Monday, April 28, 2014

Ospreys v. Maryland Transportation Authority

Maryland public enemy #1 Easter week and the "test stick"
Thank you wtop.com and the Maryland Transportation Authority for the week's worth of entertainment. 

Start at the bottom of the page and scroll up to read the whole live blog.
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You know the scenario.  An "executive decision" is made by a "protected" entity.
They won't budge from that decision.
The decision messes up a bunch of activities for another part of the organization.
They are persistent.
Worse - they won't budge.
So what do you do?
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During Easter weekend, a pair of ospreys decided to build a nest in front of a traffic camera by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

For a bird, it is an awesome location.  Stable, bayside view, easy access to hunting grounds...

They weren't entirely crazy about the camera, but other than becoming reality TV stars - everything was perfect.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) had an entirely different view. They weren't crazy about the ospreys blocking their view of the cars going towards the Bay Bridge.
"It's an expensive camera!"
"It's a public safety issue!"
"The ospreys, osprey eggs, nest etc might fall into the road!"

The battle was on!
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Round 1: After consulting with "specialists" about what they can and can't do to the protected entity, MDTA removes the nest.  Ospreys rebuild in the same location early the next day.

Round 2: Hoping to catch the issue before the nest is as large as the one they just removed - MDTA removes the nest.  Since the Ospreys are protected, and since they realized very quickly that the birds really really like the spot - MDTA goes back to the "specialists" to figure out what to do if the Ospreys come back.

If the solution is too different from the solution the protected entity (the Ospreys) have determined is the correct one, it will be rejected.

Meanwhile - MDTA prays the Ospreys don't come back.

The Ospreys rebuild in the same location.

Round 3: MDTA removes the nest.  A few hours later, one of the Ospreys place a "test stick" on the camera (see above).  MDTA removes the test stick.  They also start work with the specialists to build a more desirable platform to "entice" the Ospreys into moving. 

All is quiet until......

Round 4: The Ospreys have started building on the OTHER camera on that gantry!

MDTA's comment: “I can safely say this wasn’t expected from anyone.”

Thankfully - MDTA and the "specialists" have finished their alternate solution and mounted it.  They hoped that it met the requirements of the protected entity:
- Near the desired area / solution (check)
- Baseline support structure for the nest (check)
- Away from the traffic cameras (check)

During all of this, there was a public outcry for the "protected entity".

They carefully moved the new nest from the Osprey's second chosen location to what MDTA hoped would be the desired location (the new platform).

Then, they waited.....


MDTA even put in a camera setting for "Osprey Cam!"  - taking a recommendation from the comment feed.
That will be turned on Mon - Thurs noon - 12:15.

MDTA gets to continue watching the traffic.
Public gets to watch the Ospreys.
Ospreys get a safe and desirable place to nest.

After a few days of drama....everyone wins.

And like any organizational conflict - it took all parties "listening" to each other.


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