May 2021
Issue 84
In This Issue:
  • Safety Matters: The Safe System Approach: How to Achieve Zero Deaths
  • Signal Spotlight: Traffic Signals 101
  • Thank You to Our CT Public Works Family
  • Innovation Station: 2013 CT Creative Solutions Award Winner - Sign Base Carrier
  • AASHTO TAM Guide Book Club Webinar Miniseries
  • Senators Reintroduce Four Bills to Improve Automotive Safety
  • Collecting Public Feedback in Creative Ways
  • DEADLINE: Transportation Leadership Program Cohort 7 - Applications Due June 1st
The Safe System Approach: How to Achieve Zero Deaths
Everyone is familiar with the terms “Towards Zero Deaths,” “Road to Zero,” “Vision Zero” – but what do those terms really mean? They all imagine a world where our family, friends and neighbors don’t have to die on the roadways. In 2019 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were over 36,000 traffic fatalities and over 6,200 pedestrian fatalities across the country. Here in Connecticut, the preliminary estimate for 2020 fatalities is 308. Although it may seem daunting to reduce those numbers to zero, it can be done. One of the ways we can accomplish this is by implementing the Safe System Approach.
The Safe System Approach has six basic principles as its foundation. It starts with the simple belief that death and serious injury on our roadways is unacceptable and that humans will make mistakes. These are statements that I think we can all agree on. Nobody should die or be seriously injured simply trying to get to work or school or home to their family. Humans are fallible and often make poor decisions; driving while distracted, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding and reckless driving can all lead to a serious or fatal crash. The reason crashes result in serious injuries or death is because humans are vulnerable, which is the third principle of the Safe System Approach. People have a limited ability to withstand and survive the impacts of a severe crash.

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].
Signal Spotlight: Traffic Signals 101
On April 22, 2021 and April 23, 2021, participants from fifteen municipalities and the Connecticut Department of Transportation gathered for Signals 101, held at Firehouse 1 in Monroe. This class was the introductory workshop for Level One of the Connecticut Traffic Signal Technician Certificate Program. Though class sizes were limited due to social distancing restrictions, we were able to accommodate the participants over two days.
A total of 31 participants discussed the “anatomy” of a traffic signal, including the major components inside and outside the signal cabinet. Joe Balskus, PE, PTOE explained the history of traffic signals and the various models of traffic signal controllers, as well as other aspects of signal systems. Mark Zampini of the CT DOT Traffic Signal Lab loaned a controller cabinet to the program, allowing for a hands-on demonstration of the electronic equipment and features within the cabinet.

One of the most rewarding aspects of offering this new certificate program is seeing professionals from across the state come together to share their knowledge and experience. Lee Brow, from the Town of East Hartford, was recently promoted into the Alarms Division of the Fire Department where his duties will include providing maintenance to the town’s traffic signals. With a background as an FAA certified Airframe and Power plant Mechanic he knew the basics of electronics. He told me, “The Signals 101 workshop gave me a base to start to build from. I now have a basic idea of what’s going on inside the cabinet and how to start the troubleshooting process. The workshop has taken the intimidation factor down for me and I am excited to receive more training and education on traffic control devices.”

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].
Thank You to Our Public Works Family
Last week was National Public Works Week, and we at the T2 Center wanted to say THANK YOU to our CT Public Works Family.
Thank you for everything you do for our communities. Thank you for supporting the T2 Center. Thank you for overcoming and adapting to all of the trials and tribulations this past year has thrown at you. We appreciate your efforts and all of the hard work you put in, day in and day out. You are an amazing group of professionals, and we are proud to work with all of you.

Happy National Public Works Week!
The T2 Center Team
2013 CT Creative Solutions Award Winner - Sign Base Carrier
Through the summer months, we will be running a special Innovation Station theme in our monthly Crossroads. We are going to highlight past CT Creative Solutions Award (CCSA) winning designs and showcase Connecticut Public Works' great innovations through the years. This month, we are shining a spotlight on the 2013 CCSA winner, the Town of Hebron's Sign Base Carrier.
Problem Identified:
There was no place to carry the sign bases safely with two people in a truck.

It hangs on a standard truck ladder rack. Easily moveable from one truck to another, this device allows crews to safely transport sign bases and crews.
Cost Estimate:
The cost of this solution is less than $50.00.

Easily moveable from one truck to another, this device allows crews to safely transport sign bases and crews.

For more CCSA winning innovations, click here.
AASHTO TAM Guide Book Club Webinar Miniseries
The new AASHTO Transportation Asset Management (TAM) Guide is now available! It is designed to help transportation agencies advance TAM practices and support them as they conduct TAM activities. The Guide will be especially helpful now as agencies prepare their 2022 transportation asset management plans (TAMPs).
This webinar miniseries will help participants familiarize themselves with what is in the Guide and how to use it to meet their TAM needs. The webinar series will use an interactive format, with breakout sessions for discussion and hands-on activities using the online TAM Guide. 
The TAM Guide includes easily accessible templates, how-to checklists, and practice examples that support TAM practice. The digital Guide is available at and the print version of the Guide can be purchased at
Visit the ASSHTO TAM Portal for more information.
Senators Reintroduce Four Bills to Improve Automotive Safety
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., (left) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., (right) reintroduced four bills on April 26 designed to improve automotive and traffic safety across the United States – bills they want included in an infrastructure funding package and surface transportation reauthorization legislation.
“Every year on average, over 36,000 people are killed and nearly three million more are injured in motor vehicle crashes,” noted Sen. Markey in a statement.

“These numbers reveal a public health crisis that we must not accept as inevitable. We can prevent these unnecessary tragedies with proven strategies and technologies,” he explained. “Upgrading our roads and highways also means upgrading safety.”
To continue this article, click here.
Collecting Public Feedback in Creative Ways
Transportation agencies often struggle with how to effectively engage with and inform the public about upcoming projects and capture vital feedback. Many engagement efforts experience low participation and have difficulty capturing diverse viewpoints from a variety of communities. There may also be language and cultural barriers or scheduling conflicts that prevent people from attending meetings in person.

“The public’s expectations of how we, as agencies, interact with them is ever changing,” said Lana Lau, FHWA’s virtual public involvement (VPI) team co-leader. “This doesn’t mean the public isn’t interested in participating. It just means we need to be more innovative and thoughtful in our approach.”
FHWA’s VPI initiative, an Every Day Counts (EDC) innovation, encourages the use of digital technology and innovative strategies to make it easier and more convenient for people to participate in the transportation decision-making process.

Click here to continue this article.
DEADLINE: Transportation Leadership Program Cohort 7 - Applications Due June 1st
A friendly reminder that applications for the Transportation Leadership Program's Cohort 7 are due by Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
For the program application and overview, click here.

Don't hesitate to contact Donna Shea if you have any questions or would like to discuss potential candidates.
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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 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]