The Idaho Transportation Board approved the FY10-13 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) when it met in Boise Nov. 18, 19.
The comprehensive document that guides project selection and funding also shows the highway, public transportation, aeronautics and highway safety projects planned for funding in the next four federal fiscal years. The STIP needs to be fiscally constrained. It contains financial information that demonstrates which projects will be implemented using current revenues and those that will be funded with proposed revenue sources.
In compliance with federal requirements, a public review and comment period began Sept. 20 and concluded Oct. 21. During that period, the STIP generated 34 comments, down from the 80 comments submitted in FY09 and 230 in FY08.
The largest group of similar comments this year requested funding the U.S. 95, McArthur Lake wildlife crossing safety improvement project.
With board endorsement, the STIP will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration for approval.
North Kootenai Water District request for financial assistance
Because of the severe financial hardship that would incur from relocating the utilities, the water district appealed ITD’s requirement and requested a hearing. The water district is impacted by two other current projects on U.S. 95 – Wyoming Avenue to Idaho 53 and Idaho 53 to Ohio Match Road.
Based on the recommendation of ITD staff, the transportation board agreed to equally share costs of relocating the utilities up to a maximum commitment of $152,000.
Division of Motor Vehicles’ strategic plan activities and tour
One activity under the “Expanding and Enhancing Partnerships” segment includes the transmittal of information electronically. That initiative improved efficiency by providing information faster, reducing the need to re-enter the data and consequently reducing errors.
Transitioning to a central location for issuing drivers’ licenses is included in the “Leading Through Agency Performance” initiative. Issuing licenses from a single location will improve security and reliability.
One of the “Investing in Our People” activities is to visit with employees about career paths, training and innovations to streamline processes.
“Improving Customer Service” strategies include installing kiosks and conducting an online customer survey. The kiosks allow customers to complete transactions, such as vehicle registrations and driver’s license reinstatements, online and provide access to 511 and other important information such as rules and regulations.
Overall, the customer survey indicated that respondents are pleased with the online services ITD makes available to the public.
The board then toured the Division of Motor Vehicles to meet employees and learn more about the divisions’ activities and responsibilities. During the tour, board members learned:
The Drivers’ Services Section handles between 1,000 and 2,000 telephone calls daily. It processes about 85,000 driver’s license suspensions annually. It was noted that one driver may have more than one suspension.
The Vehicle Services Section will process an estimated 600,000 titles before the end of 2009. The goal has been to issue titles within seven days. Vehicle Services receives approximately 900 requests a month for special eligibility plates and about 2,000 requests for disability placards and replacements.
An average of about 30 customers visit the Commercial Vehicles Section daily, a decline of about10 from 2008. The decrease is attributed, in part, to the economic downturn and development of more online services. In 2008, employees processed 71,132 over-legal permits of which approximately 21 percent were initiated through online services.