Hallelujah! 2021 is Coming

By Mr. Ransford McCourt P.E., PTOE posted 12-02-2020 09:41 PM


December is a time of reflection, family gatherings, and contemplation of the past year as we ready ourselves for what comes next. Frankly, most of us would like to put 2020 in our rearview mirror as quickly as possible. It seems to have been the year that careened from one unusual event to the next far too rapidly. I think we all want to change lanes  and get right to 2021.

I have witnessed far too many families impacted by 2020 in ways that no one would have imagined a year ago. Our hearts and prayers go out to so many people that have had to endure unimaginable hardships this year. Yet in what has felt at times like one insurmountable crisis after another, I have seen extraordinary acts of service. ITE members are  beacons of leadership, and their kindness and compassion rise from our fundamental values of making a difference in our communities. These members have chosen to be more than our circumstances, advancing the opportunity for change. We celebrate the collaboration of the International Board, ITE staff, and ITE leaders bringing value to you as  members. Read more on these accomplishments at www.ite.org/ibodrecap.

As 2020 draws to a close, I am excited for what lies ahead in 2021. What is on “Santa’s List” for transportation and ITE? Let me tell you. 
  • Helping members understand the role of big data in our industry’s future;
  • Understanding the role work-from-home will play in commute travel;
  • Exploring the role equity, diversity, and inclusion plays in transportation;
  • Working together to determine how ITE can play a valuable role in STEM and the career trajectory of students in their transition to young professionals;
  • Making the ITE leadership experience one that advances your career development at each contact point—District, Section, Chapter, Council, Committee, LeadershipITE, etc.;
  • Continued sharing of the global knowledge and successes in our industry through before and after studies;
  • A reauthorization of U.S. federal transportation funding;
  • Advancing speed management and sharing new research such as the forthcoming NCHRP 17-76; 
  • A wealth of technical products from ITE, including reports, guides, and recommended practices (see the “Year in Review” article starting on page 26, which lists recently released and forthcoming technical products), including;
    • A new trip generation update addressing the outcomes of COVID-19,
    • A pedestrian crossing guide,
    • A new right turn on red informational report, 
    • A signal maintenance manual, 
    • A multi-modal assessment recommended practice,
    • A railroad pre-emption recommended practice; and 
  • Activity to support updates to the MUTCD (an NPA is expected early in 2021) and the AASHTO Green Book (underway).
If these are not enough reasons to stay connected to ITE in the coming year, there is one more: you. Your technical excellence, your desire to make a difference, and your collaboration and diversity of perspectives. You are the engine of our industry. None of these activities in 2021 are possible without you. Together, we can rise up above the norm to shape our communities. ITE will be there with you creating the fundamental foundation of change and advancement.

Finally, in my last month as International President of ITE, I want to thank each of you. It is your passion, kindness, energy, and courage to seek change that has made it an honor to serve you. Take care and be safe.