WSDOT Video Explores Tunnel Construction

One of the tremendous opportunities offered by online video is the ability to take transportation stakeholders to places they might never go and to see things they might never see.

The Washington State Department of Transportation recently gave its stakeholders a unique view of the State Route 99 tunnel currently under construction. So far, the simple aerial view inside the tunnel has earned more than 154,000 views on YouTube.

According to WSDOT, the massive tunnel boring machine Bertha had carved nearly a third of the length of the nearly 2-mile-long tunnel that will ultimately replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct that runs north and south along Seattle’s iconic waterfront.


TransComm seeks annual meeting presentations

TransComm logo smallTransComm, AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Transportation Communications, is looking for session ideas and speakers able to participate in its annual meeting in Annapolis, MD this September.

The details are available that the TransComm web site.

Moving Messages: Getting the gifts to the holiday takes transportation

In transportation circles we tend to talk among ourselves a bit. Those in construction, planning, engineering and operations all understand the reasons why a robust transportation infrastructure is important to the national economy and our quality of life, largely because it is important to these industries’ economies and qualities of life.

What we can miss is the broader coalition of advocates who can offer a much more credible commentary on the situation. In this video, the National Retail Federation does an excellent job telling the story of how 420 million packages will be shipped this holiday season. And, those packages are not moving to your doorstep by drones. It takes a dynamic and dependable transportation system for our economy to move.

So, next time you find yourself looking at your coalition of support, ask the simple question, “Who are the customers?” It will keep you focused on the best messages and you will find a deeper pool of advocates than you might have first imagined.

Editor’s note: Many thanks to the National Retail Federation (@nrfnews) and Steven Schatz (@stephenschatz) for passing along this video.

State DOTs Expand Use of Social Media but Implementation Challenges Remain

Social Media ReportWhile most state departments of transportation now actively use social media in their regular communication programs, further adoption of the online tools is being hampered by some familiar age-old challenges, according to the fourth annual State DOT Social Media Survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

The survey, which is conducted each spring, asks state departments of transportation about their use of social media tools and issues related to deployment of social media tools as a way to measure the adoption, implementation and best practices for the industry. (Editor’s note: Full disclosure time. I annually help write the survey and help analyze the results of this report for AASHTO, which is my employer).

This year’s report found that nearly 90 percent of respondents are using both Facebook and Twitter accounts to communicate with the public, by far the most popular social media tools for state DOTs. By comparison, “In 2010, less than half of state DOTs used Facebook and only 26 states had Twitter accounts.” Continue reading “State DOTs Expand Use of Social Media but Implementation Challenges Remain”

Talking Bridges: Two Bridges, Two Wonderful Stories

The traditional chain-cutting opened the new Bay Bridge in California on Labor Day 2013
The traditional chain-cutting opened the new Bay Bridge in California on Labor Day 2013. Photo courtesy See also, First Across: The Bay Bridge Opens to Traffic

The Labor Day weekend was all about bridges with two major events in two different parts of the country. Continue reading “Talking Bridges: Two Bridges, Two Wonderful Stories”