Trends Winter 2017 - Page 6

GETTING PUBLIC ENGAGED IS KEY INGREDIENT FOR SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS

Public input is a vital component of any safety improvement project – no matter how big or small . Residents , business owners , and other stakeholders reap the most benefit from transportation infrastructure enhancements , but they also can serve as the eyes and ears for reporting when existing transportation systems aren ’ t functioning as they should .

While the intersection outside Crews Lake Middle School in Pasco County was already being studied for improvements , officials said , teenager Makayla Trowell ’ s work to secure influential supporters , compile facts and figures , and broadcast her efforts accelerated the process .
“ It was very inspirational to see a young mind work like that , and it was all her – it was pure determination on her part ,” said Michael Bunk , Pasco
County ’ s traffic engineering supervisor .
“ She knew exactly how to take the next steps ,” said David Huyck , the middle school ’ s principal . “ She started reaching out to people . Once she had the idea , she got critical partners in place . That ’ s actually more of an advanced skill for an eighth-grader to have .”
Jack Mariano , who has served on the Pasco County Board of Commissioners since 2004 , encourages public participation on projects . He praised Trowell ’ s efforts to actively engage in the process and compile her own data with assistance from others .
“ We ’ re elected by the people ,” he said , “ and we are responsive . When you see an issue – no matter what it is , no matter where it is – let your representative know that you want to get something changed .”
Trowell said she was appreciative of all the efforts by County and school representatives to make her dream a reality . She already has begun work on new projects , including ideas for safety upgrades at the high school she now attends in Hernando County and a new traffic signal outside a fire station in Pasco County .
She said she learned much from the process and offered some advice to others .
“ Definitely don ’ t give up on what you want to do ,” she said . “ There ’ s always going to be that one person – or multiple people – who are going to tell you that you are crazy and can ’ t do it , but you can ’ t let that stop you . You need to let that motivate you even more to reach your goal .”
– Eric Widholm with plans due within days rather than months . The final project was ready for construction to begin in just
over two weeks .
Collaboration was Key
“ It was just a team effort – a lot of coordination and communication with the County , our internal project team , and utility companies who all responded quickly and allowed us to complete this project successfully ,” said Jeff Siewert , Ayres Associates ’ project manager . “ Everyone was very responsive , making sure we were all on the same page .”
While the span wire traffic signal system was not the most elaborate that Ayres Associates ’ Traffic Engineer Tristan Hickman has designed , the accelerated pace was challenging , he said .
Span wire layouts , in general , allow poles to be placed farther from the roadway than mast arm installations . That said , designers still needed to account for new loop detectors and conduit paths being saw cut into place . This required extensive interaction with the County , utility companies , and Ayres Associates ’ subsurface utility locating group to pinpoint these items .
“ It ’ s really ramping up the process , where we ’ re checking utilities quickly and making sure everything is in place ,” Hickman said . “ Then we need to get back with the utility companies right away so when we place these signals there are no conflicts in the field . That was the dicey part for me . When you ’ re moving along this quickly , it ’ s easy to miss something .” A more elaborate intersection design would ’ ve slowed the project down considerably , Bunk said . County staff will continue to monitor the intersection , which is slated for a more permanent traffic signal structure when deemed necessary .
“ The result was very good , and we were able to get the plans out in record time ,” he said . “ Huge kudos to the Ayres team for getting the plans in and getting them reviewed . Literally , over a weekend , comments were made and accommodated into a set of plans , and the project went
6│TRENDS
GETTING PUBLIC ENGAGED IS KEY INGREDIENT FOR SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS P ublic input is a vital component of any safety improvement project – no matter how big or small. Residents, business owners, and other stakeholders reap the most benefit from transportation infrastructure enhancements, but they also can serve as the eyes and ears for reporting when existing transportation systems aren’t functioning as they should. While the intersection outside Crews Lake Middle School in Pasco County was already being studied for improvements, officials said, teenager Makayla Trowell’s work to secure influential supporters, compile facts and figures, and broadcast her efforts accelerated the process. “It was very inspirational to see a young mind work like that, and it was all her – it was pure determination on her part,” said Michael Bunk, Pasco County’s traffic engineering supervisor. “She knew exactly how to take the next steps,” said David Huyck, the middle school’s principal. “She started reaching out to people. Once she had the idea, she got critical partners in place. That’s actually more of an advanced skill for an eighth-grader to have.” Jack Mariano, who has served on the Pasco County Board of Commissioners since 2004, encourages public participation on projects. He praised Trowell’s efforts to actively engage in the process and compile her own data with assistance from others. “We’re elected by the people,” he said, “and we are responsive. When you see an issue – no matter what it is, no matter where it is – let your representative know tha BRvBFvWB6WFr6vVB( G&vV6B6Rv2&V6FfR`FRVff'G2'6VGB66&W&W6VFFfW2FRW"G&V&VƗG6R&VG2&VwVv&Wr&V7G26VFrFV2f"6fWGWw&FW2BFRv666RpGFVG2W&F6VGBWrG&ff26vWG6FRf&R7FFখ666VG6R6B6RV&VBV6g&ЧFR&6W72BffW&VB6RGf6PFFW'2( FVfFVǒF( BvfRWv@RvBFF( 6R6B( FW&^( 0v2vrF&RFBRW'6( 0"VFRVR( 2v&RvrFFVRFBR&R7&B6( @FB'WBR6( BWBFB7FRॖRVVBFWBFBFfFRRWfV&RF&V6W"v( ЧvF2GVRvFF2&FW FF2FRf&V7Bv0&VGf"67G'V7FF&VvW7@fW"GvvVV266VW&FVB6Rv26VvrR6B7v&RWG2vVW&pW2F&R6VBf'FW"g&FP&GvF7B&7FF2FB6BFW6vW'27FVVFVBF66VBf"WrFWFV7F'2@6GVBF2&Vr6r7WBF6RF2&WV&VBWFV6fRFW&7FvFFR6VGWFƗG6W2B&W2766FW>( 7V'7W&f6PWFƗG6Frw&WF@FW6RFV2( ėN( 2&Vǒ&rWFR&6W72vW&Rv^( &R6V6rWFƗFW2V6ǐBr7W&RWfW'Fr26R( 66B( FVvRVV@FvWB&6vFFRWFƗG6W0&vBv6vVvR6RFW6R6v2FW&R&R6fƖ7G2FPfVBFBv2FRF6W'Bf RvV^( &RfrrF0V6ǒN( 2V7F֗726WFr( Ф&RV&&FRFW'6V7FFW6vvVN( fR6vVBFR&V7@Fv66FW&&ǒ'V6B6VG7Ffbv6FVRFF"FPFW'6V7Fv626FVBf"&PW&VBG&ff26v7G'V7GW&PvVFVVVBV6W76'( FR&W7VBv2fW'vB@vRvW&R&RFvWBFR2WB&V6&BFR( R6B( ćVvRVF2FFR&W2FVf"vWGFrFR2BvWGFrFV&WfWvVBƗFW&ǒfW"vVVVB6VG2vW&PFRB66FFVBF6WB`2BFR&V7BvV@6&&Fv2W( ėBv2W7BFVVff'B( 2@b6&FFB6V6FvFFR6VGW"FW&&V7@FVBWFƗG6W2v&W7FVBV6ǒBvVBW2F6WFRF2&V7B7V66W76gVǒ( Ч6BVfb6WvW'B&W2766FW>( &V7BvW"( WfW'Rv2fW'&W76fRr7W&RvRvW&RFR6RvR( ХvRFR7v&RG&ff26v77FVv2BFR7BV&&FPFB&W2766FW>( G&ff2VvVW G&7F62FW6vVBFPn)H"E$TE0( 2W&2vF