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National Operations Center of Excellence Newsletter

October 2015
Volume 1 Issue 10

From the Executive Director
By Dennis Motiani

Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to several people. First to the leadership teams at FHWA, AASHTO, ITE and ITS America for offering me this amazing opportunity and to the staff of these associations who helped me produce some extraordinary products in such a short time. Special thanks to past Chairman Don Hunt, current Chairman Shailen Bhatt and the NOCoE Board that has been very supportive and continually engaged in Center’s activities and progress. I am also very thankful to the chair and the members of the Technical Advisory Committee who stay committed to bringing you outstanding services. Most importantly, I offer a great deal of gratitude to all of YOU who believe in the NOCoE and have contributed; whether by providing information or staying connected. Without YOU there is no Center of Excellence. And finally, an enormous thanks to my family, especially my wife who knew this was going to be a difficult transition, yet supported my decision to work in Washington D.C. because she saw the excitement in my eyes.

Since the last newsletter, I had the opportunity to speak at the Gulf Region Intelligent Transportation Society (GRITS) annual meeting. I believe GRITS should serve as the model for an effective regional ITS chapter. Congratulations to the GRITS board of directors and their members on hosting an extraordinary event. From speakers to technical sessions to entertainment, everything was top notch. I admired how GRITS planned each technical session to take place twice on a given day so that no one missed out due to their taking part in a different session at the same time.

In the last newsletter we brought you the state of TSM&O at the Maryland DOT within my monthly message. Beginning this newsletter we will share this peer exchange as a stand alone item titled “State of TSM&O at …(agency name)”. This month we highlight the exciting things happening at Michigan DOT.

We just finished NOCoE’s first very successful and meaningful regional peer exchange. This peer exchange took place in Boston, Massachusetts. More than 40 participants from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut and Vermont, along with the I-95 Corridor Coalition team, participated in this two-day peer exchange. Special thanks to Denise Markow (New Hampshire DOT), Lorrenzo Para (Mass DOT) and MaryGrace Parker (I-95 CC) for spearheading the efforts. I have attached an early look at this peer exchange which includes the agenda and photos. Please stay tuned for a detailed report of this peer-exchange.

As I end my time with NOCoE, my good friend Tom Kern will take over the leadership responsibilities of the Center. I am very confident that Tom will do an exceptional job and bring you even better services.

In saying good bye, I hope I have been able to provide you with exceptional service. I am certainly hoping our paths will cross again. Please look me up and connect with me on LinkedIn if you have not done so already. Thank you and best wishes!

Interim Managing Director for the National Operations Center of Excellence
By Shailen Bhatt, NOCoE Board Chair and Executive Director, Colorado Department of Transportation

As Chair of the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE), I am pleased to inform you that effective November 1, 2015, Thomas Kern will be serving as the interim Managing Director for the NOCoE until a permanent director is identified. Mr. Kern has recently been working as a management consultant in the field of transportation technology in support of a number of organizations in the field.  He served at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, first as its Executive Vice President for seven years and then as interim President in 2014/2015. 

Prior to his work at ITS America, Mr. Kern was the Director for Knowledge Management at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland; Deputy Executive Vice President at the American Consulting Engineers Council, and Program Manager at American Management Systems.  He started his career at the US Environmental Protection Agency.  He earned a BS in Government at Georgetown University, a Master’s in Public Administration at the London School of Economics, and also did further graduate study at the University of Oxford. I am pleased to share that Mr. Kern was involved in the visioning and creation of the NOCoE during his prior role at ITS America. The Center is very important to him, given its essential place within the transportation community to foster knowledge creation and sharing and to support the community of practice that we call transportation systems operations and maintenance. Please join me in thanking Mr. Kern for assisting us.

Becoming the Best 
By John  Schroer,
Commissioner of Transportation,
Tennessee Department of Transportation

When I was appointed Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) four years ago, I set the course to lead our agency to become the best transportation agency in the nation. The Department’s vision is to serve the public by providing the best multimodal transportation system in the country. The credo of providing and doing the best has permeated the culture of TDOT. Being the best is about getting up every day with the attitude to strive to achieve your highest level of effort and going to bed each night reflecting on what you could have done better. The responsibilities of a DOT directly impact the lives of people daily, and we have the opportunity to make a real difference in society. The passion and seriousness with which our employees perform their work is something in which I take a lot of pride. Please click here to read more.

State of TSM&O at Michigan DOT

Q. Can you identify TSM&O best practices within MDOT that can be shared with other states?

A. MDOT has several TSM&O initiatives that align with our Strategic Plan to Innovate and have a System Focus approach as to how we implementation TSM&O.  Following are some of those initiatives: Cost and Benefit of MDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Deployments: MDOT, like many other state agencies, has invested significantly in ITS deployments across the state over the last six to eight years.  MDOT believes this program and associated strategies are an effective way to use available technology to manage traffic and reduce motorist delays on the state trunk-line network.  MDOT ITS project deployments tend to be high-profile and accessible by the motoring public. Please click here to read more.

 Persistence Pays Off for Philadelphia!
NOCoE Executive Director Dennis Motiani Interviews Rich Montanez and
Laurie Matkowski

On October 19, 2015, I spoke with Rich Montanez, the Chief Traffic and Street Lighting Engineer for the City of Philadelphia, and Laurie Matkowski, the Manager of the Office of Transportation Operations Management for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Montanez has been working on the new Transportation Operations Center  in Philadelphia. The following is the conversation I had with Mr. Montanez and Ms. Matkowski about the center. Please click here to read more.

Florida’s Approved Product List of Traffic Control Signals and Devices
By Jeffrey Morgan, Florida DOT-TERL Product Certification Manager

Due to the infinite wisdom of forward thinking, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Traffic Operations staff, traffic control signals and devices have been evaluated and certified (approved) by the FDOT Traffic Operations Office located in Tallahassee Florida since the early 1970s . This certification is still being performed today due to Florida law 316.0745 uniform signals and devices, which was championed by these early Traffic Ops predecessors, requiring FDOT to develop specifications for official traffic control signals and devices and then to certify said devices to the specifications before they can be used in the state. Please click here to read more.

The SHRP2 Reliability Archive
Facilitating Open Data Exchange in Transportation
Research for Today and Tomorrow
By Kavya Sambana
Analytics Consultant, Iteris, Inc.

The SHRP2 Reliability Archive ( is a repository of rich data and information from over 45 SHRP2 Reliability and Reliability-related projects. The Archive contains various resources, including raw datasets, analysis results, tools and models, and documentation from these projects. The SHRP2 Reliability Archive makes these artifacts easily accessible to researchers and practitioners online to facilitate future research. The SHRP2 Archive is a user interactive repository that enables the following:

  • Searching artifacts and associated metadata easily in a list view or visually on a map;
  • Downloading artifacts, including user-selected subsets of the datasets;
  • Collaboration between multiple researchers via comments; and
  • Visualizing user-selected data in graphical charts.

    Please click here to read more.

Michigan Department of Transportation Issues RFI

The Michigan Department of Transportation has announced a Request for Information (RFI) regarding potential innovative business models for connected vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure deployment. The RFI can be found on the MDOT RFP website. The solicitation is found under "Specialty Services" as "Request for Information ITS."

Register with NOCoE and Join the Discussion Forum!  

We hope you will find the NOCoE ( to be a place where you can share information as well as receive it – we encourage you register and share in our discussion forum your latest work plan, specific challenge you are facing with operations practice or a new technology, and techniques you’ve used to empower your staff. This is YOUR transportation operations resource and we are interested in your feedback to continually improve our portfolio of services. Please feel free to contact the Center with your suggestions, either through the website or at
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