Expanding landowner adoption of snow control measures to improve public safety and achieve cost savings through a better understanding of landowner knowledge

Principal Investigator(s):

Dean Current, Director, CINRAM, Forest Resources


Project summary:

Previous research demonstrated the ability of snow fences to significantly lower both public and private costs related to the control of blowing and drifting snow. Follow-up research specifically addressed the knowledge of MnDOT staff, and attitudes and practices related to the promotion and implementation of snow control measures. These efforts identified a need for a better understanding of landowners' knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to snow control measures to develop more effective outreach and foster the adoption of snow control measures. Researchers identified four regions of the state with highway corridors that have snow problems. In each region, the research team carried out listening sessions with landowners and MnDOT personnel, and--based on those sessions while applying the KAP (knowledge, attitudes and practices) methodology--designed a landowner survey to explore landowner knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to snow problems and the willingness of landowners to implement snow fences to address the problems. The survey was carried out once prior to an outreach effort and then again after the outreach effort to measure any changes in landowner knowledge, attitudes, and practices resulting from the effort. The research team found that landowners were generally not aware of MnDOT's program to address snow problems and were able to identify constraints to adoption as well as incentives that might be required to promote adoption. Researchers also identified the most acceptable channels for outreach to landowners, as well as better ways to structure the MnDOT program to address constraints identified by landowners and provide both the assistance and incentives needed to promote greater adoption.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2019009
  • Start date: 06/2018
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Safety, Snow and ice control