SAINT GEORGE– More than a dozen transportation-related organizations joined forces at the eighth annual Dixie Regional Transportation Expo to let Southern Utah residents know “What’s up with traffic in Dixie?”
The Utah Department of Transportation provided an in-depth look at programs such as TravelWise, which encourages citizens to carpool or use public transit to reduce pollution, Road Respect, which educates both cyclists and drivers about sharing streets safely, and Zero Fatalities, which promotes the use of seat belts and common sense on Utah’s roads.
Also featured was the new UDOT Traffic App – for iPhone and Android smartphones only – which is a branch-off of the department’s Know Where Know Why website. Like its predecessor, the app provides drivers with timely road information such as delays, incidents, and construction locations. Users can also access traffic cameras on main intersections and overpasses throughout the state, with images updated every ten minutes or less.
“It’s a fantastic tool for commuters, or anyone who’s going to be driving,” said Jeff Burton, a communications executive with the Intrepid Agency, who collaborated with UDOT to build the app. “And it’s free; just go to their website and download it.”
The representatives of the booth of the Dixie Clean Storm Water Coalition urged visitors to think twice about what they put into their storm drains. According to their Only Rain Down The Drain brochure, lawn fertilizers, animal excrement, oils and soap are common toxic wastes that run from residential communities directly into rivers and lakes. More information on how to reduce storm water pollution can be found on their Only Rain Down the Drain website.
Though representatives from Washington and Hurricane were on hand to discuss future transportation plans, Saint George undeniably had the most to share. City officials and engineers presented information on many current and future projects, including construction of the Southern Parkway and Dixie Drive Interchange, expansion of the regional trail system, and improvements on Red Hills Parkway.
“As construction managers, we face special issues with the environment and [Dixie’s] unique wildlife,” said Lee Cabell from Horrocks Engineering. “We must address these issues, like the desert tortoises in the Red Hills, long before construction starts to ensure the surroundings will be protected.”
When complete, UDOT and the City of St. George expect that these ambitious road projects will fulfill the area’s traffic demand for years to come.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.