After 17 Years, Lee Rodegerdts Knows His Way ‘Round TRB

January 18, 2012

($1) In 2006, Lee Rodegerdts delivered a presentation about roundabouts to the Transportation Research Board’s Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Committee. For Rodegerdts, an associate engineer with Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI), the presentation – a progress report on research regarding a new procedure to analyze roundabouts in the United States – was heady stuff. He was principal investigator on the KAI-led research, and committee members were individuals for whom Rodegerdts had the utmost respect.

Looking back, Rodegerdts said the successful presentation reinforced his confidence. It also positioned him to help shepherd a rewrite of the chapter on roundabouts in the TRB’s Highway Capacity Manual, the publication that helps engineers and planners assess the traffic and environmental effects of highway projects.

TRB’s annual meeting, an event that attracts thousands of transportation professionals from around the world, has been a constant in Rodegerdts’ career. He’s attended nearly every annual gathering since 1995, when he was a Georgia Tech graduate student after joining KAI.

This year, Rodegerdts’ involvement includes participation in two groups: the Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Committee and the Task Force on Roundabouts. He also will take part in meetings focused on research projects about accelerating roundabout implementation nationally and travel time reliability monitoring systems. The roundabout research is centered on improving pedestrian access at multilane roundabouts for visually impaired people; updating operational analysis in the Highway Capacity Manual; and studying environmental and noise impacts and safety issues. KAI is a sub-consultant on the travel time reliability monitoring system research, helping develop guidebooks for TRB’s Strategic Highway Research Program 2.

Among the TRB annual meeting’s major benefits is that so many transportation engineering professionals and researchers attend. “Because of that,” Rodegerdts said, “conversations in hallways and during meals are among the places where a lot of information is exchanged. You get ideas, you get fired up and you set new ideas into motion.”

As in prior years, Rodegerdts’ trip to the TRB meeting actually will be multipronged. He’ll also attend the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices annual meeting in Arlington, Va., which precedes TRB. The committee helps develop standards, guidance and warrants for traffic control devices and practices used to regulate, warn and guide traffic on streets and highways.

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