STICs Deploy Homegrown Innovations

The sixth round of Every Day Counts (EDC-6) kicked off with a Virtual Summit in December 2020 that introduced the seven innovations FHWA is promoting over the next 2 years. The summit also featured a National State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Network Showcase that highlighted 245 innovations in six categories developed and deployed by agencies throughout the country. The following are just a few examples of the expertise and ingenuity agencies are putting into action to save lives, time, and money in the areas of safety, planning, and environment.

State & Local Home grown Innovations LogoCredit: FHWA

Many of the homegrown innovations featured in the STIC Network Showcase are aimed at improving safety. The goal of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Buckle Up Phone Down (BUPD) Challenge campaign is to draw attention to and combat distracted driving stemming from cellphone use. MoDOT places videos and graphics on its social media channels and BUPD website encouraging individuals and business to accept the challenge to buckle up and put their phones down while driving.

Another traffic safety problem is wrong-way driving (WWD). WWD crashes tend to be more severe than other types, and highway agencies are working to implement systems to prevent them. The showcase includes WWD initiatives from Arizona, Florida, and Texas.

The Arizona DOT’s I-17 pilot proved to be an effective corridor-level system of WWD countermeasures including thermal cameras for detection, dynamic messaging for driver notification, and decision-support software for immediate notification and verification.

The Florida DOT initiative found LED-highlighted wrong-way signs to be one of the most effective countermeasures to warn a wrong-way entering motorist, notify other motorists, and send alerts to transportation management centers. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s pilot project on a newly constructed toll road was designed to detect wrong-way motorists, activate roadside signage to alert drivers, and notify law enforcement.

At the local level, city and county engineers often receive a variety of communications from residents about traffic safety concerns, including requests to install traffic-control measures such as stop signs or warning signs. Minnesota’s Local Road Research Board developed a guidebook for Addressing Citizen Requests for Traffic Safety Concerns that provides recommended procedures for evaluating and responding to these requests. The guidebook also reviews various traffic safety devices and their appropriate uses.

Another homegrown innovation focus is planning and environment, which often involves public communication and outreach. The Massachusetts DOT is using the Public Involvement Management Application (PIMA) to manage the full public involvement process on all its projects. PIMA was developed by Iowa DOT in 2015 and is now in use by a consortium of over 15 transportation agencies to meet a variety of public engagement needs.

The Oklahoma DOT saw a significant increase in public responses following use of the U.S. Postal Service Every Door Direct Mail® service, which enables targeted outreach based on census data. The agency was able to provide hard-to-reach communities with the same materials that would have been distributed at a face-to-face meeting.

The Texas DOT used performance-based planning and programming elements to create corridor prioritization and evaluation tools that guide data-based decision-making based on the department’s top priority goals. The Nebraska DOT is creating a Nebraska Environmental Documentation System (NEDS) that will provide a web-based ecosystem and an enhanced documentation process for all of its environmental professionals and specialists to complete their reviews, analyses, and documentation.


Register for access to the EDC-6 Virtual Summit on-demand content to learn more and watch presentations about these and other homegrown innovations. After registering, click on the National STIC Network Showcase button.