June 6, 2008
Governor's conferences to focus on revenue needs
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has scheduled a series of meetings throughout Idaho to solicit input from local elected officials, business leaders and the public about alternatives to address the quarter-billion dollar revenue shortfall confronting Idaho’s transportation system. “Building Roads, Building Bridges, Building Consensus” will address the funding gap for infrastructure improvements throughout Idaho.
Director continues discussions with ITD employees
ITD Director Pam Lowe, along with Deputy Director Scott Stokes and division administrators, began meeting with employees this week in the Boise area as part of an annual outreach series to answer questions and receive input. The Employee Outreach Spring 2008 series began in April when Lowe met with employees in District 2.
New plates to benefit Special Olympics games in Idaho
New license plates went on sale Monday as a way of promoting the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games to be held in Idaho this winter. The new plates, approved by the 2008 Idaho Legislature, are available at county automobile licensing offices throughout the state.
Vanpools offer ITD commuters cheaper option
Every morning, I drive past the ACHD Vanpool van in the east parking lot. And every time I see it, I wonder about the merits of alternative transportation in light of skyrocketing gas prices. I bet I’m not the only one thinking about it. There are four ACHD vans that drop off and pick up at ITD’s State Street location, and two of them park here during the day.
Safety month begins with emphasis on driving
In recognition of National Safety Month, the Transporter will publish a series of articles in June to promote safety in the workplace. The ITD Safety Team encourages employees to put an extra focus this month into weekly safety meetings at work and to use the information at home as applicable. ITD experienced a high number of vehicular accidents in the past 12 months and will start the safety promotion with tips on driving defensively.
District 4's Devin Rigby honored for Scouting service
For the past quarter century, District 4's Devin Rigby has devoted much of his life to helping Idaho youths learn leadership skills through Boy Scouts. For his time, he was honored this spring by the Snake River Council of the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Beaver award – the highest council-level award bestowed on adult volunteers as a means of recognizing distinguished service to youth on the local level.
ITD seeks to expand engineering program at high school
More than 100 Columbia High School students in Nampa benefited from the expertise of six ITD engineers this winter during the introduction of the TRAC (Transportation and Civil Engineering) educational program. Six ITD engineers rotated into Columbia classrooms, integrating engineering principles into three disciplines, or PACS, as the program refers to the modules.
Workshop helps grant writers refine requests
Experience can be one of the best teachers so ITD’s Safe Routes to School program recently offered applicants for safe routes funding an opportunity to mine knowledge from representatives of SR2S programs funded previously. About 28 people representing Idaho schools, nonprofit organizations, local governments and other state agencies met in Boise last week
Keep dialogue positive and learn to listen
Being a good communicator is much more than speaking, or writing, or telling or taking. It also involves hearing and listening and showing and giving. It involves a desire to understand as well as to be understood. Positive communication embodies the best of sharing hopes, aspirations, ambitions, priorities and direction.
Summer brings threat of thunderstorms, lightning
Idaho’s beautiful summer weather calls us all to enjoy the great outdoors. Sporting events, hiking, biking, camping and boating are just some of the activities that bring us outside. Perhaps these activities help explain why weekends, between the hours of noon and 6 p.m., are the time when the most lightning related fatalities and injuries occur.
ITD begins passing credit card fees on to purchasers
Effective Sunday (June 1), ITD began charging a vendor processing fee to customers who use credit cards to complete some Division of Motor Vehicle transactions.The department had been absorbing processing fees for on-line credit card transactions completed through Access Idaho, but the Idaho Transportation Board instituted a new policy that calls for passing the fees on to customers.
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 July 27.
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.
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).