Board receives draft of long-range 'Idaho on the Move' plan

The Idaho Transportation Board experienced “Idaho on the Move,” when it assembled for its monthly meeting in Boise last week (Oct. 20-21).

A draft of “Idaho on the Move: A Long-Range Plan to Improve Safety, Mobility and Economic Vitality,” was presented to the board at Thursday’s meeting. The plan describes policy, principles and investment strategies for a 20-year period. The long-range goals are to improve transportation safety, enhance mobility, and support Idaho’s economic vitality. It is not a list of specific projects or investments.

The document consists of two main sections: one that outlines goals, strategies and objectives; and a second section that focuses on implementation and action steps. The document identifies how ITD’s principles of collaboration, partnership, performance management and focused investment will achieve that end.

Meetings are being held throughout the state to collaborate with ITD’s partners on the plan. The board endorsed the release of the draft long-range plan and establishing a public review/comment period that extends to Nov. 23. The intent is to submit the final plan to the board for approval at the December meeting.

Other board discussion

District winter maintenance resources
Board members heard a report on the winter maintenance operations planned for each district.

The number of full time positions dedicated to winter maintenance efforts ranges from 59 in District 4 to 83 in District 3. It was noted that the avalanche support group was not included in the District 3 employee count. Additionally, all districts use hourly or re-assigned employees to supplement the winter maintenance personnel. Some districts cross-utilize maintenance employees in other areas. One example is District 5’s paint truck drivers. Striping is not a typical winter activity, so those truck drivers are reassigned to plow snow.

District 3 is responsible for the most lane miles, 2,547, followed by District 4 with 2,322. Districts 1 and 2 have the fewest miles, 1,469 and 1,483, respectively. The districts have an average of 63 snowplows, 58 sanders, and 4 rotary snowplows.

Annual Report on ITD’s research program
Research Program Manager Ned Parrish reported that ITD hosted a peer exchange earlier this year. It provided an opportunity for participants to learn about the participating states’ research programs, share information about best practices and identify areas for improvement.

The team consisted of research managers from Montana DOT and South Dakota DOT, with participants from ITD, Utah DOT, Wisconsin DOT, and universities. Some of the workshops covered project selection, report writing and implementing research results.

Key findings from the peer exchange were:

  • Significant progress has been made in improving program processes
  • The program supports all areas of ITD
  • The projects address ITD’s vision elements
  • A greater focus on implementation could increase project impact, and
  • Collaboration in the research could enhance the department’s five-state coalition.

The budget for ITD’s research program for FY11 is $1.3 million, with 89 percent coming from federal sources.

Some of the projects planned in FY11 include an ITD customer survey, a study of media messages and tools to reduce single-vehicle run-off-the-road crashes, characterization of aggregates used in ITD projects, development of a tool to identify bike route needs and priorities, and defining and quantifying rural congestion.

Other activities the Research Office intends to undertake during the year are updating the master agreements with Idaho’s universities, hosting a “Research Opportunities Workshop,” reviewing the role of ITD’s Research Advisory Council and taking steps to emphasize implementation throughout the research process.

Published 10-29-2010