Archives: May 2017
May 29, 2017
In addition to that reflection, the holiday weekend also serves as the unofficial start to the summer travel season where wheels are rolling, both literally when families take to the road and figuratively in the planning of future summer trips.
May 26, 2017
May 24, 2017
With research showing that at least 94 percent of traffic crashes are caused by decisions made by the driver, we can expect traffic crashes to continue to be a part of the travel experience as long as there are humans controlling the vehicles.
Crashes can cause traffic to be slowed, stopped, or detoured while the victims are treated, the incident is investigated, and the crash site is cleaned up. This can cost travelers frustration, time, and money. At the Iowa Department of Transportation, our mission is getting you there safely, efficiently, and conveniently. That means doing all we can to minimize the impacts of a crash on traffic.
Over the last year the Office of Traffic Operations has been working with law enforcement, local public works offices, county engineers, and regional Iowa DOT employees to develop emergency traffic incident management (TIM) plans for the state’s interstate system to help us better fulfill our mission and get you moving again when a crash occurs.
May 22, 2017
Next to your brakes, your tires are the most important safety devices on your vehicle. This time of year the temperature can fluctuate quite a bit. It’s good to know tire pressure can vary 1-2 pounds per square inch (psi) for every 10-degree difference in ambient temperature. Too much pressure leads to less tread touching the pavement. causing a bumpier ride and increased stopping distances. Under-inflated tires mean too much of the tire surface is on the pavement, which can cause tires to overheat and lead to premature wear and poor gas mileage.
May 16, 2017
The world is always changing and the Iowa Department of Transportation needs to do everything possible to lead the changes in our industry. Finding new ideas and methods using energized and motivated college students working as interns raises the bar, not only for their peers, but for long-time Iowa DOTers.
Iowa DOT interns and coop students are finding fulfilling and career-altering opportunities far beyond the mundane and low-level work that some people might associate with traditional internships.
Kevin Jones, one Iowa DOT leader in the materials lab, said, “When the opportunity to get new technology comes along, sometimes we need to move quickly to get the equipment, but that means we need to find creative ways to explore and fully utilize the updated capabilities. Utilizing interns to do the leg work allows our staff to supervise and learn along with them without as much of a time commitment.”
May 15, 2017
Larry Smith had an idea for what he would do with his time once he retired from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Contracts this fall. He said, “I was a State of Iowa employee for 11 years with the Iowa Air National Guard Civil Engineering Squadron, so I knew I wanted to do something to help our wounded service members. I did a little research and found an organization called Puppy Jake Foundation. The group equips volunteers to train service dogs for veterans.”
The mission of Puppy Jake Foundation is “to improve the physical and emotional well-being of wounded military veterans through well-bred, socialized, and professionally trained service dogs.”
May 15, 2017
With Mother’s Day in the rear view mirror, we’re reminded of the small things in life that can have a huge impact. A mother’s caring touch in a time of need can provide just the right amount of support to get you through a rough patch in life.
But, your mom can’t be with you everywhere, especially as you leave the nest and set out to make a life of you own. While you may be facing the world without your mom, there’s still some simple things you can do to make your life safer. Taking two seconds to fasten your seat belt is one of those.
May 12, 2017
May 8, 2017
Out of 2.6 million passenger vehicles registered in our state last year, only 7 percent are motorcycles. Yet of the 404 fatalities in 2016 nearly 15 percent (60 of those killed) were motorcyclists. That means a significantly larger percent of people are dying in motorcycle crashes than those dying in car crashes. Another sobering statistic is that 30 percent more motorcyclists were killed in 2016 over 2015.
May 1, 2017
Working at the Iowa Department of Transportation, we all know there are more needs on our transportation system than funds available to complete them. In the past few months we’ve blogged about Iowa in Motion, the long-range transportation plan that is a “big picture” look at what changes will be needed in the decades to come. So now we have an overall picture of where we want to go, but there’s a second challenge for employees. How do we move from planning long-term transportation changes to something more immediate, say in the next five years? That’s where our Iowa Transportation Improvement Program, known simply as the Five-Year Program, comes into play.