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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
Spring 2012

 

Reauthorization Update

SAFETEA-LU expired on September 30, 2009 and there have been nine extensions of SAFETEA-LU since then. The latest extension was for 90-days and is good through June 30, 2012. Both the Senate and the House have each passed their version of a bill on reauthorizing the surface transportation program. The Senate Bill is a two-year bill, and the House passed a 90-day bill. The House and Senate Bills have moved to conference committee. In the event that a final (conferenced) bill is not agreed to and has not been signed into law by the President by June 30th, another extension will be necessary.

New MPOs and TMAs

March 27, 2012 the Census Bureau published the official population numbers of each of the countries urbanized areas (UZAs) and urban clusters for the next ten years. It is a key date in transportation planning. Based upon existing law, those areas with populations greater than 50,000 have to be planned by MPOs, new or existing in one year. There are 37 new urbanized areas around the country. The Census Bureau Federal Register can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-03-27/pdf/2012-6903.pdf

Information on the UZAs can be found at http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/2010urbanruralclass.html and the boundaries at http://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010/UA/2010/ .

Information about the impacts of the changes on the planning program can be found on FHWA’s web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/census_issues/urbanized_areas_and_mpo_tma/faq/page00.cfm and on FTA program issues at http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/12853_12408.html .

DOT will soon publish a Federal Register designating those areas greater than 200,000 people as Transportation Management Areas (TMA).

Key Dates locals need to pay attention to:

Before Oct. 2012, State’s should revise their intra-State PL funds formula.
March 26, 2013 Governors must designate new MPOs
By Sept. 2013, new TMAs must have a Congestion Management Plan and in four years undergo a certification review.
March 26, 2016 New MPOs must have adopted a metropolitan long range plan (MTP) and transportation improvement plan.
Before next MTP update, existing MPOs must expand their metropolitan planning area to include areas likely to be urbanized in 20 years.

New Webinar Series

The purpose of this message is to announce a new webinar series, the Transportation Planning Information Exchange (or the “Planning Exchange”) sponsored by the FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program. The Planning Exchange is a comprehensive Web-based forum that will connect the transportation planning community with timely information on training, technical assistance, and technical support for Federal, State, local, regional and Tribal governments; transit operators, and community leaders. In other words, not just for Feds. only. Topics will reach beyond traditional transportation planning to address issues like scenario planning, land-use modeling, livability, environmental quality, operations, and maintenance. The webinar series was kicked off with an introduction to the TPCB Program and its available resources such as the peer exchange program, scenario planning workshops, innovative public involvement strategies, and more! Future webinar topics will be determined based on audience input.

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Noch (FHWA) at (202)366-9206, michelle.noch@dot.gov or John Sprowls (FTA) at (202)366-5362, john.sprowls@dot.gov.

FHWA Online Dialogue on Improving Transportation Performance

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be hosting an outreach event, the National Online Dialogue on Improving Transportation Performance. It will run from May 21st to June 22nd. During the dialogue, federal, state, tribal and local transportation professionals will have the opportunity to share and discuss experiences and strategies for improving the safety, condition, and mobility of our nation’s highways, and connecting road networks using an online message posting system. It is similar in operation to the U.S. DOT Idea Hub system where participants can contribute by posting a message, and then rating and responding to other postings on the site. The dialogue will inform FHWA’s approach to engage communities in the use of performance management principles. That approach will be shared with the public in August 2012. To sign up to participate in the online dialogue go to http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/TPM/engage.

Performance Based Planning & Programming

The FHWA and FTA have a research project to help understand and advance the state of the practice in Performance Based Planning and Programming (PBPP) and has developed a white paper that captures these practices. The transportation performance-based planning and programming process focuses on the projected transportation system performance outcomes of future investments and the degree to which these outcomes support stated goals and objectives. The white paper and additional information on the PBPP can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/pbp/.

One-day regional workshops are being held on PBPP. The objectives of these workshops are to discuss with state DOTs, MPOs, and transit agencies how performance measurement is being integrated into their planning processes, to identify the challenges they have faced, and to discuss challenges and potential improvements to the planning process. A March workshop was held in Atlanta. Another will be held during June in Rhode Island. More sessions will be scheduled later this fall and during 2013. For more information contact Egan Smith, 202-366-6072, egan.smith@dot.gov.

Statewide Long Range Plan Trends

The Planning Capacity Building web site recently posted a report on emerging topics in State long range plans. This report focused on eight topics in long range plans: 1) plan types, 2) implementation, 3) guiding principles, strategies, and objectives, 4) performance measures, 5) financial planning and analysis, 6) systems planning, 7) livability and sustainability, and 8) climate change. The report can be found at http://www.planning.dot.gov/documents/State_plans_report_508_A.PDF. It was based on a database that contains information from a review of long-range transportation plans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The searchable database of long range plans is also posted on the Planning Capacity Building site at : http://www.planning.dot.gov/stateplans/default.aspx.

OPERATIONS

Scenario Planning Program Resources

The Scenario Planning program has been a part of the FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program since 2004. In February of 2011, FHWA with support from the Volpe Center released its very popular Scenario Planning Guidebook. The guidebook lays out a simple to follow step by step process for those interested in doing Scenario Planning in their communities. In addition, workshops were held during 2011, in Vancouver Washington and Birmingham Alabama.

In July of this year, the program will be taking another giant step in the advancement of Scenario Planning. FHWA and FTA Planners are working alongside Volpe, TRB and AASHTO staff to develop a “Super Scenario Planning Peer Exchange”. The event will coincide with the Summer TRB meetings in Irvine, California, July 7-9, 2012 at the TRB Beckman Center. The main theme of this year’s Summer Meetings is, “you guessed it”, Scenario Planning. The event is being organized to help mainstream the concepts of Scenario Planning even farther and will take advantage of a large list of participants already planning on attending the summer meetings.

Talking Traffic Webinars

All Talking Traffic webinars are open to States, MPO’s, contractors, vendors, academia, and consultants. They are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. eastern time.

Future Talking Traffic webinar schedule:

July 10, 2012 WIM (ISWIM & US WIM)

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 at (202)366-5052, steven.jessberger@dot.gov.

New B/C Reference, Workshop and Software

The FHWA Office of Operations developed a Benefit/Cost Analysis for Operations Planning Desk Reference to provide practitioners with practical guidance, tools, and information for conducting benefit/cost analysis for a wide range of Transportation System Management and Operations (TSM&O) strategies.

In order to inform practitioners on the availability of the guidance materials, as well as provide an opportunity for additional testing and vetting of the material in a real-world analysis situations, the FHWA, as part of the Planning for Operations initiative, has technical workshop opportunities available. These workshops cover both the guidance available in this Desk Reference, as well as an overview of the proper set up and application of the TOPS-BC decision-support capabilities. Contact: Jim Hunt at (717)221-4422, jim.hunt@dot.gov.

A webinar was conducted about the tools. You can find the recording at http://ntoctalks.com/web_casts_archive.php.

Noise Model Updates

The FHWA Version 2.5, is the current model version. To comply with 23 CFR, Part 772.17, the FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM), Version 2.5 (or any other model determined by the FHWA to be consistent with the methodology of the FHWA TNM) is required to be used on all Federal-aid highway projects.

TNM Ver. 2.5:
Is now FREE for down load at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise/traffic_noise_model/purchasing_tnm/ and http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise/traffic_noise_model/tnm_v25/
McTrans is no longer selling TNM 2.5 and was able to reimburse the seven individuals/companies that purchased TNM 2.5 since January 1, 2012.
Tech support is being done by Adam Alexander, FHWA (with only high level acoustical questions going to Volpe). The new email address for TNM tech support is: TNMHelp@dot.gov (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise/traffic_noise_model/tnm_technical_support/).

TNM Ver. 3.0:

At this time, we are projecting that beta-testing for TNM 3.0 will begin around the end of the summer.
Since TNM 3.0 contains the proprietary software – Manifold, TNM v3.0 will stay optional until there is at least one other model that is consistent with the methodology of TNM (such as SoundPlan and CadnaA) and the TNM standard is completed. TNM v3.0 is not required for use, but is optional for use on Federal-aid highway projects

Climate Change Webinar Series

The FHWA and the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) are hosting capacity building webinars on Climate Change and Energy Issues. They are intended to help raise awareness and build capacity of MPOs in dealing with climate change and energy planning. It will provide a forum for exchange of experiences and issues facing MPOs.
Findings from the webinar series will be included in a report that will document challenges, activities, and needs. The report will identify recommendations for policies and activities that could be undertaken by U.S. DOT, AMPO, and individual MPOs to assist agencies in addressing challenges within their regions.
The webinars are open to State DOTs, MPOs, and other MPO partners. Webinars already held were sessions on :

Context for Climate Change Planning
Climate Change Partners and Collaboration
Climate Change Communications
Linking Climate Change Solutions to Other Planning Goals

Recordings from these sessions can be found at http://www.ampo.org/content/index.php?pid=262.

The next webinar in the series will be on the “Effective Implementation of Traffic Operations and Management”, which will be held June 26, 2012 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT. How are MPOs building on existing transportation management and operations programs to meet climate change needs? For green house gas reductions? For better emergency response to extreme weather (climate) events? Click here for the Registration Link.
Additional information on times and registration will be available soon. For more information on the webinar series, or AMPO’s climate change and energy related efforts, contact Rich Denbow at rdenbow@ampo.org.

Livability Newsletter

FHWA has started a new Newsletter called “Fostering Livable Communities”. The inaugural issue of the quarterly newsletter is now available on FHWA’s livability web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/newsletter. The newsletter provides transportation professionals with real-world examples to help them improve the relationship between transportation and communities, such as providing access to good jobs and affordable housing, quality schools and safer streets and roads.

2011 Environmental Excellence Award Recipients

The FHWA recently announced the 2011 Environmental Excellence Award recipients, whose transportation-related projects reflect the Agency’s commitment to promoting environmental stewardship and streamlining project delivery.

Award Recipients:

Air Quality Improvement and Global Climate Change: Portland Streetcar Loop Project
Context Sensitive Solutions: New York Route 347 Project
Cultural and Historical Resources: New Mississippi River Bridge Project
Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife: North Carolina Wetland Assessment Method
Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife: Washington Connected Landscapes Project: Statewide Analysis
Environmental Leadership: Paul Wagner
Environmental Research: GIS-based Wetland and Stream Predictive Models
Environmental Streamlining: I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project
Non motorized Transportation: Bizz Johnson Trail Bridge No. 9 Repair Project
Non motorized Transportation: Delta Ponds Bridge
Recycling and Reuse: Wilkes County Rest Area
Wetlands, Watersheds, and Water Quality: Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge

For more details see http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/newsletters/feb12nl.asp.

Transportation Liaison Community of Practice Web Site

FHWA’s new Transportation Liaison Community of Practice web site was launched in April to support transportation liaisons by providing a platform for the exchange of knowledge, expertise, ideas and resources. Transportation liaisons are personnel housed at State DOTs, and Federal and State resource, and regulatory agencies who facilitate the environmental and permitting review process for transportation projects. Liaisons are located throughout the country, and have professional expertise in biology, air and water quality, historic preservation, and other environmental disciplines. Liaisons can also play a critical role in the transportation planning process, by contributing highly valuable insight and guidance from the resource and regulatory agency perspective. By involving liaisons early in planning, State DOTs are better equipped to improve environmental outcomes and save time and money by avoiding or minimizing environmental impacts starting in planning.

The Community of Practice web site features a resource library, subject matter expert list, and forum to announce news and events. A discussion board is also under development. State DOTs interested in establishing liaison programs will find helpful sample agreements and information on the benefits liaisons provide. FHWA is currently encouraging current liaisons, liaison managers, and interested State DOT staff to register for the web site for full access to its features. Resources such as case studies, articles, and best practices, as well as news about related programs and events, are also being solicited. Public users will be able to access the calendar and general information about the role and benefits of liaisons.

For more information on the Community of Practice, visit the Transportation Liaison Community of Practice web site http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/liaisonCOP/default.aspx. For more background on transportation liaisons and their role in SAFETEA-LU Planning Activities, see the State Transportation Liaison Funded Positions Study.

AIR QUALITY

EPA Final 2008 Ozone Designations

On May 21, EPA published two final rules relating to the 2008 Ozone NAAQS. One rule establishes the method for classifying areas under the 2008 ozone NAAQS, establishes attainment dates, and revokes the 1997 ozone NAAQS for transportation conformity purposes. The second rule finalizes the designations for non-attainment areas under the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Forty-five areas in twenty-six states are designated non-attainment. The vast majority of areas are designated as marginal (35 areas), three areas are designated serious, three areas are designated severe, and two areas are extreme non-attainment areas under the 2008 ozone standard. The multi-state area that includes Chicago, and parts of Wisconsin and Indiana, will be designated by May 31, 2012. Both final rules are effective on July 20, 2012 with conformity determinations on transportation plans and TIPs of the 2008 Ozone areas due one year from the effective day, by July 20, 2013. The revocation of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for transportation conformity will occur one year after the effective date, i.e., conformity for the 1997 ozone NAAQS will no longer apply after July 20, 2013. For more information, go to: (1) 2008 Ozone NAAQS Classification Final Rule, (2) 2008 one NAAQS Designations Final Rule, and (3) EPA 2008 Ozone NAAQS web site. Contact Karen Perritt in the Office of Natural Environment at (202)366-9066, Karen.Perritt@dot.gov if you have any questions.

Air Quality Summit

The Registration site for the NTAQS Meeting has been set up at http://www.dvrpc.org/. The summit is a meeting of FHWA and other Federal agencies such as EPA, State DOTs, MPOs, local air quality, transportation and planning organizations and their consultations to discuss the transportation and air quality topics important to the region. It is scheduled for August 7-8, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA. Following the Meeting, EPA will be providing training for “non-modelers” on the use of the MOVES model at their Region 3 Office. Contact: Kevin Black at (410)962-2177, kevin.black@dot.gov.

FINANCE


IPD Academy Webinars

The FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery (IPD) has announced their Webinars scheduled through August, 2012. There is no cost to participate in these Webinars and they are open to everyone who is interested. Each Webinar will last 120 minutes, with 90 minutes allocated for presentations and 30 minutes for audience Q&As. Through the use of web conferencing technology, participants can view the speakers’ presentations on their computer and hear the audio portion of the presentations either via the computer or telephone, depending on preference.

Here is the schedule of the upcoming webinars. You can register for each webinar at the following links:

July 11, 2012 Introduction to TIFIA Federal Credit Assistance Program
August 1, 2012 TIFIA Federal Credit Portfolio Monitoring Training
August 8, 2012 Introduction to Cost - Estimate Reviews
August 15, 2012 Introduction to Financial Plans
August 22, 2012 Introduction to Project Management Plans
August 29, 2012 IPD Office Hours - Q&A

For questions, contact Thay Bishop at (404) 562-3695, thay.bishop@dot.gov.

TRANSIT ACTIVITIES

”Reach-a-Ride” Specialized Transportation Services

Getting to work, to school, to medical appointments, and to countless other destinations in metropolitan Washington can be a challenge for people with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency, workers with low incomes, and for senior citizens who have limited mobility. A new web site and call center launched in late 2011 by the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) offers individuals with specialized transportation needs a new and easier way to find the transportation they require and to find providers that serve their area. “Reach-a-Ride” is the first resource of its kind in the Washington region, bringing together in one place information about all of the private and public providers of transportation services for residents and visitors with specialized needs. Such services range from ramp- or lift-equipped taxis for users of mobility devices to “door-through-door” escort services for people with significant physical or cognitive limitations.

The TPB launched “Reach-a-Ride” using a 2008 grant under the Federal Transit Administration’s Job Access and Reverse Commute program which supports initiatives to improve access to job sites and job-related activities for people who are transitioning from welfare to work or for others with limited incomes. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority provided the majority of the local matching funds. The District Department of Transportation, the Maryland Transit Administration, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation also contributed to the project. Since the TPB launched the “Reach-a-Ride” web site and call center in December 2011, more than 1,300 searches of the online database have been made, and nearly 180 phone calls have been received on the toll-free hotline, which users can call during regular business hours for assistance from a live agent. REACH A RIDE web site: http://www.reacharide.org/.

The grant was based on an adopted Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan and the TPB is the body that developed/adopted it in 2007. It has since been updated. http://www.mwcog.org/tpbcoordination/.

Parkview Gardens: A Sustainable and Accessible Neighborhood

In March 2011, University City, Missouri was one of 13 agencies nationally awarded a joint DOT TIGER II and HUD Community Challenge grant to study the City’s Parkview Gardens Neighborhood. This $315,687 grant was leveraged with $317,813 in local cash and in-kind contributions, to create a redevelopment and sustainability plan for this neighborhood located in the easternmost part of University City which abuts St. Louis. Planning issues in the planning area include: lack of neighborhood connectivity, need for additional affordable housing, and a need to improve the quality of existing open spaces. In addition, connecting residents to existing transit bus routes, light rail system, and the planned Loop Trolley (open 2015) were to be included in the study. The Loop Trolley will run along Delmar Avenue, a major entertainment and cultural corridor which is the southern border of the Parkview Gardens neighborhood

Due to a robust planning process with extensive public engagement and involvement of a 9-member Parkview Gardens Planning Partnership and additional advisors, including Washington University, Parkview Gardens Neighborhood Association, Great Rivers Greenway and City of St. Louis, the Parkview Gardens sustainable development plan is soon to be completed. The Planning Commission anticipates the plan being adopted as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan by late July, 2012.

Recently, Washington University announced plans for an $80 million investment in the Parkview Gardens Neighborhood for a mixed-use and student housing project which follows the plan’s recommendations. Also, University City was recently awarded a Sustainable Land Use Code Audit under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The City is proactively seeking additional funding opportunities for implementation of the Plan that include the goals of DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities. These goals are possible due to the initial joint federal planning grant by DOT and HUD. FTA Region VII staff has been involved with this project including attending all public hearings associated with the study.

Value Capture Workshop

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the City of Warwick, and FHWA have jointly developed a one-day workshop on “Value Capture & Technical Assistance” to be held on June 5, 2012 at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, RI. This workshop is intended to bring public sector entities together to explore opportunities for value capture (financing techniques used to “capture” the increase in private land value created by new transportation facilities which is then used to pay for the transit investment and/or operations and maintenance) for potential TOD projects, and specifically, for the Warwick Station Development District. The goal of the workshop is to introduce the methods of value capture, and identify opportunities, challenges, and next steps. For more information on value capture, please visit the Reconnecting America website: http://reconnectingamerica.org/resource-center/value-capture/.
Guidebook on Integrating HSM into the Project Development Process

The FHWA Office of Safety recently released a new resource entitled Integrating the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) into the Highway Project Development Process. The guidebook provides examples of opportunities for integrating the HSM into all phases of project development such as, planning, alternatives development and analysis, design, operations, and maintenance. The application of safety analysis tools such as the Integrated Highway Safety Design Model, SafetyAnalyst, the CMF Clearinghouse and NCHRP 17-38 spreadsheet are also discussed. The HSM Integration guidebook is intended for practitioners of state and local agencies who want to reduce crashes and improve overall safety on their projects. You can find the pdf version of the document at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsm/hsm_integration/.

Agent Based Modeling Webinars

TRB’s ABJ70 Committee has planned an Agent-Based Modeling summer webinar series. Following is the schedule and the registration links. All of the webinars will be held on Fridays from 11 am - 12 p.m. eastern.

June 29, 2012 Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation Software Tools and an Example Demonstration, by Dr. Montasir Abbas, Virginia Tech. Registration Link: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EE53D8818046.

July 13, 2012 Multiagent Approach for Public Transit System Based on Flexible Routes, by Dr. Yuval Hadas, Bar-Ilan University. Registration Link: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EE53D881814A .

August 3, 2012 Belief-Desire-Intention Agent-Based Simulation Modeling Approach for Transportation Systems, by Dr. Young-Jun Son, University of Arizona. Registration Link: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EE54DF86804D.

New TRB Tool for Estimating Economic Impacts (T-PICS)

The Strategic Highway Research Program, SHRP 2 effort, has created a web-based tool designed to allow for economic impacts to more easily be considered during community visioning for transportation, or during public and stakeholder involvement for long-range system planning or corridor planning.

Visit the T-PICS web site to access the tool which gives ranges of economic impacts from projects, and estimates of the project cost and traffic volume based upon region of the country. You can also query the national database of case studies that can be used to assess the pre- and post-construction economic development and related effects of various kinds of transportation projects.

TRB Report on Public Involvement
TRB has posted NCHRP Report 710
“Practical Approaches for Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking”. The report includes practical approaches for involving traditionally underserved populations in transportation decisionmaking It highlights tools, techniques, and approaches for identifying and connecting with these populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in transportation decisionmaking. It can be found at: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/166872.aspx.

Update of Report on Travel Demand Forecasting

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 716: Travel Demand Forecasting: Parameters and Techniques provides guidelines on travel demand forecasting procedures and their application for helping to solve common transportation problems.

The report presents a range of approaches that are designed to allow users to determine the level of detail and sophistication in selecting modeling and analysis techniques based on their situations. The report addresses techniques, optional use of default parameters, and includes references to other more sophisticated techniques.

NCHRP Report 716 is an update to NCHRP Report 365: Travel Estimation Techniques for Urban Planning.

Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium

As part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) was established in 2011 to manage a three-year first of its kind planning program. The NEOSCC’s current membership includes each of the region’s four Metropolitan Planning Organizations, namely Eastgate (Youngstown), AMATS (Akron), NOACA (Cleveland) and SCATS (Canton). Initial startup efforts have been undertaken to help launch the program office and develop frameworks for several work streams with a priority focus on recruiting for committee membership and subject matter expertise.

Currently, the NEOSCC is preparing a Conditions and Trends Platform. This dialogue platform will begin a conversation externally on the findings and data of the existing conditions and trends in key areas within the Northeast Ohio region. The Platform will be an interactive dynamic web tool designed to inspire action by evaluating information, gathering additional insight, and building a common base of knowledge.

Ultimately, the NEOSCC intends to produce a regional policy plan that addresses issues of long-term sustainability within the greater Northeast Ohio region by establishing priorities, policies and tools for land use, housing, transportation, economic development and environmental protection. For more information contact Hunter Morrison at (330)375.2949, hmorrison@neoscc.org.

MORPC Complete Streets Toolkit

The Columbus, Ohio Metropolitan Planning Organization recently developed a Complete Streets Toolkit to better enable their member agencies to implement Complete Streets. The Toolkit is a wide ranging resource for planning, designing, constructing and maintaining Complete Streets.

The document contains model policies that can serve as a template for creating a Complete Streets policy in any community. The Toolkit can be downloaded from http://www.morpc.org/transportation/complete_streets/toolkit.asp. For more information contact Robert Lawler at (614)228.2663, RLawler@morpc.org.

AMPO Activity-Based Modeling

AMPO will soon complete our second phase of a research project into the use of activity-based models for travel demand forecasting. This phase compares the performance and model sensitivity of existing trip-based models with activity-based models under development in two metro areas, and discusses several factors to address when considering a move to activity-based modeling. The final report is expected to be available in June. AMPO completed the first phase of this research last summer. That phase identified and studied specific MPO activities and experiences with ABMs and the level of documentation available to determine if advantages, costs, and benefits can be defined. You can find a copy of that report on AMPO’s web site at http://www.ampo.org/assets/1307_ampotravelmodelingstudyfi.pdf.

TRB Mid - Year Meeting

The 2012 TRB Planning Committee Summer Meeting is scheduled for July 8-10, 2012, in Irvine, California. This year’s main theme is Scenario Planning. The meeting will include a national level Peer Exchange sponsored by TRB, AASHTO, FHWA, and FTA. For the agenda see http://www.trb.org/Calendar/Blurbs/165999.aspx.

FREIGHT

Guidebook for Understanding Urban Goods Movement

TRB’s National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) has released Report 14 “Guidebook for Understanding Urban Goods Movement”. TRB indicates that it is designed to help facilitate decisions that accommodate and expedite urban goods movement while minimizing the environmental impact and community consequences of goods movement.

The guidebook and cases studies are designed to help decision makers better understand the potential impacts of their urban goods movement decisions on transportation infrastructure and operations; land use and site design; and laws, regulations, and ordinances applicable to urban areas. It can be found on the web at http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/166828.aspx.

Talking Freight

The Talking Freight seminars are sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are held via web conference. 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.

The next webinar will be :

June 20, 2012 Pavement Data Analysis Tool (PaveDAT) for Overweight Truck Permit Calculation

TMIP UPDATES

Activity Based Modeling Webinars

In 2012, the Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) will be hosting a series of 12 webinars on Activity Based (AB) Modeling. The series will be delivered by Resource Systems Group and PB Americas and will introduce all major components of AB Modeling. The target audience will be transportation modelers with no prior experience in AB Modeling. There will also be three webinars devoted to the managerial considerations of developing, using, and maintaining AB Models. The format will be two hours of presentation followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers.

Upcoming Activity-Based Modeling Webinars:

06/28/2012 Activity Pattern Generation

07/19/2012 Scheduling and Time of Day Choice
08/09/2012 Tour Mode, Intermediate Stop, Location, Trip Mode

08/30/2012 Network Integration

09/20/2012 Forecasting, Performance Measures and Software

Participants do not need to preregister to attend the webinar. Attendance is limited to 100 connections and is first-come, first-served. You can log on to the webinar at: http://fhwa.adobeconnect.com/tmipvirtualseminars. Check the TMIP Online Community of Practice (https://tmiponline.org/Clearinghouse/Item-Types/Recorded-Webinar.aspx) to view recordings of the first six webinar sessions. Reminders for each webinar as well as more details on each topic will be provided on the TMIP Listserv. Please contact Sarah Sun with TMIP (sarah.sun@dot.gov) or Stephen Lawe with Resource Systems Group (stephen.lawe@rsginc.com) with any questions.

Upcoming Peer Reviews

The TMIP Peer Review Program provides agencies with an objective assessment of their travel modeling tools with respect to the state of the practice and an agency’s planning and modeling goals. Three agencies have applied for and been approved for upcoming TMIP-sponsored participation in the Peer Review Program.

Thurston Regional Planning Council, Olympia, Washington, June 2012
San Francisco County Transportation Authority , July 2012
Georgia Department of Transportation, Summer 2012



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 dialogue 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 Wednesday every three months via video conference or webinar at 1 p.m. eastern. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the FHWA Planning Discipline SharePoint site.

Mark your calendars! The scheduled date for the upcoming 2012 webinar is:

July 11, 2012 Public Involvement and Outreach

Sept. 12, 2012 Planning Discipline Award Winner Presentations

Dec. 12, 2012 TBD

If you have suggestions for LTP sessions, contact: Ralph Rizzo, (401) 528-4548, ralph.rizzo@dot.gov, Rae Keasler, (202) 366-0329, rae.keasler@dot.gov or John Sprowls, (202) 366-5362, john.sprowls@dot.gov.

”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 2012 POW sessions are:

July 17, 2012 Tribal Transportation Planning

Aug. 21, 2012 TBD

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.

FHWA Planning Discipline Awards

The Planning Leadership Council (PLC) is pleased to present the Transportation Planning Discipline Recognition Award winners for FY 2011. Each of the Award Recipients and Honorable Mentions below are Planning Discipline members who have conquered challenges, demonstrated innovation, and shined as examples for others to follow and learn from.

Recently, the PLC initiated a new Planning Discipline Awards SharePoint site expanding the awards program to include Lifetime Achievement and Retiree Recognition in addition to the Transportation Planning Discipline Recognition Program. Also, with this new approach, nominations for each program may now be submitted on-line through SharePoint, throughout the year. For additional information or questions please contact Theresa Hutchins at (360) 753-9402, Theresa.Hutchins@dot.gov.

Planner of the Year
Back to Basics: Planning in Challenging Times

Barbara C. Maley, Community Planner, Texas Division Office

Barbara C. Maley, Community Planner, Texas Division Office

Barbara continually demonstrates her outstanding knowledge in transportation planning issues, providing leadership, guidance, training, and customer service to her MPOs, TxDOT, her Division office and FHWA nationally. Ms. Maley is a great self starter, frequently seeking to solve anticipated issues such as the courses on transportation planning performance measures.

Honorable Mention: Susan Moe, Planning and Research Program Manager, Minnesota Division.

Planning Collaboration
Improved Partnerships and Relationships with the Planning Community

Aimee Kratovil, Special Assistant to the DA

Aimee Kratovil, Special Assistant to the DA
California Division Office

In coordination and collaboration with other Region IX Federal partners, Aimee established a Federal Regional Council (FRC) Sustainable Communities Task Force which is a consortium of over 20-different Federal agencies and departments working together in a coordinated manner to make Federal programs more efficient and effective in Region IX.

Honorable Mentions: Central Federal Lands Planning Team: Rick Simansons, Melissa Allen, Elijah Henley, Ed Martinez, Allen Grasmick, Chris Longley, Tom Puto, Mike Will; Greg Humphreys, Planning and Program Specialist, Western Federal Lands; Leigh Levine, Planning and Development Manager, New Hampshire Division Office
Transportation Planning Innovation
Advancing Transportation Planning

Sal Deocampo, Anita Wilson, Mark Arrington, Greg Wood, Mike Leary, Tom Bruechert, Jose Campos, and Barbara Maley.

Texas Division Office - Sal Deocampo, Anita Wilson, Mark Arrington, Greg Wood, Mike Leary, Tom Bruechert, Jose Campos, and Barbara Maley.

The Texas Division Team became involved in a cross-Agency, interdisciplinary effort, referred to as the “Regional Toll Analysis Methodology (RTA)”, initiated during the North Central Texas region metropolitan transportation plan (MTP) update. Using the Short-Term RTA methodology, results in regional transportation planning process information that supports the direct, indirect, and cumulate project narratives.

STAFF UPDATES

Staff Changes

There have been changes in staff recently.

From Office To Office

FHWA Field Offices

Romare Truely PDP Program to AZ DIV. Planning

Dave Gamble RC Environment to Retirement

Carlos Gonzalez GA Division Planning to FTA Region 4 Civil Rights

Sara Van Buren MI Division Planning to Private Sector

Amy Heflin AR Division Planning to AR Division Engineering


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.

7/26-26/2012 Integrating Planning for Operations Oklahoma City, OK

7/31/2012 CTPP Training Lansing, MI

8/6-7/2012 CTPP Training Chicago, IL

8/21-22/2012 CTPP Training Arden Hills, MN

9/25-26/2012 Integrating Planning for Operations
Indianapolis, IN

October Integrating Planning for Operations
Spokane, WA

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

06/19/2012 06/20/2012 Chicago, IL
Seminar on Managing the Environmental Review Process

06/19/2012 06/21/2012 Los Angeles, CA
State & Metropolitan Transportation Programming

06/20/2012 06/21/2012 Austin, TX
Introduction to Asset Management

06/27/2012 06/29/2012 Atlanta, GA
Introduction to Transportation Conformity

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.

Please click here for a complete list of NHI web-based courses. Look for these web based courses on NHI’s web site:

ITS Deployment Analysis System

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

Highway Traffic Noise: Basic Acoustics

Introducing Highway Federal-Aid
Standard Version

Introducing Highway Federal-Aid
Accessible 508 Version

New - Principles of Evacuation
Planning Tutorial

Scheduled Courses in the Next Quarter:

Start Date End Date Location

06/25/2012 06/27/2012 Nashville,TN
NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

06/26/2012 06/28/2012 Jefferson City, MO NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

07/23/2012 07/25/2012 Newington, CT
Transportation and Land Use

07/24/2012 07/25/2012 Washington, DC
Transportation Safety Planning

07/30/2012 08/01/2012 Frankfort, KY
Access Management, Location and Design

08/06/2012 08/08/2012 Arlington, VA
NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

08/15/2012 08/16/2012 Austin, TX
Administration of FHWA Planning and Research Grants

08/21/2012 08/23/2012 Chicago, IL
Highway Traffic Noise

08/27/2012 08/31/2012 Arlington, VA
Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting

09/12/2012 09/13/2012 Newington, CT
Fundamentals of Title VI/Environmental Justice

9/17/2012 9/21/2012 Richmond, VA
Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting

10/09/2012 10/11/2012 Anchorage, AK
Access Management, Location and Design

10/23/2012 10/25/2012 Salem, OR
Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in
Transportation Project Development

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

2012 Calendar

June 20-22, 2012 6th Oregon Symposium on Integrating Land Use and Transportation Models, Portland, OR

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

July 7-12, 2012 WASHTO Annual Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO

July 17-20, 2012 MAASHTO Annual Meeting, Lexington, KY

July 17-19, 2012 10th TRB National Conference on Access Management, Dallas, TX

July 23-24, 2012 Transportation Enhancements Professional Seminar, Detroit, MI

Aug. 21-25, 2012 National OHV Program Managers Workshop, Great Falls, MT

Sept. 10-13, 2012 Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012 Long Beach, CA

Sept. 11-14, 2012 AMPO Annual Conference Saratoga Springs, NY

Sept. 12-13, 2012 FHWA Annual Business Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Sept. 12-14, 2012 TRB 2012 Tools of the Trade Conference, Big Sky, MT

Nov. 12-13, 2012 12th TRB National Light Rail and Streetcar Conference, Salt Lake City, UT

Nov. 15-19, 2012 AASHTO Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA

 

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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