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This section presents a summary of each of the four pilot communities based on geography, and for the NTPP, their objectives, planning approach, types of projects to be implemented, achievements to date, and their next steps.
As communities approached NTPP implementation, they were encouraged to consider the following themes (which complement the topics articulated in the legislation):
Table 2.1 on the following page offers a snapshot of NTPP implementation from program inception through summer 2007.
|City of Columbia||Marin County||City of Minneapolis||Sheboygan County|
|Status of Plans for Projects||
|Approach to Management||
|Existing Bike/Ped Facilities||
|Project Selection Criteria||
|Leveraged Funds / Prospects for Leveraging Funds||
For More Information: www.GoColumbiaMO.com/PedNet_Project
With a population of less than 100,000 residents, Columbia, Missouri, is the smallest of the four pilot communities. The city is home to the University of Missouri-Columbia, a major research university. Thus, median age in this pilot community is the youngest of all four pilots, hovering around 27 years old.
Like the other three pilot communities, more than 85 percent of the city's 45,000-person workforce commutes by vehicle (either alone or in carpools). However, of the four pilots, Columbia experiences the highest share of workers who commute by walking (7 percent). Columbia's existing network of trails, well-organized bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, and dense downtown make the city a good candidate for innovative nonmotorized infrastructure and educational activities.
Columbia's aim in implementing the pilot program is to spark behavior change. The infrastructure aspects of the project will complement promotion and educational programming to motivate individuals to move from all-auto use to walking and bicycling for recreation, and then to walking and bicycling for utilitarian travel, enhancing skills and competency in the process. Infrastructure complements educational activities by providing safe facilities (on and off road) that allow this to happen.
Columbia has leveraged existing community support for nonmotorized transportation by working with established community bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups. The city has named its nonmotorized pilot project the PedNet Project, and created a Web site to distribute information about the project: www.GoColumbiaMO.com/PedNet_Project.
The PedNet Project is advised by committee members representing a cross-section of stakeholders, including bicycle and pedestrian advocates, transportation decision-makers, and community activists (Figure 2.1). In addition to producing two planning documents to generate ideas for infrastructure and educational programs and projects, the PedNet Project has incorporated program evaluation into its management approach. While the city will take part in the larger four-community NTPP evaluation activities, it has opted to lead its own manual and automated counts of users on bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
The PedNet program's managers and advisory committees developed criteria for evaluating the value of infrastructure and promotional/educational projects. Two plans were developed that outline the multi-year effort to expand facilities and promotional campaigns. The draft October 2006 Promotion and Education plan describes a range of projects and activities from traditional public involvement to targeted education. The goal of those types of projects is behavior change, and specifically, encouraging individuals to get out of their cars and use their feet to walk or pedal for errands or even to go to work. Programs, events, and classes will directly promote this change.
Projects to be supported in 2007 are described in the table on the following page (other planning documents discuss possible 2008 projects). PedNet's March 2007 Infrastructure Working Plan identifies priority projects including sidewalks, pedestrian walkways, trails and similar facility projects. Columbia is planning for 100 miles of new bikeways and sidewalks, 19 miles of new paths and trails (added to an existing 25 miles), 66 more miles of streets with striped bike lanes (there are currently 28 miles), and 23 miles of streets with bike routes marked on the streets. The community is also undertaking several "Bike Boulevard" demonstration projects, and plans to add nine miles of priority sidewalks and "pedways."
Only those projects listed as "Priority 1" are described below (Table 2.2). Columbia's plan includes many Priority 2 and Priority 3 infrastructure projects. Bicycle lanes will be the first projects to be implemented, starting in summer 2007. Because of right-of-way acquisition needs, few new paths will be opened before the fall of 2008.
|Infrastructure||Deemed highest priority projects|
|Education||Funded; starting in 2007|
|Public Awareness||Funded; starting in 2007|
|Encouragement and Support||Funded; starting in 2007|
|Assessments / Surveys||Funded; starting in 2007|
|Wayfinding||Funded; starting in 2007|
Columbia has identified two "signature" projects that are proposed for the city's bikeway network. These projects, described in the Infrastructure Working Plan are:
Clinkscale to Cosmos I-70 overpass bridge: This pedestrian bridge connecting the north-side residential developments to the core city area via a multi-use path thru Cosmos Park and along Bear Creek could be a signature bridge since it is also the entrance to Columbia from the west.
Douglass School - Providence Pedestrian Overpass and Flatbranch Park Pedway connection: The existing pedestrian overpass is neither compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) nor bike compatible, and is rarely used. This concrete eyesore can be upgraded to be "wheel compliant" by replacing the span, adding ramps and at the same time making it attractive. It could be a signature entrance to downtown Columbia - while at the same time visually promoting the PedNet transportation initiative. If done right, it will become a major bicycle and pedestrian feeder, extending the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Rail Trail (MKT) from Flatbranch Park to Douglass Park and the Housing Authority complex.
Innovative non-infrastructure projects include:
Social Marketing: Mass media marketing (radio spots, possible ads in publications, etc.), such as the recent radio and poster campaign conducted by the Health Dept., would be targeted at specific audiences to create "a buzz" and promote and generate interest in the program.
With two plans already developed, the PedNet Project is moving into the implementation phase, and will work this year to begin design and construction for new infrastructure projects. The PedNet Project will continue to work closely with its advisory committees and subcommittees to complete and evaluate projects identified for 2007, and develop strategies to implement projects identified for 2008.
For More Information: www.WalkBikeMarin.org
Marin County, CA
Marin County, in the San Francisco Bay Area, is home to almost 250,000 residents spread throughout the County's 520 square miles (note that most residents are concentrated in 121 square miles in eastern urbanized portion of the County). Marin County is the second largest pilot community (in land area and population), and approximately three-fourths of Marin's 126,000-person workforce commutes by car, van, or carpool.
The County boasts many miles of bicycle lanes, multi-use trails, and signed routes throughout Marin's neighborhoods, and benefits from a temperate climate, making it possible for residents to bike or walk year-round. Countywide plans are in place to construct new - and enhance existing - facilities, and implement new educational and promotional campaigns.
Marin County and its eleven incorporated communities are all eligible to participate in the NTPP. Nearly all of the communities have adopted bicycle and/or pedestrian plans. These plans are being updated and recommend new bicycle facilities and infrastructure development, along with promotion and education about bicycling and walking options. The goals of Marin's NTPP are similar to those identified by the other pilot communities - the County has funded projects that it believes will realize shifts towards nonmotorized modes of transportation, and increases in ridership on buses and ferries. Broadly, the community is committed to the program's core themes: safety, health and physical activity, connections to transit and community facilities, improved planning process and policies, and public awareness.
Marin County has leveraged its designation as a pilot community to create "Walk Bike Marin," an initiative designed to manage the nonmotorized program, and share information about the County's bicycle and pedestrian projects. Information is available to stakeholders and the public at www.WalkBikeMarin.org.
The Marin County Department of Public Works, through Walk Bike Marin, manages the program (Figure 2.2). In 2006, Marin's Director of Public Works appointed a 19-member advisory committee composed of transportation, business, and health professionals, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, public works and planning staff, senior and disabled advocates, education and environmental advocates, a city manager, and others.
Committee members participated in multiple committee meetings and two community workshops, assisted in the development of the project and program scoring and ranking methodology, solicited feedback from their respective constituencies, and presented a recommended schedule of projects and programs to be considered for funding. The approach was designed to expand opportunities to engage the public in the planning process, and to strengthen policy discussions about nonmotorized transportation.
Because the focus of the program is to encourage use of bicycles or walking instead of driving, selected projects are located in the urbanized eastern corridor of the county, and are not of a primarily recreational nature. It is anticipated that infrastructure projects will be constructed by the end of 2009 so that their effects can be measured in 2010. Educational programs are being initiated in 2007.
Marin County's project list distinguishes "primary network" infrastructure projects from "countywide" infrastructure projects or "local network/feeder" projects. Generally, the primary network consists of alignments along major north-south and east-west corridors. These include old railroad grades, paths along major waterways, and paths and/or bike lanes on key arterial streets. Countywide projects include bicycle racks and lockers, striping and signage projects, intersection improvement, and steps, lanes, and paths that will be implemented at multiple locations, and can be efficiently constructed through consolidated contracting. Local/Feeder projects tie into the primary network, but serve smaller neighborhoods or activity nodes. These are the local serving routes that may or may not provide through-connections to primary routes or destinations.
Next, non-infrastructure programs are categorized as 1) resources, 2) education, 3) public awareness, or 4) incentives. Finally, some projects focus exclusively on planning activities, such as a corridor study.
On April 17, 2007, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a funding program which allocated the full $20 million assumed for the Pilot, once obligation limits, national program obligations, and local implementation costs are subtracted. The list of funded projects and programs appears below (Table 2.3).
|Infrastructure||All projects are funded|
|Planning||All studies are funded|
|Education||All programs are funded|
|Public Awareness||All programs are funded|
|Resources||All programs are funded|
|Incentives||All programs are funded|
* A "Class I" facility provides "a completely separated right of way for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians with cross flow by motorists minimized." (Caltrans Highway Design Manual at http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/oppd/hdm/pdf/english/chp1000.pdf.)
** A "Class II" facility provides a striped lane for one-way bike travel on a street or highway." (See Caltrans Highway Design Manual at http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/oppd/hdm/pdf/english/chp1000.pdf.)
Particularly innovative projects include the Personal Travel Planning effort, which aims to provide targeted education and consultation to thousands of households in Marin County interested in making nonmotorized transportation a larger share of their overall travel behavior. Marin County will also leverage pilot funds to complete substantial portions of the North-South Greenway, a long envisioned corridor running the length of the county along the railroad right-of-way, parallel to Highway 101, creating a safe, flat and direct pathway that will be separated from cars except for a few at-grade crossings. The North-South Greenway will provide access to all major transit centers, including bus stops, the two ferry terminals, and the planned stops for SMART, Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit. The corridor has been planned as a rail-with-trail north of Larkspur.
Walk Bike Marin has successfully worked with its consultants to collect background information and prepare initial working documents and maps. Now that the Board of Supervisors has adopted a funding plan, capital project development and program implementation are underway. The County and local partner agencies have adopted agreements, while preliminary design and environmental review are being initiated to meet the target completion date of the end of 2009 for capital projects.
For More Information: www.TLCMinnesota.org
Minneapolis Area, MN
The City of Minneapolis is the most densely populated of the four pilot communities, with nearly 400,000 residents occupying 55 square miles. Most projects will be located in Minneapolis, though projects will also be considered along corridors leading into Minneapolis in 14 adjacent urban and suburban municipalities, the metropolitan airport, and a state park. The combined population of those adjoining communities is 550,000. Of the four pilot communities, Minneapolis experiences the highest share of non-vehicular commuting, with 17 percent of trips on foot and bicycle and four percent on public transit (2000 Metropolitan Council Travel Behavior Inventory). Transit for Livable Communities plans to increase the share of biking, walking, and transit ridership in the Minneapolis area through strategic infrastructure and educational investments, supported by the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program.
The objectives of the Minneapolis pilot "Bike/Walk Twin Cities" mirror those in the three other pilot communities. The region is primarily concerned with testing how infrastructure improvements, combined with planning, public education, and promotion, can increase walking and biking, and reduce driving. More broadly, the community is focused on health and physical activity, safety, connections to transit, shifts in planning process and policy, and public awareness. These themes guide program management and project selection processes.
Transit for Livable Communities (TLC), a Twin Cities-based4 non-profit and non-partisan organization, was identified in the Conference Report on SAFETEA-LU to manage the pilot program. TLC is governed by a Board of Directors and the organization is dedicated to realizing a balanced transportation system that encourages transit, walking, biking, and transit-oriented development. The organization has more than 10 years of research, education, and community organizing experience; TLC currently has three FTE staff and several contractors assisting with the NTPP.
TLC is working closely with public-sector partners, including FHWA, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Minneapolis, and the Metropolitan Council5. TLC has a fiscal agency relationship with the City of Minneapolis. The TLC Board has established a 26-member committee composed of representatives from neighborhood organizations, non-profits, businesses, public officials, citizen activists, and agency partners to advise it on implementation of the program over the 4 years of the pilot (Figure 2.3). The Bike-Walk Advisory Committee meets monthly and is organized into three subcommittees - all meetings are open to the public. The organization's Web site also provides program updates at: www.TLCMinnesota.org.
In early 2007, TLC issued the first of two solicitations ("Requests for Applications") to provide approximately $7.3 million for projects in three categories: planning, operations, and infrastructure, with the largest share (approximately $5 million) allocated for infrastructure projects (which included the sub categories "livable streets," "off road facilities," and "pedestrian districts/plazas").
In April 2007, TLC received 67 applications requesting a total of $28.5 million. Those applications were reviewed and scored by a consultant team and in June 2007, the TLC Board selected a slate of projects. This included $300,000 in planning grants; $2,008,400 in operations grants; and $4,584,000 in infrastructure grants for a total of $6,892,400. While there were few pedestrian-focused applications in this round, there will be more emphasis on pedestrian initiatives in direct awards and subsequent solicitations. As one form of technical assistance and support toward this end, TLC is sponsoring a pedestrian planning workshop for Minneapolis and adjoining communities in summer 2007.
Two projects have been funded through a Direct Award6 process, and others have been funded through a traditional competitive process (Table 2.4).
TLC is committed to funding innovative and significant projects that can serve as models in other communities; these innovative projects include:
TLC has been successful at coordinating a diverse advisory committee, preparing solicitation materials, and selecting innovative projects designed to meet stated goals and objectives. In May 2007, TLC staff completed a needs assessment to examine current levels of bicycling and walking, analyze barriers and impediments to nonmotorized transportation, and identify opportunities for improvement. In 2006, TLC began quarterly counts of bicyclists and pedestrians at locations across Minneapolis.
Moving forward, TLC will 1) administer at least one more round of grant funding for operations and infrastructure projects, 2) develop an awareness/education campaign, 3) sponsor a series of workshops and seminars, and 4) continue to work closely with the other three pilot communities to track changes in nonmotorized transportation activity.
For More Information: www.co.Sheboygan.WI.us
Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, located on the western shores of Lake Michigan, is the second largest pilot communities in land area, covering more than 500 square miles. A mid-sized region with a Census 2000 population of approximately 110,000, Sheboygan County is composed of 15 townships, 10 villages and 3 cities - the largest of which is the City of Sheboygan, with a population of 60,000.
The County (administered by a County Board of 34 representatives) will disburse, through its Joint Resources and Transportation Committee (JRTC), approximately $6.25 million for nonmotorized projects in each of the four program years (2006-2010). With a workforce of nearly 60,000 - with more than 90 percent commuting by motor vehicle - Sheboygan County has an opportunity to advance mode shifts through a combination of infrastructure projects and public education campaigns.
Program implementation in Sheboygan is motivated by the belief that a complementary set of infrastructure projects and public education projects can change attitudes and behaviors, and realize mode shift. The County's stated goals for the program center on the NTPP's themes: safety, accessibility and connections to community and public facilities, and policy shifts. Other critical themes adopted by pilot communities include health and physical activity, and raising public awareness of nonmotorized transportation. Planning documents clearly state program objectives and implementation strategies.
The Sheboygan County Board of Supervisors designated the Sheboygan County JRTC to oversee the program (Figure 2.4). In addition to the JRTC, the County Planning and Resources Department has hired two full-time employees and dedicated an additional staff person at 30 percent time to administer the grant for the County. The Department plans to hire summer interns as needed.
In March 2006, the JRTC appointed a Citizens Advisory and Technical Committee (CATC) from a field of 53 applicants. The CATC has 30 members from a variety of backgrounds and interests including transportation, education, health care, local businesses, chambers of commerce/tourism, local units of government, bicycle enthusiasts, and the general public. CATC members and staff review project applications, and the CATC makes project funding recommendations to the JRTC. To date, CATC volunteers have contributed the equivalent of one-year of a full-time employee's time to the NTPP effort.
Among other accomplishments, the CATC finalized its project selection criteria, which were approved by the JRTC. This is a crucial step in setting up an equitable process to review proposals.
Another major accomplishment was the creation of the County's Pedestrian and Bicycle Comprehensive Plan 2025, which is designed to provide an action plan for implementing the NTPP, and also to provide a basis for decision-making for the future. The plan, which was developed with stakeholder input, provides a blueprint for the expansion of Sheboygan County's nonmotorized transportation facilities. Completion of the comprehensive plan was a critical first step in formalizing strategic priorities and identifying potential projects.
As part of a commitment to public involvement, the County issues periodic newsletters to provide updates and information about the NTPP. These newsletters, which are distributed to interested stakeholders by e-mail, are also available through the Sheboygan County Web site: www.co.sheboygan.wi.us
Sheboygan County's Comprehensive Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan identified more than 10 types of infrastructure projects - from sidewalks to shared use paths or trails - located in a broad range of neighborhoods, villages, and urban areas. The majority of the projects will enhance or extend existing infrastructure, or create new facilities throughout the County.
The County's application for program funds classifies three types of projects: 1) infrastructure, 2) education, and 3) promotion. In addition to sorting projects into these categories, the pilot community distinguishes projects that are especially innovative, and those that will impact planning and policy related to nonmotorized transportation. Table 2.5 provides a breakdown of projects selected to date.
Five projects are especially innovative, or could not have advanced without the support of the NTPP. These include:
|Infrastructure||All projects are funded|
|Education / Promotion||All projects are funded|
|Planning / Research / Policy||Funded|
Applying for a design exception from MUTCD7 for using chevron pavement markings on shared roadways (Infrastructure).
Working to create a targeted marketing campaign to encourage use of nonmotorized transportation (Education/Promotion).
Implementing the "Walk to School Initiative." On April 20, 2007, the City of Sheboygan Falls School District recorded that almost half of the elementary school students participated in the first Walk to School Day. The Village of Kohler held a concurrent event on the same day (Education/Promotion).
The County Planning and Resources Department has teamed with the University of Wisconsin Extension service to staff a table at the Sheboygan County Fair, to promote the NTPP (Education/Promotion).
Providing a resolution for municipalities to sign in support of incorporating pedestrian and bicycle facilities into their transportation planning process (Planning/Policy/Research).
The management and implementation approach has been successful thus far, and has involved a spectrum of stakeholders in the project identification and implementation process. For example, the County Planning and Resources staff has worked closely with Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission, the Sheboygan Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and the FHWA to amend the current Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) to include many new nonmotorized infrastructure projects.
Moving forward, the County will continue to work with the CATC to identify and implement new infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects.
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