Idaho Transportation

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

September 5, 2008

National infrastructure
Funding needed to address national needs
America’s infrastructure challenges, while perhaps most evident on highways and bridges, extends far beyond transportation, explains U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). Blumenauer joined fellow Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho for a two-hour discussion on infrastructure funding Thursday in Boise.

Fewer layers of review could deliver projects more efficiently
Imagine what the nation’s transportation system would look like today if there hadn’t been a commitment more than a half-century ago to build interstate highways. “How could you possibly quantify the economic stimulus that we have enjoyed for 50 years?” Deputy Director Scott Stokes asked Thursday when Reps. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) met with local officials in Boise.

Tri-state LOTOJA bike classic to sweep through Idaho
An endurance bicycle race that begins in Utah and terminates in Wyoming will bring more than 1,000 riders and their families to a route that cuts through southeast Idaho Saturday (Sept. 6). The 26th annual LOTOJA Classic Logan (Utah) to Jackson (Wyo.) began with a small group of college friends at Utah State University and has become one of the nation's premier cycling races.

ITD working to increase nighttime sign visibility
Driving at night might get safer with traffic signs becoming brighter courtesy of new standards developed and adopted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). States have about 10 years to fully implement recent changes to the FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) that are designed to improve the minimum retroreflectivity of highway traffic control signs. 
TRB representative to visit ITD next week

The Transportation Research Board, part of the National Academy of Sciences, will send a representative to Idaho next week to review ITD’s research program. Peter Shaw, a senior program officer for TRB, works in the public transportation area, explains Ned Parrish, manager of ITD’s research office. Shaw also has expertise in planning, finance and the environment.

Public transportation
Providers log record number of trips
Idahoans who want to stretch their transportation budget by leaving personal vehicles in the garage when gas prices reached record highs are turning more to public transportation. A report recently released by ITD’s Division of Public Transportation indicates ridership increased 20 the past year. In 2007, public transportation providers recorded 159,930 trips; the number escalated to 192,152 this year.

In Memoriam
Jacqueline “Jackie” (Mittleider) Jones
Driver Services is mourning the loss of a long-time department and state employee, Jackie Jones.  Jackie passed away unexpectedly Aug. 30, 2008, while on camping trip with her family. Jackie was born, raised and educated in Boise.  She started her state career 1985 in the Department of Administration as a primary billing clerk in the state print shop. 

Tips offered for remembering medications
According to a survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), nearly 75 percent of consumers admit they do not always take their prescription medications as directed. The NCPA also estimated that the economic impact of patient non-adherence is $100 billion annually in increased hospitalizations, doctor visits, lab tests, and nursing home admissions.

Weight Watchers group may be revived
Plans are under way to revive ITD’s Weight Watchers group within the next month.  Headquarters and District 3 personnel are invited to participate in the program that involves regular support meetings for people trying to shed some extra pounds.

Emergency management
'Preparedness' event emphasizes fire safety
Fire decimated a Boise-area subdivision recently when flames roared through tinder-dry grass and brush. Ten homes were destroyed, nine others were damaged and one person perished. Homeowners can help reduce the risk of such fires by taking a number of precautions, according to the Ada City-County Emergency Management office.

Published previously

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.