Annual reporting, partnership with LHTAC
highlight board's December meeting

The December meeting of the Idaho Transportation Board featured annual reporting by the Public Transportation Advisory Committee, Freight Advisory Committee, and Trucking Advisory Council. The meeting also focused on collaboration with LHTAC spurred by the state’s rapid growth.

Advisory Committees
Several advisory committees presented their annual report to the board at its December 13 meeting at Headquarters.

The Freight Advisory Committee was created to assist and advise the board on issues related to the movement of freight in, out, and through Idaho. Some of the topics the Committee discussed this past year, including at the Freight Summit, were the long-range transportation plan, parking issues, the Port of Lewiston, emerging technologies, and autonomous vehicles. It also talked about multimodal freight opportunities and noted the challenges with truck and rail transportation. Farmers often have a difficult time securing rail cars and/or trucks to haul their crops during the fall harvest.
The purpose of the Public Transportation Advisory Council is to participate in public transportation planning activities, identify transportation needs, and promote coordinated transportation systems. It provides funding recommendations based on metrics of ridership, asset conditions, sustainability, capacity, and implementation.

One of the 2018 accomplishments was assisting the Public Transportation Office with completing and submitting the statewide Public Transportation Plan, which aligns with ITD’s mission of safety, mobility, and economic opportunity. It also identified safety and security performance measures, provided assistance to transit providers, and looked at technology to ensure it meets users’ needs.

The Trucking Advisory Council also gave its annual report. It was established to advise the board on issues and policies concerning freight transportation, trucking safety, and services. This past year, it received updates on the federal electronic log regulations, 129,000-lb. truck routes, special permits, the registration process, winter maintenance efforts, and construction projects. The Council expressed concern with motorists not abiding by the speed limit in construction zones and with the shortage of truck drivers.

Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC)
The board also met with LHTAC. The majority of time was spent on funding issues. Keeping up with the demands of growth is challenging for both the state and local entities. Some discussion was held on the feasibility of local jurisdictions sharing impacts fees with ITD. Other topics related to the possible establishment of another task force to address transportation funding, particularly because of the extensive growth that has been occurring throughout the state; the importance of informing legislators of transportation projects and successes; the importance of working together and with metropolitan planning organizations; and the need to highlight the costs of maintaining the transportation system.

LHTAC staff summarized the Children Pedestrian Safety and Transportation Alternatives Programs. In 2018, the first year of the Children Pedestrian Safety Program, 71 applications requesting over $12 million were received. Two million dollars were available. For the $2 million available in 2019, 65 applications totaling $12.6 million were received.

LHTAC also mentioned efforts to coordinate the truck permitting process: encouraging locals to develop maps for over-legal vehicles and encouraging them to opt-in to authorize ITD to issue permits. This process will not only help local highway jurisdictions, especially smaller agencies with limited resources, but also provide a valuable service to the industry.

Director's Annual Year-End Report to the board
The Director's special presentation to the board was videotaped. Watch it here


Published 12-21-18