June 2023
Issue 109
In This Issue:
  • Town Crier: Congratulations, Leon Parker! 50 Years of Service With Tolland DPW
  • T2 Student Worker Spotlight: Krish Thakur
  • Safety Matters: Speed Feedback Sign Program Wrap-up
  • Innovation Station: Virtual Summit Launches Every Day Counts Round Seven
  • Donna Shea - NEAPWA Member of the Year!
  • Congratulations to Andrea Merejo, FHWA Connecticut Division
  • Annual NEAPWA Timothy J. O'Leary Scholarship Recipients
  • New Tailgate Talk: Roadside Cleanup
  • NEAPWA Chapter Connects: Facilities and Grounds Hot Topics (Video)
Congratulations, Leon Parker! 50 Years of Service With Tolland DPW
Leon Parker began serving the residents of Tolland with the Department of Public Works on May 28, 1973, first as a truck driver and later becoming an equipment operator. During Leon’s career with the Town of Tolland, there have been more than 2,000 winter storm events and he has plowed approximately 333,440 miles of roadway, including in three extreme blizzards (1978, 1987, and 2013). He has also worked during four powerful hurricanes (Gloria 1985, Bob 1991, Irene 2011, and Sandy 2012), and Tropical Storm Isaias (2020)!

Congratulations, Mr. Leon Parker!
T2 Student Worker Spotlight: Krish Thakur
The T2 Center would like to introduce our student administrator, Krish Thakur, to the CT transportation community. Krish joined the T2 Center in February of this year and quickly became an incredible asset to our team.

Krish is quite the go-getter. On his own time, he has designed a transition plan for the T2 Center, proposing to take the Center completely paperless in the future! He presented his plan to the Center’s staff outlining all of the benefits for us and our audience. His transition plan streamlines our processes, makes workshop resources more accessible, and it is better for the environment! He has proposed to convert our paper curriculum into a completely digital platform using Google Classroom and Chromebooks. It was an impressive presentation!
This fall, Krish, from Brookfield, CT, will begin his third year at UConn as a double major in Business Marketing and German Studies. After graduation, Krish aspires to launch a digital marketing firm with hopes to “create something that will be beneficial to others.”

In his free time, Krish enjoys photography, writing poetry, building Legos, and spending time with his friends. He hopes to travel more this summer and has hopes to revisit Europe in the coming year.
Speed Feedback Sign Program Wrap-up
After almost three years, the Speed Feedback Sign Program is complete! In that time, over 260 signs have been deployed at over 415 locations throughout the state and counting. The signs were offered to every municipality in the state and the program had a 96% acceptance rate. Additionally, almost 200 people from 89 municipalities attended one of the free Speed Management trainings offered as part of this program.

Municipalities are having great success with their signs and are using them to address resident concerns about speeding, to identify areas that would benefit from targeted enforcement, and to determine if engineering measures need to be considered to slow drivers. This data is also being used in research at UConn’s Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center (CTSRC) and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).

These signs are one of the Federal Highway Administration’s proven safety countermeasures for speed management. Additionally, the FHWA just released a new resource titled Safe System Approach for Speed Management, which includes information on how speed feedback signs can contribute to an overall speed management plan.
Clearly, with the number of speed feedback sign installations and people trained through this program, we are well-equipped to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways here in Connecticut. Thank you all for your commitment to this goal!
For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at [email protected].
Virtual Summit Launches Every Day Counts Round Seven
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) kicked off round seven of the Every Day Counts program (EDC-7) with a virtual summit in February that introduced the seven ready-to-deploy innovations being promoted in 2023 and 2024. The 3-day event included more than 2,900 registered attendees from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico representing State departments of transportation (DOTs), over 200 local agencies, 80 metropolitan planning organizations, tribes, academia, industry associations, the private sector, and other Federal agencies.
Each day included keynote speakers from FHWA and State DOT leadership and other innovation champions from the public and private sectors, as well as breakout sessions with EDC-7 implementation teams. The summit also featured short presentations from State and local agencies on Homegrown Innovations and virtual EDC-7 booths with fact sheets, videos, and more. Sessions can be viewed on demand by registering on the virtual summit homepage.

Click here to continue reading.
Donna Shea - NEAPWA Member of the Year!

Donna was unable to attend NEAPWA’s National Public Works Week Luncheon on May 24th due to the T2 Center’s busy training season. So, during the T2 Advisory Committee Meeting on June 14th, NEAPWA Vice President Tom Roy and Chapter members John Lawlor, Tom Modzelewski, and Kirk Severance surprised Donna with a mini awards ceremony to present her with the Member of the Year Award plaque as well as balloons and cupcakes. It was a great celebration!

Congratulations, Donna!
Congratulations to Andrea Merejo, FHWA Connecticut Division
Andrea Merejo has been named the Safety Engineer for the FHWA Connecticut Division. The T2 Center team has worked with Andrea on many safety programs, and she is currently serving as a member of our Safety Circuit Rider Advisory Committee. We are really looking forward to all of the good things we can do together to reduce fatalities and injuries in CT.

Congratulations Andrea, well deserved! 
Annual NEAPWA Timothy J. O'Leary Scholarship Recipients
The New England Chapter of the American Public Works Association (NEAPWA) has awarded three recipients a $2,500 scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year. This scholarship aims to promote and improve the Public Works Profession by providing financial assistance to students committed to, and seeking a degree in, a Public Works or related field of study.

Tanner Phillips - Middletown, CT
Field of study is Transportation Engineering Management at the Maine Maritime Academy

Sydney Monica Michel - Ridgefield, CT
Field of study is Communications, Digital Media, and Public Relations at Elon University.

Trinity Moulton - Burlington, CT
Field of study is Business Management at Bentley University, MA

For more information regarding the NEAPWA Timothy J. O'Leary Scholarship, click here.
New Tailgate Talk: Roadside Cleanup
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.
Spring is the perfect time to complete roadside cleanup. Most of the trash on the side of the road is not hazardous, however, some items found along the side of the road can pose dangers. We have included some tips and advice for making roadside cleanup as safe as possible.
NEAPWA Chapter Connects: Facilities and Grounds Hot Topics (Video)
A panel of Facilities Managers discuss timely issues and share best practices.
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 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]