For those of you who couldn't make it to Madison or couldn't manage to make it down for breakfast on Thursday, here are the "warm" topics we discussed:
1. South Central Region will be submitting proposals to host the 2018 Conference, most likely in Louisiana, to the EC. Louisiana LTAP will take the lead and proposals are due by August 31, so let me know if you have any ideas. Crawfish seems to be a common theme.
2. We have tentatively established March 8-9, 2017, as the dates for the South Central Region meeting. Ashley Mathews at Texas LTAP has agreed to host once again, and she will check those dates for room availability. That is the same week as last year's region meeting which seemed to work for everyone. Please pencil that in and we will let you know as soon as the arrangements are firmed up. Jeff Z. has made a special request for a volunteer qualified to handle weather arrangements for the meeting.
3. For next March's meeting, there has been some interest expressed in doing a data sharing session facilitated by FHWA on a particular area of the PAR / CAR data from our region. The purpose would be to improve our understanding of the use of the data and to learn from each other's data some ways to make our programs more effective. We need everyone to buy in on this in order to proceed, so let me know your thoughts on which areas you woud be interested in and willing to have them pursue. This is entirely voluntary, but the response from the regions who did it this year has been positive.
4. Following up on partnerships and collaboration, we discussed some opportunities that have arisen to leverage resources to more effectively reach our constituents:
- Ashley's group at UTA is certified to teach the OSHA 10 hour Construction Work Site Safety class and we are going to schedule at least two sessions in Louisiana as part of their grant. This class is open to anyone free of charge and has applicability for certain public agencies in addition to contractors, utilities, and project management interests.
- Louisiana LTAP will be rolling out the updated Road Safety 365 class very soon and we will make the details available to our surrounding Centers including neighboring Regions. I believe Laura said they are planning something in Arkansas as well. Most of the class is the same as the 2010 version except for the data discussions, resource appendix, and some new videos. Centers are encouraged to customize the content to suit your constituents' needs.
- Louisiana LTAP was also referred by our FHWA Division Office to one of our local tribes regarding their request for some training on Basic Traffic Controls and Signing Installation. This will be new for us, and John Velat of the Eastern TTAP has encouraged us to get involved and work with the tribes on providing training and technical assistance where appropriate, while keeping our TTAP's in the loop. I think some of our Statewide safety efforts could also benefit from the experience of the TTAP's in promoting non-infrastructure safety programs in their communities, as we heard from Southern Plains in Arlington last March.
We are excited about these opportunities to serve in new and exciting ways. Let me know what you are doing in your centers, or share them on the Forum. Safe journeys, Steve S.