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NEWSLETTER Volume 30

2016

Number 2

Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Puerto Rico


Transportation Technology Transfer Center 1986-2016

UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO,


MAYAGEZ CAMPUS

Puerto Rico LTAP


www. prltap.org

CEE-SA-16-6767

prltap.org

CONTENTS
Message from the Director

Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Puerto Rico


Transportation Technology Transfer Center

4-6

Exceptional Celebration of the ITE-UPRM


2016 Transportation Week

7-11

The New Era of Women in Transportation:


Stories and Anecdotes

12-17

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Decade of Action


for Road Safety in
Puerto Rico 2011-2020

18-22

USDOT Every Place Counts: A Design Challenge

Vol. 30 No. 1, 2016

PAGE

Pages 7-11

ITE-UPRM 2016 Transportation Week

Pages 12-17

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

23

National Work Zone Awareness Week in Puerto Rico

24-25

Mobile Apps as a Tool to Bring Transportation to


Vulnerable Populations

26-27
The New Era of Women in Transportation

United States Interstate Highway System turns 60

27

Recognition to Excellence:
USVI Department of Public Works

28

Practical Safety Tips:


Dont Leave Your Baby in the Car!

29

New Results from Latin NCAP:


Kia and Peugeot With Disappointing Outcome

29

Pages 18-22

Know your Instructor:


Dr. Jonathan Muoz Barreto

30

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Decade


of Action for Road Safety in Puerto Rico
2011-2020

Decade of Action for Road Safety:


Safety Pledge

31

Vol. 30 No. 2, 2016

The Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer Center, PRLTAP/T2, is part of a network of 58 Centers
throughout the United States that comprises of the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and Tribal
Technical Assistance Program (TTAP). The mission of the PRLTAP/T2 Center is to provide training and technical
assistance to local transportation officials of the 78 municipalities that comprises the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico, the Department of Transportation and Public Works of Puerto Rico and the Department of Public Works of
the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), with emphasis on promoting a highway safety culture and in the implementation of
the USDOT FHWA Every Day Counts (EDC) initiatives.

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EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

Message from the Director

elcome! Best regards


to all our readers in the
second edition of the
30th Anniversary of the Newsletter
El Puente!
The feature article of this 30th
edition is dedicated to the Celebration of the Thirtieth
Anniversary of the Puerto Rico Transportation Technology
Transfer Center. This celebration was carried out at the
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagez (UPRM), in which
professors and trainers of the Seminar Program; past and
present T2 Center Co-Directors, administrative officials and
assistants; representatives of the Dean of Engineering, Dean
of Students, Civil Engineering and Surveying Department,
among others; as well as representatives of various agencies
related to transportation, such as the FHWA, DTOP,
PRHTA, ATI, among others.
Our second article covers the celebration of the 2016
Transportation Week of the Institute of Transportation
Engineers UPRM Student Chapter (ITE-UPRM), celebrated
from April 5 to 7, 2016. Its first day was dedicated to
professional opportunities in transportation at the federal
level and to the current situation of transportation in Puerto
Rico; while the second day was dedicated to opportunities
in research and academia and research projects; and the
third and last day was dedicated to the participation of
women in the transportation industry.
The third article, titled The New Era of W omen in
Transportation: Stories and Anecdotes, was written with the
assistance of Mr. Carlos Villanueva, where tells us the story
of the federal program W omen In Transportation Initiative
(WITI), the impact it has had in Puerto Rico and the
presentation of WITI during the ITE-UPRMs 2016
Transportation Week.
The fourth article summarizes the activities of the
celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the Decade of Action
for Traffic Safety of Puerto Rico 2011-2020, carried out
from May 9 to 11, 2016. These consisted of the traditional
light-up ceremony of the south faade of the Puerto Rico
Capitol Building, the light-up of the headquarters of the
College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR
by its Spanish acronym), and the official celebration of the
5th Anniversary, dedicated to both past and current
Executive Directors of the Puerto Rico Traffic Safety
Commission (CST by its Spanish initials), the Secretary of
the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP
by its Spanish initials) and the Manager of the Puerto Rico
Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
The fifth article describes a new initiative from FHWA,
named Every Place Counts, in which the primary objective
is exploring the adverse consequences the creation of

transportation systems can have when they act as barriers


to opportunities in nearby communities. Its purpose is to
bring about the union of disadvantaged communities are
affected by transportation projects and thus promote the
participation of social groups that arent traditionally
represented within the industry.
The sixth article covers the National W ork Zone
Awareness Week in Puerto Rico. By using the slogan
Dont be THAT driver! Work in safety. Get home safely.
Every day, the DTOP, the PRHTA, the CST and other
institutions related to the transportation industry, joined
forces during the week from April 11 t o15 to bring
awareness about worker safety within road work zones.
The seventh article, named Mobile A pps as a Tool to Bring
Transportation to Vulnerable Populations, informs readers
about how the new era in telecommunications has brought
numerous mobile phone apps to aid vulnerable members of
society in their quest to easily and effectively reach
transportation services in various cities around the world.
As part of this special Thirtieth Anniversary edition of T 2
Center we recognize Commissioner Gustav James, exalting
his extraordinary job and contributions in the training and
capacity-building of his professionals of the Virgin Islands.
We also added a section presenting practical safety tips to
avoid abandoning your baby in the car; as well as the latest
results of Latin NCAP on the lacking safety of select
models of Kia and Peugeot cars.
Finally, in the Know the Trainer section, T2 Center is
proud to recognize Dr. Jonathan Muoz-Barreto,
Associated Professor of UPRM, who, with his experience
in surveying and topography starting at a young age, has
succeeded in presenting a seminar relevant to
transportation named Open Source GIS: Geospatial
Solutions in Transportation Engineering.
I hope the selection of articles presented in this 30th Edition
can benefit our local collaborators in transportation in
Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, it is our
passion to share the innovative transportation research
initiatives, especially Every Day Counts (EDC), traffic
safety, workforce development and the management of
transportation infrastructure.
Please continue providing your support for the initiatives
of the Decade of Action for Road Safety and Toward Zero
Deaths at your workplaces and share our citizen
commitment with traffic safety. Together we can save
millions of lives!

Benjamn Colucci Ros

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

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Source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=544018&page=4&langid=5

Source: tti.tamu.edu

Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Puerto Rico


Transportation Technology Transfer Center!

n Friday April 29, 2016 the


Puerto Rico Transportation
Technology Transfer/LTAP T2
celebrated its 30th Anniversary at UPRM
Student Center. Message of the UPRM
Chancellor and representation from the
Office of the Chancellor, Dean of the
Congratulation message of
Faculty of Engineering, Dean of
Dr.
John Fernndez Van Cleve,
Students and the Civil Engineering and
Chancellor of the UPRM.
Surveying Department Chair were
present at this historic event. Representatives of the Puerto Rico Highway
and Transportation Authority (PRHTA), Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA), the Academia, instructors, past and present staff were present at
this ceremony.

The Civil Engineering and Surveying Department Chair, Prof. Ismael


Pagn Trinidad, was the master of ceremonies that welcomed all the
guests to the Student Center of the UPRM. The welcome remarks were in
charge of the Dean of Engineering, Dr. Agustn Rulln; FHWA Associate
Division Administrator, Eng. Michael Avery; PRHTA Executive
Director, Eng. Carmen Villar Prados, represented by Javier Arroyo; and
Guests enjoying the activity in the UPRM
the Dean of Students, Dr. Francisco Maldonado.
Student Center.
Following immediately, a proclamation celebrating the 30th Anniversary of PRLTAP was issued and read
by Mr. Miguel Seplveda, Assistant to the Mayor of the Autonomous Municipality of Mayagez. This

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document congratulates all


the PRLTAP staff, in
particular all the instructors
and professors that have
been collaborating for the
past 30 years in the
Training and Technical
Assistance Program. Also,
it recognizes PRLTAP as
Carmen Villar, engineer and Executive Director
the external organization of the PRHTA, presenting her welcome message.
that has provided the more
training to engineers and surveyors than any other entity for the College
of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR, by its Spanish
initials) and for the training of more than 30,000 professionals of all
kinds.
Congratulations messages by past T2 Co-Directors and partners in
transportation and highway safety were presented to the audience. Dr.
Felipe Luyanda, who was Co-Director along Dr. Benjamn Colucci and
Dr. Sergio Gonzlez since 1986, and is now a retired professor, was the
first to give his congratulation message to all the guests. Dr. Luyanda
gave a very emotional speech and share several anecdotes of the great
team of the PRLTAP along the past 30 years. Others gave their messages
through video, such as Dr. Sergio Gonzlez, former Secretary of the
Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public W orks (DTPW)
and retired professor; Dr. Alberto Figueroa, Executive Director of the
Integrated Transport Authority (ATI, by its Spanish acronym) and
UPRM professor; Eng. Amy Lucero, Director of the FHW A Office of
Technical Services; Eng. Ralph Kreil, President of the CIAPR; Mrs.
Nilsa
Paris,
former
Administrative
Assistant;
Eng. Edgar Rodrguez,
former Executive Director
of ATI and former president
of the CIAPR; Mr. Gustav
James, Commissioner of the
Department of Public Works
of United States Virgin
Islands; and Mrs. Rosie
Torres
de
Caldern,
Awarding of the commemorative proclamation
of the 30th Anniversary of T2 Center, delivered to Director of the UPRM
of Medical
its Director, Dr. Benjamn Colucci, by Mr. Mi- Department
guel Seplveda, Assistant of the Mayor of Maya- Services, invited to speak by
gez, together with representatives from the
Dr. Benjamn Colucci.
UPRM, FHWA, PRHTA and T2 Center staff.

EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

The 30 years of T2
were dedicated to:

Eng. Gisela Gonzlez, retired


Administrative Official

Mrs. Irmal Franco Ramrez,


Administrative Official III

Mrs. Grisel Villarrubia Echeverra,


Administrative Official III

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

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The activity was dedicated to the PRLTAP


administrators for the recent and past years. A
recognition was given to Eng. Gisela Gonzlez,
retired Administrative Officer with more than 20
years of experience dealing hand to hand with the
directors, professors and instructors of the PRLTAP.
The current and experienced Administrative Officers,
Mrs. Grisel Villarrubia and Mrs. Irmal Franco were
also recognized for their effort and leadership. Also a
special recognition was made for a new staff member,
Jesenia Carrero.
Dr. Felipe Luyanda, past T2 Center Co-Director and UPRM
retired professor, giving a message to the attendants

As another detail, a special commemorative edition of


El Puente was published, recognizing the instructors
with their professional biographies. This edition, which
also celebrates reaching the 30th volume, includes all
the 34 professors
and
instructors
that
have
participated in the
seminar program
of PRLTAP over
the past 30 years.
Also, it includes
the professional
biography of the PRLTAP Administrative Staff that
have been serving at the Center for more than 15 years.
A very special recognition was also given to several
past administrative staff members that contributed to
the formation of the PRLTAP.

Recognition given to past administrative assistants of


PRLTAP during the past 30 years.

Recognition and dedicatory of Gisela Gonzlez, Irmal


Franco y Grisel Villarrubia, next to Jesenia Carrero,
new staff member of the PR LTAP team.

At the end all the guests celebrated the 30 years of the


PRLTAP around the table with the celebration cake
allusive to the anniversary with the message 30
years of excellence in the training and capacity
building to the transportation officials. Also, the
long-awaited group photograph including every past
and present staff member, professor and stakeholders
of the PRLTAP, cannot be forgotten!

Congratulation message from Mr. Gustav James,


Commissioner of the United States Virgin Islands
Department of Public Works.

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EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

Source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=544018&page=4&langid=5

Exceptional Celebration of the ITE-UPRM


2016 Transportation Week

he Transportation Week was celebrated from April 5 to 7, 2016, at


the centenarian Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
facilities of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagez (UPRM).
During these days, the universitys community, as well as the general public,
witnessed conferences and other activities centered in topics such as women
in transportation, federal opportunities and the state of transportation in
Puerto Rico as well as research and graduate study opportunities at the
UPRM. This year we had the presence of Honorable Miguel Torres-Daz,
Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public W orks (DTOP
based on its Spanish initials); Carmen Villar-Prados, engineer and Executive
Director of the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation A uthority
(PRHTA); Dr. Benjamn
Colucci-Ros, Director of the
Puerto Rico Transportation
Technology Transfer Center
(T2); Ingrid Colberg, lawyer
and Executive Director of
the Puerto Rico Ports
Authority; Ivelisse Gorbea,
planner and Vice-President
of the ITE Puerto Rico
Section (ITE-PR); as well as
Part of the ITE-UPRM Directive Board
that of other outstanding greeting attendants during the first day of events
professionals.

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

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The Transportation Week started on Tuesday, April 5,


2016, with the inauguration and welcome acts in
charge of the President of the ITE-UPRM student
chapter, Edgardo Romn Afanador, and the Director of
the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying of
the UPRM, Professor Ismael Pagn-Trinidad.
Moderated by Dr. Benjamn Colucci, different
conferences and activities presented on this day were
focused on the topic of Federal Opportunities and the
State of Transportation in Puerto Rico. Amy Lucero,
engineer and Director of Technical Services of the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) gave a
presentation on multiple opportunities available to
students with FHWA and the United States
Department of Transportation (USDOT).

After a lunch recess, the days events resumed with a


board and conversational session on the State of
Transportation in Puerto Rico. Dr. Colucci started the
afternoon with an introduction to the presenters, who
then gave their own brief presentations to be followed
by a questions and answers session. The first guest
was the Honorable Miguel Torres Daz, with his
presentation Transportation Now and Then:
Challenges and Achievements. Following was Dr.
Alberto Figueroa, UPRM professor and Executive
Director of the Integrated Transportation A uthority
(ATI based on its Spanish initials), who brought us the
latest initiatives and projects on integrated
transportation of Puerto Rico. Concluding the guests
board, Carmen Villar-Prados, presented the newest

Eng. Amy Lucero receives a recognition for her


participation at the 2016 Transportation Week.

Concluding the morning sessions activities, engineer


and President of the ITE-PR professional chapter,
Miguel Vescovacci shared with us the role this
transportation organization plays in Puerto Rico.

President of ITE-PR and engineer, Miguel Vescovacci,


giving a speech during the first day of events of the
Transportation Week.

Eng. Miguel Torres (center), Secretary of DTPW together


with Eng. Carmen Villar, Executive Director of PRHTA
(left); Dr. Alberto Figueroa, Executive Director of ATI
(right) presenting their congratulation message and
recognition award for the 30th Anniversary of T2 Center.

initiatives and projects for highways in Puerto Rico.


Once presentations were over, the questions and
answers session continued in a dynamic a new way.
Throughout the day, all attendants to these activities
were provided with a paper strip in which they wrote
questions they would like to have answered by the
presenters. These strips were placed on a container,
from which the moderator selected to then ask. As part
of this activity, the PRHTA and its Executive Director,
Carmen Villar-Prados, presented a commemorative
plaque to T2 and its Director, Dr. Benjamn Colucci,
celebrating the 30 years of service of the Center. On

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the other hand, the ITE-UPRM student chapter


awarded Carmen Villar-Prados with another plaque,
commemorating the 50 years of the PRHTA.
During the evening, the
Traffic Bowl, a Jeopardy
styled trivia game, was
celebrated, hosted by one of
the ITE-UPRM advisors,
Dr. Ivette Cruzado. In this
trivia game, students would
compete
answering
different statements related
to transportation, in the
form of a question. It is
worth mentioning that the
ITE-UPRM student chapter
Eng. Carmen Villar Prados
Executive Director, PRHTA holds the champion title of
District 10.
For the second day, Wednesday, April 6, 2016, the
main topic was Opportunities in Research and
Academia, moderated by Dr. Enrique Gonzlez,
Advisor of the ITE-UPRM Chapter. The morning
started with a welcome message and introduction to
the morning sessions guests. This started with Dr.
Benjamn Colucci, Director of T2 Center and his
presentation about the impact T2 has had within and
beyond the UPRM Campus throughout its 30 year
existence. The conclusion for the morning events was
a questions and answers session on graduate study
opportunities at the UPRM and the Civil Engineering
and Surveying Department. The featured guests were
Dr. Didier Valds, Director of the UPRM Graduate
Studies Office, Dr. Ivette Cruzado, Transportation

ITE-UPRM gives an award to Eng. Villar in


commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the PRHTA.

EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

Area Coordinator of the Department, and Dr.


Ricardo Lpez, Director of Graduate Studies in
Civil Engineering. Dr. Lpez and Dr. Valds
presented their roles as directors of their respective
offices. At the same time, Dr. Cruzado presented
her roles as the Transportation Area Coordinator,
professor and researcher within the Department.
Returning after the lunch break, Dr. Colucci
opened the afternoon session with an introduction
on what was about to be showcased. This event
consisted of presentations by undergraduate and
graduate students about the different works and
research projects performed within the ITE-UPRM
and others within the transportation engineering

Participants from the Discussion Board: Opportunities in


Research and Academia, where Dr. Ricardo Lpez,
Director of Graduate Studies of the Civil Engineering and
Surveying Department, Dr. Benjamn Colucci, Director of
T2 Center, Dr. Didier Valds, Director of the UPRM
Office of Graduate Studies, and Dr. Ivette Cruzado,
Transportation Engineering Area Coordinator, all of who
were the boards moderators.

field. Among the presented projects were the


redesign of the Stfani Buildings inner courtyard
parking, performed by the ITE-UPRM and
presented by Ms. Joangelli Gonzlez, graduate
student of the department. Graduate student
Armando Gonzalez exposed the mobile apps that
the TransInfo research team are developing. At
the undergraduate level, student Rolando Gonzlez
presented the UPRM Bicycle Master Plan.
Graduate students Bryan Ruiz and Johnathan Ruiz
presented about the work they are performing
using a driving simulator as part of the SaferSim
consortium.

10

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

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The last days activities of the Transportation Week 2016


were dedicated to Women in Transportation. The
morning event consisted of a magnificent board including
transportation industry leaders in multiple sub-disciplines.
Representing the private sector was Eng. Francisca
Garca-Fritts, who works in the commercial airplanes
division of Boeing Company; Mrs. Aida Merln, who
works as the Traffic and Tolls Manager in Metropistas.
In addition, Mrs. Mara Romn Santos, Human Resources
Director of A erostar A irport Holdings, and Eileen Vlez,
engineer and Assistant Vice-President of Kimley Horn in
Puerto Rico joined us.

graduate student Joangelli Gonzlez, owing to


her efforts and dedication in organizing the 2016
Transportation Week.
During the afternoon, continuing with the topic
of Women in Transportation, we had an
excellent board consisting of Vanessa Amado,
Ph. D. and President of V A G Transportation
Engineering Consultants, Ivelisse Gorbea,
planner and Vice-President of the Institute of
Transportation
Engineers,
Puerto
Rico
Professional Chapter, and also in charge of the
PRHTAs Planning Office. Last, but not least,
Eileen Vlez from Kimley-Horn Puerto Rico
presented. In this event, each of the panelists
exposed some of the ongoing transportation
projects in Puerto Rico, were each is
responsible . Dr. Amado presented a study about
an intersection being developed for Ciudad de
las Ciencias and the New Comprehensive

Group picture showing professors, students, speakers and the


general public on the Research Works and Projects Showcase.

Representing the public sector was Miriam Santana,


engineer and person in charge of Technical Operations of
the East Region of the Federal A viation A dministration
(FAA); also present was Ingrid Colberg, lawyer and
Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Ports A uthority,
and last, but not least, Carmen Villar-Prados-Prados,
engineer and Executive Director of the PRHTA. This
activity was named Women in Transportation
Symposium: Promoting Leaders of the Future in
Transportation, was moderated by Dr. Ivette Cruzado
and jointly organized with the United States Department
of Transportation. Within it, the different panelists
shared stories and experiences related to their positions
within the profession. They expose the challenges they
confronted throughout their careers and the ways in
which they overcame them. Their stories served as
motivation for students to continue pursuing their goals
and dreams within their careers. As part of the event, the
ITE-UPRM student chapter, with the advice of Dr.
Cruzado, presented and awarded to their Treasurer,

Speakers of the Women in Transportation panel along


with professors and ITE-UPRM Directive Board

Cancer Center of the University of Puerto Rico.


Planner Gorbea talked us about the 2040
Multimodal Transportation Plan developed by
the PRHTA. Finally, Vlez talked to the
audience about the pavement analysis of the
Rafael Hernndez Airport in Aguadilla. This
event was moderated by students Wilmari
Valentn, Vice-President of the ITE-UPRM, and
Mara G. Torres, graduate student in
Transportation.

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EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

11

Further information about the ITE

Award given to Joangelli Gonzlez for her great contributions


for the 2016 Transportation Week to be successfully celebrated.

The Transportation Week, as mentioned before, is the


pinnacle event of our association and it makes us
proud to count with such keynote speakers, who
confirmed their attendance without a doubt and who
shared some of their experiences and expertise in the
transportation discipline. At the same time, and not
less important, we thank all the people, the university,
T2 Center and companies, among others, for helping us

Dr. Vanessa Amado, President of VAG Transportation


Engineering Consultants participating of the 2nd Women in
Engineering Panel.

make this possible. We encourage everyone to


continue participating of future educational events and
to continue supporting the students desire to gather
knowledge and be people of excellence.
For more information about the activities of the
Institute of Transportation Engineers of the University
of Puerto Rico at Mayagez you can visit their
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/iteuprm/ or
contact directly by sending an e-mail to
ite.uprm@gmail.com.

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is an


international scientific and educational assocation
comprised of transportation professionals, first
established in 1930. The ITE is dedicated to provide
education and perform research about the new trends in
transportation with the goal of fulfill mobility and safety
needs. As explained on their website, www.ite.org, the
international association has a membership of more than
13,000, distributed in more tan 90 countries around the
globe, these are divided into 12 districts, further divided
into sections. Among these are Australia, South Africa,
Brazil, Israel, Europe and India, which demonstrates the
organizations aspiration to reach most continents.
Puerto Rico is a member of District 10, encompassing
the State of Florida and Puerto Rico. Also noteworthy is
the fact that districts can host student chapters, of which
Puerto Rico has two active student chapters. These are
the student chapter of the Polytechnical University of
Puerto Rico and the University of Puerto Rico at
Mayagez (UPRM). The latter of these two is affiliated
to the Department of Civil Engineering and Land
Surveying, which has recently celebrated its 100 years of
existence in 2013.
During the last years and in a continuous way, the ITEUPRM, with its solid commitment of being the link
between academia (students and professors) and the
profesional sphere, has organized numerous events
incliding conferences, workshops and technical field
trips to strengthen the knowledge of the transportation
field and to motivate students to continue their
transportation studies. These activities are celebrated
every academic year, with culmination in the
magnificent Transportation Week. This event has served
as the stage to present the latest and most innovative
trends in the transportation discipline. The diverse
conferences and presentations have been imparted by
influential professionals and experts, such as secretaries
of transportation, directors of both public and private
agencies, among others. In addition, during the past
editions, undergrad and graduate students have had the
opportunity to present their research projects.

12

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

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The New Era of Women in Transportation:


Stories and Anecdotes

Mr. Carlos Villanueva


Administrator of the Community
Relations and Outreach Office for
the USDOT southeast region.

uring the celebration of the 2016 Transportation Week of


the Institute of Transportation Engineers of the University
of Puerto Rico at Mayagez (ITE-UPRM), one of the most
outstanding, surprising and emotional discussion sessions was
celebrated, named W omen in Transportation, organized and
programmed thanks to the W omen in Transportation Initiative
(WITI). WITI is a program
of the Office of Small and
Disadvantaged
Business
Utilization (OSDBU) of the
United States Department
of
Transportation
(US
DOT), as part of a set of
great efforts spearheaded by
the White House in order to
ensure federal programs and
policy considering the
different needs and worries
of girls and women
throughout America. This
program consists of an
internship available at all 13 regions of the OSDBU, thus allowing
young women from schools and universities throughout the nation
participate. Each OSDBU has the task of placing qualified female
students on internships related to transportation throughout its
regions.

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EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

13

Mr. Carlos Villanueva, Administrator of the


Community Relations and Outreach Office for the
USDOTs southeast region, is the person in charge
of offering and providing these opportunities in
Puerto Rico. Mr. Villanueva promotes WITIs
objectives of creating opportunities for women by
providing access to transportation industry
internships, educating WITI participants about
available options; inspiring them to enter the
science, technology, engineering and mathematics
(STEM) fields; establishing association strategies
by means of the creation of Advisory Committees
President Barack Obama signing the Executive
for Women in Transportation; attracting and
Order which created the White House Council on
retaining females at WITI; identifying barriers
Women and Girls in 2009.
hindering womens economic competitiveness
participating within the industry and providing The benefits provided by this program, WITI, is that
students who achieve participation and awareness
tools for sustainability.
about opportunities can obtain a 4 to 8 week internship
According to Mr. Villanueva, each region can within a federal or private agency related to the
execute the program in different ways in order to transportation industry.
WITI accepts students
succeed in reaching students. The main idea is to majoring in management, marketing, accounting,
do something different and bring opportunities for finance, law and engineering. Here we dont want to
students to learn about the very own experiences of let the value of young minds go to waste. We dont
successful women in the transportation industry want these students, with education and specialized
and how they reached such positions. We want knowledge, to be out of focus by performing menial
female students to understand that these office tasks, instead of performing tasks for which they
professional women were once identical to them, were truly trained for, said Mr. Villanueva.
they were sitting in the same place and experienced
The experience in the United States has been of
the same fears and doubts.
amazing and of great value for females who
This program seeks to break the taboo about the participated in this program.
The groups who
transportation industry being only for men, instead participated during the 4 to 8 week periods have
showing that its a multidisciplinary field in which achieved working directly with administrators and
women have made gigantic contributions. We directors of air traffic control towers, train control
want to open the doors for women in the systems centers, the U. S. Coast Guard and corporate
transportation field. Some studies indicate that headquarters, like that of Boeing, among others.
when women think about transportation they Within these work experiences, students were able to
imagine digging holes, working with asphalt, heavy learn about everything related to these transportation
machinery, overall, works in which they feel they professional fields, witnessing how other women
dont have their own place. This is something very performed in positions from administrative and
distant from reality, since transportation at the directive positions to laborers within projects, thus
federal level includes airports, seaports, highways, emerging with the opportunity to be selected for job
bridges, among other components, stated openings within any of these companies.
Villanueva.

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WITI in Puerto Rico


In Puerto Rico, Andrea del Mar Aponte, a finance
student from the University of Puerto Rico at Ro
Piedras (UPRRP), was the first student to be part of the
WITI program, where she worked within the PublicPrivate Partnership Authority (AAPP by its Spanish
initials). Through a telephone conversation she told us
about her experience. I had the opportunity to
participate of the internship after completing my first
year of my bachelors degree. For me, being a student
of the Business Administration School of the UPRRP,
was something that motivated me to continue pursuing
my finance studies. The work team at the Puerto Rico
AAPP integrated me into their tasks from day one.
Their priority was for me to understand the process of
evaluating and performing a public-private partnership
(PPP) in Puerto Rico. This experience prepared me to
work with the main professionals of the country. After
participating in the W ITI internship, I have
collaborated with UPRRP professors in highly valuable
research projects. Im proud to have participated in this
internship, and I hope to continue future work in
projects developed within the transportation industry
and which increases the competitiveness of our
country.

Student Andrea del Mar Aponte sharing with the


audience her experiences at WITI

The WITI programs conferences have been ongoing in


Puerto Rico for several years, with the latest instance at
the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. This year,
WITI formed part of the events of the ITE-UPRM 2016
Transportation Week, where seven Hispanic women
from the transportation industry in Puerto Rico and the

United States were invited, they are: Carmen VillarPrados, engineer and Executive Director of the Puerto
Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA);
Francisca Garca-Fritts, engineer and Role Manager
within Boeing, a multinational aerospace company;
Ingrid C. Colberg Rodrguez, lawyer and Executive
Director of the Puerto Rico Ports A uthority (APPR by
its Spanish initials); Mara Romn, lawyer and Human
Resources Director of A erostar A irport Holdings;
Miriam Santana, engineer and Technical Operations
Manager of the Federal A viation A dministration (FAA)
in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; Eileen Vlez,
engineer and vicepresident of the first
office of Kimley-Horn
outside the continental
United States; and Mrs.
Aida Merln West,
Traffic
and
Tolls
Manager at Metropistas
of Puerto Rico.
Mr. Villanueva told us that during 2016 they wanted to
make a greater impact on female students majoring in
engineering, management and finances, among other
disciplines. He also gave us an opinion on how he
considers that Puerto Ricos case is a great example of
a jurisdiction which has given excellent opportunities
for women in the countrys transportation industry.
Puerto Rico has been really special, it has given an
excellent example of gender diversity. This is the first
time a woman is in charge of the PRHTA, while at
Aerostar the person in charge of the companys human
resources is Mara Romn. We also have a Hispanic
women working at Seattle with Boeing Company, at a
position of great importance and caliber. On the other
side, Eileen Vlez represents a private company of the
United States, and when the company chose to expand
to Puerto Rico, they not only entrust the move to a
Puerto Rican, but also a woman. In addition, for the
first time, the FAA chose a woman to handle the
technical aspects of the day-to-day operations of the air
traffic control tower of the Luis Muoz Marn
International Airport, said Mr. Villanueva.

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EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

15

Stories of Women in Transportation


[Adapted from Las vigas de la transportacin, by
Prensa RUM]
Within the auditorium of the Civil Engineering and
Surveying Department of the University of Puerto
Rico at Mayagez (UPRM), the guests of the
discussion board didnt hesitate to speak out to the
audience and the moderator, Dr. Ivette Cruzado, about
their achievements and challenges within the
transportation industry. They all explained to the
public what their roles were within the different
transportation agencies, in a casual, informal and
humorous way.

Speakers of the Women in Transportation discussion board


just before starting the event at the Auditorium of the
UPRM Civil Engineering and Land Surveying Department.

Engineer and Executive Director of the PRHTA,


Carmen Villar, was selected this year, 2016 among
multiple candidates throughout the United States to
represent the WITI committee in the Southeast
Region of the United States. During her participation
at this event she shared enthusiastically her stories
about the great challenges when in charge of the
public agency, such as when the machine used to
configure the reversible lane of the Caguas-San Juan
freeway broke down and caused an enormous traffic
congestion incident, as well as when supervising the
modification of the electronic tolling system in June
2015. She also told us that, although she visualized
herself in another professional setting, she knew that
she would end up working within transportation. I
imagined myself relating to transportation due to the
experiences I had at the Puerto Rico Transportation
Technology Transfer Center with Dr. Benjamn
Colucci. When I started my career, I focused more in
project management, not so much towards
transportation, but opportunities arose with the Tren

Executive Director of PRHTA and engineer Carmen


Villar, sharing her experiences when leading the agency.

Urbano, the COOP Plan and even with the


Eisenhower Fellowship, she told us.
Meanwhile, Francisca Garca explained to the
audience how complex and beneficial her work and
tasks at Boeing have been, where, according to her,
she has tested her abilities well beyond her academic
preparation. Despite her education as a mechanical
engineer, she has also been required to perform tasks
corresponding to chemical engineers by coordinating
the airplane painting division. She enthusiastically
shared her experience with the public. I arrived (to
Boeing) by means of a scholarship, they took me on
a tour of Boeing in which I ended marveled and
enchanted by airplanes. Then I returned to my home
at the Dominican Republic, until I studied in the state
of Washington thanks to a scholarship the company
provided me to study engineering. Since then, Ive
work in what I like.
On the other hand, Miriam Santana, engineer and
UPRM alumni from the Electrical Engineering
Department, is the first woman and Puerto Rican to
manage and administer the FAA in Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands. Santana has achieved working

Francisca Garca, engineer at Boeing Company explaining


to the audience her roles and situations of her job.

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PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

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with the radar, communications and microwave


division, as well as being in charge of the air traffic
space surrounding Puerto Rico, a radius of 450
nautical miles. In her testimony, Santana explained to
the events attendants that power outages can cause
major delays and airplane detours, and that the best
way to maintain the best service to people and avoid
delays is by making a rapid and informed response.

Another guest of this discussion board was Ingrid


Colberg, who shared with the audience her functions
at the APPR and her experience as the first woman
leading the agency. The Ports A uthority is an
agency that has been traditionally been headed by,
and in which the majority of people working within,
are men. I am the first woman leading it. With
women representing only 27% of the workforce, this
challenge is not only historical due to the
governments circumstances, but also important
because we demonstrate that work positions dont
have a gender, what matters is that we have the
commitment for the Ports Authority and Puerto Rico
as a whole to continue moving forward, she stated.
As part of her job, Colberg administers the entry and
exit of cruise ships and the nine regional ports.

Miriam Santana, engineer at FAA in Puerto Rico and the


Virgin Islands, addressing attendants

In the case of Eileen Vlez, she is an engineer and


vice-president of the first office of Kimley-Horn
outside the continental United States. Currently an
alumni of the UPRMs Civil Engineering and
Surveying Department, she formed part of the first
champion team of the UPRMs steel bridge
competition in 2003, as well as worked for the U. S.
Army Corps of Engineers in the state of Mississippi.
We have the challenge to demonstrate that were
capable to do the work, that we come here to
contribute the same way any man can, that we come to
work as a team and to solve problems. The challenge
is to demonstrate that, as an engineer, I want to help
and contribute to the profession while at the same time
leading the office against the difficult economic
situation of the country, she stated in a severe tone.

Eileen Vlez, alongside other speakers of the board.

Ingrid Colberg (left), in charge of the APPR, next to


Francisca Garca (right), from Aerostars Human Resources
division, enjoying the anecdotes shared at the event

Mara Romn, lawyer and UPRM alumni from the


Business Administration Department, leads the
Human Resources division of a company dedicated to
airport administration, A erostar, which is in charge of
managing the Luis Muoz Marn International
Airport. For Romn it has been difficult to find
women interested in working in a division that is
traditionally dominated by men, she, however, has
explained us that she has been able to recruit, albeit
with great difficulty, women for the Aeronautics
Department and for the Firefighting division.
Also forming part of the discussion board was Mrs.
Aida Merln West, who currently is the Traffic and
Tolls Manager at Metropistas of Puerto Rico.
According to Mrs. Merln, I proposed myself to
accept all the opportunities Ive been given and to not
be afraid to think that this is not only for men. It

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Mara Romn (right), next to Eileen Vlez (left), engineer


and vice-president of Kimley-Horn Puerto Rico.

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17

first moment she realized the benefits that this


program could bring to the Island and offered her
support. A day like today, Thursday, April 7,
2016, I can see more clearly the outcomes and the
growth of the program among women students in
Puerto Rico. It gives me great pleasure to continue
offering this kind of federal programs in the Island.
But more than anything, it makes me really proud
being able to share with my colleagues in the
United States the support that women in executive
positions, corporate, state and federal agencies
give and have continued giving each year to ensure
the fruits reaped by WITI in Puerto Rico are
greaterit truly is a great honor to work together
with everyone, said Mr. Villanueva.

has not been challenging, instead I have accepted these


without fear and I think this is the way to confront the
day-to-day challenges. Mrs. Merln is a lively example
of perseverance and how a person can evolve in a
transportation career. At the start of her career, Mrs.
Merln accepted a position as a receptionist at the
company that built the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, to then
work as a shift supervisor of A utopistas de Puerto Rico,
she was then Assistant of the Operations Director and
finally, just before her current position, was Operations
and Maintenance Supervisor.
Mr. Carlos Villanueva expressed his complete
satisfaction with the WITI program in Puerto Rico and
Francisca Garca congratulating student Joangelli
assured that its an honor being in charge of this
Gonzlez from the ITE-UPRM student chapter.
initiative in the Island. I still remember like it was
yesterday when I talked with Grace Santana at WITI, it
was during a visit of the United States Secretary of All these stories were complemented by the
Transportation, Anthony Foxx, to the Island. Since the publics questions, especially those from women,
who wanted to learn more about the discussion
board guests and their personal achievements. The
boards moderator, Dr. Ivette Cruzado, was a key
person in ensuring the boards guests felt confident
and talked casually to the audience. Also, by the
time the Women in Transportation discussion
board concluded, an award was given to the ITEUPRMs treasurer, graduate student Joangelli
Gonzlez-Compr, for being the main organizer of
the 2016 Transportation Weeks activities, as well
as her capabilities to head such an important
Mrs. Aida Merln (at the center), from Metropistas, talking about student congress.
opportunities she accepted during her professional career.

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Source: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/systemic/

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Decade of Action for


Traffic Safety in Puerto Rico 2011-2020

y using the slogan, United for a culture of traffic safety, the


Transportation Technology Transfer Center of Puerto Rico celebrated
from May 9 to 13, 2016, the 5th Anniversary of the Decade of A ction
for Traffic Safety in Puerto Rico 2011-2020, celebrating multiple events related
to traffic safety throughout the Island. The Decade of Action for Traffic Safety
is a worldwide initiative established by the United Nations (UN) General
Assembly and the World Health Organization (WHO) with the goal of
stopping and reverting the trend that, should no countermeasures be taken,
would lead to the annual loss of 1.9 million lives on roadways from now until
2020., as expressed by the worldwide launching brochure of the Decade of
Action.
In Puerto Rico, for five consecutive years, this campaign has been established
by collaborative efforts of associations such as the Luis A . Seeriz Foundation /
MADD, the MAPFRE Foundation, the Institute of Transportation Engineers of
Puerto Rico (ITE-PR) and the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto
Rico (CIAPR by its Spanish initials). These efforts are aimed to promote
awareness, reinforcement and integration of disciplines like Engineering,
Education, Enforcement, Emergency Response and Everyone; comprising
together the 5 Es.
This year the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the Decade of Action was
dedicated to the current and previous Executive Directors of the Commission
for Traffic Safety (CST by its Spanish initials); the current Secretary of the
Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP by its Spanish
initials), Hon. Miguel Torres Daz; as well as Juan Carlos Rivera Ortiz,
engineer and Manager of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) of Puerto
Rico, from the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA).

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Illumination of the Capitol of Puerto Rico


th

On Monday, May 9 , the first event of the


Decade of Action, which consisted of the
traditional illumination of the Capitol of Puerto
Rico. In this event, the President of the Senate of
Puerto Rico, Hon. Eduardo A. Bathia, approved
Motion 6693, in which he recognizes that this

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19

During
the
Capitols
light-up
ceremony,
representatives from the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA), the Puerto Rico Highway
and Transportation Authority (PRHTA), CSA
Group, FIA Foundation, the Police of Puerto Rico
and the Institute of Transportation Engineers of
Puerto Rico (ITE-PR) were present.
Also
participating were previous Executive Directors of
the Commission for Traffic Safety (CST by its
Spanish initials) and groups FIESTA and PISTA.
9th Conversatory of Female Professionals and
Light-Up of the CIAPR Headquarters

Guests and speakers during the Capitols Illumination.

initiative provides an opportunity for the


Government to contribute to the traffic safety
message, reassurance that were halfway to
achieving the goals set in 2011 and stressing their
commitment with all administrative agencies,
civil associations, non-profits and professional
groups. After completing the protocol messages,
the illumination ceremony of the south facade of
the Capitol building in yellow, an iconic color
that distinguishes the Decade of Action.

Light-up of the south side of the Capitol of Puerto Rico.

On Tuesday, May 10th, at the Headquarters of the


CIAPR at San Juan, a discussion board of CIAPRs
female professionals was celebrated as part of the
events of the Engineers and Surveyors Week and the
Decade of Action for Traffic Safety.
The
discussion, titled Engineering and Surveying
Professionals in Social Impact Initiatives, exposed
the worldwide initiative for the creation of
consciousness on traffic safety in all countries as
well as the inclusion of women in the business world
in order to accelerate the outcomes desired in this.
The spokespersons were Mr. Thomas Louizou,
advisor of the FIA Foundation, Mrs. Sonia Seeriz,
from the Luis Seeriz Foundation, and Mrs. Frances
Ros, international speaker of W omen W ho Lead.

Light-up of the headquarters of the College of Engineers and


Surveyors of Puerto Rico at San Juan.

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Official Celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the


Decade of Action for Traffic Safety in Puerto Rico
On Wednesday, May 11, the official celebration of
the 5th Anniversary of the Decade of Action was held
at the premises of the Parque del Tercer Milenio and
Escambrn Beach. At the shores of the Atlantic
Ocean and with the start of the summer season,
attendants made themselves present to mingle with
the guests of honor from the CST, the DTOP and the
PRHTA.

Mrs. Irmal Franco Ramrez, coordinator of the Decade of


Action initiative in Puerto Rico

Mrs. Irmal Franco Ramrez was the moderator of the


event in which she invited several attendants to form
part of the protocol greeting. Among them were: Mr.
Jos Delgado, current Executive Director of the CST;
Inspector Jorge Hernndez Pea, current Director of
the Traffic Bureau of the Police of Puerto Rico;
Andrs lvarez, engineer from the FHWA; Ralph

Mr. Mickey Espada, Executive Director of the CST from years


2001 to 2002, was among the events recipients of recognition.

Kreil, engineer and


President of the
CIAPR;
Miguel
Vescovacci, engineer
and President of ITE
-PR; Martha Bravo,
Planner from the
DTOP; Mr. Thomas
Louizou, from FIA
Foundation; Rafael
Bernabe, governor
candidate of the
Working
Peoples
Party;
and
Dr.
Benjamn
Colucci Inspector Jorge HernndezPea, Director of the
Ros, Director of the
Traffic Bureau
Puerto
Rico
Transportation Technology Transfer Center and
Spokesperson of the Decade of A ction, among
others.
The featured activity of this event was the
recognition of the guests of honor, which started
with the reading of excerpts written about each of
them and published in a special newsletter
dedicated to describing their achievements. The
first guest of honor was Mr. Mickey Espada, past
Executive Director of the CST from 2001 to
2002, accompanied by his wife and his son. On
his speech he stressed the importance of that
position in his life and the historical achievements
attained back then, on drastically reducing traffic
fatalities on highways.

Eng. Evan Gonzlez, Executive Director of CST from 2002


to 2004, addressing the audience.

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EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

21

others, to come forward to thank them for their


dedication to the task of traffic safety and thus
dedicate a recognition to them.

Mr. Jos Delgado, Executive Director of the CST from years 2004
to 2008 and from 2013 onwards, along his work team at the CST,
Hogares Crea, among others.

Likewise, a recognition was extended to lawyer


and previous Executive Director of the CST
between 2009 and 2011, Miguel Santini. Santini
used his turn at the podium to dedicate his
recognition to Inspector Jorge Hernndez Pea,
for his outstanding work leading the Traffic
Bureau of the Police of Puerto Rico and to all
the lives saved within Puerto Ricos highways.
In addition, a recognition was extended to

Another recognition was also extended to Evan


Gonzlez, engineer and Director of the CST from 2002
to 2004. Gonzlez, who also was accompanied by his
wife and son, thanked the aid he received during his
time at the agency, and proudly stated to the attendants
the joy of recommending Juan Carlos Rivera to be an
outstanding part of Puerto Ricos traffic safety.

Following immediately was the recognition given to


Mr. Jos Delgado, who accepted the challenge of
directing the CST in two distinct instances; his first
time being from 2004 to 2009, and his second instance
being since 2013. Mr. Delgado has made traffic safety
into something more than a job, for him its a crusade.
When addressing the attendants, Mr. Delgado
petitioned his work group at CST, representatives from
Hogares Crea, the Police of Puerto Rico, among

Miguel Santini, lawyer and Executive Director of the CST


from 2009 to 2011, dedicating his award to Inspector Jorge
Hernndez Pea.

Zoriemy Rivera, engineer and Executive Director of


the CST from 2011 to 2012,receiving her recognition
next to Dr. Colucci, Mr. Delgado and a relative.

Zoriemy Rivera Hernndez, engineer and past


Executive Director of the CST between 2011
and 2012. Mrs. Rivera thanked enthusiastically
and affectionately all the past CST Executive
Directors, which he dubbed as uncles, in
reference to their heartfelt interactions. She also
addressed the attendants and told them all that
the advice given by the past CST leaders were
critical for her performance leading the agency.
Likewise she was proud and pleased by starting
the C. A. R. E. (Critical Analysis Reporting
Environment) program, which was started
during her tenure.
During the event a recognition was also
extended to engineer and DTOP Secretary,
Miguel Torres Daz, who due to his duties could
not attend; instead given to Mr. German Irizarry,
Executive Director of Public Works, who
received it on his behalf.

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Engineer German Irizarry, representing the Secretary of


DTOP, Miguel Torres.

In the final part of the 5th Anniversary celebration of


the Decade of A ction, a recognition was extended to
Juan Carlos Rivera, who has been the person in charge
of the successful and responsible implementation of
the Strategic Highway Safety Plan of Puerto Rico,
together with the PRHTA team members and
consultants. Mr. Rivera gave attendants an emotional
message about perseverance in traffic safety efforts in
the Island and recognized all the persons who have
worked by his and the PRHTAs side in the different
processes required to implement the strategic plan.

Dr. Benjamn Colucci (center) next to Eng. Nstor Hernndez


(left), President of the Institute of Civil Engineers, awarding
a recognition to Eng. Miguel Torres (right), Secretary of
DTOP, during Mega Viernes Civil.

From left to right: Mr. Mickey Espada, Mr. Jos Delgado,


Eng. Zoriemy Rivera, Dr. Benjamn Colucci, Mr. Thomas
Louizou, Eng. Evan Gonzlez, and Mr Miguel Santini.

Eng. Juan Carlos Rivera, with the work team in charge of


developing and implementing the Puerto Rico Strategic
Highway Safety Plan.

Throughout the event, a cozy and social feeling


prevailed in this the setting. Numerous educational
groups were present, such as FIESTA (Enablers and
Instructors in Safety, Traffic and Alcohol, by its
Spanish accronym) of the UPRM and UPR Ro
Piedras. Also present were a previous president of the
Institute of Civil Engineers, past members of the CST
administration and also a gubernatorial candidate of
one of Puerto Ricos political parties.

For more information on the activities related to


the Decade of Action for Traffic Safety in Puerto
Rico 2011-2020, you may contact Puerto Ricos
spokesperson, Dr. Benjamn Colucci Ros. You
can also visit our web page www.prltap.org/eng or
the
initiatives
Facebook
page,
www.facebook.com/dasvpr.

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23

USDOT Every Place Counts: A Design Challenge

raditionally it is thought that the transportation is


the way in which people, assets and activities
come together in the space. The history of the United
States and its territories transportation systems have
numerous examples of the creation of systems and
services that have made this possible, making this
society in one of the most prosperous and diverse of
the world. Unfortunately it isnt always the case, there
are occasions in which the very systems that enable all
the connections also generate separations and behave
as barriers to opportunities.
That is why the United States Department of
Transportation (USDOT) was given the task of
exploring further these adverse consequences and
initiate a pilot contest to create awareness and a
dialogue process in the communities; this process is
called Every Place Counts, which began on May 4,
2016. As stated by the USDOT Secretary, Anthony
Foxx, as part of the introduction to Opportunities Town
Hall on May 11, 2016, transportation should not
create divisions; it should be the solutions to the
divisions of the past.

Through the social impact program of the agency


Ladders of Opportunity, the USDOT has the goal of
getting along with the disadvantaged communities and
all the interested and/or affected parties by existing and
proposed transportation projects, as well as promoting
the professional participation of social groups that
traditionally are not represented in the transportation
industry. Ladders of Opportunity then proceeds to lead

the aforementioned competition, in which numerous local,


tribal and communities representatives presents their
proposals to address situations of the transportation
system and concerns about adverse impacts it has caused.
Throughout the nation, only four winners will be selected,
one per region, to ensure the geographic diversity of the
impacted areas. Each winning proposals will have a twoday technical advice session in the community with the
participation of their members, provided by selected
USDOT staff, industry professionals and government
officials affected by the initiative. This session will
consist of design strategies, advice to identify technical
and financial guidance and resources to carry out
business. This stage will take place from July 6 to 20,
2016. Upon completion of this stage, each winning
community has 7 days to submit a proposal for conceptual
design of the project they choose to implement.
For this contest are eligible 5 categories of projects: roads,
railways, aquatic transport, air transport, and multimodal
connectivity. Each proposal must describe the project of
interest, the present situation, the effect of addressing the
problem identified and the goals and visions to which the
community aspires through the project. They must also
demonstrate their understanding of the problem, which
multi-sector and community partnerships they consider
can help them achieve these aspirations, and how they
consider that the project can contribute to achieve goals
of social justice and inclusion. The interested participants,
specifically the official leaders of local governments, were
registered for May 20, 2016 and submitted its proposals
for June 3, 2016.
This article has been adapted from the following links:
https://cms.dot.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/Every-PlaceCounts-Challenge-Notice.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oYVtI0jRlo
https://www.transportation.gov/opportunity/challenge

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National Work Zone Awareness Week in Puerto Rico

rom April 11 to 15, 2016, the National Work


Zone Awareness week was celebrated. This
awareness event started in 1999, due to efforts
from the A merican A ssociation of State Highway and
Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American
Transportation Safety Services Association (ATSSA)
and the Federal Highway A dministration (FHWA).
Joining the event are numerous government agencies,
non-governmental organizations and companies; all
together making their part to build a traffic safety culture. This event became federally sponsored in 2000,
making this the 17th consecutive instance during which
its nationally celebrated.
This years campaign is spearheaded by the slogan
Dont be THAT driver! Work on Safety. Get home
safely. Every day, making emphasis in bringing
awareness on distracted driving on the road and especially within work zones. Unrelated actions, such as
using mobile phones, on-board entertainment equipment, taking care of personal hygiene or eating, are all
things that take away critical reaction time and alertness needed to pay attention to the road and thus respond in a safe and timely manner to the numerous
potentially dangerous situations within work zones.
Not being aware within this setting can cost lives, both
for drivers, passengers and especially construction

workers. As an example, as part of the campaign led


by AASHTO, they presented data about the effect of
distractions and speeding within work zones. The use
of mobile phones reduces the available braking time in
18% and increases distracted driving by 25%. In 2014,
distracted driving accounted for 16% of work zone
fatal crashes, whereas speeding was a contributing
factor for 29% of the fatal crashes within this setting.
At Puerto Rico, the campaign was led by the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP by its
Spanish initials), the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA), the Commission for
Traffic Safety (CST by its Spanish initials) and the
Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands divisions of the federal
transportation agencies. The DTOP is proud to have a
Strategic Highway Safety Plan for Puerto Rico, with
validity for five years and with the main objective of
significantly reducing traffic fatalities and severe injuries related to road crashes in our highways and construction projects. We are now at the implementation
stage, our goal is to avoid more deaths at Puerto Ricos
highway network, stated the agencys Secretary,
Miguel Torres Daz; this as part of an inspection to the
safety and highway geometrics improvement project
for highway PR-2 in Guajataca, accompanied by the
mayor of the municipality of Quebradillas, Heriberto
Vlez, and the mayor of the municipality of Isabela,
Carlos Delgado.

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Another outstanding event was a drawing exhibition


related to traffic safety, made by students of pre-kinder,
kinder, fourth and fifth grade from the
Dskalos College in Cupey, as well as by the fifth
grade class of the San Jorge A cademy in Santurce.
Also joining were third grade students of the Eleanor
Roosevelt School in Hato Rey.
Last but not least, Miguel Torres stressed out the
importance of keeping the public informed about work
being carried out along the road. By means of the
DTOPs news section and its official Facebook page,
the agency makes public service announcements about
work and traffic interruption warnings. We will maintain our goals and objectives firmly such that our
employees can count on having safer work zones.
Information and education are the best tools we have to
achieve our purpose.
For more information, readers can visit the DTOPs
news section and the following links:
http://www.dtop.gov.pr/noticias.asp?cnt_id=2117
The Strategic Highway Safety Plan of Puerto Rico is one
of the key tools that DTPW and dependent agencies use to
protect users of the road network.

https://www.workzonesafety.org/meetings-and-events/
wz-awareness-week/

In unison with the main mission of his agency, Jos


Delgado, Executive Director of the CST, brought us
this message. We have the obligation of educating the
citizenry; to make them aware of the importance of
cautious driving along locations in which road projects
are carried out, especially since these works are performed by laborers whose lives could be at risk.
As for the PRHTAs Executive Director, Carmen Villar
-Prados, she presented a reminder to the public about
traffic safety in work zones. For many of our employees the highway is their work place. Its due to this
reason that we join the efforts led by federal agencies,
such as the Federal Highway Administration, to
strengthen the message of everyone having responsibility with this, she emphasized during the inspection.
She also stressed out the importance of good habits
from the personnel working on the road. One of the
areas in which accidents can happen is in construction
zones. To better orient our employees working on
these projects we have established strict safety policies,
including seminars on equipment they have to use,
such as retroreflective vests and protective footwear.

The awareness campaign Dont Be THAT Driver


highlights irresponsible and potentially dangerous
behaviors that the driver could reduce for safer roads.

26

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

prltap.org

Mobile Apps as a Tool to Bring Transportation


to Vulnerable Populations

ne of the most important challenges that people with disabilities experiences is mobility. From explicit cases,
such as orthopedic and sensory impairments, to more subtle and less obvious cases, such as mental
disabilities and health conditions, makes everyday tasks a huge challenge. Among the main obstacles is the
access to transportation services.
Access to transportation by people with disabilities is a poorly known and barely discussed problem, despite the
existence of federal legislation mandating accommodations for multiple places and services, for instance, as specified
by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As an
example, a research project done at Rutgers University performed a poll identifying the main obstacles New Jersey
residents with disabilities seeking employment have when it comes to access transportation services.
Among the main findings of this study are that, despite the widespread use of mass transit services within this
population, they still consider it lacking. Problems such as paths connecting their homes to transit stops, or from
transit stops to their work places, are littered with obstacles and hazards; transportation services with insufficient
frequency and schedule duration; lack of information or even how the information is presented are all reasons that
make their daily lives more difficult. This has adverse consequences, such as restricting access to employment,
business and government services, recreation and education; therefore making them participate less of their society.
However, not all things are bad news. Innovative tools are being
developed to leverage the electronic devices technology for use as
tools facilitating access to transportation for these members of the
population. In a publication by the National Center for Mobility
Management, named Theres an App for That, they present a
summary about the state-of-the-art and the latest advances in the
mobile phone industry to improve access to transportation
services, especially for vulnerable members of society, including
people with low income, elders and people with disabilities.

prltap.org

In the case of people with disabilities, multiple apps have


been developed to improve their access to information
on services, warn of obstacles found at pedestrian
corridors and mass transit facilities, assistance in
wayfinding or even the availability of transportation
service providers and destinations prepared to provide
access to this population. Some examples include The
Weisenberg Special Needs Resource App, a mobile
phone software that provides their users with a plethora
of information on services and regulations applicable to
New York State. Also available within New York are
Wheely and Accessway (wayfinding within the subway),
New York Citys Accessible Dispatch (obtaining taxi
services for people with disabilities, by means of a
reservation system). In other regions, such as Germany,
are apps such as Wheelmap (digital map that informs
users of service and recreation destinations accessible to
people with disabilities), while Temple University has an
app developed for internal use at their campus, aiding
individuals with mobility, visual and/or hearing
disabilities to find their way around.
In the case of the elderly population, many apps intended
for people with disabilities can be useful to them, since
aging also brings the loss and deterioration of physical
and cognitive abilities, these can manifest at times as
disabilities. However, there are also specific needs
corresponding to this population segment, like the search
for recreation and service destinations friendly to their
needs and preferences. An example of this is LiftHero,
an app that works similarly to the more famous and
controversial Uber, programming direct trips between
origin and destination.
Last, but not least, in the case of people experiencing
economic need, are apps providing information about
mass transit services and ridesharing, with emphasis in
availability of alternative routes and low cost services.
Having this kind of information available can make the
difference between a dignified life and being essentially
excluded from an enriching and active participation of
society.
This article was adapted in part from:
http://nationalcenterformobilitymanagement.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/11/4.-Info_Brief_Apps_11.18.pdf
http://harveyandellenweisenberg.com/our-special-needsapp/

EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

27

The United States Interstate Highway


System Turns 60 this year
The Interstate Highway System of the United States of
America (USA) celebrated during the last week of June
2016 its 60th birthday. The most modern highway
system in the USA has made great contributions to the
economic development of the American economy and
has been an outstanding example to follow for many
places throughout the world.
The Interstate Highway System was created by the
1956 Federal Aid Highway Act, signed by President
Dwight D. Eisenhower, with which a federal fuel tax
was created to fund 90% of the construction costs of the
system. At first it was named the National System of
Interstate and Defense Highways, during its first 35
years of existence the system experienced the
construction of 41,000 miles of highways throughout
the nation.
President Eisenhower obtained the
inspiration for this system from Germany, during his
experience in World War II where he was impressed by
the German high speed highway system, the
Reichsautobahnen. Nowadays, based on information
from 2013, the system has more tan 47,000 miles of
interstate highways around the USA.
Congratulations to all the people who contributed in
one way or another to the development of this great
highway system, which has allowed numerous
generations to move around the nation. We hope this
system continues being successful and remains up-todate to the current historic national and world era.
This article has been adapted from the following links:
http://www.sltrib.com/home/4053998-155/as-interstatesystem-turns-60-utah
http://www.history.com/topics/interstate-highwaysystem

28

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

prltap.org

Recognition to Excellence: United States Virgin Islands


Department of Public Works
n May 24, 2016, a recognition for the
Commissioner of the Department of Public
Works (DPW) of the United States Virgin Islands
(USVI), Mr. Gustav James, was celebrated as part
of the activities commemorating the 30th
Anniversary of the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands
Transportation Technology Transfer Center
(PRLTAP).

Coordinator in Puerto Rico and USVI; Mr. Miguel


Quiones, Transportation Associate Commissioner;
Ms. Marsha Theophilus, Executive Assistant to the
Commissioner; Ms. Natasha Guadalupe, DPW
Assistant; Mr. John Paul David, Construction
Program Director in the St. Croix island; and Mr.
Dennis Brow, DPW Commissioner Assistant, were
present.

This recognition was given on the Caribbean island


of Saint Croix, where, in addition to the
Commissioner, Eng. Maribel Prez of the Federal
Highway Administration (FHWA) and EDC

The PRLTAP Director, Dr. Benjamn Colucci, went


personally to grant the recognition alongside Mrs.
Grisel Villarrubia and Mrs. Jesenia Carrero,
Administrative Official and Assistant, respectively.
The work team of the PRLTAP recognized the
outstanding work
and contribution in
training
and
capacity building of
the Transportation
Officials of the
Department
of
Public Works and
the implementation
of
the
FHWA
initiative Every Day
Counts (EDC) in
the St. Croix, St.
From left to right: Gustav James,
Thomas and St. DPW Commissioner, Eng. Maribel
John islands.
Prez from FHWA and Dr. Benjamn

USVI DPW Commissioner, Gustav James, receiving


the commemorative plaque along the T2 Center Team

Colucci from T2 Center.

prltap.org

Practical Safety Tips: Dont


Leave Your Baby in the Car!

EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

29

New Results From Latin NCAP:


Kia and Peugeot With
Disappointing Outcome

According to the United States National Highway and


Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), every ten
(10) days a child dies from asphyxiation and insolation
within a motor vehicle, better known as vehicular heat
stroke. Every ten (10) days a family mourns the preventable
loss of a child. Since year 1998 there have been 671 deaths,
with 10 of these having happened this year. It is necessary The New Car A ssessment Program for Latin A merica,
for communities to take action and avoid more needless Latin NCAP, published the most recent results for the
Kia Picanto and Peugeot 208 models, where the first
deaths of children abandoned inside motor vehicles
showed a new result of zero (0) stars and a reduction
With the intention of providing education
of stars, respectively. In the case of the Kia Picanto,
and promoting a traffic safety culture, the
the most basic version of the safety equipment
Safecar webpage, sponsored by NHTSA,
obtained zero stars for protection of adult occupants
promotes one of its campaigns titled
and three stars for protection of infant passengers.
Prevent Child Heatstroke in Cars. This
campaign uses the slogans Wheres
baby? Look before you lock and Act
fast. Save a Life. NHTSA explains that
even the best parents can forget their
children in the car seat, more so when
Fuente: www.transportation.gov
According to the President of Latin NCAP, the Peugethey arent the person typically in charge
ot models manufactured locally do not have the lateral
of taking them to their destination. For
protection of the same models sold in Europe, where it
this reason, Safecar provides some rules
has been mandatory since 1995. The Peugeot 208 is
considered a high caliber and wildly successful in Europe and is one of the latest models of the manufacturer. Its a great disappointment what Peugeot has
Look Before You Lock
done., stated Mrs. Rodrguez.

As for Kia, the General Secretary of Latin NCAP, Mr.


Alejandro Furas, expressed his disappointment with
the vehicle, which is a successful model but with poor
Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car
safety performance. The manufacturer has decided
not sponsoring the testing of the version with two airbags, and in this way offering the same level of safety
throughout the region, regardless of where they live.
TAKE ACTION if You Notice a Child Latin NCAP was launched in 2010 to develop an
Alone
Fuente:
in a www.youtube.com
Car!
independent regional motor vehicle crash testing and
rating system throughout Latin America. Latin NCAP
is sponsored by the Global New Car A ssessment
Get Involve. Find and share campaign Programme, International Consumer Research and
Testing, FIA Foundation, among others. It is also an
information!
associate member of the United Nations Decade of
Action for Traffic Safety 2011-2020.
This article is adapted from:
and general advice to protect children from heatstroke.
http://www.latinncap.com/es/area-de-prensa/
This article has been adapted from: http://www.safercar.gov/ noticia/857581bc623827/nuevos-resultados-de-latin-ncap
-primer-kia-probado-obtiene-cero-estrellas-y-208-pierdeparents/InandAroundtheCar/heatstroke.htm
estrellas-con-nuevo-protocolo-de-evaluacion

30

PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER

prltap.org

Know Your Trainer: Dr. Jonathan Muoz Barreto

r. Jonathan Muoz Barreto was born in the


city of Mayagez. He completed his
Bachelor of Science in Surveying and
Topography of the University of Puerto Rico at
Mayagez (UPRM) in 2009. He completed his
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Civil Engineering
at The City College of the City University of New
York in 2014.
Dr. Muoz is Assistant Professor of the
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying of
the UPRM since August, 2014. He also works as a
Researcher
for
the
Puerto
Rico
Water Resources and Environmental Research
Institute and the National Oceanic and A tmospheric
Administration Cooperative Remote Sensing and
Technology (NOAA-CREST) Center.
He also was part of the Planning Division of the U.
S. Army Corps of Engineers of the New York
District between May 2013 and July 2014, where
he had a role with flood management projects and
coastal erosion. He has been invited to provide
speeches on Spatial Information Management in
congresses sponsored by the College of Engineers
and Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR by its
Spanish initials).
Dr. Muoz started his collaboration as Instructor of
the Puerto Rico Transportation Technology
Transfer Center in November 2015 by providing

the seminar Open Source GIS: Spatial Solutions in


Transportation Engineering. He is married to Mara
Isabel Medina. In this 30th Anniversary edition of the
Newsletter El Puente, T2 Staff recognizes the
extraordinary contribution of
Dr. Lpez del Puerto
in our Training Program and welcome her to our
family of instructors.

prltap.org

EL PUENTE NEWSLETTER VOL.30 NO.2, 2016

Together we can save millions of lives!


I, ___________________________, pledge to do my part to help save lives on the road.

I pledge to:
____ 1. Not text while driving.
____ 2. Obey the traffic laws applicable to drivers.
____ 3. Comply with the speed limits.
____ 4. Pass the key if I am under the influence of alcohol.
____ 5. Have no distractions while driving a motor vehicle.
____ 6. Share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
____ 7. Always buckle my safety belt.
____ 8. Require my vehicle occupants to always buckle the safety belt.
____ 9. Always buckle my children with a safety belt.
____ 10. Use the protective safety devices while on a motorcycle,

bicycle or motor vehicle.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Fundacin Lus A. Seeriz

Administration of Automobile Accident Compensation

31

PRLTAP Center Staff


PUERTO RICO TRANSPORTATON
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Call Box 9000, Mayaguez, PR 00681

787.834.6385 PHONE
787.265.5695 FAX

www.prltap.org

Director & Editor


Benjamn Colucci Ros

Editor Assistants
Wilfredo R. Cordero Cruz
Alexander Molano Santiago

Administrative Staff
Jessenia Carrero Lorenzo
Irmal Franco Ramrez
Grisel Villarubia Echevarra

Student Staff
Nichole C. Romn Vlez
El Puente Newsletter
Vol. 30, No. 2, 2016

EL PUENTE is published by the Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer


Center located at the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying.

The opinions, findings or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the Center Director and Editors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
Federal Highway Administration, the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Publics Works, the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority, or the U.S
Virgin Islands Department of Public Works.

Puerto Rico LTAP