Louisiana DOT’s (DOTD) new secretary of transportation, Dr William D. Ankner, believes intelligent transportation systems (ITS) can be part of the congestion solution.
“We have to take several approaches to congestion, and ITS can help. I don’t think there’s anything more annoying to people than lurching from one traffic light to another. You can get better mobility and safety if people know that if they go 35mph (56kph), they’re going to get a green light. Technology can help us manage this. We need to manage traffic by using information systems, by looking at other transportation options and by looking at the system that supports the interstates,” he says.
Ankner will assume his new post in February. He comes to Louisiana from Missouri where he was responsible for creating and running the Missouri Transportation Institute and was a principal in his own consulting firm.
He served seven years, from 1996-2003, as CEO of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and has held senior management positions in the Delaware DOT, New Jersey DOT and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“I’m a huge fan of ITS. One of the ways states are dealing with congestion problems is through non-barrier toll roads, and they’re using HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes and HOT (high-occupancy toll) lanes. In California, people are willing to pay US$8 a trip to save 40 minutes to get home faster and save money on the babysitter. The HOT lanes guarantee that you save a certain amount of time,” he says.
23 January 2008
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