Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Jerry Gordon Pigman, September 21, 2010

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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MILLER: This is an oral history interview, um, in the series for the Kentucky Transportation Center Oral History Program, and, uh, my name is Mardi Miller, M-a-r-d-i, Miller, M-i-l-l-e-r with the Kentucky Transportation Technology Transfer Program and--

WHAYNE: And this is Laura Whayne, L-a-u-r-a W-h-a-y-n-e.

MILLER: And we are interviewing today Jerry Pigman.

PIGMAN: This is, uh, Jerry Pigman, J-e-r-r-y, Pigman, uh, P-i-g-m-a-n.

MILLER: And it is Tuesday, September the twenty-first, and we're in room 120 of the Raymond Building, um, in the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky campus. Um, so, Jerry, could you--we just, actually, spoke your name and you spelled it for us, so we're good on that one. But, uh, could you tell us please what your most 00:01:00recent position, uh, and your current position with the Kentucky Transportation Center?

PIGMAN: Most recent and, and current is Program Manager for the Traffic and Safety Section here within the, uh, center. I've been in that position for a long time.

MILLER: (laughs)

PIGMAN: But, uh, since we became a center actually in 1981, so it's, uh, nearly, uh, twenty-five, twenty-nine and thir-, it'd be thirty years I guess here in a few months. So, uh--

MILLER: And where is your office located?

PIGMAN: Here in the, uh, Raymond Building, uh, room 140 down--first floor area here, and, uh, we've been in that part of the building for five or six years I believe, since, uh, the T Square unit moved to 00:02:00another part of our unit.

MILLER: Um, can you tell us when you first became involved with transportation in Kentucky?

PIGMAN: First became involved, uh, in my undergraduate work. I actually, uh, studied here at the University of Kentucky, uh, obtained my, um, BS degree in December of, uh, 1968, and had some courses then that were transportation-related, uh, and that became my, uh, focus area or specialty area of civil engineering and began work at the Division of Research which was then a part of the Kentucky Department of Highways, uh, Transportation Department in January of '69. So I graduated in December, a month later became a fulltime employee even 00:03:00though I had been working, uh, part-time in the research unit while I was still in school for a couple of years. So '67 and '68 as part-time and then began full-time in, in January of '69, and worked actually in the soils unit under Tom Hopkins, uh, who is the section head/manager of the, uh, soils section. And, uh, so my venture into transportation research only, uh, began in the soils area for a short time. Decided I liked other parts better; began work on my master's degree in, um, shortly after beginning work here. Took a couple years to complete it, um, finished in '71, I believe, uh, and did my master's, but the 00:04:00point about that is my, uh, focus of, uh, my master's work was in more of the traffic and safety area and did a study of recreational areas, models for recreational areas here in the state of Kentucky. So that was the beginning of my, uh, work in more of the traffic area rather than the soils. And since then, I've been with the research division under the direction of Jim Havens who was, uh, our director at that time and up through our--completed, uh, our time with the, uh, center, with the research division until we became a center in 1981. Mr. Havens was definitely one of the most influential people in my professional career. Had great, uh, guidance, skills and his quiet and 00:05:00courteous way that he always presented himself and was a master at, uh, at writing documents. Very tediously tutored all of us engineers into how we should better compose documents, um, spent hours. We would, uh, go into his office after completing a report and have him--ahead of that time, given him a draft for his review, and Mr. Havens would spend a morning with you going over sentences, structure and how you, uh, should present information in a technical format. So it was a, a great experience and, and obviously very beneficial in my forty 00:06:00years since of, uh, trying to do technical writing. So, in addition to that he was a very good leader and respected by all, I believe, in the transportation research area. I began going to the Transportation Research Board meetings in Washington D.C. in the early seventies, and he was always there and introduced us younger engineers to others that were of influence in the transportation world. And, and at that time, you know, we were all part of the Transportation Department, so it was, uh--mostly interacted then with others in various DOTs outside of Kentucky and became involved in committees and other activities related to that. So I think Mr. Havens was, uh, so influential and, 00:07:00and others--I know myself and Tom Hopkins and Ted Hopwood, uh, David Allen were the three or four others that were with me in, in that stage of, uh, developing our research skills, and I'm sure that they would have a lot of the same things to say about that beginning time and the, uh, influence and mentoring that we received from, uh, Jim Havens. So that's, uh, and I believe, if you--when we started the conversation I was trying to see how much influence we wanted to talk about here the Division of Research relative to the current Transportation Center, that is within the university. Yeah. When I speak to friends and 00:08:00tell them who we are and what we've done, I say we've always been nearly a part of the university. The Transportation, uh, Department made a decision early on that they wanted to have a research function and actually a building--(clears throat)--a physical building here on campus, so I'm sure Mr. Havens talked about that some but--and he has more recollections of the 1940s than I do. But, uh, he was part of that and then Bill Drake who was the, uh, person prior to him that was head of the, uh, Division of Research, but the research component of the Transportation Department, uh, and Department of Highways, uh, was the forerunner of the Transportation Center and, to me, not much 00:09:00different in so many ways. Uh, we did work exclusively for the, uh, Transportation Department then. Now we're more diversified in what we do but, as I started to say, if I tell people where I worked, you know, it was with the Division of Research but we were located on the campus; we had students, faculty involved, and, and in many ways very, very similar to what, uh, we presently are and how we presently function. Um, that time of 1981 when, uh, after I'd been here twelve years and a decision was made to somewhat not only transfer our unit to the university but, uh, split it up in other ways, uh, some of the folks that worked with us at the time actually left the research division 00:10:00and went with, uh, the Transportation Department. There was our skid testing function that was within our unit here that, um, I very much remember the folks associated with that; Rollins Reisenberg and, uh, Jim, uh--his name, I can't remember right now, but I'll think of that in a moment. They, they went, uh, with the Transportation Department, and we were in quite a, uh, a time of, um--I started to say turmoil, but it was anxiety at least in terms of where we were heading at that point. Uh, basically in a very, very short period of time, a decision was made that we should be transferred, uh, to the university. Part of the unit would go with the Transportation Department and others of 00:11:00us, you know, we didn't know what we were going to be doing and how solidified we might be in our future and our relationships with the, uh, Transportation Department. But as it turned out, it probably was one of the best things that happened, uh, and in many ways, I feel that our research and our service that we are able to provide to the Transportation Cabinet now is even better than it would have been had we stayed within the, um, the cabinet, the Department of Transportation at that time. And we're viewed, I believe, uh, as more of an independent research, uh, unit now than we were in those days and, as well, we're able to do work for other agencies and even private consultants, contractors, cities and counties and other clients as 00:12:00we refer to them now. So, uh, in looking back, uh, that nearly forty years ago or thirty years ago--my forty years approximately but thirty years with the, uh, center being in place coming up soon--it's, uh, a very positive, uh, memory for me, and I keep telling folks that I know and, and many of my peers that I graduated from school with here at UK that I still see and they want to know how things are here that it has to be one of the better places to work that anyone can ask for because so many of my friends and peers went out into the private world. And a lot of them worked here, and I still hear and we talk some--not 00:13:00totally seriously all the time--how much they'd like to come back here. But it is surprising how many folks that work here at the center at some point want to come back later in their careers, and, uh, and many of them do. You know, we have a lot of those kinds of people that actually find a, uh, niche here as a second career, and that benefits all and their experience that they've received elsewhere. So, uh, the center, uh, began in 1981. At that point, obviously, Mr. Havens was, uh, replaced by Bob Dean, and again, uh, Bob Dean had been the assistant to Jim Havens for several years, maybe the entire time I was here. I can't remember the beginning of his, uh, time with the, uh, 00:14:00center. But he was unique in his approach to leadership and in his experience and, and his degrees. What, what always amazed me about Bob Dean was, uh, he never gave up on wanting to learn more. He, he was one of the most, uh, ambitious people even at whatever age that it was he took over the center in 1981. You know, he had his, uh, engineering degrees, a PhD in, in civil engineering and then I think during that time of transition he was still in law school, received a law degree and taught some courses in the law school, actually, which were jointly sponsored by engineering and, and the, uh, law school that would be of 00:15:00benefit to both areas of, of education and training. But he was, uh, in many ways--and maybe this is because he'd been around Mr. Havens so much--uh, very similar in their attention to preparing well-written documents, and I don't think we give it as much--(laughs)--attention now as we did, uh, then. Uh, production--(clears throat)--I think was a little bit slower paced then. Everything is. It's either as you get older you think that way or--(laughs)--I'm confident the electronic world of knowledge and communication has speeded up everything, but Bob 00:16:00Dean was a excellent, um, mentor also even though I'd been around for twelve or more years at that point of doing research. But I recall he would, he did little mini courses on writing, and, and I still have the style guide that he handed out to all of us and I use it still since- -(laughs)--and those things don't go out of date so they're, uh--you know, one of the little, uh, items that, uh, I correct and change on all the reports, uh, that I found in that style guide and I still have to pull it out and show to some of the engineers, the young engineers, is when you're using numerical values of, you know, more than ten, 00:17:00less than ten, whether you write it out. But one of the things that stuck with me was if you have a numerical value greater than ten within the sentence and you have another one less than ten within that same sentence, you should use the numerical value for both of them. (clears throat) You know, if you've got three years of collecting ten or more years of data, you don't write out three. You write--or at least the advised, recommended way was to put numbers for both of them rather than writing out, and I have to argue with them until I pull out the U.S. Government Style. It was actually the--a government document, that style guide that we were using and still the one that I refer to. So, interesting piece of--tidbit there on--but Bob Dean was an excellent, uh, leader here also. Did, uh, a lot to promote 00:18:00us, the, the center on the national level and, uh, obviously didn't stay around long enough. His tenure was only six or seven years, something like that, I believe, before he passed away. But, uh, I have very good memories and had an excellent relationship with him, too. So after that I guess, uh, Calvin Grayson became our director, and that's when we merged with the T Square, the division of--the Kentucky Transportation Research Program, KTRP--(laughs)--um, merged with the Transportation Center in '88, I believe. I know you all probably have 00:19:00those dates better than I do but about then, and that was shortly after Bob Dean's passing. And, uh, Calvin was already the director of the Transportation Center and had been for some number of years, um, so Mr. Grayson became the director of both units. And again, uh, our center at that time, we became just the Transportation Center rather than the Research Program even though so many people still throw those words in there, you know, the Kentucky Transportation Research Program rather than the, uh, center when we are dealing with them. And that, in many ways, uh, distinguishes us from others maybe. But, uh, Mr. Grayson, with his knowledge of, of the transportation world in many 00:20:00ways, certainly the U.S./national scene of transportation, then even brought us to another level in a different way than, than the previous, uh, more research-oriented folks had been and I think it did reflect. You know, it was more of a center at that time with, uh, a broader, uh, view of what's happening in the, uh, transportation world and, uh, our role that we should play and, uh, Mr. Grayson was, uh, a, uh, very influential person in, in bringing us to that, uh, stage and offering ourselves as an equal partner to many other research units around the country. And I think, you know, we grew with--our national 00:21:00reputation did, we expanded and obviously Mr. Grayson's relationships with the Transportation Cabinet were very, very strong and, and that did a lot to, uh, solidify and enhance our, uh, research program. And, you know, us in the research business live and die with funding grants which has, uh--I don't--the importance that I've mentioned but, uh, Calvin Grayson's relationship with the cabinet I think probably put us on more solid ground than we'd ever been and, uh, made for a atmosphere of we have a long-term research program here that will, uh, be around and, and not have to every day worry that your next project 00:22:00may be your last. (laughs) Which, I mean, it's, it's not hardly in that level of, uh, daily concern that, that I may have implied there, however, uh, it's important, and we, uh, we must look at those as the essentials of providing research or being involved in research. So I think that I would credit Mr. Grayson for really being, uh, so important to making that our, uh, position in research and making our future more, uh, likely to be, uh, stable and, and solid for the future. So his time frame, uh, of leadership here and my interactions with him, I think that the research program was, uh, very good. You 00:23:00know, I haven't mentioned very much about my actual section and the work that we did, but, uh, you know, Ken Agent and I have been here together since the early seventies. I think Ken began in '71 and, uh, we, um, have been partners in research and have publications that run off the, uh, list of pages when we, uh, go back, Ken being one of the more prolific and best researchers that this place has ever had. And I don't think anybody around here would even, uh, question that when, uh, when his name's brought up. He does great research, does it quicker than anybody else--(laughs)--and, uh, and has developed a 00:24:00great reputation with folks in the Transportation Cabinet and others around, obviously. Many of his, uh, research papers have been, uh, published on the national level and still made reference to in, in a lot of the manuals that we have, specifically on the work that he did on left turn warrants and guidelines for signalization when you're using left turns. Ken, uh, and I were, um, in conversation in the last few days with folks who are running the Louisville's--Louisville bridges project, and they're asking us to do some follow up work on crash analysis for the Louisville bridges. Uh, they didn't do as 00:25:00much work here in the early stages of the justification for the, the bridges project, so now they're, you know, this is a huge project and is going to demand unbelievable levels of funding for many years to actually complete. So it's two bridges: one that's going to be in the downtown area to replace Kennedy Bridge and another on the eastern end of town. But the historical part of it was John Sacksteder, who used to be with the Transportation, uh, Cabinet, is now with the consultants that's, uh, managing those projects, called and in concert with the folks at the cabinet said, "Well, can you guys do a crash analysis for the Kennedy interchange?" And, uh, Ken and I both sort of looked at each other and said, "That's interesting." You know, one of the first reports we did in 1971/72 was a safety and operational analysis of the Kennedy interchange which--(laughs)--you know, it's now being redone 00:26:00in anticipation of completely rebuilding it, but, uh, our historical work may still be of value. We'll probably pull that out and look at it when we get ready to do this new crash analysis. You know, back in those days we did everything by hand, pulling up all copies of the accident reports, we called them in those days and, uh, summarizing everything by, uh, by hand. I, uh, in mentioning that, the calculation process that we do nowadays relative to what it was when I began work here--and I'm of the age--and, and I think interestingly, uh, when I tell other people, I was the very end of the slide rule era because my college days were the years that we still used--when I began, we 00:27:00still used slide rules. Carried them around on our belts like the, uh, typical nerdy engineer is supposed to, and they come in a, uh, leather case. Uh, I've still got mine in my desk. But, uh, but the point about that: I was talking about Ken and myself doing the crash analysis and all the paperwork and the hand calculations. We first got calculators when I was in my junior or senior year of college and, uh, and then began the research work here, and our calculators then looked very much like our, uh, laptop computers do. That was the size, and, uh, they were Wang, w-a-n-g, calculators then, I recall. I don't know who that company became or if it went away or not, but, 00:28:00uh, we did everything with hand calculations. Uh, one of the more, uh, memorable research projects that I've worked on related to that was with Jack Deacon who I should definitely mention and, and have his influence. My, uh, master's degree that I did--mentioning earlier--on recreational travel was under the guidance of Jack Deacon who was a professor in civil engineering at that time and then later worked with us quite a bit in the, uh, the research area, but, uh, I was his first advisee in graduate work, I think he told me at that time. So he, he wasn't that much older than me--(laughs)--when I began, but he had his, uh, degrees from UC Berkeley and--(clears throat)--came back 00:29:00here to UK. I believe he was, he grew up in Lexington, went off to get his PhD, and Jack probably was--I'm giving you all these superlatives to other people, but he was probably the most brilliant other person professionally that I've been acquainted with in my career. I don't believe--and Joe Crabtree who's our current, uh, director of the center, worked quite a bit with Jack, and he and I have very close agreement on that, uh, description of him. But he was my advisor in that, uh, research project, and mentor, and we later began working on projects together, him being part of the, uh, research, uh, team to some degree though he was still a civil engineering professor. As 00:30:00I've noted earlier, we've done that for many years, so that was back in the early seventies that that began. But Jack and I did, uh--this memorable project was highway cost allocation analysis which is numbers intensive--(laughs)--to say the least. And those first studies we did in the early eighties, I believe, of highway cost analysis, which is basically taking all the costs, costs associated with the transportation system in Kentucky and assigning responsibilities to different, uh, highway users, being the types of vehicles is what we call the users, and determining who of those users are paying the appropriate level of taxation. So that was one of the first studies 00:31:00that we did here, even though I believe that Mr. Havens and Mr. Drake had done some work in that area way back in the forties because we had, um, some reference to that initial work. But we did it and did everything by cal-, hand calculation that were just pages and pages of numbers that would be generated, and tried a, a big part of our research in those days, when numbers were involved, was having somebody check calculations, which we don't do much, I mean, obviously with, uh, calculators and computers nowadays, that's not a concern as long as you have the right logic. I mean, we still have to check our logic of did we ask the computer to do the right things. But in those days, we spent hours, you know, high percentages of our research time either checking or asking. And a lot of the student's jobs in those days 00:32:00were go over all this and recalculate it and check the numbers to see how close we are, and we never ever, interestingly, we were never far off but we were rarely ever exact either. And exactness was not a necessity for many of those kinds of--when you're talking about I have five hundred million dollars in expenditures and cost, uh, you didn't have to make it to round off to the nearest cent. Um, now we can do it and all those are absolutely matched with, uh, near half the effort, so a lot of the progression of technology has speeded up things, but 00:33:00it's allowed us to do so much more than we were able to do thirty years ago. And, uh, and so we have become better, uh, researchers because of that, certainly. We can churn out calculations and analyses now in a, uh, half a day that we would take two, three weeks, months to do before. So, uh, things have certainly changed from that standpoint-- (clears throat)--but Jack Deacon, uh, was, uh, a partner in our research activities here and a great, uh, mind for research and perception and was very influential in our, uh, development of ITS, Intelligent Transportation System research in Kentucky. Joe, again, Joe Crabtree 00:34:00was, uh, part of that. Not at the very beginning. Joe came along a little later. Jack Deacon and I, uh, along with Don Hartman who, uh, was at that time--he was more--he was in the planning area, but, uh, Don worked very closely with Calvin Grayson and, uh, Calvin assigned Don to work with Jack and me on developing this Advantage I-75 project which later became our commercial vehicle ITS program here in Kentucky. But, uh, we had meetings all over the country and, uh, asked lots of, uh, partners-to-be in the commercial vehicle operations as well as Federal Highway Administration, um, to become part of that. And 00:35:00it's probably become one of the more significant activities that I was initially involved in. And we sort of handed that off to other people as, uh, years went on and I went back to the basic traffic and safety research, uh, which has been my mainstay for the forty years I've been around. Um, so Calvin Grayson, I was referring to later, and then the transition into Paul Toussaint back about twelve or so years ago. Again, another level of, uh, of progression and development of the center positively. And as I noted with, uh, Calvin Grayson, you know, the relationship he had had with the Transportation Cabinet, Paul brought not only that relationship but, as well, the Federal 00:36:00Highway Administration background that opened up even more avenues of research and the security associated with the, uh, research program and connected us with, uh, the Federal Highway Administration locally and regionally and nationally. And, and interestingly, Paul had been part of that Advantage I-75 program also. I forgot to mention him, but he, he had worked with us as a representative of the Federal Highway Administration and was, again, very influential in getting that moved into a, uh, a national program of prominence for the center and the commercial vehicle operations. So, uh, Paul has been--he was probably--and maybe even in this entire progression of directors of 00:37:00the center from Mr. Havens and Bob Dean and Calvin Grayson and Paul Toussaint--they've all added a new twist to, uh, leadership and in many ways another level has been achieved; not because the progression brought absolutely better directors but each of them had built a foundation upon which the next one could add their, uh, specialties and their unique qualities, too, that allowed--didn't necessarily go away when the others had left the position of director. And so I think Paul benefitted from that but brought us to another level in many ways, so I'll have to tell Joe that to put some pressure on him, Joe Crabtree 00:38:00who's going to be our, uh, is the new director and will have to achieve those even higher, uh, accomplishments in the future. But, um, I think all of the, uh, directors have, uh, been very, uh, well-respected, uh, nationally as well as within the state and have benefitted us researchers in so many ways because they've nurtured and encouraged. And, and in many ways, I think also it's been more hands-off as we progress. Uh, the independence of the researcher has, uh, gone to a higher level, and that's what I tell the young engineers that come to work with me is that they, uh, if you don't have a passion for research and a lot of self-motivation to do this kind of work, you're never 00:39:00going to be successful because it's not the kind of job. And I think the directors have realized that you cannot stand over one's shoulder and tell them what you expect them to do on a daily basis and get good research products from that. It requires a lot of self-motivation and just a desire to get a good research product from the work, and I think we've, uh, been able to achieve that through the atmosphere that is offered to the researchers here. So I think we've got a good future ahead of us in terms of research. We've got a lot of bright, young folks that are, uh, involved in, uh, in the research and hiring more as we speak, literally. Uh, so, uh, I look to, uh, see the Transportation 00:40:00Center grow and be more influential in the national--the state most specifically where we need to be, but then also on the national level, and I'll have great memories of the place when I've moved on, which won't be too long from now but not tomorrow.

MILLER: Other than the Advantage I-75 program, um, can you maybe, uh, um, describe for us some other past projects that, uh, really stood out in your mind, uh, maybe ----------(??) and what was being addressed or, um, the type of research that came out of it and what was done with it. Are there other programs, projects you've worked with that stand out to you?

PIGMAN: Oh, I could go on for a long time about--(clears throat)--those, but, um, some that we've probably received more attention in, in terms 00:41:00of implementation, typically the most memorable projects are those that have a higher level of implementation and somebody has found a use for them and, and they're referred to. And I mentioned Ken's work on the left turn signal warrants. That's still used, and there's work being done to update it on a fairly regular basis. We also did some work on developing a program to provide the Transportation Cabinet with guidelines on when to place guardrails around the state and a prioritization of cost and benefit, uh, for weighing the, uh, cost in terms of accidents and crashes versus the benefit, uh, in reducing 00:42:00those and then the cost of actually placing the guardrail itself-- (clears throat)--and it's a program that the cabinet adopted and we just finished. This was back in the, uh, late eighties, I believe, and we were just asked in the past couple of years to update it and put it in a more revised electronic form-, format. And they're still using the same work that we did then with just new, faster electronic calculations to, uh, an end point to maybe work better. Um, I had mentioned Jack Deacon's work with us, and he and Ken Agent, uh, Clark Graves, Joe Crabtree, myself all collaborated on a series of reports on evaluating the coal haul road system here in Kentucky and, uh, 00:43:00published a series of reports on what the costs and benefits were at that time of the extended weight coal haul road system. And I know, uh, as a result of that, we made some recommendations for our resource recovery road system that actually didn't get implemented. As I said, some, some do, but, uh, a lot of the work that we've done from that, uh, evaluation of coal haul roads is still referenced and, uh, is used in terms of describing the, the situation that exists in Eastern Kentucky with the dilemma of sort of having heavy coal trucks going up and down the road on a regular basis, but the economics in some ways being used to justify that that, uh, is a necessity and the safety and structural 00:44:00damage issues that, uh, result from it. There's, uh, recent, uh, work that's been done that we, uh, my, uh--the last eight or ten years, uh--been very involved in contact sensitive design solutions area that, uh, began in the early 2000 time frame, and we developed a, a course on training and, and sharing with others, initially for here in Kentucky on contact sensitive design, which is designing and building roadways that have less interference with the, uh, the environmental, historical and, uh, other aspects of the community that you would want to create 00:45:00less, uh, interference with. Paris Pike was the example here in, uh, the local area of what that is. But a lot of the, the work we did has been recognized not only in Kentucky. We trained, at least presented a two-day workshop--we being myself, Don Hartman, Ted Harpwood and Nick Stamatiadis, a civil engineering professor here. About eighteen hundred, uh, employees of the Transportation Cabinet as well as consultants. I think it was about half and half consultants and, uh, DOT folks. And then went outside Kentucky and went to eighteen or twenty states and trained that many or more folks in other parts of the 00:46:00country. So it was a very widespread, uh, training course that had a lot of influence, and, uh, we're still building on that. And when you, when you do work like that you create a, uh, long-running reputation that is easy to continue building on, and we're presently responding to an NCHRP request for proposals on design exceptions which is, in many ways, very, very closely connected to, uh, contact sensitive design and practical solutions as far as trying to build roadways that don't always have to be to the highest level of design that may be better suited to the conditions if you use a more narrow lane, shoulder widths or don't try to cut down every mountain that you come to to make the 00:47:00grades nice and flat as you cross the mountains. I wonder if we could take a real short--(clears throat)--break here for a second.


[Pause in recording.]

MILLER: Okay. We are continuing our interview with, um, Jerry Pigman. So, uh, Jerry, you've done an excellent job of talking about the history of the center so far, as well as addressing, uh, particular projects from, um--that have resulted from our research program, and we were wondering if you could, uh, maybe just broaden that out a little bit and tell us how you feel that the, um, the center as a whole and your programs also have impacted, um, transportation in Kentucky and, and the citizens of Kentucky.

PIGMAN: Certainly the aim of research would be to have a direct 00:48:00influence on those that, uh, are providing the, uh, opportunity to do this research. You know, we directly, uh, contract with the state Transportation Department/cabinet--and--as it's progressed along, but the real factor of, of this should and is the, uh, citizens of the state and sometimes, more broadly, uh, as you've noted, the national perspective. So, so much of what we've done in the safety area. You know, I think my area is a little more easily connected to the driving public and I'm always glad of that when I'm in my non-research position 00:49:00here at the office with friends and family and whatever that I can talk about what I do here that nearly everyone can relate to from the safety standpoint. We all drive cars or have some very close connection that we have to be transported, and so the safety issue is very prominent in nearly everyone's daily routine, even more so now with all the stuff related to, uh, distracted driving and, and the more, uh, uh--issues that, that are brought to the public's eye that makes them focus on it. So we've done a lot of research in, in many of these areas. You know, we just finished--I mentioned distracted driving, and, uh, we were asked to do an analysis of, uh, that area just in the past, uh, year because it was being considered as, uh, in the legislature for 00:50:00possible laws to ban texting and, and even some of the consideration of banning the use of cell phones and, which did happen for texting in general and cell phones for those that are still in the under eighteen, uh, graduated driver licensing stage. But, uh, I think what we've been able to do is connect the research of looking at high frequency crash locations and recommending improvements, countermeasures that can impact those in a very simplistic way. That's, that's what has been most directly related to the public, and we've obviously done 00:51:00many other areas that are spin-offs of that to some degree. And we look at raised pavement markers and pavement marking materials, you know, the guidance that's provided to the public on a daily basis and nightly basis when they're trying to traverse the roadways. Ken Agent, Jim Havens and I did a project back in the, uh, seventies together on trying to improve pavement marking materials, uh, and again, Mr. Havens was influential back then with his unique, um, research mind of giving us some ideas that we tried out on the roadways and tested that were, uh, failures--uh, successes in some ways and failures in 00:52:00others. Uh, so it was the true research of testing something, and, uh, everything didn't work out like it, uh, we were hoping it would in all those tests that we went through. But those kinds of projects, um, where you're providing guidance for the public, traffic control devices, you know, we've looked at lots of signals, uh, improvements that we have been able to recommend and have been implemented definitely have had a very positive effect. A lot of the work on seatbelt usage, we began evaluating the seatbelt--the absence of seatbelts, initially, trying to provide data to the, uh, Transportation Cabinet as well as the legislature in showing them what the benefits 00:53:00would be had the, uh, users, the drivers and passengers of the vehicles had been belted. You can show these huge numbers in terms of, uh, injury prevention and then translate that into the, uh, reduced medical cost and therefore, it does seemingly, uh--the things that influence legislators, not only the safety but when you start talking about cost savings--uh, it really does have a, a very direct impact then that you can, uh, dollars and cents to that are easy, pretty easy to understand. So, you know, from nearly all those areas of, uh, safety research and operational research--we--the two--uh, being better travel times. 00:54:00When you look at reversible lanes for example, um, Ken and I did a, an evaluation of that when it began twenty-five years ago probably now, and it was interesting because the traffic engineering folks did not feel comfortable with recommending reversible lanes. And our mayor at the time, Jim Amato, I remember, said "We're going to do it one way or the other and evaluate it, and if it's beneficial then we'll keep it and if it's not--" and we were assigned the job. He said we were going to do it in his consultations--(clears throat)--with the Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highways and, and all the engineers were all cringing. We were envisioning these head on crashes occurring on a daily basis up and down Nicholasville Road, which a few did, uh, 00:55:00and still do, but the overall benefit has been significant in terms of reduced travel time. You know, that's referring to operational, but, uh, you can, uh, benefit the public by not only making them safer, but easing their daily travel, uh, in terms of, uh, travel time that that kind of project was helpful in doing even though we didn't necessarily recommend it. But we evaluated it and showed that it was the, uh, the right thing to do in terms of the, uh, overall effects. So much of what we do directs--directly affects all of us on a pretty regular basis. I'm proud of saying that, uh, and I can tell my kids and friends, you know, "We do these kinds of things," and they all typically nod their head and say, "That's pretty good, you know, that 00:56:00you all have done those kinds of things." And we don't necessarily have that opportunity to, to tell folks on a daily basis, uh, that kind of work that we do here.

MILLER: Excellent. I think you've covered it extremely well, and we really appreciate your taking the time to participate in this oral history project. Um, if there's anything else that you'd like to add at this time, you're welcome to.

PIGMAN: I think that's good enough. We covered the covered wagons earlier, so I won't go into that--(laughs)--extend that. I don't think it's hardly as directly applicable here, but, uh, I'm, uh, glad to participate and hope that you get some useful information out of it.

WHAYNE: Thank you.

MILLER: Excellent. Thank you so much. This concludes our interview. Thank you.

[End of interview.]