Happy new year! Warmest wishes from all of the TAC staff to you, our members and partners, for health, happiness and success in 2021.
Many of us are celebrating the end of a challenging 2020. Of course, the global pandemic continues to affect public health, our economy, and our interactions with family, friends and work. But there is reason to be optimistic that 2021 will be an opportunity for us to regain some sense of “normal”, and to act on valuable lessons we’ve learned in the last year about work and life.
Transportation will be critical as we recover from this pandemic, just as it was critical to the building of our nation. It supports our social fabric and enables our economy. Investing in transportation will be an essential part of recovery and promises returns in the form of mobility, jobs, trade and GDP. It’s not just about building infrastructure – it’s also about doing better with what we have and what we’ve learned. Let’s seize the opportunity of a concerted recovery to plan for and implement technological advancements, incorporate safe systems, ensure sustainability and climate resiliency, and foster healthy communities, accessibility and equity. We can come out of the pandemic even stronger than we went into it.
TAC is committed to serving and supporting our members throughout 2021, as you focus on renewal and recovery. To that end, I am pleased to share some plans for the year ahead, and our own efforts to come back better.
This year, TAC’s main events—our spring and fall technical meetings, and our annual conference and exhibition—will be online once again. While we are excited for the TAC community to meet in person when it is safe to do so, the Board of Directors has made a proactive decision that allows us to plan with confidence, rather than bowing to the changing whims of the pandemic. We are committed to sustaining our strong connections despite the need to be physically distant, and will build on the success of our 2020 events by, for example, offering new and different opportunities for networking.
In the coming weeks, TAC will release a comprehensively rewritten and significantly expanded 6th edition of our flagship Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada (MUTCDC). Also of note and in recognition of the manual’s essential role in the harmonization, safety and efficiency of Canada’s road transportation system, the TAC Board has established a reserve fund for the MUTCDC that will allow us to maintain this foundational publication into the future.
And of course, progress continues on many other initiatives. We are rolling out a new platform to improve member engagement, developing webinars and online courses, managing technical projects to create new resources for practitioners, and supporting our vibrant councils and committees. As always, we will share news as it becomes available.
Once again, best wishes to all of you for the new year. Thanks for being part of TAC – the work we do together remains vital to transportation in Canada, and to all Canadians.
Sarah Wells, P.Eng., Ph.D,