The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Office


From the Director

by Dave Clarke, P.E.

As I write this column, we're in the full throes of a Tennessee summer. Unlike last year, with its scorching temperatures and near desert dryness, this summer has been unusually cool and rainy. The press is full of concern about global climate change these days. We Tennesseans know that climate change is a regular thing. As the saying goes, if you don't like our weather, wait a few hours—it'll change!

OK, so now that I've made my obligatory comments about the weather, what can I say about the world of transportation? Mr. Anthony Foxx was sworn in July 2 as the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation. A North Carolina native and former mayor of the city of Charlotte, Mr. Foxx should bring to the job an understanding of the needs of and issues faced by local governments. He has stated that safety will remain the Department's top priority, but also appears to strongly support workforce development activities.

I was fortunate in July to be invited to Beijing, China to do some lecturing on U.S. freight transportation, including the role of motor carriers on our highways and streets. This is my fourth trip to China, and I have found each trip to be enlightening. This time, I was also able to observe some public works activities in Beijing, including street and utility maintenance. I also toured some transportation facilities. Most everything I saw would have been familiar to you, right down to the traffic control deployed and the personal protective equipment worn by the workers. I will say that driving on some of the local streets in Beijing is a tad exciting, given a mix of cars, bicycles, and three-wheeled cargo trikes and very narrow lanes (a generous term). Like New Yorkers, Beijing drivers tend to use their horns liberally. It's all very good natured, though, and I never saw any evidence of "road rage" despite often heavy traffic conditions.

We're continuing to work hard for you here at TTAP. One new innovation you might check out is the online version of RoadTalk. You can find this via the TTAP website. The online version contains additional content that space limitations preclude from the printed version. We've also got a new online course registration site, too, which we hope will simplify the process of registering for our classes. We're still working on online payment by credit card, so in the meanwhile you'll have to call or fax your card info to us.

Speaking of RoadTalk, we'd like to feature examples of innovation and best practices from you, our readers, in upcoming issues. If you'd like to tout your agency, please drop us a line and we'll help get the message out. Since LTAP programs nationwide often share newsletter articles, you could even get national publicity! Please don't be bashful. Let us know what you're most proud of.

Well, that's about it for this issue. As always, if we can help, please don't hesitate to call or email. TTAP looks forward to assisting you. Be safe!


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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System