The Office of Highway Operations and Safety, which administers the Federal Highway Safety Grant Program for ITD, will present a report to the transportation board next week on activities planned in the coming fiscal year to improve safety on Idaho’s highways.
The board will meet Thursday at the District 3 office on Chinden Boulevard. Board members will visit highway construction projects on Wednesday morning and follow with the fifth in a series of public meetings on future funding options in the afternoon.
The goal of the Federal Highway Safety Grant program is to reduce deaths and serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle collisions by implementing programs to address driver behaviors. Funding is targeted to Idaho’s unique circumstances and highway safety needs.
Each year ITD identifies the state’s most critical behavior-related highway safety problems and strategies. A “traffic safety problem” is an identifiable subgroup of drivers, pedestrians, vehicles, or roadways that is statistically higher in collision experience than normal expectations.
The Idaho Traffic Safety Commission approved the FY07 Highway Safety Performance Plan in June. Staff will present it to the board for approval. Based on Idaho’s perceived needs, some of the focus areas and recommended funding amounts are:
Other items on the board agenda
Information Technology Transition update
Digital license plates
Earlier this year, ITD staff joined CI and IBM representatives in a presentation to the board on digitized license plates. Adopting the digitized model would be more efficient than using the present manufacturing method.
The system proposed by 3M and CI includes a “real-time” plate inventory management system that would automate the plate ordering process and provide information about the number of plates sent to a county.
Information would be fed back to the inventory system, updating the current inventory level and triggering an automatic reorder of plates when a minimum stock is reached.
Supply Services no longer would have to stock or ship plates, saving space and some limited personnel costs. Counties no longer would have to stock 36 different plates in their inventories. Instead, their stock would be reduced to a handful of plate types.
The digital plates also are printed on a lighter weight aluminum, which would save consumers in postage costs.
ITD staff will ask the transportation board for authority to enter into a five-year contract with CI to provide the state with the digital license plate production and management system. The transition is estimated to take at least six months.
District 3 tour (Aug. 16)
The Wednesday morning itinerary includes presentations on the Idaho 55 (Eagle Road) infrastructure improvements; the Idaho 55, Marsing-to-Sunnyslope curve project; the U.S. 9 Junction with Idaho 55 to Homedale south city limits project; and the corridor preservation studies for both U.S. 20/26 and Idaho 44. The tour schedule also includes a stop at the I-84, Karcher Interchange construction site.
After a noon session that includes Gov. Jim Risch, the board will host a public meeting on the Forum on Transportation Investment at 2 p.m. in the Boise Holiday Inn. The FTI meeting, one of six scheduled this year around Idaho, is open to the public. Input will be accepted on area transportation needs and possible funding options.