March 2023
Issue 106
In This Issue:
  • Emerging Leaders to Watch: Amy Taber, City of Norwalk
  • Safety Matters: Two Connecticut Municipalities Are Working Towards Vision Zero
  • Innovation Station: 2023 CT Creative Solutions Award Program — Share Your Creativity and Inspire Your Colleagues!
  • T2 Center Student Worker Spotlight: Phoebe Haberstumpf
  • National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 17-21, 2023)
  • Meet T2 Instructor Jim Mahoney
  • Planning for National Public Works Week (May 21-27, 2023) and a "Fill a Public Works Truck" Food Drive
  • Drivers Behaving Badly: Cannabis & Driving
Behind the Scenes: How Amy Taber and Her Team Keep the Traffic Moving in Norwalk by Kelly Prinz
Amy Taber has been recognized for her work in Norwalk as she was invited by the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) to be a part of a team that creates the curriculum for their training programs.
Taber and her team are responsible for the signals at the roughly 90 city-owned intersections, roadway signs, crosswalks with rapid flashing beacons, speed radar signs, road striping and more.

Taber’s work and dedication in Norwalk has recently been recognized nationally. She was invited by the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) to be a part of a team that creates the curriculum for their training programs. 

“To really have our peers recognize the work that is being done, and particularly recognize Amy’s leadership as a supervisor in the traffic world was a huge compliment to her work, and a huge compliment to the city in general,” Jim Travers, the head of the city’s department of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking, said.

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Two Connecticut Municipalities Are Working Towards Vision Zero
Vision Zero has long been discussed in the transportation world, having been first implemented by Sweden in the 1990s. It centers around the idea of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways while increasing safety and mobility for all users. Although Europe has embraced Vision Zero for decades, it wasn’t until 2012 that a US city made the commitment. Since then however, the idea that we can have a transportation network free from fatal and serious injury crashes has swept the nation.

Here in Connecticut, the General Assembly created a Vision Zero Council in 2021 to develop a policy and begin the work of eliminating fatalities and serious injury crashes on CT roadways. This is an important mission, as 2022 saw the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in our state in 34 years (75) and a total of 385 fatalities on our roadways. Many of these crashes occur on local roads, including over 50% of the pedestrian fatal crashes. In an effort to address this, two municipalities have taken the lead in adopting Vision Zero for their communities.
The City of Stamford was the first municipality in Connecticut to implement a Vision Zero Program, establishing theirs with an executive order from Mayor Simmons in September 2022. According to Frank Petise, the City’s Transportation Bureau Chief, “The Vision Zero executive order builds on our past successes and directs us to maximize safety for all users of the roadway. We strive to ensure people feel safe using all modes of our roadway network in Stamford and Vision Zero is a commitment from us to the people to accomplish our goal. Since launching the initiative, we have created a task force, issued an RFP for a Vision Zero Action Plan, and launched our Vision Zero webpage which includes an interactive crash dashboard.” Stamford’s goal is to eliminate fatalities from their streets by 2032 and information about their program can be found here.
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For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, including how to start a Vision Zero Program, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at
2023 CT Creative Solutions Award Program — Share Your Creativity and Inspire Your Colleagues!
Has one of your employees recently built an innovative gadget or modified something that makes the job safer and easier? Has there been a change in a process that has greatly improved the safety of your staff or streamlined the job to the point where you can’t believe you used to do it a different way? If so, now is the time to show it off and share it with others by entering the 2023 CT Creative Solutions Award Competition. You can view and download the submission form here.
We are looking for examples of gadgets, tools, processes, and programs that public agency employees or road crews designed and built to improve safety, create efficiencies, and make the job easier. It can be anything from the development of tools and equipment modifications to processes that increase safety, reduce costs, or improve efficiency or the quality of transportation. If you have a project that you think is worthy of recognition, fill out this year’s entry form and submit your entry by April 30, 2023.
Looking for inspiration? Take a peek at the past winners in our updated CT Creative Solutions Award Guide! Scroll through the guide or use the index to look for something specific. There are so many great ideas included! You can access the Guide and get more information on the program by visiting the CT Creative Solutions Award Program Webpage on the T2 website.
Aren’t sure if your gadget is what we are looking for? Email Mary McCarthy to share your idea and see if it is a fit.  
T2 Center Student Worker Spotlight: Phoebe Haberstumpf
Would you like to know who’s been working on the crash report you’ve received? It’s our powerhouse student worker Phoebe Haberstumpf. Phoebe will be graduating from UConn this May with a BS in Civil Engineering. With her coursework centered around structural engineering, it’s no surprise that her senior design project is a seismic retrofit of a United States Coast Guard building in the bay area of San Francisco. Phoebe also recently earned her engineer-in-training (EITcertification.

Phoebe will begin her engineering career at DeSimone Consulting Engineers in New Haven. Her career goals include the completion of her PE certification, while working in the area of sustainable building. 

In her free time, Phoebe enjoys hiking and she spent her spring break hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park with UConn’s Outing Club. Phoebe has a love for cooking, that once had her considering culinary school. She also enjoys thrifting, proudly describing herself as “frugal.”

Phoebe plans to celebrate her graduation by “going out for a really, nice meal,” perhaps she’ll also treat herself to a scoop of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream (her favorite) at the UConn Dairy Bar. She hopes her future will include travel, with her sights set on the Grand Tetons, Switzerland, and northern Italy. Wherever life takes her, we at the T2 Center know that Phoebe has a very bright future ahead of her! 
National Work Zone Awareness Week
(April 17-21, 2023)
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 17-21, 2023. 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 17
  • National kickoff event - April 18
  • Go Orange Day - April 19
  • Social media storm - April 20
  • Moment of Silence - April 21

For more information, click here.
Meet T2 Instructor Jim Mahoney
James Mahoney is the Associate Program Director of the Connecticut Transportation Institute and the Executive Program Director of the Connecticut Advanced Pavement Laboratory (CAP Lab) at the University of Connecticut. Jim has over 25 years’ experience in pavement materials research and design. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1995 and has been with the CAP Lab since that time. Jim teaches many different courses for the T2 Center, that include All About Asphalt and CT Green Snow Pro classes. In his free time, Jim likes gardening and fly fishing.
Planning for National Public Works Week (May 21-27, 2023 ) and a "Fill a Public Works Truck" Food Drive
It's that time of year to start planning for National Public Works Week!

APWA is proud to announce "Connecting the World Through Public Works" as the theme for the 2023 National Public Works Week poster. This year’s poster illustrates how public works connects us all through infrastructure and service, enhancing the quality of life for the communities these professionals serve.

APWA has lots of resources to help you plan your National Public Works Week. Visit their website today to get started.
Have you started planning your "Fill a Public Works Truck" Food Drive?

The primary goal of the "Fill a Public Works Truck" Food Drive is to collect food and household provisions for local community food banks and raise awareness of public works departments' (DPW) operations, including highlighting the things that residents can do to help the DPW crews do their jobs. This is an opportunity to unite all public works departments during a positive annual event.

Food and goods donations are critical during the early summer months as schools get out.

Remember, every little bit HELPS!
Researchers at the Connecticut Transportation Institute conducted a study of resident’s cannabis use habits. A survey was used to collect self-reported time waiting after cannabis use to drive and opinions about the associated driving risks.

The findings revealed more frequent cannabis users of both medicinal and recreational cannabis reported waiting less time before driving. Frequent cannabis users were also found to not perceive cannabis use as risky driving behavior, although those who rated cannabis as having a highly negative impact on their driving ability were not more likely to wait before driving after using cannabis. Suggestions for practitioners wanting to highlight the impact of cannabis on driving ability are to consider other factors that may impact the decision to drive under the influence of cannabis, (i.e., psychological factors and ingestion type). This full manuscript, “Self-reported impacts of recreational and medicinal cannabis use on driving ability and amount of wait time before driving”, has been published in Traffic Injury Prevention.

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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!
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If you have any ideas or suggestions for future Connecticut Crossroads topics, please feel free to email the designer Regina Hackett at