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Transportation Planning Excellence Awards - 2012

2035 Regional Transportation Plan: Linking Health and Mobility

Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Categories: Environmental and Transportation Planning Linkage, Planning Leadership

Recognizing the relationship between the built environment and health, the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization adopted a policy around "Protection of the Region's Health and Environment" as part of a 25-year plan for transportation infrastructure in the greater-Nashville region. The Plan guides the use of an estimated $6 billion in Federal transportation dollars and prioritizes positive health outcomes through active transportation (modes of travel requiring physical activity) and a Complete Streets approach (transportation options for all users) in three policy areas: (1) mass transit; (2) active transportation; and (3) preservation and enhancement of strategic roadways. It incorporates health considerations into project selection processes, with 60% of selection criteria related to health, safety, congestion reduction, and active transportation, resulting in 70% of funded roadway projects including facilities for sidewalks, bicycle lanes, or shared-use lanes (up from 2%). It also sets aside 15% of Federal Surface Transportation Project dollars towards multi-modal transportation accommodations (compared to the national average of 1%), and an additional 10% for mass transit projects-resulting in a 25% minimum reserved exclusively for active transportation. It is expected that $2.5 million will be available for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and education in the near-term. The desired health impacts of these investments include increasing physical activity levels and reducing rates of chronic disease among residents. To that end, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is prioritized in neighborhoods with higher rates of chronic disease and other health disparities. In 2011, the CDC's National Prevention Council highlighted Middle Tennessee's Bicycle and Pedestrian Study within the body of the new National Prevention Strategy (as required under the Affordable Care Act) to showcase effective prevention programs in the area of Active Living.

For more information:

Leslie Meehan
Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
Nashville, TN
leslie.meehan@nashville.gov
(615) 862-7211

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Fast Forward Transit Plan Mobile Outreach Bus

Indian Nations Council of Governments

Category: Public Involvement and Outreach

In January 2011, the regional planning agency for the Tulsa metro area, began a process to identify and prioritize corridors for long-term transit development. This process, known as the Fast Forward Regional Transit System Plan, included an innovative mobile public outreach tool in the form of a renovated 40-foot city bus equipped with a video screen, educational displays, an interactive survey, and a "living room" for members of the public to talk with transit planners. The bus visited 117 locations over a four-month period from January to April 2011 and engaged over 2,000 residents and community members in face-to-face contact.

The purpose of the public outreach element of the plan was to engage and educate Metro Tulsa residents and community members on the future of transit by creating an attractive environment that would elicit constructive and meaningful opportunities to exchange information and ideas. The staff working onboard the bus took on roles as community liaisons to bridge the gap between the planning process and citizens' immediate transit needs and questions. The mobile outreach bus travelled to community events, spring break camps, a Mardi Gras Parade, a Cinco de Mayo event, schools, libraries, city halls, shopping centers, and many more places where people were able to engage on their terms. Snacks, drinks, and a drawing for an iPad drew media attention and drove over 1,500 survey completions. The public involvement process was organized around four distinct goals:

  1. Explore-Research and gather intelligence on the public's expectations,
  2. Eplain-Inform and advise the public on the process and how they can participate,
  3. Engage-Interact with and invite feedback from the public, and
  4. Excite-Infuse the public with a sense of enthusiasm for the transit plan.

For more information:

Kasey St. John
Indian Nations Council of Governments
Tulsa, OK
kstjohn@incog.org
(918) 579-9419

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Georgia Statewide Freight and Logistics Plan

Georgia Department of Transportation

Category: Freight Planning

The Georgia Department of Transportation's Georgia Statewide Freight and Logistics Plan is a planning effort that distinguished itself by developing broad public- and private-sector consensus about strategic infrastructure investments and operational improvements to benefit the freight and logistics sector of the State's economy. The goal of this plan was to identify specific capital projects that will provide the greatest benefit to the freight sector and maximize the return on highly competitive and scarce funding available for infrastructure. Customized and robust public-sector interagency collaboration ensured consensus for an integrated strategy that identified multi-faceted needs for economic development and transportation system performance. One-on-one interviews and group engagement, multiple surveys, and attendance at industry conferences and trade association meetings demonstrated a committed partnership and focus on private sector needs to inform the Statewide Freight and Logistics Plan. Development and implementation of a broad range of unique freight analytical tools allow for corridor-level estimation of benefits and return on investment for freight projects across all freight modes.

For more information:

Thomas McQueen
Georgia Department of Transportation: Office of Planning
Atlanta, GA
tmcqueen@dot.ga.gov
(404) 631-1785

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GO TO 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning

Categories: Land-Use and Transportation Integration, Livability/Sustainability, Planning Leadership

GO TO 2040 is metropolitan Chicago's official comprehensive plan to help its seven counties and 284 communities plan together for sustainable prosperity through-and is helping to shape-a new national context for wide-ranging transportation planning as regions and their communities are asserting greater autonomy for local decision making and Federal agencies are shifting priorities, e.g., through the Sustainable Communities Initiative, to emphasize metropolitan areas that drive the U.S. economy. GO TO 2040's purpose is to build on the region's assets, identify its shortcomings, and recommend actions to help enhance and sustain the region's economic vitality and global competitiveness. The plan's 12 recommendations are organized in four themes/chapters: Livable Communities, Human Capital, Efficient Governance, and Regional Mobility. Livable Communities reflects the diverse factors that shape quality of life in terms of "livability"-what attracts people to a region and a particular community. Human Capital identifies factors that determine whether the region's economy will thrive due to the availability of skilled workers and a climate in which commercial creativity can flourish. Efficient Governance addresses the need for increased effectiveness of governments in the region and beyond, which is important to meet residents' needs regarding accountability and transparency. Regional Mobility focuses on the vitality of the region's transportation system, which is crucial for economic prosperity and overall quality of life.

The three-year plan development process included extensive public outreach to a wide range of important stakeholders, including more than 35,000 residents, using interactive scenario-evaluation software. The interactive data portal MetroPulse (www.metropulsechicago.org) is being used to measure implementation of the plan. A $4.25 million regional planning grant from HUD is funding the Local Technical Assistance program (www.cmap.illinois.gov/lta), which helps local governments to implement the plan locally through Chicago Metropolitan Area Planning staff assistance and small grants. Over 60 projects began in 2011, with more to follow over the three-year grant cycle.

For more information:

Randy Blankenhorn
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Chicago, IL
rblankenhorn@cmap.illinois.gov
(312) 386-8600

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Hillsborough County Bicycle Safety Action Plan

Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization

Category: Safety Planning

The Tampa Bay Area is recognized as one of the most hazardous places in the country to bicycle, as identified in the Dangerous by Design report released in 2011. While the tropical climate, tourism, and other factors may make bicycling a more common activity in Florida, the Hillsborough County's 2010 fatality rate is over twice the national average. In light of these facts and at the urging of county officials, bicycle enthusiasts, transportation advocates, community leaders, private organizations and citizens, the Hillsborough County Bicycle Safety Action Plan was developed to address the high number of bicycle crashes and bicyclist fatalities. Most bicycle planning efforts focus only on the construction of new bicycle facilities over a long period of time, creating a better community in the future. The Hillsborough County Bicycle Safety Action Plan focuses on safety with the expectation that results would occur within a five-year timeframe. By their nature, bicycle crashes are notably more severe and carry either immediate death or prolonged, life changing injuries.

Following the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) award-winning Safety Action Plan approach, Hillsborough County developed the Bicycle Safety Action Plan which uses crash data to isolate existing safety problems and bring together stakeholders from multiple agencies to strategize potential solutions based on infrastructure, land use, education, enforcement, and monitoring activities. As part of this plan, 15 short and long term action items are currently being pursued by multiple agencies and stakeholders that have a direct impact on bicycle safety in Hillsborough County. The success of the project has generated increased interest in the Safety Action Plan concept across the State and the Florida Department of Transportation is now developing a statewide Florida Pedestrian Safety Action Plan to encourage other local agencies to consider implementing a safety action plan in their community.

For more information:

Gena Torres
Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization
Tampa, FL
(813) 272-5940
torresg@plancom.org

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Holyoke Multi-modal Transportation Center (HMTC) Project

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority

Category: Livability/Sustainability

Located in Downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts and opened in 2010, the Holyoke Multi-Modal Transportation Center (HMTC) project was planned, designed, and constructed under a public-private partnership between the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA), the City of Holyoke, and the Holyoke Intermodal Facility (HIF), LLC-a private development company from Springfield, MA. The $10.4 million HMTC project included the adaptive reuse and conversion of the former Holyoke Fire Department Headquarters into a regional transportation and education center. The four-floor building includes over 30,000 square feet of classroom/conference space for Holyoke Community College and the Springfield-Holyoke-Chicopee Headstart Program. It includes a state-of-the-art customer service and bus ticketing center for the PVTA bus system and a cafe. The multi-modal facility includes a 7-bay canopied bus berthing and parking area served by PVTA, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and other intercity carriers. It includes bicycle, pedestrian, and streetscape enhancements and accommodations for an electronic, real-time bus scheduling system that will be installed in June of 2012. The project has created a welcome anchor for economic development in the community and serves as a model for public-private partnership and interagency coordination. It is one of only three livability pilot projects to be recognized by the New England Sustainable Communities Partnership.

The HMTC was the first project in the country implemented under FTA's 2007 Joint Development Guidance. It involved an innovative public-private partnership that facilitated private investment into and ownership of the building with long-term lease arrangements for PVTA to operate the transit center and for the City to maintain ownership and operation of the required parking facilities. Each of the three partners in the Joint Development planning process had specific planning and project responsibilities. The PVTA, as the recipient of FTA and MassDOT funding for the project, was the lead agency responsible for overall project management, procurement, contracting, and oversight. The City of Holyoke was responsible for site environmental clean-up, ownership transfer of the fire station to the private development partner, coordination of the local planning and permitting approval process, and the canopy, streetscape and parking improvements. The HIF, LLC was responsible for environmental clean-up, design, renovation, and conversion of the former fire station building into the HMTC. As the new building owner, HIF, LLC also took the operational lead in leasing the facility to the PVTA, Holyoke Community College, and the Head Start Program. The project was also one of the first of its kind funded by FTA, EPA, and HUD under the Livable Communities partnership. The three partners worked closely with FTA, EPA, and HUD to create an education and transportation center in the heart of Downtown Holyoke that would provide better access to transit, educational services, child care, and affordable housing.

For more information:

Mary MacInnes
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority
Springfield, MA
mmacinnes@pvta.com
(413) 732-6248

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Lake Champlain Bridge

New York State Department of Transportation and Vermont Agency of Transportation

Categories: Environmental and Transportation Planning Linkage, Public Involvement and Outreach

In August 2009, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) initiated a planning process to decide the fate of the 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge- rehabilitation or replacement. The planning process was expected to take several years, as the bridge and its setting had many complexities: joint ownership by two States, State and nationally historic properties on both sides of the lake, the bridge itself listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places, and an active navigation channel.

Due to mounting safety concerns, the bridge was closed October 16, 2009, just two months into the planning process. The 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge was a critical resource for New York and Vermont residents, whose other options for crossing the lake were an 85-mile detour over rural roads or a ferry with limited service. Lacking suitable alternative routes, the closure was an enormous hardship on the surrounding communities who rely on the bridge to get to work, school, medical facilities, and other fundamental services.

To ease the burden on the travelling public, a new temporary ferry opened on February 1, 2010 and operated 24/7 free of charge. Furthermore, a rural transit operator, Addison County Transit Resources, was engaged to provide mobility assistance during construction. The new Lake Champlain Bridge opened to traffic on November 7, 2011, just two years after the historic bridge was closed. Demolition and removal of the old bridge, temporary ferry facility construction, and design and construction of the new bridge occurred within 25 months despite harsh weather and archeologically/culturally rich setting. The accelerated timeline was achieved by extraordinary collaboration among numerous agencies in two States and strong public engagement and support. The highly responsive public process was grounded in frequent, transparent communications and response to input. Most involved in the project have pointed to the strong role the public played in the process as unprecedented and a critical reason for its success.

For more information:

Mary Ivey
New York State Department of Transportation Region 1
Schenectady, NY
mivey@dot.state.ny.us
(518) 457-3522

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Toward Universal Access: Leveraging Technology for ADA Compliance

City of Bellevue, WA

Category: Asset Management

Public works departments are facing increased pressure to determine cost-effective and efficient methods for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards. The Ultra Light Inertial Profiler (ULIP) is a tool that enables jurisdictions to quickly and accurately complete an ADA public rights-of-way condition assessment inventory. The ULIP-based approach is distinguished from other efforts because actual values for running slope, cross-slope, and vertical separation are captured along sidewalk block faces, replacing a traditional yes-no clipboard inventory. The ULIP platform arose out of a technology development and research partnership between the Federal Highway Administration (Office of Pavement Technology), King County Metro Transit, and the City of Bellevue (WA). The device's displacement laser, three accelerometers, optical trigger, distance measurement instrument, and gyroscope are designed to measure the sidewalk surface at a rate of 10,000 records per second. Together, these devices capture highly accurate information about slope and small surface variations that can make a sidewalk difficult to navigate. A tray and handle bar mount support a notebook computer that enables interactive, real-time display during data collection. The accompanying software produces a text file compatible with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) asset management databases. The outcome of this 2009 partnership is a technology regarded as a national best practice by the Texas Transportation Institute (NCHRP 20-07 Task 249). Today jurisdictions nationwide are leveraging the ULIP technology to: (i) determine if a sidewalk or curb ramp meets intended design specifications and guidelines; (ii) catalog feature and maintenance information; (iii) identify portions of sidewalks needing accessibility improvements; (iv) quantify the extent of corrective work required; and, (v) leverage GIS databases to track progress in achieving a barrier free environment.

For more information:

Franz Loewenherz
City of Bellevue, WA
floewenherz@bellevuewa.gov
(425) 452-4077

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Uptown Circle

Town of Normal, IL

Categories: Environmental and Transportation Planning Linkage, Land-Use and Transportation Integration, Livability/Sustainability

The Uptown Circle, a traffic roundabout, unites four streets in the Central Business District in Normal, Illinois. Formerly an awkward intersection, the circle has slowed traffic, improved air quality, and created a safer environment for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorized vehicles. In addition to traffic control, the circle provides innovative stormwater management in its center. Stormwater flows into an obsolete storm sewer converted into a cistern and proceeds through a series of filters and into two surface channels. Plants in the outer channel filter the water, which then flows over a textured surface in the inner channel. Almost none of the stormwater runoff is discharged as it evaporates or is used for irrigation. The circle includes trees planted in "SilvaCells," which permit tree root growth in non-compacted soil and result in healthier, more attractive trees that mitigate urban heat generation. A grassy area in the center of the roundabout is an oasis for respite and relaxation.

The circle is the core design feature of a larger Uptown renewal plan with a heavy emphasis on sustainability. The Uptown plan redirects development to the Town's historic core where there is existing infrastructure, bus service, a multi-use trail, and higher density housing. This strategy supports Smart Growth and Context Sensitive Solutions by encouraging walkable neighborhoods, development in existing communities, and varied transportation choices. The circle also fosters a distinctive, attractive community with a strong sense of place. The Uptown circle is integral to the Town's goal of encouraging multi-modal transportation. The facility will also serve as a hub for local and regional bus lines and provide public services to users of the adjacent multi-use trail. Public rights-of-way have been rebuilt to a pedestrian-friendly standard, with generous sidewalks, street furniture, bike parking, and ample tree plantings in SilvaCells. Since its completion in 2010, the Uptown circle has been well received by the community and visitors alike. Designing an innovative traffic circle with a public gathering space required a great deal of cooperation and out-of-the-box thinking by civil engineers from Federal, State, and local agencies as well as from private firms. The result is a design that the Town of Normal believes can be replicated in other communities.

For more information:

Wayne Aldrich
Town of Normal, IL
waldrich@normal.org
(309) 454-9760

Honorable Mentions

Transportation Study

Aquidneck Island Planning Commission

Category: Livability/Sustainability

The Aquidneck Island Transportation Study (AITS), completed in July 2011, is a comprehensive multi-modal transportation master plan, the first of its kind for the island. The plan reaches across all transportation modes (pedestrian, auto, transit, bike, ferry, and rail) to coordinate land use planning in an effort to increase overall mobility, modal choice, and safety for the island while decreasing traffic congestion and its negative impacts on the environment, economy, and quality of life. The theme of the study, "On the Move...Connecting our Communities" highlights the importance of how today's transportation solutions need to consider more than just the automobile. The AITS approach and methodology balances land use and development patterns with transportation improvements and emphasizes non-motorized transportation network opportunities. The result is a plan that identifies ways to better connect people throughout Aquidneck Island-by foot, by car, by bus, by ferry, and by train. The Plan includes immediate, short, mid, and long-term improvements suitable for inclusion in municipal and statewide capital improvement plans along with recommended policies to improve the Island's transportation system.

The AITS provides a model for developing a comprehensive plan with multiple agencies, municipalities, and their communities. Through the use of creative outreach tools, innovative transportation recommendations, and the resulting implementation plan, the AITS identified initiatives that will not only advance the Aquidneck Island's transportation network but will drive future land use and development. The project involved more than 25 stakeholder interviews and an extensive public outreach program using innovative tools and techniques to keep the public engaged throughout the 24-month study period. It also included a Technical Steering Committee made up of the Aquidneck Island municipalities, State and Federal agencies, and private partners. The engaged Technical Steering Committee met bimonthly throughout the study to guide the project through completion. The study includes recommendations to increase the efficiency along Aquidneck Island roadway system, to identify access management techniques that mitigate vehicular circulation impacts among adjacent land uses, to strengthen land-use policies to manage future growth and traffic volumes, and to determine multi- and intermodal alternatives throughout Aquidneck Island. One AITS recommendation, that the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority implement signal priority along the West Main Road Corridor, is now being funded with a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant administered through FTA.

For more information:

Tina Dolen
Aquidneck Island Planning Commission
Newport, RI
tina@aquidneckplanning.org
(401) 845-9299

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Emil "Lucky" Reznik Administration, Maintenance and Operations Facility

South Bend Public Transportation Corporation

Categories: Environmental and Transportation Planning Linkage, Land-Use and Transportation Integration, Livability/Sustainability

Located in South Bend, Indiana, the Emil "Lucky" Reznik Administration Maintenance and Operations Facility project is the first LEED Platinum certified multi-use transit facility in the State of Indiana. In order to complete the project, South Bend Public Transportation Corporation (TRANSPO) needed to work closely with the community. As early as 2003, numerous letters of support requested funding for reconstruction of the existing facility. By the end of the process, much of the entire community had a hand in getting the project done. Before actual construction began, TRANSPO and the City of South Bend had worked closely together after it was determined the original site was not feasible. The collaboration demonstrated how local governments can work together through challenges to complete the project. One other important element about the project is its location. TRANSPO's previous structure, 16 which had been in continuous use since the 1880's was located on beautiful riverfront property. By vacating this site, TRANSPO freed up the valuable land for future development. Furthermore, the building was constructed in a brownfield area of the City's old industrial core that was targeted for economic revitalization. The Emil "Lucky" Reznik Facility is a benefit to this community in numerous ways. TRANSPO is helping to provide opportunities for economic development, improve the quality of our local environment, decrease usage of natural resources, reinvest energy cost savings into the community, and improve the public transit services available to our citizens and visitors. The building has also been an excellent example of sustainable construction practices for the community.

For more information:

Maurice Pearl
South Bend Public Transportation Corporation
South Bend, IN
mpearl@sbtranspo.com
(574) 232-9901

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Haywood County's Comprehensive Bicycle Plan

Haywood County Recreation and Parks Department

Category: Public Involvement and Outreach

Haywood County's Comprehensive Bicycle Plan is the first countywide bicycle plan conducted in North Carolina and was organized through a local advocacy council, BicycleHaywoodNC, with Haywood County's Recreation and Parks Department. The plan employed innovative methods of public involvement, context sensitive approaches to bicycle facilities in a rural, mountainous environment, and included a Health Impact Assessment to inform Plan outcomes.

The Health Impact Assessment (HIA) element of the planning process generated ideas and recommendations through the lens of public health-mental, physical, family, environmental, and economic-and strongly influenced numerous aspects of the adopted Plan. This method yielded input into the Plan that transcended the original intent of the HIA. Stakeholders who might not have been as willing to be a part of the Plan or provide direct input were drawn into the process. New partnerships emerged among educational, health, social service, and recreational interests to apply context-sensitive solutions in a rural, mountain environment and to incorporate NCDOT's new Complete Streets guidelines.

The Plan generated attention among interest groups and stakeholders in a community without a strong history of multi-modal planning. It focused on gathering input from Haywood County visitors-as tourism is a primary economic influence-through tourism-based community festivals, one-on-one interaction with out-of-town riders in the Blue Ridge Breakaway, and an economic survey of Breakaway participants. The Health Impact Assessment was able to generate interest, contributions, and ideas to the Plan in a manner that was not anticipated at the start of the effort. This included a commitment from Haywood Community College to use its vocational programs to build bicycle racks, and a partnership to designate a "park-n-pedal" lot in a nearby town to reduce parking demand and encourage active commuting. The HIA correlated the need for bicycle facilities among population cohorts in the county who had high rates of obesity, as well as a higher than average presence of older adults and retirees.

Local law enforcement officials helped generate a four-tiered approach to reporting and tracking bicycle-related incidents to identify geographic areas of concern and behaviors in a manner sensitive to the limited resources of Sheriffs and Police Departments to investigate non-crash incidents.

For more information:

Claire Carlton
Haywood County Recreation and Parks Department
Waynesville, NC
ccarleton@haywoodnc.net
(828) 452-6789

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Highway District Transportation Plan

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Division of Planning

Categories: Asset Management, Linking Planning and Operations, Planning Leadership

The Highway District Transportation Plan was developed as a method to analyze and document data driven needs through the engineering review component of the project identification process. It incorporates overarching statewide transportation goals, while focusing on district (regional) specific needs based on the uniqueness of each area. The goal of the plan is to produce a listing of data-supported, ranked projects recommended for future funding as part of a new Highway Plan.

As projects advance, this plan will serve as a mechanism to use for performance measurement. The Highway District Transportation Plan built on existing relationships between the Area Development Districts, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Highway District Offices, Central Office, and Information Technology Office by applying a comprehensive review of the transportation needs and used an Enterprise Database to show known roadway issues. The review also included a newly developed Interactive Mapping System (IMS) from Kentucky's Enterprise Database. The IMS integrates location data related to crashes, congestion, geometric deficiencies, maintenance needs, and existing projects, to help set project priorities. The highest priorities were determined based on the severity of their needs as spatially shown in the IMS and ranked by each district in their District Plan with the top 30 comprising the recommended Unscheduled Projects List (UPL).

For more information:

Keith Damron
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Frankfort, KY
keith.damron@ky.gov
(502) 564-7183

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Memphis MPO Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Category: Transportation and Land Use Integration

The intent of the Memphis MPO Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is to identify the opportunities for enhancing bicycle and pedestrian travel within the Memphis MPO planning area and to provide recommendations for taking advantage of these opportunities. Recommendations are made at the regional as well as the local scale, and include engineering (facilities and infrastructure), education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation of the plan's implementation. To gain insight regarding citizens' attitudes towards bicycle and pedestrian travel within the Memphis MPO region, an informal bicycling and walking survey was conducted and received a total of 2,101 responses. Additionally, hundreds of citizens attended public meetings over the course of the planning process to direct planners on the region's vision and goals for bicycling and walking.

Overall, the survey results and public input show support for increasing bicycle and pedestrian activity within the Memphis MPO region and suggested that many of the region's citizens would be willing to bicycle or walk more often if certain issues, such as safety, maintenance of facilities, and facility connectivity were addressed. Building on these results, careful analyses of regional attractors and generators and the regional bicycle and pedestrian roadway levels of service were conducted to aid in the planning for a safe, connected regional network for non-motorized travel. Extensive communications between each MPO jurisdiction's planning and engineering staff and the regional transit agency was another key component of the planning process, resulting in jurisdiction-specific recommendations and maps. Understanding each jurisdiction's specific needs built upon the common regional goals and visions for enhancing bicycling and walking in the region to best address their individual concerns in a regionally-focused plan.

For more information:

Pragati Srivastava
Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
Memphis, TN
pragati.srivastava@memphistn.gov
(901) 576-7190

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Minnesota GO: Crafting a Transportation Vision for Generations

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Category: Public Involvement and Outreach

In fall 2010, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) launched the Minnesota GO: Crafting a Transportation Vision for Generations visioning process to better align the State's transportation system with what Minnesotans expect for their quality of life, economy, and natural environment. The effort was based on an understanding that transportation is a means to other ends, not an end in itself. It also recognized that infrastructure is only one of many elements necessary to achieving a high quality of life, a competitive economy, and a healthy environment, which are subject to many positive and negative externalities in their relationship with transportation.

While Minnesota GO was established to set a vision for transportation in Minnesota for the next 50 years, it also helped to establish improved processes for reaching out to Minnesota's broad citizen base, as the process was driven by the involvement of more than 10,000 participants. The process, guided by a 31-member steering committee composed of various public, private, and nonprofit representatives, was informed by a wealth of experts through presentations during advisory committee meetings and expert interview videos available on the project website, featuring experts in engineering, science, public policy, health, business, demographics, community design, and technology. Working in partnership with the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota and with the public policy non-profit Citizens' League, MnDOT reached out broadly to Minnesota's residents by providing several opportunities for participation, including focus group and survey-based quality of life research, three advisory group meetings at which a diverse array of stakeholders discussed environmental health, economic competitiveness, and quality of life, a project website complete with videos of expert interviews, surveys, and opportunities to comment on themes. The "Students Speak Out" website provided a forum for teenagers to share their perspectives and outreach conducted through various social media channels. Ten public workshops were held throughout the State, one in each of MnDOT's eight districts in addition to an online workshop and a second workshop in the heavily-populated Metro District. The following challenges and opportunities were identified at these events: aging and increasingly diverse population, urbanization, energy shifts, automation, persistent budget challenges, and health impacts. The final vision will inform future planning efforts, starting with the 20-year Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan.

For more information:

Thomas Sorel
Minnesota Department of Transportation
St Paul, MN
thomas.sorel@state.mn.us
(651) 366-4800

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Updated: 08/01/2012
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