ITD to offer first online forum to improve input from public

In the first online public meeting offered by the Idaho Transportation Department, Treasure Valley residents will be able to conveniently learn about improvements to Eagle Road and ask questions using ITD's new online public meeting format next week. Information exchanges through the Internet will enable citizens to receive and provide information about the project in a format that fits their schedules.

The online public meeting is part of a transportation department strategy to use new technology to exchange information. The department uses Facebook, Twitter, Constant Contact e-mails and traditional web pages to provide construction updates and promote highway safety, among other topics.

"Increasingly, people are getting news and information in a format that meets their schedules and needs," said Jeff Stratten, ITD public information officer. "Offering this meeting online allows them to conveniently learn about the project when they have time, as opposed to having one opportunity to attend a meeting."

The department will consider using online meetings for other projects after evaluating how well it works. It will assess comments from those who attended a question-and-answer session, the ease of the registration process and website navigation, and the number of attendees who can participate in a meeting.

The online meeting will complement a traditional open house held Thursday (June 2) at the Boise First Community Center on Eagle Road.

People can sign up to participate in a live question-and-answer session with Wade Christiansen, who is the project manager for the Eagle Road improvements. Registration is required to participate in the online meetings. To register, go to:

The registration links are toward the bottom of the page.

There will be four online question-and-answer sessions:

  • Monday, June 6: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 7: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In addition to asking Christiansen questions, people will be able to watch a video explaining proposed improvements to Eagle Road, view the display boards that were at the traditional meeting and view maps from Thursday's meeting. The display boards and maps will be accompanied by verbal descriptions. The online meeting page, located at, became live today (June 3).

The proposed Eagle Road improvements include repaving the roadway, building raised medians and repairing pedestrian ramps that do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Public comments will help the department finalize the plans.

Other departments of transportation use online public meetings. Among them are Missouri, Florida, Utah and Minnesota.

The Missouri department started offering online meetings in 2008. That year, 962 people participated in them. In 2009, there were 11,301 participants. The number more than doubled in 2010, to 26,387.

Published 6-3-2011