NCSL's State Transportation Leaders Symposium

11/1/2017
Oct. 25 - 27, 2017 | State Transportation Leaders Symposium | Denver

Denver Union Station

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) hosted the State Transportation Leaders Symposium: Current Challenges and the Future of Autonomy Oct. 25-27 in Denver. More than 30 legislative transportation leaders gathered to learn about and discuss state transportation policy challenges and opportunities. The meeting focused on three topic areas:

  • Innovations to reduce impaired driving, including drugged and drunken driving.
  • Best practices to fund, finance and plan an efficient state transportation system.
  • Discussing the approaching autonomous vehicles revolution and how states can be best prepared to utilize this transformative technology.
The primary audience for this meeting was legislators who are passionate about transportation issues and serve in leadership roles in their states. The meeting offered an opportunity to discuss emerging transportation policy trends and network with legislative peers. Attendees learned from a diverse selection of experts from industry, federal, state and local government, advocacy organizations and academia. 
 
This meeting was made possible due to the gracious support and expertise of AAA, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), Lyft and the Reason Foundation. 
 

AGENDA


Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017     

Welcome Reception Embassy Suites – 4th Floor Lobby and Atrium Alcove 

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017

Welcome and Introductions
  •  Bill Pound, executive director, NCSL | No Presentation
  •  Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director, NCSL | No Presentation

Innovations in Reducing Impaired Driving  Track

Refining Ignition Interlock Laws and Programs

Ignition interlock laws in some form are in place in all 50 states. However, there is a great deal of variation in these programs. Traffic safety experts discussed ways to expand and improve existing interlock programs, including all-offender interlocks and strategies to increase implementation.

Moderator 

  • Amanda Essex, NCSL | No Presentation

Speakers

  • Tara Casanova Powell, principal, Casanova Powell Consulting | Presentation
  • Erin Holmes, director of traffic safety, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility | Presentation
  • Lieutenant Robert Sharpe, Washington State Patrol | Presentation
Focusing on Drug-Impaired Driving

The legalization of marijuana has resulted in many states more closely examining the impacts of drugged driving. States continue to evaluate and debate the most appropriate way to address the dangers presented by this particular form of impaired driving. Rich Romer, an expert with AAA, shared information on the research in this area. Attendees then heard from a traffic safety resource prosecutor in Colorado regarding the state’s on-the-ground experience. 

Moderator

Speakers

Luncheon presentation | New and Emerging Approaches

In this session, we heard from two speakers regarding new and emerging approaches states have taken to reduce impaired driving. Judge Richard Vlavianos from California shared information on an award-winning program for effective supervision of repeat DUI offenders, including assessment screenings for recidivism and mental health needs. We then heard about proactive, front-end options for preventing impaired driving from Allison Schwartz with Seattle DOT, who discussed Lyft’s campaign with the city to work on reducing impaired driving through ride-sharing, and Seattle's larger Vision Zero efforts.

Moderator

  • Douglas Shinkle, NCSL | No Presentation

Speakers

  • Judge Richard Vlavianos, San Joaquin County, CA | Presentation
  • Allison Schwartz, communications adviser, Seattle Department of Transportation | Presentation

Funding and Financing Transportation Track

Current Challenges & Near-Term Solutions in Transportation Funding

Brian Pallasch, managing director of Government Relations and Infrastructures Initiatives at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), provided an examination of the state of America’s infrastructure. Using trends identified in ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Cards, Brian shared success stories from states that have improved their infrastructure outlook, recommendations for states to make improvements and details on the interplay between the federal government and the states.  | Presentation

Lessons Learned from Recent Transportation Funding Initiatives

Since 2013, more than half of the states have enacted legislation to increase or re-structure their motor fuel taxes. As states seek to mitigate declining purchasing power and depressed revenues from traditional cent-per-gallon motor fuel taxes, a variety of approaches have been adopted. We heard from three legislators discussing the different structures they recently put in place and the realized success or shortfall of those strategies.

Moderator

  • Kevin Pula, NCSL | No Presentation

Speakers

  • Representative John Torbett (R-N.C.) | No Presentation
  • Senator Steve Gooch (R-Ga.) | No Presentation | Handout 1: State of Georgia Transportation Funding
  • Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Mass.) | No Presentation
Best Practices for Transportation Planning and Efficient Spending

Revenues are only half of the equation in a sustainable and responsible transportation plan. Alongside recent funding increases, and occasionally as a standalone approach, states have been implementing new strategies for transportation planning, project prioritization and efficient spending.

Moderator

  • Douglas Shinkle, NCSL | No Presentation

Speaker

  • Nick Donohue, deputy secretary, Virginia Dept. of Transportation | Presentation

Legislative Respondent

  • Representative Mary Duvall (R-S.D.) | No Presentation
Long-Term Policy Options for Sustainable Transportation Funding

The motor fuel tax, once an accurate proxy of infrastructure usage, is facing increased equity and revenue challenges due to the move towards high-efficiency vehicles, changing travel patterns and electric or alternative fuels. Experts discussed the emerging concept of road charging and other alternative user-fee based revenue sources.

Moderator

  • Adrian Moore, vice-president of policy, Reason Foundation | No Presentation

Speaker

  • California Transportation Commissioner Jim Madaffer, chair of California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee | Presentation

Legislative Respondents

  • Senator Wayne Harper (R-Utah) | No Presentation
  • Representative Jake Fey (D-Wash.)  | No Presentation
Innovative Project Delivery and Alternative Financing

Public-private partnerships, price-managed lanes, tolling and other alternative delivery mechanisms have proven useful as one component of transportation infrastructure delivery. Three finance and project delivery leaders engaged in a moderated discussion on innovative approaches used by states and metropolitan regions to improve corridor management, leverage limited revenues and potentially alleviate pressure on overall transportation budgets.

Moderator

Kevin Pula, NCSL | No Presentation

Speakers

  • Ananth Prasad, former Florida transportation secretary, HNTB | No Presentation
  • Nick Donohue, deputy secretary, Virginia Dept. of Transportation | No Presentation
  • Diane Barrett, chief projects officer, City and County of Denver | No Presentation
Optional Denver Union Station Tour  

Diane Barrett, chief projects officer for the City and County of Denver, and NCSL staff led an informal tour of Denver Union Station. This multi-modal transportation hub located in the heart of Denver’s LoDo district was completed in 2013 utilizing a unique public-private partnership which leveraged a value-capture district. The station is the terminus of the A-Line commuter train—the “Train to the Plane”—which is one segment of Denver’s $2.2 billion EAGLE P3 transit project.

Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

Future of Autonomy Track

The Big Picture - What are Autonomous Vehicles?

According to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, “Our country is on the verge of one of the most exciting and important innovations in transportation history—the development of automated driving systems…” Austin Brown started the day with an explanation and overview of autonomous technologies, including a discussion of the differences between autonomy and connectivity and a timeline for deployment in various modes of transportation. He then discussed the University of California, Davis’ 3 Revolutions Policy Initiative and the potential mobility and environmental impacts of a shared, electrified and autonomous transportation future. Jennifer Ryan from AAA then presented AAA’s research on consumer attitudes regarding autonomous vehicles.

Moderator

  • Amanda Essex, NCSL | No Presentation

Speakers

Autonomous Vehicle Regulation and Legislation

There is ongoing debate regarding the appropriate role for the different levels of government to play in the regulation of autonomous vehicles. Gina Espinosa-Salcedo from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared information on the administration’s new automated driving systems guidance. We heard about state and federal legislation on this topic from NCSL staff and then held a discussion regarding the regulatory roles for federal, state and local governments.

Moderator

  • Ben Husch, NCSL | No Presentation

Speakers

  • Gina Espinosa-Salcedo, regional administrator for region 8, NHTSA | Presentation
  • King Gee, director of engineering and technical services, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials | No Presentation
  • Baruch Feigenbaum, assistant director of transportation policy, Reason Foundation | No Presentation
AV Infrastructure: What do States Need? 

A number of changes or improvements may be required to America’s transportation systems to fully utilize the potential benefits of an autonomous and connected vehicle future. King Gee with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials gave an overview of what states are doing to plan and prepare for AV infrastructure needs. Blaine Leonard with the Utah Department of Transportation detailed the specifics of how Utah is preparing for this new technology. Jon Walker with Lyft gave the perspective of a shared mobility provider on infrastructure needs and how parking, curb management, fueling infrastructure, first and last mile connections and other considerations must be taken into account when making transportation decisions.

Moderator

  • Douglas Shinkle, NCSL | No Presentation

Speakers

  • King Gee, director of engineering and technical services, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials | Presentation
  • Blaine Leonard, technology & innovation engineer, Utah Dept. of Transportation | Presentation
  • Jon Walker, transportation policy manager, Lyft | Presentation
Lunch and Wrapup | The Short Term, the Long Term, and the Messy Middle

The meeting wrapped up with a roundtable discussion among attendees regarding the potential impacts of autonomous vehicles. The following questions were considered by attendees: What laws need to be changed? Who will this impact? How will this impact traffic safety, parking, cybersecurity, insurance, software/hardware updates, revenue, etc.?

Adjourn