The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


From the Director

by Matt Cate, P.E.

Well, summer is behind us and it appears that the temperatures will finally begin to catch up with the calendar. The fall colors haven't been bad this year, but I think that we all need some rain at this point. If I had completed this column a couple of weeks ago I could be commenting about the undefeated Volunteers and asking if this was another special year like 1998. Instead, injuries and turnovers have finally caught up with my beloved Vols. I'm still optimistic that they can close out the regular season on a high note, but the last big game (I can't bring myself to name the opponent) still stings.

We are talking about the Americans with Disabilities Act again in this issue of RoadTalk, and I suspect that we will continue to see more about the ADA in 2017. While the law itself has not changed since 2009, there is a renewed emphasis on enforcement and compliance. Many public agencies worked very hard to develop transition plans and implement changes to achieve compliance after the law's initial passage in 1990. However, time and other priorities have pushed these issues to the back burner, leaving those agencies vulnerable to lawsuits or enforcement actions.

TTAP is offering a one-day "ADA Self-Evaluations/ Transition Plans and Overview of Elements of Public Rightof-Way Accessibility" workshop in November to help our local transportation officials get back up to speed on this important topic. Response to this workshop has been very strong and all three locations (Jackson, Oak Ridge, and Nashville) have filled quickly. We may schedule more dates for this workshop in 2017 if demand exceeds the number of available seats.

Finally, I will be attending the EDC-4 Southeast Regional Summit in December to learn more about the 11 innovations that will be featured in the fourth round of FHWA's Every Day Counts program. Several of these innovations, including Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs), Community Connections, Data-Driven Safety Analysis (DDSA), Pavement Preservation, and Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP), offer new technologies and best practices to help local agencies improve safety, increase mobility, and maximize the effectiveness of roadway maintenance budgets. Some of these innovations will be subject of upcoming EDC Exchange webinars. Watch future issues of RoadTalk and your email inbox for more information about these EDC-4 innovations.

That's all for now. Please let us know if there is anything that TTAP can do to assist you.


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

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