Idaho Transportation

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

August 29, 2008

Transportation funding conference

Time is now for transportation funding alternative
The seventh in a series of statewide conferences about Idaho’s transportation funding shortfall attracted nearly 300 people in Boise Tuesday, including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, and transportation officials from Washington, D.C. The message was loud and clear,” Gov. Otter said of public responses at conferences from Coeur d’Alene to Pocatello. “Fix our roads, and fix them now."

Transportation conference speakers

FHWA administrator says funding reform is needed
Just six days into his new position as head of the Federal Highway Administration, and with the prospects that his tenure will end in January, Tom Madison complimented Idaho officials for their efforts to address the transportation funding challenge. At a time when the transportation system is in greatest need, it’s come to a crossroad, Madison said. Fundamental reform is greatly needed.

U.S. losing ground to global leaders in transportation
A changing global economy and limited investment in its national transportation system is forcing America into a catch-up mode, says John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The 21st century demands a new transportation strategy in the U.S. – something has not been done before, he said

Public, local officials respond to revenue questions
Elected officials and citizens throughout Idaho expressed a sincere interest in the transportation system and developing additional resources to fund improvements when they participated in a series of statewide conferences the past month. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter called for the conferences to explain the growing local and statewide funding shortfall, estimated to be $240 million annually.

Director to give revenue presentation to employees

ITD Director Pam Lowe will give a PowerPoint presentation and explain the department's funding challenges to ITD employees Monday, Sept. 8. The same information has been a cornerstone of Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's seven transportation funding conferences held throughout the state this summer. Lowe will give the half-hour presentation in person at the Headquarters Auditorium, beginning at 2 p.m. It will be available via teleconference at the West Annex conference room and in each of the districts.

Transportation, infrastructure
Rep. Simpson plans Thursday transportation forum

U.S. Rep Mike Simpson will lead a discussion on transportation and infrastructure needs next week in a public forum at the Idaho Association of Realtors, 301 S. Capitol Blvd. in Boise. The forum, scheduled for Thursday (Sept. 4) from 10 a.m. to noon, will focus on identifying transportation and infrastructure needs and discussing ideas and recommendations for addressing these needs in the future.

Judges clear path for Sand Creek construction
A concise order issued by three judges of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court Wednesday cleared the way for construction to begin on one of the state’s largest highway construction projects. The decision sets aside an appeal by the North Idaho Community Action Network and will allow work to commence on a bypass that has been discussed for nearly 50 years.  ITD received the court’s decision Wednesday.

Crews remove half of bridge over I-84
The west half of the Franklin Boulevard Bridge over I-84 in Nampa was rebuilt in 1999. On Aug. 27, crews started dismantling the east half of the bridge (built in 1965) in a reconstruction project that will extend into next summer.


Rindlisbacher named new D-6 Engineer
For years he has worked with them or for them. But on Sept. 8, Blake Rindlisbacher will become one of them. In a career that predates graduation from the University of Idaho Civil Engineering program, Rindlisbacher has been professionally associated with all but one of the ITD’s current district engineers. They have each been colleagues and mentors.

Rexburg women's group honored for cleanups
A women’s group in Rexburg learned in a short time the best way to keep a section of highway clean is to clean it often and thoroughly – a lesson that is paying dividends on a segment of U.S. 20 in eastern Idaho. Members of the General Federated Women’s Club (GFWC), which is part of the Rexburg Civic Club, adopted a two-mile segment of highway in November 2006. And in just over a year, the group has cleaned its adopted section four times, harvesting 3,220 pounds of trash.

Transportation board
Board endorses proposed FY10 budget of $510 million
The Idaho Transportation Board approved the transportation department’s proposed FY10 budget proposal of $510 million during its Aug. 20 meeting in District 6. Minimal changes were made to the draft budget since it was first presented to the board at the June workshop. The FY10 revenue forecast is $225.3 million from state sources and $303 million in federal revenue.

McCarty named Governmental Affairs Program Manager
Mollie McCarty, who has represented District 3 as a Public Affairs Specialist the past decade, was selected this week to be ITD’s Governmental Affairs Program Manager, effective immediately. In her new position, McCarty will serve as the department’s liaison to legislators and other elected officials on transportation policy issues. She will report to Director Pam Lowe and Deputy Director Scott Stokes.

District 3
Robin Freeman understands 'lucky'
Consider it the trifecta of funding-raising drawings. Or evidence that lightning not only can strike the same place twice, but it can hit three times. The seventh annual Mountain Music Festival recently sponsored its customary 50/50 drawing, in which individuals donate money for chances to evenly share the total prize. The total pot for this year’s (Aug. 15) pot was $516 to be evenly divided among sponsor and ticket purchaser.
Information available on deferred comp options
The State of Idaho deferred compensation plan is a tax-deferred retirement plan developed in the late 70’s specifically for public employees.  Internal Revenue code (IRC 457) otherwise known as “Deferred Compensation” allows employees of the State to set aside a portion of their income pre-tax to a supplemental retirement plan.  A unique benefit to the 457 plan is that there is no 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal.

Board, D-6 honor employees for service
The Idaho Transportation Board and District 6 took time during the Aug. 20 board meeting in Rigby to honor employees for their years of service. Twenty-three employees were recognized for reaching employment milestones in the last six months of 2007. The largest “class” were those who reached 20 years of service. Seven employees were honored in that group.

Public transportation
IMAP details available as Web presentation

People who want to learn more about Idaho’s public transportation plans can view a Web-based presentation prepared by ITD’s Division of Public Transportation. The 30-minute Web-based presentation will be offered Mondays through Fridays, except holidays, starting at 2 p.m.

Published previously

Crucial note: Time Sheet changes
Employees need to learn new process
More than a year in the planning and testing process, ITD Advantage 3.7 will make a debut to the transportation department on Labor Day weekend, announces Ken Stewart and Dave Merriweather. Advantage 3.7 is a major upgrade to the financial, human resources and procurement system that was introduced in late 2005 and early 2006.  Many of the functions remain unchanged in the newest version, but accessing those functions might be different, especially time sheet data entry, which affects almost all ITD employees.

School doors reopen -- Caution needed

School zones to be filled with children, cars
Bicycle paths, sidewalks and school playgrounds will return to life as children throughout Idaho head back to class this fall. The corresponding increase in traffic near schools will require that drivers and children use extreme caution during the morning and afternoon commutes ITD joins public and private partners statewide in urging motorists to use caution in areas where children are likely to be present, both during school hours and school commutes.

Drivers urged to watch for stopped school buses
Motorists should be keenly aware of the risks that accompany the reopening of schools as more children use sidewalks and bicycle paths. But drivers also need to watch for buses transporting children to and from schools in the morning and afternoon. Buses often stop in travel lanes, requiring approaching vehicles to slow or stop.

Children should be careful traveling to school
ITD recommends that parents and teachers share important information with children to improve safety of school commutes.

Bicyclists, pedestrians need to be visible, vigilant
ITD recommends that children walk to school if they live within a reasonable distance of if they can do so safely. The added daily physical activity is healthy and teaches important traffic safety skills. Parents can help reduce traffic congestion in school zones by parking their vehicles and walking with their child to school. Walking or bicycling to school also reduces unnecessary air pollution.
New community garden could take root at campus

A small parcel of ITD’s 44-acre Headquarters campus could bear fruit – or at least vegetables – next year if enough employees volunteer to be part of a unique community garden concept. Public Information Officer Jeff Stratten recently introduced the idea to the ITD executive team, asking for approval to pursue the concept as a community service project. He proposed establishing a garden on the complex, possibly between the Annex and the supply warehouse.

New process introduced for booking conference rooms
Beginning today (Friday Aug. 22), new procedures are in place for booking Headquarters conference rooms. Please read and follow these instructions. If you do not follow these instructions correctly, you will get an error message, and you may even lose your room reservation or your equipment reservation. 

Patrols to watch for impaired drivers over Labor Day weekend
Idaho law enforcement agencies are out in force through Sept. 3 searching for and arresting impaired drivers as part of a nationwide Labor Day crackdown on drunk driving. The timing for the crackdown is significant because the Labor Day holiday period has become a time when many drivers make the deadly decision to drive drunk

Administrative conference
Employees to gather for 21st annual event
Formal presentations, a team-building activity and luncheon await administrative personnel from throughout the state when they assemble Sept. 11 for the 21st annual ITD Administrative Support Workshop in Boise. The workshop theme appropriately focuses on “Sailing to Success,” by providing participants opportunities to learn from each other and to explore topics that relate to their professional careers.

HRD training schedule

  Sept. 10, 11 Managing Performance
  Oct. 28-30 Basic Communication
  Nov. 18-20 Intermediate Communication
  Dec. 9-11 Introduction to Supervision
This schedule represents training classes available at Headquarters. For schedules at specific districts, please contact your EST or refer to the training calendar.