November 24, 2015
The stretch of Iowa 76 north of Marquette is one of the prettiest drives in the state. Bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and a scenic bluff on the west, the road is a popular destination for a weekend drive or as an Iowa vacation destination. Unfortunately this stretch of highway has also become a major maintenance concern for the Iowa Department of Transportation when it comes to the safety of the traveling public.
The trees on the bluffs in this area can be beautiful, but they can also be a safety hazard when Mother Nature decides to send them tumbling onto the roadway. Between the spring and fall of this year, maintenance staff from the Iowa DOT’s Waukon garage responded to calls for downed trees on a 3-mile stretch of Iowa 76. Most of the down trees could be cleaned up quickly with little traffic disruption, but in two instances the road had to be closed completely, once for about four hours to remove debris.
Some of the most impactful parts of the day were the sessions where small groups of leaders gathered to identify barriers and then brainstorm solutions in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, performance measurement, culture, and communication.
While some great discussion and ideas came out of these sessions, conference attendees are not the only ones responsible for improving our agency. Everyone has the ability to make improvements that help the Iowa DOT become smarter, simpler, and customer driven. Over the next few weeks, blog posts will be added to let you in on what was discussed in each of the five topic areas. Please use these posts to continue conversations in your work unit.
Today’s topic is leadership.
Active shooter. Those are two words we’ve become far too accustomed to in American culture and around the world. With senseless acts of violence like the Paris attacks, the reality of our world is forcing agencies like the Iowa Department of Transportation to take a close look at our facilities and how we can protect our employees and customers. With safety as one of our core values, it makes sense to take a critical look at the security of the places where we come to work every day.
Last year, staff from Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department began working with Iowa DOT’s Motor Vehicle Division staff to assess the security of the 18 driver’s license stations and the MVD headquarters in Ankeny.
Many of us just pitch the little package of turkey giblets straight into the garbage. If they get used at all, turkey giblets (heart, gizzard, liver and other visceral organs) are mainly relegated to being boiled for stock or gravy, or chopped up in stuffing. The lowly bag of giblets hardly gets a second thought.
That’s not the case with your own organs. Keep your giblets safe when you’re behind the wheel by buckling up, every seat, every time. Your loved ones are counting on you to be there for Thanksgiving. https://youtu.be/PCcavUqM--I]
The fatality count of 286 is an increase of 12 from last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf.
Typically when the plow is down, snowplows operate at 20-35 mph, but are often moving even slower if the snow is deep or conditions warrant a slower speed. Since traffic is often traveling at much higher speeds than the plows, the visibility of the large equipment is vital to the safety of both travelers and DOT snowfighters.