MoDOT Creatively Demonstrates Proper Merging

One of my biggest complaints about working in transportation is that so many of us in the business tend to talkĀ about the movement of cars and trucks when in reality our work in transportation is about moving people and goods.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has produced a video that tackles one of the hardest concepts to explain to drivers. And, they do it in a way that shows people making decisions about how to merge in a construction zone.

The cute kids help make the point that the concept of merging is so simple, even a kid gets it. Nice job, MoDOT.

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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Missouri DOT Goes Mobile to Reach Employees

screenshot of MoDOT Now App
MoDOT NOW is an employee focused app created by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

It is a common trend among communication offices around the transportation world. We spend hours working with project and program managers identifying target audiences and the key messages that we hope will change behavior, garner support for a controversial idea, or perhaps increase participation in a public process.

But as we look outward toward “the public,” or “elected officials,” we neglect a tremendously important audience — our fellow transportation employees. Yes, do not be surprised if the people with whom you work are among the least knowledgeable about your agencies core messages and organizational priorities. Continue reading “Missouri DOT Goes Mobile to Reach Employees”

Transportation Performance Measures: Colorado DOT is Making it Personal

Colorado DOT Web Page Sometimes the little things matter a great deal.

State departments of transportation have focused on accountability and transparency — two common catch phrases in our business — for as long as there have been departments. At least a dozen years ago or more state transportation agencies began focusing on how to communicate in a way that helps the public better understand where their money was being spent.

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Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones

In Washington state, where the department of transportation’s favorite color is green, everyone is orange. Really. Everyone.

They’re orange in Louisiana, too. From Oklahoma to North Dakota, Maine to Florida, Texas to Michigan – nearly every state will feature some kind of activity in recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 23-27. Continue reading “Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones”

Podcasting: Transportation’s forgotten ‘new’ media

It was not that long ago that podcasts were quite popular. The proliferation of portable audio devices like early iPods and Zune devices helped to create a demand for audio that spilled into a podcast revolution.

According to Wikipedia, the mid-2000s were a heyday for podcasting with a growth in interest spurred by people who liked radio but found an ability to customize the programming and the ability to listen on demand.

But there is an interesting part of the podcasting story that is left to be told. Would you believe they are still quite popular? According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, one in five people online are listening to podcasts. That is nearly twice as often as people use Twitter.

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