July 30, 2010
Funding approved for two years of Safe Routes to School projects
Some routes to school will become safer for bicyclists and pedestrians as a result of a commitment of additional Safe Routes to School funding approved last week by the Idaho Transportation Board. Board members approved $948,000 for improvements when they met July 21 at the District 6 office in Rigby. The budget action covers projects planned for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
Task force considers report on user contributions to highways
Initial findings from a study presented to the Governor's Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding this week suggest passenger cars may be paying a larger share than big trucks for Idaho's highways. The study on the equity of Idaho's highway user fees was requested by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter when he formed the transportation task force in 2009.
ITD preserves highway artifacts as window on the past
Every highway has a story behind it – or beneath it. Why was it built? Why that spot? What was there before? The answers often reveal a surprising historic perspective of movement through a landscape. Transportation corridors typically reflect ancient pathways. The same corridors used by the earliest Idahoans are the ones now widened and covered with asphalt or cement.
ITD develops model for identifying 'health' of rural routes
ITD Director Brian Ness has issued a challenge – his vision is for the department to become the best in the nation and a model for other state agencies. What does that mean? District 6 Engineer Blake Rindlisbacher offers national attention over a district research project as an example that ITD is moving the right direction. He explained the research and subsequent interest when Director Ness and the transportation board met last week in Rigby.
ITD photo receives first place in AASHTO annual contest
An ITD photograph of scooter riders wearing protective helmets and inspection of a cement pour on Interstate 84 in Boise received honors from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in its annual Faces of Transportation competition/ Mel Coulter's photo of a motor scooter and side car received one of three first place awards in the category "Improving Quality of Life.
Winning at work requires taking basic steps
I had noticed her earlier, joyfully greeting and seating guests in the tourist-packed bistro of a resort near the entrance to Denali National Park. After several days in Denali's backcountry, we were once more in the busy bistro and I saw her again. This time, equally energetic and enthusiastic, she was bussing dishes and wiping down tables, along side a man doing the same.
BYU-Idaho band members honored for cleanup efforts
Musicians at Brigham Young University – Idaho in Rexburg are committed to bringing harmony to a highway in District 6. Members of the student-run Band Council put their instruments aside and take up litter bags twice a year to remove roadside refuse near Beaver Dick Park. A remnant of one outing serves as a constant reminder of their commitment to highway cleanups – and to their success against orchestra players in annual snow football games
Fire confirms need to have emergency plan
ITD’s Cheryl Rost, manager of risk management and employee safety, has long been an advocate of being prepared for unexpected emergencies. So has Bryan Smith, manager of ITD’s emergency services. And the Ada City County Emergency Management office. And the Bureau of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMAA). Add Tracey Jo Richards to the list. The Division of Motor Vehicles’ employee knows first hand the importance of being prepared and now is a disciple of preparedness plans.
Transportation jobs contribute to nation's recovery
In June 2010 alone, more than 64,000 direct, on-project jobs were sustained or created in the highway and transit sectors as a result of ARRA (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009) – an increase of 57 percent since March. Projects totaling $30.5 billion are either out to bid or under construction during these peak summer construction months. These are real people, working real jobs.
July 23, 2010
ITD trainer wins magazine award for basement remodel
Tony Loomer is beginning to feel right at home. But it took a lot of effort. Loomer, 39, a training specialist for ITD’s Human Resource Development section, and his wife Cindy, 38, moved into a classic ranch-style home in 2004 with the intent of adding their personal touches – basically a complete remodel. Their basement transformation was ambitious and innovative. Early this month the project was featured in the July-August issue of “This Old House,” a publication about restoring and remodeling homes.
— Accolades —
To Ken Angell, Human Resource Development
I’m writing to you to commend your team member, Tony Loomer. At the end of the recently past month of June, I was at the last minute assigned the responsibility to be the IT technician to cover the AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators) Conference in the absence of the original technician nominated for this task... Tony’s help made the ITD team shine greatly at the recent AAMVA Conference in Boise this year. Tony ran the extra mile without hesitation and always with a friendly, knowledgeable and professional attitude in helping us with this project.
Agreement to revised computer use policy required
Road Rage claims 3rd at state tourney
Over the last couple of years, many things have changed related to the use of computer systems. These trends have opened the door for myriad threats to network and system security, and for the potential violation of employment laws. With this in mind, it is the intent of ITD to ensure ethical, efficient and productive utilization of all computer resources within the agency.
ITD’s softball team, composed primarily of District 3 and Headquarters employees, placed third among 28 Slow Pitch softball teams, representing 32 state agencies. The team went 4-1 overall in the state tournament, which started in late May and resumed July 10 after being rained.
Moscow provider added to 511 Transit
Idaho’s new 511 Transit System now includes the transit provider, Regional Public Transportation, Inc. (RPT), which does business as Valley Transit and Moscow Valley Transit, in its online data system. RPT provides service between Lewiston and Moscow, within Moscow, and some other surrounding communities.
511 Transit introduces new telephone feature
Bus riders throughout Idaho can access public transit provider information online and by calling Idaho's 511 Traveler Services system. A recent upgrade to the 511 telephone system gives callers the ability to identify their location, select a preferred transit provider and then be connected directly to that provider for bus schedule and route information.
E-Girls workshop demonstrates career opportunities
Pretzels and Twizzler licorice sticks made for great snacks and useful construction materials for young women, grades 8-11, attending Boise State University’s annual e-Girls workshop in June. BSU hosted the event as an introduction to engineering for 57 young women this year. The workshop featured Barbara Morgan, astronaut educator, and activities facilitated by representatives from BSU, NASA, Idaho National Laboratory, Hewlett-Packard, Micron Technology Foundation and the transportation department.
ITD grant helps fund weeklong engineering camp
From the Moscow-Pullman Daily News
MOSCOW - Fifty science-minded teenagers from across the country are experiencing university life for the first time during the University of Idaho's Junior Engineering, Math and Science program on campus in Moscow. The two weeks of engineering and problem-solving classes and activities culminated in the JEMS Summer Transportation Institute, in which students designed working scale-models of energy-efficient vehicles.