Pilots took a final opportunity last weekend to enjoy one of their favorite remote landing sites – the Johnson Creek backcountry airstrip. It was the last organized fly-in of the season at the pristine strip near Yellow Pine. Pilots of the planes shown here make the trip an annual event. It included U.S. Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri.
Highway system grows by 15 miles
District 4 maintenance crews will have approximately 15 more miles of highway to maintain, starting this winter. The Idaho Transportation Board’s Subcommittee on Adjustments to the State Highway System has been negotiating with local highway jurisdictions to transfer the Buhl-Wendell Highway to the state highway system. Those efforts reached fruition last week when the board signed a cooperative agreement and approved the extension of Idaho 46 from Wendell to U.S. 30 in Buhl.
Every driver can share in reducing distracted driving crashes
Cell phones, texting devices, navigation systems, digital music players and other portable technologies increase distractions for motor vehicle drivers. Those new technologies challenge motorists who already struggle with distracting tasks while driving – such as caring for pets and children, holding conversations, eating, reading, smoking and drinking beverages. Driver inattention is a leading contributor to motor vehicle crashes in Idaho and the rest of the country so U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new anti-distracted driving regulations.
Survey sheds light on opinions of Idaho drivers
A statewide public awareness survey of highway safety issues revealed that most Idaho drivers (84 percent) say they wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle and that more than half (59 percent) would support stronger seat belt legislation. The University of Idaho’s Social Science Research Unit conducted the annual telephone survey in early September for ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety.
Walk to school
School, children to observe annual walk, bike day
For generations, educators have asked students to stay in their seats and sit quietly. On Oct. 6 they will encourage students to leave their seats – in cars and buses – and expend a little energy by walking or bicycling to school. International Walk to School Day was created 14 years ago to emphasize the benefits of walking and bicycling. With about two weeks before the worldwide observance, Idaho had 28 events in 12 cities registered on the International Walk to School website, from Ammon and Iona to Boise, Eagle, Nampa and Lewiston and Sandpoint.
Participation provides 'win-win' results
Participating in the International Walk to School program provides communities, schools, parents and children a classic win-win scenario. Everyone wins, and there are no losers. Benefits include increased physical activity, improved fitness, improved air quality and the environment, and reduced traffic congestion around schools.
ITD reminds candidates of campaign sign limits
As the election season races into the home stretch, ITD Chief Engineer Tom Cole encourages candidates to refrain from planting signs in highway rights of way. A letter is being sent statewide to candidates, county clerks and officials in the Republican and Democratic parties that outline the department’s policy regarding the removal of election signs and posters.
Sparkman to retire after 35 years; Crider to serve on interim basis
Karen Sparkman, ITD’s external Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) officer will retire after 35 years with the department. She has been responsible for ensuring the department complies with federal EEO requirements and fostering business opportunities for women- and minority-owned contractors. Monica Crider, roadway design engineer, will assume Sparkman’s EEO duties on an interim basis while continuing in her present position, explained Deputy Director Scott Stokes.
Hot time for cool cars
Several ITD Headquarters employees are involved in the car hobby and have a nice assortment of cars. A few of us thought it would be a nice way to end the summer car season by having a little ITD employee car show. Building Services will cone off a section of the parking lot between the Main Building and the Annex (where the St. Luke’s Mammogram mobile screening takes place) Thursday, (Sept. 30) for this fun event. We can park all of the cars together and enjoy the camaraderie that car enthusiasts are known for. The car display is open to anyone who wants to participate. For information, contact Steve Spoor, Maintenance Services and
Equipment Fleet manager.
Former ITD employee Pat Nelson passed away Sep 10. She worked in Motor Vehicle Accounting for 15 years and retired in 1991 as an account supervisor. Her daughter, Teri Blackburn, works in the Environmental Section at Headquarters. Colleagues offer their condolences on the loss.
TRIP issues report card on urban highways
Poor conditions result in higher costs for motorists
Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of the country’s major metropolitan roads – interstates, freeways and other critical local routes – have pavements “in poor condition, resulting in rough rides and costing the average urban motorist $402 annually” in additional vehicle costs. And they cost motorists more than $400 annually in vehicle costs, according to The Road Information Project (TRIP).
Report says transportation investment is inadequate
The U.S. Congress requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide a semi-annual comprehensive report on the condition, use and funding needs of the nation’s surface transportation program. The most recent report, the 2008 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance, found current levels of investment by all levels of government in maintaining the physical condition of urban roads are inadequate.
Maintenance commitment may have long-term benefits
Transportation agencies are putting more emphasis on providing earlier maintenance of pavement surfaces to extend their service life and delay the need for costly and traffic-delaying reconstruction. While these techniques may result in a higher initial cost, it is likely that this approach to pavement management will result in smoother pavements and lower long-term costs.
Pothole repairs shouldn't be short-term fixes
When a road or highway deteriorates to the point where potholes form, care should be taken to ensure that the repair will last as long as possible, which will delay the need to again divert traffic while the road is repaired. Some pothole repairs quickly show signs of cracking or fail completely, creating the need for repeated repairs, causing continued traffic delays and increasing costs.
September 17, 2010
Report shows system performance slipping
A report released recently by the Reason Foundation puts into quantitative form what ITD administrative leaders have emphasized the past few years – without an infusion of additional state and federal funds, the quality of Idaho’s roads will suffer. The Reason Foundation publishes an annual report about the performance of state highway systems based on a complex set of criteria. The annual study measures the condition and cost effectiveness of state-owned roads in 11 categories, including deficient bridges, urban traffic congestion, fatality rates, pavement condition on urban and rural interstates and other factors.
Small group honored for big cleanups
When Susan and Ron Green and their friends decided to make a visual impact on their community, they could have chosen a lot of highway segments to clean… segments that were far less challenging than Idaho Highway 75 between mileposts 121 and 123. But they were not deterred. Not by its proximity to the landfill and its propensity for collecting garbage. Not by the stuff intended for the landfill that never quite made it, that blows off or falls off of trucks and trailers.
I-84 improvements - one slab at a time
Work should finish late this month on an Interstate 84 repair job west of Caldwell. Crews are working in a 5.5-mile westbound stretch from Black Canyon to Sand Hollow. These photos show concrete slab removal in the eastbound lanes.
Allstate says Boise-area drivers third-best in nation
The next time you see cars parked on the interstate after a rear-end collision in the Treasure Valley or vehicles entwined at an intersection you can take comfort that it doesn’t happen more often. In fact, only two other medium-sized cities in the U.S. have better drivers than those in the Boise area. Allstate Insurance Co. – those people with the good hands -- rank Boise drivers third-best among 200 cities.