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2006 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards

Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration

Cosponsored by the American Planning Association

A letter from
FHWA Administrator J. Richard Capka and
FTA Deputy Administrator Sandra K. Bushue

Congratulations to the winners of the 2006 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)/Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Transportation Planning Excellence Awards. We are pleased that the American Planning Association cosponsored this biennial awards program. These partnerships demonstrate the importance of working together to recognize outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices.

We applaud all of the wonderful projects that were nominated for these awards. The independent panel of judges had an awesome task of reviewing nominations and selecting the best of over 100 submittals within 12 categories.

Awards were granted to projects, processes, or groups that have made outstanding contributions to the field of transportation planning, based on the following criteria: Innovation; Community and Public Involvement; Partnership and Collaboration; Multimodalism; Equity; Sustainability; Demonstrated Results/Effectiveness/Replication; and category-specific considerations.

Award recipients were honored on July 9 at a ceremony held during the 2006 Transportation Research Board Joint Summer Meeting in La Jolla, California.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all of the winners of the 2006 FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Excellence Awards. We appreciate your efforts to go the extra mile to ensure that your transportation plans, processes and products demonstrate excellence and reflect the needs of the communities that we serve. Thanks to you, we now have more examples of exemplary planning to share with communities across the country.

Photograph of J. Richard Capka, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration
J. Richard Capka signature
J. Richard Capka

Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Photograph of Sandra K. Bushue, Deputy Administrator, Federal Transit Administration
Sandra K. Bushue signature
Sandra K. Bushue
Deputy Administrator
Federal Transit Administration

AWARD WINNERS

Over 100 projects were nominated within 12 categories. Thirteen projects received Awards, and another seven projects were recognized with Honorable Mentions.

Arizona Department of Transportation
Arizona Tribal Strategic Partnering Team

Chatham Urban Transportation Study-MPO for the Savannah, GA Region
Connecting Savannah: Moving People-
Making Neighborhoods

Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization,Cheyenne, WY
PlanCheyenne

Denver Regional Council of Governments-MPO for the Denver, CO Region
Metro Vision 2030 Planning and
Implementation Program

Florida Department of Transportation
Sociocultural Effects Evaluation Handbook

Maricopa Association of Governments-MPO for the Metropolitan Phoenix, AZ Region
Area Regional Transportation Plan

Massachusetts Highway Department
Bringing Context Sensitive Design to
Massachusetts Roads

Metropolitan Transportation Commission - MPO for the Nine-County San Francisco, CA Bay Area
Mobility for the Next Generation:
Transportation 2030 Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area
and
Transit Oriented Development Policy for Regional Transit Extensions

Minnesota Department of Transportation
Minnesota Performance-based Statewide and District Transportation Plans
and
Minnesota Statewide Freight Plan

New Jersey Department of Transportation
NJFIT: New Jersey Future in Transportation

New York Metropolitan Transportation Council - MPO for New York City, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley, NY Area
New York Best Practice Model (NYBPM)

Photograph of award winners and US DOT staff at the 2006 Transportation Research Board Joint Summer Meeting in La Jolla, California. Front row (L – R): Rob Ritter, Don Sneed, George Ballo, Dennis Smith, Luisa Paiewonsky, Cindy Burbank, Abigail McKenzie, Therese McMillan, Effie Stallsmith, Charlie Goodman. Back row (L – R):Matt Ashby, Bill Broderick, Tom Thomson, Brent Barnes, Jeff Lambert, Randy Halvorson, Kuo-Ann Chiao, and Jody McCullough.

Award winners and US DOT staff at the 2006 Transportation Research Board Joint Summer Meeting in La Jolla, California. Front row (L - R): Rob Ritter, Don Sneed, George Ballo, Dennis Smith, Luisa Paiewonsky, Cindy Burbank, Abigail McKenzie, Therese McMillan, Effie Stallsmith, Charlie Goodman. Back row (L - R):Matt Ashby, Bill Broderick, Tom Thomson, Brent Barnes, Jeff Lambert, Randy Halvorson, Kuo-Ann Chiao, Jody McCullough.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study - MPO for the Binghamton, NY Area
Transportation Tomorrow: 2030-
Placemaking for Prosperity

Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Coeur d'Alene, ID
Citylink

New Mexico Department of Transportation
I-40/Coors Design-Build Reconstruction Project: Aesthetics Public Involvement Program

Houston-Galveston Area Council-MPO for the Eight-County Houston-Galveston, TX Region
H-GAC Pedestrian-Bicyclist Special Districts Program

Michigan Department of Transportation
MI Travel Counts Household Travel Survey

Spartanburg Area Transportation Study-MPO for the Spartanburg, SC Area
Spartanburg Area Walkable Community Workshop Series

Washington State Department of Transportation
Washington Transportation Plan 2005 Update: Moving Freight

The projects and organizations recognized by the 2006 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards are models for the nation. The following pages highlight their accomplishments in hope of inspiring future transportation planning projects to meet the high standards set by these award winners.

About the Awards

The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration created the Transportation Planning Excellence Awards (TPEA) in 2004 to recognize outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. Awards are presented biennially. The TPEA Program is cosponsored by the American Planning Association.

The Categories

The Criteria

Nominations were reviewed by an independent panel of judges from across the transportation profession. Each nomination was evaluated using a number of criteria defined to address the multiple elements in transportation planning:

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Award Winners

Arizona Department of Transportation

Arizona Tribal Strategic Partnering Team

Arizona has a large Native American population, and there are 22 tribal governments in the state. Tribal land encompasses approximately 28% of Arizona's land base; some 1,350 miles of the State Highway System traverse it.

The Arizona Tribal Strategic Partnering Team (ATSPT) is a collaborative, ongoing effort initiated in 1999 through the efforts of the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the regional Tribal Technical Assistance Program, the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. ATSPT's purpose is to bring together representatives from state, tribal, federal, and local governments and agencies to address state-tribal-related transportation issues through planning and implementing interagency strategies. The ATSPT meets on a quarterly basis. Meetings are documented and the records distributed to participating agency representatives.

ATSPT brings together key tribal transportation stakeholders to partner on improving tribal, state, and federal coordination, cooperation, and consultation as outlined in current federal and state legislation and policy. By combining technical and financial resources, the representative agencies support one another in a unique, ongoing effort that ensures commitment to facilitating strategies that address tribal transportation issues.

Since its inception, ATSPT has continued to move forward with carrying out implementation strategies on a consistent basis. Quarterly meetings are convened to sustain momentum and ensure progress. In addition, three Arizona State-Tribal Regional Transportation Forums have been held to date. These and other efforts by the ATSPT have helped tribal, regional, and local governments acquire a better understanding of transportation programs and processes in Arizona. Participant input is currently being used by ATSPT to guide development for a state-tribal transportation consultation policy and process, a transportation resource guidebook for tribal government, and state-tribal relations training.

Contact:
Don Sneed
ADOT Senior Planner/Tribal Coordinator
Arizona Department of Transportation
Transportation Planning Division
206 South 17th Avenue, MD 310B
Phoenix, AZ 85007
602-712-8140
dsneed@azdot.gov

Website:
http://www.aztribaltransportation.com/atspt/

Photograph of the Arizona Tribal Strategic Partnering Team Members. Front row (L – R): Ysidro Solima, JamesYoung, Don Sneed, Joy Keller-Weidman, Myra Rothman,

ATSPT Members. Front row (L - R): Ysidro Solima, James Young, Don Sneed, Joy Keller-Weidman, Myra Rothman, David Silversmith. Back row (L - R): Ed Stillings, David Zimmerman, Jeff Swan, Nate Banks.

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Chatham Urban Transportation Study-MPO for the Savannah, GA Region

Connecting Savannah: Moving People-Making Neighborhoods

Issues with east-west mobility have been a long-standing concern for Savannah's residents, businesses, and visitors, threatening to diminish the region's quality of life, economic vitality, and tourism industry. In the past, local transportation officials undertook a number of engineering studies to understand and develop solutions for positive change. However, the studies repeatedly failed to garner public support due to insufficient public involvement. In February 2004, a new transportation planning process, called Connecting Savannah: Moving People - Making Neighborhoods, was initiated by the Chatham Urban Transportation Study to again explore options for east-west mobility, this time with extensive public involvement.

In order to engage Savannah's diverse populations and facilitate public understanding, the Connecting Savannah outreach effort first involved:
a branding campaign to make the project easy to recognize in a variety of formats;
a project website that was continuously updated; and
high-quality handouts, project fact sheets, brochures, visualization tools, and surveys.

As a result of the extensive outreach and additional multimedia publicity, over 300 people actively participated throughout the Connecting Savannah process. The participants included not only the representatives of transportation planning and implementation agencies and government officials but also community leaders, area residents, and a wide array of other interested parties.

The Connecting Savannah process provided the needed balance between structure and openness to generate meaningful discussion and dialogue. In addition to public meetings, neighborhood organizations hosted their own meetings and invited the Connecting Savannah project team to attend and discuss the issues.

The community widely embraced the proactive public involvement process; it has gained a better understanding of the transportation planning and project development process and will be able to provide more constructive input. Even those who may have not completely agreed with the final outcome felt that they had meaningful input throughout the process. To the MPO, the community support enabled the recommendations to move forward to the project development phase.

Contact:
Thomas L. Thomson, PE, AICP
Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan
Planning Commission
PO Box 8246
110 East State Street
Savannah, GA 31412-8246
912-651-1446
thomsont@thempc.org

Website:
http://www.thempc.org
Photograph of workshop participants viewing a map of Savannah.

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Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization, Cheyenne, WY

PlanCheyenne

PlanCheyenne, the Master Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Plan for the Cheyenne Urban Area, defines the Cheyenne area's future. It incorporates for the first time the community's separately developed Comprehensive Plan, Master Transportation Plan, and Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Created with the extensive involvement of citizens, city and county officials, and planners, PlanCheyenne represents a complete revamping of the region's approach to growing as a "community of choice."

PlanCheyenne follows a four-step building-block approach-Snapshot, Structure, Shape, and Build-that is common to all three component plans to ensure their close integration. The Community Plan is the core element of PlanCheyenne, addressing the overall community and its land use plan. It also lightly addresses transportation and parks issues but leaves the detail to the Transportation Master Plan and the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Public support is critical to the fostering of a successful plan, so broad partnerships were established with a variety of organizations. Creative strategies for public involvement included a new initiative with the local community college, where three professors agreed to structure their course curricula around PlanCheyenne. PlanCheyenne incorporates students' perspective on regional growth.

Bridging gaps between traditionally autonomous groups is the key to PlanCheyenne's success and ultimately to the future of the community in a competitive marketplace. Cheyenne is a small community with just two local government entities. However, PlanCheyenne recognized that a community council would be beneficial in bringing together the public, private, and non-profit sectors. The MPO is currently taking steps to formalize this community-wide organization.

PlanCheyenne has also served to elevate public awareness of the need for, and function of, professional community planning; residents, elected officials, and staff now understand that planning goes far beyond just zoning. PlanCheyenne has established a planning legacy to which the community can hold fast.

Contact:
Matt Ashby, AICP
Director of Urban Planning
Cheyenne MPO
2101 O'Neil Avenue, Room 309
Cheyenne, WY 82001
307-637-6271
mashby@cheyennecity.org

Website:
http://www.plancheyenne.com/

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Denver Regional Council of Governments-MPO for the Denver, CO Region

Metro Vision 2030 Planning and Implementation Program

More than 2.5 million people currently live in the nine-county Denver region, which is made up of over 50 cities and counties. By 2030, the population is expected to increase again by nearly 50% to 3.8 million; 800,000 new jobs will be created. Metro Vision 2030 is the region's comprehensive 25-year plan for managing this future growth, addressing development, transportation needs, and environmental quality. Bringing communities together to enhance the region's quality of life is the plan's most important goal.

Through Metro Vision 2030 and the associated Regional Transportation Plan, Regional Open Space Plan, and Clean Water Plan, several unique and innovative planning and implementation tools are being used to integrate transportation and land use at the local and regional levels. Local governments are cooperatively addressing growth, transportation, and environmental quality planning.

Metro Vision includes an innovative regional urban growth boundary/area and locally designated urban centers. Both strategies support transit facilities, directing and influencing the future transportation system. Comprehensive multimodal visions have also been established for 35 key corridors.

Other Metro Vision implementation tools include the Mile-High Compact, an innovative, regionwide, intergovernmental agreement. The new Integrated Regional Model is a cutting-edge effort designed to improve and further integrate land use and travel forecasting.

Finally, the competitive project selection system for federally funded transportation projects in the six-year Transportation Improvement Program employs project-ranking criteria to encourage both community and project-level implementation of Metro Vision growth, development, and multimodal policies.

Contact:
Jennifer Schaufele, Executive Director
Denver Regional Council of Governments
4500 Cherry Creek Drive South
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80246-1531
303-455-1000
jschaufele@drcog.org

Website:
http://www.drcog.org

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Florida Department of Transportation

Sociocultural Effects Evaluation Handbook

Florida is facing unprecedented growth and development. Transportation facilities will have to be developed, and existing facilities improved, in order to meet the increasing demand for safe and efficient travel throughout the state. These transportation activities will affect the natural, built, and human environments.

The Florida Department of Transportation Sociocultural Effects Evaluation Handbook was developed to enable the identification and assessment of the effects of prospective transportation actions on communities and their quality of life. The Handbook's objectives are to provide transportation enhancements to livability and to avoid, minimize, or mitigate potentially negative consequences of transportation actions on community resources.

The Handbook describes the process of analyzing the potential effects of a transportation project on a community in terms of social, economic, land use, mobility, aesthetics, and relocation issues, and determining if mitigation and/or avoidance measures are warranted. Sociocultural Effects Evaluation (SCE) begins at project planning and continues through construction and maintenance. The SCE process encourages integration of transportation and land use planning. It identifies and involves all potentially affected populations early in the project development and delivery process to provide for projects that balance the needs of transportation with those of the natural and human environment.

Evaluating sociocultural effects yields better understanding of community concerns and results in projects that better fit communities. Florida's SCE process served as the basis for the FHWA Community Impact Assessment training program that is now being presented extensively in other states and is the subject of widely offered Florida-specific training as well.

Contact:
George Ballo
Section Manager, Community Resources
Central Environmental Management Office M-37
Florida Department of Transportation
605 Suwannee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450
850-414-5259
George.ballo@dot.state.fl.us

Website:
http://www.dot.state.fl.us/emo/

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Maricopa Association of Governments-MPO for the Metropolitan Phoenix, AZ Region

Area Regional Transportation Plan

The $16 billion Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) changes the direction of transportation in the metropolitan Phoenix area from an almost exclusively car-centered approach to one significantly more multimodal, including $5 billion to expand bus and light rail service.

The Plan took four years to develop and required numerous technical studies in addition to extensive public participation. Strong partnerships were the backbone of the planning process. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) created the Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) to direct development of the Plan along with the Regional Council.

Another factor setting this effort apart is MAG's alteration of its governance process to allow business representatives to vote, creating community ownership of the Plan. Planning and leadership factors included the performance of comprehensive technical studies, a proactive public involvement process, and the advocacy of numerous elected officials and key business leaders, who vigorously supported the Plan within the legislature and in their home communities.

The TPC consists of a cross-section of MAG member agencies, community business representatives, and representatives from transit, freight, the Arizona Department of Transportation, Native American communities, and the Citizens Transportation Oversight Committee. The business community was a key stakeholder in the development of the RTP; during the process, the six business representatives often became the swing votes.

Planning and leadership were the crucial elements needed in getting public support, including legislative endorsement and voter approval of a half-cent sales tax to help fund the Plan.

Contact:
Eric J. Anderson
Transportation Director
Maricopa Association of Governments
302 North 1st Avenue
Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85003
602-254-6300
eanderson@mag.maricopa.gov

Website:
http://www.mag.maricopa.gov/

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Massachusetts Highway Department

Bringing Context Sensitive Design to Massachusetts Roads

The Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) began an effort in 2003 to overhaul its Design Manual. MassHighway had for years experienced project delays due to community opposition to its designs and/or to unforeseen environmental issues. Spurred by the Governor's Communities First Policy, MassHighway took a radically new approach this time by appointing a Task Force largely comprising local officials, planners, and advocacy and professional organizations to oversee the effort. This bold decision enhanced the agency's credibility with some of its strongest critics, who felt that the agency had favored drivers' desires over community concerns.

This decision to undertake a planning process overseen by outside interest groups was an innovative step never before tried at the agency. Previous agency revisions to the Manual were carried out by engineering staff along with limited participation by consultant engineers. The 1997 Manual, an essential guiding force behind the agency's day-to-day design decisions, had been seen as impervious to outside influence and as a pure engineering document. The decision to collaborate with outside, non-engineering representatives, including many who had been critical of the agency, signaled MassHighway's recognition that a radically new and broader, more collaborative approach was needed.

In 2006, MassHighway released the Project Development and Design Guidebook. The new Guidebook has significantly more flexible design standards, is strongly multimodal, incorporates community setting as a design factor, dramatically reshapes the project development process, and supports early planning and coordination to create safe, attractive roads. The Guidebook will make MassHighway projects more compatible with the state's rich historic, environmental, community, and cultural resources.

The Guidebook process has prompted MassHighway to take other steps to further this success. The agency has established multidisciplinary project development teams and appointed a bicycle/ pedestrian coordinator in each of its district offices to act as a liaison to communities. Finally, MassHighway has expanded its Project Review and Design Exception Committees to involve staff planners, historic preservation specialists, and environmental analysts in the holistic review of projects and their impacts.

Contact:
Luisa Paiewonsky, Commissioner
Massachusetts Highway Department
10 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116
617-973-7811
Luisa.Paiewonsky@MHD.state.ma.us

Website:
http://www.vhb.com/mhdGuide/mhd_GuideBook.asp

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Metropolitan Transportation Commission-MPO for the Nine-County San Francisco, CA Bay Area

Mobility for the Next Generation: Transportation 2030 Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area and Transit Oriented Development Policy for Regional Transit Extensions

Developed through an unprecedented public involvement effort that began in 2003 and involved thousands of Bay Area residents and transportation agencies, the Transportation 2030 Plan as adopted is a comprehensive roadmap for maintaining, fine-tuning, and expanding the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area's transportation network. The Plan articulates a vision of the Bay Area's transportation future and identifies three investment strategies to achieve it: adequate maintenance, system efficiency, and strategic expansion. The Plan sets forth dozens of calls to action that articulate how MTC and its partners can implement the long-range vision by raising revenues, enacting new laws, or rethinking old policies.

Among the Plan's many cutting-edge initiatives are the reintroduction of pricing signals into the transportation system via high-occupancy toll lanes, aggressive deployment of intelligent transportation technologies to squeeze more efficiency out of the region's existing transportation network, and a Lifeline Transportation Network to improve mobility options for low-income communities.

Contact:
Doug Kimsey
Director, Planning
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 - 8th Street
Oakland, CA 94607-4700
510-817-5790
dkimsey@mtc.ca.gov

Website: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/2030_plan/index.htm

To promote cost-effective transit, ease regional housing shortages, create vibrant communities, and preserve open space, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) adopted a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) policy in July 2005. The policy conditions the allocation of regional discretionary funds for transit expansion projects on supportive local land uses.

The first regional program of its kind nationwide, MTC's TOD policy sets land use development performance criteria in a manner that meets MTC's ridership, livability, and transit cost-effectiveness goals, yet allows local jurisdictions the flexibility to address regional land use goals in a way that supports local community policies.

MTC's TOD policy includes three key elements:
establishment of corridor-based housing density requirements around transit stations;
development of station area plans, funded in part with MTC funds; and
creation of corridor working groups to bring together key stakeholders to develop station-area plans to meet the TOD development thresholds.

Contact:
James Corless
Senior Planner
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 - 8th Street
Oakland, CA 94607-4700
510-817-5709
jcorless@mtc.ca.gov

Website:
http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/smart_growth/tod/ tod_background.htm

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Minnesota Department of Transportation

Minnesota Performance-based Statewide and District Transportation Plans and Minnesota Statewide Freight Plan

Minnesota's 2003 Statewide Transportation Plan and 2005 district-level plans comprise one of the nation's first comprehensive, performance-based state transportation planning efforts. The Statewide Plan sets a framework for long-range investment planning, with performance measures and targets in 10 policy areas. The district-level plans identify investment levels needed to meet targets and detail a prioritized, fiscally constrained 20-year implementation program. The statewide and district plans serve as the critical link between Mn/DOT's strategic goals and the capital investment program in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Mn/DOT employs regular performance monitoring to evaluate investment choices and adjust the state's investment program.

Through the creation of a Statewide Planning Steering Committee, the Statewide Plan was completed in consultation with other Minnesota state resource management and economic development agencies. Within Mn/DOT, functional groups, offices, divisions, and districts were actively brought into the process of identifying and shaping priority policies and measures. With adoption of the Statewide Plan in August of 2003, an agency-wide rollout and training process was conducted in preparation for the district-level planning to help ensure that throughout the organization there was thorough understanding of the Plan's policies and performance-based approach.

Contact:
Abigail McKenzie
Director
Investment Management Office
Minnesota Department of Transportation
395 John Ireland Boulevard-Mail Stop 440
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6194
abby.mckenzie@dot.state.mn.us

Website:
http://ihub.dot.state.mn.us/measures/index.html

The comprehensive, performance-based Minnesota Statewide Freight Plan creates a framework for communication with governmental and private sector transportation partners, including the Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee. This framework, which is highly integrated with the Minnesota Statewide Transportation Plan and other planning efforts by the State of Minnesota, articulates a clear freight policy for the state and also presents freight transportation strategies and measures.

The Freight Plan has enabled Mn/DOT to make significant advances in its coordination with federal agencies on a variety of freight transportation strategies. Additionally, the Plan is oriented toward innovative financing of freight transportation programs and projects, and public-private partnerships are encouraged as a way in which to implement and finance appropriate freight transportation projects.

Contact:
Cecil Selness
Director
Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations Office
Minnesota Department of Transportation
395 John Ireland Boulevard-Mailstop 470
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4888
cecil.selness@dot.state.mn.us

Website:
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ofrw/freight.html

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New Jersey Department of Transportation

NJFIT: New Jersey Future in Transportation

NJFIT: New Jersey Future in Transportation is a new paradigm for developing transportation projects in partnership with municipalities and other State agencies. It uses both corridor studies-called Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning Studies (ILUTP)-and the potential for designation as Transit Villages to help communities make intelligent land use and transportation decisions and mitigate growth in traffic demand.

ILUTP studies use visioning and other tools to develop a network of connected local streets, establish sensible land use patterns and walkable community street systems, ensure lasting transportation investments on State highways, and promote lively main streets.

A key element of the ILUTP studies is the empowerment of towns to partner with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and other State agencies, in particular the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth (OSG), to create a balanced transportation and land use plan for the community. In addition to the technical transportation resources provided by NJDOT, OSG provides grants and technical assistance to municipalities that embrace the principles of Smart Growth in ILUTP corridor studies.

The NJDOT Transit Village initiative creates incentives for transit-supportive land uses within walking distance of transit facilities: new housing and mixed-use development, and design amenities in a built environment that naturally encourages walking, biking, and transit ridership. The Transit Village initiative is led by a partnership of 11 State agencies that are committed to providing priority grants, loans, and/or technical assistance to municipalities that have made the required land use changes in order to become designated Transit Villages. Seventeen Transit Villages have been designated to date, and more than 70 municipalities have expressed interest in pursuing designation. Participating communities have seen substantial development, streetscape improvements, and property value increases above area averages.

The NJFIT process offers numerous potential benefits:
a unified vision for development that supports transportation facilities;
a community-supported vision that leads to faster, better, and less expensive capital investments;
networked transportation, and nodes of development that support biking, walking, and transit use; and
relief for congested roadways.

Contact:
Brent Barnes, AICP, PP
Director, Systems Planning & Research
NJ Department of Transportation
PO Box 600
1035 Parkway Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-530-2866
brent.barnes@dot.state.nj.us

Website:
http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/works/njfit/

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New York Metropolitan Transportation Council-MPO for New York City, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley

New York Best Practice Model (NYBPM)

The NY Best Practice Model (NYBPM) is the first traveler-activity-based model in the U.S. to have been used in air quality conformity analyses and major investment studies.

NYBPM attempts to predict the detailed travel patterns of a diverse population using numerous travel modes. It does this by introducing innovative approaches to the traditional travel demand model, including the concept of a location-based household travel survey, using the journey or tour as the unit of travel, and applying a microsimulation approach to simulate the travel pattern of each person in the region. The model captures travel on both motorized and non-motorized transportation modes. These approaches make travel demand modeling a more realistic and more effective tool in the transportation planning decisionmaking process.

Because NYBPM is regional in scope and required extensive data for development and validation, stakeholder participation was crucial to meet modeling needs. A technical committee involving a wide range of stakeholders was therefore formed at the very beginning of the project to facilitate its development and implementation. Special efforts were made to reach out to other states and MPOs in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region and to reach agreement on crucial regional considerations, including forecasts, networks, zones, and survey data.

Throughout the various stages of the model's development and applications, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) staff have worked with stakeholders and gained a better understanding of improvements needed in the NYBPM. The MPO's experience with NYBPM shows that the concept of activity-based modeling does work, and that it works very well in the most complex region in the country.

With several major innovative approaches, NYBPM significantly improves the functionality of traditional travel demand models. It opens up new opportunities for transportation planners and policy-makers to better analyze transportation policies, including parking, congestion pricing, flexible work hours, and the impacts of demographic and land use changes. The lessons learned will provide other MPOs with insights valuable in future development of activity-based modeling.

Contact:
Kuo-Ann Chiao
Director of Technical Group
NY Metropolitan Transportation Council
199 Water Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10038
212-383-7212
kchiao@dot.state.ny.us

Website:
http://www.nymtc.org/

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Honorable Mentions

Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study-MPO for the Binghamton, NY Area

Transportation Tomorrow: 2030-Placemaking for Prosperity

Transportation Tomorrow: 2030 - Placemaking for Prosperity is the long-range transportation plan prepared by the Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study (BMTS), the MPO for Binghamton, NY. It provides a comprehensive look at how transportation investment can be used to help achieve community development goals in a region faced with declining population and economic challenges.

The notion of "placemaking for prosperity" directs transportation investment to contribute to a quality of life that will create a successful community. Transportation Tomorrow: 2030 is significant as perhaps the first application of a scenario planning approach to a metropolitan area in decline. This approach has more typically been used in rapidly growing regions, for example, to demonstrate the impacts of sprawl versus compact growth.

Through a series of public workshops on community visioning and scenario development, and guided by a Community Vision Team, the planning process was focused on reaching consensus on a preferred scenario for the future of Greater Binghamton. The metropolitan area has experienced slow population decline accompanied by suburban growth, resulting in a hollowing of the core. The visioning and scenario development workshops made clear that this trend is not sustainable, that Greater Binghamton cannot be a successful place with an empty center. This plan makes an unambiguous statement that BMTS will focus its investments in the core communities and will not spend Federal transportation funds on projects that facilitate suburban sprawl. The central theme of placemaking contributes to the plan's success in addressing a wide range of customer needs: safety considerations for elderly pedestrians and drivers, the freight access needs of local businesses, and the operational efficiencies of public transit.

Contact:
Steven Gayle
Executive Director
Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study
PO Box 1766
Broome County Office Building
Binghamton, NY 13902-1766
607-778-2443
sgayle@co.broome.ny.us

Website:
http://www.bmtsonline.com/bmts/tt2030

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Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Coeur d'Alene, ID

Citylink

Citylink is a cooperative, public transit, fixed-route bus system that is free to riders. It serves two counties and nine cities in rural and urban areas in northern Idaho. Citylink represents the first time in the United States that a tribal government and a local government have collaborated to create free public transportation.

Citylink is the result of an historic arrangement among the federally recognized Coeur d'Alene Tribe, the Idaho Department of Transportation, and Kootenai County, and is funded in part by Federal Transit Administration Section 5307 (urban) and 5311 (rural) public transit grant sums; matching funds are provided by the Tribe.

Citylink's mission is both simple and profound: to meet the transportation needs of workers, students, the elderly, and the general public. The system connects business, industry, recreation, educational facilities, and health care to all people in the region.

In a two-county area of northern Idaho, Citylink offers free public transit to over 117,000 persons, with an estimated 464,000 miles of public fixed-route transit driven and 112,800 passenger boardings in 2006. Citylink includes new buses, a dedicated staff, 12 employees, 4 routes, 23 schedules, and 37 stops. The number of riders in all routes is steadily increasing. Citylink has a direct, positive effect on the vast economic, medical, recreational, educational, shopping, and employment needs of the people of its region by providing links between urban centers and rural areas.

Contact:
Francis SiJohn
Planning Director
Coeur d'Alene Tribe
850 A Street
PO Box 408
Plummer, ID 83851
208-686-1800
fsijohn@cdatribe-nsn.gov

Website:
http://www.idahocitylink.com/

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New Mexico Department of Transportation

I-40/Coors Design-Build Reconstruction Project: Aesthetics Public Involvement Program

The I-40/Coors Boulevard interchange carries 140,000 vehicles daily, nearly twice its original design capacity. As one of New Mexico's busiest intersections, the I-40/Coors Boulevard interchange required reconstruction to enhance safety, improve traffic flow, and reduce congestion on Albuquerque's growing West Side.

The largest urban design-build project awarded by the State, the project broke ground in December 2004, following an accelerated 18-month schedule for design and construction. The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) defined several project goals, including building an aesthetically pleasing interchange and committing to public involvement in project decisionmaking. With the compressed time schedule, balancing public participation efforts and construction needs was essential.

From the initial construction kick-off meeting to the last neighborhood association meeting attended, the public had the opportunity to review and comment on the aesthetic elements. The project established and followed an aesthetics decisionmaking process, selected a public advisory committee, and solicited broader input using several communication tools.

The public involvement process set a new standard for the agencies involved, demonstrating that broad public acceptance and involvement can occur on subjective elements within limited timeframes. It was critical to develop and follow an established framework as well as to provide the community with real opportunities to effect change on elements such as wall texture, bridge sculptures, and color. The result is a program that is being reviewed for use on future NMDOT and City projects, and a national example of how to achieve broad public acceptance on subjective elements within schedule constraints.

Contact:
Paul Lindberg
Project Development Engineer
New Mexico Department of Transportation
1120 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-1149
505-401-3655
Paul.Lindberg@state.nm.us

Website:
http://www.nmshtd.state.nm.us/main.asp?secid=13894

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Houston-Galveston Area Council-MPO for the Eight-County Houston-Galveston, TX Region

H-GAC Pedestrian-Bicyclist Special Districts Program

Because nearly all pedestrian and most bicycle travel is highly localized, it is difficult to prioritize investments in these facilities at the regional level. The Houston-Galveston Area Council's Pedestrian- Bicyclist Special Districts Program employed an original, cost-effective GIS methodology that enabled MPOs and local governments to identify prime areas for improved pedestrian-bicyclist facilities without extensive field observations. The GIS methodology, which assesses various indicators of demand for pedestrian-bicyclist facilities, provides a means to quickly prioritize investments at a regional level without the time and costs of activity counts.

The techniques employed can be scaled to local conditions and are easily transferable, provided the GIS data is available. Later district planning studies have also produced worthy models for how an MPO can partner with local communities and transportation agencies to plan and implement projects.

A total of three district pedestrian-bicyclist plans have subsequently been produced, yielding implementation projects in H-GAC's Transportation Improvement Program and local agency programs.

Contact:
Dan Raine, AICP
Pedestrian-Bicycle Coordinator
Houston-Galveston Area Council
3555 Timmons Lane
Suite 120
Houston, TX 77027
832-681-2525
draine@h-gac.com

Website:
http://www.h-gac.com/pedbike

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Michigan Department of Transportation

MI Travel Counts Household Travel Survey

MI Travel Counts is a statewide household-travel survey program conducted by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Forty-eight hours of travel information was collected from each member of more than 14,000 households across seven geographic sampling areas statewide. The data gathered will be used to update statewide and Metropolitan Planning Organization travel demand models throughout the State.

The MI Travel Counts team was innovative in its approach to conducting the statewide travel survey. The project included a significant public awareness program to inform residents of the project's importance. This campaign involved bringing to the attention of the media, the legislature, and all cities, villages, and townships the importance of the project and its relevance.

The public awareness program ensured that Michigan residents were aware of the project and were willing to participate when asked, enabling the program to recruit sufficient households to meet sampling targets. In addition, the positive media exposure and the maintaining of positive relationships with local governments, the legislature, and the residents of the State, are priceless.

MI Travel Counts also incorporated procedures to improve data quality and timeliness. Data were reviewed and time and distance checks were conducted by a subconsultant and MDOT after each group of 2,000 households were surveyed. This enabled MDOT to begin using the data immediately after project completion.

Contact: Karen Faussett
Transportation Planner
MI Travel Counts Project Manager
Michigan Department of Transportation
PO Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909
517-335-2956
faussettk@michigan.gov

Website:
http://www.michigan.gov/mitravelcounts

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Spartanburg Area Transportation Study-MPO for the Spartanburg, SC Area

Spartanburg Area Walkable Community Workshop Series

The Spartanburg Area Walkable Community Workshop Series consisted of eight walkable community training sessions and walking audits for officials, staff, citizens, and active living advocates in different locations throughout Spartanburg County.

Citizens, officials, and advocates worked together to create a walkability/bikeability plan for each host community. They identified bicycle and pedestrian facility projects, developed pedestrian and cyclist-friendly policies for their local government, and chose creative programs to bring awareness to others in the benefits of walking and biking.

Municipalities created their own hard-working, citizen-driven committees that are institutionalized so that the plans have more of a chance of being implemented. Each community plan sets forth an ongoing program of action to change the walking environment in each community. Implementation activities have included community participation in roadway redesign and outreach at community-wide events such as festivals and ball games.

The workshop training raised participants' awareness of the importance of having safe bike and pedestrian facilities in neighborhoods and identified specific tools used throughout the U.S. to create safe bike and pedestrian facilities. The participants worked together to identify policies and procedures that will result in new places of pride, creative programs that use incentives for people to become active, and improvements in bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Contact:
Lisa Bollinger, MCRP
Intermodal Transportation Planner
Spartanburg Area Transportation Study
366 North Church Street, Suite 700
Spartanburg, SC 29303
864-596-3472
lbollinger@spartanburgcounty.org

Website:
http://www.spartanburgcounty.org/govt/depts/pln/spats/index.htm

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Washington State Department of Transportation

Washington Transportation Plan 2005 Update: Moving Freight

In 2004, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Office of Freight Strategy and Policy completed over 150 one-on-one interviews with high-volume shippers and carriers across the State to identify their requirements for the freight system. Focus groups were also held that involved public and private partners throughout the State.

To confirm the initial findings, a consultant was hired to conduct a statistically valid survey. Industry information was supplemented with data-driven analysis to present a case for the prioritized investment needs of the freight system in the Washington Transportation Plan (WTP) 2005 Update.

In order to further confirm and share information developed for the WTP freight recommendations, the Office of Freight Strategy and Policy has organized regional freight summits to invite feedback on the WTP draft freight recommendations. The regional freight summits are designed to bring the freight story back to the communities and the communities' input back to the decisionmakers. They provide a forum for elected officials and their staffs to hear the business community's priorities for freight investment. All summits feature discussion among regional shippers and carriers and government decisionmakers regarding the region's freight transportation system and priorities.

WSDOT's approach to prioritizing freight investment needs through data-driven analysis and industry outreach is an innovation rarely used by state DOTs for freight planning. Using industry performance requirements and supply chain analysis is also unique in a transportation planning environment that is just beginning to fully document and understand freight mobility.

Contact:
Barbara Ivanov
Director
Office of Freight Strategy and Policy
Washington State Department of Transportation
PO Box 47322
Olympia, WA 98504-7322
360-705-7931
ivanovb@wsdot.wa.gov

Website:
Full Report:
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/freight/

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The Judges

Photograph of the planning awards judges: Front row (L – R): Jacky Grimshaw, Mary Lynn Tischer, Whit Blanton, Rick Hawthorne. Back row (L – R): Michael Meyer, John Mason, Linda Aitken. Not pictured: Shelley Poticha.

Front row (L - R): Jacky Grimshaw, Mary Lynn Tischer, Whit Blanton, Rick Hawthorne. Back row (L - R):Michael Meyer, John Mason, Linda Aitken. Not pictured: Shelley Poticha.

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration
FHWA-HEP-07-010 January 2007

Updated: 07/23/2012
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