New Video Promoting Transportation

The ITE Western District Public Relations Committee recently produced a video to promote transportation and ITE. The video can be viewed here:

ITE Western District Transportation Video

Please take a look and find opportunities to share this with your colleagues, friends, family, and whenever you have a chance to visit a school to talk about transportation.

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Thanksgiving Message

This week many of us will be gathering with, or thinking about, family, and giving thanks for all the important people and moments in our lives and the lives of those close to us. I want to take this opportunity to give thanks for ITE and the people within ITE; and I hope you do too. Like many others I have talked to over the years, I started in ITE as a student and it provided me with opportunities to meet working professionals and attend conferences. These opportunities led to my first, and second, job in the industry. Over the years I have met many people from ITE who have helped me along my professional journey and I have had the pleasure of helping others. But, most of all, I have met many friends, some of whom are some of my closest friends outside of ITE, and I am grateful for all of them.

With that, l raise a toast to all of you in our great Central Coast Section as well as all of those ITE members out there who have helped us along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tom Mericle, President
Central Coast Section

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New Section Charters and Bylaws

The Section has begun the process of adopting a new Charter, new Bylaws, and Procedures. As a part of ITE’s One ITE initiative all of the Districts, Chapters, and Sections are adopting new formation documents to provide for a more consistent membership experience across all of ITE. The Section Board has reviewed the draft model Charter and Bylaws and submitted our comments to ITE. The ITE International Board will be adopting the model Charter and Bylaws at their meeting in early November.

Following adoption of the models, we will work with the Western District Board to adopt our new Charter and the Section Board will adopt the new Bylaws and Procedures. The time frame for adoption and approval of the Charter and Bylaws by the Western District Board is June 2020 and they will go into effect on January 1, 2021. The Procedures will only need to be adopted by the Section Board. At this point we do not expect that the Central Coast Section will have to run things much differently than we have been for years.

As always, if you are interested in more information let me know.

Tom

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Annual Vendor Show on 11/12

Come join us at our Annual Vendor Show to learn about the latest technologies in our industry! The event will be held at the City of Ventura on Tuesday, November 12, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Attendees and vendors, please find more details and register via Eventbrite. Please register by 12:00 PM on Friday, November 8. We hope to see you in Ventura!

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Rebranding as “ITE”

The ITE International President, Bruce Belmore, recently sent out an email to all District, Chapter, and Section presidents about rebranding the Institute of Transportation Engineers organization as “ITE” as a way to grow, modernize, and enhance the value of ITE to the transportation community. In order for ITE to be successful in the long run it needs to adapt. This post is a summary of his email that lays out the rational (as such, some of the language is his and copied over).

An all-member survey was conducted earlier this year town hall sessions were held at each of the District meetings and at the ITE Annual Meeting.  One of the issues identified is the branding of ITE. Although ITE has strong brand recognition among current members, it is a barrier to attracting new members as many prospective members believe that ITE is an organization “just for engineers.”  Part of this perception is related to the name “Institute of Transportation Engineers.”  Although ITE has started using the tag line – A Community of Transportation Professionals – the effort to advance this approach has been limited and, as a result, has had limited market penetration.

At its recent meeting the International Board of Direction expressed their intent to comprehensively rebrand the organization as “ITE” in lieu of using the “Institute of Transportation Engineers,” and to more aggressively try to change the perception of ITE as a Community of Transportation Professionals.  The goal would be to retain the strong brand recognition that is associated with “ITE” while at the same time attracting and meeting the needs of the larger transportation community. 

ITE staff will be developing a communications and implementation strategy for implementing this change. The Board is asking for our input on how we can most successfully advance this effort.  If you have any thoughts or would like to talk about this initiative, please let me know. If necessary, I can prepare a response by the Central Coast Section, but will have to have it in to ITE  by October 1.

Tom Mericle, President, Central Coast Section

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ITE Diversity Scholars Program

ITE has established a new Diversity Scholars Program. The program was developed to help bring first generation, underrepresented minority students into our profession.  Each recipient receives annual financial support (for up to 5 years of undergraduate education), peer support through membership in the student ITE chapter, mentorship from a local ITE member and an internship with a transportation firm or public agency.  The first two ITE Diversity Scholars were recently selected and are enrolling in school this fall.

This program was developed by the ITE Legacy Committee which is comprised of ITE Past Presidents, and provides stewardship and support for the ITE Legacy Program, including the Diversity Scholars Program.  Committee members are committed to reaching out to individuals and companies to secure long-term commitments and support for the Diversity Scholars Program and a fund-raising campaign will be initiated this fall. 

The Committee has asked all of the Sections to consider contributing to the program and we will be doing so when we develop our 202 budget over the next few months. However, given out section’s small size and limited budget it is likely we will not be able to. If you or your company are interested in participating in the program and helping out this ITE wide initiative, please let me know.

Tom Mericle

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9/17 Luncheon in Buellton

Our September Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, 9/17 in Buellton at Pea Soup Andersen’s. We’ll have an engaging presentation on recent and future changes to the CA MUTCD, presented by Rock Miller. Please register and pay online via Eventbrite by 12:00 PM on 9/16. We hope to see you in Buellton!

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Continuing Education Opportunities

As transportation professionals we need to continue to grow and learn about our profession. This can happen by attendance at local section meetings, district meetings, or international meetings. It can also happen through training programs focused on keeping you updated with current practices. I want to highlight a particular program in California that has been serving training needs for professionals for over 70 years.

The University of California, Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies Tech Transfer program provides lots of opportunity for practicing professionals to receive training through workshops, conferences, classes, and publications in the transportation field. They have both online training as well as in person. There are a variety of classes available at the following website:

Berkeley Tech Transfer Class Schedule

The listing includes classes through 2019 and into 2020 with topics ranging from the Fundamentals of Traffic Engineering, Traffic Signal Controllers, Roundabouts, Roadside Safety, and Liability and Risk Management. Please take a look and see if any of these classes would be a benefit for you or your staff.

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