November 5, 2010

Return to Standard Time
Relax an extra hour Saturday night, Sunday morning by moving clocks back one hour
During late Winter we move our clocks one hour ahead and "lose" an hour during the night and each Fall we move our clocks back one hour and "gain" an extra hour. But Daylight Saving Time (and not Daylight Savings Time with an "s") wasn't just created to confuse our schedules.


Director Ness announces first steps in department realignment
ITD Director Brian W. Ness announced this week a realignment of the department that will improve customer service, efficiency and accountability, and save a minimum of $1.5 million over the next two years. The realignment will reduce the layers of management between Ness and the department's front line supervisors from nine to five and give decision-making back to where the work is being done.

Florida transportation veteran named chief of operations
ITD Director Brian W. Ness announced this week the selection of Paul Steinman as the department's new chief of operations. Steinman will lead 1,300 employees that work in the department's highway operations, maintenance, construction and planning programs. He will assume his duties in December.


Meetings scheduled for input on long-range plan
ITD is sponsoring public meetings throughout the state this month to obtain input in on a plan to improve safety, mobility and economic vitality. "Idaho On The Move" is the department's long-range plan to enhance those areas. Over the next 20 years, transportation activities and projects that improve safety, mobility and economic vitality will be priorities.


First STAR-funded, design / build interchange awaits final step
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a new interchange on Interstate 90 at Beck Road in Post Falls. Final approval of the Interchange Justification Report (IJR) hinges on completion of all environmental work for the project. The IJR recommends a new standard diamond interchange on I-90 at Beck Road. The recommended interchange is supported in the regional and local plans, accommodates pedestrians and bicyclists, and improves traffic operations.


Making a difference
An intersection of need, vision
Todd Daylong, an inspector out of District 3’s Residency 1 office, lives near the intersection of Highway 44/ Old State Street and Ballantyne Road in Eagle. He drew up and proposed several modifications to the intersection to assist with traffic flow and safety. Seems it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Daylong said that for a year and a half he “had heard accidents from my back yard,” including one that resulted in a fatality. The main problem were drivers in too much of a hurry, not taking other traffic into consideration – much of it motorists intersecting the route.

Winter prep. 101
ITD enhances 511 system's low-bandwidth option, the Idaho Transportation Department announced. The previous low-bandwidth version, in place since the 511 service launched five years ago, was replaced with the new offering that provides improved web navigation. The new site offers the same information, but in an easier-to-use format.

Turn clocks back, replace batteries, become prepared
With Daylight Saving Time coming to an end, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages Americans to take advantage of the Nov. 7 time change as a reminder to make sure their families are prepared for a possible emergency. A few simple steps like checking smoke alarms, developing a family communications plan, and putting an emergency kit together can go a long way toward keeping families safe.

Preparation can avert winter catastrophes
Winter is approaching, and with it comes a broad array of cold weather activities. Backcountry skiing, snow- shoeing, snowmobiling or even sledding can lead Idahoans into fairly remote areas to enjoy these pastimes. The best way to enjoy these activities is to be ready for what winter can bring. Changes in the weather, road conditions, personal well-being or vehicle mechanics can turn an enjoyable outing into a fight for survival.

Korby Hansen update
Several District 6 employees visited injured Korby Hansen at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls this week and report that he is steadily recovering. Korby, who was injured in a hunting accident last month, has been moved to the fourth floor where he will be for at least a week before moving up to rehab, where he likely be for a month. Colleagues report that Korby is alert and focused on being released. He is gaining strength daily. District 6 thanks ITD employees for their thoughts and prayers and look forward to his return.

In Memoriam
Heart attack claims retired security officer Tim Ramsey
Tim Ramsey, former security officer at ITD’s Headquarters in Boise, passed away unexpectedly Saturday (Oct. 30) as a result of an aneurysm. He had just arrived in South Carolina where he and his wife were relocating to be closer to children and grandchildren. For those of you who had the pleasure of working with Tim, you are aware of his kind heart, his warm smiles, and the pride he took in the security position he held for ITD.


Warning on cell phone registry may be misleading
An e-mail message forwarded to ITD this week warned all cell-phone users to register their numbers with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Do Not Call” list before all numbers are made public at the end of November. Although it might be a good idea to place your phone numbers – line-based as well as cell – on the federal “Do Not Call” list to minimize solicitation calls, there apparently is no impending release of cell phone numbers to telemarketers.

ITD Mailbox
• Grateful for quick DMV response

Published October 29, 2010

U.S. 12 spill monitoring scaled back for winter
A coalition of public and private environmental experts continues to monitor the effects of a Sept. 29 diesel spill near the Lochsa River on U.S. 12., although activity will be limited by the arrival of winter weather. The contractors (working on behalf of trucking company Keller Transport) will continue to operate and monitor recovery wells drilled near the highway and Lochsa River through the winter.

Highway safety
Patrols looking for aggressive drivers
More than 100 people die as a result of aggressive driving crashes each year in Idaho. Many of those people possibly would be alive today if they had been safely buckled in their motor vehicles. Federal grant funds make it possible for ITD to partner with Idaho law enforcement agencies to make state highways safer by funding education campaigns and high-visibility aggressive driving enforcement patrols through Nov. 14.

State employees invited to compare insurance quotes
Comparison shopping for auto and home insurance is available to state employees through a new State of Idaho Auto & Home Insurance program. Participating companies that can offer quotes are MetLife Auto & Home, Liberty Mutual and Travelers. Employees interested in obtaining quotes and possibly changing insurance carriers do not have to wait for renewal of their present insurance. Select "continue" to check the insurance announcement.