ITD reaches out to public through Facebook, Twitter

ITD joined the world of social media in the summer and early fall of 2009 with the launch of the department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Since then, there have been nearly 4,500 Twitter and nearly 4,000 Facebook posts, along with hundreds of "likes," "shares," "re-tweets," and other indications that other people are indeed engaged with ITD's site.

The four years have shown a hotbed of activity, becoming more interactive every month. As 2013 closes, it is a good time to review the top individual posts and subjects of the year.

The top five ITD Facebook posts of the year, in terms of consumer response, were about the legal dates for studded tires in Idaho, the relocation of Osprey in Eastern Idaho, response to Amber Alerts, and notice of a project on the Memorial Bridge in Lewiston.

Overall, there were 128 online comments and responses to ITD posts through early December. Here are a few samples:

 “I want to THANK your road guys for keeping the roads clear during this snow season. The highway was cleared and in great condition! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Keep up the GREAT work. I appreciate what your drivers do
- Theresa Rau, Jan. 8

“Hi. I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful job you did with snow removal. I am a correctional officer at ICC and just wanted to say how much I appreciated what a wonderful job you all did. Many officers work 12- to 16-hour shifts ... so it was so nice to have a clean, clear road to drive on! I'm sure you don't hear it often enough, so I wanted to make sure you did! Thank you to the road crews and support staff that make it safe! We do appreciate all that you do!”
- Diane Nielsen, Jan. 8

“I travel on Highways 16 and 44 from Emmett for my commute to work. After hearing the news reports I expected my commute to be a bit longer. In fact, the driver of the ACHD Commuteride van thought that also, because she asked all of us to be 10 minutes early this morning. This was not the case, however, because we found Highways 16 and 44 to be clear and very maneuverable. Please extend my thanks to your staff for all their hard work and let them know that they are truly appreciated. In my 15 years commuting from Emmett, I have never experienced a time when traveling the roads in the winter was a problem!”
- Carla Anderson, Jan. 9

 “I want to tell you and your teams “Thank You” for taking such good care of our highways! I’m very lucky that I only have a 10-minute commute from my home to work…BUT, my daughter, Stephanie now has a job in Nampa and has to travel the interstate from Curtis to Exit 33A. Needless to say, I was pretty darned nervous about Stephanie driving out to Nampa yesterday! I assumed that all the roads would be like the roads in town. I was so relieved when she called to tell me she made it to work ok. I asked how the highway was and she said it was great – completely clear, no snow, no ice! Your teams had to have been out all day and all night to get the interstate cleared, and I wanted you to know how much we, the traveling public, appreciate what you do. Thank you for keeping my family safe!” - Barb Conklin, Jan. 9

 “THANK YOU! For the hard work clearing the freeway over the night! YOU GUYS ROCK!
– Jacob Carpenter, Feb. 1

 Kyle Wright was recognized for his efforts at the Meridian Public Work Expo June 7.

 The ITD Vegetation Crew (Connie Marshall, Shawn Strong) also received kudos in May 29 for the goat-mowing work to remove noxious weeds. One comment said, “This is absolutely brilliant! I applaud the ITD folks for trying this.” The other comment was, “I have eight goats on my property for this exact reason. About 95 percent of the seeds they ingest are rendered non-viable, unlike with the use of motorized trimmers. They're ‘green’ wildfire preventers!”

 Nick Jones received a trio of compliments when his hawk-rescue story was posted July 26. Jones also received thanks for the repair of a flat tire for a bicyclist traveling eastbound through the area June 10.

Richard Peryer’s Boise Maintenance crew was singled out for praise for a June 6 sinkhole repair on Eagle Road. “Thank you to all who repaired the sinkhole! That could have been lethal to unaware drivers.”

David Barrett and the project team received kudos July 11 for the Weiser bridge replacement on U.S. 95.

Commenting on the all-night struggle to get Idaho 55 reopened north of Banks: “Thanks, ITD for all the hard work to get Hwy 55 back open quickly!” – Stephanie McCurdy, Sept. 7

Commenting on a new signal on Idaho 16: “This was kind of cool; There I was driving along in the dark morning when I smoothly transitioned to the new light. Good job!”
- Gale Colton, Oct. 5

Many thanks for all you do to keep our roadways safe. Your work is under appreciated and I know from personal experience the sacrifices you may be asked to make, especially this time of year. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! :) – Penny Alley Hershberger, Dec. 2
ITD posted 896 items to Facebook and 865 items to Twitter through the first 11 months of 2013. The most popular ITD Facebook post since it began using social media came in January 2012 after a picture of an avalanche on Idaho 21 was posted. It was shared 149 times, generated 80 comments, 199 Likes, and was re-tweeted more than 60 times.

Published 12-13-13