Talking Transportation: Filling the pothole story

It’s the best time of year if you love baseball, but the worst time of year if you own or drive a car. Yes, major league baseball players are enjoying sunshine and spring weather as they prepare for a new season. The rest of us are struggling through a different change of seasons – from winter to pothole season – that leaves roadways bumpy, and in some cases dangerous.

State transportation departments have used a variety of tools to engage the public on the topic of potholes. Some have been fun, others serious. In Washington, DC and other states the annual spring push asks the public to help officials locate potholes.

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Selling Transportation: Big Challenge, Different Stories

Many different organizations have tried to raise the general public awareness for the current state of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. In March, the American Society of Civil Engineers updated its infrastructure report card, giving the United States a D+ grade and projecting a $3.6 trillion investment need.

While this report cast a net far beyond just roads and bridges, it represents the kind of “things are falling apart and we can’t keep up” messaging that is often used when discussing transportation system investment needs.

Lately a different point of view is gaining traction in transportation circles. Instead of focusing on the need, focus on the role transportation plays in the nation’s economy and our overall quality of life. Continue reading

Talking safety: States leverage social tools in winter travel messages

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not because it is the holiday season, although that is nice. It’s wonderful because we get to see state transportation agencies using the power of social media to help travelers around the country make it to grandma’s house safely.

The Weather Channel this week named the latest winter storm Draco, and as it blasts its way across the country, state agencies are using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube to help tell the story of what is happening on the roadways. Along the way, the agencies are injecting their messages with helpful safety tips and plenty of warnings to help travelers reach their destinations in one piece.  Continue reading