July 16, 2010

Direct from the Director

Becoming the best transportation agency in the country

ITD employees,
Recently I began a series of Direct from the Director messages that elaborate on specific elements of my vision for the department. In this Direct from the Director I will discuss the second vision element:

ITD is transparent and accountable and delivers on its promises

Our effort to become a national leader in the transportation industry and a model for other Idaho state agencies demands that everything we do takes place in an open arena where people can assess our progress and hold us accountable for results.


Two Legislative proposals to be considered
Although the Legislature still is about six months away from convening, ITD’s staff already is planning for the 2011 session that will begin in January. Part of that process includes drafting possible legislation to forward to the governor’s office for consideration before decisions are made on whether to pursue it at the Legislature.


Only one traffic fatality reported for July 4 weekend
Preliminary numbers from the Office of Highway Operations and Safety (OHOS) show that only one fatality occurred on Idaho highways during the July 4 holiday weekend. It is not known yet whether impaired driving played a role in that death. Last year, 65 people died on Idaho highways because of impaired driving and 265 people suffered serious injuries, according to ITD statistics.

Bicyclists conquer heat, Bogus Basin road
Nine ITD employees joined four each from the Ada County Highway District and the Federal Highway Administration and an FHWA spouse for a grueling test of stamina July 8. The second annual climb took them from Highland Elementary School at Bogus Basin Road and Curling Drive to the parking lot at Bogus Basin Ski resort.

E-mail system migrating to new server
Enterprise Technology Services this week began converting ITD’s e-mail system from a 2003 Exchange server to newer technology that uses a 2007 Exchange server. The differences for users are relatively minor and will provide added benefits to our end users, explains ITD Chief Technology Officer Jon Pope. The upgrade is necessary in order to replace “end-of-life” computers to ensure the system remains reliable.

Public transportation
Public transportation feature added to 511 phone system
Bus riders throughout Idaho can access public transit provider information online and by calling Idaho's 511 Traveler Services system. A recent upgrade to the 511 telephone system gives callers the ability to identify their location, select a preferred transit provider and then be connected directly to that provider for bus schedule and route information.

State budget
Transfer balances state budget; challenges remain
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and leading legislative budget writers said year-end figures made public this week confirmed the wisdom of their responsibly conservative approach to balancing Idaho’s fiscal year 2010 budget. The Office of the State Controller reported today that an $8.26 million transfer from the State’s Permanent Building Fund to the General Fund will be required to ensure that the State’s budget for the fiscal year that concluded on June 30, 2010, remains balanced


July 2, 2010

STIP released for review, public comment
ITD recently released the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for fiscal years 2011-2014 for public review and comment. The document identifies approximately $2 billion in transportation-related projects planned for construction through the year 2014. Included are projects for highways, bicycle and pedestrian paths, transit and aeronautics. The draft plan also includes continued authorizations of the GARVEE Transportation Program as approved by the Idaho Legislature.

Classic wheels
ITD's Labar cruises South in '65 Mustang
Mountain Home Maintenance Foreman Dave Labar has a deep love for the classics, especially cars. He owns three - a 1951 Ford sedan, 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 convertible, and a 1970 AMC Javelin SST. Even the car he drives daily would be considered classic, a 1971 MGB/GT. Dave picked up the 1970 Javelin 38 years ago. The Galaxies and sedan followed. The “Love Affair” had begun.


McGuire defends Roadeo title; D-4 leads districts
Having the eventual state champion, as well as the top overall team, helped the District 4 squad come out on top in the ITD state Roadeo championships, held June 15 at the Idaho Falls Maintenance Shed. Peter McGuire repeated his 2008 victory with a 30-point win over Bruce Dial from District 5, and by 32 over Troy Stone of District 6, the third-place finisher.