Idaho Transportation

Office of Communications
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707
Fax: 208.334.8563

November 28, 2008

Have a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving

We pause every year at this time to reflect on the many things for which we are thankful. On behalf of the Transportation Board and the Executive Team, I would like to say thanks to each of you who are committed to your professions, your jobs and service to Idahoans. Even during difficult economic conditions, you go above and beyond expectations. And for that, our board members and administration are very thankful. Please enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, and if you are traveling, please stay safe.

Pam Lowe
Director, ITD

Peer review
Final report on ASCE peer review available
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently concluded a peer review of ITD’s procedures, work programs, organizational structure, depth of experience and budgets. ITD Director Pam Lowe received the final report today (Nov. 26), including an appendix and post review questionnaire. A pdf version of the final report is available. Choose continue and then select the report.

Transportation board
Board approves requests for 'Safe Routes' funding
In 1969, 50 percent of children living within 1 mile of school walked or biked to school. In 2001, only 15 percent did. The federal Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Program was established to reverse that trend, according to program representatives who spoke last week to the Idaho Transportation Board. The Safe Routes to School program was created to encourage children to walk and bicycle to school and to make that option safer

Improved traveler services system awaits motorists
ITD introduced a number of enhancements to its 511 Traveler Services system the past year that will help motorists safely navigate changing highway and weather conditions. As part of the system upgrades, ITD also unveiled a new campaign that encourages motorists to check 511 B4 U GO, by going to the Web site at or dialing 511 toll-free from within the state.

Enhancements made to Web, phone systems
In an effort to continually improve the 511 Traveler Services system and respond to public needs, the Idaho Transportation Department added a number of new features to the Web site and telephone system this year. The interactive Web site – – along with new mobile Web options and the voice-response telephone system (dial 511 within Idaho) is the primary source for winter driving conditions and provides access to similar systems in adjacent states.

511 information available on Mobile Web devices
The Idaho Transportation Department introduced a new application of 511 Traveler Services specifically for motorists who can access the Web from their mobile device, including newer cell phones that include Web browsers. To reduce download time, and associated charges, ITD limits information available through Mobile Web to route reports and camera images.

More cameras provide views of Idaho highways
The increasing popularity of Web cameras as a source for winter driving conditions led to major improvements of the Idaho Transportation Department’s Idaho Traveler Services system the past year.


Winter travel in Idaho

Remember last winter? Use extra caution on highways
The harsh winter of 2007-08 provided a vivid reminder about the importance of preparing for winter travel conditions. Snow, blowing and drifting snow, winds, poor visibility and ice can make winter driving difficult in Idaho. ITD reminds drivers to use extra caution when traveling the state's highways this winter.

Service and prepare vehicle for emergencies
Motorists can prepare for safer winter travel by keeping a simple emergency kit on hand, ITD advises drivers to carry some helpful items in the car in case of an emergency and to have vehicle in top condition for tackling winter conditions.

Tips offered for safer winter travel
As Idaho motorists take to the roads this winter, ITD reminds drivers that a few extra precautions can make winter journeys safer.

Studded tires legal, but highway damage can result
Motorists traveling on Idaho highways this winter can use studded tires to improve vehicle handling. The use of studded tires is legal from Oct. 1 through April 30. While it is legal to use the tires the transportation department advises against it unless extreme conditions warrant.

Thanksgiving travel
AAA expects fewer highway trips this year
Amid the mixed signals of much lower gasoline prices and an economic meltdown marked by declines in consumer confidence and spending, families will find ways to get to grandma's place for the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA Idaho said. The travel organization said it expects 41 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend, down 1.2 percent or 600,000 from a year ago and the fourth consecutive travel holiday this year with a year-to-year decline in the number of holiday travelers.

Wildlife danger

Reduced visibility increases threat of crashes
Why is night time driving so dangerous?  According to the National Safety Council, 90 percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision – and vision is limited at night. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision are all compromised after sundown. Another factor is fatigue; drowsiness slows reaction times.

ITD Mailbox
• Appreciates prompt service on license request

Employee survey
Deadline is Dec. 3 for completing survey
Employees are most productive in a work environment that recognizes and values their contributions and promotes opportunities for professional growth. ITD administrators, with support from the transportation board, have commissioned a study to assess the strengths of the work environment and identify areas where improvement is needed. The survey is available now for employees to complete online.

[Go to the survey.]

Published previously

Position reassignment
HQ to transfer positions to districts to meet service needs

Seven vacant positions at Headquarters will be reassigned to the districts as part of ITD’s commitment to address customer service needs and fill positions that best meet those needs, Deputy Director Scott Stokes announced today (Nov. 21). This action is an important step in working with Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to reduce administrative costs, explains ITD Director Pam Lowe. She said the transfer stems from an ongoing analysis of the department’s activities to ensure that resources – including personnel – are applied where they will best serve Idahoans.

Davis knows Idaho 52 like his back yard
The next time you travel one of Idaho’s many scenic back roads, take a moment to reflect on the sound of gravel beneath your tires. Oh sure, the mountains loom on all sides, and the lakes and rivers beckon, but the dark patchwork and freshly painted lines on the road are signs that ITD’s engineers and construction workers care about your safety. They’re hard at work year-round to ensure your trips are as trouble-free as possible. Danny Davis is among the cadre of ITD workers who has dedicated much of his life to the effort. 

New flashing left arrow to replace green 'balls'
Motorists in southwest Idaho are noticing a new light guiding their way through intersections.  ITD has introduced a new Flashing Yellow Arrow (FLA) at a few intersections, like those cropping up in eastern Oregon and elsewhere across the country. The newest flashing arrow is planned for a traffic signal at the intersection of 3rd and American Legion Boulevard in Mountain Home.

HQ to discontinue services at counter
Plans are under way to close the Driver Services walk-in customer service counter at the Headquarters office, effective at the close of business on Dec. 31.  After that date, all driver services will be conducted by phone, the Internet, fax and mail.


HRD training schedule

  Dec. 9-11 Introduction to Supervision
  Feb. 3-5 Introduction to Supervision
  Feb. 24-26 Intermediate Communication
  March 10-12 Basic Communication
  April 14, 15 Situational Leadership
  May 12, 13 Managing Performance
  June 9-11 Intermediate Communication
This schedule represents training classes available at Headquarters. For schedules at specific districts, please contact your EST or refer to the training calendar.