September 16, 2016
Special Contributing Article by:
Noelle Hunter, Ph.D.,  Executive Director
Kentucky Office of Highway Safety

Transformation. It's a trending topic in today's culture. We're captivated by home renovation shows and body makeovers because we love seeing the fruit of hard work and goal setting. It's no different in the public sector, but I would argue it's even more difficult to do. It requires reshaping cultures and challenging our notions of "doing business as usual". Governor Bevin's vision has been to reform state government through innovation, cost savings and investing in initiatives that protect and revitalize our Commonwealth and its citizens. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet shares this vision and is guided by a strong mission to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sound and fiscally responsible transportation system that delivers economic opportunity and enhances the quality of life in Kentucky.

Safety is our top priority, and as the new Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), I'm honored to work with committed teams in the Divisions of Highway Safety Programs and Incident Management to prevent loss of life and to respond to incidents that impede the flow of travelers, goods and services on our roadways.

Our work is guided by the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a living document to increase coordination, communication and cooperation among state, federal and local agencies, and other highway safety advocates.  KBT is one of our strongest allies, and within my first week on the job, Juva Barber reached out to welcome me and to share the longstanding relationship between KBT and KOHS.

KBT was at the table with our other partners this week at the quarterly meeting of the Governor's Executive Committee on Highway Safety.  We laid out an agenda for Highway Safety that includes data-driven education and enforcement strategies, performance measurement for continuous improvement of our vital initiatives, and innovations that reduce fatalities and serious injuries among motorists, responders, bicyclists and pedestrians.  We talked about expanding our messaging for a more inclusive focus on the deadly 4 D's--- distracted, drowsy, drugged and drunk driving.  We also affirmed our unwavering support for law enforcement as our first line of defense against traffic fatalities.

Every day, I receive the Daily Fatality Summary and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) report.  I confess that the first week or so on the job, I reviewed the numbers foremost with an eye towards safety enhancements to move Kentucky Toward Zero Deaths.  One morning, I realized I wasn't looking at numbers.  I was looking at the names, ages and tragic deaths of people--- grandparents, moms, dads, and children.  From that moment, I vowed to act justly upon the trust that the governor placed in me and in our Cabinet to progressively shorten those reports through education, engineering, emergency response and enforcement.  Transformation often begins with a renewing of the mind.

For KOHS, it all comes down to ever-increasing and intentional efforts to preserve lives as citizens travel our exquisite Commonwealth.  I cannot imagine a more sacred public trust, but I can envision a future in which Zero Deaths is our reality. 
KBT's Mission Statement
Kentuckians for Better Transportation educates and advocates for all modes of transportation to promote a safe, sustainable transportation network that brings economic growth and improved quality of life to all Kentucky Communities.
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McConnell Praises Infrastructure, Commerce Components of Water Resources Development 

'The projects authorized in this bill range from strengthening our waterways infrastructure to helping support safe and reliable drinking water sources. They also invest in priorities each of us cares about like improving public health and safety, enhancing commerce, and supporting America's ecosystems.'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today praising the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act:
From the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay to the inland waterways that are so important to Kentucky's maritime jobs, America's waterways play a crucial role in supporting the economy, transporting goods and people from point A to point B, and supplying communities with drinking water.

As the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Inhofe understands just how critical our waterways are and the importance of maintaining them. That's why he's worked with Ranking Member Boxer to craft the bipartisan 2016 Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA.

This responsible water resources bill authorizes more than two dozen Army Corps projects from the east coast to the west, and it's expected to save taxpayers $6 million over the next decade. It's also completely paid for.

The projects authorized in this bill range from strengthening our waterways infrastructure to helping support safe and reliable drinking water sources. They also invest in priorities each of us cares about like improving public health and safety, enhancing commerce, and supporting America's ecosystems.

Here's what I mean.

By investing in flood control projects, dam maintenance, and drinking water infrastructure, this bill will enhance public health and safety.

By investing in ports, harbors, locks, and dams, it will strengthen commerce.   More here.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Announces Grants for Upgrades at Kentucky Riverports

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2016) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) announced today that five Kentucky riverports have been awarded $500,000 in grants from Kentucky's Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund. The grants will fund necessary riverport improvements and repairs.
"Kentucky's river cities have done great work developing our waterways as commercial assets," said Cabinet Sec. Greg Thomas. "By making these necessary investments in our riverports we support their efforts to create a more competitive and efficient transportation infrastructure that grows the economy of the entire state."
Riverports in Hickman, Paducah, Eddyville, Owensboro and Henderson will receive matching grants to supplement investments made by each riverport on projects like dock dredging, pavement rehabilitation, railroad repair and crane restoration.
Sen. Joe Bowen said the grant will enhance the expanding Riverport, making it more competitive and connected to a global market.
"The grant from Kentucky's Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund for the City of Owensboro will be another tool in the toolbox for enhancing our expanding Riverport in our community. Bettering this global port will make Owensboro even more competitive and connected to a global market, and I look forward to seeing the new updates implemented."  More here.
Child Passenger Safety Week:  September 18-24, 2016
National Seat Check Saturday: September 24, 2016

Every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts. Click on photo below for more.

Railways Railways
CSX Stands Alone Among U.S. Railroads (CSX)
CSX Corp. (CSX) has been receiving awards while delivering for investors. In regards to the former, CSX was just named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for the sixth year in a row, and it received the Award of Excellence in Public Safety for its "CSX Rail Respond" mobile-commuting application.

CSX was the only U.S.-based railroad as well as only one of three transportation companies included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America. It was specifically recognized for the following high-performance areas:
Michael J. Ward, chairman and chief executive officer, released the following statement, "Achieving the 'right results, the right way' is one of CSX's core values, and we aim to live that value every day as we safely and efficiently move the goods that are essential to our communities. By operating with respect for customers, employees, neighbors and the environment, we're able to create sustainable, long-term value for our investors."  More here.
Uber Testing Out Self Driving Vehicles

PITTSBURGH - Call it a leap of faith. In algorithms. And radar. And sensors.

Getting behind the wheel of a self-driving car for the first time falls somewhere on the spectrum between frightening and exhilarating.

When ride-hailing service Uber let me pilot a Ford Fusion sedan retrofitted with the firm's autonomous-driving technology through the streets of Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the future felt reachable.

Starting Wednesday, it will also be reachable for Uber customers here. Uber  will be running a fleet of self-driving cars around the city - always with one of its drivers behind the wheel ready to take over -  and passengers will be able to watch the car in action from the back seat. Uber appears to be preparing for the day that driverless cars prowl cities, ready to pick up any passenger who needs a lift. More here.
Gary Reece Named Commissioner of the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid

Reece brings seasoned leadership, experience to the Cabinet
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2016) - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Greg Thomas today announced the appointment of Gary Reece as commissioner of the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid. Reece replaces David Martin, who resigned due to family-related matters.
"Gary's knowledge and expertise with rural and municipal issues continue to be an asset for the Cabinet," said Sec. Thomas.  "I am thankful for his willingness to serve the Commonwealth and welcome him to his new role."
Gary Reece began his career as a right of way agent for the Transportation Cabinet's Department of Highways District 11 office in Manchester.
Reece left the Cabinet in 1972 to pursue a career in the energy and coal industry.  After a successful 33-year career in the private industry, Reece returned to KYTC by serving in the Office of Rural Secondary Roads from 2004 to 2006. 
In 2006, Reece was appointed the director of legislative affairs and served as a policy advisor to the Office of the Secretary in 2007.
"I want to thank Gov. Bevin for the opportunity to serve the people of the Commonwealth as well as the talented, hard-working employees of the Transportation Cabinet," said Reece. "I look forward to sharing Gov. Bevin's vision with officials and constituents across Kentucky."
Reece earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Eastern Kentucky University.
He is originally from Jackson County and currently lives in London with his wife, Linda. They have three children and five grandchildren.  

Getting the Region's First "Bus Rapid Transit" Line.

More than $50 million in trans portation improvements under way and planned over the next two years will create a New Dixie Highway and fuel transformation of a major economic corridor for southwest and west Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer announced this week.

The New Dixie Highway, the first major construction project under the Mayor's MOVE Louisville initiative, will include safety design enhancements, signal improvements, sidewalks, crosswalks and resurfaced lanes.

The city's busiest transit corridor will also get the region's first "bus rapid transit" line, including distinctive TARC buses and high-visibility shelters to help move thousands of people daily and better define the 14-mile corridor. 

TARC's Route 18, which serves the Dixie Highway corridor, is the area's best-performing bus route, carrying an average of more than 4,800 riders daily. However, high demand for service combined with traffic congestion along the corridor often causes delays to scheduled stops.
The launch of Louisville's first bus rapid transit line will improve, speed, service and reliability on the Route 18 line and transform the look and feel of the Dixie Highway Corridor. This system, which eventually could be expanded to other parts of TARC's service area, will include:
  • More than 20 distinctive bus-rapid transit stations along the length of the Dixie Highway corridor
  • TARC-designated queue-jump lanes and bus turnouts that make it safer and easier for buses to re-enter traffic after stops
  • A Traffic Signal Priority system connected with the Intelligent Transportation System
  • Newly branded buses designated for the Dixie Highway corridor
  • Sidewalk improvements to improve access to bus rapid transit stations
"The New Dixie Highway project is the largest concentrated investment in Louisville's transportation network since we began the Ohio River Bridges Project," Fischer said. "Over the next several years, we will create a new Dixie Highway that's safer for everyone, more efficient for motorists, more reliable for transit users and more enticing for business owners, consumers and investors."  More here.
Corporate Executive Bob Helton Moves to EDC 

After two national searches, the Morehead-Rowan County Economic Development Council, Inc., literally found a new executive director right in its own backyard.

Longtime corporate executive Robert L. (Bob) Helton, a Morehead area resident, is leaving R. J. Corman Railroad Group after nine years to take the EDC post on Monday, Oct. 3.

"He is exactly the right person we need at this time to lead us forward," said Mark Neff, EDC and search committee chair, and president/CEO of St. Claire Regional Medical Center.

"He was the board's unanimous choice and we are pleased to welcome him aboard," Neff added. "The committee was determined to find the best person available and we obviously succeeded."

Helton, a 1975 graduate of Morehead State University, has more than 30 years of corporate management experience in Central and Eastern Kentucky and the Southeastern U.S.

Terry Ensor, acting EDC director for the last two years, said he was "thrilled and excited" about Helton's appointment. More here.
Air airways

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines' systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service load factor - a measure of the use of airline capacity - rose to 83.6 percent in June, seasonally adjusted, rising for the third consecutive month (Table 1).
The seasonally-adjusted load factor rose from May (83.5) to June (83.6) because passenger travel grew faster (0.6 percent increase in Revenue Passenger-Miles (RPMs)) than system capacity (0.5 percent increase in Available Seat-Miles (ASMs)) (Tables 4, 7).
Load factor is a measure of the use of aircraft capacity that compares the system use, measured in RPMs  as a proportion of system capacity, measured in ASMs More here.
2017 Annual Kentucky Transportation Conference 
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Platinum Sponsors




Trinity Highway Products
Geotechnology, Inc.
Hinkle Construction Services, LLC
Hinkle Environmental Services, LLC

Lynn Imaging|Monster Color
Integrated Engineering
E&H Bridge & Grating, Inc.
Bacon|Farmer|Workman Engineering, Inc.
Trinity Highway Products
Site-Safe, LLC
Geotechnology, Inc.
American Engineers, Inc.
Irving Materials Group, (imi)
Louisville Regional Airport Authority
Roadway Construction Products (RCP)
Palmer Engineering
Hinkle Environmental Services

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