Committee Chair’s Note- TRB 2015

Dear all,

It was an honor to serve as the Chair of the Traffic Signal Systems Committee at this year’s Annual Meeting. The new venue of the Convention Center was well orchestrated by TRB staff and the preparation resulted in a wonderful TRB meeting. While we’ll miss the familiarity of the Wardman Park Neighborhood, we’re fortunate to be in the heart of Downtown DC. This year’s edition of the Annual Meeting included our traditional Sunday Workshop using the IGNITE format, which simply described is like speed dating for presentations. Automatically triggered 20 slides every 20 seconds kept presenters on their toes and the audience watching for each new bit of information and for difficulty in coordination of the slide and the speaker. The presentations will be available on the new website here. As a presenter, the IGNITE Format  was a new experience for me at the lectern and challenged me to be concise with my message. Given that we reached 150 people even with the Packers/Cowboys game as competition, I think you’ll agree that it was a resounding success that we’ll repeat again with different topics in the future. Thanks to all of the speakers and especially for the organizers Doug Gettman of Kimley Horn Associates and Shaun Quayle of Kittelson & Associates for pulling this together.

Leaving the TRB meeting behind, we turn to the Summer Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Larry Head of the University of Arizona has agreed to host us and share his work on Connected Vehicles and the Multimodal elements that his team has deployed in Anthem, AZ. I am very excited about the opportunity to learn about moving past what I often describe as “First Generation” transit signal priority systems that rely on line of sight and distributed technology. Our Summer meeting in 2013 covered the transit priority implementation in King County Metro (Seattle) that’s an example and if you want more history on the topic, you can review Transit Signal Priority Workshop materials from 2004.

 I am also resolving to communicate with the Committee more frequently, to keep you up to date on the work our subcommittees are doing and keep you up to date on volunteer opportunities. I have a few emails from a few of you and am sorting through them as I continue to recover from the week that was. Look for emails more often from me.

 Our Committee’s efforts are a function of our volunteers. One of the biggest tasks throughout the year is the Paper Review process and for a second year, Eleni Christofa of University of Massachusetts  did an amazing job with a record number of papers (106). Our growth in activity continues to impress TRB and our work was recognized at the Section meeting. One of my favorite activities of the Committee meeting is to congratulate the Best Paper Award winner. This year it was “Resonant Cycles Under Various Intersection Spacing, Speeds and Traffic Operations Treatments” authored by Felipe Ladrion de Guevara, Mark Hickman and Larry Head. A special thanks to Paul Olson, who recently retired from the Federal Highway Administration for his work pulling together the reviewers and for making this happen.



Peter Koonce, PE
City of Portland
Division Manager
Signals, Street Lighting, & ITS
1120 SW 5th Avenue, 8th Floor
Portland, OR 97204