior Director, Transportation Mobility, was joined by Amy Lopez, Director, Public Sector Services and Smart City Strategy for INRIX, and Marc Nichols, Director, Government & Industry Partnerships for Drivewyze. Mr. Cowan set the stage for their joint presentation by explaining that Drivewyze is the provider of North America’s largest weigh station by-pass system, Drivewyze Pre-Clear.  INRIX provides real-time traffic data and analytics and has been a long-standing data partner with NJDOT.

Mr. Cowan provided an overview of the project and discussed the web-based Drivewyze dashboard.

In laying out the rationale for the deployment of commercial vehicle alerts, Mr. Cowan noted that NJDOT, NJ Turnpike Authority, and South Jersey Turnpike Authority are working together to provide commercial drivers with slow-down and congestion alerts to help them react before they are caught in congested and/or hazardous conditions. He highlighted the roadways covered by the subject deployment and reminded attendees of the importance of having a safe and reliable goods movement sector to the state's economy and to satisfying our growing expectations as consumers.

Ms. Lopez described the INRIX system and its ability to deliver real-time data that detects and describes sudden slowdowns, closures, and queues by location for specific events. Drivewyze takes this data and communicates it to commercial truck drivers. The system works with severity thresholds and trigger warnings so only events that exceed these thresholds are reported. Commercial drivers receive the messages through the electronic logging device (ELD) in their cab. The reported information can be customized to include notification of specific weather events.

Mr. Cowan presented an example of the web-based dashboard that NJDOT can monitor when Drivewyze sends out a commercial vehicle traffic alert. The alert platform provides information on congestion and sudden slow-downs by road, time of day, and incident duration and indicates the number of alerts and vehicles alerted in NJ.

Mr. Cowan and Ms. Lopez also touched on the deployment timeline from planning to implementation, data interpretation challenges, and anticipated next-step applications for integration of the commercial vehicle alert data.

Mr. Nichols discussed how the Drivewyze alert system worked in practice.

Mr. Nichols then detailed how the alert system worked in practice, highlighting a specific use case, the Winter Storm Kenan in late January 2022.  He explained that Drivewyze set up a geofence and as drivers crossed that line, they were notified of road conditions so that drivers could find a location to stop and wait out the storm. Notably, NJDOT requested that emergency alerts be sent to commercial drivers along portions of the east coast. In coordination with the Eastern Transportation Coalition, Drivewyze sent alerts to 11 other states for northbound traffic and reached an estimated 4,800 drivers. This system was also used to inform drivers of open rest areas during the pandemic.  Mr. Nichols explained how the collaboration between NJDOT, INRIX and Drivewyze was able to effectively inform commercial truck drivers and change their behavior during a severe weather event.

Featured Presentation #2 — Trenton Moves: Autonomous Vehicle-Based Urban Transit System Project.  The next presentation was made by Andrew Tunnard, NJDOT Asst. Commissioner, Operations Systems and Support, who spoke about Trenton Moves — Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System. Mr. Tunnard described the fundamental importance in planning transportation systems and services of considering all kinds of people when thinking about mobility. He introduced the "Trenton Moves" project, which will seek to identify and address the transportation needs of the carless, and those who are unable to drive due to physical limitations. Trenton has approximately 90,000 residents, and over 70 percent have one or fewer cars.

Mr. Tunnard provided an overview of the Trenton Moves project, highlighting the project's aims and processes needed to bring it to fruition.

Mr. Tunnard explained that NJDOT is collaborating with the Governor’s Office, Princeton University (Prof. Alain Kornhauser and students), Mercer County, and the City of Trenton to deploy a safe, equitable, affordable, sustainable, on-demand transportation system. As envisioned, the system is expected to comprise 100 autonomous, electric shuttle vehicles and 50 kiosks. The initiative is in the concept phase and the hope is to have people riding the vehicles by early 2024. Steps in the implementation process include: creating a vision in the neighborhoods and communities and building support at the local level for the use of this technology; enticing tech companies to come work with NJDOT in a public-private partnership (PPP) to bring the technology to implementation; and up-front infrastructure funding. Although these vehicles will travel on existing infrastructure, improvements to road markings, curbs, intersections, and signage will be needed, in addition to construction of a maintenance garage and operations center and the 50 kiosks.

Mr. Tunnard touched on some of the potential operational design domain (ODD) phasing, service and pricing plan considerations that must be tackled to fully test and pilot the shuttle system.  Beyond the practical challenges, Mr. Tunnard invited those in attendance to envision how the transit system might deliver needed last-mile services from the Trenton train station to government offices, among other destinations, and improve mobility and accessibility in Trenton for its residents.

The City of Trenton received a local transportation planning grant of $5M from NJDOT to support the start-up and deployment of Trenton Moves.  Once the project is established, the intent is to expand the project to surrounding communities and eventually throughout New Jersey.

Reminders and Updates. Ms. Gendek closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

She noted that STIC Incentive Program funding is available. The program provides up to $100,000 per state. Applications are due by August 2022. The NJDOT Bureau of Research has developed a set of guidelines for project administration for selected projects.

She also reminded everyone that the entry deadline for the 2022 Build A Better Mousetrap Competition is May 1st.  She encouraged attendees to spread the word about the competition among their colleagues.   An NJLTAP Webinar, Innovating at the Local Public Works Level: Can You Build a Better Mousetrap? will be held on March 23, 2022 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm for those who would like more information.

A recording of the NJ STIC March 2022 Meeting can be found here.

The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the section below.

NJ STIC March 2022 Meeting Recording

Welcome Remarks

Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

Feature Presentation: New Jersey Commercial Vehicle Alerts

Feature Presentation: Trenton Moves: Autonomous Vehicle-Based Urban Transit System Project

Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You

NJ STIC 4th Quarter 2021 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened online for the 4th Quarter Meeting on December 15, 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.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, reported that the TOPS EDC-6 initiative team had been very active. New Jersey is a leader in Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions (TOPS) for asphalt solutions. The TOPS session at the County Engineers Fall Forum included the initiative team as well as other speakers who provided New Jersey-specific information to the municipal and county engineers. The TOPS working group met on October 7, 2021 and had input from Monmouth County and Princeton.

Ms. Roberts noted that the Let’s Go Workshop pilot was held at the end of September with the Digital Project Delivery and Strategic Workforce Development initiative teams. She announced that New Jersey will be a featured state at the next National STIC meeting with discussion of the new STIC Communications Plan, and possibly highlighting the use of interactive STIC meetings early in the pandemic, and other topics. She asked that attendees contact Ms. Gendek if they have other suggestions for topics that could be highlighted. She reminded CIA leads that the next progress report is due at the end of January.

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support

Featured Presentations.  Kevin Becica, PE, PP, CME, Camden County Engineer described work on Targeted Overlay Pavement Systems Projects Using BRIC and SMA. Ms. Becica provided Westfield Avenue Phases I and II as case examples for the use of Binder Rich Intermediate Course (BRIC) and Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA). The county road system comprises predominantly older concrete roads, with some asphalt overlay surfaces, and asphalt pavements in the southern section of the county. When the older concrete pavements fail at the longitudinal and transverse joints, the county is using overlay of BRIC and SMA to repair roads rather than use full concrete slab replacement which is expensive. The county uses NJDOT standard specifications for these materials. Some of the benefits of BRIC include a longer life than standard asphalt, a smoother surface, a surface that supports pavement markings so that they remain durable and visible, and a uniform look. Challenges to use of BRIC include higher costs due to the need to shut down regular asphalt production at a plant in order to produce this specialty material. Although utility companies are required to repave after digging up a road, they will replace the material with standard asphalt. Ms. Becica considers that the benefits outweigh the detriments and notes that local officials need to understand the arguments for using these materials. She is looking forward to the next project, possibly on Kings Highway. For more details on Camden County’s use of BRIC and SMA, see Ms. Becica’s presentation.

Sue Catlett, Project Manager in NJDOT’s Mobility Research Group provided an update on the Weather Savvy Roads project, an Accelerated Innovation Deployment Grant-funded project. The project has expanded to 24 equipped vehicles. She discussed the instrumentation process including set-up of the cameras and sensors and other equipment, and the web interface which includes the virtual video wall, the map, the camera view, and ambient air and road temperatures. NJDOT is comparing the value of mobile and fixed RWIS, and testing FirstNet signal strength compared with commercial cellular strength on state roads. The Weather Responsive Management System can also assist in traffic incident management by providing video of an incident scene that can help ensure that individuals in the field receive the appropriate support and get the road back open more quickly. NJDOT is continuing to work on improving the capacity of the video management system, acquiring additional instrumentation, and improving hardware maintenance and driver awareness and understanding of the system. This project won the ITS-NJ 2021 Outstanding Project Award.

Amanda Gendek introduced the 2021 Build A Better Mousetrap Competition Video. The video features the state and local agency winners for 2021 and describes the competition. As highlighted in the video, the next round of submissions of implemented ideas is due on May 1, 2022 for both state and local agency agencies. The Build a Better Mousetrap page on the Technology Transfer website features the competition video as well as the innovations recognized in past years of the competition.  Application for the next round can be found here.

Ms. Gendek also encouraged attendees to contact her if there are innovations at NJDOT or at local agencies that could be advanced through a video. The Bureau of Research’s Technology Transfer program has the contractor and a funding mechanism to produce case study videos highlighting noteworthy innovations.

Reminders and Updates.

Ms. Gendek closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

A recording of the NJ STIC December Meeting can be here.

Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the sections below.

NJ STIC December 2021 Meeting Recording

Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

Slide image reading: CIA Team Infrastructure Preservation, NJDOT Bob Signora, FHWA - Nunzio MerlaCIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

Feature Presentation: Use of BRIC by Camden County

Feature Presentation: Weather Savvy Roads Update

Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You

NJ STIC 3rd Quarter 2021 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) 3rd Quarter Meeting, held on September 15, 2021, featured presentations about the NJDOT Safety Voyager Tool and the NJ STIC Communications Plan,  among other topics. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants were invited to use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that the first six-month progress report for the EDC initiatives and STIC incentive grant update reports were submitted, indicating few changes in the stage of implementation except for E-Ticketing and Digital As Builts.  She shared a graphic of the EDC-6 deployment stage for each initiative illustrating the baseline assessment and goals for the two year period.

Ms. Roberts reported that NJDOT will pilot FHWA’s Let’s Go! Workshop which is designed to help in the formation of cohesive teams and plans to advance the EDC innovative initiatives. The workshops are scheduled for September 21st and 28th with a focus on the Strategic Workforce Development team, and the E-Construction team that will address Digital As-Builts and 3D Project Delivery.  FHWA resource specialists for these subject areas will be present to assist in instruction and coaching for the pilot workshop(s).

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support

Featured Presentations.  

Peter Brzostowski, NJDOT Bureau of Transportation Data & Support shared an instructive video presentation that demonstrated several major features of the Safety Voyager tool which was followed by a questions and answer session. Safety Voyager is based on the NJTR-1 traffic enforcement crash reports. The tool provides information on crash incidents at specific intersections and corridors. Mr. Brzostowski walked through several scenarios to explore the various queries that can be made, for example, by weather-related events, years, type of crashes, and location, among others, and the use of modules that explore topics such as sun glare, weather, and crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists. The tool includes an equity layer based on census data.

In response to a question, Mr. Brzostowski noted that employees of state government agencies, MPOs, and anyone working on a government project at any level can request access to Safety Voyager. Mike Russo added that the team had received input and feedback from various sources, and have been able to customize the tool to respond to primary customer needs. Expansion of the tool’s functionality continues.

David Aimen, Rutgers-Voorhees Transportation Center, presented on the NJ STIC Communications Plan, noting that the development of the Plan was funded in part by a STIC incentive grant and prepared on behalf of the NJDOT Bureau of Research – the administrative lead for the management of NJ STIC. The Plan seeks to improve the NJ STIC’s effectiveness through continuing communications and engagement with STIC stakeholders.  The Plan increases awareness of the FHWA Every Day Counts Program and NJ STIC by identifying a toolbox of communication tools, methods and strategies that will be used to document performance, capture and share information on innovative initiatives, and promote implementation of these initiatives throughout the State. The Plan is posted on the NJ STIC section of the Technology Transfer website here.

Following the presentation, Amanda Gendek and Helene Roberts conducted an interactive exercise with attendees to help identify innovative practices that could be featured at future NJ STIC meetings, in future communications and/or other technology transfer activities. The interactive polling exercise solicited suggestions from attendees on innovations that have been advanced by organizations and provide useful lessons learned for others, innovations that should be more widely shared with the STIC and others, and topics for innovative case study videos.  The exercise also solicited feedback on continuing training needs for specific EDC-6 initiatives.

Reminders and Updates.

Amanda Gendek closed the meeting with reminders about several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

A recording of the NJ STIC 3rd Quarterly Meeting of 2021 and the Safety Voyager video can be found on this page.

Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the sections below.

Screenshots from the interactive exercise in support of the Communications Plan can be found here.

NJ STIC 2021 3rd Quarter Meeting Recording

Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

Slide image reading: CIA Team Infrastructure Preservation, NJDOT Bob Signora, FHWA - Nunzio MerlaCIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

Slide image reading Operations Apprenticeship Program, Michele Shapiro, Direcor, NJDOT Human ResourcesFeature Presentation: Safety Voyager (link to video presentation)

Feature Presentation: NJ STIC Communications Plan

Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You

Image reading: New Jersey State Transportation Innovation Council, 2nd Quarterly Meeting, June 16, 2021, there is also a Url reading: www.njdottechtransfer.net/NJ-STIC

NJ STIC 2nd Quarter 2021 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) 2nd Quarter Meeting, held on June 16, 2021, featured presentations about on-going and proposed strategic workforce development initiatives, among other topics. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants were invited to use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks. Asst. Commissioner Russo noted that the NJDOT workforce will return to work at 50 percent capacity on June 21, 2021. Meetings will continue using virtual formats to accommodate other organizations that may not be returning to in-person work yet. NJDOT has found that virtual meetings have provided better access and increased participation. Mr. Russo took a moment to note the imminent retirement of Michele Shapiro, Director, NJDOT Human Resources, who had been integral to workforce training innovations at NJDOT that were being highlighted for their lessons learned during the current STIC meeting.

FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that six month progress reports for the EDC initiatives and STIC incentive grant update reports are due by July 8, 2021.

Ms. Roberts reported that NJDOT has offered to pilot FHWA’s Let’s Go! Workshop which is designed to help in the formation of cohesive teams and plans to advance the EDC innovative initiatives. The workshop will be held in September 2021, with a focus on the Strategic Workforce Development team, and an E-Construction team that will address Digital As-Builts and E-Ticketing.

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Mobility and Operations, Infrastructure Preservation, and Organizational Support and Improvement.

Featured Presentations. Michele Shapiro, Director, NJDOT Human Resources, presented on the Operations Apprenticeship Program as it relates to Strategic Workforce Development. The program began in 2014 as a way to provide consistent training and job skills among crew members, and establish a path to advancement for workers. Ms. Shapiro offered a number of lessons learned from this ongoing initiative.

Chrystal Section, NJDOT Division of Civil Rights ADA/504 Coordinator, presented on reinvigorating a Succession Planning program at NJDOT. This program operated between 2001 and 2010 and several individuals currently in leadership positions went through the program. The proposed two-tiered program would provide workforce development on the executive level and on the professional level to offer increased opportunities for advancement within the agency.

Vicky Tilghman-Ainsley, Acting Executive Director, NJDOT Division of Civil Rights/Affirmative Action, spoke about Special Recruitment Programs, including a pilot program to introduce high school students to the construction and maintenance fields. She noted that the Youth Corps program is continuing with gateway projects in the summer. The agency will also be working with contractors and contractor organizations to increase the number of women and minorities in the workforce. Laine Rankin commented that, a number of years ago, students were brought in to NJDOT to learn about planning at the agency and suggested that this effort could be replicated in other divisions.

Reminders and Updates.

Amanda Gendek provided the following information and reminders:

  • Information on NJ STIC is available on the NJDOT Technology Transfer website at https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/
  • She is preparing an application for a 2021 STIC Excellence Award. She is highlighting several innovative endeavors undertaken by NJ STIC in the past year, including the NJ STIC Virtual Caucus that utilized breakout sessions to enable in-depth discussions on each of the EDC-6 innovative initiatives.
  • The NJDOT Tech Transfer Newsletter is available on the Tech Transfer website and is emailed to those subscribed to the listserv.
  • A STIC primer document is available that provides links to information for new STIC members or as a review for current members. This document can be found in recent emails.
  • The Build a Better Mousetrap Competition is accepting applications from public agency employees who have implemented a better way to do their jobs, whether it’s a new gadget that improves the quality and safety of a project, or an innovative process that reduces costs and improves efficiency.

Helene Roberts noted that the NJ STIC Executive Team will be meeting to review and revise the STIC charter in light of the addition of the Organizational Support and Improvement CIA.

Asst. Commissioner Russo closed the meeting out with a note about the renewed interest in succession planning and the introduction of the fourth CIA team that will be sharing updates on that effort and others related to Strategic Workforce Development.

A recording of the NJ STIC 2nd Quarterly Meeting of 2021 can be found on this page.

Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the sections below.

NJ STIC 2021 2nd Quarter Meeting Recording

Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

Slide image reading: CIA Team Infrastructure Preservation, NJDOT Bob Signora, FHWA - Nunzio MerlaCIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

Slide image reading: New! CIA Team Organizational Improvement & Support - NJDOT - Zenobia Fields, FHWA - Brian GoodsonCIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

Slide image reading Operations Apprenticeship Program, Michele Shapiro, Direcor, NJDOT Human ResourcesFeature Presentation: Operations Apprenticeship Program

Slide image reading: Reinvigorating Succession Planning and Special Recruitment Programs, Chrystal Section & Vicki Tilghman-Ansley, NJDOT Civil RightsFeature Presentation: Reinvigorating Succession Planning and Special Recruitment Programs

Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You

NJ STIC 1st Quarter 2021 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) 1st Quarter 2021 Meeting, held on March 29, 2021, focused on the advancement of the EDC-6 Innovative Initiatives during the two-year program time frame (January 2021-December 2023). 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.

Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

FHWA EDC-6 Innovation Baseline. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that feedback from the STIC Caucus was helpful in establishing the baseline reports for the EDC-6 initiatives, and provided a brief update on the current and planned stage of deployment for each of NJDOT’s EDC-6 innovation initiatives over the two-year time frame.

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided status updates, covering the EDC initiatives overseen by the Safety, Mobility and Operations, and Infrastructure Preservation CIA team. Amanda Gendek noted that the Organizational Improvement and Support CIA was formed recently to include the Strategic Workforce Development and Virtual Public Involvement initiatives. This CIA will be reporting out at the next STIC meeting.

STIC Incentive Grant Funding. Amanda Gendek reported on the status of the development of the NJ STIC Communications Plan which is a guide to encourage the exchange of ideas and promote innovation among STIC members and the broader transportation community. The Plan is nearing completion and will be available soon. Sal Cowan, Senior Director for Transportation Mobility at NJDOT, described the partnership with Waycare for the Enhanced Crowdsourcing for Operations in NJ pilot to improve traffic incident detection and roadway system monitoring.

EDC-6 Innovations Break-Out Sessions. The quarterly meeting offered an opportunity for STIC members to further consider how the EDC-6 initiatives can be advanced at the state and local level, and what coordinated efforts will be needed. Meeting participants were divided into break-out sessions to briefly discuss the current status of implementation for the EDC-6 initiatives and explore steps to be taken to advance these initiatives toward the anticipated implementation status at the end of the two years. Participants discussed their capacity to create a working group to continue discussion on these initiatives, how FHWA and NJDOT can work with local public agencies and other transportation partners to advance the initiatives, and whether participants are aware of innovations that could be shared at a future STIC meeting.

Plenary Session.  All participants reconvened and break-out group facilitators reported out on the discussions for each initiative.

Reminders and Updates.  Before closing the meeting, Amanda Gendek reminded meeting participants that information on NJ STIC is available on the NJDOT Tech Transfer website.  She let participants know that the 2021 Build A Better Mousetrap Competition is underway.  The BABM competition encourages state and local agencies to share successful examples of ideas that were translated into implementable solutions in transportation.  She also encouraged participants to subscribe to the NJDOT Tech Transfer News which is released quarterly to stay informed on other research and innovation topics.

A recording of the NJ STIC 1st Quarterly Meeting of 2021 can be found on this page.

Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in sections below.

Meeting notes for each of the EDC-6 Innovation break-out session topics are available here.

Welcome, Introductions & FHWA Remarks

CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

EDC-6 Breakout Sessions

CIA Team Update: Safety

CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement & Support

Reminders, Announcements & Thank You

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

Feature Presentation: STIC Incentive Grant Project Updates

NJ STIC 2020 Fall Meeting

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.

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

The NJ STIC Fall Meeting Presentation can be found in its entirety here and in sections below.

A summary of the polling and break-out sessions can be found here.

Welcome, Introductions & FHWA Remarks

CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

Mileage Based User Fee Study
& Thank You

CIA Team Update: SAFETY

Feature Presentation: Weather Savvy Roads Instrumentation

CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

EDC-6 Innovation Priorities: Interactive Polling
Exercise & EDC-5 Breakout Sessions

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 the subject of a 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.  There was insufficient time to answer all questions posed during the session. Answers to these questions can be found here.

The NJ STIC Spring Virtual Meeting Presentation 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