Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jim’s Journeys … Traveling the TTA Highway

Hey Everybody!

Man has it been a super busy month for your good buddy Jim!  I've been all over the state at classes, conventions and even doing some individual training sessions in Charlottesville and Richmond!

At the end of April UVA TTA teamed with Kimley-Horn to use their Roadway Departure Crash Countermeasure Tool to help Charlottesville and Richmond analyze safety solutions for selected
traffic corridors.  

By looking at the crash information collected and running that information through the Countermeasure Tool cities can see what safety measures can be taken to help make those roads safer for drivers.  

We received some great feedback on the program and hopefully we'll be able to work more with our cities to make our streets safer!

In mid May I traveled with Beth O'Donnell to the American Public Works Association conference in Fredericksburg.  It was great to meet new people and see some of the great products that are available for road repair and new safety
devices for our work zones.  It was also nice to run into a few of those busy Public Works Directors and get a chance to introduce myself and talk about all the great LTAP classes we have available.  I look forward to meeting everybody face to face and talking specifically about your department's training needs.

And just this week I was lucky enough to be an instructor at UVA's Transportation Project Management Institute (TPMI).  This was my fourth year teaching listening and team work skills to the students and we had a great time.  I like to think that the students love my session because it is fast paced, fun and educational.  But part of me thinks they just like it because they get to play outside for 90 minutes.  Either way, we had fun, we learned how to brainstorm and work as a team and I didn't get sunburned.  A victory in every sense of the word!

It'll be a busy summer at the Transportation Training Academy- I'm heading to Fairfax, Charlottesville and Arlington in the next few weeks and later this summer our office will be hosting the Local Technical Assistance Programs' National meeting in Portsmouth. But that doesn't mean I don't have time for our local partners!  If you have an questions, or want me to stop by your office to talk about training contact me at and we can schedule a visit!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Agency Wins Technology Award For SMART SCALE Web Tool

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently won the Richmond Technology Council (RVATech) award for Innovation in Development – Public Sector.

VDOT was recognized for its work with the SMART SCALE web tool, which provides the general public with transparency regarding the agency’s transportation projects.
The award is handed out to the organization that has demonstrated exceptional technological development to the benefit of the organization itself, or the public.
Other awards included categories for Innovation in Education, Emerging Small Business, Innovation in Technology Builder and Innovation in Utilization.

The 22nd annual RVATech gala dinner took place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on May 10, and was attended by nearly 800 Richmond business leaders. Each year, the group celebrates outstanding technological achievements that have propelled the technology-based economy in both the private and public sectors.

“VDOT is continuously ahead of the curve in developing tools that help make Virginia a leader in transportation,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “We recognize the importance of innovation and the role it plays in advancing the work we do.”


Virginia’s SMART SCALE is about picking the right transportation projects for funding and ensuring the best use of limited tax dollars. It is the method of scoring projects that have been determined to meet a need identified in VTrans – the state’s long-range multi-modal transportation plan – based on safety, congestion, accessibility, land use, economic development and the environment.
Transportation projects are scored according to an objective, outcome-based process that is transparent to the public and allows decision-makers to be held accountable to taxpayers.

Once projects are scored and prioritized, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) has the best information possible to select the right projects for funding.

The SMART Portal web application was first implemented in support of SMART SCALE, but has since expanded to include other VDOT grant programs.

This year, the SMART Portal was used to collect and manage information for over 900 applications. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

T3 Webinar: Traffic Incident Management-What’s New?

Traffic Incident Management (TIM) consists of a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary approach to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Effective TIM strategies reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims, and emergency responders. Currently, there are new and updated reports, events, and training sessions that contribute to the success of the practice.
The webinar covers Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) TIM updates, which include: information about the “Traffic Incident Awareness Week,” SHRP2 National TIM Responder training and its evaluation, Every Day Counts-4 “Using Data to Improve TIM,” and other resources.
The webinar examines the technology used for the investigation and reconstruction of traffic crashes and provides information about each technology’s capabilities and limitations to inform crash investigation units of available options.
The final presentations include two TIM experts sharing information about Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) Advanced TIM training and the agency’s Predictive Analytics project. TDOT’s training is a program developed in response to the SHRP2 L12 and L32 modules. This program is intended to develop concepts that are more advanced than the TIM 4-hour program. The advanced concepts involve full-scale training exercises on the TIM Training Track located in Nashville, TN. Finally, a speaker shares TDOT’s Predictive Analytics project’s research, review of technologies, and recommendations to improve investigation strategies and reconstruction methods of crash sites

Date:   Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3e webinars are free of charge

Monday, May 22, 2017

VDOT Helps Ease Memorial Day Traffic

RICHMOND, Va. – Are you hitting the road for summer’s big kick-off? If that’s the plan, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is going to help make travel easier during the Memorial Day holiday by lifting lane closures where possible. VDOT also offers tools to help you plan your trip – real-time traffic information can be found at
VDOT will suspend most highway work zones and lift lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia for Memorial Day travel from noon Friday, May 26 until noon Tuesday, May 30.
VDOT’s online, interactive travel-trends map shows peak congestion periods on Virginia interstates during the three previous Memorial Day holidays (2014-2016). While it can’t precisely predict when congestion will be present this year, it can help you plan your travels around those times when the roads have historically been busiest.
The map shows varying amounts of interstate traffic by time of day, using red for heavy congestion, yellow for moderate congestion and green for little or no congestion. 
To use the map, slide the button along the date bar at the top of the map to update predicted traffic information at half-hour intervals between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. for each day. You also can zoom and pan to specific areas of the state.
Based on the traffic data, periods of heavy congestion on the most recent Memorial Day weekends was most likely to occur between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday and Monday during the holiday period.
  • Historically, heavy congestion was also present on:
  • I-95 southbound and I-64 eastbound Saturday morning through afternoon I-95 northbound and I-64 westbound on Monday from noon through late evening
Real-time information about traffic, incidents and congestion on Virginia roads is available at Download the free mobile VDOT 511 app, or call 511 from any phone. To report a road problem or get answers to your transportation questions, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) around the clock.
·        HOV restrictions on Interstates 66 and 395 – restrictions will be lifted on Monday, May 29. Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road HOV ramps operating on a normal weekday schedule. For more information on northern Virginia HOV schedules, visit
·        Direction schedule for the Interstate 95 Express Lanes/I-395 reversible lanes:
  • Thursday, May 25 and Friday, May 26 – Lanes close northbound at 10 a.m., open to southbound traffic at noon.
  • Rolling Thunder: Monday, May 29 – Visit for special event reversal schedule.
Drivers are reminded that they need an E-ZPass Flex (for HOV-3 to ride toll-free) or an E-ZPass to use the lanes.
  • I-64/I-264/I-564 HOV diamond lanes – HOV restrictions remain the same from Friday, May 26 – Sunday, May 28, and also on Tuesday, May 30. HOV restrictions will be lifted on Monday, May 29.
  • I-64 reversible lanes – Schedule remains the same. HOV restrictions will be lifted on Monday, May 29.
  • I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) – Local traffic to Virginia Beach is encouraged to use the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the HRBT. To Virginia Beach, take I-664 south to the MMMBT. Then take the Portsmouth/Norfolk exit (exit 15A) to I-264 east to Virginia Beach.
  • Travel to Outer Banks – Local traffic to the North Carolina Outer Banks should use I-664 and the MMMBT to save time. From I-664 south, take I-64 west to exit 292, Chesapeake Expressway/I-464/Route 17. Keep left to continue to the Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168), and take Nags Head/Great Bridge (exit 291B) to the Outer Banks.
  • Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) – Tune to 1680 AM to stay informed on Hampton Roads traffic, travel conditions and construction information.
While VDOT will lift most lane closures for holiday travel, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays in the following locations:
Accomack County
Route 609 – Widening road in the Town of Onley. Follow detour.
Albemarle County
Route 29 – Widening roadway. Narrowed lanes and shoulder closures between Route 643 (Polo Grounds Road) and Route 1719 (Towncenter Drive). Speed limit in work zone reduced to 40 mph. More information:
Amherst County
Route 130
  • Replacing bridge over Pedlar River. Follow posted detour. Signs, message boards and barriers in place.
  • Reconstructing bridge over Graham Creek. Traffic limited to one 11-foot lane, controlled by a signal. Signs and message boards in place.
Brunswick County
I-85 – Repairing bridge over railroad at mile marker 28. Traffic limited to one lane both directions. Ramp from I-85 north to Route 1 closed. Ramp from Route 1 south to I-85 south closed. Follow posted detour.
U.S. 58 – Repairing eastbound bridge over Great Creek. Left lane closed between Northview Dr. and Ogburn Rd.
Botetourt County
I-81 – Improving exit 150 interchange. Route 11 is closed at the interchange, and a detour is in place for access to Route 11, Route 220 Alternate and Route 220. From I-81: traffic accessing Route 220 Alternate or Route 11 will use exit 150 A. Only traffic accessing Route 220 northbound toward Fincastle will use exit 150 B. Trucks advised to use exit 150 A due to width restrictions. Signs and message boards in place.
Buckingham County
Route 20 – Replacing bridge over Slate River. Speed limit in work zone reduced to 45 mph.
Charlotte County
Route 40 – Replacing bridge over Louse Creek. Traffic restricted to one lane, controlled by a signal. Message boards in place.
Dinwiddie County
Route 1 – Repairing southbound bridge on Route 1 (Boydton Plank Road) over CSX property. Traffic reduced to single lane in both directions. Southbound shifted to northbound bridge. Width restriction of 11-feet in both directions.
Frederick County
I-81 – Reconstructing interchange at exit 310. Speed limit through work zone reduced to 60 mph.
Greensville County
U.S. 301 – Replacing southbound bridge over rail tracks north of Emporia. Traffic detoured to I-95.
Route 610 – Replacing bridge on Route 610 (Halifax Street) in the City of Emporia. Follow detour.
Isle of Wight County
U.S. 58 – Replacing bridge over rail tracks and Route 632. Follow detour.
Lancaster County/Middlesex County
Route 3 – Conducting bridge maintenance. Traffic reduced to one lane at the Robert O. Norris Bridge over the Rappahannock River. Temporary signal in place.
Greenview Drive – Widening road. Changes in traffic pattern in place.
Route 29/U.S. 460 
  • Constructing safety improvements from Concord Turnpike to Candlers Mountain Road in both directions. Speed limit in work zone reduced to 45 mph.
Madison County
Route 230 – Replacing bridge over Conway River. Traffic restricted to one lane controlled by temporary signals.
Nelson County
Route 29 – Repairing slope southbound from 0.59 miles south of the Nelson/Albemarle County line to 0.68 miles south of Nelson/Albemarle County line. Right lane closed; left lane restricted to 11 feet.
Route 151/Route 635 – Improving intersection. Traffic control devices in place.
Route 6/Route 638 – Improving intersection. Traffic control devices in place.
Newport News
I-64 – Widening interstate between Newport News and Williamsburg. Speed limit reduced to 55 mph in work zone.
Norfolk/Virginia Beach
I-64/I-264 – Improving interchange. Lane shift and closed shoulder on I-64 westbound starting after Indian River Road and ending near the I-264 interchange.
Pittsylvania County
Route 29 – Replacing bridge over railroad tracks. Route 29/803 connection temporarily relocated. Southbound detour in place.
Route 29 – Repairing bridge over Banister River. Lane closures in place.
U.S. 17 – Reconstructing roadway. Southbound traffic on U.S. 17 (Frederick Boulevard) is shifted and reduced to one lane before Turnpike Road. Southbound traffic unable to turn left onto Turnpike Road.
 Pulaski/Montgomery County
I-81 – Replacing northbound bridge over the New River at the Pulaski/Montgomery County line.  Shoulders closed between mile markers 103 and 105. Speed limit reduced to 60 mph in work zone.
Rockbridge County
I-64 – Rehabilitating Maury River bridges. Eastbound and westbound traffic limited to a single lane between mile markers 53.3 and 55.3. Speed limit through work zone reduced to 55 mph.
Rockingham County
Route 257 – Replacing bridge over Dry River. Single-lane traffic controlled by temporary signal. Vehicles limited to 13 feet in width.
Scott County
U.S. Route 23 – Replacing bridges over North Fork Holston River in the Weber City area. Traffic in both directions reduced to one lane, sharing the northbound bridge.
Shenandoah/Warren County
Route 11 – Replacing bridge over Cedar Creek at the Shenandoah/Warren County line. Traffic in both directions reduced to one lane, sharing southbound bridge. Northbound traffic will detour across median to use southbound lane.
Southampton County
Route 35 – Replacing bridge over Tarrara Creek in Boykins. Traffic reduced to single lane southbound. Temporary signal in place.
U.S. 58 Business – Reconstructing roadway in Courtland. Eastbound lane is closed.
Stafford County
I-95 – Extending 95 Express Lanes south of exit 143 (Route 610/Garrisonville). All travel lanes open; concrete barriers in place along the shoulder northbound and southbound in work zone.
Sussex County
Route 301 – Replacing bridge over Nottoway River. Detour in place.
Washington County
I-81 – Reconstructing interchange at exit 14. Lanes shifted due to bridge reconstruction at exit. Speed limit through work zone reduced to 60 mph.
I-81 – Reconstructing two interstate bridges over Halls Bottom Road near exit 10. Speed limit through work zone reduced to 60 mph.
Route 340 – Replacing bridge over South River. Road closed between Constitution Park and East Avenue. Through traffic will use Broad Street (Route 250) as detour.
Wythe County
I-77/I-81 overlap – High traffic volumes could slow or stop vehicles through this eight-mile stretch. Be alert for delays on northbound I-77 at the I-81 merge.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Virginia Celebrates Bike To School Day

RICHMOND, Va. – Students are encouraged to get their bikes ready for the sixth annual National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 10. This year, nearly 200 Virginia schools have listed events on the official website,, and more Bike to School events are expected to be held throughout May, which is National Bike Month.
Parents, as well as organizers in schools, towns, public health and transportation organizations are planning supervised bike trains, group rides and other activities to highlight the benefits of safe, student-powered transportation. 
Last year saw record-breaking participation, with 213 schools taking part. It marked the greatest number of events in Virginia since Bike to School Day began in 2012. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the agency that administers the Federal Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) in Virginia, is hoping to see the event continue to grow.
“Bike to School day has been gaining traction in Virginia each year since it started,” said Rob Williams, VDOT’s Safe Routes to School coordinator. “The students who participate in Bike to School Day absolutely love it and, as a result, many schools have made it an annual event.”
To find a participating school near you, or for more information see the following websites:
During National Bike Month, everyone is encouraged to bike; it’s not just for students. “There are biking opportunities throughout Virginia for all ages and skill levels,” said John Bolecek, VDOT’s statewide bicycle and pedestrian planner.
The commonwealth has 855 miles of U.S. Bike Routes 1, 76 and 176, as well as many locations for off-road mountain biking. The Virginia Capital Trail, a fifty-plus mile shared-use path connecting Williamsburg to Richmond, was completed in September 2015 and has recorded more than 616,813 counts from bicyclists and pedestrians.
Would you like to know more about how traffic laws apply to bicyclists? Bicyclists and motorists basically have the same rights and duties, and the laws governing traffic regulation apply equally to both. Information on laws and safety tips is available at  and
If you’re looking for places to bike in Virginia, VDOT’s bike map offers routes and information of most interest to cyclists.  Maps can be ordered or viewed at

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

VDOT Partners With Keep Virginia Beautiful To Promote Adopt-A-Highway Program

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently partnered with Keep Virginia Beautiful to help support the agency’s Adopt-a-Highway program. The agreement calls for Keep Virginia Beautiful to focus on engaging volunteers to participate in the program, which is aimed at beautifying roads throughout the commonwealth and preventing litter.
 Keep Virginia Beautiful will promote the Adopt-a-Highway program through its website, social media platforms and public relations channels as well as the organization’s many external partners. In addition to boosting the volunteer recruitment process, Keep Virginia Beautiful will educate the general public on the need, impact and benefits of an effective Adopt-a-Highway program.
 Adopt-a-Highway has involved numerous groups since it was first established in Virginia in 1988. It provides an opportunity for businesses, civic groups and even families to clean up litter and be recognized for their efforts with a sign featuring their name after two pickups have been documented. VDOT is confident that the partnership with Keep Virginia Beautiful will produce measurable results in the number of miles covered with regular litter cleanups and the recycling of collected waste, which will in turn translate into overall savings for the commonwealth.
 “We are pleased with this joint initiative between VDOT and Keep Virginia Beautiful, which will ensure that our Adopt-a-Highway program continues to provide Virginians with clean roads as they travel throughout the commonwealth,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick.
 “Our goal is to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment and that it’s up to us to change our behavior and make a difference,” said Mike Baum, Executive Director of Keep Virginia Beautiful.
VDOT set up the Adopt-a-Highway program in 1988. Each year, nearly 18,000 Adopt-a-Highway volunteers collect more than 25,000 bags of waste along Virginia’s highways. It is estimated that these efforts save the commonwealth over $1.35 million that would have otherwise gone to clean up Virginia’s roads. Groups agree to adopt a two-mile stretch of highway in their community by picking up litter and recyclables at least twice a year for three years. In return, VDOT provides trash bags, vests, important safety information and highway signs that recognize the individual or group.
 For more information, please visit:
 Established in 1953, the mission of Keep Virginia Beautiful is to “engage and unite Virginians to enhance our natural and scenic environment” through five focus areas: litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, beautification and environmental education. 
 For more information, please visit: