Broadcasting Oregon's Heritage Along US101
Historic Preservation/Cultural Resources
Community & Cultural Concerns
Research Idea Scope
Establish a Travelers Information Stations (TIS) at up to nine existing Highway Advisory Radios (HAR) along US101 in Oregon (Figure 1). A typical TIS utilizes ODOT’s HAR to provide the traveling public with warnings, advisories, directions, and non-commercial messages on their AM/FM car radio. The proposed TIS would provide the traveling public with a variety of heritage-related educational messages via their radio. Signs posted at two locations along US101, a Scenic Byway, would alert drivers to tune their radio to a certain frequency to listen to the broadcasts. Research would provide an opportunity to test the feasibility and applicability of TIS dedicated to historic preservation, and would be the first of its kind in Oregon.
Urgency and Payoff
HAR are an underused and creative media to educate the traveling public about Oregon’s heritage. TIS would reach a much larger audience than compared to traditional interpretive signs and would eliminate costs associated with right-of-way acquisition for, and construction of, interpretive signs. TIS also avoid safety concerns associated with vehicular access to interpretive signs along US101. Messages would be broadcast continuously, except in cases such as severe weather, emergency traffic advisories, or during road construction. Multiple messages could be revised and changed over time, creating a ‘living broadcast. ODOT has not attempted this type of public outreach for historic preservation. HAR offers a unique opportunity to connect with Oregon residents and national/ international visitors. Nearly limitless heritage topics and educational benefits are possible. ODOT has a network of existing HAR across Oregon. TIS could be incorporated at other existing HAR locations and as new HAR locations are established.
Kurt Roedel, Oregon Department of Transportation