WYDOT seeks volunteers to report Road & Weather Conditions
by Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT)
September 21, 2007
The Wyoming Department of Transportation is seeking assistance from local motorists this fall and winter in southwest Wyoming to accurately report road and weather conditions.
Demands for travel information during the winter months is ever growing, as motorists seek out road conditions to make informed travel decisions about whether or not they should travel, and if so, when they should go and what routes they should take. Traditionally, road conditions have been given by WYDOT snowplow drivers, but the number of drivers available is limited.
During snow storms, snowplow drivers concentrate on the most heavily traveled routes, but even on the interstate, a snowplow may not make a pass more than every two hours. On the lesser traveled routes, plowing may not be done for several hours at a time.
To meet this demand, WYDOT developed a program to provide reports as close to 'real-time' as possible. During the 2006-2007 winter season, WYDOT piloted a program called "Enhanced Citizen-Assisted Reporting," or "ECAR" in northwest Wyoming, that proved to be successful with volunteers receiving training that allowed consistent, accurate and reliable road condition reports. This program is now being expanded statewide. (bold emphasis added by Pinedale Online)
The typical ECAR volunteer is someone who drives a particular route on a regular basis, and has possibly been doing so for quite some time. Many volunteers are affiliated with a transportation company or a business which distributes its products via Wyoming highways, especially routes in more remote areas, or those who travel during light travel times, such as the early morning or late evening hours.
Volunteers selected for the program will take part in a brief training session where they are supplied with an illustrated handbook, which include written and visual definitions of the different types of pavement and weather conditions used by WYDOT. Regardless of the weather, volunteers will report regularly on travel conditions. They also report on road hazards, such as animal carcasses or other debris on the roadway, and verify information displayed on the dynamic message signs by calling into WYDOT dispatchers through a toll-free number.
ECAR volunteers are being sought in Sweetwater, Uinta, Lincoln, Teton and Sublette counties. In Sweetwater County, routes include I-80 service roads, US 191 south of Rock Springs, WYO 374, WYO 377 and WYO 430.
In Uinta County, routes include I-80 service roads, WYO 150, WYO 410, WYO 411, WYO 412, and WYO 414.
In Lincoln County, routes include US 30 service roads, US 189, WYO 231, WYO 232, WYO 232 service road, WYO 233, WYO 235, WYO 236, WYO 237, WYO 238, WYO 239, WYO 240, WYO 241, and WYO 350.
In Teton County, routes include the US 89 spur and WYO 391.
In Sublette County, routes include WYO 352, WYO 353, and WYO 354.
Potential volunteers may submit an application online at ecar.dot.state.wy.us or may obtain additional information by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling WYDOT at (307)777-4623.
For more information, contact Theresa Herbin, Public Involvement Specialist, WYDOT, District 3 at 307-352-3065 or 307-389-0790, Theresa.Herbin@dot.state.wy.us