Tag Archives: public information

UDOT Unveils Emergency Alert System In Advance of Salt Lake Marathon

Starting today a new emergency alert system is in place to notify drivers of major traffic delays and road closures.

UDOT will issue the first TravelWise alert this morning in advance of the Salt Lake City Marathon. TravelWise alerts push critical traffic information directly to the public via the UDOT Traffic app, freeway message boards and social media.

With these new alerts, UDOT can directly communicate with drivers at critical times, including major traffic incidents, event traffic warnings, weather-related road conditions, construction and air quality information. Now drivers will be better able to plan ahead, reduce delays and arrive safely at their destinations.

Generated by the UDOT Traffic Operations Center, TravelWise alerts will only be issued for incidents deemed “critical,” such as crashes causing multiple lane closures, severe delays due to heavy event traffic or construction, low air quality days and significant storms.

The alerts will give drivers information to avoid delays, such as alternate routes in the event of a traffic incident or suggested times to leave home or work to avoid a major storm in the middle of the commute.

“UDOT is committed to continually using innovative ways to keep traffic moving,” Acting UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras said. “This new tool will help the department quickly provide critical traffic information directly to drivers and will help UDOT work in providing information as effectively as possible.”

For Saturday’s marathon, UDOT is warning drivers to plan for delays from local road closures and heavy congestion from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Areas to avoid include 500 East, Van Winkle Expressway, Holladay Boulevard and Sugar House Park. For complete information, including road closure times and to review the route map, visit http://bit.ly/13l3Unw.

The best way to receive these new alerts is by downloading or updating the UDOT Traffic app for your smartphone or tablet. Alerts will also be distributed on freeway message boards, Twitter (@UtahDOT), and the UDOT Traffic website, udottraffic.utah.gov.

GOOD FOR YOU

A good public meeting facilitates information flow between UDOT and stakeholders.

Does this bug you? Evelyn Tuddenham organized a training on how to avoid holding a bad public meeting. The boards were bad on purpose, especially this one featuring the Mormon Cricket.

Showing how not to receive public comments, Angela Linford of Wilkinson Ferrari holds a bowl full of torn pieces of paper.

In a calculated attempt to show what not to do, a team of UDOT communicators took a cue from a 90’s rock and roll song and decided to be “Cruel to be Kind” with a training that imitated a bad public meeting.

Attendees stood in a long line, saw vague and confusing project posters, and then were ignored or given incomplete or conflicting answers to questions by fake project staff.

After the fun but frustrating demonstration, a panel discussion and question and answer session set everyone straight about how to avoid a public meeting fiasco.

The outcome of the training is a list,Public Meeting Dos and Don’ts, with tips from attendees and panel members who are experts at organizing public meetings the right way.

GOOD, BAD AND UGLY PUBLIC MEETINGS

Providing the public with reliable, accurate information about road construction is a key function of a UDOT project team.

With good information, road users and affected property or business owners can make decisions about travel options or how to maintain a customer base during construction. The public meeting is a standard tool in the project team’s bag of communication resources.

Good public meetings allow stakeholders get important and relevant information, a chance to ask questions or make comments, and a resource for ongoing information as the project unfolds.

What happens when meeting organizers are not adequately prepared? Things could get ugly!

UDOT will show an example of what not to do at a training offered at the Engineering Conference on Wednesday, November 17 at 8 a.m. in room 200D.

Evelyn shows a name tag for the fake public meeting. Nothing says credibility like hand-drawn hearts.

Why the round-about approach? Says trainer Evelyn Tuddenham: “We’ll be bad so you don’t have to!” Evelyn and her team have invented a fake project to drive home the point.

Because a bad public meeting should never happen in the real world, the end result of this exercise will be a list of real guidelines so project team members will know how to plan and execute a beneficial public meeting.

It may be unrealistic to turn a public meeting into a stairway to heaven, but UDOT can always avoid a highway to heck when it comes to providing good reliable public information.