DES MOINES – Iowa’s transportation chief said Thursday his agency plans to print state road maps once every two years rather than annually beginning in the fiscal 2016 budget year.
Paul Trombino III, director of the state Department of Transportation, said normally about 1.4 million transportation maps get printed each year but that number will dip in the current budget year to about 600,000 that get printed in March due to funding constraints. He asked Gov. Terry Branstad on Thursday to increase the map request by $79,000 in fiscal 2014 to produce about 1.2 million maps and by $82,000 in fiscal 2015, after which DOT officials will switch to two-year printing cycle.
“It is a net reduction as you run the numbers out,” he said.
How supplies last this fiscal year will depend on demand, Trombino said. He noted that people increasingly rely on global positioning systems (GPS) in vehicles for directions and finding locations and they have the option of downloading the transportation map from the department’s web site as well.
“This will be a reduction in maps that we have in stock over the next year or two so we may run out,” he told the governor. “There still is a lot of push for having the paper map, and part of it gets to that a lot of the communities and things that we place on the map, it’s hard to find them on a GPS unit.”
The DOT will continue to print a separate transportation map for bicycle enthusiasts but it also will shift to a two-year printing cycle in fiscal 2016.
Branstad noted that “Iowans do feel strongly about their map,” which he noted is produced using soy ink and recycled paper.