2023 NADO’s National Transportation Conference highlights!!
The 2023 NADO’s National Transportation Conference held in Oklahoma City from September 12-14th was a stupendous success with over 250 in-person participants and about 50 virtual attendees. NADO co-hosted this conference with the National Center on Rural Road Safety’s National Summit on Rural Road Safety. The presentations and session recordings are available to the attendees in the Whova conference app.
We are pleased to present a special welcome message video by Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg. With rural and tribal communities facing the highest fatality rates, with less funding and fewer resources, Secretary Buttigieg emphasized the importance of road safety. Secretary Buttigieg acknowledged the importance of USDOT’s 800 billion dollars awarded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for projects such as adding rumble strips, widening shoulders, building bike lanes and sidewalks along with 21 million dollars for 88 tribal communities to improve road safety.
Special remarks by FHWA Administrator Bhatt emphasized the importance of regional-level planning and activities in rural/small metro areas. Administrator Bhatt also noted that FHWA is looking to simplify and streamline grant rules for funding process and strongly encouraged to apply for FHWA offered resources and technical assistance.
Sessions included topics on implementing post-crash care on rural roadways, DIY local/tribal road safety plans, implementing BIL: State-Regional relationships in transportation, data needed for developing local/tribal road safety plans, building a rural traffic safety coalition, public involvement in rural & small metro regions, data strategies for small communities to implement safety improvements, overview of the most effective safety solutions for rural roads, planning and environment linkages: flexible implementations, vulnerable road users and the rural town economic development perspective, regional intelligent transportation noteworthy practices, methods to prevent roadway departure on rural roads, funding resources available to include safety projects, rural public and community transportation resources and models, latest methods to slow down drivers and save lives, how to write safe streets and roads for all grants applications, and regional freight planning issues.
Networking opportunities with other state/regional/tribal transportation and development planners, transit professionals, as well as safety practitioners from a range of stakeholder organizations around the country allowed to gain insights and new perspectives.
The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards, a program of NADO’s RPO America and the NADO Research Foundation, recognized noteworthy projects and programs in rural, small metropolitan, and larger areas that help meet regional needs through various program areas. Each year, the Excellence Awards honor NADO members’ efforts in many program areas, including regional multimodal transportation, bicycle and pedestrian planning, environment, equity, project implementation, public involvement, safety and transit.
RPO America and National RPO Council of Peers Business Meeting was held on September 14th. USDOT and AASHTO staff presented updates on programs and activities. RPO America members discussed priority topics and next steps on significant transportation issues for the NADO and RPO America membership.