For 24 years, COG’s Andrew Meese has focused on compiling and analyzing data, best practices, policies, and more to measure the performance of the metropolitan Washington region’s transportation system.
From congestion and safety to public transportation and freight, Meese and the team he leads in COG’s Department of Transportation Planning bring this information to COG and the Transportation Planning Board member agencies to use in their planning of transportation projects and programs.
“We want to help make the region’s transportation system work as efficiently and as safely as possible,” Meese said.
Meese’s service at COG has been the centerpiece of a long career in transportation, previously working at the Maryland Department of Transportation, and as an urban planning graduate from the University of Michigan. As Transportation Systems Performance Planning Director at COG, Meese manages a talented nine-person team of subject matter experts, who specialize in a wide-range of transportation sectors.
Here are few examples of his recent work:
Meese is coordinating an initiative to enhance how the region manages traffic incidents
In January, COG Board of Directors Chairman Matthew Letourneau announced an initiative for the year to enhance the region’s ability to detect, respond to, and clear major traffic incidents, helping reduce the impact of the incidents on safety, mobility, and the economy.
To begin this work, the board approved the establishment of a task force to identify opportunities for enhancing regional traffic incident management. Meese, along with COG colleague Scott Fisher, is organizing the task force of transportation and public safety experts.
“We are going to conduct research and develop recommendations on ways that will help transportation and public safety officials respond to these incidents even better, whether that is with technology, interjurisdictional or agency agreements, or something more,” said Meese. “It’s always beneficial to look for ways to do things better.”
Through this process, Meese will be leveraging his experience helping create the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) Program, which is a partnership between transportation agencies in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to provide regional real-time information sharing among the agencies to manage the transportation impacts of incidents.
He supported the launch of the latest Street Smart campaign promoting pedestrian and cyclist safety
Last year, Street Smart launched a new campaign with the theme of “shattered lives” to convey the fragility of people’s lives in crashes. The campaign encourages drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to exercise caution, watch out for each other, and obey traffic laws.
Building on numerous campaigns since the program’s 2002 inception, Meese worked with project manager Michael Farrell, the Street Smart Advisory Committee, and consultants to provide guidance on developing messaging, managing the campaign budget, and balancing differing viewpoints and expectations to produce the best possible campaign.
“It has been fulfilling to be involved in the process from beginning to end, from identifying the issue we wanted to solve to seeing the ads run on buses and television,” said Meese.
Meese applies transportation data to have a real impact at the regional level
In recent years, Meese and his team have focused on making transportation data more relevant and visual. For example, an analysis about holiday travel patterns predicted that the Tuesday before Thanksgiving would be the worst travel day around the holiday for traffic and congestion. This data was communicated to local leaders and the public to help prepare for the impact, such as making changes to their travel time.
“At COG, I particularly enjoy the opportunity to provide data and information that is helpful to decision makers as they collaborate on solutions to regional challenges,” said Meese.