One of my biggest complaints about working in transportation is that so many of us in the business tend to talk 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.
Transportation organizations have important information to share with the traveling public. That’s especially true during natural disasters when maintenance crews and first responders are often the first people surveying damage and assessing the status of infrastructure leading to people’s homes and businesses.
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.
Longtime readers of this blog know that its focus is on the practice of communicating about transportation. This blog does not attempt to take on the politics of transportation.
However, in writing about one it is sometimes impossible not to include mention of the other. While that is perhaps the situation here, the interesting strategy behind a particular Michigan Department of Transportation communication effort is worth noting.
The novel approach to build an online campaign focused on a specific audience of younger adults who, according to research, are more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking or drugging.
“Far too many people still mix alcohol, drugs and driving. Young people, in particular, often don’t understand that impaired driving is a crime, and a serious one — and they also are less likely to buckle up,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren. “These same young people ages 21-34 no longer receive news through traditional means. We’re hopeful this new series will catch their attention and give them a reason to log on or check their mobile devices. When they do, they’ll be entertained — and most importantly, they’ll receive a life-saving message.”
Transportation communicators are in the information business. It remains a challenge to think of new ways to creatively sharing critical information. Therefore, a major hat-tip to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
ODOT turned to YouTube to share their annual snow and ice wrap up statistics.
According to the video, ODOT used more than 1 million tons of salt, compiled 1.2 million hours worked, drove 14 million miles and spent $113 million on snow and ice fighting. Somehow reading the list of ODOT’s accomplishments is not quite as powerful as seeing it on video.
Not every state transportation department or transit agency has access to video. But we all have the ability to think beyond the news release.
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.