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Author Topic: Wyoming  (Read 27983 times)

andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2019, 11:48:34 PM »

Wildlife migrations are considered for future upgrades to the WYO 22 and 390 intersection near Jackson.

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/how-will-the-moose-cross-the-road/article_95125434-e9f0-54b2-b520-01b981f5cdcb.html

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Building on the outrage from a succession of road-killed moose, conservation groups last month drummed up support, including from fuzzy-horned wildlife activists, to raise taxpayer money for wildlife crossings.

Simplified, the line heard by elected officials mulling a specific purpose excise tax ballot went something like this: Allow residents to vote on a $15 million wildlife crossing SPET ballot item, and moose will stop being hit and killed on the Snake River’s west bank. Dozens who spoke and emailed councilors and commissioners delivered emotional appeals, recounting their own experiences with road-killed wildlife. ...

The highest-priority item listed in a Teton County staff report that breaks down the use of the hypothetical pot of money is the intersection that made headlines last month: the crossroads of Highways 22 and 390. A $2.5 million to $5 million allocation is suggested for the area, which the Wyoming Department of Transportation plans to reconstruct and widen starting in 2023. That SPET money — which joins a separate $7.5 million proposed ballot item for the Highway 22/390 intersection — would supplement approximately $3.5 million that WYDOT plans to set aside for wildlife crossings at the intersection. ...

A wildlife-focused committee advising WYDOT’s planning process has identified the west side of the Snake River bridge — near where the two subadult moose were hit — as the No. 1 spot that needs to be addressed in the project area. And what’s on the drawing board is a 100-foot-long, 15-foot-high “simple span bridge,” an approximately $2.2 million addition that will connect cottonwood groves on each side of the commuter thoroughfare.

In terms of priority, the second wildlife-friendly modification on order for the Highway 22/390 intersection is along the east side of the Snake River bridge, between the levees and entrance to Emily Stevens Pond.

WYDOT plans to extend the bridge 85 feet beyond where it would otherwise land, an extra distance that would create an underhighway passageway. The cost, which the state agency is planning to cover, is estimated at about $900,000.

SPET funding, if authorized, could pick up the tab for two other structures or solutions near the intersection, one crossing along Highway 22 just west of the Village Road and another up Highway 390 itself near the entrance to Rendezvous Park. The details of what would go at the sites hasn’t been decided, but WYDOT’s wildlife advisory committee will meet July 16 to sort out those details.

Other projects that could be covered by a wildlife crossings SPET, if it were funded, are further on the horizon.

Highway 22 between Jackson and the Snake River is also in WYDOT’s sights for an overhaul sometime in the next five to 10 years, and between $7.5 million to $9 million could fund overpasses and underpasses along the stretch.

Less-substantial changes to infrastructure could also be funded near Camp Creek on Highway 189/191. At this elk-crossing hotspot south of Jackson, an “animal detection system” could be built to alert motorists to animals on the shoulder at a cost of between $500,000 and $1 million. Another $500,000 in proposed SPET funds could pay for planning a long-term solution in this area.

SPET could also be tapped for a project along Highway 22, this time on the west side of Teton Pass. There, $1 million could be devoted to planning how to stem the chronic moose collisions that have plagued the area around the Wyoming-Idaho state line.

The priorities come from Teton County’s recently wrapped up “wildlife crossings master plan,” which laid out a hierarchy of projects the conservation community unanimously agreed to, Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Jon Mobeck said.

On the Snake’s west bank wildlife and road managers are still learning about how moose interact with the road system. An estimated 70 moose live in the region, and in the past decade the Wildlife Foundation has logged 50 road-related moose deaths, a rate that suggests traffic could be suppressing the population, Mobeck said.

Last winter 10 of those moose were fitted with GPS tracking collars for the first time, Wyoming Game and Fish Department research made possible by a WYDOT grant.

Nine of the big brown ungulates crossed either Highway 22 or 390, and four of those animals braved the highways near the intersection, where state and potentially SPET-funded crossings are in the works (see map).

The movement data also indicates other factors, like illegal feeding, might be localizing moose in the area and encouraging them to cross the roads.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2019, 11:53:44 PM »

https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-could-be-facing-tough-questions-on-highway-funding-this/article_1b3be15a-abfe-5938-8467-52d17c3fe7b7.html

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Car ownership is almost a prerequisite for living in Wyoming.

In a nation that tops the world in automobile ownership per capita, Wyoming ranks the highest among states, with nearly 300,000 more vehicles than residents, according to 2015 statistics from the Federal Highway Administration. For many in this far-flung and lightly populated state, the only means of connectivity is the two-lane highway leading out of town.

Wyoming, however, is having difficulty footing the bill. In October, the Wyoming Department of Transportation revealed that the agency is currently facing a $135 million shortfall in what it needs to maintain the current conditions of the state’s roads. ...

The cost of maintaining Wyoming’s most desolate — but necessary — thoroughfares does not come cheaply. Of that $135 million shortfall, $72 million consists of funding for construction and maintenance projects. Meanwhile, sources to garner funding for those projects have been elusive, and when they have come along they’ve quickly been wiped out. ...

With costs increasing while revenues and expenses remain stable, highway departments find themselves having to do more with less. According to Chief Fiscal Officer Dennis Byrne, WYDOT does a fantastic job leveraging every state and local dollar it can — to the tune of roughly $1.64 in federal funds for every dollar in state funding — but maintaining a certain level of stability matters. ...

Though the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act brought some stability to state departments’ highway funding, some are looking warily toward its expiration next fall, particularly as states around the country continue to face significant shortfalls in their transportation budgets.

President Donald Trump has expressed interest in increasing the federal fuel tax to cover the shortfalls through increases to federal highway funding. However, Delaware Sen. Tom Carper said Wednesday, several members of the committee said that a fair share of the bill could be footed by the states themselves. ...

“We need to increase the funding, but we also don’t want (WYDOT) to look to the general fund as their funding source,” (Sen. Michael) Von Flatern (R-Gillette) said. “We have the albatross around our neck known as I-80. Since 80-plus percentage of traffic using it does not originate or stop in Wyoming, why are the citizens of this state paying the lion’s share of the maintenance on that road?”
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2019, 12:01:57 AM »

WYDOT unveiled its six-year road plan for Teton County, which includes Jackson.

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/town_county/wydot-drafts--year-plan-for-teton-county-roadwork/article_f8501336-87bb-56e2-8ef3-60078b380f51.html

Quote
1. South Highway 89 widening

When: Fiscal year 2019

Cost: $67.5 million

WYDOT plans to embark on the second phase of widening South Highway 89 all the way to Hoback Junction. Crews will wrap up the first phase — from South Park Loop to Munger Mountain Elementary School — in July.

The next phase, the highway’s southern 4-mile portion, will extend the five-lane highway south to Hoback Junction. That project came in 26% over budget, and was awarded to Oftedal Construction for more than $67 million. Work should be concluded in July 2022.

The project includes three new wildlife crossings, in addition to three built on the north section of Highway 89, plus a pathway connecting Jackson to Hoback, WYDOT Resident Engineer Bob Hammond said.

2. Pavement rehabilitation from High School Road to South Park Loop

When: Fiscal Year 2019

Estimated cost: $2.8 million ...

3. Tribal Trail Connector and

intersection with Highway 22 When: Fiscal Year 2021

Estimated cost: $1.5 million for intersection

The proposed Tribal Trail Connector would be a county road, but Teton County has hired WYDOT to perform planning, design and construction. The connector linking South Park Loop and Highway 22 is called for in the town and county’s Comprehensive Plan and Integrated Transportation Plan. ...

4. Pavement rehabilitation of Snake River canyon

When: Fiscal year 2021

Estimated cost: $3.2 million ...

5. Snake River Bridge replacement and Highway 22/390 intersection revamp

When: Fiscal year 2023

Estimated cost: $29 million

The replacement of the Snake River bridge on Highway 22 is the top bridge priority in the state because its deck is crumbling and at the end of its life, engineers say. The narrowness and traffic volume the structure sees also make it difficult to perform maintenance or handle accidents, and it’s the only link to the West Bank and Wilson area.

Planning is already underway to replace the failing bridge with a four-lane structure with a median.

Because the intersection of Highways 22 and 390 is so close to the bridge, WYDOT plans to reinvent the intersection as well.

According to WYDOT’s analysis, the best design for the new intersection at Highways 22 and 390 is something called a “Florida T.” That means widening the main roadway to four lanes while also providing a couple of “slip” lanes for vehicles that don’t have to stop at the intersection.

One slip lane will direct eastbound traffic around the intersection while the other will allow westbound Highway 22 drivers to turn right onto Highway 390 without stopping. ...

6. Swinging Bridge Replacement

When: Fiscal year 2023

Estimated cost: $4 million

WYDOT is partnering with Teton County to replace the failing century-old bridge in Hoback. Swinging Bridge provides a second access to Hog Island homes on the east side of the Snake River.

The bridge will be replaced under the state’s Bridge Replacement “Off System” program, which means WYDOT will cover about 90% of project costs and the county will fund a 10% match.

7. Additional Teton Pass vehicle arrestor

When: Fiscal year 2026

Estimated cost: $4.6 million

A second vehicle arrestor is planned to be built on Teton Pass.

Vehicle arrestors are intended to reduce the risk of head-on incidents by allowing runaway vehicles to safely veer off the road without crossing traffic. They’re a series of steel nets that absorb the force of a vehicle.

According to WYDOT, a second arrestor is needed. The preferred location is close to the bottom of the pass near Wilson. Because of the 5.2-mile descent down the pass’s steep grade on Highway 22 eastbound toward Wilson, one arrestor isn’t enough for all the errant vehicles whose brakes stop working, according to WYDOT. ...

8. Planning for Highway 22 from the “Y” to 22/390

When: Fiscal year 2026

Estimated cost: $5.3 million

The draft STIP includes $5.3 million earmarked for the section of Highway 22 from the “Y” intersection with Broadway to Highway 390. That amount couldn’t cover construction, Hammond said, so it’s meant for planning purposes. ...

9.Hoback area landslide repair

When: Fiscal year 2026

Estimated cost: None

WYDOT hopes to fix a small landslide at the edge of the guardrail just south of Hoback Junction for Highway 89, Hammond said.


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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #53 on: October 10, 2019, 02:42:43 PM »

You're probably aware of this, but if not, in April of this year, Wyoming's state legislature proposed converting all of Interstate 80 in Wyoming into a toll road. Source: https://www.wyomingnews.com/news/local%e2%80%94news/wyoming-legislature-could-take-another-look-at-tolling-i/article%e2%80%9456d1d4d7-1b8c-5c8f-9061-c495dffc125c.html. The tolling study itself dates back to 2008, but was voted down by the legislature in 2010. Source: http://www.dot.state.wy.us/home/planning_projects/studies_plans/I-80_tolling_study.html.

Personally, I think the proposal is looney tunes! The traffic counts on Wyoming's Interstates (http://www.dot.state.wy.us/files/live/sites/wydot/files/shared/Planning/VMB/2018-VMB-1.pdf) are nowhere near high enough for a toll road to make sense. Wyoming has the lowest population (577,737), and the second lowest population density (5.97/sq mi) in the country. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming. I don't think the state can pull it off. Despite the previously mentioned transportation funding shortfall, there must be another way to keep Wyoming's roads maintained.
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Rothman

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2019, 05:24:20 PM »

You're not counting through traffic just by considering WY's population.
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ski-man

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2019, 10:41:24 PM »

If you have been on I-80 for any amount of time you would see a large amount of semis passing East & West thru the state. The tolls would be for these large number of out of state vehicles with WYO residents/I assume license plates being exempt.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2019, 01:46:57 PM »

If you have been on I-80 for any amount of time you would see a large amount of semis passing East & West thru the state. The tolls would be for these large number of out of state vehicles with WYO residents/I assume license plates being exempt.

If they try exempting vehicles based on state tag, they will be hit with a number of lawsuits about location discrimination not being Constitutional.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #57 on: October 17, 2019, 04:06:26 PM »

If you have been on I-80 for any amount of time you would see a large amount of semis passing East & West thru the state. The tolls would be for these large number of out of state vehicles with WYO residents/I assume license plates being exempt.

If they try exempting vehicles based on state tag, they will be hit with a number of lawsuits about location discrimination not being Constitutional.

What about all the states that already practice E-ZPass transponder discrimination?

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #58 on: October 17, 2019, 04:19:23 PM »

If there are a lot of trucks along the Interstate 80 corridor, couldn't they add a separated third lane in both directions, and only allow trucks to use that lane? I'm still not sold on the tolling proposal.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #59 on: October 17, 2019, 07:57:45 PM »

If you have been on I-80 for any amount of time you would see a large amount of semis passing East & West thru the state. The tolls would be for these large number of out of state vehicles with WYO residents/I assume license plates being exempt.

If they try exempting vehicles based on state tag, they will be hit with a number of lawsuits about location discrimination not being Constitutional.

What about all the states that already practice E-ZPass transponder discrimination?
In that case, it's based on where one gets their transponder, not where one lives (though NY is notorious for giving Port Authority tags instead of MTA/NYSTA/NYSBA tags to people from out of state who sign up online).  Though ideally transponder discrimination would be banned too.
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ski-man

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #60 on: October 19, 2019, 11:57:19 AM »

If there are a lot of trucks along the Interstate 80 corridor, couldn't they add a separated third lane in both directions, and only allow trucks to use that lane? I'm still not sold on the tolling proposal.
That is one of the options they want to use the tolling money for along with maintenance from the large semi use.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #61 on: June 06, 2020, 04:27:38 PM »

Wyoming plans to close rest areas

https://cdllife.com/2020/wyoming-dot-to-shut-down-10-rest-statewide/?amp

Rest area closure locations:

Lusk on US 18

Guernsey on US 26

Greybull on US 14-16-20

Moorcroft on Interstate 90

Star Valley on US 89

Ft. Steele on Interstate 80

Sundance on Interstate 90

Upton on US 16

Orin Junction on Interstate 25

Chugwater on Interstate 25

SM-G975U

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #62 on: June 07, 2020, 08:02:25 AM »

I get the need to save money during these times but to permanently close much needed rest areas is a lousy and bad decision overall.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #63 on: June 08, 2020, 10:19:24 AM »

I get the need to save money during these times but to permanently close much needed rest areas is a lousy and bad decision overall.

From my experience traveling around Wyoming, my feel is that a lot of these hardly qualify as "much needed".

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #64 on: June 08, 2020, 10:31:59 AM »

If you have been on I-80 for any amount of time you would see a large amount of semis passing East & West thru the state. The tolls would be for these large number of out of state vehicles with WYO residents/I assume license plates being exempt.
 

Good time to build a Green River-SLC freeway
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #65 on: July 01, 2020, 11:28:14 PM »

WY 330 in Sheridan has been decommissioned, with the road being turned over to the City of Sheridan (per WYDOT email).
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #66 on: July 28, 2020, 10:10:33 AM »

The Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (which assists Casper, Mills, Evansville, Bar Nunn, and Natrona County governments) issued its draft Transportation Improvement Plan in June 2020.


https://casperwy.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_62983/File/Government/Departments/Community%20Development/MPO/FY21%20MTIP%20Amendment%20DRAFT.pdf

Major projects proposed for the next four years in the vicinity include:

Rehabilitation of County Road 407/Kortes Road

Reconstruction of Midwest Avenue between Elm Street and Poplar Street

Pedestrian bridges over the North Platte River in West and North Casper

Center Street underpass enhancements

Paving of Evansville Secondary Access Road

Reconstruction of Lathrop Road

Improvements to Sunset Boulevard in Bar Nunn

Reconstruction of Poplar and 1st St intersection, including bridge widening

I-25 Reconstruction of structures over the North Platte River from Center St. to Poplar St.

Miscellaneous street repairs and sidewalk installations throughout the Casper area
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 10:13:40 AM by andy3175 »
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #67 on: July 28, 2020, 12:06:55 PM »

I get the need to save money during these times but to permanently close much needed rest areas is a lousy and bad decision overall.

From my experience traveling around Wyoming, my feel is that a lot of these hardly qualify as "much needed".

As someone who just drove across Wyoming, they absolutely are, given the relatively low amount and quality of gas stations on 80.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #68 on: July 28, 2020, 12:10:54 PM »

I get the need to save money during these times but to permanently close much needed rest areas is a lousy and bad decision overall.

From my experience traveling around Wyoming, my feel is that a lot of these hardly qualify as "much needed".

As someone who just drove across Wyoming, they absolutely are, given the relatively low amount and quality of gas stations on 80.

Yeah, Wyoming is one of the few states where I actually use rest areas with any regularity

andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #69 on: September 27, 2020, 01:36:03 PM »

Interesting tidbit on the role of Milward Simpson in determining the route of Interstate 90 between Sheridan and Gillette. The debate included which city would be signed as control for Interstate 90 between Sheridan, Buffalo, and Gillette

https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/milward-simpson-and-death-penalty

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Choosing a route for I-90

In 1956, Simpson faced an issue involving the federal government’s Federal Highway Act. Its goal was to implement a system for quick, reliable and safer transcontinental travel—what we now call the interstate highway system. As part of the act, and to help fund the program, the plan stipulated that each level of government would contribute to the upgrading of the nation’s road network. To achieve this goal, states were required to “hold public meetings to consider the economic effects of the location if a Federal-aid highway involved bypassing or going through a city, town, or village.”

One of the three major routes planned to cross Wyoming was Interstate 90, a major highway from Boston to Seattle. The highway was to enter the northeastern corner of Wyoming, connect with what is now Interstate 25 at Buffalo, Wyo., head north to Billings, Mont., then west to Seattle. Much to the concern of the town of Sheridan, this plan would make Buffalo a control area on the interstate highway between Gillette and Sheridan. That designation would mean more signs would be posted on the interstate about Buffalo than would have been otherwise.

In May, a public meeting was held in Sheridan. Federal and state highway department representatives heard delegations from Sheridan and Buffalo give opposing views. The meeting marked the start of a year-long campaign to move the control area to Sheridan. During the year, delegations from Sheridan attended State Highway Commission meetings, and gave presentations showing that locating the control area in Buffalo would be a significant economic impact for their community. If Sheridan did not appear as a destination on the traffic signs on the route, Sheridan delegates feared, people would be more likely to stay the night in Buffalo before driving on up and through Sheridan on the way to Yellowstone National Park.

In one meeting the Sheridan group proposed that I-90 would follow the existing route of U.S. Highway 14 between Gillette and Sheridan, which bypasses Buffalo. In a later meeting, a group of ranchers from Johnson County, where Buffalo is located, protested this idea. At all of these meetings the state commissioners explained that they could only recommend a route, and the federal Bureau of Public Roads would make the final decision.

In a 1992 interview with the New Yorker, Milward Simpson’s son, U.S. Sen. Al Simpson, relates a colorful story of a meeting in the governor’s office between his father and a delegation from Sheridan. As Al eavesdrops on the conversation, the group tells Simpson they would hate to vote him out of office, if he did not step in and recommend their proposed route change. They told him he needed to step in on behalf of the survival of his wife’s hometown. According to the interview, Milward Simpson was deeply insulted by their request and sent them on their way.

In January 1957, the commissioners made their final decision, agreeing with the recommended route, making Buffalo, not Sheridan, the control area.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #70 on: December 13, 2020, 01:03:01 PM »

I posted this this morning and I'm kind of proud of it. I wonder what people who are familiar with Wyoming would think of it, though:

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=26007.msg2554063#msg2554063
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2020, 11:27:31 PM »

Speed cameras under consideration in Wyoming

https://oilcity.news/wyoming/legislature/2020/12/14/wyoming-steering-toward-automatic-speeding-cameras-would-raise-an-extra-7-2-million-in-fine-collections/

Quote
The Wyoming Legislature is considering joining other states in authorizing the use of “automated vehicle identification systems” to enforce speed limits and other traffic laws. ...

The Wyoming Department of Transportation “has indicated that if these systems are fully implemented along I-80, I-25, Teton Pass, and in construction zones and school zones, the potential revenue increase from collections for citations could be up to $7.2 million per year,” according to the Legislative Service Office. ...

The Wyoming Legislature will consider Senate File 03 during their up-coming general session (in January 2021). Under the proposal, systems which “simultaneously record a photograph of the vehicle, the operator of the vehicle and the license plate of the vehicle” could be used to enforce traffic laws.

“Recordings or images may be entered into evidence for a speed limit violation, size or weight limit violation or other violation that endangers contractors or employees in a school or construction zone and may be discoverable for other criminal actions,” the proposed legislation states.

The legislation would require that signage be posted “in a conspicuous place not fewer than three hundred (300) feet before the area in which the automated vehicle identification device is to be operated notifying the traveling public that an automated vehicle identification device is in use immediately ahead.”
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #72 on: December 14, 2020, 11:45:17 PM »

Hopefully this dies a nice fast death and turns into an all out ban in automated traffic enforcement.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #73 on: January 04, 2021, 10:22:33 AM »

Hopefully this dies a nice fast death and turns into an all out ban in automated traffic enforcement.

But this is the authoritarians' wet dream of the future and it is just a plus to them that it would secure more funding for the government.  With the way things have been as of late (unless the public starts standing up for liberty en masse) this is our destiny along with a tax for miles driven.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2021, 09:45:50 PM »

This article discusses stolen and rearranged traffic signs found on several Park County roads near Powell, Wyoming, notably on several east-west county roads: lanes 9, 10, 11 and 11H. These lanes are typically signed with the typical county pentagon sign (M1-6) with the prefix L for lane followed by the numerical designation.

More info on their county system is at
http://www.parkcounty.us/publicworks/publicworks.html.

Article:
https://www.powelltribune.com/stories/more-road-signs-stolen,28753?

Quote
Over one week in December, 10 signs, 22 traffic cones and two sign stands went missing, with other signs rotated sideways or upside down, the department said.

“It’s been really bad lately,” Park County Engineer Brian Edwards told county commissioners on Tuesday.

He thinks some of the trouble (such as the rotated signs) can be attributed to “youth mischief.” Meanwhile, the signs that were stolen cost more than $500 to replace — and that doesn’t include the cost of having workers reinstall them, Edwards said.

“It adds up,” he said.

In a Facebook post last month, Edwards wrote that, beyond the replacement costs, “missing traffic signs can be dangerous for motorists.”
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Regards,
Andy

www.aaroads.com

 


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