The future of automated vehicles and getting drivers to put down their smart phones were among the topics discussed at the Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officers board of directors meeting in the nation’s capital last week.
The MAASTO board also elected Julie Lorenz, Kansas Secretary of Transportation, as its vice president for 2020-2021. It means Lorenz will serve as MAASTO president once the term of current president — Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-Designee Craig Thompson — has expired.
With more than 25 years of experience, Lorenz is recognized as a national leader in the areas of policy development, collaboration and the use of economic analysis to communicate the value of transportation investment. Lorenz led research for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program on topics such as long-term and emerging trends in transportation and how to create and sustain a culture of innovation for state departments of transportation. She is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board and is chairing the Council on Aviation for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
In addition to electing Lorenz, the board reviewed progress on its four identified target issues:
- Improving freight transportation, including the application of new technology and improving multimodal access;
- Improving transportation safety through better design and effective public outreach;
- Promoting the development of adequate and reliable sources of transportation funding; and
- Examining how states can best respond to the rise of controlled and automated vehicle technology.
Members of MAASTO include Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio. It is affiliated with AASHTO, which held its national Washington Briefing conference on Capitol Hill last week.