Welcome to Your New Sign
Jan. 8, 2015: Virginia is for...well, you know the rest.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe was joined by Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Grindly Johnson, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones, Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick, CEO and President of the Virginia Tourism Corporation Rita McClenny, and President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Jack Potter at the unveiling of the new “Welcome to Virginia” sign at Dulles International Airport.
The design is consistent with Virginia Tourism Corporation’s familiar “Virginia is for Lovers” branding and logo, and will welcome travelers with a clean, modern aesthetic.
VDOT's Richmond District sign shop fabricated the newly designed sign, which will gradually start appearing at all 105 interstate gateways to the commonwealth. The welcome signs should all be updated by the July 4 holiday.
“The newly designed signs present a fresh new aesthetic to travelers entering the commonwealth, one that reflects Virginia’s modernity but also our rich traditions,” said Aubrey Layne, secretary of transportation. “Every year motorists travel 81 billion miles on Virginia highways. VDOT worked in record time to begin replacing these signs.”
The iconic “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan celebrated its 45th anniversary last year. The slogan was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009, and was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the top 10 advertising campaigns of all time.
Having Fun While Giving Back
Jan. 6, 2015: Seventeen million meals were delivered to hungry folks in the Richmond metropolitan region last year.
What’s even more impressive than that, Feed More’s community kitchen accomplishes this feat each year...with a little help from an army of volunteers.
Seven VDOT staff members from the Communications division recently pulled together to help out, donating an afternoon in the kitchen to pack about 500 bags of bread, fruit, juice and milk that are ultimately matched with another meal.
Their efforts go a long way in Feed More’s day-to-day operation according to Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Dovel.
"We definitely couldn’t do a full day’s production without volunteer groups like this from VDOT,” she said. “We would have been backed up and production slowed if you guys hadn’t been so generous in donating your time. We take volunteers seriously here as they are critical to our operations.”
But it’s not just the community that benefits.
“This is an annual fun event for us, and needed by so many deserving souls,” said Cartographic Supervisor Dwayne Altice, who has volunteered for the past three years at Feed More.
Career Fair Pays Off
Dec. 22, 2014: Brandon LeRose, a 10th grader at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, was surprised by one of the sponsors of VDOT’s annual Transportation Career Fair with a check for $500 during a presentation at the school.
LeRose was selected in a drawing of scorecards completed by students who attended the fair in October.
To be eligible for the drawing, students must visit every exhibitor and get the scorecard stamped by each.
Normally, the prize is $1,500, with $250 going to the student and $1,250 going to the career center at the student’s school.
Facchina Construction, one of this year’s participants and scorecard sponsors, decided $250 was not enough and doubled the prize.
The school is going to use their prize money to help pay for the buses and substitute teachers needed to attend the 2015 Career Fair.
Streetscape Enhancement Project Tour in Culpeper
Dec. 17, 2014: The Crozet community in western Albemarle County (VDOT's Culpeper District) had reason to celebrate recently, when the final phase of its streetscape enhancement project was completed.
A Nov. 20 dedication ceremony included a walking tour of improvements along three blocks of Route 240 (Crozet Avenue) from Three Notch’d Road to Tabor Street.
The tour provided a closer look at:
- Bike lanes
- Sidewalks and crosswalks
- Curb and gutter
- New storm drainage
- Street lighting
- Benches and other street amenities
- The relocation of overhead utilities
and the construction of the aptly named Library Avenue, which allows access to the newly constructed Crozet Library.
VDOT contributed $1.1 million to the project through the revenue-sharing and Transportation Alternatives programs.
At the dedication event, Albemarle County board member Ann Mallek said the project “will help foster economic vitality as well as preserve and accentuate the historic character of Downtown Crozet.”
“The project is a successful example of place-making in our urban areas, something that is very important to the county’s future.” said County Executive Tom Foley.
Holiday Spirit Visits the Gainesville Crew
Dec. 15, 2014: During the first week of December, a VDOT Gainesville area headquarters maintenance crew was replacing a culvert near the intersection of Route 15 and Logmill Road in the Northern Virginia District.
As a car passed through the work zone, it slowed and a woman lowered her window.
The crew wasn't sure what to expect. But, instead of asking when they would be done, the woman thanked them for their work they.
About 30 minutes later, she appeared again. This time, she brought more than a thank you. She had walked a half mile (the distance to the nearest house) to bring the crew hot chocolate in the rain.
“This doesn’t happen very often,” said crew leader Justin Earhart. “But when it does, it makes you feel that you are making a difference.”
“We've had acts of kindness like this before and hope to keep doing our best to receive them in the future, said Gainesville area headquarters Superintendent Kevin Kraus.
Safe Routes to School Program Promotes Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
Dec. 10, 2014: VDOT's Safe Routes to School program is celebrating some unsung individuals who make a big difference in Virginia’s communities.
Crossing Guard Appreciation Day is a statewide event devoted to saying "thank you" to those who help students cross the street safely on their way to and from school every day.
"While the Virginia Safe Routes to School program has designated the second Wednesday of February as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, schools and communities are encouraged to plan a day of appreciation that works best for them to recognize the valuable role crossing guards play in making safe routes to school a reality," said Robert Williams, Safe Routes to School Program coordinator.
Crossing guards across Virginia can be nominated via a short online form. Crossing guards can include police officers, volunteers, or teachers who routinely help students cross the street.
All nominees receive a certificate of appreciation, but the most compelling nominees will be posted on the Virginia Safe Routes to School website as one of Virginia's Most Outstanding Crossing Guards of 2014, and will also be featured in the spring newsletter.
Please share this information with friends and family of school-age children. Nominations due by Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.