October 2020 Meeting Highlights

A virtual section meeting was held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. There were 24 ITE members and 2 non-ITE members in attendance.

President Jennylyn Tapat welcomed everyone to the meeting. Then Cathy introduced our guest speaker, Randy McCourt who is the International President of ITE. Randy also spearheaded ITE’s effort to track the impacts of travel restrictions related to COVID-19 on traffic patterns throughout the US.

Randy’s presentation highlighted the key findings of white paper published by ITE’s Task Force in July 2020 “What a Transportation Professional Needs to Know About Counts and Studies During a Pandemic”. Randy discussed the top concerns that transportation professionals are currently facing with the COVID-19 pandemic including ethics & big data, when will normal return, forecasting, and trip generation. Randy discussed options for the private sector to obtain historical counts such as big data sources (e.g. Streetlight, INRIX, etc.), previous traffic studies, active traffic management centers, and/or collaborating with other consultants or public agencies.

Next, Randy identified various travel trends in the US. For example, rural areas are experiencing an increase in vehicle-miles-traveled due to the decrease in air travel. Also, not surprisingly, peak patterns have changed in the US Metro areas with most government offices and private companies working from home. Similarly, there is a decrease in bikeshare use in downtown areas, while bicycle activity on trails and recreational areas have seen an increase. Randy went on to discuss the changes in trip generation for various uses as a result of travel restrictions, shutdowns, and/or stay-at-home orders. Again, not surprisingly there has been a decrease in trips to/from hotels and theaters, while some retail uses including hardware and garden stores have seen an increase in trips. Randy mentioned that these trip generation trends are available through ITE and are generally updated on a weekly basis.

After Randy’s presentation, Cathy announced the new Hawaii Section officers for the 2021-2022 year. Cathy swore in the new officers, Kelly Akasaki (President), Jasmine Teramae-Kaehuaea (Vice President), and Keoni Wasano (Secretary-Treasurer). Cathy also announced that the current Hawaii Section President, Jennylyn Tapat was appointed to serve as the Career Guidance Committee Chair for the Western District. Finally, Jennylyn thanked the current officers and committee chairs and announced that the next section meeting would be held on November 18th with a presentation by City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services on their new Transportation Impact Analysis Guide.