May 30, 2008
Options presented for addressing right-of-way costs
Concerned about the escalating costs of right-of-way acquisition, the Idaho Transportation Board last week reviewed possible legislative and procedural remedies presented by staff members. The board met in Twin Falls Thursday (May 22) following a tour of District 4 the pervious day. Of particular concern is the increasing value of private property the department needs to acquire for construction projects
Cole chosen to become Chief Engineer, effective Aug. 1
Tom Cole, a transportation icon in District 6 the past two decades, has been named to succeed Steve Hutchinson as ITD’s Chief Engineer. Director Pam Lowe made the announcement early this week, indicating Cole will assume his new role Aug. 1. Hutchinson will retire on June 27.
ITD crew assists in catching fleeing pair
Bonnie and Clyde might have gotten away with it. They had successfully eluded police. Unfortunately for them, ITD crews were in the right place at the right time. On Tuesday, a man took his 2007 brown Ford F-150 pickup truck to a local convenience store. He left his keys in the truck, however, and it drove away without him. An ITD crew, led by Jim Darling, happened to spot the fleeing vehicle, however, and reported it to the Canyon County Sheriff’s office..
New system monitors commercial vehicles from Canada
Hundreds of trucks stream past the ubiquitous satellite dish and small camera every day. Drivers don’t give more than casual notice to the new roadside station – if they notice at all. And few realize that a wealth of information is being electronically captured about the vehicle they’re operating and made available for viewing on the Internet by commercial vehicle inspectors.
New law limits comp time for 'non-covered' employees
Legislation enacted this year will place a limit on the number of compensatory hours some ITD and other state employees can carry. Effective June 15 employees who are “non-covered” (ineligible for paid overtime) will not be able to accumulate more than 240 hours of compensatory time, explains Dana Bailey, a program information coordinator for Financial Services. Employees will see the change on their first July paycheck.
Are you smarter than a driver in Kansas?
Results from the 2008 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test released this week found that 16.4 percent of drivers on the road – amounting to roughly 33 million licensed Americans – would not pass a written drivers test exam if taken today. The fourth annual survey, which polled 5,524 licensed Americans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, is designed to gauge driver knowledge by administering 20 actual questions taken from state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exams.
In Idaho, it's 'do as I say, not as I do'
The good news is Idaho’s drivers know the rules of the road pretty well. The bad news is they don’t always put their knowledge into practice. Morning and evening commutes on Idaho’s most congested highways reveal a clear difference between knowing and doing, though. My departed dad described the dichotomy as “Do as I say, not as I do.”
ITD Vehicle Fleet
New models begin rolling to districts
Highway Equipment Analyst Bob Williams has one of those jobs most young drivers would envy. Every year, as the new car models are about to be introduced, he researches the specifications, reviews requests from his colleagues, produces a purchasing list and develops a distribution schedule for new ITD vehicles.
The ITD community, including friends in Enterprise Technology Services and the Division of Motor Vehicles, mourn the loss of long-time senior systems integration analyst Dave Hall who passed away at his home recently at the age of 54. Hall played an instrumental role the past two decades improving and refining DMV technology systems and was honored nationally for his efforts to make ITD compliant with the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA).
• Thanks for help in producing Human Rights video
• Sidewalk improvements put to use
Avalanche closures limited to 30 on vulnerable Idaho 21
Avalanche-related closures on Idaho 21 were significantly reduced this winter by using explosives to bring down unstable snow before it could slide and block the highway. The avalanche season officially ended last weekend. Idaho 21, one of Idaho's popular winter recreation routes and host to the most of the state's avalanches, is typically closed 60 days per year, but was closed just 30 days this winter through these pre-emptive measures.
Idaho Power employees find 'community' along U.S. 93
For some Idaho Power Co. employees in the Twin Falls area, community is as much about how they live as where they live. They have put the company’s motto into practice the past five years as guardians of a heavily traveled two-mile stretch of U.S. 93 north of the Flying J truck stop. In three outings last year, the Adopt-A-Highway group removed 3,360 pounds of garbage from the highway shoulders.
Foundation laid at local level for public transportation
Building on the premise that responsive, efficient public transportation systems should be begin at the ground level, ITD recently unveiled a Local Mobility Management Network. The network is part of Idaho’s Mobility and Access Pathway (IMAP), a new management strategy for growing the state’s public transportation network that was unveiled April 30 during a two-day conference in Boise.
Tournaments proposed to challenge your swings
Whether you’re more adept at swinging a golf club or a softball bat, the state of Idaho is considering opportunities to bring employees together in lively team competition. Tony Pric of the Division of Building Safety wants to build on the interest and success of the first-ever co-ed state employee softball tournament by organizing a sequel this fall. For employees more comfortable on the fairways, greens (and sand traps), there may be an option of a State Employee Golf Tournament this summer.
Projects provide mitigation for effects of construction
For ITD, planning the future of roads, leading to land takeovers and expansion, often results in disturbances to the fragile ecosystems of Idaho. More important is finding practical ways
to make up for those disturbances. In District 4, there have been only a handful of road expansion projects recently that required wetland or water mitigation.