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Richard N. Best, Inventor of the True-Presence Vehicle Loop Detector and Past President of Richard N. Best Associates, Passes Away at 89

LEVITTOWN, PA — Richard N. Best, traffic engineer and consultant, inventor of the true-presence vehicle loop detector and past president of Richard N. Best Associates, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2022 at the age of 89. With more than 50 years of experience working with equipment and systems for traffic and parking control, he will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Born near Williamsport, PA, Best earned his electronic physics degree at La Salle College, now La Salle University. He was a registered Professional Engineer in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Richard N. Best

In the early part of his career, while working at Fischer & Porter in 1964, Richard Best developed the first true-presence vehicle loop detector. His invention was a groundbreaking contribution to the industry and today continues to be integral to traffic control and transportation planning throughout the world.

Richard N. Best was instrumental in the startup of companies including Deltronic Labs, producing electronic and electro-mechanical devices, and Automated Control Equipment, a manufacturer of equipment such as parking gates and ticket dispensers.

In 1972, he established his own company, Richard N. Best Associates, Inc., providing service for all makes and models of parking control equipment. Founded on principles of excellence, vision and teamwork, Best quickly grew the company to national stature by applying his unbiased insights to determine the best equipment manufacturers. As one of the top 10 distributors for Federal APD, Richard N. Best Associates consistently won awards for stellar performance within the national distribution network.

True to its founding principles, Richard N. Best Associates carries forth his legacy today and into the future. Taking the comprehensive view of systems integration, the company continues to grow and expand as it plans and implements parking, access and revenue control systems—security, parking, CCTV, photo identification—using the most advanced technologies to achieve solutions.

Richard N. Best expanded the reach of his company in 1991 by joining the PARC Group, a select network of North American companies working to extend the range of customized, integrated solutions in the areas of systems integration and innovation in the parking and access control industry.

In 2001, Richard N. Best received the President’s Award from the International Parking Institute (IPI) for his work as part of the design team for the West Chester Bi-Centennial Garage.

Under contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Best conducted traffic training programs for all PennDOT Districts, performed inspections of traffic control systems, assisted in the review and updating of PennDOT signalization specifications and standards, and served on many special projects.

Over the years, Best performed traffic impact studies for many municipalities in Eastern Pennsylvania, helping communities assess hundreds of projects and plan for future development. He conducted parking, traffic and parking safety studies for numerous companies, schools and municipalities. He also worked on many traffic design projects, parking and revenue control system design projects, and was the national expert called in to lecture on the “Proper Application of Vehicle Loop Detectors” and “Expressway Ramp Control Systems.”

Richard N. Best was Past President of the Bucks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers and served on the National Parking Association’s Parking Consultants Council. Best assisted the Pennsylvania Parking Association for more than 10 years as a board member, serving as board president in 1996.

A Fellow Life Member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), he was an active member of the organization, serving as International Director, President of ITE District 2, President of the Mid Atlantic Section, and for four years, as Chairman of Philadelphia Area ITE Activities.

Richard N. Best extended his service with ITE by serving as Chairman of the Technical Committee on Parking Gate Capacities, a member of the Technical Committee on ITE Standards for Traffic Actuated Controllers, and on the Advisory Committee for Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS)/Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

He also was a member of several ITE councils: Consultants Council, Expert Witness Council, ITS Council and the Parking Task Force Council.

In addition, he was active in the National Society of Professional Engineers, the International Parking Institute and the International Council of Parking Consultants.

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