Talking Transportation: From ‘Pothole Palooza’ to the Tweeting Pothole

In 2009, the District Department of Transportation began what, at the time, was a fairly novel way of interacting with the public over the state of infrastructure. What became known as “Pothole Palooza” was quite brilliant. The folks at DDOT told the public to “tweet” photos and the location of potholes and someone with the city would be out to fix it within 72 hours.

The response was immediate and immediately successful. The public responded so well that in 2015, the District announced that it had fixed more than 36,000 potholes during its annual spring campaigns. You can actually see the results and track repairs on a DC DOT map. Continue reading

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New Research Reveals Messages that Move Public to Support Transportation Investments

onlinepubs.trb.org onlinepubs nchrp docs NCHRP20 24 93 C_FR.pdf

Key themes and messages identified in the new report, “Mobile Messages: Moving People to Support Transportation.”

A new research report published this week by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program offers some insight into how the general public views transportation, and suggests some ways to discuss investments that could generate greater support.

But there are not any “silver bullet” messages that work in every situation.

“Mobile Messages: Moving People to Support Transportation,” analyzes the results of more than two dozen case studies; a survey of transportation agency officials; eight focus groups; and, two dial testing sessions. Continue reading

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Boom! Wait, you have a cannon?

My friends at the Washington State Department of Transportation posted this photo on their Flickr feed recently. Amazing how a photo can offer a glimpse into the world of transportation.

FIRE!

From WSDOT: “Avalanche Specialist Alan Willard yells “FIRE!” as he shoots a howitzer. Crews are working to reduced avalanche hazard near SR 20 at Liberty Bell. The successful mission knocked down 8 feet of snow covering both lanes of the highway.”

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Getting to the right audience is tougher than ever despite strong interest in local news

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According to a new Pew Research Center report, “Across all levels of engagements and in all three cities, local TV is the top source of local news.”

The old adage that all news is local remains just as true today as it did before the advent of the internet and mobile devices.

According to a recently released Pew Research Center study, interest in local news remains strong. And, the study shows that traditional media outlets – especially local television – remain important outlets for local news.

The study looked at news media habits in three communities – Denver; Sioux City, Iowa; and, Macon, Georgia. The researchers used a local news media audit, a survey of local residents and an analysis of social media (Twitter and Facebook posts in those areas).  Continue reading

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