Since 1960, APWA has sponsored National Public Works Week. This is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of public works contributions to their daily lives: planning, building, managing and operating the heart of our local communities and building the quality of life. The Week seeks to enhance the prestige of the often-unsung heroes of our society - the professionals who serve the public good every day with quiet dedication. (from APWA website).
Public Works professionals are concerned with Public Safety, Public Health, and Emergency Response and yes, they are un-sung heroes.
Everyday Public Works professionals are engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of safe buildings, roadways, bridges and other critical infrastructure. They employ their education, training, and experience to create a safe environment where people can live, work and play. Regional flood control systems keep people and property safe from flooding and water damage. Water distribution systems provide clean drinking water and deliver water for fire fighting. Roads are built to be safe at the posted speed limits. Traffic control systems, including striping, signage and signals, help move people safely and efficiently. Our infrastructure is thoughtfully designed to prevent accidents and to respond to emergencies.
It may be a surprise to some, but street sweeping is important to public health. State-of--the-art (PM – 10) street sweepers are regionally funded as a measure to improve air quality. In fact, street sweeping is a key component of the regional strategy to improve air quality. This is part of the air pollution control plan that has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Street sweepers pickup and remove particulate materials which can become airborne and contribute to air pollution in the metropolitan region.
Water, wastewater and stormwater systems are vital to public health. Safe and reliable drinking water is the foundation of public health. After a catastrophic event, such as a hurricane, disease can spread rapidly through a population if the water and wastewater treatment facilities have been compromised. As a result, to protect public health, these are the first systems to be restored after a disaster.
Public Works professionals are on the front line during an emergency. When a traffic signal is hit in the middle of the night, Traffic signal technicians are the first on the scene to restore operations. Street crews are prepared to react during and after a storm event to clear downed trees and clear roadways.
On Sunday, May 22, 2011 a catastrophic EF5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri. The tornado killed 158 people and caused damages amounting to $2.8 billion. It reached a width of 1 mile during its path through the southern part of the city. The Public Works Director, like many others, rode out the storm is his basement and emerged (with his young son) to find his house was gone. He led his Public Works Team in the Emergency Operations Center. Before police, fire and other emergency personnel could get access to respond, it was necessary for Public Works crews to clear the substantial debris which covered the roadways.
Solid Waste equipment operators drive every street, of every neighborhood, every week. No other municipal service has as much visibility and direct contact with citizens. These Public Work ambassadors are the eyes and ears of the communities they serve. In the City of Peoria, these individuals have twice responded to ”Amber Alerts” and identified the subject vehicle each time resulting in the safe recovery of the child.
In just the last week, an alert Solid Waste equipment operator stopped for a routine
inspection of his vehicle and discovered not one, but four, kittens mixed in with the trash he had just collected. All four were safely recovered.
Please consider the importance of all Public Works professionals, and when youencounter construction or a barricade, slow down, be patient and give them a Brake (and a friendly wave).
William (Bill) Mattingly, P.E., R.L.S ARIZONA CHAPTER PRESIDENT
Dispelling Photo Enforcement Myths
Facts and stats about red-light and speed cameras By James Saunders, President/CEO Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.
Traffic safety cameras became part of roadway safety programs more than 25 years ago. Yet, confusion still exists regarding the function and operation of this technology.
In Arizona, traffic safety cameras are primarily used to detect and deter red-light running and speeding – two dangerous driving behaviors that lead to injuries and deaths. Photo enforcement can also be used to monitor traffic violations at railroad crossings, construction work zones and school bus stops.
In regions experiencing excessive crashes and violations, or in areas requiring extra care and precaution due to the presence of people, automated photo enforcement can be a crucial component of a comprehensive traffic safety program, enabling law enforcement to deter violators on a 24/7 basis.
Here, we’re dispelling the common photo enforcement myths and breaking down the benefits:
• MYTH: Traffic safety cameras capture and store data of all passing vehicles.
FACT: The cameras are only triggered to capture data of a vehicle – including a close-up image of the license plate, date of incident and lane number – if a potential violation is detected. Records of violations are only kept for a specified duration established by the respective law enforcement or government agency.
• MYTH: Photo enforcement takes police officers out of the equation.
FACT: Redflex follows a comprehensive three-step review process, and then the local law enforcement agency is provided with secure evidence packages of each incident. A local officer reviews and approves all evidence and ultimately has sole discretion to determine whether a violation occurred.
• MYTH: Photo enforcement is an invasion of privacy.
FACT: Photo enforcement does not constitute an invasion of privacy, and numerous courts around the country have upheld this view. Photo enforcement operates on public roads and does not invade private space. When drivers’ receive their licenses, they agree to abide by traffic laws on public roadways. Further, any data captured by a photo enforcement camera is only used for law enforcement purposes.
• MYTH: Photo enforcement systems aren’t secure.
FACT: Photo enforcement systems are extremely secure. All data captured by a safety camera is transmitted and encrypted to a secure central processing center and digitally signed, preventing interception and manipulation of the evidence while ensuring the highest level of protection to the chain of custody. All original images and data are secured in a data vault for safekeeping, until the data is purged according to local statute requirements.
• MYTH: Photo enforcement is all about raising money.
FACT: Photo enforcement programs are voluntary, drivers who do not want to participate in the program need to simply slow down and stop on red. The primary goal of a photo enforcement program is to protect the safety of citizens who utilize the roadways. Since photo enforcement systems are intended to serve as deterrents, successful programs often see a reduction in citations (and therefore a reduction in the amount of money collected). A reduction in photo enforcement revenue is a sign the deterrent is working.
Photo enforcement is among the most effective tools law enforcement agencies have to monitor traffic violations around the clock. Additionally, the technology serves as a “police force multiplier,” enabling local officers to refocus their energies on other higher-priority tasks while still ensuring the safety and security of problematic intersections.
Redflex Traffic Systems®, Inc., a leader in road safety technology, operates more than 2,000 photo enforcement systems in nearly 200 cities throughout the United States and Canada. With continuous development of new safety products, Redflex has been helping to reduce collisions and save lives for the past 25 years. For more information, visit www.redflex.com.
After I started here last April (2003), I implemented an Equipment Roadeo competition during PW Week as well as the PW Dept. hosting a Town wide BBQ and salsa competition (staff and council only). This year, we are continuing these same practices but are expanding into the community. We are engaging the elementary kids by having a “show and tell” with large equipment (front wheel loader, aerial lift truck, F-650 service truck and backhoe)and including demonstrations of picking up an egg with a backhoe (part of our equipment roadeo)and an aerial photo of the classes from the bucket truck. This is a half day event and will include all of the students from Kindergarten to 5th grade. Additionally, we will be hosting another series called PW 101. We started this item about 6 months ago after we implemented our first asset management system, this allowed us to wow the residents with a great amount of data including a complete GIS of all assets.
For more than 20 years, the Arizona Department of Transportation has engaged in a formal partnering program with its contractors. The program facilitates productive relationships, establishes a process for amicable resolution of conflicts and has led to more projects being completed on time and on budget.
Project teams including the Arizona Department of Transportation, contractors and other organizations were recognized at the 63rd Arizona Conference on Roads and Streets in Tucson, hosted by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona from April 16 to 18.
The Partnering Excellence Awards competition, which began in 2005, is designed to recognize partnership teams that demonstrate a high degree of achievement through their practice of partnering principles and their application of the partnering processes related to the transportation industry.
The winners of the 2013 Partnering Excellence Awards demonstrated the ability to come together and develop productive relationships that ensured the success of their respective projects. Teams were also judged on their ability to resolve issues in a professional manner.
Ames Construction, Jacobs Engineering, Tonto National Forest, ADOT and Arizona Game and Fish Department for improving three miles of State Route 260 from a two-lane road to a four-lane divided highway complete with wildlife crossings
Skanska, ADOT, Horrocks Engineers, Dibble Engineering, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Prescott National Forest and Kaibab National Forest for construction at the Little Hells Canyon Dam to prevent erosion along the canyon near State Route 89
Hensel Phelps, ADOT, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Stantec for construction of a new truck weigh and credential processing facility at the Mariposa port of entry in Nogales
Fann Contracting, Federal Highway Administration, ADOT, Horrocks Engineers, AECOM, Yavapai County and Town of Prescott Valley for the widening of Fain Road between state routes 69 and 89A into a four-lane divided highway
Federal Highway Administration, ADOT, Fann Contracting, URS, DARcor, Horrocks Engineers, HydroSystems, Yellow Jacket Drilling, Laveen Pump Company, K&H, Total Building Systems and High Performance Water Systems for rehabilitation of Sunset Point rest area along Interstate 17
ADOT Intermodal Transportation Division Maintenance Group and ADOT Equipment Services for improving the working relationship between the two groups to ensure maintenance crews have quality, reliable equipment to complete their work
FNF Construction, Federal Highway Administration, ADOT, AZTEC, Navajo Division of Transportation and Rummel Construction for completion of U.S. Route 89T (Navajo Route 20) from U.S. Route 89 to State Route 98 as the alternate route for U.S. Route 89
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Arizona APWA Members – Countdown to Congress – 472 Days and Counting
Send us your “Top 10” in the following categories, they may get used as part of our promotional items for Congress.
Hikes in the Valley and Statewide Restaurants near the Convention Center (or downtown) Public Works projects statewide Museums, Landmarks – places to visit How to Stay Cool Interesting Facts about Arizona
Julio Alvarado, URS Corportation Bryce Christo, City of El Mirage Chris Eggers PE, Stantec Consulting Christopher Hauser, City of El Mirage Lora Ingram, City of Surprise Blaine Lassich, City of Sierra Vista Jody Latimer, City of Peoria