April 2, 2015
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Pedestrian-Train Casualties Increase from 2013 Levels -Operation Life Saver Reminds People to See Tracks?
Think Train!
 



Pedestrian casualties while trespassing on rail tracks rose in Missouri in 2014. There were 20 pedestrian casualties last year, which is up 25 percent from 2013. Collisions with vehicles at highway-rail grade crossings in Missouri remained the same in 2014 with 48 collisions and two fatalities.

Crossing Statistics, Missouri Totals:
In 2013: 48 collisions, 2 deaths, 36 injuries
In 2014: 48 collisions, 2 deaths, 38 injuries (a 6% change)

Trespass Statistics, Missouri Totals:
In 2013: 16 all casualties, 12 deaths, 4 injuries
In 2014: 20 all casualties, 9 deaths, 11 injuries (a 25% change)

"These preliminary 2014 statistics show the continuing need to raise public awareness through our national 'See Tracks? Think Train!' campaign," Mooney stated. "Operation Lifesaver, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, local law enforcement agencies, major freight railroads, and commuter and light rail systems, will be expanding the campaign and developing new educational materials to encourage Americans to make safe decisions around tracks and trains." 

Railroad Crossing Safety Tips for Pedestrians

Do not walk on or over railroad property - this is trespassing! Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine. 

Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Do not walk, run, cycle or operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks, rights-of-way or through tunnels. The only safe place to cross railroad tracks is at a designated public crossing.

Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.

Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing. Do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it is safe to do so. You can be fined for failure to obey these signals. The more severe penalty could be a serious injury or death.

Stay alert around trains. No texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.

Never mix rails and recreation. Do not hunt, fish or bungee jump from railroad bridges or trestles. There is only enough clearance on the tracks for a train to pass. Trestles are not designed for public use and are not meant to be sidewalks or pedestrian bridges!

Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb or your life.

Read more, including railroad crossing tips for drivers - Pedestrian Train Casualties .
Roberta Broeker Appointed Interim MoDOT Director
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has appointed Roberta Broeker as the interim director of MoDOT. Broeker will assume the position when MoDOT's current director, Dave Nichols, retires on May 1.

MoDOT Chief Financial Officer Roberta Broeker brings 35 years of service with the State of Missouri to her recent appointment as interim director.

A certified public accountant, Broeker has enjoyed a thirty-five year career with the State of Missouri. She has served as MoDOT's chief financial officer for the last ten years, and during that time has successfully served three MoDOT directors, giving her invaluable insight about leading the organization.

"Roberta has the skills and experience to guide the department while we search for a permanent replacement," said Commission Chair Stephen Miller. "With Roberta's help, we are positioned for a seamless transition for employees, customers, and stakeholders."

The commission has hired Grant Cooper & Associates to assist with identifying potential candidates to lead the department. They plan to announce the next permanent director of MoDOT sometime this fall.
 
ACT NOW
Missouri is facing a big problem with transportation funding.

Unless something is done now, it will only get worse.

 

THE SOLUTION: 

2+2+2 = NOW

A bill has been introduced in the Missouri Senate that proposes a 2-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase for the next three years. This type of funding solution, commonly referred to as 2+2+2+indexing, is the quickest and most feasible plan to solve the most urgent of Missouri's transportation funding problems.

 


 

WHAT DOES THIS 

SOLUTION DO?

- Missouri's 325 System would be avoided, so MoDOT would be able to keep all of the state's highways and bridges in the condition they're in today.

- Missouri would be able to match federal funds.

- MoDOT's popular cost-share program would return.

- Progress could be made on safety improvements, such as shoulders on two-lane roads.

- Limited major projects and planning studies would be possible.

- Cities and counties would see an increase in their road and bridge budgets.


HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

The average driver could expect a monthly increase equal to the cost of a gallon of milk.

WHEN DOES THIS NEED TO HAPPEN?

Starting in 2017, Missouri's funding will dip well below the levels needed to maintain the system in its current condition. Additionally, Missouri will be at risk to lose federal funds. Research shows that Missourians want transportation issues addressed.

Visit the website to learn more - 325 Report.

Social Media
 
Safer Roadways

National Work Zone Awareness Week Highlights

Work Zone Awareness Week March 23 - 27, kicked off with a news conference in Jefferson City. Work Zone Awareness Week alerts drivers that highway construction is gearing up and work zones will be cropping up on our highways. But work zones can be slow moving operations like striping roadways, patching potholes and mowing roadsides.
 

"Our message is simple. Don't do anything that distracts you from the task at hand or it could mean the difference between a safe trip and a deadly one," said MoDOT Chief Engineer said Hassinger. "Consider this. The average text takes five seconds to read. Traveling at 55 mph, you'll travel more than the length of a football field without looking at the road."
 

Senior Maintenance Worker Scott Campbell from the Jefferson City maintenance facility told his personal story of being struck in a work zone last spring while driving a truck with a truck mounted attenuator. Watch his video - Personal Story.

 
View From the Chair
View from the Chair is a personal newsletter prepared by the Chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, Stephen R. Miller. 



Tolling Can Help I-70 But Won't Solve Current Funding Crisis 
In December 2014, Governor Jay Nixon wrote to me and requested that MoDOT provide to him a report before the end of the year examining the feasibility of tolling as a way to fund the reconstruction of I-70. The report, delivered to the Governor and leaders in the Missouri General Assembly, concludes that tolling is a viable piece to the transportation funding puzzle and deserves further investigation. The Governor echoed those sentiments in his "State of the State" address when he urged the General Assembly to give tolling serious consideration.

Since then some have suggested that tolling I-70 might solve our transportation funding problems. I wish that it was that easy. It is not. Tolling will not solve the current crisis.

I like to put highway funding needs into three categories:
  • funding to maintain the current system and avoid the loss of hundreds of millions of federal fuel tax dollars paid by Missourians,
  • funding to rebuild I-70 from the ground up, and
  • funding to address those long-term transportation needs - including other modes of transportation like transit, rail, ports and airports - identified in last years "On The Move" campaign which would have been addressed by Amendment 7.
Read more of this newsletter - Tolling
Subscribe to newsletter  - Subscribe
View all newsletters - View From the Chair
Off The Road News

MoDOT Director Testifies Before Congress

Last month, MoDOT Director Dave Nichols appeared before a Senate Committee in Washington, DC to testify on behalf of MoDOT and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) regarding performance management.

 

Nichols' primary focus was Missouri's and other states' efforts to measure performance and the impact it has on transportation departments. With Tracker, Missouri's quarterly performance management report, Nichols reported that MoDOT has spent the last 10 years within a performance-based culture.

 

MoDOT Director Dave Nichols appeared before a Senate Committee in Washington, DC to testify on performance management.

"MoDOT has used its performance management system to create a results-focused culture among its employees," said Nichols during the testimony. "Performance goals and results may change over time, but I'm confident our system will remain tightly woven into MoDOT's organizational fabric."
 

Like MoDOT, state departments of transportation across the country are already implementing performance management concepts. Nichols testified that all states have implemented some aspect of performance management. Colorado, North Carolina, Utah, Minnesota, and Maryland have created programs to manage their physical assets and focus on the principles of transportation asset management as opposed to a "worst-first" approach. Many other states have well-known performance management programs that go far beyond the management of physical assets.

 

Nichols also discussed the challenges of implementing national performance management requirements. There is a cost to implementation, and those are funds that would be directed away from critical projects and programs. There is also difficulty in "minimum condition" requirements for conditions, when funding is so uncertain. A third challenge is target setting. With so many variables from state to state - funding levels, environmental conditions, population growth trends, legislative and gubernatorial priorities, it may be difficult to establish appropriate targets that take into account each state's unique situation.

 

Nichols was one of four speakers to testify during the hearing. He concluded his remarks and took questions from the committee members, all of whom recognized the challenges and successes for the nation's transportation departments.

Agricultural Leader Joins State Highways and Transportation Commission

Gov. Jay Nixon nominated Michael Thomas (Tom) Waters, of Orrick, to serve on the State Highways and Transportation Commission.  
 

New Commissioner Michael Thomas Walters has a strong record of leadership in both agriculture and Missouri River issues.

Waters, a Republican, is a seventh-generation Missouri farmer who produces corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. He also serves as chairman of the Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association, where he represents levee and drainage districts, businesses and others who have an interest in activities surrounding the Missouri River and its tributaries. Waters is a past president of the Missouri-Arkansas River Basins Association.


In 2011, he was named as Agricultural Leader of the Year by the Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow, and he has testified before Congress on agricultural matters and other topics. Waters holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri and is a graduate of the Executive Program for Agricultural Producers at Texas A&M University.


"Missouri agriculture is a primary user of our state's transportation system, and Tom Waters has a strong record of leadership in both agriculture and Missouri River issues on the state and national levels," Gov. Nixon said. "I am pleased we can put his commitment, experience and knowledge to use on the Highways and Transportation Commission as we address Missouri's near- and long-term transportation challenges and opportunities."


Waters term will end March 1, 2021.

Have You Seen This?
Poplar Street Bridge Archaeology Webpage
MoDOT began conducting archaeological investigations in 2013 for proposed highway improvements in downtown St. Louis. The web summary of the work at the Madam Haycraft and Louis Beaudoin sites is now online at Poplar Street Bridge.

Fieldwork on the archaeological investigations are expected to continue in April with additional work scheduled for summer and fall. 
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270