The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (SSTI & SGA, 2012)

State officials across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking while transportation demands grow. Most state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have ambitious goals: improve safety, reduce congestion, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few.
The handbook provides 31 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy. The handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.

Rhode Island DOT uses ITS to make commuting easier for drivers

The Rhode Island DOT has begun using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to make driving go more smoothly on major state-owned roads around Providence. Cameras on highways and digital signs allow both DOT officials and commuters to monitor traffic flow and plan their routes accordingly. According to Joseph Bucci, head of the Transportation Management Center, the state “can’t build [itself] out of congestion. We need to try to do things better to manage [congestion] using technology.”

Oregon leads the way on use of solar installations for transportation facilities

Although begun in 2008, the largest component yet of the Oregon Solar Highway recently opened on I-5 in Clackamas County. The Baldock project, a public-private partnership between ODOT and Portland General Electric (PGE), is an array in a safety rest area near Wilsonville. Solar installations in transportation corridors are common in Europe, but are almost unknown in the U.S. However, Oregon plans more, and has also produced a manual, which can be downloaded.