This year’s ITE Technical Conference was held on March 3-6 in San Diego. On March 3, I was able to attend the council meetings. ITE has special interest councils for members who want be involved in research and dealing with specific issues. There are two different types of councils, Employer-Type councils and Technical councils. At the conference, there was a coordinating council, which is made up of the chairs of each technical and employer type council. The main goal of this council is to serve as a link for all the councils so everyone can collaborate together on specific topics. The public agency council was the only employer type council. Their main goal is to serve as a connection between the public sector and ITE. The rest of the councils were part of the technical councils. The SCORP (Standing Committee On Recommended Practices) council had many projects they were working on. They were working on an update for the trip generation manual as well as changing intervals to the traffic-engineering book. The ITS council had technical topics. They focused on the topic of connected vehicles vs. automated vehicles and how our future in transportation looks in regards to these two subjects. The Traffic Engineering council decided on three projects that they will be focusing on for the year. They were in regards to “automated flashing for pedestrians”, “pedestrian detection technology”, and “alternative intersections”.
I was able to sit in to all of these council meetings and listen to professional ITE members who are truly involved in trying to make a difference in our transportation-engineering field. I was able to introduce myself before every meeting representing our student chapter, and the response that I got from them was very exciting. They want students to become active and attend these meetings. I had the opportunity to talk to vice presidents of companies, such as STANTEC and ITERIS and they all welcomed me and had no problem talking to me. This is a great opportunity for a student to learn what goes on in a professional world.