Something Good: Behind The Signs With ODOT

Wednesday, August 26th 2020, 7:25 pm
By: Brian Mueller


The Oklahoma Department of Transportation wants you to know something -- "Government has a little bit of a personality," said ODOT's Terri Angier.

And one of the ways they express it, is through their highway signs. Sometimes timely and topical, but always comical.

"Keep it brief and to the point and clever, so it gets the message, but doesn't cause drivers to have to wonder, what did that mean?" Angier said.

The idea behind the messages is to bring awareness to safe driving in work zones. It's called Work Zone Wednesdays, and they’ve been doing it for the past 5 years.

And the people with the ideas for the messages are a small group of eight to ten creative ODOT employees.

They have pitch meetings once every two months.

"Only about 10-15% of the ideas make it," said Angier.

Lately the group has been meeting on Zoom, sharing their ideas for fall holidays and events.

While Angier said there are no bad ideas, there were some early teaching moments.

"Early on as we were learning, we put something about the song, it was a pop culture entry, of merge, merge, merge. And that confused people because they were trying to merge."

While Rihanna didn't work out, Drake proved to be their greatest hit yet.

When people were dancing to his song "In My Feelings" outside of cars became a thing nationally, ODOT came up with a sign to encourage people to stay in their cars.

It also garnered national attention.

ODOT said they have 60 signs, which means every Wednesday, they reach roughly three million drivers.