By: Clif Warren, CTAI District 1 Mobility Manager
An Aha Moment is something we have all experienced. It is the manifestation of life experiences and ideas coming together in a flash of awareness. It usually happens to me while I am driving. There is nothing like the monotony of the road slipping under you to allow your brain the freedom to randomly assemble the bits and pieces of information that have built up over time. You start thinking about a situation or problem when suddenly you realize you have the solution and, if you are lucky, a golden opportunity.
From where do the bits and pieces of information come? They come from everywhere. They come from people you talk to; from the articles you read; from listening at meetings; from the barista at the coffee shop; from something a teacher said in high school; they could even come from watching your dog run across the yard. The come from literally everything you have experienced at anytime in your life.
Of course, most Aha Moments come from bits and pieces that are somewhat related.
What does this have to do with Mobility? Well, it has a great deal to do with my job as a Mobility Manager. I am constantly gathering bits and pieces. I am talking to County Commissioners, Mayors and City Council Members. I am attending community meetings. I talk to social service agency representatives. I read local news. I get hundreds of emails a week. I note the funding opportunities passed along by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). I hear the needs that individuals express. I listen to the gossip. I look at Federal Transit Administration Circulars and ITD policies on the internet. I try to remember the casual remark that stands out as something unusual. I am learning the community; their strengths, their weaknesses, their needs and their assets. All of it is bits and pieces that come together to form the Aha Moment. That time when I can assemble just the right combination to improve the mobility of the people in District 1.
Things happen all around the state because of this process. Good things. Things that would not happen if people like me were not out in the community gathering and connecting bits and pieces.