Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Frank Quon, Deputy District Director for Operations, proudly accepts the Best of ITS Award, on behalf of the entire Caltrans team.

by  Jeanne Bonfilio
Issue Date: 07/2007

The Best of ITS Award Honors Excellence in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Industry.

Three key California public agencies, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 7, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Southern Division and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) were jointly awarded the important “Best of ITS America Partnership Deployment Award” at the 2007 Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA) Meeting for the development and construction of the new Los Angeles  Regional Transportation Management Center (LARTMC) in Eagle Rock. 

The new, ultra modern, technologically advanced LARTMC is now home to what was previously known as the Transportation Management Center (TMC), and formerly housed at the District 7 Office Building.  A grand opening ceremony will be held later this summer.

The LARTMC is a regional transportation center unlike any other.  It is unique because it is jointly shared between Caltrans District 7 transportation management operations and the CHP who, together can monitor, control and manage incidents on the freeway transportation system, creating a true partnership between the agency responsible for managing the freeway and highway network with responder responsibilities.  “This high-tech center was specifically designed to include the technology systems to integrate and help share roadway real-time traffic information, as well as aid in the management of other modes of travel in the region,” said Quon, who has been deeply involved in the inception, development and construction of the world-class, high-tech facility.  “Computer, communications and software technology innovations were included to integrate all critical transportation data types in the region and utilize them within our operations” Quon said. 
The prestigious Best of ITS Award is the only program in the world that honors the most innovative, effective and influential achievements in the ITS industry.  This highly competitive program recognizes the organizations whose projects have demonstrated specific and measures, outcomes and exemplified innovation by establishing a “new dimension” of performance.

The award was presented by ITS America, a consortium of local, regional and state departments of transportation and the private transportation industry, at their 2007 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Palm Springs from June 4-6.  The award, also sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, is a testament to the importance of partnerships.  A delegation of traffic engineers and ITS professionals from District 7 were on hand to celebrate the award with District 7’s Deputy District Director for Operations Frank Quon, who accepted it on behalf of Caltrans.

Caltrans Director Will Kempton was the keynote speaker at the ITS Annual Meeting where this year’s Partnership Deployment Award was announced.  His main message revolved around the important need to reach out to legislators to support the ITS program -- using and sharing technology to better manage roadway assets and improve safety, productivity and performance of transportation systems.  He called on ITS America delegates to “Get out there and get the support of elected and appointed officials and make ITS mainstream.”  He said the message is simple – “Get mainstream and deploy, deploy, deploy!”  He said that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had called for $107 billion to be invested in California’s transportation system over the next ten years as part of the state’s strategic growth plan.  $100 million has already been allocated for ITS projects this year.  Kempton also says that the technology and the successful application of ITS needs to be at the forefront of public thinking.  “What we see being shown here today, will tomorrow be the essential but everyday technology,” he added.

Caltrans established the first Traffic Operations Center (TOC) in Los Angeles, inaugurated by Governor Ronald Reagan on November 23, 1971. This TOC had functioned as the central coordination location for highway incident management, congestion management, and traveller information with an initial area of responsibility of covering 42 miles of the greater Los Angeles freeway system.  In the intervening years, Caltrans transportation system management and the CHP incident management programs continued to evolve.  “Caltrans, the CHP, Metro and regional transportation agencies have established strong cooperative partnerships to provide congestion relief,” added Quon. “This cooperation benefits the public by providing enhanced communication between departments, improved response times to incidents and improved coordination for transportation management.” 

Quon would like to thank the following people for their commitment and dedication to the success of this project: Quon said there were many employees as well as retirees alike whose hard work and perseverance over many years made this project a success.  He would like to thank the following: District 7 Director Doug Failing.  From Operations: Marco Ruano, Richard "Dick" Murphy, Jeff Aragaki, Alebachew Bekele, Allen Chen, Amahayes Dimiru, Jose Dominic Espejo, Sam Esquenazi, David Lau, Tadeo Lau, Liem Phan, Leila Sy, Jacqueline Tan, Pete Thompson, Daily Vergara, Sylvester Wilson, Peter Wong, Terry Wong and John Yang.  From Administration: William Blanco.  From Information Services: Ricardo Basuldua, Carl Clayborn and Mel Nodalo.  From Planning: Rose Casey.  From Design: Gregory Damico. From Program and Project Management: Emad Gorgy, Rosa Madrid and Hany Messiha.  From Maintenance: Lillian Perez.  From HQ Radio Operations: Reza Farahmand.  Retirees: Bob Sassaman, Ralph Blackburn, Dragan Buha, Tom Choe, Roger Douglas, Tommy Faubush, Tony Harris, Ray Higa, Julie Inouye, Juliana Iturrizaga, Pat Perovich, Jack Smith and Walter Salas.


Some of the dedicated ITS team members include, left to right back row: Peter Lin, Alebachew Bekele, Amahayes Dimiru and Terry Wong.  Front row: Jackie Tan, Peter Wong, Allen Chen, Frank Quon and Tadeo Lau. The new, state of the art, world class Los Angeles Regional Transportation Management Center. An up close and personal look inside the beautiful high tech transportation management center. The LARTMC under construction.