Input on future highway projects increased substantially during the Statewide Transportation Investment Program (STIP) comment period this year, according to Sonna Lynn Fernandez, STIP coordinator. She presented a report on the 2007-2011 STIP to Idaho Transportation Board members at their monthly business meeting in Pocatello Sept. 21.
The fiscal year 2007-2011 STIP draft was distributed for public review and comment between July 10 and Aug. 8. During that time, 421 comments were submitted to ITD and metropolitan planning organizations, representing a 40 percent increase over the number of comments received a for the previous STIP.
Board members received copies of all STIP comments. Comments from citizens in District 6 outnumbered those from the other five districts combined by more than three times. Nine individuals provided input on Connecting Idaho/GARVEE projects. Responses, by district, were:
Most of the comments from District 6 supported three projects in Driggs and a turn lane project in Rigby, with more than 100 and 150 comments, respectively.
The board approved the FY07-11 STIP, which includes the following transportation modes: aeronautics, bicycle/pedestrian, highways, public transportation, rail, and highway safety.
Other board discussion
Capital Investment Program
The board approved the Capital Investment Program, which will be incorporated into the STIP.
Division of Motor Vehicle’s Modernization
The current system is at the end of its functional life. It is unable to provide consistent data for public safety officials while they are on duty; it is unable to use new technology to improve service delivery; and it is unable to provide consistent on-line services to customers. If ITD continues the update project at the current pace, it will be three years before a new system is fully implemented and operational.
Even though the federal REAL ID act is one component of the project, the board expressed specific interest in that component. Staff members will provide additional information – including Idaho’s options – on the federal mandate at a future meeting.
The REAL ID Act substantially revises the way that state drivers’ licenses will be issued and the physical nature of the licenses, including the requirement of fraud and identity theft prevention features. Driver’s licenses or identification cards issued after May 11, 2008, will not be recognized for any official federal purpose, including presentation to Transportation Security Administration agents at airports and entry into federal facilities, if they do not comply with the new law.
Conformance with the law will require enactment of new state legislation, implementation of tougher identity and licensing standards, significant investment in automated systems infrastructure, and possibly additional staffing.