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FHWA Resource Center

PLANNING TEAM

Publications

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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 2011

Planning and Environmental Linkages EDC and Beyond

The Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) approach is a collaborative and integrated method of transportation decision-making where environmental issues are considered early in transportation planning and carried through to the project development and environmental review process. This approach can help eliminate potential duplication of the planning and NEPA processes, and thus create one cohesive flow of information.

PEL has been an ongoing effort of FHWA. Recently, FHWA’s Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative included PEL as a key element of the “shortening project delivery” toolkit. Through EDC, FHWA committed that 50% of the States will either use the PEL Questionnaire, or an equivalent, by December 31, 2011. To date, we are making rather slow progress in meeting this goal. We ask that you migrate over to the EDC/PEL website (below) to take another look at that PEL Questionnaire, along with a set of Questions and Answers about using it, criteria for identifying equivalent processes, and a summary of example equivalent PEL processes. We need your assistance in either documenting the equivalent PEL approach that your state is taking, or confirming that you have implemented the PEL questionnaire.

Please contact your FHWA HQ Office of Planning liaison, Spencer Stevens or Ruth Rentch if you have any questions. FHWA’s PEL website: http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/integ/edc.asp

US & Mexico Resolve Trucking Dispute

July 6th, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes Dionisio Arturo Pèrez-Jàcome Friscione signed agreements resolving a 15 year dispute over long-haul, cross-border trucking services between the United States and Mexico. Under the agreement, Mexican trucks will be required to comply with all U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and must have electronic monitoring systems to track hours-of-service compliance. In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation will review the complete driving record of each driver and require all drug testing samples to be analyzed Also, truck drivers must take drug tests that are analyzed in the U.S., provide complete driving records and undergo an assessment of their ability to understand the English language and U.S. traffic signs. Mexican trucks will be allowed to carry loads to a U.S. destination and bring cargo back to Mexico. They won’t be able to deliver goods between two U.S. cities. U.S. trucks will be allowed to circulate in Mexico under the same guidelines. The new agreement also ensures that Mexico will provide authority for U.S. carriers to engage in cross-border long-haul operations into Mexico under the same rules.

TIGER I I I

The Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) transportation infrastructure grant program for 2011 appropriation is similar, but not identical to the appropriation for the “TIGER” program authorized the and implemented from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or the “TIGER II” program under the FY 2010 Appropriations Act. Given that funds have now been appropriated for these similar programs in three separate statutes, a half-day webinar was held on July 18, to provide guidance for potential applicants. Preliminary applications from will be received Aug. 22 through Oct. 3, with final applications due between Oct. 4 and Oct. 31. For more information see the Interim Notice of Funding Availability or the TIGER web site
http://www.dot.gov/tiger .

Field Planner Guidebook Expansion

The Field Planner Guidebook which was first rolled out in 2004, focuses on oversight and stewardship issues, activities, and products that can be used by FHWA Division Office and FTA Regional Office planners in the administration of their transportation planning programs. Now, the FHWA Office of Planning has added four new chapters to the Guidebook:

• Air Quality & Transportation Conformity - This chapter covers the conformity process, applicable deadlines, how it impacts Long-Range Plans, TIPs, and projects, as well as the roles of FHWA Division, FTA Region, and EPA in coordinating conformity and lapses.

• Federal Land Management Agencies Consultation - States and MPOs must develop a consultation process with the Federal land management agencies with responsibilities for managing public land within their area. The resulting planning products must include a discussion of likely environmental mitigation activities developed in consultation with Federal land management agencies. Field Offices have a review role of the consultation process, but not an approval role. This chapter includes guidelines on actions to take should the State/MPO process not meet Federal consultation requirements and what steps to take when the Federal land management agency is non-responsive.

• Revenue Forecasting - One of the continuing areas of controversy in the Transportation Plan, STIPs and TIPs has been fiscal constraint. This chapter provides details of the revenue estimation process, creation of year of expenditure numbers, the consultation that should be involved in developing revenue budgets and the role of FHWA Division and FTA Region Offices in reviewing or verifying the financial plans.

• Tribal Consultation Process – States and MPOs that are near or adjacent to Tribal lands, are required to consult with Tribal governments during the development of their long range transportation plans and transportation improvement programs. This chapter provides background information on when the consultation process is necessary and how to document the tribal consultation process.

The Office of Planning encourages planners to review and use the guidebook to learn more about the planning requirements but also to better understand their roles and responsibilities in implementing the transportation planning program. The Guide can be found at:
http://intra.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/staffepp/fpguide.htm.

OPERATIONS

Update on Planning for Operations Program Assessment for MPOs

This spring we began a joint initiative with the FHWA Office of Operations to assess the state-of-the-practice among MPOs in planning for operations and gauge the extent to which our training and guidance has been effective. The assessments cover regional collaboration, operations objectives, performance measurement, management and operations strategies, analysis and evaluation, and FHWA outreach.

Thanks to the tremendous work of the FHWA Division Offices, we now have assessments for 319 MPOs or 83% of all MPOs. The assessments were completed online by FHWA Division Offices through an online tool and by FHWA Headquarters consultants. The data is now being compiled and MPO assessments conducted by FHWA Headquarters consultants are going out via email to the corresponding FHWA Division Offices. An internal summary report will be available later this summer. Questions? Contact Egan Smith (egan.smith@dot.gov or 202-366-6072).

The Role of Management & Operations Strategies in Supporting Livability and Sustainability: A Primer

FHWA and FTA are working to develop a primer document on the role of transportation system management and operations (M&O) strategies in supporting livability and sustainability goals. Livability and sustainability are two key concepts that are receiving increasing attention in transportation, particularly as a result of the DOT-HUD-EPA Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. While there has been much discussion of livability and sustainability from a planning perspective, there has been relatively limited discussion on the role of M&O strategies and the potential role operations can play in supporting more livable, sustainable communities. The research team held a peer exchange on this topic in December 2010 with transportation planning and operations practitioners from around the country, including staff representing State DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transit agencies, local governments, non-governmental organizations, and federal agencies. Based on that input and a literature review, the team has been drafting a primer on the “Role of M&O Strategies in Supporting Livability and Sustainability.” Look for the document later this year or early in 2012 on the planning for operations web site. For more information, please contact Wayne Berman at wayne.berman@dot.gov.

Dynamic Traffic Assignment: A Primer

TRB has posted Transportation Research E-Circular E-C153: Dynamic Traffic Assignment: A Primer is designed to help explain the basic concepts and definitions of dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) models and addresses the application, selection, planning, and execution of a DTA model.

The report also describes the general DTA modeling procedure and modeling issues that may concern a model user. The pdf is available at
http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/Dynamic_Traffic_Assignment_A_Primer_165620.aspx .

Revised CMP Guidebook Location

The Winter Edition of the Newsletter announced that FHWA and FTA had developed two new products to advance the Congestion Management Process. These two products, The Congestion Management Process: A Guidebook and a summary report Showcasing Visualization Tools in Congestion Management, were going to be posted to the FHWA Office of Planning’s website. The documents have now been posted but the website is different
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/congestion_management_process/ .

New Integrating Demand Management into the Transportation Planning Process: A Desk Reference

Currently, Travel Demand Management (TDM) is included in most transportation plans, especially those seeking to address congestion or air quality. However, TDM is most often cited as part of overall goals at the beginning of plans and then included in specific projects or programs at the conclusion, but TDM is seldom fully integrated throughout the plan or the planning process. FHWA has recently developed a desk reference entitled “Integrating Demand Management into the Transportation Planning Process” and is currently conducting outreach activities to disseminate the guidance. There will be a series of workshops on the new Demand Management Desk Reference:

Richmond, VA - Sept. 28, 2011

Orlando, FL - Oct. 31, 2011

Salt Lake City, UT - Oct. 10 or Oct. 12, 2011

Dallas, TX - Oct. 24, 2011

Chicago, IL - Sessions on Aug 30, 2011 at ACT conference - all day workshop on Aug 31, 2011

An ITE webinar will be scheduled
For more information Contact Egan Smith (egan.smith@dot.gov or 202-366-6072).

NEW NHI Advancing Planning for Operations Course

The FHWA has developed a new NHI course “Advancing Planning for Operations Metropolitan Areas.” This course provides the foundational understanding of planning for operations with a focus on the use of specific, measurable objectives and performance measures to advance operations in the metropolitan planning process. This 1.5 day course is aimed toward planners who have some involvement with the metropolitan transportation planning process and mid-level to senior transportation operators responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the transportation system. The course is designed for regions that are in the beginning stages of planning for operations and are interested to learn about how the objectives-driven, performance-based approach can be used. Pilot sessions of the course are being offered this summer. For more information, contact: Wayne Berman 202-366-4069 or wayne.berman@dot.gov.

Planning For Operations Technical Assistance

The Offices of Operations, Planning and the Resource Center are offering technical assistance versions of the “Advancing Planning for Operations Workshop – Defining a Strategic Direction” aimed at helping individual States and MPO regions in defining what they want to achieve in terms of transportation management and operations in their region. They will build an initial set of operations objectives derived from goals in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan to identify performance measures for assessing progress toward meeting objectives, and to identify management and operations (M&O) strategies most likely to contribute to achieving the objectives in the region. The result will be an initial strategic direction to serve as a starting point for developing regional agreement on objectives, performance measures, and M&O strategies to be incorporated into transportation plans and supporting documents. Contact Ralph Volpe 404-562-3637 ralph.volpe@dot.gov.

Talking Traffic Webinars

The last “Talking Traffic” webinar was held on July 12th. The subject was the new FHWA Travel Monitoring Analysis System (TMAS 2.0) software that is being updated to include classification and weight data. This webinar discussed the new features and requirements in the software, the quality control checks for all data types and new reports available to users.

All Talking Traffic webinars are open to States, MPO’s, contractors, vendors, academia and consultants. All Talking Traffic webinars are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 2 pm (EST).

Future Talking Traffic webinar schedule:

Aug. 2011 – Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), how it is done and used
Sept. 2011 – Speed Data, New Format and Uses of the Data
Oct. 2011 – LTPP Traffic Data Improvements
Nov. 2011 – NATMEC 2010 (best of) and 2012 sneak peek

For this and future Talking Traffic webinars, we will be using the same web address, phone number and pass code. Talking Traffic Webinar:
http://fhwa.adobeconnect.com/fhwatalkingtraffic/

Audio Portion Please Dial:
877-848-7030 Pass code: 6217068

For more information contact Steven Jessberger, 202-366-5052 steven.jessberger@dot.gov.

Real-Time Travel Data Comments

FHWA issued the Final rule establishing requirements for the Real-Time System Management Information Program on November 8, 2010. The Final rule sought additional comments relating to the costs and benefits of the Real-Time System Management Information Program and general information about current and planned programs. The FHWA will use the information in shaping program activities and projects. Specifically, FHWA will use the information to help in developing further assistance in implementing the Real-Time System Management Information Program, including working with stakeholders to develop guidelines related to roadway coverage in metropolitan areas. A Summary of the comments was published in the Federal Register July 19, 2011.

New PM Hot Spot Analysis Workshop

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the USDOT, both FHWA and FTA, have jointly developed a three-day training course on completing quantitative particulate matter (PM) hot-spot analyses. The training is based on EPA’s “Transportation Conformity Guidance for Quantitative Hot-spot Analyses in PM2.5 and PM10 Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas.”

This three-day course provides detailed hands-on instruction on how to complete a quantitative PM hot-spot analysis and focuses on how to use the MOVES emissions model, AERMOD and CAL3QHCR air quality dispersion models to complete these analyses. The training is geared primarily toward state and local agency staff who will be completing these analyses, as well as those who may be reviewing, approving, or otherwise assessing hot-spot analyses. The first day of the course is an overview of EPA’s guidance and instruction on using MOVES at the project level for PM hot-spot analyses. The second day includes guidance on selecting and using the appropriate air quality model, data requirements and finally using the AERMOD dispersion model to complete air quality modeling for an analysis. The final day is a focus on the CAL3QHCR model and how to use it for completing an analysis. For course offerings in California, the EMFAC emissions model will be taught instead of MOVES.

More information, including training dates and locations, can be obtained at the following web site:
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/training3day.htm .

For information on USEPA and FHWA’s two-day MOVES2010a modeling course or the periodic webinars on related topics, see the following web site:
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/moves/trainingsessions.htm .

STAQS 2011 Addressed Cutting- Edge Issues

Air quality professionals from the southern region met on July 19 -21, 2011, in Raleigh, NC for the sixth Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (STAQS). The conference brought together professionals from the fields of transportation and air quality to discuss the current and upcoming regulatory environment, new technologies and current practices vital to the transportation and environmental communities. The focus for this year’s Summit was transportation and climate change.

The three-day conference kicked off on a Tuesday afternoon with training sessions by the FHWA and EPA on transportation conformity and the MOVES2010a model. On Wednesday, participants met to discuss transportation’s role in reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the implications of revised air quality standards on transportation programs and Reauthorization of the Federal-aid Highway Program.

The Conference concluded with the latest information on EPA’s proposed Near-roadway NO2 monitoring program. Participants heard from EPA on the new the requirements associated with the proposed rule and how states might implement them. In addition, Broward County was on hand to relate their experience as pilot site for the Near-roadway NO2 monitoring program that is part of the overall implementation strategy. USDOT included their perspective on the Proposed Rulemaking. Conference proceeding will be posted on NCSU’s Center for Transportation and the Environment web site.

Implementation of Final Highway Traffic & Construction Noise Rule

On July 13, 2010, FHWA published the Revised Final Rule on 23 CFR 772, “Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise “(Federal Register 39820). The final rule became effective on July 13, 2011.

The final rule required all 52 State Highway Agencies (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) to update their state noise policies. A team of technical specialists from FHWA Office of Natural Environment and the Resource Center Air Quality and Environment Technical Service Teams worked with each Division Office to review and approve the updated policies. All 52 policies were successfully updated to meet the July 13, 2011 implementation date. For more information about the Final Rule, please see the FHWA Highway Noise website at
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise .

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
New EJ Emerging Trends Guidebook

On June 8, 2011, the FHWA, released a guidebook of issues that could have impacts on environmental justice communities in the 21st century. The Environmental Justice in Transportation: Emerging Trends and Best Practices Guidebook focuses on timely and relevant transportation issues and helps to promote a deeper understanding of the responsibilities, opportunities, and benefits derived from addressing environmental justice in transportation planning and implementation. It summarizes the importance and role of environmental justice in transportation and focuses on the foundational issues, emerging trends, and highlights noteworthy case studies and best practices that promote environmental justice in transportation decision making.

This document addresses the following topics:
• Transit and Affordability
• Public Involvement
• Livability
• Road Pricing Mechanisms

This guidebook can be located at:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ejustice/lib/guidebook/index.cfm.

FEDERAL LANDS

Well-informed Visitors & Congested National Park Roads

Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO) and the Town of Estes Park are in need of solutions to solve their congestion problems. This summer Central Federal Lands is partnering with ROMO, the Town of Estes Park, the Western Transportation Institute and the Colorado Department of Transportation to pilot an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) in conjunction with a new parking facility and expanded shuttle services.

The ITS pilot will disseminate real-time messages to drivers, using dynamic messages signs and Highway Advisory Radio. The messages will encourage visitors to park at the new park-and-ride, just outside of downtown Estes, and use a shuttle to access town and the park. For more information please contact Elijah Henley at 720-963-3562 or Elijah.Henley@dot.gov

Wildlife Protection and Livability

This transportation study focuses on the transportation needs of National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) within the Florida Keys NWR complex. It is the primary habitat for numerous federally endangered or threatened species. The study included development of a public involvement plan, inventory of existing conditions at the refuge, and identification of traffic safety and access needs for the Refuge. During the Livable “CommuniKeys” Program process, the community indicated that additional commercial development should be oriented to the local community rather than the regional or tourist economy and should be kept at a small scale. Future development within the study area is governed by the Habitat Conservation Plan. For more information please contact Norah Ocel, (703) 404-6213 or ocel.norah@dot.gov.

DATA

2010 Census Summary File 1

Between June and August, the Census Bureau is releasing Summary File 1 (SF1). SF1 contains all the detailed information asked on the 2010 Census Form regarding population, age, race, sex and households. This data along with all the other Census data products can be accessed through the American FactFinder web site,
http://factfinder.census.gov/ .

Another way to access the SF1 Data is through the Census Bureau’s FTP site and the “table shells”. For some the table shells will provide an easier way to access the data. The URL for the FTP site and instruction on how to work with the table shells can be found at
http://www2.census.gov/census_2010/04-Summary_File_1/.

Some of the tables in Summary File 1 of interest to transportation planners include:
P12--Sex by Age (23 age categories)
P14--Sex by Age (Single years 0-19)
P19--Household size and type by presence of children (19 cells)
P28--Household type and Household size (16 cells)
P42--Group Quarters by GQ Type (10 cells)
H3--Housing Units
H12--Average Household Size by Housing Tenure (own/rent)

For more information on which States’ data has been released, please see:
http://2010.census.gov/news/press-kits/summary-file-1.html

For information on SF1 on help with any of the Census Data products contact Elaine Murakami at elaine.murakami@dot.gov.

PUMA delineation begins Sept. 2011

In September the State Data Centers will begin to delineate PUMAs for their states. PUMA stands for Public Use Microdata Area and is the geographic zone system used for releasing the American Community Survey (ACS) records of individuals. To protect each individual’s confidentiality, each PUMA must have a population of 100,000 people, making the zones quite large. Besides the release of individual records for each PUMA, they are also used as geographic units for ACS standard tables, making them more important to all ACS data users.

The State Data Centers (SDCs) (http://www.census.gov/sdc/) are the official conduit for preparing and submitting PUMA boundaries to the Census Bureau. However, the SDCs are strongly encouraged, but not required, to solicit input from other local agencies like MPOs and DOTs. Given the importance of PUMA data for transportation planning, FHWA would like to see the MPOs and state DOTs work together to delineate these boundaries wherever possible. For the Census 2000, participation by transportation agencies in this process was spotty.

The notice, “Final Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) Criteria and Guidelines for the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey,” is available on the Census Bureau’s web site at:
http://www.census.gov/geo/puma/puma2010.html.

For information on the importance of these boundaries to the transportation community, contact Ed Christopher at ed.christopher@fhwa.dot.gov.

TRB Recommendations for National Travel Data Program

TRB Special Report 304: “How We Travel: A Sustainable National Program for Travel Data” assesses the current state of travel data at the federal, state, and local levels and defines an achievable and sustainable travel data system that could support public and private transportation decision-making.

It has been posted at

FINANCE
Project Finance Primer 2010

The FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery has developed the “2010 Project Finance Primer” to provide introductory information about transportation project finance to the finance and planning communities.

The Project Finance Primer is structured in two principal sections. The “Bonds and Debt Financing” section describes programs that facilitate access to capital markets , either by advancing future Federal-aid funding (through bonds called Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles or GARVEEs) or by providing access to a variety of debt instruments with low financing costs.
The “Loans and Credit Assistance” section describes programs that allow project sponsors either to borrow directly from the Federal government or improve their creditworthiness with lines of credit and loan guarantees. These programs include the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), Section 129 loans and State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs).
For more information regarding this Project Finance Primer, please refer to
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/finance/resources/general/index.htm .

Overcoming the Challenges of Congestion Pricing Webinars

The FHWA Offices of Operations and Innovative Program Delivery have launched a new webinar series, entitled “Overcoming the Challenges of Congestion Pricing.” These webinars are aimed at state and local agencies that are currently in the process of implementing, or would like to implement, congestion pricing; decision-makers/political leaders who want to better understand the benefits of congestion pricing; metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) that may be interested in incorporating pricing into their planning activities; and others who just want to learn more about congestion pricing strategies.

Register for each webinar at
http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/tolling_pricing/webinars/index.htm. The presentations will be available on the FHWA Tolling and Pricing web site following each webinar. If you have questions, please contact angela.jacobs@dot.gov or patrick.decorla-souza@dot.gov.

Aug. 25, 2011 Pay-as-You-Drive Insurance

Sept. 22, 2011 Economics of Congestion Pricing and Impacts on Business

Oct. 27, 2011 Integrating Transit with Congestion Pricing and Increasing Congestion Pricing Acceptance

Nov. 17, 2011 Best Practices in Parking Pricing

Dec. 15, 2011 Results of the Urban Partnership and Congestion Reduction Demonstration Programs

“e-STIP” What it means to a planner in Utah

Five years ago the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) decided to develop an electronic STIP in-house to enable them to manage the STIP more like a “checkbook”. Referred to as ePM, the e-STIP serves as UDOT’s official work plan for the development of projects through conception, environmental studies, right of way acquisition, planning and advertising for construction for all sources of funds. It is maintained daily and is accessed regularly by State, MPOs, and FHWA. Over time the MPOs have begun creating their TIPs in ePM resulting in ongoing consistency between MPO TIPs and the STIP.

One of the key elements that ensure the effectiveness of the e-STIP, is the MOU that was developed between the partners in 2006. It stratifies TIP/STIP changes into three categories; administrative changes, changes requiring Policy Board approval, and changes also requiring federal action. Because we update the STIP annually, we have very few federal actions. The majority of changes to the STIP are administrative in nature, and can be made by staff. Because there is wide access, interested parties can monitor any changes. Decision makers are informed of administrative changes at regular meetings and act on those that require board approval. In the Division office, staff regularly access ePM to enable them to process FMIS actions. The e-STIP has proven a valuable tool in the Division.

For further information, please contact Steven Call at 803-955-3513. You can access the current e-STIP at:
http://www.udot.utah.gov/main

Planning Finding State of the Practice Review

In response to the 2009 Consistency Review, initiated by the FHWA Directors of Field Services, the Office of Planning (HEPP) is conducting a “State of the Practice” review examining the methodologies used by FHWA Divisions to execute the Federal Planning Finding (23 U.S.C. 134 and 135; 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 5304; 23 CFR 450.218(b); and Subparts A, B and C of 23 CFR 450), and how the findings, conclusions and follow-up of the Federal Planning Finding are conveyed to, and coordinated with, the State DOT. The key focus for the State of the Practice review is fiscal constraint and how Divisions evaluate fiscal constraint for the MPO, Metropolitan Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

A diverse team lead by HEPP includes FHWA Division planners and Resource Center staff. Three Divisions volunteered to participate in this years’ review; they are Utah, Oregon and Florida. The State of the Practice review process included a desk review of relevant documented Division processes and the products developed by the State and MPOs demonstrating fiscal constraint. The team also conducted a site visit that included discussions with Division staff, the State DOT and representative MPO staff. The site visits have been extremely valuable for both the review team and Division staff to improve understanding of the Division’s oversight role and processes, brainstorm improvements to assistance, include training, guidance and tools to support Division needs and to improve consistency in meeting the requirements for the Federal Planning Finding and fiscal constraint.

The State of the Practice review is designed to be an on-going, annual effort by HEPP. An annual report will document best practices, outline consistency issues and provide ideas to support improved Division oversight for the Federal Planning Finding and fiscal constraint. The first annual report is anticipated to be available on the Transportation Capacity Building Program website by the end of this calendar year. For more information on the State of the Practice review, please contact either Theresa Hutchins at 360-753-9402 or Tameka Macon at 206-366-1183.

TRANSIT ACTIVITIES

$101.4 Million for Innovative Clean Fuel Technologies in Transit

Transit providers will be able to compete for a share of federal funding by proposing innovative projects that create ‘green’ jobs, promote the use of clean fuels and cut our nation’s dependence on oil. The money is being provided competitively through the FTA’s Fiscal Year 2011 Sustainability Initiative, which includes funding from two programs: $51.5 million from FTA’s Clean Fuels Grant Program and $49.9 million from FTA’s Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) III Program.

Clean Fuels grant recipients will be chosen through a competitive selection process based on their ability to help communities achieve or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide, while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.

Section 5309 Bus Livability Initiative

The Bus Livability Program makes funds available to public transportation providers for financing capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, and to construct bus-related facilities, programs of bus and bus-related projects for assistance to subrecipients that are public agencies, private companies engaged in public transportation, or private non-profit organizations.

Proposals had to be submitted electronically to
http://www.grants.gov/ by July 29, 2011. Contact :Bryce McNitt, 202-366-2618, bryce.mcnitt@dot.gov.

Transit Climate Change Adaptation Assessment Pilots

FTA is soliciting proposals for transit climate change adaptation assessment pilots. The pilots will fund transit agencies or partnerships with transit agencies to assess the vulnerability of transit agency assets and services to climate change hazards such as heat waves and flooding. The pilots will also assess initial adaptation strategies and link these strategies to transit agency organizational structures and activities. One of the pilots will focus on demonstrating the integration of adaptation assessment within an asset management system. FTA contemplates making cooperative agreement awards, with a total funding of $525,000.
Proposals have to be submitted electronically to
http://www.grants.gov/ by August 25, 2011. Contact: Tina Hodges tina.hodges@dot.gov; 202-366-4287.

TOD Related webinars

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) hosted the first in its monthly webinars June 21 on. “Understanding Mixed-Income Transit-Oriented Development.” Under the sponsorship of the FTA, CTOD is hosting the series of TOD-related webinars that will offer technical expertise related to planning for sustainable communities. The webinars will be made available to a broad audience and led by a CTOD staff person who will facilitate a meaningful panel discussion. This webinar series is open to planners, practitioners, housing advocates, MPOs, local, state and federal DOTs, transit agencies, sustainable communities grantees, advocates, as well as elected officials and other decision makers.

Below is the list of the upcoming webinars to be held from 2pm to 3:30pm EST on the third Tuesday of every month (excluding August) through January 2012:

Oct. 18, 2011 TOD Database Utility and Applications – Value Capture Strategies and TOD

Nov. 15, 2011 Transit and Employment

Dec. 20, 2011 Climate and TOD

Jan. 17, 2012 Joint Development and TOD

Details can be found at

TRB Transportation Improvement Program Revision Process

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program Synthesis 419: Transportation Improvement Program Revision Process compiles and documents the different ways that metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) approach revising a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) once it has been adopted. The final report has been posted to TRB’s Burb website.

FREIGHT
Talking Freight

The Talking Freight seminars are sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are held via web conference. Registration is open for the August Talking Freight Seminars. To register for these seminars, 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 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:

Aug. 17, 2011 Urban Goods Movement - Techniques to Improve Decision-making and Freight Operations

Sept 21 , 2011 Advancing a foundational element in SmartRoadside – WIM

Excellence Awards

TPEA Award Nominee Solicitation

FHWA and FTA are pleased to announce the application period for the Transportation Planning Excellence Awards (TPEA) Program is coming this fall. As you may know, TPEA recognizes outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. This biennial awards program is sponsored by FHWA and FTA.
Each nomination is evaluated according to criteria that address multiple elements of transportation planning, including: community and public involvement; equity; implementation strategy; innovation; intermodalism; livability/sustainability; and partnership and collaboration.

To learn more about the program and eligible project categories, please visit the TPEA website at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/awards.htm or contact Rae Keasler 202-366-0329.

TMIP UPDATES
New Non-Motorized Travel Section

A new section has been added to the Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) Web site that is geared towards non-motorized travel http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/non-motorized. It includes some basic information on the topic, a literature review, case studies, and a discussion of current tools.

FHWA PLANNING DISCIPLINE
ACTIVITIES

Planning Discipline Recognition Program Extended

The nomination period for the 2011 Transportation Planning Discipline Recognition Program has been extended through August 19, 2011. The awards are an important part of strengthening the Planning Discipline through recognition of excellence within the FHWA Transportation Planning Discipline, improving teamwork, and cultivating a pool of future leaders. Nominations are being accepted under three categories: Planner of the Year, Transportation Planning Collaboration, and Transportation Planning Innovation. Details on the criteria for each award category are included in the program overview on the website. We strongly encourage you to submit nominations.

Nominations will be accepted via e-mail at TPDR.Program@dot.gov . Information regarding the Transportation Planning Discipline Recognition Program is also available on staffnet at http://fhintra.fhwa.dot.gov/discipline/nominations/index.htm or contact Scott Carson at scott.carson@dot.gov or 916-498-5029.

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 (LTP) 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 p.m. EDT. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the FHWA Planning Discipline SharePoint site.

Mark you calendars! The scheduled date for the upcoming 2011 video conferences are:

Sept. 29, 2011 Environmental Justice

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.

2012 PEAR Seminar
After being delayed from this summer, the FHWA Learning and Development Seminar for Planning, Environment, Air Quality, Realty and Civil Rights (PEAR-C) is anticipated to be held the beginning of May 2012 in Leesburg, VA. The PEAR-C will provide an opportunity for planners from the Federal Aid and Federal Lands Division Offices, Resource Center and Headquarters to network with their peers and to obtain the knowledge, skills and connections that they need to succeed in their roles as planners and their other multiple responsibilities for air quality conformity, environment, realty and civil rights. The PEAR-C Seminar will be a three-day seminar with two and a half days of technical content and a half day of corporate plenary sessions.

Prior to the PEAR-C Seminar, a series of web-based training materials aimed at FHWA staff with new planning responsibilities, also called the ‘Boot Camp’ will be available that will provide a short overview of essential skills and knowledge to planners of all levels to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to review the knowledge required of a planner. Additional information regarding the Boot Camp and the PEAR-C dates and location will be provided as it becomes available and is confirmed.

There is a lot of effort by FHWA staff involved in pulling together a seminar of this size. Thank you to all of you for participating in the development of the 2012 PEAR-C Learning and Development Seminar, not the least of which is the critical role the Session Training Instruction Lead Teams and Boot Camp Development Teams play to identify session topics and develop session materials that are relevant and beneficial to their peers.

For more information about the Boot Camp training, contact Ben Williams, 404-562-3671, ben.williams@dot.gov . For more about the status of PEARC contact Jody McCullough jody.mccullough@dot.gov, 202-366-5001 or Rae Keasler rae.keasler@dot.gov, 202-366-0329.

”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 two hours.

Mark your calendars, the dates of the 2011 POW sessions are:

July 19 Analysis for Livability
Aug. 16 Highway Safety Manual and
Transportation Planning Connections
Oct. 18 Using your ITS Architecture in the
Planning Process

If you cannot attend the POW session for a particular month, the presentations and other information resources are available on the Planning Discipline SharePoint Reference Library . An Outlook appointment 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 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.

PERSONNEL
Staff Changes

There have been several changes in staff recently.

From Office To Office

FHWA Field Offices

Alex Appel Training PGM NY Div Planning

Bruce Bender NM Div Planning NM Div Environment

Jennifer Bennett-Reumuth Training PGM TN Div Planning

Brandon Buckner Training PGM LA Div Planning

Cecila Crenshaw Training PGM CA Div Planning

Corbin Davis DC Div TN Div Planning

Marc Dixon Training PGM NH Div Planning

Jason Doolittle Training PGM Central Fed Lands Div

Stpehanie Lind Central Fed Lands Div

Rodolfo Monge-Oviedo NM Safety NM Div Planning

Teresa Parker Training PGM FL Div Planning

Leah Sirmin Training PGM IL Div Planning

Romare Truely Training PGM CO Div Planning

FTA New Regional Staff

Daniel Drais Region 10 Environment

Julieann Dwyer Region 6 Environment

Michelle Fishburne Region 1 Environment

Daniel Koenig DC Metro Environment

Roxana Hernandez Region 9 Environment

Lois Kimmelman Region 5 Environment

Anthony Lee Region 2 Environment

Mary Nguyen Region 9 Environment

Dee Phan Region 7 Environment

Brian Smart Region 4 Environment

Dale Youngkin Region 9 Environment

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.

8/24-25/2011 Engaging the Private Sector in Freight Planning Columbus, Ohio
8/29-9/2/2011 Transportation Safety Planning Workshop Baton Rouge, LA
8/30-31/2011 Managing Travel Demand/Active Traffic Management Chicago, IL
9/7-8/2011 Advancing Planning for Operations Raleigh, NC
9/15-16/2011 Planning for Operations Raleigh, NC
9/19-21/2011 Census Transportation Planning Package, Oakland, CA
9/21/2011 Climate Change Workshop New York, NY
9/22-23/2011 Census Transportation Planning Package Sacramento, CA
9/26-27/2011 Census Transportation Planning Package Los Angeles, CA
10/13-14/2011 Planning Environmental Linkages Workshop Indianapolis, IN

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

08/18/2011 08/18/2011 Online
NTD 2011 Report Year Changes

09/19/2011 09/19/2011 Online
NTD 2011 Report Year Changes

10/11/201110/12/2011 Portland, OR
Transit ITS Workshop

National Highway Institute Courses

Try out the 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 Decisionmaking

Administrative Record

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

Federal-Aid 101 (FHWA Employee Session) 08/23/2011 08/26/2011 Atlanta GA

Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in
Transportation Project Development
08/23/2011 08/25/2011 Lincoln NE

Highway Traffic Noise 08/23/2011 08/25/2011 Chicago IL

Transportation Safety Planning 08/30/2011 08/31/2011 Baton Rouge LA

Transportation and Land Use 09/07/2011 09/09/2011 Newington CT

NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking 09/07/2011 09/09/2011 Lincoln NE

Federal-Aid Highways - 101 (State Version) 09/20/2011 09/21/2011 Raleigh NC

Water Quality Management of Highway Runoff 09/21/2011 09/22/2011 Concord NH

Bicycle Facility Design 09/21/2011 09/22/2011 Columbia SC

Fundamentals of Title VI/Environmental Justice 09/27/2011 09/28/2011 Newington CT

Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in
Transportation Project Development
10/04/2011 10/06/2011 Salem VA

NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking
10/05/2010 10/07/2010 Columbia SC

Fundamentals of Title VI/Environmental Justice 10/11/2011 10/12/2011 Lincoln NE

NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking
10/19/2010 10/21/2010 Madison WI

NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking
10/26/2010 10/28/2010 Juneau AK
Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in
Transportation Project Development
11/01/2011 11/03/2011 Anchorage AK

Design and Implementation of Erosion and Sediment
Control
02/13/2012 02/14/2012 Sterling VA

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.

Upcoming webinars :

Aug 25, 2011 Modeling Real Estate Demand

Sept 29, 2011 Modeling Real Estate Supply

Oct. 27, 2011 Creating & Visualizing Land Use Forecasting Scenarios

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

2011 Calendar

July 21, 2011 HCM2010 Webinar Series: Enhanced Planning Methods and Applications of Generalized Service Volume Tables

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

Aug 16-18, 2011 3rd Safe Routes to School National Conference, Minneapolis MN

Aug 20-23, 2011 TRB 6th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium Madison WI

Aug 21-25, 2011 International Conference on Ecology & Transportation, Seattle, WA

Aug 21-24, 2011 National Scenic Byways Conference, Minneapolis MN

Sept 14-15,2011 State Trail Administrators Meeting, Grand Rapids, MI

Sept 2011 TRB Performance Measures for Transportation and Livability Conference, Austin, TX

Oct 25-27, 2011 Using Census Data for Transportation Applications Conference Irvine, CA

Oct 12-14, 2011 4th METRANS National Urban Freight Conference, Long Beach CA

Oct 19-22, 2011. National Preservation Conference, Buffalo NY

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

June 24-27, 2012 TRB 4th Urban Street Symposium, Chicago, IL

2012 National Evacuation Conference, New Orleans, LA

 

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

FHWA Resource Center:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/calendar.cfm
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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