February 2022
Issue 93
In This Issue:
  • Safety Matters: The Benefits of Road Safety Assessments (RSAs)
  • Innovation Station: "I Came Up with This Too!" Innovations to Take Back to Work
  • Town Crier: Avon Showing Public Works Crew Appreciation
  • NEW Tailgate Talk: 5 Ways to Motivate Employees to Work Safely
  • Social Media Corner: Westport's Instagram
  • The Top Five Trending Technologies of 2022
  • National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 11-15, 2022)
  • Vision Zero in 2022: Reasons for Hope
  • Michigan DOT Snowplows Receive Names
The Benefits of Road Safety Assessments (RSAs)
You may have heard the term Road Safety Assessment, or Road Safety Audit, or RSA and wondered what it meant. Perhaps you know what an RSA is but aren’t sure why you should consider them for your community. Road Safety Assessments are formal safety evaluations of a location, performed by a multidisciplinary team. RSAs differ from traditional safety reviews in that they consider all potential road users, include team members with varied expertise, account for human factor issues and result in a formal written report. They can be performed at all stages of a new project and can also be done on existing roadways as a means to identify safety issues and identify opportunities to mitigate those issues.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has identified RSAs as a Proven Safety Countermeasure that can result in a 10%-60% reduction in total crashes. Many communities are successfully using these assessments as an opportunity to address safety concerns on existing roadways or at intersections. An RSA is also a useful tool in the planning process of a safety improvement project to ensure that all road user needs will be met. An assessment can even focus on a particular type of user such as pedestrians or bicyclists, especially if the location being evaluated experiences high volumes of those users.
To continue this article, click here.

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at [email protected].
"I Came Up with This Too!" Innovations to Take Back to Work
The APWA Young Professionals (YP) Committee held their presentation “I Came Up with This Too! Innovations to Take Back to Work” at PWX in St. Louis this past August.

This presentation brought together a diverse and vibrant crowd of folks across the public works field. Leading in place was a major theme discussed at the beginning of the presentation. Fostering innovation is vital to the sustainability of any organization.
The YP Committee members started the interactive session by sharing innovative solutions they had implemented in their workplace. Despite being a morning session, the audience did not waste any time in putting forth their thoughts and shared ideas ranging from organizing project files, creation of GIS platforms to track vast amounts of data, accident review and reconciliation as well as implementation of policies to help with work/life balance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Audience members shared their ideas with the “innovation cube,” the YP Committee’s favorite sharing tool. The following is a short summary of the numerous ideas that were shared by the audience during the presentation.

To continue, click here.

Fostering innovation is vital to the sustainability of any organization. Many CT municipal agencies have developed very creative solutions to everyday challenges in Public Works, check out the CT Creative Solutions Award Guide.
Avon Showing Public Works Appreciation
The weekend of January 14th, Winter Storm Izzy hit Connecticut and boy was it a big storm. Ahead of the storm, each employee of the Avon Public Works Department was surprised with a special storm care package. Assistant Town Manager Grace Tiezzi and Human Resource Director Stephanie Askeland gifted each crew member with a package that included fruits, candy, goodies and a note of thanks. It was a small gesture of appreciation, but it went a long way!
NEW Tailgate Talk: 5 Ways to Motivate Employees to Work Safely
Management can establish all the safety policies and procedures in the world, but when it comes right down to it, maintaining safety and health in any workplace depends on the workers themselves. When we fail to recognize and promote the benefit of safety, chances are pretty good that it's going to show up on the accident and injury records. This ultimately increases our premium for Workers' Compensation coverage, adds to the cost of repairing and maintaining equipment, and may severely impact the lives of employees and their families.

So it is more than just important to implement the best techniques for motivating your people to work safety; it is absolutely critical. Some of the most effective techniques involve communication. Simply put, you need to establish or build employee awareness of safety in the workplace and out on the job.
To continue reading, click here.
Social Media Corner: Westport's Instagram
Did you know that almost 50% of adults in the United States use social media as a source of news? Social media is part of our everyday lives and is a great tool to have in your agency's communication toolbox. Some Connecticut Public Works Departments (DPW) have created their own social media accounts so that they can get information out to their residents in real time. The results have been extremely positive; the accounts have become a great resource for the agencies' residents. We are going to feature a DPW social media account each month to highlight the great things being shared with Connecticut's residents.
The Town of Westport's Public Works Department launched an Instagram account in December. Two DPW crew members decided to take charge of the account and they are doing an amazing job! Machine Operators Steve Marsan and Nic Izzo post great photos of the department's projects around town and inform residents of upcoming weather events and possible road delays. The eve before Winter Storm Izzy, they posted a Public Service Announcement video to their residents advising them to what they should do to prepare for the storm and asking them to stay off the roads. The initiative these two crew members took is really inspiring and they are "knocking it out of the park!" Take a few moments today to visit their account (and don't forget to follow them), Westport Public Works Dept Instagram.
The Top Five Trending Technologies of 2022
Millimeter waves, digital twins, ZEVs, actuated intersections, squirrels and flying cars, oh my!
APWA’s 2022 Top 5 Tech edition comes to you with the feeling that 2023’s feature may be unrecognizable by comparison. The technology is rapidly developing and, in many cases, depending on each other. Merging, no less.

Like college basketball brackets, APWA pitted 16 “team” technologies against each other and asked you to pick the winners. After tabulating 1,145 entries, fleet electrification, smart technologies, asset management technology, GIS, and intelligent transportation systems emerged with virtual basketball nets around their necks.
Other technologies on the outside looking in included AI/machine learning, trenchless tech, remote piloted vehicles, open government, public engagement tools, building automation tech, e-learning/simulation tech, and augmented/virtual reality.
To continue reading, click here.
National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 11-15, 2022)
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season that encourages safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. NWZAW will be held April 11-15, 2022. NWZAW highlights the deadly dangers of inattention at highway work areas. Make plans now for the weeklong commemoration including:

  • Work Zone Safety Training Day - April 11
  • National kickoff event - April 12
  • Go Orange Day - April 13
  • Social media storm - April 14
  • Moment of Silence - April 15

For more information, click here.
Vision Zero in 2022: Reasons for Hope
by Leah Shahum, Founder and Executive Director of the Vision Zero Network
As we start a new year, it’s understandable to feel discouraged by the appalling trends in traffic safety in our country.

Roadway fatalities are increasing at astronomical levels. Many policymakers and media overlook long-standing, systemic safety solutions, leaning too much on soft “education” strategies that tend toward victim-blaming. And the status quo approach to traffic safety exacerbates additional injustices toward people of color and low-income people.
And despite the challenges, I feel hopeful that we can make real progress toward Vision Zero in 2022. Here are the main reasons why...

Click here to continue.
Michigan DOT Snowplows Receive Names
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has named all of their snowplows, with help from the public. These plows are the same orange plows as before, but now with a little added human touch.

To see the list of all the names chosen for Michigan’s plows operated by MDOT, you can visit this link.

The CT Department of Transportation launched its own "Name the Snowplow" contest in December 2021. To learn more, click here.
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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 T2Center.uconn.edu 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]