June 2020
Issue 73
In This Issue:
  • State of the T2 Center during COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director
  • Signal Spotlight: Upcoming Workshop Series: Developing a Traffic Signal Management Plan
  • Warren's Words of Wisdom: Back to Basics — Electrical Boot Camp
  • Innovation Station: CT Creative Solutions Award Program Deadline Extended to June 30, 2020
  • NEW Tailgate Talk: Safe Use of Cut-Off Saws
  • Resources to Discuss Distracted Driving with Your Children
  • Will a Hand Sanitizer Bottle Explode in Your Car? Probably Not, but Be Safe Anyway
State of the T2 Center during COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director
We hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. As you know, it has been a time of challenges and opportunities for the T2 Center team and the CT Public Works Community. It has been difficult for us to have to postpone so many of our in-person trainings and have you miss these training opportunities. We have, however, been proud to keep your safety and the safety of our team as the primary motivation in our decision making.

During this time, we have been working diligently to keep closely connected to the public works community by providing timely information to help you navigate these current challenges. We have also offered ways to receive credit in our educational programs through virtual learning opportunities. We are happy to see our program participants taking advantage of these offers.

Last week, we offered the first of our virtual general sessions, the Powers & Responsibilities of a Local Traffic Authority, and our first in-person Custom Training programs with very small groups and strict safety precautions. As we move forward to plan our trainings for summer and fall, we wanted to take this time to reinforce our commitment to your professional learning.  We will do everything we can to make sure you continue to have opportunities to learn. We are monitoring guidelines in the State of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut and will work within those guidelines to offer trainings as we are able.

Our Safety Circuit Rider and Traffic Signal Circuit Rider stand ready to assist you with your road safety and traffic signal needs; they are doing great work assisting local agencies virtually and can make arrangements to visit locations in your town and report back on recommendations. They are also developing helpful resources, during this time, to assist with our overall T2 Center efforts. 
If you have suggestions for trainings and resources we could develop to assist you during these times, or have an interest in hosting a custom training session for your town, please do not hesitate to contact us. We miss seeing you in person and are looking forward to a time when we can be together again.  
Take good care, 
Donna & the T2 Center Team
Signal Spotlight: Upcoming Workshop Series: Developing a Traffic Signal Management Plan
As blueprints for the future, TSMPs identify the staffing, funding and equipment necessary to provide good basic service to residents. But with all the day-to-day tasks necessary to keep traffic signals and other public works operations running smoothly, developing a traffic signal management plan (TSMP) can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task. We’ve broken the process down into a four-part series of workshops to assist municipalities in tailoring a plan to fit their organization’s needs, whether a vendor maintains a handful of signals or a dedicated team of professionals manages hundreds. 
In Part One of the series, we’ll discuss the benefits of having a written traffic signal management plan as well as some existing activities that should be documented. Participants will come away with a worksheet to guide the initial information-gathering process of inventorying existing activities.

To continue reading 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] .

Sharing the Road and Trail Safety
Roadway safety used to mean vehicular safety, but we have come a long way as a society in learning how to share the road with all users. Pedestrians and bicyclists are more and more prevalent on our roadways, especially during the current pandemic. People are working from home, there is less vehicular traffic on the streets, and walking and biking are a way to get outside at a time when many other options remain unavailable. This will only increase as the weather gets warmer and people venture out more and more.
Here are some tips to remember for all users.


  • Slow down! With less traffic, it may be appealing to drive faster but remember, a pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph has an 85% chance of being killed; at 20 mph, the risk is reduced to 5%.
  • Avoid distractions. Driving is a serious responsibility and requires your attention and focus. When your attention is on the road, you’ll be prepared for any unexpected events.
  • Yield to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks.
  • Give cyclists their space – 3 feet is the law! If you need to pass a cyclist, slow down and give them the required distance.

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].
Back to Basics Electrical Boot Camp by Warren Rogers, C.S.P.
Part 1: Back to Basics Series

It’s time to review the elements of electricity and the electrical distribution systems so that you know absolutely what you must do to protect yourself, your co-workers, the public and your family. There are many important things we need to go over, but in this series I’ll keep the sections in each issue short so that you can memorize them or get tattoos of the best parts to refer to. There will be a test— using this information every day to stay safe !

Part 1
Electricity is always trying to go to ground, or zero volts. That’s what makes electrical things work—the electricity going from a higher voltage to a lower voltage. 120 volts at the plug (Hot), going through a motor to get to the zero-volts side of the motor (Neutral), going to ground.
CT Creative Solutions Award Program — Deadline Extended to June 30, 2020
The deadline for the 2020 Creative Solutions Award program has been extended to June 30, 2020 . We know you have been finding creative ways to navigate through these challenging times so we want you to be able to be recognized for your innovative spirit. We hope you will take a few moments to complete the application at the link below. 
The Creative Solutions program will: 

  • Recognize the initiative and innovative thinking of public agency transportation staff in the development of tools, equipment modifications, and processes that increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of transportation.

  • Identify and help distribute ideas created in the field so that others can duplicate them and implement them.

  • Promote innovation and continued improvement. 
To download the Creative Solutions Submission Form, click here .

Earlier this month, the New York LTAP presented their “Build a Better Mousetrap” awards, the New York local agencies had some great ideas that we thought could also help benefit the CT Public Works Community; take a peek at the link , it is all about sharing knowledge to help everyone.
NEW Tailgate Talk: Safe Use of Cut-Off Saws
The T2 Center has published our newest Tailgate Talk informational brief. Each Tailgate Talk focuses on one on-the-job safety topic and is designed to be shared with your crew at the beginning of their day. When employees are presented with safety material in small chunks, in a setting in which they are comfortable, they are more likely to retain that information and put it into practice.
Before you even pick up a cut-off saw or assign someone to use it, you have to make sure that you and your employees are fully aware of the operating characteristics of the saw. A thorough knowledge of the particular saw used by your organization is essential, as there are many different manufacturers, models and power sources available. No matter which one you use, they all have one thing in common: they can be dangerous if you are not properly trained on them or if you don’t understand the power associated with this tool.
Resources to Discuss Distracted Driving with Your Children
Following the death of his daughter Casey in 2009 by a distracted driver, Joel Feldman has worked to keep all of us safe on the roads. Through his organization EndDD.org , he has developed the following set of resources and we are sharing to support his important work. 

While COVID-19 put the brakes on the launch of in-school distracted driving programs, there are several resources available to discuss this important topic with your children, of all ages, at home.  
Here are some resources that are available online and can be shared with anyone you like.
Teen Program:
Here is a video presentation for teens. It is a good one to watch with the whole family.

Elementary School Materials:
This multi-lesson program for younger children will teach them about distraction and multi-tasking generally, and then specifically about how to recognize when mom, dad, or an older sibling is driving distracted, and the communication skills to speak up and have them put the phone down. Working with teachers across the country, child psychologists, and social emotional learning experts, “Sam the meerkat” was developed who guides the kids through the lessons in 3 video animations. There are 3 separate lesson plans with developmentally appropriate differences for grades 2-3, 4-5 and 6, as well as grade-appropriate cross-curricular activities in Math, English, Music and Social Emotional Learning to support the lesson plans. 

To access all of the lesson plans and supportive materials, click here .

To download the Picture Book that was developed for children in grades K-2, click here .

Please feel free to share all the materials with anyone that you would like. Let’s help spread these important messages. 
Will a Hand Sanitizer Bottle Explode in Your Car? Probably Not, but Be Safe Anway
Firefighters raise alarm that alcohol-containing sanitizer plus hot weather can equal trouble. How much trouble? Enough that you shouldn't leave it in the car.

Without being alarmist, the rising temperatures mean the inside of your car will get hot very quickly—so don't leave a bottle of hand sanitizer in there, just in case.
The fire department of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, has issued a warning that alcohol-based sanitizer bottles should not be left in cars because there's a possibility they could explode. Their warning is echoed by the National Fire Protection Association, which issued  a video in April saying hand sanitizer's flash point is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which means a bottle of it doesn't need any external heat source to give off flammable vapors. All it would then need is a flame source—someone smoking in the car, for instance—for it to be in danger of explosion. The  CDC  considers alcohol-based hand sanitizer a flammable liquid "which readily evaporates at room temperature into an ignitable vapor."

To continue this article, click here .
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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]