2016 Best of ITS Awards

Each year the Intelligent Transportation Society of Georgia recognizes outstanding people and projects that make Georgia a leader in the deployment and operation of intelligent transportation systems. We also recognize volunteers who make ITS Georgia one of the top ITS Chapters in the country. This year’s outstanding people and projects are:  

Project of Significance Award – Georgia Department of Transportation – Statewide Traffic Signal Software Upgrade Project

A project, study, or program undertaken in the previous twelve (12) months with an impact that is quantifiable and directly related to a specific activity/action that reduces congestion, improves safety and security, and enhances mobility in Georgia.

Throughout the Statewide Traffic Signal Software Upgrade project, the Georgia Department of Transportation is working to

Mark Demidovich (L), congratulates Alan Davis of the Georgia Department of Transportation on winning the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Project of Significance Award
Mark Demidovich (L), congratulates Alan Davis of the Georgia Department of Transportation on winning the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Project of Significance Award

convert all 9,500 traffic signals across the state to new signal software which enables GDOT to (according to GDOT’s State Traffic Engineer) “…understand the performance of each signal by monitoring data that comes in every tenth of a second.”
Starting in September of 2015, the turn-key deployment efforts have included converting the legacy OS-9 software’s timing databases to linux based control software and retrofitting the Agency’s existing 2070s (from multiple manufacturers) with 2070-1C CPU modules. The project thus enables any operating agency to utilize high resolution data to power automated traffic signal performance metrics.

Additionally, this project included a new central system software for real-time monitoring and management of the upgraded signals. This software includes graphical measures of effectiveness that allow engineers “…to make real time adjustments to the signals to optimize performance based on actual roadway conditions.”

Through this project, GDOT is also bringing wireless broadband connections to every signal that they maintain through a large scale deployment of 4G LTE wireless routers. The communications deployment enables the department to monitor, operate, and maintain traffic signals in ways that have not been achievable in the past for the Department. To date, the Department has converted over 1,500 signals across the state, with communications deployed to over 1,000 signals.
Because of the tremendous impacts this project has had and continues to have, the Statewide Traffic Signal Software Upgrade project is most deserving of the 2016 Project of Significance Award.”

Innovation: Outside the Box Award – Cobb County Department of Transportation – ITS Communication Upgrade Project

Creative and unique approach or solution by an individual or group to an ITS challenge, or to an issue using ITS as a solution during the previous twelve (12) months.

Cobb County Department of Transportation is in the early construction phases of upgrading their ITS communication infrastructure to provide a path-diverse fault tolerant Layer2/Layer3 communications network. The project features a unique partnership between the County’s transportation and IT departments throughout the planning, design, procurement and construction phases of the project.

Mark Demidovich (L), presents Brook Martin of Cobb County DOT with the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Innovation Award
Mark Demidovich (L), presents Brook Martin of Cobb County DOT with the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Innovation Award

The County initially developed an ATMS Enhancement Study that prioritized a list of future ITS projects for implementation. The top ITS priority identified was the development of an ITS Communications Master Plan. The ITS Communications Master Plan evaluated the existing communications system and developed an architecture to increase reliability, enhance security, and streamline maintenance of their ITS network. Working alongside the County’s IT department, the Master Plan provided phased recommendations for multiple ITS projects, including: fiber optic network design, establishment of peripheral communications hubs, and network hardware upgrades for two main areas of the County (Town Center and Cumberland). The project developed a path-diverse fault tolerant communication ring to support the future needs of the County. Implementation will include integration of new Layer3 core switches in the TMC, backup core switches, use of peripheral fire station facilities for communications hubs, migration of existing network devices to a more robust network architecture, implementation of a new IP/VLAN schema, and increased available fiber optic cable counts. The plan enabled the elimination of spanning tree configuration by bringing Layer3 closer to the edge, thereby drastically reducing the risk of network storms. The architecture is also a CV-ready network, which will enable addition of technologies needed for Vehicle to Infrastructure communications. Coordination with the IT department in the planning phase also led to unique construction phasing in which path-diverse network routing was implemented first to minimize signals being offline during construction.

Based on the recommendations of the architecture, the County DOT worked with their IT department to select and procure switches during the first design phase of the project. The Cobb DOT and IT department configured and installed all switches prior to construction to minimize downtime and reduce construction delays. This allowed the project to be essentially let as a fiber-only project, in which the contractor will install the fiber to the newly installed switches and coordinate with Cobb County IT to perform the integration as they go. With the County procuring the switches and the IT Department installing, configuring and working with the contractor through construction, it is estimated to have save approximately $500,000 over a traditional ITS procurement.  The project began construction in September 2016 and is expected to be complete in Summer 2017. Because of their innovation and collaboration, the Cobb County Department of Transportation is being presented with the 2016 Innovation: Outside the Box Award for their ITS Communication Upgrade Project.

Innovation: Outside the Box Award – Gwinnett County Department of Transportation – Glance School Zone Flashing Beacon System

Creative and unique approach or solution by an individual or group to an ITS challenge, or to an issue using ITS as a solution during the previous twelve (12) months.

Gwinnett County Public Schools is the largest school system in Georgia, with 139 schools and an estimated enrollment of 178,000 students for the 2016-2017 year.  Gwinnett County recently upgraded their school zone to the “smart” Applied Information beacons supplied by Temple to manage the school zone traffic in its communities.  The project included 270 connected AI beacons installed throughout the county. The Glance School Zone Flashing Beacon system gives the agency a simple-to-use, secure interface to remotely view and control the school beacons in their communities.

The beacons use a cloud and web-based software system, accessible from a computer browser, tablet or smart phone. Each

Winter Horbel (L) of Temple, Inc., Tom Sever of Gwinnett County DOT and Bryan Mulligan of Applied Information winners of 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Innovation Award
Winter Horbel (L) of Temple, Inc., Tom Sever of Gwinnett County DOT and Bryan Mulligan of Applied Information winners of 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Innovation Award

beacon has its own cellular connection to handle all communication, allowing personnel to determine if the beacons are operating correctly and, if necessary, instantly alert the appropriate resources in the event of lamp or battery failures.  Additionally, officials can quickly adjust beacon schedules for weather events, special days (such as during the holidays or early school closings) or in the event of an emergency. This project has shown the power of cellular connected field hardware and cloud software. This has enabled the County’s installation team to deliver a working system of 270 school beacons within a short 5-day installation period.

Tom Sever, with Gwinnett County DOT, stated, “The beacons from the Temple/Applied Information team have modernized the County’s school zone flashing beacon system.  The result has been a 90% reduction in the number of calls related to operation of school zone beacons due to improved communication with each beacon.  We look forward to using the Applied Information system to provide reliable service to our citizens.”

A number of key innovations in the system allowed the rapid “low friction” deployment of the system during the summer vacations. The innovations provided in the system include:

1) Each beacon includes an integrated GPS so that the beacons automatically configure themselves on the map and collect the correct scheduling information automatically on power up over the internet. The result was that no system configuration was needed for the County to perform.

2) The system includes advanced diagnostics to monitor power, solar panel, battery and lamp current to generate alarms when any equipment malfunction occurs. This makes the system self-supervisory.

3) The system does not use static IP addresses, so there is no network maintenance and configuration for the County to maintain. The software is all cloud hosted, so there is no software or computer maintenance for the County to worry about.

4) The system contains integrated battery backup for all field devices. This means that the field devices can contact the central in the event of power failures, and generate alarms for the maintenance technicians.

5) A key innovation is “over-the-air” software update capability. This means that the software in the field can be remotely updated and could also be updated in the future to support connected vehicles and other future technologies.

Because of their creative and innovative efforts in using these “flashing signs” to slow drivers down as they pass through school zones, the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation is also being presented with the 2016 Innovation: Outside the Box Award for their Glance School Zone Flashing Beacon System project.

Outstanding Public Member Agency Award – Georgia Department of Transportation – Traffic Operations Division

Mark Demidovich (C), presents the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Outstanding Public Member award to Alan Davis (L) and Matt Glasser of the Georgia Department of Transportation
Mark Demidovich (C), presents the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Outstanding Public Member award to Alan Davis (L) and Matt Glasser of the Georgia Department of Transportation

Leadership in promoting ITS and/or ITSGA goals during the previous twelve (12) months.

The GDOT ITS group has taken innovative steps towards expanding coverage of the NaviGAtor network outside of metro-Atlanta through the installation of new devices and the increased maintenance of existing devices. The team has added 28 new RWIS installations, 32 new CCTV installations, 46 new RDS installations, and has replaced 43 legacy slow-scan CCTVs with modern PTZ CCTV devices. The group has also replaced 16 legacy CMS signs with new, full-matrix CMS displays. Within the last year, the group has taken in approximately 350 additional devices under its award-winning ITS maintenance program. The newly installed devices and the additional device maintenance enables better response to incidents and inclement weather throughout Georgia, allowing the Department to continue to push to provide better mobility to all users of the system.

Over the past year, the traffic signal maintenance group has also demonstrated a culture of innovation that has accelerated the performance and outcomes of signal maintenance across our great state. The group was the first to utilize the RFQC/MMSA contract approach to maintenance, and because of their success, set the stage for its widespread implementation.

In the past fiscal year, the group has:
– Performed maintenance on over 1,200 traffic signals across the state.
– Issued work through Invitations to Bid to a total of over $11,200,000 (thus setting a Traffic Ops record).
– Completely revamped, enhanced, and improved the traffic signal and ITS Qualified Products List, reviewing over 150 products within the last fiscal year, which is the most ever for Traffic Ops (thus setting another Traffic Ops record).

In addition to the contract work, the statewide crew (on top of routine maintenance work) has also:
– Installed 7 new traffic signals, including a signal which took 2 months to install and turn on.
– Addressed 12 emergency responses due to signal knockdown).
– Installed 7 new flashing beacons in efforts of improving safety.
– and Installed 100 new poles at intersections throughout the state.

Because they routinely demonstrate innovation and leadership in their daily work and because they have shown what it truly means to be a Department that is smarter, faster, and continuously striving to be better, the GDOT Traffic Operations Division is being presented with the 2016 Outstanding Public Member Agency Award.

Outstanding Private Member Award – Intelight Inc.

Mark Demidovich (L), presents Mike Clance of Intelight with the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Outstanding Private Sector Member Award
Mark Demidovich (L), presents Mike Clance of Intelight with the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Outstanding Private Sector Member Award

Leadership in promoting ITS and/or ITSGA goals during the previous twelve (12) months.

Intelight Inc. has provided more than just a new software product to the Georgia market. Their ITS expertise and active support of ITS GA and ITS initiatives throughout the state makes them a very deserving candidate for the Outstanding Private Member Award.  Through GDOT’s Signal System Software deployment, Intelight went above and beyond the call of duty to help make decisions and provide technical assistance in efforts of improving operations at intersections by cleaning up existing databases that included existing errant data.  They have consistently gone out of their way to assist operators and local agencies by leveraging the power of their software to develop innovative ways to operate even the most complicated of intersections as efficiently as possible. With a host of new functions and features, complicated intersections have become less complicated with their technical assistance. Intelight continues to work with GDOT’s Office of Traffic Operations and their consultant teams to develop and implement new and innovative functions and features to best serve the unique scenarios encountered at hundreds of intersections across our great state.  Intelight has also been a tremendous supporter of ITS GA.  They have played a very active role in the organization by giving multiple presentations, being actively involved on sub-committees and with the annual conference, and sponsoring numerous key events that our organization has hosted throughout the year. Because of their supportive efforts and service to ITS initiatives throughout the state of Georgia, Intelight Inc. is being presented with the 2016 Outstanding Private Member Award.

Outstanding Volunteer Award – Alvin James Jr.

Alvin James (L), Kimley-Horn, is present the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Outstanding Volunteer of the year award by Mark Demidovich
Alvin James (L), Kimley-Horn, is present the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Outstanding Volunteer of the year award by Mark Demidovich

Open to all membership, including Board members and Committee Chairs, who have gone above and beyond to support ITS Georgia during the previous twelve (12) months.

Alvin James has worked tirelessly behind the scenes as the ITS GA Membership Committee Chair this past year. Alvin increased member by over 45% from just last year, all while greatly surpassing our membership goal of over 70 members for 2016. Due to his hard work and dedication, our organization now has its highest membership to date. Because of his proactive work ethic and service to ITS Georgia, Alvin James is being presented with the 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Larry R. Dreihaup Award – Mark Demidovich

Mark Demidovich (L) receives the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Larry R. Dreihaup Award for dedication to the advancement of intelligent transportation from Jenny Tassan
Mark Demidovich (L) receives the 2016 ITS Georgia Best of ITS Larry R. Dreihaup Award for dedication to the advancement of intelligent transportation from Jenny Tassan

The ITS Georgia Larry R. Dreihaup Award is intended to recognize an individual or an organization who has provided leadership, professionalism, and dedication in promoting ITS in the State of Georgia during the previous twelve (12) months, if applicable.  The award is named in honor of Larry R. Dreihaup, Division Administrator for the Georgia Division of Federal Highway Administration for 6 years and ITS champion in Georgia.  Mr. Dreihaup was instrumental in establishing the world renowned Traffic Management Program in time for the 1996 Olympics.

Mark Demidovich has served as the Assistant State Traffic Engineer, responsible for ITS Planning and TMC Operations, for several years. In this capacity, Mark has overseen the completion of the TMC room renovation and expansion project. In his role, Mark also oversaw the video wall replacement a couple of years ago.

Additionally, Mark has served on the Board for many years. This year, Mark significantly contributed to two successful monthly meeting programs in 2016. In January 2016, Mark spoke to our chapter about the TMC renovation project and even setup a rotation where all members were able to tour the newly renovated TMS to learn about the winter weather incident management initiatives, managed lanes deployment, and TMC operations. In June 2016, Mark organized the TMC’s 20th Anniversary Celebration and even setup a panel discussion featuring many key personnel that have played tremendous roles at GDOT over the years. The panel included several ITS GA pioneers, including: Marion Waters, Joe Stapleton, Burt Riddle, Bayne Smith, Carla Holmes and even himself. Mark has worked hard this year to showcase the TMC and NaviGAtor program, and he is a regular participant in the chapter’s social activities. Due to Mark’s management of the TMC and leadership in ITS GA, Department participation in ITS GA has reached an all-time high. For these reasons and for some many others, ITS Georgia is proud to present Mark Demidovich with the 2016 Larry R. Dreihaup Award.

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