Board receives inaugural report from trucking council

Members of the newly formed Trucking Advisory Council discussed several transportation-related concerns when they presented their inaugural report to the Idaho Transportation Board last week. Among the industry’s concerns is the propensity of local highway districts to build roundabouts without considering the turning radius of trucks/trailers and environmental restrictions that impact trucks.

The Trucking Advisory Council was created last year to advise the board on issues and policies related to freight transportation, trucking safety and services in Idaho. The board also will monitor proposed legislation, administrative rules and/or procedural changes to improve customer service, promote safe trucking practices, identify transportation needs, recommend highway safety improvements and promote coordinated freight transportation systems.

Council members considered some Environmental Protection Agency regulations to be challenging for the trucking industry, especially efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and increase fuel efficiency.

Other board discussion

Annual Local Rural Highway Investment Program Report
The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council provided its annual report on the Local Rural Highway Investment Program. The program helps small cities, counties and highway districts improve highway and street infrastructure.

Five types of projects are eligible for funding. In the past year, 106 applications were submitted for funding in 2012, but only 44 projects were funded: 16 construction projects, eight transportation plans, 10 signs, and 10 emergency projects. No funds were awarded to match federal aid. A maximum of $100,000 is provided for each project.

The applications are prioritized based on efforts by local public agencies in planning, multi-jurisdictional cooperation, pavement and sign management and development of a five-year Capital Investment Program. LHTAC’s administrative costs to oversee this program are 2.8 percent.

Policy review
The board established a subcommittee to review all of its policies. Deputy Attorney General Larry Allen has been instrumental in the process because of his extensive research to identify the legal authority for each policy.

A new format has been developed for policies. Some of these changes include a statement of purpose and hyperlinks to references such as Idaho Code or IDAPA rules. Another change is a new numbering system. Board policies will be identified with numbers in the 4000 series, basically being numbered in sequential order as they are approved. Consolidation of policies, where applicable, is strongly encouraged.

The board approved four policies last week as part of this new process. Non-substantive changes were made to three policies:

  • Board Policy 4002 Public Convenience (formerly B-01-01)
  • Board Policy 4003 Budget Preparation (formerly B-01-02)
  • Board Policy 4004 Annual Report (formerly B-01-03)

The fourth policy approved, Board Policy 4005 Management of Department-owned Property, was more complex. Initially introduced for the board’s consideration in September, it was the first set of policies the board considered as part of its comprehensive review. The set included B-01-12, Purchase of State Property by Department Personnel; B-03-01, Acquisition and Disposal of Real Properties and their Improvements; and B-03-03, Appraisal of Access.

The following month, staff submitted a proposed new policy, B-03-13, Management of Department-Owned Property, which consolidated the three policies above and B-12-01, State Highway Access Control and B-19-02, Sales to Other Jurisdictions.

Additional revisions were proposed in November, delaying approval of the policy until last week’s meeting.

Published 12-21-2012