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PLANNING TEAM

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration
Resource Center
Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program

Transportation Planning Update
Summer 2010

TIGER ll Grants

DOT is authorized to award $600 million in TIGER II Discretionary Grants pursuant to Title I (Department of Transportation) of the FY 2010 Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 111-117, Dec. 16, 2009). This appropriation is similar, but not identical to the appropriation for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or “TIGER Discretionary Grant”, program authorized and implemented pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”). Because of the similarity in program structure and objectives, DOT is referring to the grants for National Infrastructure Investments under the FY 2010 Appropriations Act as “TIGER II Discretionary Grants”. As with the TIGER program, funds for the TIGER II program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region.
The criteria for the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program was announced in the interim notice of funding availability in the Federal Register http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-04-26/pdf/2010-9591.pdf. The notice requires that pre-applications must be submitted by July 16, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Final applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by August 23, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. EST. For more information see http://www.dot.gov/recovery/ost/tigerii/ .

BORDER ISSUES


Border Wait Time Agreement

On March 9, 2010, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Customs and Protection (CBP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Transport Canada (TC) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to work together to test and deploy technology to measure wait times at Canada/U.S. land border crossings.

This technology will enable drivers to make informed decisions about which border crossing to use and the best time to cross. This can reduce delays at border crossings by matching current demand to available infrastructure and resources.

Wait times are currently manually estimated by border personnel. By automating border wait time measurement, staff will be freed up to perform their primary role at the border, which is to screen people and goods for potential threats, collect fees and taxes, and facilitate cross-border trade and tourism. For more information contact Travis Black (202) 366-6798
travis.black@dot.gov

White House Declaration

On May 19, 2010, the White House issued a Declaration concerning the Twenty-First Century Border Management. To coordinate and facilitate work aimed at furthering the goals noted in this Declaration, the Participants intend to establish a Twenty-First Century Border Bilateral Executive Steering Committee (ESC) composed of representatives from the appropriate federal government departments and offices.

It is expected that the Transportation implementation group will be the US/Mexico Joint Working Committee (JWC) who will coordinate the following items.

• State to State Border Master Plans
• Border Wait Time Studies
• Electronic Toll Studies
• Show Case Border Crossing (OTAY Mesa East)
• ITS

Contact Roger Petzold, (202) 366-4074 roger.petzold.dot.gov .

ENVIRONMENT

AASHTO TIG Picks Environmental GIS

AASHTO's Technology Implementation Group (TIG) has selected the focus technologies for 2010. Among them is environmental GIS. TIG's goal is to promote high payoff, innovative technologies that State and local transportation agencies and industry can use to improve the Nation's highway system. As part of the TIG, States to share the latest technolgies with each other. For this project, the lead States are Maryland and Texas.

Environmental Planning GIS tools use mapping technology to help agencies analyze environmental assets along with transportation assets and develop plans that accommodate both transportation improvements and environmental mitigation and stewardship. This data-driven decision support tool can accelerate project planning and delivery while protecting the environment, improving project quality and cost effectiveness. Use of the tools can also build multi-agency partnerships, offer more transparent decisionmaking, and eliminate redundancy of effort. Ultimately, the technology helps agencies strengthen communities by using sustainable practices and improving quality of life.

As with all GIS based tools, the data and the analysis processes are key to their success, for the different approaches taken by Maryland and Texas this is truly the case. Maryland's Green Infrastructure (GI) Assessment, is used to identify high priority ecological areas for conservation and restoration at a statewide scale. The Texas GIS driven approach focuses on environmental impact assessments and screening tools that allow project alternatives to be rated in order to minimize potential environmental impacts. If you are interested in implementing an approach like this in your state or for more information please feel free to contact: Maya Coleman from Texas DOT mcolem2@dot.state.tx.us 512-416-2578 or Gregory Slater, Maryland DOT gslater@sha.state.md.us 410-545-0412.

Carbon Sequestration Report

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) established the Carbon Sequestration Pilot Program (CSPP) in 2008 to assess whether a roadside carbon sequestration effort through modified maintenance and management practices is appropriate and feasible for state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) when balanced against ecological and economic uncertainties. As part of FHWA's feasibility research, we have recently completed a report on “Estimated Land Available for Carbon Sequestration in the National Highway System” . It can be found at :
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/climate/carbon_sequestration/index.htm .

Livability

The US DOT has established a website http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/ to provide resources about Livabile communities and how transportation can be a party of the solution. It includes case studies and the details of DOT's partnerships with HUD and EPA. A Guide was recently published with a list of Federal funding and resources that local communities can use to support their efforts http://fta.dot.gov/documents/Sustainable_Communities_Programs_4-26-10.pdf

Measuring PEL Progress

FHWA has published A Guide to Measuring Progress in Linking Transportation Planning and Environmental Analysis to assist transportation agencies in developing their own programs to measure the successes of PEL-related activities. The guide provides a measurement framework, an overall PEL goal, four sample objectives, and an array of example metrics to track progress toward achieving the goals and objectives. See: http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/integ/meas_progress.asp

Travel, Land Use & NEPA Guidance

Certain transportation analyses have emerged that are critical to a credible and successful National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Some of the most important analyses conducted for transportation projects are travel and land use forecasting as they supply information for purpose and need, alternatives analysis, and environmental impacts.

FHWA distributed interim guidance to Division Offices April 12, 2010 to encourage improvement in the state-of-the-practice in project-level forecasting as it is applied in the context of the NEPA process. This guidance shares key considerations, collective lessons learned and best practices regarding how to apply forecasting in NEPA. These can be used to help DOTs avoid common issues and improve the quality of forecasts, resulting in faster and more effective project delivery. While technical guidelines for producing forecasts for projects have been documented by others, guidance has not been provided on the procedural or process considerations in forecasting. This guidance attempts to fill that gap.

Webinars and training will be made available to help implement this guidance. Feedback on the guidance is encouraged and will be accepted through September 30, 2010. Contact Michael Culp michael.culp@dot.gov, 202-366- 9229.


AIR QUALITY

 

Training on EPA's New MOVES Model

FHWA is partnering with EPA to provide training on EPA's new MOVES emissions model. This model, which will replace the MOBILE6.2 emissions model for development of air quality plans, transportation conformity determinations, and project-level analysis, was released at the end of 2009. In addition to modeling the traditional urban air pollutants (carbon monoxide, ozone precursors, and particulate matter), the model can also provide results for mobile source air toxics, greenhouse gases, and energy consumption for the on-road vehicle fleet.

FHWA and EPA are planning a number of training and outreach opportunities related to the new model. First, we are working to prepare materials for a 2-day hands-on training course to be offered this summer and fall. FHWA and EPA conducted approximately 20 training courses on the draft version of the model during 2009, and plan a similar number of courses for 2010. One day of the course will be dedicated to regional emissions analysis, and the second day will be focused on project-level analysis. For parties that are interested in learning about the model, but won't use it on a regular basis and don't need hands-on modeling training, we will also offer a webinar introduction to the model. This will include a basic introduction to the model and how it works, differences in emissions results between MOVES and MOBILE6.2, and policy requirements for use of the model.

Finally, FHWA and EPA will be hosting two national user groups related to the model, one for parties interested in regional emissions analysis, and one for project-level applications. Our intention is that these groups will meet periodically through webconferences or conference calls, and will provide a forum for users to share best practices, receive updates regarding the model, and learn from other users' experiences.

Information about the model, including guidance and technical documentation, are located on EPA's MOVES web site at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/index.htm or contact: Jeff Houk Jeff.Houk@dot.gov 720-963-3203. The dates and locations of training courses and the planned webconferences will also be posted at this site as they are scheduled

New Ozone Standard

On January 6, 2010, USEPA proposed to revise the 8-hour ozone standards. The proposed revisions result from a reconsideration of the identical primary and secondary ozone standards set at 0.075 ppm in March, 2008.

EPA is proposing to set the “primary” standard at a level between 0.060 and 0.070 parts per million (ppm) measured over eight hours. EPA is also proposing to set a separate seasonal “secondary” standard to protect the environment, especially plants and trees, at the level of within the range of 7-15 ppm-hours.

More information of this proposed rule and other related documents, including maps showing potential nonattainment areas, are available at http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/actions.html#jan10s . Contact: Cecilia Ho 202-366-9862 cecilia.ho@dot.gov .

New NO2 Standard

EPA has issued a final rule regarding the NO2 NAAQS. The rule requires near-road monitoring. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a new national air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This new one-hour standard will protect millions of Americans from peak short-term exposures, which primarily occur near major roads. The agency set the new one-hour standard for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb). EPA also is retaining the existing annual average standard of 53 ppb.

EPA is establishing new monitoring requirements in urban areas that will measure NO2 levels within 50 meters of major roadways and as well as monitors sited to measure the area-wide NO2 concentrations that occur more broadly across communities. Monitors must be located near roadways in cities with at least 500,000 residents. Larger cities and areas with major roadways will have additional monitors. Community-wide monitoring will continue in cities with at least 1 million residents.

The main link for information on the rule is:
http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides/actions.html#jan10 .

 

EPA Releases Draft Guidance For Quantitative PM Hotspot Analyses

For the first time, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released draft conformity guidance for quantifying localized air quality impacts for certain transportation projects inside PM nonattainment and maintenance areas. Once finalized, this guidance will be used by state and local agencies to conduct “hot-spot analyses” for new highway and transit projects that involve significant diesel emissions. EPA intends to finalize the guidance later this year.
Until the quantitative guidance is finalized, qualitative analyses will continue to apply in PM nonattainment and maintenance areas. Previous EPA-FHWA guidance for hot-spot analyses only required the analyses to be done qualitatively because appropriate models were not available. However, with the release of the new MOVES2010 emissions model, an appropriate tool is now available with which to conduct a project-level analysis and for EPA to develop the draft guidance document. EPA is seeking public comment on all aspects of the draft guidance by July 19, 2010.
See http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy.htm

 

BIKE / PED / TRAILS


DOT Policy Statement on Bike & Pedestrian Accommodations

On March 11, 2010, the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) signed a Policy Statement to reflect the Department's support for the development of fully integrated active transportation networks. The establishment of well-connected walking and bicycling networks is an important component for livable communities, and their design should be a part of Federal-aid project developments. Legislation and regulations exist that require inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian policies and projects into transportation plans and project development. Accordingly, transportation agencies should plan, fund, and implement improvements to their walking and bicycling networks, including linkages to transit. In addition, DOT encourages transportation agencies to go beyond the minimum requirements, and proactively provide convenient, safe, and context-sensitive facilities that foster increased use by bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities, and utilize universal design characteristics when appropriate. Transportation programs and facilities should accommodate people of all ages and abilities, including people too young to drive, people who cannot drive, and people who choose not to drive. The policy can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/policy_accom.htm .

Annual Trail Documentation

It is the time of year that the annual documentation that the State recreational trail advisory committee has met or will have met at least once in FY 2010 has to be submitted. This information is needed to assure the States are eligible to receive FY 2011 apportionments under the Recreational Trails Program. A summary of the requirements for the advisory committee found in 23 U.S.C. 206(c). Documentation of the meeting may include:

1) A copy of meeting minutes or a link to meeting minutes posted on a website;

2) A copy of a certification letter from the State that the committee has met; or

3) Other written documentation that the State has met this requirement.

Please provide this information to Christopher Douwes at christopher.douwes@dot.gov 202-366-5013 by September 10, 2010.

RTCA Grants Available

For those States and communities seeking to get funding for conserving waterways, preserving open space, and developing trails and greenways, the applications for the next round of technical assistance through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) can be submitted to the National Park Service until August 1. Visit www.nps.gov/rtca for complete program information and application.

FHWA HQ Planning

The FHWA Office of Planning, Environment and Realty underwent reorganization in May. It created a new Office of Human Environment with a new Livability Team to address the increasing work load in this area. The previous Office of Interstate and Border Planning has become part of the Office of Planning. See the new organization chart for the Planning, Environment and Realty.

2010 FHWA Office of Planning, Environment and Realty

Image showing the organization of the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty


FHWA Organization Chart 1

DATA

Wiki Online Travel Survey Manual

TRB's Committee on Travel Survey Methods (ABJ40) has developed the transportation community's first-ever wiki-style On-line Travel Survey Manual with details on virtually everything transportation survey developers & survey managers need to know. Please visit http://www.travelsurveymanual.org to get a sense of the 25 extensive chapters, covering all types of transportation surveys, including household, visitor, parking, freight & establishment surveys; stated preference and qualitative surveys; GPS-based designs and data expansion; survey costs and quality control. The newly developed Appendix provides high-quality samples of RFPs, diary forms, and other field materials.

This document represents an overhaul and update of the 1996 USDOT and EPA manual prepared by Cambridge Systematics (thank you to Kevin Tierney!), with major contributions from TRB's recent NCHRP Report 571 “Standardized Procedures for Personal Travel Surveys” .

New CTPP Status Report

A new Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP) Status Report has been posted on the FHWA website (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ctpp/sr0510.htm).

CTPP on Facebook

AASHTO has added a Facebook page as a communication method with the CTPP community. You may access it via http://www.facebook.com/pages/Census-Transportation-Planning-Products-CTPP/114473021912735.

CTPP Access Software

A contract has been signed between AASHTO and Beyond 20/20 and Citygate for the development and production of the software. The software will primarily be a web-based solution, with a desktop solution using Beyond 20/20 Professional Browser. It is expected to be ready for users in fall of 2010.

 

TRANSIT ACTIVITIES

TOD Guide for MPOs

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) has released a guide, “Transit-Oriented Tools for Metropolitan Planning Organizations” to aid Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in taking a more proactive role in planning and promoting compact growth along transit corridors. Funded through a cooperative agreement between Reconnecting America and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the guide highlights best practices related to regulations, funding, information sharing and partnerships. For more information see http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/public/stories/1614 .

National Transit Institute's Transit-Oriented Development Course

The National Transit Institute (NTI) will be holding the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) course in several cities this summer. Participants from all levels of government including the Partnership for Sustainable Communities staff from HUD, EPA and DOT may be included. The two-day course demonstrates how existing communities can revitalize around transit stations and how multimodal transportation facilities can be leveraged to enhance economic competitiveness, provide transportation choices and promote equitable, affordable housing. Upcoming class offerings include: Boston, MA - June 21, 2010 and Ft. Worth, TX -- July 14th, 2010. Click on www.NTIONLINE.com for more information.

Active Design

Should the principles of wellness be incorporated into planning and design? New York City seems to think so and created the Active Design Guidelines. The Active Design Guidelines are intended to promote a healthy lifestyle through building, plaza, and recreational facility design. The idea is to incorporate physical activity into design. Not just designing bikeways, but encouraging pedestrian plazas and walk able development. In terms of transit facilities, these design guidelines fit in to encourage commuters to take the stairs, when you are able, instead of escalator or elevator. These concepts fit into transit facilities very well so we can continue to encourage stairs as well as escalators in transportation facilities to incorporate wellness into planning and design. These design criteria are also consistent with the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information:

Policy Brief: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/tcny/tcny-active-design.pdf

DDC: Active Design Guidelines website - http://www.nyc.gov/html/ddc/html/design/active_design.shtml

ANRPM on New & Small Starts

On June 3, 2010 the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANRPM) on the New and Small Starts program was published in the Federal Register. The ANPRM poses a series of questions about three statutory New Starts project justification criteria -- cost-effectiveness, economic development, and environmental benefits. The ANPRM will begin a dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders on how we can better capture the benefits transit major capital investments can provide, and consider those benefits in our evaluation and rating process. The ANPRM is written in “plain speak” as much as possible to encourage broad participation by non-traditional stakeholders. After a review of the comments on the ANPRM, FTA will propose specific revised approaches to evaluating and rating New and Small Starts projects in the NPRM that will follow this effort.

A series of outreach sessions will be held around the country where the ANPRM will be explained and questions answered. These sessions will be announced in a future Federal Register notice and on FTA's website. We will keep you posted as more dates/locations are finalized. Additionally, FTA plans to hold at least one webinar outreach session, the date of which has not yet been decided. For more info see: www.fta.dot.gov .

Environmental Management Systems Training for Public Transportation Agencies

FTA is offering a third round of Environmental Management (EMS) training and assistance for public transportation agencies. The program extends over a period of two years. FTA offers highly tailored guidance to eight to ten agencies as they create and implement an EMS, using the 14001 Standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The 14001 Standard is a toolbox of management techniques to minimize harm to the environment. Although the 14001 Standard serves as the basis of the EMS training, it is the agency's choice whether to pursue ISO certification. FTA will assemble a final report that includes the participating transit agencies' case studies and assesses training results.

Training assistance will take the form of workshops, on-site technical support visits, electronic materials and resources, and direct consultation. FTA will again employ the services of the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), located in Roanoke, Virginia. EPA recognizes Virginia Tech as a Public Entity Environmental Management System Resource Center (PEER Center) specifically designed to aid local, county, and state entities that implementing an EMS.

Public and private entities that have integrated EMS into their operations report improved compliance with environmental regulations and enhanced support of environmental stewardship objectives. EMS affects every aspect of an organization's current and planned operations and produces environmental benefits such as energy conservation, efficient water use, vehicle emission reduction, materials recycling, and management of hazardous materials. Organizations with EMS often report cost savings over time, improved bond ratings, reduced insurance premiums, and better community relations.

Learn more about FTA's EMS training at www.fta.dot.gov/EMS.

 

FREIGHT

TALKING FREIGHT

Registration is open for the July Talking Freight Seminar. To register for this seminar, please visit
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/freightplanning/registration.htm
You will need to register for each seminar individually by clicking on the “Enroll” link to the right of the seminar information.

Dates and topics for the upcoming seminars:

The TIGER II Planning Grants webinar scheduled for June 15 is going to be rescheduled. The new date will be announced soon.

July 21, 2010 - Freight Productivity Impacts by Natural and Man-Made Disasters

The Talking Freight seminars are sponsored by the FHWA and are held via web conference. This means that you view the PowerPoint presentations over the Internet while listening to the presenters over the telephone. There is no cost involved and you do not have to leave your desk to participate. However, registration and attendance is limited to 100 people.

The seminars are held on the third Wednesday of each month, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT/ 10:00 am - 11:30 am Pacific. The first hour of each seminar is dedicated to the presentations and the remaining 30 minutes are for audience question and answer. Archives of past sessions can be found at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/fpd/talking_freight.htm.

Publication of Freight and Air Quality Handbook

The Freight and Air Quality Handbook was developed as a resource for states, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other public- and private-sector organizations to use in developing solutions to freight related air quality issues and emissions challenges. This handbook provides the background needed to understand how freight contributes to air quality issues, describes strategies to mitigate those freight-related pollutant emissions and improve air quality, and identifies funding and financing tools available for freight-related air quality projects. See http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop10024/index.htm .


PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

New Visualization Resources

Besides the DOT website on Planning and visualization, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/vip/index.htm , two new websites have been established to share the latest in the technology, http://fhwa.ccr.buffalo.edu/index.html and FTA Public Participation Project site http://www.choosingviz.org/ .

Planning is under way for the 6th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium to be held in Madison Wisconsin July 11 - 14, 2011. The TRB Visualization Committee is the host of this Conference. To find out more see http://www.trbvis.org/SYMPOSIUM-2011/Overview.html .

The Multi-Day Charrette Model: An NCI Training

On June 7, 2010, representatives of FTA, FHWA, and EPA, as well as local planners, designers and architects, gathered at the Charles Summer School in Washington, DC to learn about the National Charrette Institute's (NCI) Charrette System.
The traditional charrette is a public involvement technique that goes beyond the public hearing; it encourages members of the public to take an active role alongside trained planners. Often, a charrette is a one-day event. NCI intends to change the way planners approach charrettes and thereby transform the results of charrettes. Their philosophy emphasizes guiding principles (which can include livability and sustainability), local standards and codes, and authentic public engagement.
NCI's system is designed to fuel collaborative thinking, not only on the business side, but the stakeholder side as well. They recommend a three-part process, featuring a multiple-month research, education and outreach phase, a four- to seven-day charrette, and a one- to two-month follow-up and implementation period. During the charrette, the plan development team facilitates public discussions to generate a shared vision, gather the best ideas, and compare and contrast alternative concepts. Through a series of stakeholder “feedback loops,” these concepts are tested and refined until the group produces a feasible, “bulletproof” plan.
NCI charrettes benefit communities in the short and the long run; while the charrette team receives input about a specific planning project, stakeholders learn skills that help them with not only the present project but future ones, too. Through an FTA-funded Public Transportation Participation (PTP) research project, NCI is assembling a nuts-and-bolts guide to charrettes for TOD planning.

SHRP II

The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) continues to progress and roll out interim products. One area of interest to planners is the capacity focus area which is developing a framework for consistently making balanced and collaborative decisions about transportation capacity and to provide the tools for applying the framework. This will require identifying critical points for decision making in various processes, the data and knowledge required for these decisions, and successful methods of sharing information. These key points have been included in a web resource entitled Transportation for Communities - Advancing Projects Through Partnerships.

Check out the beta version of the webtool at http://transportationforcommunities.com

Contact Spencer Stevens, HQs Office of Planning (717-221-4512) or Brian Betlyon, FHWA Resource Center (410-962-0086) for more information.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS


MARC Public Comment

The Kansas Division wanted to pass along and interesting practice from the draft Long Range Transportation Plan for the Kansas City region. Their mechanism for collecting public comments on the draft was something different and rather useful. If you go to the MPO's website and navigate to the section regarding their draft LRTP, you'll see that the draft is made available online, broken out by chapter. http://www.marc.org/2040/Plan/Draft_Plan/index.aspx You could comment on each chapter of the plan, just by clicking on a link. Not only does this make commenting on the LRTP easy for the reader, but it helps to organize the comments for MPO staff, in turn making it easier for them to address the comments. Feel free to share neat practice with your State and MPO partners.
For more information contact Paul Foundoukis at 785- 271-2448 x220, paul.foundoukis@dot.gov .

Virtual Conference on Planning Research Needs

In the last Newsletter, we mentioned that the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning/ Subcommittee on Research had hosted a Virtual Conference on Transportation Planning Research Needs. The Blog with information about the effort can be found at http://transportationplanningresearchneeds.blogspot.com/ The resulting report on research needs from is being reviewed by the TRB Subcommittee and is expected to be posted for a two week review on the website in July. To stay informed about this effort and to receive email updates, email Katie Rooney at krooney@icfi.com

FHWA PLANNING DISCIPLINE
ACTIVITIES


Planning Discipline SharePoint site

The new Planning Discipline SharePoint site is up and running. It provides internal resources for FHWA Planners. You can access it at the following link: http://one.dot.gov/fhwa/PlanningDSS/default.aspx . This site offers you a central web portal with the necessary tools and materials relevant to your jobs, including topic-specific pages, training, best practices, technical assistance, points of contact, and career guidance. To facilitate the transition to SharePoint, all users are encouraged to attend two brief trainings courses on SharePoint, SharePoint 101, the fundamentals of SharePoint and SharePoint 102, creating discussion boards, surveys and working with wikis and blogs. For more information, contact Jocelyn Jones 410-962-2486 jocelyn.jones@dot.gov.

Let's Talk Planning

The FHWA and the FTA strive to provide the planning staff with current policy information, guidance, and an opportunity for dialog on key programmatic issues. The Let's Talk Planning series of video/web meetings are information-sharing sessions for the FHWA and the FTA planners. These internal meetings are generally held the second Thursday every 3 months via video conference or webinar at 2 pm EDT. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the Planning Community of Practice site.

Mark you calendars! The scheduled dates for the rest of the 2010 video conferences are July 15th, Sept. 9th and December 9th. The topic of the July session will be Funding Livability . If you have suggestions for LTP sessions, contact Ralph Rizzo, Fred Bowers or John Spowls.

”Planning On the Web” Training Seminar Series

To help support the FHWA and FTA staff and promote continuous professional development of agency planners, the FHWA Resource Center is offering a series of internal web-based training seminars through an initiative known as “Planning on the Web” (POW). The POW training sessions are for the FHWA staff and will generally last 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Mark your calendars, the dates of the 2010 POW sessions are:

July 20 - Freight and Livability
August 31 - Scenario Planning
September 28 - TBA
October 19 - TBA
November 16 - TBA

If you cannot attend the POW session for a particular month, the presentations and other information resources are available on the RC internal web site, as well as the Planning CoP. Preregistration e-mail for each session will be sent to the FHWA Field Planners e-mail group approximately 3 weeks before each session. We hope to “see” you at the next session and to hear your feedback on the session, as well as future POW topics. If you have a topic that you think would be valuable to offer as a POW web-based training seminar, contact Lisa Randall, Ken Petty, or any member of the RC Planning Technical Service Team.

2010 FHWA/FTA Planner's Seminar

The 2010 FHWA/FTA Planners' Seminar is scheduled to take place at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, VA, from Monday, August 16, 2010, through Thursday, August 19, 2010. The Planners' Seminar affords FHWA and FTA a unique opportunity to bring staff together to share experiences and to discuss effective oversight and stewardship of the transportation planning process as well as to provide opportunities for technical capacity building in the planning discipline. The agenda, hotel information, registration and arrangements can be found at the meeting site http://planning.dot.gov/planners/index.asp Reminder: You must register for the seminar on the website and make your reservations by July 16, 2010 to guarantee a government rate room.

This year's Planner's awards are scheduled to be presented during the Meeting. Also, as part of the seminar, an afternoon is set aside for the Field Planners to visit the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), share resources and “get to know” the various offices. In the past, the USDOT visit has taken the form of separate office “Open Houses” scattered throughout the building. This year, hosting one grand event: TransExpo 2010. TransExpo 2010 will be held in the West Atrium of the USDOT building.

For further information on the 2010 FHWA/FTA Planners' Seminar, please contact James Garland, FTA, 202-366-0526 james.garland@dot.gov, Robin Smith, FHWA, 720-963-3072 robin.smith@dot.gov or Susan Grosser, FHWA, 202-366-2825 susan.grosser@dot.gov.

2010 Transportation Planning Discipline Recognition

The FHWA Planning Leadership Council is currently developing the 2010 Transportation Planning Discipline Recognition Program (TPDR). The TPDR was first introduced last year to recognize efforts by FHWA planners that demonstrate excellence within the planning discipline. The first awards were presented in August at the Planning, Environment, Air Quality and Realty Learning and Development Seminar (PEAR) in Phoenix, Arizona.

Nominations for award recipients to the 2010 TPDR will begin in approximately 90-days. We look forward to announcing the 2010 winners at the Planners Seminar in August, 2010. If you have any questions about the TPDR, please feel free to contact Andy Edwards at andrew.edwards@dot.gov or by phone at (404) 562-3659 .

TRAVEL MODEL IMPROVEMENT
PROGRAM UPDATES
Model Sensitivity Testing Synthesis

This synthesis is a synopsis of the contributions and responses regarding travel demand model (TDM) testing; more specifically, the philosophy of testing and conveying the results of different model scenarios and the potential impacts of alternatives being considered by policy makers. The topic of sensitivity analysis receives specific mention in Transportation Research Board (TRB) Special Report 288: Metropolitan Travel Forecasting: Current Practice and Future Direction. As such, the topic of sensitivity testing was recently addressed in the e-mail list. The discussion also represents a continuation of previous Listserv discussions regarding model uncertainty that had been raised in a number of other topic headings through the years, including feedback loops.

TMIP News

Peer Review Process Guide Now Available
A peer review is an excellent way for an agency to get feedback on its current travel model and to receive recommendations on how to proceed with model improvements. However, as anyone who has hosted a peer review knows, it is not a minor undertaking. The decisions and tasks involved in a peer review require careful consideration and a commitment to spending the resources necessary to conduct the best possible peer review. To help agencies make decisions when considering, planning, conducting, or following up on a peer review, the FHWA Travel Model Improvement Program engaged the U.S. DOT Volpe Center to develop the Peer Review Process Guide: How to Get the Most out of Your Peer Review. This guide, developed in consultation with several travel modeling experts, contains practical “how to” information for agencies considering or planning a peer review.

Technical Synthesis on Model Sensitivity Testing
This synthesis is a synopsis of the contributions and responses regarding travel demand model (TDM) testing; more specifically, the philosophy of testing and conveying the results of different model scenarios and the potential impacts of alternatives being considered by policy makers. The topic of sensitivity analysis receives specific mention in Transportation Research Board (TRB) Special Report 288: Metropolitan Travel Forecasting: Current Practice and Future Direction. As such, the topic of sensitivity testing was recently addressed in the e-mail list. The discussion also represents a continuation of previous Listserv discussions regarding model uncertainty that had been raised in a number of other topic headings through the years, including feedback loops.

PERSONNEL

Staff Changes

There have been several changes in staff recently.

From Office To Office

Jim Crammer MI Div Planning retirement

Romare Truely PDP Program WY Div Planning

Steve Thomas AZ Div Environment Retiring June 30

Brian Hasselbach Mt Div Env & R/W Leader

Janice Osadczuk Ind. Div Planning Ind. Div. Engineering

Dickie Walters MS Div Environment passed away

Sandra Brillhart NJ Div. Planning/Env

Steve Hanson NJ Div. Planning

Ann-Marie Day GA DOT GA Div Planning

Carlos Gonzolas Hampton Roads MPO GA Div Planning

Greg Woods TXDOT TX DIv. Env & Planning

Federal Lands

Laurie Miskimins National Park Foundation Central FL
Kristin Kirkpatrick LiveWell Colorado Central FL

RC Changes

Paul Heishman, Joined RC AQ Team in Baltimore.
K. Lynn Berry RC Env Team National Park Service
Fawn Thompson RC Planning Team OTS Tech Parnership Pgm

HQ Changes

Rob Ritter Office of Planning Office of Safety
John Humeston Office of Planning Retiring July 3
Carol Adkins Office of Environment Retired
Jody McCullough Baltimore MPO Office of Planning
Michelle Noch LA Metro Office Office of Planning
Jeremy Raw Virginia DOT Office of Planning

WORKSHOPS & TRAINING

FHWA Resource Center
For information, see contacts at www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/index.cfm . You can find the Planning Menu of Resource Center technical assistance, and training at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/courses.cfm

7/8/2010 AASHTO Mississippi Valley CTPP Update Des Moines, IA

7/12-14/2010 Scenario Planning Lansing, MI

7/13/2010 TRB midyear meeting, Workshop on Census Data, Minneapolis, MN

7/19/2010 Introduction to Dynamic Traffic Assignment Los Angeles, CA

7/27/2010 Advanced Freight Austin, TX

7/29-30/2010 Congestion Management Process Kansas City, MO

8/9/2010 Intro to Travel Demand Forecasting Richmond, VA

8/10/2010 Statewide Model Richmond, VA

9/21/2010 Data Workshop at TRB Small and Medium Conf. Williamsburg, WV

TBD Fiscal Constraint 101 Raleigh, NC

TBD Livability Atlanta, GA

TBD Land Use Forecasting Methods Indianapolis, IN

8/24 -- 26, 2010 Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (NTAQS) Cambridge, MA contact: Kevin Black, FHWA RC, 410.962.2177, Kevin.Black@dot.gov

TBD - Webinar on Emissions Reductions Estimation Techniques Contacts: Joon (John) Byun, joon.byun@dot.gov 410-962-0069 and Michael Roberts, Michael.Roberts@dot.gov 404-562-3928

National Transit Institute
For registration instructions see: www.ntionline.com/CourseDates.asp For session dates, see the list below.

Start Date End Date Location

7/14/2010 7/15/2010 Ft. Worth, TX
Transit-Oriented Development
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TPE20

7/20/2010 7/22/2010 St. Louis, MO
Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=FP208

7/28/2010 7/29/2010 Seattle, WA
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

8/24/2010 8/25/2010 San Diego, CA
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

9/15/2010 9/16/2010 Sioux Falls, SD
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

10/13/2010 10/14/2010 State College, PA
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

10/24/2010 10/24/2010 Seaside, OR
Understanding ADA
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TCR08

National Highway Institute
Try out the new NHI Web site at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/home.aspx. Also, you can now check the schedule of web conferences at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/eventcalendar.aspx .

We have added a new section in this edition with online web based training classes. With the States experiencing difficulties with travel budgets, the FHWA has invested in web based courses to make it easier for people to get the training they need.

Web based courses available anytime:

Interested in Taking an NHI Web-based Training (WBT) Course? View this help guide on enrolling in an NHI WBT course.

Complete list of NHI web-based courses

Look for these web based courses on NHI's web site:

ITS Deployment Analysis System (IDAS)

Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process - Standard Version

Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process - Accessible 508 Version

Introduction to NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

Traffic Monitoring and Pavement Design Programs

Highway Performance Monitoring System: An Introduction

Introducing Highway Federal-Aid
Standard Version

Introducing Highway Federal-Aid
Accessible 508 Version

Scheduled Courses in the next Quarter:

Start Date End Date Location

Available anytime from NHI web site
Highway Performance Monitoring Systems : An Introduction - web based

7/20/2010 7/27/2010 On-Line
ffective Communications in Public Involvement

8/17/2010 8/19/2010 Chicago, IL
Highway Traffic Noise

09/21/2010 9/23/2010 Newington, CT
Public Involvement in the Transportation Decisionmaking Process

Travel Model Improvement Program Workshops

For more detail see: http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/conf_courses/ or contact: Sarah Sun (202) 493-0071, sarah.sun@dot.gov. For the NHI travel demand courses, see the NHI list.

Currently the only training that the TMIP program has approved is through web seminars. These sessions will focus on the estimation process for logit models, which are used not only for mode choice but often for other model components. The session will focus on multinomial and nested logit models. The discussion will include the statistical methods used and the evaluation of model estimation results. The software used in model estimation will be discussed, as well as the programs used for model application.

July 14, 2010 2:30pm - 4:30pm Introduction to Travel Demand Forecasting Online Webinar

Check back with the web site http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/discussions/webinars/ for future sessions.

If you missed previous webinars, you can view the recording of the webinar and download PDFs of the speaker's presentations from the TMIP Web site.


2009 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

July 11-14, 2010 TRB Summer
Meetings Planning and Performance Measurement for All Modes Minneapolis, MN

July 16 - 17, 2010 Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference Norcross, GA

July 24 - 27, 2010 TRB 10th International Conference on Low -Volume Roads Lake Buena, FL

August 11, 2010 ITE 2010 Annual Meeting and Exhibit
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Aug 15 - Aug 18, 2010 American Public Works Association Annual Meeting Boston, MA

Aug 24 -- 26, 2010 Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (NTAQS) Cambridge, MA Contact: Kevin Black, 410.962.2177, Kevin.Black@dot.gov

Sept 13 - 17, 2010 ProWalk/ProBike 2010
Chattanooga, TN

Sept 22-24 2010 TRB 12th National Tools of the Trade Conference Williamsburg, VA

Oct 10, 2010 TRB 9th National Conference on Access Management Natchez, Mississippi

Oct 18 - 19, 2010 TRB Research Perspectives on Transportation Systems for Livable Communities Conference Washington, DC

Oct 25 - 26, 2010 TRB Using National Household Travel Survey Data for Transportation Decision Making Washington, DC

Nov, 2010 State Trail Administrators Meeting Chattanooga, TN

Nov 14 - 17, 2010 National Trails Symposium
Chattanooga TN

Nov 14 - 17, 2010 ASCE 2010 Green Streets & Highways Conference, Denver CO

Nov 16, 2010 TRB Commodity Flow Survey Workshop
Washington, D.C.

Oct 26, 2010 TRB Using National Household Travel Survey Data for Transportation Decision Making Workshop Washington, D.C.

April 9 - 13, 2011 American Planning Association Annual National Planning Conference, Boston, MA

May 18-21, 2011 Performance Measurement for Transportation Systems: Fourth U.S. and International Conference Irvine, California

July 11-14, 2011 TRB 6th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium Madison WI

NOTICE: The information and articles in this newsletter are for your information and do not necessarily constitute policy positions of the Federal Highway Administration or Federal Transit Administration. The mention of commercial products, their source or their use in connection with material reported herein is not to be construed as either an actual or implied endorsement of such products.

For more information, review the calendars posted on the following websites for upcoming transportation events:

FHWA Planning, Environment and Realty:
www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/calendar.htm

FHWA Resource Center:
www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/calendar.htm
Transportation Research Board:
http://www.trb.org/calendar/

EDITORIAL STAFF:

Ben Williams, Co-Editor
Metropolitan Planning Specialist,
FHWA Resource Center
(404) 561-3671
ben.williams@dot.gov

Fred Bowers, Co-Editor
Transportation Planner
FHWA Office of Planning
(202) 366-2374
fred.bowers@dot.gov

John Sprowls, Contributing Editor
Community Planner
FTA Office of Systems Planning
(202) 366-5332
john.sprowls@dot.gov

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