AASHTO Appoints Three New Committee Chairs
State department of transportation executives Roger Millar, Laurie Berman, and David Bernhardt (left to right in photo above) were all recently appointed to two-year terms to chair key committees and councils for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Millar, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, will chair AASHTO’s Council on Public Transportation, which develops legislative, policy, and program recommendations related to all forms of public transportation services – including rural, urban, regional operations, intercity bus, and travel demand management.
Appointed WSDOT’s leader in August 2016, Millar believes better “management of demand” of the surface transportation system is key to helping it properly function and his work on the Portland Streetcar and the Glenwood Springs to Aspen Bus Rapid Transit system are examples of his work in the public transit arena.
“Our biggest source of capacity in the system is reducing demand; getting more people to telework, travel at off-peak hours, and by making off-system travel improvements such as adding bike lanes changes demand on system,” he explained at AASHTO’s Joint Policy Committee Meeting last year. “That way we add capacity but only where it makes sense.”
Berman, a 36-year veteran of the California Department of Transportation, will chair AASHTO’s Committee on Transportation System Security and Resilience, which coordinates national efforts, identifies best practices, and fills research gaps to prepare for and respond to both natural and human-made threats, shocks, and stressors to the transportation system.
Berman was appointed director of Caltrans in March 2018 and has been “actively engaged” in the implementation of SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act that is funding a bevy of transportation projects across the Golden State.
Bernhardt, who served as AASHTO’s 2016-2017 president, will chair the organization’s Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council, known as TC3; a technical service program within AASHTO that focuses on developing training products in the areas of construction, maintenance, and materials.
Bernhardt is currently the director of the bureau of maintenance and operations Maine Department of Transportation and served as the agency’s commissioner from 2011 to 2018. He joined the agency in 1984, right after graduating from the University of Maine at Orono with degrees in civil engineering, and has held many positions at the department over the years.