NCSL's State Transportation Leaders Symposium 2019 | Denver, Colo.


Thursday, June 12, 2019

Denver, Colorado skylineThe National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) hosted the State Transportation Leaders symposium June 12-14, 2019 at the Curtis Hotel 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 in Reducing Impaired Driving 
  • Emerging and Existing Transportation Funding Solutions 
  • New Transportation Technology 

Agenda and Presentations

Welcome and Introductions

  • Tim Storey, incoming executive director, NCSL
  • Douglas Shinkle, program director, NCSL Transportation Program

Innovations in Reducing Impaired Driving Track

Colorado Case Study: Polysubstance-Impaired Driving

A combination of drug and alcohol-impaired driving has a harmful impact on the safety of our roadways. We heard from Sergeant Alan Ma regarding the dangers of polysubstance-impaired driving. Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Colo.) provided firsthand knowledge of Colorado’s legislative efforts to address the known unknown: the prevalence of polysubstance-impaired driving on roadways. We then heard from Jack Reed with the Colorado Department of Public Safety regarding impaired driving data collection and reporting efforts. 

  • Sergeant Alan Ma, DUI/DRE Unit, Denver Police Department | Presentation
  • Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Colo.) 
  • Jack Reed, statistical analyst, Colorado Department of Public Safety | Presentation

What’s in Store for in 2019? 

Brandy Nannini from, one of our sponsors, shared the organization’s upcoming efforts to examine the DUI system more holistically. These efforts include focusing on repeat DUI offenders, polysubstance impaired drivers and potential solutions to combat inefficiencies within the DUI system. 

Emerging Approaches and Innovative Partnerships to Address Impaired Driving

We learned from leaders about actions states are taking to address impaired driving. Sam Cole from the Colorado Department of Transportation highlighted CDOT’s successes and lessons learned from the department’s safety educational campaigns. Erin Holmes from discussed methods for testing impairment. Judge Michael Barrasse covered screening and assessment tools to identify and treat repeat DUI offenders. Lastly, Ed Hutchison from Lyft reviewed state partnerships to reduce impaired driving by targeting areas with frequent instances of impaired driving. 


Moderator: Annie Kitch, policy associate, NCSL Transportation Program 

  • Sam Cole, communications manager, Colorado Department of Transportation | Presentation 
  • Erin Holmes, director, Criminal Justice Programs, | Presentation 
  • Judge Michael Barrasse, president judge, Court of Common Pleas, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania | Presentation 
  • Ed Hutchison, policy partnerships Manager, Lyft | Presentation 

Emerging and Existing Transportation Funding Solutions Track

Federal Funding Update and Review of NCSL’s Upcoming Transportation Lobbying Efforts 
NCSL’s, Ben Husch provided an overview of the current Congressional transportation infrastructure debate followed by an overview of future NCSL federal lobbying efforts regarding transportation funding and other transportation subjects.


  • Ben Husch, committee director, NCSL Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee | Presentation

Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Fee Update

Kristy Hartman, NCSL, updated the audience on the latest trends in state fees for low and no-fuel vehicles, research on their efficacy and how much revenue they can be expected to generate.


  • Kristy Hartman, program director, NCSL Energy Program | Kristy Hartman | Presentation

Federal and State Road Use Charging Update

Road use charging (RUC), or some sort of pricing system for using roads, appears to be the most likely candidate to replace the motor fuel tax in the long term. In this session, we learned more about the federal program that provides grants to states to study and pilot new and innovative funding mechanisms. Then we heard from three states studying or piloting RUC systems. We covered the following questions: What role has the legislature played in the development of these RUC studies and pilots? What are some of the key lessons learned thus far? What is the best way to engage the public and elected officials in this important policy discussion? 


Moderator: Ben Husch, senior committee director, NCSL

  • Maureen Bock, Office of Innovation, Oregon Department of Transportation  | Presentation
  • Nathan Lee, Technology and Innovation director, Utah Department of Transportation | Presentation
  • Dr. Patricia Hendren, executive director, I-95 Corridor Coalition | Presentation

The Ins and Outs of Managed Lanes 

What are managed lanes? The audience heard from national experts and state and private operators of managed lanes about the key decisions to be made to maximize congestion and travel reliability improvements. We then explored the differences between high occupancy vehicle (HOV), high occupancy toll (HOT) and express toll lanes and the relative benefits of each. Attendees also learned how managed lanes can enhance bus transit and other multi-modal options. 


Moderator: Douglas Shinkle, program director, NCSL Transportation Program

  • Baruch Feigenbaum, assistant director of transportation policy, Reason Foundation | Presentation
  • Darryl VanMeter, assistant P3 division director, State Innovative Delivery Administrator, Georgia Department of Transportation | Presentation
  • Terry Ostrom, vice president of project delivery, Plenary  | Presentation

Asset Management: How to Wisely Spend Transportation Dollars

In this session, we learned how states are using data to inform sound transportation spending decisions and the legislative role in crafting such systems. 


Moderator: Douglas Shinkle, program director, NCSL Transportation Program

  • Emily Feenstra, managing director, Government Relations and Infrastructure Initiatives, American Society of Civil Engineers | Presentation
  • David Hyder, director of transportation, Tri-Cities Metropolitan Planning Organization, Virginia| Presentation


Friday, June 14, 2019

New Transportation Technology Track

Micromobilty Overview

Electric scooters and other micromobility models captured the public’s attention in 2018. State lawmakers acted in earnest in 2019 to create regulatory frameworks for these new transportation options. Speakers reviewed how and where they are being used, and what state legislation looks like.  


  • Douglas Shinkle, program director, NCSL Transportation Program | Presentation
  • Ben LaRocco, senior manager of state policy, Lime | Presentation

How Partnerships Can Make a Difference for the Transportation Disadvantaged

The existing transportation system does not serve some populations well, including off-shift workers, those without personal vehicles and people with disabilities, amongst others. Steve Holmes and Jamario Jackson discussed innovative partnerships to bridge the first mile/last mile and serve geographically and economically diverse populations.  


Moderator: Douglas Shinkle, program director, NCSL Transportation Program

  • Steve Holmes, executive director, Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged | Presentation
  • Jamario Jackson, senior community planner, TransForm | Presentation

State Test Beds for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

States are taking a variety of approaches to position themselves as leaders in the testing and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV). We learned about two states’ experiences, including the role of legislatures in these initiatives, partnerships with industry and academia and the progress of on-the-ground CAV projects.  


Moderator: Ben Husch, senior committee director, NCSL 

  • Blaine Leonard, Technology and Innovation engineer, Utah Department of Transportation | Presentation
  • Kevin Biesty, deputy director for Policy, Arizona Department of Transportation | Presentation

Meeting Adjourned.