June 6, 2008 By News Report
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced today that the department's chief deputy director Randell Iwasaki, one of the nation's leading authorities on intelligent transportation systems (ITS), has been elected by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America as chairman of its board of directors. He is the first official from any state department of transportation to achieve this. Iwasaki has served as vice chair of the board since June 2007.
"Improving transportation infrastructure is more than just building new roads," Iwasaki said. "ITS technologies can assist in saving motorists travel time, decreasing air pollution and improving roadway safety."
Iwasaki has a distinguished record with Caltrans, serving more than 20 years in a number of high profile engineering and management positions. From December 2004 until December 2005, he managed Caltrans' $8.6 billion Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a master's in engineering in from California State University, Fresno.
Caltrans has about $2.5 billion in ITS field elements integrated into California's transportation infrastructure. During the current fiscal year, Caltrans will spend $5.7 million on ITS research. In 1996, Caltrans pioneered one of the first automated freeway incident detection systems in the nation, the Caltrans Automated Warning System (CAWS). Over the past two decades, Caltrans and California's universities have partnered on a wide range of ITS projects. Caltrans and the French ministry of transportation signed an agreement to establish a research partnership involving ITS.
The Intelligent Transportation Society of America is the leading advocate for technologies that improve the safety, security and efficiency of the nation's surface transportation system. Members include private corporations, public agencies, and academic institutions.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.