__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

FALL 2009

Mobility Matters RITA’s PETER H. APPEL ADDRESSES YPT

Read Live Tweets from this Leadership Seminar @YPTvoice Follow us and read live Tweets from the Appel YPT Leadership Seminar and other YPT

happenings @YPTvoice.

Peter H. Appel, Administrator of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), was YPT’s speaker for our final leadership seminar of 2009. Despite unfavorable weather on November 23rd, nearly 40 people attended this event. Administrator Appel’s interactive seminar provided an overview of RITA’s role in USDOT as well as its relationship to other USDOT agencies. The Administrator also discussed some of the Obama Administration’s new efforts, including the recent Distracted Driving Summit that brought together experts and stakeholders across transportation modes, as distracted driving is a problem not confined to highway travel. Early in the seminar, the YPT group received an unexpected surprise—USDOT Deputy

Secretary John Porcari joined us and provided the group with his thoughts about the needs and challenges facing the transportation industry. Both speakers expressed their support for groups like YPT and took several questions from YPT members. Near the end of the seminar, Mr. Appel also provided the group with career-related advice. He stressed the importance of three skills, namely the ability to think strategically, understand quantitative analysis, and communicate effectively. A person with all three of these skills is an invaluable resource to any organization. YPT would like to thank USDOT for hosting the event as well as Mr. Appel and Mr. Porcari for sharing their time and insight with us.

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

PAGE 1


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

FALL 2009

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM OUR NEWLY ELECTED YPT CHAIR Dear YPT Members, As founder of Young Professionals in Transportation, I’m very grateful to see the tremendous support that YPT has received from all of you and the rest of the transportation community since its inception in April of 2008. We now have over 600 official Voting and Nonvoting Members as part of YPT. In addition, we have over 1,800 members in our LinkedIn group with quite an active dialogue. Over the past year and a half, we were able to hold a variety of events like our Leadership Seminars and Happy Hours, develop partnerships with other stakeholders including the George Mason University, WTS International, the Eno Transportation Foundation, and the Swiss Embassy, publish our quarterly newsletter Mobility Matters, and receive representation on the National Journal’s highly-regarded Transportation Blog. These achievements since YPT’s inception show that we’re fast becoming a well-known and influential voice in the transportation community. As with any endeavor, however, we cannot rest on our laurels despite this great start as the go-to place for all young transportation professionals. Much work remains to be done going into 2010, and it is my privilege to continue to lead YPT in achieving these milestones in the coming year:

Driving a major capital campaign to raise sponsorship dollars ($10,000 minimum target) that can be used to implement a variety of exciting programs including, but not limited to:

Establishing regional chapters around the United States and beyond to fully engage our members from beyond the Beltway, and to provide national guidance and resource to these chapters.

Upgrading our website and email communication system to a customized social networking website where members can set up individual profiles, see an interactive events calendar, and communicate directly with other members.

Continuing to develop partnerships with other transportation organizations to leverage resources and cross-pollinate membership bases.

Fully institutionalizing YPT to become a federally-recognized 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation.

The first-ever YPT elections this past October in itself represented another major step forward in YPT’s growth, and we have a terrific group of talented and motivated officials serving on the YPT Board for 2009-2010. Please feel free to reach out to any of the YPT Board members if there is a way for us to together help broaden the impact of young transportation professionals in the coming year. Warm regards,

o Leadership Seminars and policy

Joung Lee

forums at premier facilities;

o An annual awards dinner and gala

for young transportation professionals; o Research grants to support ideas of innovative individuals and teams; o Holding a Transportation Research Board reception at one of the conference hotels, and; o Providing sponsorship to other transportation organizations that further aid in professional development of young transportation professionals.

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

PAGE 2


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

FALL 2009

FASTLANE HIRES PARTNERS WITH YPT FOR LAUNCH EVENT AT UNION STATION FastLane Hires, a transportation job board and Young Professionals in Transportation came together on October 8, 2009 to celebrate the launch of newly founded employment destination. The event was held at America Restaurant in the historic setting of Union Station. Guests were invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, network with industry professionals and eat lots of great cake. Special guest speakers included; Gabe Klein from the DC Department of Transportation who shared his excitement about the future of the transportation industry and Amtrak’s Stephen Gardner who discussed the importance of closing the generational gaps within the transportation industry.

“I was thrilled by the turn-out and success of the launch party,” said FastLane Hires CEO, Lori Gale. “We look forward to being the go-to job board for the industry and hope to continue building a strong and successful partnership with YPT”.

U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S KAVINOKY LEADERSHIP SEMINAR On September 30, YPT held a leadership seminar with Janet Kavinoky, the Director of Transportation Infrastructure for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Kavinoky is also the Executive Director of the Americans for Transportation Mobility—a national business-labor-construction industry coalition that unifies transportation stakeholders to support increased federal investment in an interconnected, multimodal transportation system. Ms. Kavinoky engaged the group by describing her personal, educational, and professional background, explaining the outlook and key skills that she developed over time. She also described how her career evolved into the role she currently has today, educating stakeholders on transportation investment, reframing transportation issues, and advocating for a greater national focus on infrastructure. She led a lively discussion on the politics of transportation legislation and provided frank career advice to the YPT members. YPT would like to thank Ms. Kavinoky for her engaging discussion as well as Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) for hosting the event.

YPTvoice

FOLLOW YPT ON TWITTER Ever wondered what YPT is up to any given day? Now you can follow us @YPTvoice for news, tips, and treats from the Young Professionals in Transportation team. Let YPT help you stay on top of the latest developments in transportation and the young professionals community. Some of us may still be full from all that turkey, but YPTvoice sure has been busy. Check out the live tweets from the Appel Leadership Seminar and much, much more! HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

PAGE 3


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

FALL 2009

YPT VOTING MEMBERSHIP ELECT 2009-2010 BOARD OF DIRECTORS On Thursday, October 29, 2009, the Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) conducted its first‐ever YPT Board of Directors elections for the 2009‐2010 year. YPT congratulates the winners, and looks forward to a very exciting and productive year ahead. The results of the elections are as follows:

• Vice Chair for Finance‐Treasurer: Nick Perfili, Transportation Planner, Fairfax County Department of Transportation • Vice Chair for Membership: Devon Barnhart, Legislative Assistant, Senator Arlen Specter (D‐ PA)

• Chair: Joung Lee, Associate Director for Finance • Vice Chair for Programs: Nate Smith, Manager and Business Development, American of Government Relations, American Traffic Association of State Highway and Transportation Safety Services Association (ATSSA) Officials (AASHTO) • At-Large Director: Matthew Bieschke, • Deputy Chair: Chris Managing Principal‐Infrastructure Smith, Intermodal Policy Advisory, Jacobs and Program Manager, American Association of • At-Large Director: Jeff Ensor, State Highway and Consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff Transportation Officials (AASHTO) YPT would like to thank outgoing Board Directors: Marcus • Vice Chair for Bowman, Laura Feast, and Administration‐Secretary: Susan Howard for their service Aaron Zimmerman, over the last year and half, as Transportation Planner, well as out-going Deputy Vice Battelle Memorial Institute Chairs: Chris Der, Saraswati Singh, and Steve Pinkus. Without all of their hard work and • Vice Chair for Communications: David Grant Hill, Manager of dedication, YPT would not be where it is today. Transportation Organizational Change YPT wishes them the best of luck! Management and Strategic Communication Projects, Booz Allen Hamilton GET INVOLVED: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR 2009-2010 DEPUTY VICE CHAIRS As YPT grows, the Board of Directors has been looking for ways to foster greater membership involvement. To continue an initiative that we began in Spring 2009, we are calling for nominations to five available Deputy Vice Chair positions. Each Deputy Vice Chair’s main role is to assist the elected subject-area Vice Chair in carrying out YPT’s mission. The duties and responsibilities of all Vice Chairs can be found by clicking here or visiting the YPT website and clicking the link off of the home page. If you are interested in applying for one of these positions, please submit a candidate statement (maximum of 500 words) and a resume via email to ypt@transportation.org by COB Friday, January 8, 2010. Deputy Vice Chairs

will be expected to attend the monthly Board of Directors meetings, so it is strongly recommended that you're based in the Washington, DC, area. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the incumbent Vice Chair of the area of your interest. For those interested in learning more about the management and operation of YPT, and for those interested in running in future elections for Board of Directors positions, this is a great way to get involved. The Board of Directors will review all applications at the January 2010 Board meeting and those appointed to the Deputy Vice Chair positions will be notified by Friday, January 15th.

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

PAGE 4


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

TRANSPORTATION SAFETY: WHY IT NEEDS TO BE A NATIONAL PRIORITY By Nate Smith

awareness on roadway safety throughout the United States and has a robust membership which includes: AAA, American Highway Users Alliance, American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Every few Society of Highway Engineers, years, usually ATSSA, National Association of when Congress Counties, National Association of is considering County Engineers, and the reauthorization of the surface National Association of transportation law, safety in Development Organizations. transportation becomes front and Imagine a nation where 76 center on everyone’s minds. fully loaded jetliners crashed to However, the reality is that there the earth each year, killing should be a national call to everyone aboard. That is roughly action for transportation safety. the same number of individuals On average, each year tens of who die each year in car crashes thousands of people die during in the United States. If that was their commute, travel, vacation occurring in the airline industry, or on errands, with roughly 40,000 coming from roadway fatalities. America needs a holistic vision for transportation policy that is truly focused on safety. Several state departments of transportation as well as national associations, including the American Traffic Safety Services Association – ATSSA (for whom the author works), have adopted a Toward Zero Deaths or Vision Zero policy. It’s there would be a national time for the federal government emergency and call to action to take this next step. perhaps like nothing we have seen before. Unfortunately, over As an example of groups time, it seems to have become a working together on safety, the risk that one takes when getting Roadway Infrastructure Safety into the car, onto the bus, or into Coalition (RISC) was created at a taxi cab. Numerous highthe beginning of 2009 as one of ranking officials have announced the country’s first and fastest the importance of transportation growing national coalitions safety – from U.S.-DOT dedicated to roadway safety infrastructure. RISC is committed Secretary Ray LaHood to House Transportation and Infrastructure to educating and raising

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

FALL 2009

Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar – however, the drastic reduction in deaths needed must be more than just words. Encouragingly, Secretary LaHood has created the DOT Safety Council, comprised of the ten operating agencies within the Department, and Chairman Oberstar continually makes safety a top priority. Congress is currently debating and considering an overhaul to the country’s transportation program. Chairman Oberstar stated, “We as a nation need to make a new commitment to saving lives and sparing countless individuals and their loved ones from the pain that comes in the wake of traffic crashes. Addressing this troubling number of fatalities on our roadways will require a comprehensive approach to highway safety. We as policy makers must work to ensure that all aspects of roadway safety–– vehicle safety, human factors, and roadway environment––remain a priority as we rewrite our nation’s surface transportation programs.” As we look toward the future, America’s competition in the world will hinge greatly on its ability to move people and goods from coast to coast and to other countries. We must start now to make these travelways as safe, efficient, and effective as possible. With industry, government, consumer advocates, and professionals working together at every step of the way, this vision can surely become reality.

PAGE 5


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION EDITORIAL: HOW KATRINA IS STILL IMPACTING TRANSPORTATION IN THE GULF By Chris Smith

On November 18th, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued a blistering ruling in Robinson v. United States, a lawsuit brought by New Orleans property owners seeking claims from the federal government for property loss resulting from Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding. In the 156-page ruling, District Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr. found that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) is liable for the “negligent operation and maintenance” of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MR-GO), a navigation channel constructed by Army Corps in the early 1960’s as a short-cut for vessels to avoid the twists and turns of the Mississippi River en route to the Gulf of Mexico. The MR-GO divides St. Bernard Parish from eastern parts of the City of New Orleans. As Katrina moved onshore, the massive storm surge it generated in the Gulf pushed excess water into the MR-GO and topped 20 levees, causing the massive flooding in both jurisdictions including the now infamous Lower 9th Ward. While it is clearly evident what caused the flooding, the Court made a convoluted

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

attempt to further explain how, so as to find fault with a “who” that could sufficiently pay out claims not only to the plaintiffs in Robinson, but the hundreds of thousands of future plaintiffs waiting in Katrina’s wake. That scapegoat is the Army Corps, whom the Court determined destroyed the wetlands adjoining the MR-GO. Those wetlands served as natural levees and flood protection, so when the Corps decided to construct the MR-GO, the Court found it also had a duty to replace these barriers destroyed by its four decade operation of the canal. Where the ruling becomes especially complicated is in its attempt to redefine two of the

Army Corps’ key missions – flood control and navigation. Under a 1928 law, the USACE is immune from liability concerning damages resulting from failures of a flood control project. However, Judge Duval maintained that the MR-GO is instead a navigation project and therefore not afforded the same legal protection.

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

FALL 2009

For the purpose of providing only a modicum of financial relief – less than $750,000 in all - to three property owners, a single District Court in Louisiana dramatically reinterpreted decades of Army Corps policy, planning and implementation. The Army Corps is responsible for dredging the navigation channels leading into coastal harbors so that global shippers can safely bring freight into port. The Corps' constructs and maintains the locks and dams on the inland waterways that allow barges to serve American businesses and consumers in the Heartland. The Corps does everything from environmental restoration of the Everglades to building air bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and hundreds of other military installations at home and abroad. Much like other Federal agencies designated with building and operating the national transportation infrastructure, the Army Corps has been plagued by years of fiscal neglect both of and not of its own doing. At a time when better transportation infrastructure is at peak demand while available resources continue to dwindle, the Robinson ruling exposes the Army Corps to massive litigation and future costs it can ill afford so that a singular District Court can feel comfortable in its attempt to litigate human fault on a natural disaster and somehow replace the irreplaceable for Katrina's victims. PAGE 6


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: SHANA JOHNSON By Shana Johnson

The summer before my senior year at Clark University I received a notice in the mail. A class I had signed up for was cancelled. I needed to choose another class in my major, Geography. Already stressed out with writing my honors thesis, I decided to take Transportation Geography without giving much thought to it. Having spent all of my adolescence in the Tokyo region of Japan, where I never needed my parents to drive me to anything, it turned out that I had pretty strong opinions on how I thought the transportation network should function. Most of the students that took that class ended up working in transportation, including me. After undergrad I worked for a couple of years as a contractor at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), analyzing data from every mode of transportation. I received my Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center in 2007, and since then I’ve been self-employed doing a diverse mix of transportation planning, freight analysis and economic development work. Becoming self-employed at a young age was never my explicit goal. As a young mom and military wife with a frequently absent husband, working for myself ended up being the best option. I’ve done a lot of work with Foursquare Integrated

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

Transportation Planning (www.foursquareitp.com) and ETernational Research Consulting (www.eternational.com). I also do some consulting work on my own. Even so, self-employment has been a challenge. When the recession hit hard last year, several of the projects I was working on unexpectedly and suddenly stopped. I must plan my work out months in advance, and I am constantly seeking new opportunities. Despite the fact that I became self-employed to have more flexibility, I actually work more hours than I would if I had taken a traditional job. Most of all, I miss seeing and learning from colleagues on a daily basis and working in an office environment. Yet, the opportunities that my current work has afforded me would be hard to find in an individual agency or firm. I’ve been able to work on an amazing variety of projects and with many more people than I would have working in a traditional setting. When the phone rings I’m always excited to pick it up and find out what is coming next. Last year, I was a major contributor on a national project that investigated the safety records of Mexican trucks entering the U.S. (the “CrossBorder Demonstration Program”) for the report of an Independent Evaluation Panel to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. For the report I interviewed individuals responsible for motor carrier safety enforcement at the state DOTs or highway patrols in nearly every state. For other projects I’ve examined landside congestion and environmental concerns at U.S. container ports, vessel traffic at America’s freight

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

FALL 2009

gateways, and the role of our nation in the global freight system and industry. As a transportation planner, I’ve worked on a Transportation Demand Management plan, and transportation elements for state and local plans. I also work on economic development plans for state and local agencies, and the level of interest of economic developers in transportation has surprised me. For one economic development report I helped rank the “greenness” of jurisdictions in a region. For another project, I synthesized research on how the transportation infrastructure affects household cost of living, access to employment, commuting patterns and the local government spending. Businesses are increasingly concerned about the condition of our country’s transportation infrastructure, and my economic development clients are always happy that I can speak the “transportation language” to communicate their needs. Someday, I would like to return to working for an agency or firm. When I first became selfemployed I thought I’d do it for a while and ‘see how it goes’ while I searched for a suitable employment opportunity. What I’ve found is that the risks and pressures of being selfemployed are definitely outweighed by all of the opportunities it has given me. I intend to remain self-employed for the foreseeable future, so if have any work for me, please let me know! PAGE 7


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK! By Lori Gale, CEO FastLane Hires The unemployment rate has now reached an unfathomable 10.2%. Most of us have never seen anything like this. Companies have laid off workers en masse, nobody seems to be hiring, and those employed are expected to do the work of five or ten people as their companies try to reorganize and stay afloat. No doubt, it’s a terrible time for workers, all around. But this will not go on forever. And as things improve and we move forward, there is no place I’d rather be than in the transportation industry. Young transportation workers especially are well poised for great opportunities in the coming years. The time has come for transportation. I feel the ground shaking and people finally waking up to need for public transportation options. We have relatively few in comparison with the rest of the developed world. Soaring oil prices, new commitments to greening our planet and changing lifestyles all point in the direction of transportation growth. Everyone is paying attention, on both sides of the political aisle. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has caught fire, and nobody wants to invest in real estate projects that don’t have easy access to public transportation. There is an enormous talent vacuum in our industry that will only get worse with time. With

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4

the retiring baby boomers, who will fill those roles? You will! Those jobs may not be jumping out at you right now, but they will. In the meantime, continue to hone in on your skills. This is the time to do the grunt work, study the industry and build your network. Be sure that you are creating your own personal brand so that when things turn around you’re ready to take off. YPT BOARD OF DIRECTORS JOUNG LEE Chair

CHRIS SMITH Deputy Chair

AARON ZIMMERMAN Vice Chair of Administration

DAVID GRANT HILL Vice Chair of Communications

FALL 2009

Transportation Events Calendar December 9th, 2009 YPT Happy Hour at the Russia House, 6-8 PM January 5th, 2010 YPT Communications Subcommittee Meeting January 10-14, 2010 Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) 89th Annual Meeting and YPT Happy Hour (see website for details) February 8-11, 2010 International Winter Road Congress February 16, 2010 Climate Change and Ships: Increased Energy Efficiency Symposium

NICK PERFILI Vice Chair for Finance

DEVON BARNHART Vice Chair for Membership

NATE SMITH Vice Chair for Programs

MATTHEW BIESCHKE At-Large Director

JEFF ENSOR At-Large Director

YPT BOARD OF ADVISORS JACK BASSO Chief Operating Officer, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

MORTIMER DOWNEY Chairman, PB Consult

EMIL FRANKEL Bipartisan Policy Center

JOHN HORSLEY

March 1, 2010 Road Safety on Four Continents Conference March 25, 2010 Workshop on Control and Electrification of Highway Vehicles: Integrating Concepts and Infrastructure Need April 11, 2010 Global Information Systems (GIS) for Transportation Symposium June 13, 2010 Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO) Conference

Executive Director, AASHTO

TONY KANE Director of Engineering and Technical Services, AASHTO

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION

JANET FREIDL KOVINOKY

YPT is a Washington, DC-based organization. General membership in YPT is open to anyone engaged or interested in transportation regardless of age. All are welcome to participate in the organization and activities.

Director of Transportation Infrastructure, US Chamber of Commerce

EMEKA MONEME Chief Administrative Officer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)

GLORIA SHEPHERD Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

STEPHEN VAN BEEK President and CEO, Eno Transportation Foundation

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG

Mobility Matters is the official publication of YPT. If you have questions about this newsletter or wish to contribute material, please contact David Grant Hill, Vice Chair for Communications, at ypt@transportation.org, Subject: Mobility Matters. For additional information, visit our website. Mobility Matters © 2009 Young Professionals in Transportation All rights reserved.

PAGE 8

Profile for YP Transportation

YPT Mobility Matters - Fall 2009 (V2 I4)  

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG PAGE 1 YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4 FALL 2009 happenings @YPTvoice. Follow us and r...

YPT Mobility Matters - Fall 2009 (V2 I4)  

HTTP://YPT.TRANSPORTATION.ORG PAGE 1 YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN TRANSPORTATION VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4 FALL 2009 happenings @YPTvoice. Follow us and r...

Advertisement