Leon Walden, a native of Alabama, came to Kentucky with his family in 1973 when he was transferred from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) North Carolina Division office to the Kentucky Division office. After serving with FHWA for a total of 31 years, Kentucky’s then Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Don Kelly, brought Mr. Walden on board to serve as the driving force in implementing a new concept in transportation referred to as the Intelligent Vehicle Highway System, later termed ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems).
Under Mr. Walden’s guidance, Kentucky became a national leader in the implementation of ITS strategies including: Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO), Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS), Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS), and
Advanced Rural Transportation Systems (ARTS). He played a key role in ITS initiatives including Advantage I-75, Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN), ARTIMIS and TRIMARC, and the Kentucky statewide 511 system.
Several of these projects received national recognition for being on the cutting edge. The Advantage I-75 project won the “Best of ITS” award from ITS America in 1998. In 1999, KYTC’s ITS team led by Mr. Walden was nationally recognized by AASHTO for their contribution to Highway Traffic Safety. Again in 2003, KYTC’s 511 Implementation Team was nationally recognized by AASHTO for their contribution to Highway Traffic Safety as a result of Mr. Walden’s effort in implementing the 511 system for ARTIMIS and his work in making this a national 511 call number for road and travel conditions.
Mr. Walden was married to his wife Mae Carroll for 57 years. They have two children, Byron and Susan, and two grandchildren.