Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration - Momentum Newsletter
November 2017

Administrator's Message: Thank You, Veterans – Today, This Month, This Year and Always

Greg Slater

Greg Slater

On November 1, I spoke at the Maryland Veterans Appreciation Month event at our I-95 Welcome Center in Laurel.

MDOT SHA partnered with the Maryland Department of Commerce and Tourism to turn Maryland's Welcome Centers into destination locations during the month of November with exhibits, entertainment and technology to engage, inform and entertain visitors to the Welcome Centers and allow them to book reservations and purchase tickets with discounts.

As part of the event, we showcased some of our highway dedication signs, dedications we've made to local Maryland veterans who lost their lives in defense of our freedoms. These are so much more than signs. They are living, breathing remembrances of who these veterans were, and what they meant to their friends, families and the entire state of Maryland.

Every year we "celebrate" Veterans Day, which is so much more than a state holiday and day off. It is the day we set aside to recognize, appreciate and thank the men and women who served or currently serve our country in the Armed Forces.

Our recognition and appreciation has always gone far beyond one day. And although we will celebrate and recognize Maryland veterans throughout the month of November with this initiative, I hope you will join me in making veterans appreciation a year-round activity. Our veterans put their lives on the line every day in defense of our freedoms, and they put their families, friends and careers on hold in the interest of their service to this nation. Veterans deserve our support and gratitude.

Please join me in recognizing those in the MDOT SHA family who are veterans or whose family members served or currently serve. We have honored them – and their family members who have served with a wonderful display in the ground floor lobby here at headquarters. Their service and sacrifice is emblematic of the true customer experience we all bring here at MDOT SHA. Putting the needs of others above ours, and delivering our fellow citizens to life's opportunities.

For the veterans we have continuing to serve in MDOT SHA, and the Veterans across Maryland and this great country – THANK YOU. We owe you a debt we cannot possibly re-pay.

MDOT SHA Deploys Smart Signals to Ease Congestion

Innovation - MDOT SHA Deploys Smart Signals to Ease Congestion

Governor Hogan Announces the Implementation of Smart Traffic Signals at the SOC.

MDOT SHA is deploying cutting-edge Smart Traffic Signals that will improve traffic operations and ease congestion for approximately 700,000 drivers per day on 14 major corridors across the state. The system uses real-time traffic conditions and computer software that adjusts the timing of traffic signals, synchronizes the entire corridor and effectively deploys artificial intelligence to keep traffic moving.

Smart Signals operate with an adaptive signal control system, which uses enhanced detection to monitor traffic conditions and alter the timing of traffic signals. The smart signals will replace existing controls that are over 20 years old and are unresponsive to the constant changes in traffic flow, operating on programmed timing. Crashes, construction and special events all contribute to congestion. This innovative technology quickly considers those factors and adjusts signal timing accordingly.

MDOT SHA operates more than 2,500 signals as part of 250 signal systems. Traffic engineers will select intersections to upgrade to Smart Signals based on many factors, including traffic volume, intersection capacity and traffic patterns. MDOT SHA conducted a Smart Signal pilot study on MD 24 between Singer Road and Boulton Street in Harford County. Preliminary results indicate a travel time reduction of 13 percent for the 40,000 daily drivers.

OneMDOT Intranet has Arrived

Modernization - OneMDOT Intranet has Arrived

The new MDOT Intranet allows faster, easier access to important information.

The new intranet portal has arrived, giving all TBUs a new way to feature content and a closer link to MDOT.

The new OneMDOT site has a red title bar with seven headings that link to MDOT SHA's announcements, documents, offices and staff directory. MDOT features fall below that, with "What's New @ MDOT" posts. Additional MDOT SHA content falls below that heading.

This further emphasizes the commitment to the OneMDOT brand and allows each TBU to more easily get to another's content. The red header's "What's Happening" link connects to Events, Newsletters and Other News or Other TBU News. From there, users can connect to the five other TBUs and MDOT.

IT is rolling out training on the new site through early 2018. One of MDOT's current features is a survey about the new site. Be sure to fill that out to let them know what you think about it.

In addition to the new intranet, MDOT SHA employees now have access to ReACT, which resets passwords and unlocks accounts. Users can set up an account with select challenge questions. If a password is forgotten, they would log into ReACT and answer the challenge questions to be issued a new password. The site also features a video with step-by-step instructions.

Really Hearing Our Customers

Customer Service Experience - Really Hearing Our Customers

Peter Campanides, Assistant District 3 Engineer for Traffic

By fully embracing the tenets of providing exceptional customer experiences, MDOT SHA is reinventing its approach to customer service and restoring positive relationships with our customers.

In one example, Assistant District 3 Engineer for Traffic, Prince George's County Peter Campanides made a strong personal connection with West Laurel Civic Association President Barbara Sollner-Webb, who was critical of previous interactions with MDOT SHA. In one case, her report that a new sign was placed in the wrong location was seemingly dismissed – MDOT SHA later acknowledged that she had been right and relocated it.

With skill and sincerity, Peter set out to rebuild MDOT SHA's relationship with Ms. Sollner-Webb by understanding her concerns and interest in traffic operations. Peter took the initiative of calling her; he invested an hour listening to and truly hearing her. He took immediate, decisive action by opening traffic studies, promising results within 60 days and offering to attend her evening community group meeting the following month. Additionally, Peter offered to serve as her primary contact for any future needs. In one sincere conversation, Peter redefined a customer's experience with MDOT SHA and built a bridge of communication and respect.

"We must do a better job of compassionately listening and then empathetically explaining the 'why' in our interactions and communications," says Deputy Administrator and Chief Engineer Tim Smith.

When a customer takes the time and energy to present us with an issue, it needs to be taken seriously – always. More often than not, our customers simply want to be heard. And they deserve to be. Thank you, Peter, for taking the time to truly listen and leading by example.


Photo of the Month

Greg Slater and Maryland Veterans Department Deputy Secretary Robert Finn present the Governor's Proclamation of Veterans Appreciation Month.

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