National Committee of PIARC in the Czech Republic
By this time the Czech National Committee of PIARC (CNC) has been acting for almost five decades in favour of the road sector development and that of professional growth of road experts as well as of popularization of outcomes of their working activities. Since the sixtees of the last century the committee has been acting in the frames of the Czech Road Society (up to 1993 known as Czechoslovakian). The CNC associate prominent specialists operating within the road sector, in governmental and public organizations, technical universities, research institutes, enginnering designers and consultants and road building contractors and firms, and other institutions.
The Czech National Committee, since 1993 acting as one of the two followers of the Czechoslovak National Committee created in 1932 which ranked among the oldest PIARC National Committees, has sincerely welcomed the opportunity offered by PIARC of presenting its activities on the World Road Association periodical. After outlines of actions as prepared by several National Committees and shown in the Routes/Roads Forum for National Committees until now, the CNC appears first of the Central European National Committees. The home of this committee can be found in the heart of Europe. Thanks to its area o 78.900 kmsq and its population of 10.5 milion inhabitants, the Czech Republic ranks among small states; there are 55.700 km of roads and 1060 km motorways.
In the sixtees of the 20th century, when Czechoslovakia enjoyed a short period of détente and when the road administration was newly undertaken by the Ministry of Transport, remarkable actions were noticed. Soon, the Road Planning Bureau and a few years later the Road and Motorway Centre were set up. At the same time, after the long 26-year intermission, construction of motorway net was restarted and the Motorway Directorate was established. The CNC promoters were issued mainly from the above mentioned organizations.
The sixtees are also remembered as the time period of preparation of the XIVth World Road Congress PIARC which took place in the Czechoslovak capital Prague in 1971. Over 2,000 thousand of specialists took part in that event. Enthusiasm and actions of several PIARC experts, hundreds of Czechoslovak specialists and volunteers, as well as the CNC members, made the success of the congress possible; remarkable merit belongs to Professor Josef Spurek, member of the PIARC Executive Committee, head of the Czechoslovak delegations to the PIARC World Road Congresses held in Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Tokio, the president of the XIVth World Road Congress held in Prague, acting also as one of delegations´ member to the PIARC congresses held in Mexico City and Vienna and the president of the Czechoslovak Road Society. Shortly after the Prague congress, Professor Spurek became the life-time member and in 1976 the honourable member of PIARC. Up to these days many Czech road specialists remind him as an untiring fighter for road sector development, and, last but not least, an uncommon person.
The mission and objectives of the Czech National Committee are to promote professional knowledge among the committee members and partners and to enhance international cooperation and exchange of know-how. In completing the targets, the CNC emphasize effective participation in programs and activities covered by PIARC technical committees. Czech National Committee members permanently and tenaciously of purpose cooperate with the Czech Road Society (CRS), the association comprising some twenty thousands of road specialists; the CNC Chairman is at the same time a CRS Council and the Steering Committee member. The post of the Czech First Delegate is traditionally reserved for one of the Minister of Transport deputies.
Currently, the Czech Republic is not represented on any of PIARC steering bodies. However, there are 32 Czech members on technical committees thus confirming the CNC readiness for a broad and a high-level collaboration and exchanges among specialists; out of the total, 19 Czech experts act as members and 13 as corresponding members on relevant committees. Committee members regularly submit reports to the CNC concerning their activities as well as results of strategic themes task solutions prepared in the periods between the World Road Congresses. Momentous information are being presented at CNC professional actions and annual conferences.
In order to enhance professional knowledgee of road specialists and road-related organizations through participation in the activities of the Czech National Committee, symposia, seminars, regional conferences, as well as those with international attendance have been set up every year. Regional conferences on asphalt pavements with lecturers coming from home and from neighbouring countries serve as a good example. The CNC has also directed its efforts to arrange similar technical campaigns in favour of other road segment branches, such as application of new road characteristic measuring methods, rigid pavement, geotechnics, earthwork and drainage, road bridges and tunnels, as well as traffic engineering, traffic counting, road work and traffic safety. In autumn every year the CNC appears the main co-operator preparing Road Annual Conferences considered as a platform for professional discussions and for searching solutions to relevant tasks of road sector further development. Usually, almost one thousand people and several decades of companies and firms take part in the conference and adhered exhibition. Each annual conference has been hold under the auspices of the Minister of Transport; these conferences are taken as very respectful and much-sought-for professional and social events. During the past decade the CNC took part in preparation and set-ups of International Road Fairs Roadware, which with some sixty firms and three thousand visitors took place every spring in Prague. These fairs formed an opportunity for products and services demostration; as a fair supplement the CNC had always prepared several lectures and seminars.
In the frames of CNC and CRS are currently acting nine expert sections. Their activities can be considered as a backbone of both bodies structures. The National Committee permanently regulates their thematic aims to a broad correspondence with ambitions, actions and efforts of the PIARC technical committees. Activities of several active sections, namely those for pavements, road tunnels, or traffic engineering and traffic safety are highly appreciated; section for terminology succeeded in the Czech version of the PIARC terms dictionary completion. All sections members prove great interest and undestanding in the PIARC Strategic Plans fulfilment and their engagement appears a base of preparation of word congresses national technical papers. In compliance with their many years service in the CNC and road sector development (and often in regard to life anniversaries) decades of Czech specialists were rewarded by the Professor Spurek Medal; medals have always been confered by the Minister, the CNC and the CRS chairmen; Professor Frantisek Lehovec was the CRS chairman for many years.
Through submission of technical papers and sending official delegations, the Czech National Committee has taken part in the PIARC World Road Congresses. Memories of many Czech road specialists are still attached to the XIVth Congress held - in spite of a luke-warm support of that time governmental agencies - in Prague. Since 1971, shortly after conclusion of each world congress the CNC has organized conferences labeled as “Introductions of the Congress“ with several lectures presented by Czech and Slovak participants in the respective congress agenda and discusions; at those conferences hundreds of experts have always taken part. Cooperation between individual Czech and Slovak professionals is standing and permanently effective, as well as that between PIARC National Committees and Road Societies of both countries. By organizing and conducting professional contacts not only the long tradition but also the affinity and the troubleless mutual understanding of the Czech and Slovak languages are being proved as advantageous.
Several years ago the CNC established a working group for elaboration of a proposal for hosting the XXVth PIARC World Road Congress to be held in 2015; in October 2010 at the PIARC Council meeting the Czech proposal was not accepted. Nevertheless, the CNC has not lost its courage and is ready to place a new proposal for hosting the following congress in due time.
Close attention has been always devoted to editorial activities of the Committee. Numerous documents concerning the set ups and results of various technical meetings as well as the road exhibition and fair catalogues are in question. A few years ago, the CNC working group has prepared the edition of the PIARC dictionary. The French and English versions issued by the association were completed by the German version and then translated into Czech and Slovak. At present the dictionary is available not only in a printed form, but also in an electronic format. Thanks to the PIARC Terminology Committee and professional sections and technical committees activities the dictionary is attainable to all. The Czech National Committee has been active i cooperation with the Czech Road Society in the professional monthly named Road Review editing. This review keeps publishing articles on tasks concerning construction and maintenance of roads, motorways and urban ring roads and arteries, as well as airports, bridges and tunnels and the traffic engineering. In each year´s volume is one issue assigned to articles dealing with road traffic safety. The mothly is edited in Czech, also containing a number of articles in Slovak and a summary in English and German. To each article a professional reader is asigned and annotations in Czech or Slovak and in English are always included. Subscribers to the Road Review monthly are recruited both in the Czech Republic and in the Slovak Republic.
Dear Mr. Malléjacq,
allow me to convey my cordial greetings from Prague. Hope you and your staff are doing well.
Enclosed please find an article on the Czech National Committee of PIARC which has been prepared by a small working group and translated into English by our own power. If necessary, please do not hesitate to realize any changes and/or corrections concerning English. Thanks in advance for doing so.
Publishing of this our article in the Routes/Roads quarterly coming soon will be highly appreciated.
I remain, Yours Sincerely
Chairman, Czech National Committee of PIARC