Expanding Citizen Traveler Information Reporting

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013: 11:05 AM
Ryman Studio L (Gaylord Opryland Hotel)
Dean Deeter , Athey Creek Consultants
Robert Koeberlein , Mobility Services Engineer, Idaho Transportation Department, Boise, ID
Description of Paper:


The Wyoming Department of Transportation (DOT) has successfully developed and deployed a system that allows authorized citizens to manually report driving conditions to Wyoming DOT staff, who then enter the events into the statewide reporting system for dissemination on 511 and the web. A side benefit of this Enhanced Citizen-Assisted Reporting (ECAR) program was recognized when the Wyoming DOT used the ECAR training materials and processes to standardize reporting procedures, phrases, and definitions, among the department’s maintenance forces.  Additional details of Wyoming’s ECAR program were of interest to the other members of the eight state Pooled Fund consortium referred to as the North/West Passage Program (North/West Passage Program members include Washington State, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). 

Through cooperative efforts with the North/West Passage Program, Wyoming DOT is expanding the ECAR project to allow authorized citizens to use a web-based interface to report driving conditions to DOT staff.  Also, Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is developing and implementing a citizen reporting system modeled after the Wyoming system that also will allow authorized citizens to report conditions through a web interface. 

With the ultimate goals of consistent reporting across state boundaries, and the potential for long distance travelers to report conditions for both Wyoming and Idaho, the North/West Passage Program helped the two states to work together to develop common reporting phrases and definitions.  These phrases were identified by first reviewing the phrases used in the initial Wyoming ECAR program, then by reviewing the common phrases recommended by earlier efforts of the North/West Passage program, and finally by reviewing the phrases used by the Idaho Transportation Department.  Detailed discussions about the use of the phrases allowed both states to come to agreement on a small list of phrases that is agreed to be manageable to train citizens to use.  It is also important to note that the Wyoming DOT is working with the Utah DOT to expand citizen reporting to Utah.  The common reporting phrases from this project have been shared with Utah in an effort to continue the consistency between states.

This presentation will describe the process followed to prioritize and finalize a list of phrases and share the list of phrases with attendees.

Presentation Outline:

North/West Passage Program

Wyoming ECAR Program

Citizen Reporting Enhancements and Expansion

Common Reporting Phrases


Describe suggestions for continued citizen reporting expansion and enhancements