We just returned from a wonderful trip to Australia where we spoke to the Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA) about work zone ITS. Their members were all excited and focused on finding safer, more efficient ways to manage their work zones.
The program was packed full of interesting speakers and a variety of timely topics. They also gave us all just the right amount of time to discuss those topics between sessions. It was very well run.
The attendees seemed to enjoy talking to Americans and all asked what we thought of the meeting. My first answer was always the same: traffic control companies in both countries share the exact same set of problems:
1) Speeding in work zones.
2) End-of-queue crashes.
3) Hiring, training and retaining good employees.
4) A perception by the driving public that we are there to make their lives miserable.
5) Insufficient funding for maintenance and construction.
6) Changing standards and levels of enforcement from one state to the next.
7) Varying commitment and funding levels from one state to the next.
Just like ATSSA, the TMAA brings contractors, manufacturers, academia and government agencies together to discuss these problems and identify solutions. The TMAA does an especially good job of this. We look forward to learning more from them in the years to come!