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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
Fall 2010

Every Day Counts

Every Day Counts (EDC) is the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) effort to provide national leadership in the quest to meet the transportation demands of the 21st Century. EDC is designed to identify and deploy innovation aimed at shortening project delivery, enhancing the safety of our roadways, and protecting the environment. The effort involves a number of initiatives:

Accelerating Technology & Innovation Deployment
Warm Mix Asphalt
Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems
Adaptive Signal Control Technology
Safety Edge
Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil

Shortening Project Delivery
Planning and Environmental Linkages
Legal Sufficiency Enhancements
Expanding Use of Programmatic Agreements
Use of In-Lieu Fee and Mitigation Banking
Clarifying the Scope of Preliminary Design
Flexibilities in Right of Way
Flexibilities in Utility Accommodation and Relocation
Enhanced Technical Assistance on Delayed EISs

The main initiative involving planning are Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL). This initiative will set up a framework for considering and incorporating planning documents and decisions from the earliest stages of project planning into the environmental review process. It represents an approach to transportation decision making that takes environmental, community, and economic information collected early in the planning stage and carries it through project development, design, and construction. This can lead to a seamless decisionmaking process that minimizes duplication of effort, promotes environmental stewardship, and reduces delays in project implementation. A questionnaire has been developed as a tool to help States document those planning studies which can assist the environmental process. FHWA has a goal of getting 50% of the States to implement a PEL questionnaire or an equivalent process in the next year. FHWA and AASHTO have arranged 10 regional summits to discuss the initiatives with the States during October and November 2010. For more information see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/index.cfm.

Another CR Expected Soon

Without a permanent FY 2011 Department of Transportation Appropriations Act, the Federal Transportation programs are operating under the provisions of a Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 3081, providing continuing appropriations through December 3, 2010. FHWA and FTA expenditure authority and programs authorized under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) were previously extended through December 31, 2010 by the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010 (Extension Act), title IV of Public Law (Pub. l.) 111-147. The formula for determining the amount of funds available for obligation under the CR was calculated by a percentage based on the number of CR days (64) divided by 365, applied to a base amount, which is the prior year’s obligation level. Another CR will be needed to provide appropriations beyond December 3rd and another Extension Act to authorize transportation programs beyond the end of December.

TIGER II Program Announcement

In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II grants. Forty-two capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states will share nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER II program for major infrastructure projects ranging from highways and bridges to transit, rail and ports. As a competitive program, TIGER II is able to fund the best projects from around the country. Using merit-based evaluation criteria allows the USDOT to address some of the nation’s most critical challenges such as sustainability and economic competitiveness.

This marks the first time that the USDOT and Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) have joined together in awarding grants for localized planning activities that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and urban development. Almost 700 applicants sought up to $35 million in TIGER II planning grants and up to $40 million in HUD Sustainable Community Challenge Grants. The HUD’s funds can be used for localized planning efforts, such as development around a transit stop and zone or building code updates and improvements. The two Departments, along with assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, participated in the evaluation of the planning grant applications. For more information, please contact Moises Marrero at moises.marrero@dot.gov for Capital Grants, Kenneth Petty at kenneth.petty@dot.gov for Planning Grants, or Ed Strocko at ed.strocko@dot.gov for TIGER II in general.

• DOT Press release, DOT 188-10: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/dot18810.html.
• The capital grant recipients: http://www.dot.gov/docs/tiger2grantinfo.pdf .
• The planning grant recipients: http://www.dot.gov/docs/tiger2planninggrantinfo.pdf .

OPERATIONS

New Reference Manuals

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty, Office of Operations, the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Office of Planning and Environment, along with professionals in the planning and operations communities nationwide, are pleased to present three significant new products that work together to advance an outcomes driven, performance-based approach in the area of Planning for Operations. These three products, “Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: An Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach – A Guidebook,” “Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: The Building Blocks of a Model Transportation Plan Incorporating Operations – A Desk Reference,” and “Statewide Opportunities for Integrating Operations, Safety, and Multimodal Planning: A
Reference Manual” have been developed to act as a companion package of documents and reflect the strong continuing collaboration among FHWA, FTA, and professionals in the planning and operations communities nationwide.

The “Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations” Guidebook provides an approach focused on operations outcomes that metropolitan area transportation planners and operators can utilize to advance performance-driven regional thinking for metropolitan areas. This Guidebook utilizes requirements for the Congestion Management Process (CMP) and Management and Operations that are contained in the Federal legislation, “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” (SAFETEA-LU).

The “Model Transportation Plan” Desk Reference is intended to be a “toolbox” document that provides planners and operators, types of possible operations objectives, with associated performance measures, data needs, and strategies, that a metropolitan area can utilize as a starting point towards advancing planning for operations in their area. In addition to providing types of operations objectives to advance, the document includes an illustrative plan to visually show “how the pieces fit together,” incorporating outcomes-driven operations into the metropolitan planning process. This document was developed in close collaboration with a number of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) from across the country and it is intended to be an easily accessible reference document.

The “Statewide Opportunities” Reference Manual is designed to assist managers and staff within State DOTs to integrate their functions and to partner with other agencies, such as MPOs, transit agencies, and local jurisdictions to more effectively integrate operations, safety, and planning. Specifically, this manual is designed as a “how to” reference that provides practical information on implementing these opportunities, and case study examples with “toolkits” to help get started. This document also expands the focus of integration to include planning, operations, and safety in a multimodal context. This document was developed working closely with the support of a number of State DOT organizations, as well as AASHTO, to create a product that is intended to be a readily accessible resource document for promoting this statewide collaboration.

Each of these three documents can be viewed electronically by visiting our U.S. DOT website on Planning for Operations at http://www.plan4operations.dot.gov. On this website, one can also find additional associated resources for advancing an outcomes-driven, performance-based approach as part of the Planning for Operations program. If you have comments or questions on these new resources, please contact Egan Smith 202-366-6072 egan.smith@dot.gov.

Workshop on Applying Analysis Tools

FHWA is offering a series of workshops and a future webinar on applying existing analysis tools and methods in planning for operations. FHWA is offering a series of workshops on and a future webinar on applying existing analysis tools and methods in planning for operations. A workshop titled “Applying Innovative Analysis Tools in Planning for Operations” will cover a range of tools and analysis methods that are available for supporting operations planning, covering sketch planning methods to advanced microsimulation and archived data systems. The workshop will also discuss recent case studies investigating several agencies’ innovative use of these available tools. An overview brochure and the case study resource documents may be found at the Planning for Operations website at: http://www.plan4operations.dot.gov/casestudies/analysis.htm. The workshops/webinar are designed for planners, operations/ITS engineers, and transportation modeling professionals with mid to high-level knowledge of and experience in the use of analysis tools for linking planning and operations. For more information contact: Rick Backlund richard.backlund@dot.gov 202-366-8333.

Assessing the State of the Practice

This winter, the Federal Highway Offices of Operations and Planning, Environment and Realty will be initiating an important new national effort that will assess the state of the practice of usage by MPOs of the objectives-driven, performance-based approach in advancing strategic operations in the planning process. This assessment will help FHWA to determine how MPOs are utilizing operations focused objectives and associated Performance Measures as they develop and advance programs and projects contained in their Metropolitan Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program documents. It is anticipated that this assessment will be conducted on a regular basis to allow FHWA to measure this progress over time, gauging the impact of the Planning for Operations program. Results from this assessment will be utilized by FHWA as it develops future outreach and technical assistance to support MPO usage of Operations Objectives and Performance Measures.

The FHWA Division Offices will be an integral part of this assessment working with FHWA Headquarters in providing input via an online tool on several aspects of Planning for Operations at MPOs in their areas including Regional Collaboration, Operations Objectives, Performance Measures, Management and Operations strategies, and analysis. “More to come” this fall on further details of this upcoming initiative including FHWA staff webinars to prepare for this effort. For Questions contact Rick Backlund 202-366-8333.

Adaptive Signals

There are more than 272,000 traffic signals in the United States. The vast majority of these traffic signals operate by Time-Of-Day (TOD) using three to five timing plans that are developed using a small manually collected data set. The plans are then scheduled to accommodate peak traffic conditions over a three - five year period and become less effective as traffic conditions change relative to land use or variability in demand that is normal over even a short 24 hour period.

Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) perpetually collects data, evaluates performance and adjusts signal timing to accommodate the variability in traffic demand. The objective of the EDC, Technology Deployment and Innovation Initiative is to mainstream the use of ASCT as an operations strategy to reduce excess emissions and congestion resulting from ineffective traffic signal timing. We are encouraging our Division Planners to work with MPOs and States to incorporate this technology into their plans and programs. FHWA’s goal is to have 40 agencies implement ASCT.

Insufficient resources for transportation management and operations has been cited repeatedly as a barrier to sustaining improvements in traffic signal operations and hence the deployment of ASCT. An objectives and performance driven approach for linking planning and operations to implement ASCT is a key strategy identified to sustaining ongoing deployment of ASCT. The ASCT/EDC Team is currently supporting the EDC Summits to introduce the program to our state and local partners; with the completion of four of ten Summits, 13 States have agreed to pursue ASCT. To learn more please visit the EDC website http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/ or contact Eddie Curtis via email at eddie.curtis@dot.gov or phone (404) 562-3920.

Livability Guidebook

Many State DOTs, MPOs, and transit operators are struggling to understand how livability and sustainability apply to transportation planning, programming, and operations. They are also working with local partners to integrate transportation planning with housing, land use, economic development and environmental preservation. In response to the HUD/DOT/EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the FHWA sponsored the development of a “Livability in Transportation” Guidebook to help communities and transportation agencies work through these challenging issues and decisions. The guidebook uses case studies to explore principles, practical strategies, design solutions, and applications that have been used to promote livability in transportation across the U.S. The intent of the guidebook is to assist transportation agencies to incorporate the principles of livability into their planning and project development activities using examples from state, regional, and local sponsors. For more information on the guidebook, please visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/index.cfm.

New Sustainability Rating Tool

The FHWA is launching an initiative to support transportation agencies in making highway projects more sustainable. This new initiative provides a practical tool for integrating sustainability best practices into transportation projects and programs. It is the first tool of its kind to encompass the entire life cycle of a transportation project – from system and project planning through design, construction, and operations and maintenance. The tool is innovative in that it is a self-evaluation tool that allows users to assess for themselves how sustainable their programs or projects may be.

The Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool website is a manual of goals and credits for sustainable highway practices, projects, and programs. Each credit describes a particular practice, provides methods for implementing it, and includes examples where it has been applied successfully. There are 68 credits in all, organized into three broad categories:

• System planning,
• Project planning, design, and construction,
• Operations and maintenance.

The website is a first generation test version that will be refined to respond to the feedback of users as they review and apply it. FHWA will launch the initial version of the Sustainable Highway Self-Evaluation Tool website in November 2010, with follow-on testing, evaluation, and feedback continuing into 2011. To learn more contact Connie Hill Galloway 804-775-3378 connie.hill@dot.gov or see www.sustainablehighways.org.

Scenario Planning Guidebook and Online Scenario Planning Application

Scenario planning develops a shared vision for the future by analyzing the interactions of various trends and factors (e.g., health, transportation, economic, environmental, land use). The purpose of the new FHWA Scenario Planning guidebook is to assist transportation agencies with carrying out a scenario planning process from start to finish. Transportation agencies can use the guidebook as a framework to develop a scenario planning approach tailored to their needs. The guidebook provides detailed information on the six key phases that agencies are likely to encounter when implementing the technique. For each phase, the guidebook provides considerations, steps, examples, and strategies to help guide agencies in managing and implementing a comprehensive scenario planning effort. While this guidebook focuses on regional scenario planning, it recognizes that scenario planning is flexible and can be used to address many different issues at multiple scales, such as at the statewide level. For more information reguarding the guidebook visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scenplan/index.htm
Additionally, a new online scenario planning application will be available in November 2010. This online application will allow MPOs, State DOTs, and local communities an opportunity to request FHWA training and assistance on scenario planning, such as a workshop, webinar, or peer exchange.

Visualization is an important part of scenario planning as shown with the new Trans View software developed by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission through an FHWA Research Grant. This software produces 3D animated scenario’s that allow users to “drive through” the development. Thumb drives with the software are available. If you would like a copy contact Frederick.bowers@dot.gov . Please visit the FHWA scenario planning website to access the Guidebook and the forth coming online application:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scenplan/index.htm

For more information, contact Fred Bowers at frederick.bowers@dot.gov, Rae Keasler at rae.keasler@dot.gov, or Alisa Fine at alisa.fine@dot.gov.

Integrating Land Use and Transportation in Ohio

As the MPO for the greater Akron, Ohio area, the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) is responsible for planning and implementing regional transportation projects. The region’s long range plan, Transportation Outlook, makes preserving the existing system the highest priority. It also emphasizes the need for improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and increasing integration between land use and transportation.

In September 2010, AMATS adopted the “Connecting Communities” Guide to promote a region that balances environmental, social and economic concerns by improving coordination between land use and transportation. The Guide is based on five main goals consistent with “Livability Principles” established by The Partnership for Sustainable Communities. “Connecting Communities” is AMATS’ first step in coordinating the region’s transportation planning with land use planning. The are also has established planning grants to permit local communities to do some of this work leading to projects in the plan and TIP.

More information on Connecting Communities can be found here - http://www.amatsplanning.org/programs/connecting-communities Contact: Jason Segedy
JSegedy@AkronOhio.gov, 330-375-2436

ENVIRONMENT

Updated Noise Regulation

On July 13, 2010, the FHWA published the release of the long-awaited updated 23 CFR 772, “Procedures For Abatement Of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise.” The updated regulation is considered an amendment to the existing regulation and not a substantial change to the previous version. Some of the more notable revisions include; incorporation a noise reduction design goal as a factor into the overall consideration of providing noise abatement for a particular project; a reorganization of the “Noise Abatement Criterion” to more appropriately group land uses to distinguish between interior and exterior areas; and, providing additional flexibility to highway agencies on when and where they will provide noise abatement on federal projects. In addition to the release of the revised regulation, FHWA has updated their guidance document entitled “Highway Traffic Noise: Analysis and Abatement Guidance.” This is the companion guidance document to 23 CFR 772 originally released in 1995. The new version is available now and will become effective on July 13, 2011 superseding the previous version.

All States will be required to comply with the provisions in the new regulation by July 13, 2011 (one year after Federal Register publication). To address provisions in the updated regulation, all State Highway Agencies are currently revising their traffic noise policies which will be submitted for FHWA review and approval. Both the new 23 CFR 772 and guidance document can be found on FHWA’s Traffic Noise web site: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise/.

AIR QUALITY

EPA Releases MOVES2010a Update

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released a minor update to the MOVES2010 regulatory mobile source emissions model. MOVES2010, released in December 2009, is EPA’s state-of-the-art tool for estimating emissions from highway vehicles. USEPA is now releasing MOVES2010a to allow MOVES users to easily account for emission impacts under new car and light truck energy and greenhouse gas standards that were published in May of this year. Other modifications to the model will benefit MOVES general performance characteristics. As this is considered a minor update to the original MOVES2010 model release, the two-year grace period for using MOVES remains unchanged and will end in March of 2012. Additional details about the improvements to MOVES2010a are listed in the MOVES2010a Users Guide and also in Appendix A of the MOVES2010a Q&A document on the MOVES website.

USEPA has posted MOVES2010a and associated materials at the MOVES website: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/index.htm

FHWA to Recognize Commitment to Walkability

FHWA, in conjunction with the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, launched Walk Friendly Communities (WFC), a new initiative to encourage communities across the country to support pedestrian safety.

Communities that apply for a WFC designation will have access to suggestions and resources on how to improve pedestrian safety. The national launch comes on the heels of a successful pilot in which nine communities tested the application and the online assessment tool. Applications for the nationwide program will be accepted between November 1 and December 15, 2010.

The WFC program will evaluate community walkability and pedestrian safety through questions related to engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. Designations will be announced two to three months after the December 15 deadline. WFC is jointly supported by the FHWA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Fed Ex. For more information, visit http://www.walkfriendly.org.

Designing for Pedestrian Safety Webinar Series

The FHWA Safety Office and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) are offering an 8-part webinar series intended to help communities address pedestrian safety issues through design and engineering solutions. Modeled after the FHWA’s/PBIC’s in-person training course “Designing for Pedestrian Safety,” the free webinars will cover topics ranging from sidewalk design to road diets.

View the recordings or register at http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/pbic/dps_webinars.cfm .

Part 1: Introduction to Pedestrian Safety Design and Planning Principles

Part 2: Sidewalk Design

Part 3: Treatments at Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossings

Part 4: Intersection Geometry

Part 5: Signalized Intersections

Part 6: Interchanges and Roundabouts

Part 7: Pedestrians and Transit - Date TBD

Part 8: Road Diets - Date TBD

Accessibility Guidelines for Shared- Use Paths

The US Access Board held an informational meeting on September 13, 2010, in Chattanooga, TN regarding a proposal to establish accessibility guidelines for shared use paths. Shared-use paths are possibly best explained as “trails with a transportation purpose.” The Board wants to address concerns that Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for buildings and constructed sites are unrealistic for shared-use paths; proposed guidelines for outdoor developed areas (including recreational trails) probably do not provide enough accessibility; and proposed guidelines for public rights-of-way may not be easily transferable to facilities not within highway or street rights-of-way. The Access Board heard from experts involved in accessibility issues and shared use path design. A likely outcome may be proposed guidelines that address non-motorized transportation accessibility while maintaining a recreational “feel.”

For clarification of FHWA’s Oversight Role in Accessibility see www.fhwa.dot.gov/civilrights/memos/ada_memo_clarificationa.htm or contact Christopher Douwes 202-366-5013 christopher.douwes@dot.gov .

DATA

WIM Data Analyst’s Manual

FHWA has published a new manual with the procedures for performing validation and quality control checks of weigh-in-motion (WIM) traffic data. The manual covers the basics of WIM, tasks of the WIM data analyst and how to perform extensive data analyzes using the individual vehicle records. To download the WIM Data Analyst’s Manual visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/pub_details.cfm?id=668 or www.qualitywim.com.

FHWA also offers a WIM and Traffic Workshop which demonstrates the complete process of using WIM technologies to obtain traffic data. The 2.5 day workshop takes participants through an overview of available WIM technologies, selection of WIM sites, installation, calibration, validation of the equipment and how to prepare the input files for use with the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide software. For information on upcoming Workshops contact David Jones 202-366-5053 djones@dot.gov .

Proposed Census Urban Area Criteria

The Census Bureau announced publication of the “Proposed Urban Area Criteria for the 2010 Census” in the Federal Register August 24, 2010, available on the Federal Register’s website at http://frwebgate3.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocID=UKiZ9S/0/2/0&WAISaction=retrieve. The Census Bureau is seeking public comment on these proposed criteria. Comments, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the criteria should be submitted in writing, no later than November 22, 2010, to Timothy Trainor, Chief, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233-7400.

The Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification is fundamentally a delineation of geographical areas, identifying individual urbanized areas of 50,000 or more people and urban clusters of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people and rural area encompassing all population and territory not included in urban areas. The Census Bureau’s urban areas represent densely developed territory, and encompass residential, commercial, and other non-residential urban land uses. Additional information about the Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification is available on the Census Bureau’s website at http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/urbanruralclass.html.

The proposed urban area criteria for the 2010 Census as well as summaries of the proposed changes are available on the Census Bureau’s website at http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/2010urbanruralclass.html.

New Census ACS Tutorial

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the release of the American Community Survey (ACS) e-Tutorial. This interactive program will assist users on a wide range of topics, such as how communities benefit from participation and how to access data using American FactFinder. You can access the e-Tutorial at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/e_tutorial .

TAZ delineation for CTPP

It is once again time for MPOs and State DOT to consider the creation of Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs) for Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP) data. Although the data product using the TAZs will not be out until the Fall of 2012, the time for defining TAZs is rapidly approaching. Presented below is the calendar with the critical dates. Besides the delineation of new TAZs, MPOs and States will also be asked to define Traffic Analysis Districts (TADs), a larger zone system with a recommended population threshold of 20,000 people.

When developing TAZs, it is important to note that TAZs for CTPP tabulation do not necessarily match the TAZs for the travel demand models. Because the American Community Survey sample is small, some agencies are planning to make the TAZs for CTPP larger than their model TAZs, e.g. combining their model TAZs together. Also, TAZs for CTPP are census block equivalencies. Unlike the TAZ process used for 2000, TAZs will not be defined by individual TIGER segments. Finally, agencies are NOT required to define TAZs or TADs. If no TAZs are defined, then census tracts will be used as the default geography for the CTPP (2006-2010) tabulation. However, even if TAZs are not defined an area should strongly consider creating TADs by combining census tracts together. Schedule :

November 2010 - FHWA verifies contact names using FTP site.
January 2011- Final delivery of TAZ software by Caliper to Census Bureau
March – early April 2011 Web-based training for MPOs, States by FHWA and Census Bureau
March– early July 2011 Agencies delineate TAZ and TAD using the Census Bureau provided software.
July 2011- All files must be returned to Census Bureau Geography Division.

The TAZ business rules are posted on the FHWA web page: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ctpp/tazddbrules.htm

TRANSIT ACTIVITIES

New National TOD Database

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development announced a first-of-its-kind web database, to provide access to comprehensive information about more than 4,000 transit oriented development (TOD) zones across the United States. The web tool will help developers, investors, and city officials make planning decisions that take advantage of development opportunities around transit nodes. The database was funded by FTA. The TOD Database, available at http://toddata.cnt.org, provides information on density, demographics, occupation and transportation habits of households near 4,160 existing and proposed fixed-guideway transit stations, including commuter rail, streetcars, light rail, bus rapid transit and ferries. Contact: Emily Robinson, Center for Neighborhood Technology at erobinson@cnt.org, 773-269-4043 or Becky Sullivan, Reconnecting America at bsullivan@reconnectingamerica.org, 202-429-6990 x206.

Transit at the Table II

The report on “Transit at the Table II: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Transportation Decision-making for Transit Agencies in Small and Medium-sized Areas” is available on the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB ) website: http://www.planning.dot.gov/documents/TransPlanning/TransTableII.htm.

This report presents the case studies and personal testimonials of a cross-section of transit agency, MPO, and State DOT officials. Specifically, it focuses on the benefits to transit programs and to the agencies that administer them that have directly resulted from transit agencies’ proactive participation in metropolitan transportation planning processes. Transit agency representatives cited numerous examples of how they were able to improve their agencies’ operations and staffing by working closely with the MPO in sharing resources as well as leveraging the utility of resources from others.
This study was sponsored by FTA to assess the experiences, both challenges and success stories, of public transportation agencies working within the metropolitan transportation planning processes in small- and medium-sized regions. It is a follow-up to a 2004 study, entitled Transit at the Table: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Decisionmaking, which was developed for large urbanized areas, those with populations greater than 200,000 (also available on TPCB). Recognizing that transportation problems and planning issues differ in small- and medium-sized areas, this report sought to identify both the similarities and the unique aspects associated with those regions.
“Transit at the Table III: A guide to Effective Participation in Statewide Transportation Planning Decision-making for Transit Agencies in Non-Urbanized Areas” is currently under development and will be available in 2011. For more information contact John Sprowls at john.sprowls@dot.gov.

Forging Transit/Bicycle/Pedestrian Partnerships: A Peer Exchange

The FTA and FHWA’s Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program (TPCB) recently sponsored a peer exchange during the American Public Transportation Association Annual meeting in San Antonio, TX this month. The peer exchange was a cooperative effort among the League of American Bicyclists, America Walks, National Complete Streets Coalition, American Public Transportation Association, and National Association of City Transportation Officials.

With a new emphasis on non-motorized access to transit station stops and facilities, forging transit/bike/pedestrian partnerships can help solve the “first mile” and “last mile” issues. Proponents of both public transportation and bicycling share a desire to create livable and sustainable communities. However, without a full understanding of the issues facing each mode, professionals and advocates working to improve systems and facilities for transit users and cyclists are often pitted against one another. Improving relationships between public transportation systems and bicycle transportation professionals and advocacy groups can help both groups achieve their mutual goals of improving communities and moving trips for single occupant vehicles to more efficient and clean modes of transportation. To improve transit properties’ understanding of bike/pedestrian interests as they affect planning, design, operations, and facilities maintenance, this bike/transit peer exchange looked to raise awareness of these issues, specifically as they affect planning, operations, and facility design. A full report of this exchange will be available on the TPCB website www.planning.dot.gov in November.

FREIGHT

Talking Freight

The Talking Freight seminars are sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are held via web conference. This means that you can view the PowerPoint presentation. Registration is open for the November 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. The seminars are held on the third Wednesday of each month from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT. Archives of past seminars can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/freightplanning/talking.htm

Dates and topics for the upcoming seminars:

November 17, 2010 Cross-Town Improvement Project pilot test in Kansas City, MO

December 15, 2010 Making Freight and Land Use Decisions

Excellence Awards

2010 TPEA Awards

The Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Program (TPEA) is a biennial awards program developed by the FHWA and the FTA to recognize outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan and implement innovative transportation planning practices. The TPEA Program is cosponsored by the American Planning Association. The 2010 Award Winners are:

Transportation and Land Use Integration
Capital District Transportation Committee,
Albany, New York

Implementing the Regional Plan: The Community and Transportation Linkage Planning Program
Safety Planning
Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning
Organization, Wyoming

Transportation Safety Management Plan
Modeling and Technology Applications
Georgia Department of Transportation
Atlanta Regional Managed Lane System Plan

Transportation Planning and Environment
Florida Department of Transportation
Conserve By Transit: Analysis of the Energy Consumption and Climate Change Benefits of Transit Modeling and Technology Applications
Florida Department of Transportation

Integrated National Transit Database System
Freight Planning, Planning Leadership, and Public Involvement and Outreach
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Minnesota Comprehensive Freight and Passenger Rail Plan

Livability/Sustainability
New York City Department of Transportation, New York 200 Lane-Mile Commitment

Freight Planning and Safety Planning
North Jersey Transportation Planning
Authority, New Jersey
Freight Rail Grade Crossing Assessment Study

Planning Leadership and Tribal Transportation Planning
Opportunity Link, Incorporated, Montana
Opportunity Link, Inc.

Livability/Sustainability and Public Involvement and Outreach
City of Salem, Oregon
Union Street Railroad Bridge

Livability/Sustainability
City of San Jose, California
City of San Jose Trail Network

 

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS

Measuring Transportation Network Performance

Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) National Cooperative Highway Research Program has published Report 664: Measuring Transportation Network Performance. It explores ways to monitor transportation network performance by developing new or integrating existing performance measures from different transportation modes and multiple jurisdictions. You can find it in the TRB Blurbs.

FHWA PLANNING DISCIPLINE
ACTIVITIES

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 three months via video conference or webinar at 2 pm EDT. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the FHWA Planning Discipline SharePoint site.

Mark you calendars! The scheduled date for the last e 2010 video conferences is Dec. 9th. The topic of the December session will be the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership & the Planning Award Winners. The date of the next 2011 session will be March 10th. If you have suggestions for LTP sessions, contact Ralph Rizzo, ralph.rizzo@dot.gov 401-528-4548, Rae Keasler rae.keasler@dot.gov 202-366-0329 or John Sprowls john.sprowls@dot.gov 202-366-5362.

”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 2011 POW sessions are:

January 18 - Visualization
February 15 - Dealing with Financial Uncertainty
April 19 - 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 three 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.

2011 PEAR Seminar

Planning is under way for the 2011 FHWA Joint Planning, Environment, Air Quality and Realty (PEAR) Disciplines seminar. The Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty is partnering with the Resource Center to present official learning and development opportunities to FHWA field specialists in FHWA’s mission critical program areas. The PEAR seminar will offer valuable tools, solutions, technical sessions and networking opportunities for all attendees. This is also a great opportunity for interactive discussions of core PEAR topics along with emerging issues and best practices aimed at assisting field program specialists in achieving the Agency’s planning, air quality, environment, and real estate goals. Stay tuned for details to come. For further information on the 2011 PEAR Seminar, please contact Jody McCullough jody.mccullough@dot.gov, 202-366-5001 or Rae Keasler rae.keasler@dot.gov 202-366-0329.

TMIP UPDATES

Land Use & Forecasting Workshop

The update of current Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) Land Use Forecast seminar is under way. This one-day on site seminar is going to be converted to TMIP webinar series, which will be offered in the winter of FY 2011.

The series is intended for transportation and land use planners in MPO, Federal and State agencies involved in transportation and land use, and planners in local governments. It is designed to provide a working knowledge of how land use forecasting is done, what are its benefits and costs, and how to make assessments for implementing tools for land use forecasting.

The updated TMIP Land Use Forecasting Webinar series will provide a systematic treatment of the development of land use forecasts and their integration with transportation models. The series will present the evolving use of land use forecasting tools in regional transportation planning; drivers of land use change; alternative frameworks for developing such forecasts and their strengths and weaknesses; the development of data for land use forecasting and the most common problems encountered in this process. The series will also include individual sessions to provide a more in-depth exploration of three systems: I-PLACE3S, PECAS, and UrbanSim. It will conclude with a synthesis and pragmatic recommendations for implementing tools for land use forecasting and integrating them into the planning process.

The webinar series is led by Paul Waddell, Professor at the Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California - Berkeley. Assistance on these webinars is provided by John Gliebe, Assistant Professor, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University; Mike Reilly, Senior Planner at the Association of Bay Area Governments, and Liming Wang, Post-doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Urban and Regional Development, University of California - Berkeley.

Model Validation Update Manual

TMIP is pleased to announce the release of “Travel Model Validation and Reasonableness Checking Manual” - 2nd Edition. Two webinars were offered on October 27 and 28 as the initial roll-out of the Manual, which was originally published in 1997. Recordings are posted on the website. In addition to the validation of traditional trip-based travel models, the updated manual includes discussions of the validation of emerging modeling procedures such as activity-based modeling. For details, please visit http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/.

Advanced Practices in Travel Forecasting

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has recently released Synthesis 406: Advanced Practices in Travel Forecasting. This document explores the use of travel modeling and forecasting tools that could represent a significant advance over the current state of practice. The report examines five types of models: activity-based demand, dynamic network, land use, freight, and statewide. For more information and to download a PDF version of the report, visit the TRB Web site: http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/163651.aspx or you can access the document via http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/.

PERSONNEL

Staff Changes

There have been several changes in staff recently.

From Office To Office

Dan Hinton SC Div Planning SC Div Safety

Mike Latuszek MPO MO Div Planning

Lori Porreca ID Div Planning

HQ Changes

Rae Keasler MPO Office of Planning
Tameka Macon TN Div Office of Planning
Jeremy Raw Office of Planning

WORKSHOPS & TRAINING

FHWA Resource Center Training

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.

12/8-9/2010 Pilot of Advancing Planning for Operations in Metropolitan Areas, Baltimore, MD.

National Transit Institute Training

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

Start Date End Date Location

11/10/2010 11/11/2010 Austin, TX
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

11/17/2010 11/18/2010 Cambridge, MA
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

12/15/2010 12/17/2010 Detroit, MA
Introduction to Transportation Conformity
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=FP213

3/24/2011 3/25/2011 Charlotte, NC
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

3/29/2011 3/30/2011 Nashville, TN
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 Courses

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 .

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 Decision making

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

11/2-4/2010 Boise, ID
Advanced Seminar on Transportation Project Development: Navigating the NEPA Maze

11/3-4/2010 Fort Worth, TX
Highway Program Financing

11/9-16/2010 Online
Effective Communications in Public Involvement

11/30-12/2/2010 Hampton, VA
Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development

12/1-2/2010 Columbus, OH
Highway Program Financing

12/7-9/2010 Newington, CT
Transportation & Land Use

12/7-8/2010 Helena, MT
Pedestrian Facility Design

12/8-9/2010 Helena, MT
Bicycle Facility Design

1/19-20/2011 Montgomery, AL
Transportation Safety Planning

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.

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.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

2010 - 2011 Calendar

Nov, 2010 State Trail Administrators Meeting Chattanooga, TN

Nov 10, 2010 TRB Webinar Tools to Evaluate Carbon Emissions from Transportation Agencies/Multipolluntant Effects of Emission Control Strategies online

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.

Nov 17 - 19, 2010 First International Symposium on Advances in Transport Sustainability Tempe, AZ

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

May 8-12, 2011 13th TRB National Transportation Planning Applications Conference Reno, NV.

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

Jun 6-7, 2011 TRB Using National Household Travel Survey Data for Transportation Decision Making: A Workshop Washington, D.C.

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

July 31-Aug 3, 2011 2011 Association for Commuter Transportation International Conference, Chicago, Ill

Fall 2011 Using Census Data for Transportation Applications Conference Irvine, CA

Fall 2011 4th International Conference on HOV/HOT and Managed Lanes

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/

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.

 

EDITORIAL STAFF:

Ben Williams, Co-Editor
Metropolitan Planning Specialist,
FHWA Resource Center
(404) 562-3671
ben.williams@dot.gov

Rae Keasler, Co-Editor
Transportation Specialist
FHWA Office of Planning
(202) 366-0329
rae.keasler@dot.gov

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

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