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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
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|Publication Number: Date: May/June 1999|
Issue No: Vol. 62 No. 6
Date: May/June 1999
From May 16 to 22, the transportation community will celebrate National Transportation Week (NTW). Congress first designated NTW more than 30 years ago to draw public attention to transportation issues. Clearly, that message is just as important today.
"Much can be accomplished through National Transportation Week observances," said 1999 Honorary Chair David L. Winstead. "My recent experience as AASHTO [American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials] president during the TEA-21 [Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century] campaign showed me how much can be done in public communications when organizations pull together." Winstead, an attorney and former secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, has been involved in a number of national efforts on behalf of the transportation industry and is familiar with the rail, transit, ports, and aviation communities as well as highways.
NTW is an opportunity to sponsor community events, conduct outreach to schools, and work with the media to increase public awareness of transportation and to educate the public about transportation issues. NTW also provides a major opportunity to carry the message of transportation careers to students, teachers, and parents.
More than 20 national transportation organizations have been working during the past two years to build interest in National Transportation Week. These organizations have developed slogans, themes, and a Web site (www.ntweek.org). The Web site includes downloadable NTW logos and letterhead, sample press releases, sample ideas for events, talking points, and links to educational support materials.
The slogan for this year's program is "Transportation: Taking You Where You Want To Go!" The public awareness themes are safety, economic competitiveness, and quality of life.
"The two overriding objectives for the 1999 NTW observances are increasing public awareness of transportation issues and encouraging careers in transportation," said Winstead.
"National Transportation Week offers a unique opportunity to reach out to our nation's youth - tomorrow's workforce - and to encourage careers in transportation engineering or science," said Linda Lindsay of the National Society of Professional Engineers, one of the organizations that has been a strong partner in NTW planning.
Winstead said the national groups are encouraging their state and local affiliate organizations to work together at the grassroots level to develop NTW programs.
"Our goal is to stimulate the creation of grassroots NTW planning groups to build the celebration this year and for years to come," Winstead explained. Toward that end, each of the partnering organizations was asked to send a "National Transportation Week Tool Kit" to its affiliates. The tool kit contains information about how to start planning and implementing local NTW activities.
Groups that already have indicated an interest in working on NTW include AASHTO, The Asphalt Institute, Associated General Contractors of America, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, American Public Transit Association, American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Consulting Engineers Council, Eno Transportation Foundation, ITS America, Institute of Transportation Engineers, National Association of County Engineers, National Asphalt Pavement Association, National Association of Governor's Highway Safety Representatives, National Society of Professional Engineers, National Defense Transportation Association, National Air Transportation Association, Road Information Program, Transportation Research Board, and U.S. Department of Transportation.
"Another goal this year is to broaden our partnership to be more multimodal and to include the private sector," Winstead said. "We are working with some of the key players from the groups that already are involved to elevate the activities for this year and to lay the foundation for years to come."
For more information, see the Web site at www.ntweek.org or contact Karen Haas Martin via telephone (301) 460-4720, by fax (301) 460-4723, or through e-mail at email@example.com.
Karen Haas Martin is a technical and business communications consultant in Rockville, Md. She has provided support to the U.S. Department of Transportation for its National Transportation Week activities for the last two years.