August 2020
Issue 75
In This Issue:
  • E-Learning Opportunity: Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Instantly
  • Signal Spotlight: Optimizing Yellow Clearance Intervals: A Proven Safety Countermeasure
  • Safety Matters: Sign Visibility and Retroreflectivity
  • Warren's Words of Wisdom: OSHA's Fatal Four
  • Innovation Station: U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Key Resource for Rural Communities
  • Watch for Me CT: Road Safety During COVID-19
  • COVID-19: Top Tips for Fleet Driver Safety
E-Learning Opportunity: Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Instantly
Public speaking is one of the most valuable skills you can have. However, most people lack strong public speaking skills or are too afraid to try. This fear limits you in your career specifically and in life more generally. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this FREE CT T2 Center webinar, communication specialist and public speaking teacher Kevin Elliott will start you on the road to unlocking this important skill. You will learn:

  • Why you (and everyone else) are afraid of public speaking
  • Some common mistakes made by even big-time public speakers
  • Three practical tips that will improve your public speaking instantly

When: September 9, 2020, from 10:00am to 11:00am
How to Register: Register in advance, here. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Course Instructor:
Kevin Elliott is a senior marketing specialist at Applied Research Associates. He is a seasoned public speaker with more than 20 years of experience. Kevin presents at meetings and conferences across the country and teaches public speaking at Florida State University. He also writes strategic communication plans and manages creative outreach projects for clients including the Federal Highway Administration, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the South Dakota Department of Transportation. He lives in Panama City, Florida, with his wife, daughter, and 15 chickens.

In case you want a little sneak peek at Kevin Elliott, here is a new video he just completed for FHWA.

Remember to sign up early to save your spot!
Signal Spotlight: Optimizing Yellow Clearance Intervals: A Proven Safety Countermeasure
At a signalized intersection, the yellow clearance or yellow change interval is the length of time the yellow signal indication is displayed following a green signal indication. The yellow signal confirms to motorists that the green has ended and that a red will soon follow.
Since red-light running is a leading cause of severe crashes at signalized intersections, it is imperative that the yellow change interval be appropriately timed. Clearance intervals are a function of operating speed, the width of the intersection area, lengths of vehicles, and driver operational parameters such as reaction, braking, and decision-making time.

When a yellow change interval is too short, drivers may be unable to stop and unintentionally run the red light. If the interval is too long, drivers may treat the yellow as an extension of the green phase and intentionally run the red light.
To continue this article, click here.

If you have traffic signal systems questions, please contact:
Theresa Schwartz, P.E., P.T.O.E. - Traffic Signal Circuit Rider
(860) 486-4535 or [email protected].

Sign Visibility and Retroreflectivity
Every day, no matter where we go or what we do, we see signs. Whether it’s the STOP sign at the end of a street, a pedestrian warning sign or the sign directing you to the beach, all of the signs we see are regulated by the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The size, shape, color and messaging are all specified in the MUTCD and allow for a person to travel from a small rural community in Connecticut to a city like Los Angeles, CA and recognize each and every sign. This is most important when it concerns traffic control signs – it would be nearly impossible to move around safely if regulatory signs weren’t uniform!

Almost as important as their uniformity is their visibility. A sign can only provide information to the roadway users if those users can see it. The MUTCD has the following language with regard to sign design and retroreflectivity.
Some visibility issues are easy to identify and resolve. A low-hanging branch that blocks a sign can be identified and cut rather quickly. A sign that has been vandalized can be repaired or replaced. More difficult, though, is determining if a sign is no longer retroreflective. During the day, a sign may look worn, but does that make it no longer retroreflective at night? Since Public Works crews work during the daytime, it can be hard to conduct proper nighttime visual inspections of signs. Ensuring that the proper signs are installed and maintained has a measurable impact on roadway safety. Signs that are visible in the day provide information to drivers but may be one of many visual cues to aid the driver in their decision making. At night, when many of those other cues may not be visible, signs become even more important.

To continue this article, click here.
If you have any questions about local road safety concerns, you can contact:
Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider at (860) 486-5847 or [email protected].
OSHA's Fatal Four
by Warren Rogers, C.S.P.
Public Works folks are so valuable because they are known to be jacks-of-all-trades; driving a dump, operating a chainsaw, digging holes, filling the holes they just dug, chipping tree branches, running a front-end loader, spreading sand, welding are just a few of the fun and snappy jobs which they do daily. So, just based on being like Jack, PW’s have multiple opportunities to make one or more of the Fatal Four a reality every day on every job.
The OSHA FATAL FOUR could also have the title PUBLIC WORKS FATAL FOUR.
Of these four, which one has happened to you the most? Probably the Falls, right? You wouldn’t get many second chances if you were electrocuted! The others could be close calls and you’d still be alive, maybe with life-altering injuries, but still alive.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Key Resource for Rural Communities
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recently announced the Applicant Toolkit (Toolkit) for the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative at the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is the latest effort by the Department and the Trump Administration to improve rural access to federal grant funds. The Toolkit provides user-friendly information and resources to enhance rural applicants’ familiarity with the Department’s discretionary grant programs and the funding process.
“The ROUTES Applicant Toolkit will help rural communities better identify and navigate grant funding opportunities for rural transportation projects,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. 

Rural communities and their transportation networks have been instrumental in building and supplying urban areas throughout our nation’s history, carrying people from city to city and carrying freight from bedrock American industries such as agriculture, mining, forestry, and manufacturing. Yet rural transportation infrastructure has significant challenges.  

To continue this article, click here.
Road Safety During COVID-19
With fewer cars on the road because of stay-at-home orders and recommendations issued in response to COVID-19, there have been fewer road crashes. The reduction in number of crashes, however, has not decreased in proportion to the reduction in number of vehicles on the road. And, as roads become less crowded with vehicles, many drivers exceed the speed limit at dangerous levels. The crashes that occur are often severe because speed is the biggest determinant of serious injury and mortality.
While there are currently fewer cars on the road, the number of pedestrians and bicyclists on the road has increased significantly. It has become clearer than ever before that roads do not belong to vehicles alone but rather are shared spaces for cars, pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and other modes of transportation.

To continue this article, click here.
COVID-19: Top Tips for Fleet Driver Safety
The current pandemic is impacting every facet of fleet operations. It has also underscored the vital importance of keeping drivers safe and healthy while they’re on the job—no matter the circumstances. As fleets continue to provide essential goods and services, company owners and fleet managers play a crucial role in communicating practical health and safety information to drivers and technicians while maintaining a safe working environment.
What drivers can do:

Be vigilant about cleaning the cab/inside of the vehicle:
  • Wash down all high-touch surfaces with hot soapy water or a high-alcohol (at least 66%) cleaning solution.
  • Pay specific attention to surfaces and instruments like steering wheels and shifting mechanisms.
  • Be sure to also clean all switches, buttons, levers, and touchpads (these may require a specialized electronics cleaner) and living areas.
  • Launder linens regularly, including cloth laundry bags, and dispose of plastic bags used for dirty laundry.

Be sure to also clean the vehicle exterior:
  • Thoroughly clean door handles, mirrors and windows, and high-touch surfaces like trailer doors and tools.
  • Follow a regular cleaning schedule that includes cleaning before and after a shift.
  • Carefully document cleaning procedures for shared vehicles, and have the process overseen by a supervisor.

To continue this article, click here.
Follow Us!
Along with our Facebook page, the T2 Center now has an Instagram page! Click on the icons below to like the T2 Center on Facebook and follow the T2 Center on Instagram!
Visit for more information and resources.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for future Connecticut Crossroads topics, please feel free to email the designer Regina Hackett at [email protected]