Nov 17

2021 Traffic and Safety Forum

Event Details

Ames, Iowa


Gateway Hotel and Conference Center
2100 Green Hills Drive
Ames, IA 50010


November 17, 2021


Event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Registration opens at 8:00 a.m.

Event Contact
Judy Thomas
InTrans, MTC


The purpose of the 2021 Traffic and Safety Forum is to enable traffic and safety engineering professionals to learn about new and innovative systems and processes, share individual experiences, and collectively address issues of interest. In recent years, representatives have attended from cities, counties, consultants, universities, and the Iowa Department of Transportation.


Keynote Speaker – David Harkey, IIHS-HLDI

David Harkey is president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, whose mission is to reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage from motor vehicle crashes through research and evaluation and through education of consumers, policymakers, and safety professionals.

Before taking the helm at IIHS-HLDI in 2018, Dr. Harkey led the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center for 11 years. There he directed numerous projects to improve roadway design and operations for all road users, develop tools and strategies for enhanced safety analysis, improve safety data for researchers and decision makers, and develop training materials for safety professionals. He has led major research programs and projects for the Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and other public agencies throughout his career and published numerous technical reports and peer-reviewed articles on road safety.

Dr. Harkey received a doctorate in civil engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is actively involved in several professional organizations, including the Transportation Research Board and the Institute for Transportation Engineers.


Speaker – Scott Marler, Iowa DOT

Scott Marler became the Iowa DOT Director in February of 2020. He has worked for the Iowa DOT for over 20 years, with experience in traffic operations, highway project development, regulatory compliance, and the natural environment. Marler has been active in leadership development and workforce planning and has also been instrumental in advancing geospatial technologies and systems throughout the Department.

Prior to serving as Director, Marler served as the Director of the Operations Division since December 2017. In his role, he was responsible for highway operations and traffic management on the state’s 9,400 miles of highways and bridges, including the areas of construction and materials, maintenance, motor vehicle enforcement, traffic operations, and traffic and safety.

Marler is active on several national committees associated with the American Association of State Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He has served on a national technical committee for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an expert panel for TRB, and a course development committee for the National Highway Institute. Marler has also served on Governor’s councils and other state of Iowa task forces.

He holds a Master of Science degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.


Tentative Agenda

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Steve Gent, Director, Traffic and Safety Bureau, Iowa DOT

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Presentation: Vehicle Safety: Then, Now, and Tomorrow
David L. Harkey, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.Break
10:30 a.m. – Noon

"TAS Talks" – Lessons Learned from Interesting Projects

  • Todd Knox, Snyder & Associates, Traffic Signal Performance Measures in the Des Moines Metro
  • Tyler Wiles, HR Green, I-35/I-80/IA 141 Urban Loop Study and Design
  • Meredith Emory, Olsson, INRIX Applications in Traffic Engineering
  • David Andersen, FHU, Lincoln Downtown Signal Timings
  • Molly Long, John Witt, and Jeff Von Brown, Foth, SE Cedar Rapids Traffic Study
  • City of Cedar Rapids, CR Bike Infrastructure / Bike Share Program
Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch (provided)

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Iowa DOT Director's Vision
Scott Marler, Iowa DOT Director
David Lorenzen, Iowa DOT Director of Systems Operations Division

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.State of the Practice
  • Potential for Crash Reduction - Jan Laaser-Webb, Iowa DOT
  • RAMS Update - BJ Covington, Iowa DOT
  • Automated Transportation Council - Adam Shell, Iowa DOT
2:30 – 2:45 p.m.Break
2:45 – 4:00 p.m.Iowa DOT Traffic & Safety Update
  • Traffic Engineering Update – Chris Poole, Iowa DOT
  • Safety Engineering Update – Jan Laaser-Webb, Iowa DOT
  • Traffic and Safety Update – Willy Sorenson, Iowa DOT
4:00 p.m.


Download a PDF of this agenda.