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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
Fall 2013

PERFORMANCE BASED PLANNING
MAP-21 Implementation Schedule

Section 1203 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) stipulates U.S. DOT to promulgate performance measures in the areas of the National Highway Performance Program, Highway Safety Improvement Program, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, and the National Freight Movement within 18 months after the date of enactment of the MAP-21.

FHWA expects to issue three performance Notice of Proposed Rule makings (NPRMs), and FTA separately from FHWA, will have one Advanced NPRM and one NRPM. These will be grouped into these categories:

Highway Safety

Safety Performance Measure Rule
Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Rule
Highway Safety Program Grants Rule

Highway Conditions

Pavement and Bridge Performance Measure Rule
Asset Management Plan Rule

Congestion/System Performance

System Performance Measure Rule

Transit Performance

Transit State of Good Repair Rule
Transit Safety Plan Rule

The Transit Advanced NPRM was published Oct. 3, 2013 and can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-03/pdf/2013-23921.pdf.

The NPRMs are interrelated. Everyone needs to read the first NPRM on Safety since it will include information on how to apply all of them. You can find a graphic that shows the projected time lines for these three Rules and others at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tpm/about/action.pdf.

The FHWA/FTA NPRM on updates to the Transportation Planning Process for MAP-21 will also be issued in the winter. It will also be linked to the process defined in the performance based programs regulations.

PBPP Support

FHWA will be hosting State specific Performance Based Planning & Programming (PBPP) workshops over the next couple of years. The Resource Center, the Office of Planning, and the Division Offices are developing a prioritized list of locations. Contact: Ben Williams, ben.williams@dot.gov, 404-562-3671; Brian Betlyon, brian.betlyon@dot.gov, 410-962-0086; Ralph Rizzo, ralph.rizzo@dot.gov, 401-528-4548.

PBPP Guidebook

FHWA has developed a Guidebook on the PBPP process to assist States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), starting with performance based programs. MAP-21 placed increased emphasis on performance management within the Federal-aid highway program and transit programs, and requires use of performance-based approaches in statewide, metropolitan, and non-metropolitan transportation planning. The guidebook describes a PBPP process, along with examples of effective practices to help practitioners advance these approaches in their own planning and programming activities. It can be found on the PBPP resources page: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/performance_based_planning/pbpp_guidebook/. Contact: Egan Smith, egan.smith@dot.gov or 202-366-6072.

SHRP II

Strategic Highway Research Program II (SHRP2) Assistance

SHRP2 conducted two sets of pilot tests to examine the premises of the Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF) and the Transportation for Communities - Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) web-based tool under two SHRP2 Capacity projects (C21 and C18, respectively).

The C21 series of pilots (Pilot Test the C06 A and B Approaches to Environmental Protection) tested the IEF in California, Colorado, Oregon, and West Virginia. Each of these pilots tested specific aspects of the nine-step IEF process.

The C18 series of pilots (Pilot Test the Collaborative Decision-Making Framework with Three DOTs, Including a Self-Assessment Method) tested TCAPP in four scenarios with the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT), Puget Sound Regional Council (Washington State), Minnesota DOT, and the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (Colorado). The main objective of the C18 series was to test TCAPP while it was still under development and use feedback obtained from the pilots to modify the TCAPP product and enhance its usefulness to practitioners.

The pre-publication reports from these eight pilot tests are available from the Transportation Research Board at: http://www.trb.org/StrategicHighwayResearchProgram2SHRP2/PilotTestsofTCAPPandtheIntegratedEcologicalFramewo.aspx.

SHRP2 Capacity Project C11 (Improved Economic Analysis Tools) has released a pre-publication, non-edited version of a report entitled “Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation,” which is available at: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/169524.aspx These tools are housed within the Transportation Project Impact Case Studies (T-PICS) website at: http://www.tpics.us/tools/ .

SHRP’s Reliability Project L08 has released a prepublication, non-edited version of a report titled Incorporation of Travel Time Reliability into the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) that serves as a supplement to the Proposed Chapters for Incorporating Travel Time Reliability into the HCM prepared for this same project. You can find it and the HCM chapters at: http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/169594.aspx.

Transportation & Health

Transportation & Health Tool

FHWA is working alongside the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association and others to develop an on-line Health Evaluation Tool that State DOTs and MPOs can use to evaluate how health is integrated into their transportation programs and projects. The tool can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/health_in_transportation/resources/health_tool/index.cfm. See more on health and transportation at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/health_in_transportation/

Framework for Addressing Health in Corridor Planning

The public health and transportation communities have shown a growing interest in identifying transportation legislation and policies that would explicitly consider public health objectives. Increasing attention on this topic by the public health community has led to an increase in requests from our stakeholders on how to address health related issues in transportation decision-making.

FHWA’s Office of Natural Environment, in coordination with the Offices of Human Environment and Planning, and the Technical Services Planning Team are managing a contract to help build on the current state of the practice and activities that the transportation community is undertaking as it relates to health in transportation decision-making.
The goal of the project is to build FHWA’s Division Offices and Headquarters internal capacity, and assist stakeholders to better integrate health into transportation. The project framework will provide detailed information about health and transportation topics such as equity analysis, active transportation, injury prevention, air pollution, infectious diseases, mental health, and access to services that enable healthier lifestyles. This document is an action-oriented, step-by-step framework to ultimately assist States, MPOs, local governments, and the public in incorporating health outcomes into transportation planning and project delivery.

Contact: Victoria Martinez 787-771-2524, Shana Baker 202-366-4649, or Ed Christopher 708-283- 3534, for more information.

TRANSIT

Planning Implications of Census 2010 for New UZAs and TMAs

The 2010 Census of Population identified significant demographic changes over the past decade, resulting in changes to Census designation of urbanized areas (UZA). Thirty six new UZAs were designated, many pre-existing UZAs expanded spatially to encompass formerly rural areas, and 27 existing UZAs grew in population to over 200,000, warranting transportation management area (TMA) designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U. S. DOT).

Each of these UZA transitions brought changing requirements for transportation planning. Working in coordination with FHWA, FTA prepared guidance to advise transit providers, local government agencies, and MPOs on the procedural steps to establish a fully functioning planning program. Presented in a “Frequently Asked Questions” format, the guidance devotes particular attention to the role of transit providers in working with MPOs on such startup activities as preparing the Metropolitan Planning Agreement, setting the Planning Area Boundary, preparing the Unified Planning Work Program, and preparing the Public Participation Plan. The guidance also describes how transit operators can participate effectively in the newly established metropolitan planning processes. This FTA Guidance is posted at http://www.fta.dot.gov/12853_12408.html.

This guidance was the basis of a joint FHWA/FTA webinar held on Oct. 3, 2013 – targeted to States, MPOs, and transit providers in new UZAs. Proceedings of that webinar may be viewed at the Transportation Planning Capacity-Building program site www.planning.dot.gov. For more information, please contact Charlie Goodman, charles.goodman@dot.gov, 202-366-1944 or Spenser Stevens, spenser.stevens@dot.gov, 202-366-0149.

MPO Representation Policy Guidance

The FHWA and FTA are jointly issuing proposed guidance on the implementation of provisions of the MAP–21 that require representation by providers of public transportation in each MPO that serves a TMA no later than October 1, 2014. This guidance is to assist MPOs and providers of public transportation comply with this new requirement.

The FHWA and FTA are seeking comments on the following proposals on this guidance: the determination of specifically designated representatives; the eligibility of representatives of providers of public transportation to serve as specifically designated representatives; and the cooperative process to select a specifically designated representative in MPOs with multiple providers of public transportation. Comments must be received by October 30, 2013. You can find the Proposed Guidance at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-30/pdf/2013-23780.pdf.

OPERATIONS

Operations Benefit Cost Analysis

TOPS-BC is a sketch-planning level decision support tool developed by the FHWA Office of Operations. It is intended to provide support and guidance to transportation practitioners in the application of benefit/cost analysis (BCA) for a wide range of Transportation System Management and Operations (TSM&O) strategies. The tool was developed based on guidance and input from planning and operations practitioners with the primary purpose to help in screening multiple TSMO&O strategies and for providing “order of magnitude” BCA estimates. There is a user manual for it and an Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference. It can be found at http://www.plan4operations.dot.gov/topsbctool/index.htm. For more information contact Jim Hunt at Jim.Hunt@dot.gov, 717-221-4422.

Support for Planning for Operations

The FHWA Office of Operations has these Planning for Operations resources under development:

Using Archived Operations Data for Regional Planning
Scenario Planning for Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO)
Performance-Based Planning for TSMO

FHWA Division Review Group Needed

The FHWA Office of Operations is seeking to form a Planning for Operations Review Group. The Review Group will have two main purposes. First, the group will help to advance the Planning for Operations Programs and some of the key projects that support it, including:

The Use of Archived Operations Data in Planning

Scenario Planning for Management and Operations

Planning for Operations Workshop Development and Enhancement

Planning for Transportation Systems Management and Operations Projects

Analytic Tools to Support Planning for Operations

The second purpose of the Review Group will be to guide the Planning for Operations program so that it is supportive of and consistent with the new MAP-21 requirements for Performance-based Planning and Programming.

The Review Group will meet virtually, at least once per quarter. Face-to-face meetings are possible whenever the opportunity arises.
Anyone interested in participating in this Planning for Operations Review Group, please contact Wayne Berman, wayne.berman@dot.gov, 202-366-4069 or Doug Laird, douglas.laird@dot.gov, 202-366-5972.

Talking Traffic Webinars

All Talking Traffic webinars are open to States, MPOs, contractors, vendors, academia, and consultants. They are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. EST.

Future Talking Traffic webinar schedule:

Dec. 10, 2013 Bicycle / Pedestrian
Jan. 14, 2014 HPMS Quality Control

For all Talking Traffic webinars, we will be using the same web address, phone number, and pass code. Register for the Talking Traffic Webinars at:
http://fhwa.adobeconnect.com/fhwatalkingtraffic/.

For the Audio Portion, please dial:
877-848-7030 Pass code: 6217068

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

Note that this year’s Highway Information Seminar will tentatively be held December 10-12, 2013 with a special learning opportunity on December 9, 2013.

CMP Implementation Date

For new Transportation Management Areas (TMAs), the congestion management process (CMP) described in 23 CFR 450.320 shall be implemented within 18 months of the designation as a new TMA which was done in the Federal Register Notice of July 18, 2012. As we get closer to the January 18, 2014 due date CMPs need to be implemented in the 27 new (2010 Census) TMAs, we thought now would be a great time to remind everyone of our many CMP Resources:

• FHWA has numerous CMP related workshops and webinars available through the Resource Center Planning Team – Contact Brian Betlyon, brian.betlyon, 410-962-0086 or Ben Williams, ben.williams@dot.gov, 404-562-3671 to schedule these.
• FHWA has developed a CMP website that links to a wealth of information from a CMP Guidebook, Case Studies etc. (it will be updated to reflect MAP-21 after the Planning Regs. are final next spring) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/congestion_management_process/.

• Our Congestion and Transportation Demand Management focus page also contains helpful resources on this topic http://www.planning.dot.gov/focus_congestion.asp.

Updated Functional Classification Guidelines

FHWA has posted an updated version of the “Highway Functional Classification Concepts, Criteria, and Procedures” document. The 2013 Edition of the FHWA Functional Classification Guidelines is now available online at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/processes/statewide/hfc/. This edition updates the 1989 Edition, the 1991 Addendum, and the October 2008 memorandum, “Updated Guidance for the Functional Classification of Highways,” which provided interim guidance and recommendations for further study. For more information, please contact Spencer Stevens at spencer.stevens@dot.gov, 202-366-0149 or Joseph Hausman at joseph.hausman@dot.gov, 202-366-5047.

FINANCE

IPD Academy Webinars

The FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery (IPD) has announced their webinars scheduled through May 2014. There is no cost to participate in these webinars and they are open to everyone who is interested. Each webinar will be offered from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. EST. Through the use of web conferencing technology, participants can view the presentations on their computer and hear the audio portion of the presentations either via the computer or telephone, depending on their preference.

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

Jan, 23, 2014 P3 Evaluation: Public Sector Comparator and P3 Shadow Bid 201 (Prerequisite: P3 101) Webinar

Mar. 13, 2014 P3 Evaluation: Financial Assessment 201 (Prerequisites: Project Risk Assessment 201 and Public Sector Comparator/ Shadow Bid 201) Webinar

Apr. 18, 2014 P3 Evaluation: Financial Assessment 201 Webinar. Registrants for the P3 Evaluation: Financial Assessment 201 Webinar, will automatically be registered for this webinar also.

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

DATA

Highway Information Seminar

The annual Highway Information Seminar will be held November 18-21, 2013 at the National Highway Institute (NHI) in Arlington, VA. There is no registration fee for this seminar.

This seminar aims to address the continued demand for high-quality State-reported data which is used by FHWA to: (1) determine the proper apportionment of Federal funds to the States, (2) investigate Federal highway program policy options, and (3) conduct performance monitoring. Moreover, this seminar will provide comprehensive training on the latest requirements, guidance, and information pertaining to the reporting of data to the FHWA with respect to the following program areas:

Highway Funding
Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS)
Highway Tax Evasion
Motor Fuel
Travel Monitoring and Surveys
You can find more details at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/his.cfm.

2013 TMG Update

FHWA has released a 2013 edition of the Traffic Monitoring Guide (TMG) which is intended to provide the most up to date guidance to State highway agencies in the policies, standards, procedures, and equipment typically used in a traffic monitoring program. The TMG presents recommendations to help improve and advance current programs with a view towards the future of traffic monitoring and with consideration for recent transportation legislation resulting from MAP-21. For the first time, it has a chapter devoted to pedestrian and bicycle data collection. You can find the Guide at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/tmguide/. For more information, contact David Jones, djones@dot.gov, 202-366-5053.

National Performance Management Research Data Set Quarterly Webinars

FHWA has a contract to collect data for the National Performance Management Research Data Set. The travel time data set will provide both freight and passenger traffic for the National Highway System. Vehicle probe data will include time, date, direction, travel time, and location (segment ID, Route, State). Data will be provided for individual highway segments aggregated into five-minute periods for each segment. State DOTs and MPOs receiving federal transportation funds will have rights to the vehicle probe travel time data sets, to use in support of meeting any federal requirements related to performance indicators, measures, and transportation program management.

FHWA will be hosting quarterly data set user webinars. The first of these will be November 1, 2013 at 1 p.m. EST. Register for the webinar at https://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webconfid=26837. You can find more information at http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/perform_meas/index.htm.

BIKE / PED / TRAILS

Pedestrian & Bicycle Transportation: FHWA’s Current Initiatives and Next Steps

On August 20, 2013 FHWA released a memorandum expressing the agency’s support for taking a flexible approach to pedestrian and bicycle facility design. The memorandum recognizes the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities and the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities as the primary national resources for pedestrian and bicycle facility design. It also high- lights the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide and the ITE Designing Urban Walkable Thoroughfares documents as resources the design of safe, comfortable, and context-sensitive pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The memorandum also highlights buffered bike lanes and colored bike lanes as successful examples of innovative treatments that have been introduced, in part, through the established MUTCD experimentation process.

FHWA staff officially announced the memorandum at a plenary session during the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Professional Development Seminar in Boulder, CO on September 10, 2013. FHWA continued its outreach regarding the design flexibility memorandum by hosting a public webinar in partnership with AASHTO, ITE and NACTO on September 13, 2013. Additional information on FHWA’s pedestrian and bicycle-related initiatives will be provided in a “Let’s Talk Planning” webinar to be held December 11, 2013. For more information on the webinar, see the LTP section of this newsletter. For more program information, please visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian or contact: Dan Goodman, daniel.goodman@dot.gov, 202-366-9064.

ENVIRONMENT
Texas PEL Implementation

The FHWA Texas Division Office is supporting the preparation of several corridor and subarea studies utilizing the Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) approach. Currently, there are PEL studies underway in El Paso (Border Highway East) and San Antonio (I-35), and it is expected that several other studies will kick-off in the near future in Amarillo and Austin. The purpose of these studies is to identify transportation improvements at a planning level, engage the public early in the planning process, and carry the decisions forward seamlessly into the NEPA process in the attempt to expedite the project delivery process and produce better project outcomes.

Over the next several months, the FHWA Texas Division Office will be partnering with the Resource Center to provide training on the PEL approach to the State DOT and MPOs. Two workshops are currently planned to explore ways that the State DOT and MPOs can utilize this approach to foster a better linkage between the planning and environmental processes. The upcoming workshops will be held in Tyler, TX (11/6/13-11/7/13) and Corpus Christi, TX (2/19/14-2/20/14). For more information, contact Casey Carlton, casey.carlton@dot.gov, 512-536-5943 or Kirk Fauver, firk.fauver@dot.gov, 512-536-5952 from the Texas Division Office. For additional information on the Texas and other PEL practices, see http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/integ/practices.asp.

LIVABILITY

National Center for Livable Communities

Portland State University’s transportation research and education center has earned a $2.83 million federal grant to expand the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, a program of OTREC at Portland State. The grant marks the center’s designation as the U.S. DOTs national university transportation center for livable communities.

In the first year of the grant, NITC will research projects including:

• A project evaluating how transit-oriented developments affect jobs, housing choice and affordability; and another examining their equity effects in immigrant communities.

• A study providing designers and engineers the safety effects of splitting scarce right-of-way among various modes.

• A project examining whether a fuel-cell drive can reduce emissions from large commercial vehicles such as garbage trucks.

Livability Summit in San Antonio

The FHWA Texas Division held a one-day Livability Summit at San Antonio, Texas on August 21, 2013. It was the fourth workshop in an annual series sponsored by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC) in Region 6. The events have drawn a wide range of professionals, including civil engineering consultants, environmental specialists, university researchers, students, urban planners, architects, private land developers, workforce agencies, transit authorities, city and county highway and transportation officials, bicycle-pedestrian advocates, as well as the general public and media. Local best management practices, public and private sector initiatives, were all highlighted at the San Antonio Livability Summit. Case studies and best practices involving complete streets implementation, B-cycle bicycle sharing program, the VIA regional transit authority’s Primo Bus service, Hemisfair Park redevelopment and expansion, and a number of other local projects in various stages of implementation were also highlighted during this event.

The Pearl Development, the site of the San Antonio Livability Summit, is an architectural and planning showpiece, with LEED certified buildings and adaptive reuse of historic buildings visible throughout the development. Trendy restaurants, coffee shops, and antique stores dot the walkable landscape that was once a bustling downtown brew house and distribution facility established in the 1880’s during the horse and buggy days. The Pearl is also famous for its farmer’s market showcasing fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers. For additional information regarding the San Antonio Livability Summit, please contact Kirk Fauver at kirk.fauver@dot.gov, 512-536-5952. To find out more about the Pearl Development, please see http://atpearl.com/.

COMMUNICATIONS

FHWA External Webinar Series

The Transportation Planning Information Exchange webinar series 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. Topics will reach beyond traditional transportation planning to address issues like scenario planning, land-use modeling, livability, environmental quality, operations, and maintenance.

The next webinars are:

November 5, 2013 Scenario Planning Tools and Techniques

November 15, 2013 Integration of Performance Considerations in Transportation Plans

December 5, 2013 Linking Performance-based Planning and Programming

Contact: Rae Keasler, rae.keasler@dot.gov, at 202-366-0329.

Freight

Talking Freight

The Talking Freight seminars are sponsored by the FHWA and are held via web conference. The seminars are held on the third Wednesday of each month, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST. For November and December we will be using the second Wendesdays. The first hour of each seminar is dedicated to the presentations and the remaining 30 minutes are for audience question and answer. Future webinars are:

Nov. 13, 2013 Tentatively MAP-21 - Year in Review

Dec. 11, 2013 Tentatively FRATIS

Commodity Flow Guidebook

TRB has posted the National Cooperative Freight Research Program Report 26: Guidebook for Developing Subnational Commodity Flow Data. It explores how State Departments of Transportation and other subnational agencies can obtain and compile commodity flow data. It is posted at http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/169330.aspx.

TRIBAL PLANNING

Four New Tribal Planning Case Studies

The Office of Planning’s Virtual Tribal Team (VTT) has published four new Tribal Planning case studies highlighting best practices in Tribal transportation planning. These new case studies focus on collaboration and partnerships between State and/or local agencies and the Tribes to develop plans and build projects that benefit all the participants.

Jamestown, Washington State: Tribe and State DOT Collaborate in Regional Planning and Roadway Projects in Washington State.

Sitka, Alaska: Sitka Tribe of Alaska Works with Local Government to Improve Roadways for Transit Use.

Southern Ute: Tribe, Town, County, and State Collaborate on Ignacio Area Corridor Access Plan.

Wrangell, Alaska: Tribe and Local Government Collaborate to Improve Transportation Corridors in Wrangell, Alaska.

The VTT is dedicated to educating non-Tribal planners and Tribal planners on how to work collaboratively with transportation planning practices and programs that support improved Tribal transportation. More information on Tribal Transportation Planning is also available on the Office of Planning website. If you have examples or ideas for future Tribal Planning case studies, contact Michelle Noch, michelle.noch@dot.gov, 202-366-9206.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS

Sustainable Choices & Public Involvement

For years, the advice given to MPOs around the country on how to improve their public involvement programs was to not rely just on public hearings but to take their message to the public. With the update to their metropolitan transportation plan (MTP), the Champaign-Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study has taken that to heart. They converted an old transit bus into a mobile platform for MTP comments.

They created MTP and MPO videos with their staff and used them to educate people when visiting the MTP bus at different events http://www.cuuats.org/lrtp/video/lrtp-video-final-draft. For more on their MTP, see http://www.ccrpc.org/transportation/lrtp2/index.html.

TRB Report Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program Capacity Project C11 has posted a prepublication, non-edited version of a report titled Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation that describes spreadsheet-based tools designed to help calculate a transportation project’s impact on travel time reliability, market access, and intermodal connectivity.

The report includes an accounting system designed to incorporate the three metrics in economic benefit and impact analyses. Copies of the report can be found at http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/169524.aspx.

Commuting in America Report

AASHTO announced the first parts of Commuting in America 2013 briefs are now available online. This is the fourth in a series of Commuting in America reports published since 1987. The reports analyze the historic trends in the patterns in land use, employment, and how they have impacted commuting. The sections that are updated for 2013 are:

1 Introduction
2 The Role of Commuting in Overall Travel Available
3 Population and Worker Patterns
4 Population and Worker Dynamics
7 Vehicle and Transit Availability and Cost

You can find the entire study at http://traveltrends.transportation.org/Pages/default.aspx.

RESEARCH

Supporting a Long-Distance Passenger Travel Demand Model

Long-distance trips in the United States can take two days or two weeks and may involve cars, buses, planes, or all three. Whether for business, to see family, or visit a national park, such a variety of trip characteristics requires a detailed understanding of traveler needs. “Foundational Knowledge to Support a Long-Distance Passenger Travel Demand Modeling Framework” is exploring new ways to model long-distance traveler behavior and better identify the required supporting infrastructure.

A national long-distance passenger travel demand model that is estimated, calibrated, and validated is the ultimate objective of this study. Among its many applications, a national model can be used to identify major corridors, test national policy scenarios, analyze multimodal travel, and benchmark performance indicators.

More information is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch/pubs/13095/index.cfm or contact Brad Gudzinas, brad.gudzinas@dot.gov 202-366-5024.
Design of a Completely New Approach for a Household-Based Long Distance Travel Survey Instrument

FHWA sponsored an exploratory research effort into alternative ways to capture and statistically analyze long distance travel survey data. The overall objective was to push the boundary of current survey research by identifying and assessing novel, innovative and cost effective methods for survey design, sampling, data collection, data processing, and estimation techniques that are relevant for understanding the public’s long distance travel behavior.

One major highlight of this project was the design, development, and implementation of a proof-of-concept pilot test of applications for the iPhone and Facebook platforms to recognize when long distance trips are taken and to collect data on these trips as part of a national survey. The goals of these applications were to improve data quality, response rates, respondent burden, and the rate of reduction in bias introduced by needing to recall information on past long distance trips taken. The proof-of-concept pilot test of these passive data collection applications involves over 200 participants and will continue to gather data on long distance trips through November 2013. Other project highlights include the development of trip purpose imputation models; these models were associated with high accuracy rates when the trip purpose categories were defined as distinctly as possible and sufficient information was available on trip location and land use.
More information is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch/pubs/13081/index.cfm or by contacting Patrick Zhang, patrick.zhang@dot.gov, 202-366-1941.

TMIP UPDATES

Activity Based Modeling Webinars

The Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) is hosting two series of webinars. The first is on Activity Based (AB) Modeling. The target audience is transportation modelers with no prior experience in AB Modeling. The Program is now adding sessions on the MPO experience with implementing AB Models. The webinars will be:
Nov. Phoenix experience with AB Modeling
The presentation slides and session recordings are available on the Recorded Webinars section of the TMIP Online Community of Practice at http://www.tmiponline.org.

TMIP 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.

Two peer reviews were convened during the spring and summer of 2013. Final documentation is currently being prepared for:

Vermont Agency of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation – Express Toll Lane Modeling Workshop

Two new agencies approved the program are:

Maryland Department of Transportation
Baltimore Metropolitan Council

Upcoming TMIP Webinars

The following webinars are planned for the next six months. Please look out for our webinar announcements with specific dates and times delivered via GovDelivery. You can subscribe to the GovDelivery distribution lists on the TMIP website at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/tmip/.

RTC FAST Dashboard (November 2013)
Travel model uncertainties (December 2013)
Statewide modeling overview (Winter 2014)

Recent TMIP Product Releases

TMIP supports effective use of analytic methods and tools in transportation decision-making by getting research into practice and supporting innovation and planning analysis improvements. The ultimate goal is to help transportation planning agencies provide better information in supporting transportation planning decisions. To this end, TMIP provides a variety of services and products to academics and professionals in the fields of analysis, modeling, and simulation.
The latest product is the TMIP At A Glance Series, which aims to provide an easy-to-read reference on transportation analysis, modeling, and simulation related topics. The latest installment in the series provides an overview of the Household Travel Diary Surveys.

Another product offering is the TMIP Agency Snapshot Report Series, which will be a reference for transportation planning practitioners and agencies seeking to understand how their peer agencies and professional colleagues are selecting and applying analytical tools and methods to support transportation planning. The latest installment in the series provides an overview of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

All TMIP products are available on our website at:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/tmip/publications/

FHWA PLANNING DISCIPLINE SPOTLIGHT

FHWA Planning Boot Camp Expands

FHWA has posted new modules to the Planning Boot Camp SharePoint Site. It is accessible to FHWA staff only. The Planning Boot Camp is appropriate for planners new to FHWA and those who are new to the planning discipline. The four New Planning Boot Camp modules are:

Metropolitan Transportation Plan
Fiscal Constraint
Environmental Justice
Functional Classification

Planners are often assigned collateral duties that include topics from other disciplines. Through Planning Boot Camp - Phase II, we have created a new Cross-Discipline Boot Camp section containing links to boot camps developed by other disciplines for topics most relevant to FHWA Planners. Available under this new section:

Air Quality Conformity (Air Quality Discipline)
Transportation Safety Planning (Safety Discipline)
Planning for Operations and Performance-Based Planning (Operations Discipline)
Title VI E-Learning (Civil Rights Discipline)

All nine Planning Boot Camp modules include a training certificate following a quiz. The Planning Discipline is working with the Office of Human Resources to implement a formal Planning Boot Camp through the Training Management System. For more information, contact Theresa Hutchins, theresa.hutchins@dot.gov, or 360-753-9402.

FHWA Planning Discipline SharePoint Site

SharePoint recently went through a migration from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. As we’ve reported in the past, the migration changed many features for all the internal Discipline SharePoint sites, including several unique features on the Planning Discipline site. One significant change is the web-address for the Planning Discipline SharePoint site – this new web-address should be book marked for easy reference.

Another significant change is how the Planner’s Exchange functions under SharePoint 2010. The Planner Exchange enables users to view in a single posting all responses to inquires asked through the fieldplanner e-mail distribution group. The automatic function of capturing and reporting e-mail exchanges via the fieldplanner e-mail distribution list has been disabled with SharePoint 2010. While we seek to re-establish this functionality, the exchanges are being added manually by Volpe staff. During this time of adjustment, users can still sort and search e-mail responses by either topic or by subject.

The Planning Leadership Council continues to make improvements to the SharePoint site, and the Planning Discipline Team (PDT) is also reviewing it. Soon, the site will feature an updated look to help guide users through the many sites available on the Planning Discipline SharePoint site. For more information about the Planning Discipline SharePoint site, contact Jocelyn Jones, jocelyn.jones@dot.gov 410-962-2486.

Let’s Talk Planning

The FHWA and 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 web meetings are information-sharing sessions for the FHWA and FTA planners. These internal meetings are generally held the second Wednesday, every three months via webinar at 1 p.m. EST. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the FHWA Planning Discipline SharePoint site.

Mark your calendars! The scheduled date for the upcoming 2013 webinars is:

Dec. 11, 2013 Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation: FHWA’s Current Initiatives and Next Steps

If you have suggestions for LTP sessions, contact: Ed Christopher, ed.christopher@dot.gov, or 708-283-3534, Rae Keasler, rae.keasler@dot.gov, or 202-366-0329, or Tamika Monterville, tamika. monterville@dot.gov, 202-366-5038.

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/FTA staff and will generally last 90 minutes to two hours.

Mark your calendars. The dates of the 2013/2014 POW sessions are:

Nov. 19, 2013 Conducting Effective Certification reviews Part III

Jan. 21, 2014 Incorporating Travel Reliability Effectively into Transportation Planning -was Oct. now Jan.

If you cannot attend the POW session for a particular month, the presentations and other information resources are available on the FHWA 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.

STAFF UPDATES

Staff Changes

There have been changes in staff recently.

From Office To Office

FHWA Offices

Shundreka Givan TX Div. FL Div. Orlando Office
Luis Lopez TX Div. FL Div. Orlando Office
Dave Harris AL Div. Office of Planning
Richelle Ellis EFLHD Env. EFLHD Planning
Jamie Setze LA Div. Planning Baton Rouge, LA MPO
Lian Li PDP AL Div.
Will Clinton PDP TX Div.
Benjamin Fischer Consultant NY Div. Planning
Nathan Wojcik NY Div. Planning
Enos Han NY Div. Planning



WORKSHOPS & TRAINING

FHWA Resource Center Training

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

11/21-22/2013 Performance Based Planning & Programming Sacramento, TX

December Integrating Planning for Operations into Metropolitan Transportation Plans & Programs Albuquerque, NM

12/12/2013 Scenario Planning, Harrisburg, PA

National Transit Institute Training

 

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

Start Date End Date Location

12/10/2013 12/12/2013 Introduction to Transportation Conformity, Fort Worth, TX

12/16/2013 12/18/2013 Introduction to Transit Service Planning, Arlington, VA

01/07/2014 01/08/2014 National Transit Database (Urban Reporting), Salt Lake City, UT

02/18/2014 02/19/2014 National Transit Database (Urban Reporting), Springfield, IL

02/18/2014 02/20/2014 Public Involvement in Transportation Decisionmaking, Fort Worth, TX

National Highway Institute Courses

Visit the NHI Web site at: www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/home.aspx. Also, you can now view the schedule of web conferences at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/eventcalendar.aspx.

The FHWA has invested in web-based courses to make it easier for people to get the training they need.
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

Principles of Evacuation Planning Tutorial

New Transportation Performance Management Awareness - Federal Aid Version

New Transportation Performance Management Awareness - Federal Lands Version

New Introduction to Performance Measurement

Scheduled Courses in the Next Quarter:

Start Date End Date Location

11/19/2013 11/20/2013 Atlanta, GA
Water Quality Management of Highway Runoff

11/20/2013 11/21/2013 Jefferson City, MO
Highway Program Financing

12/2/2013 Jackson, MS
Freight and Land Use Workshop

12/11/2013 12/12/2013 Lansing, MI
Water Quality Management of Highway Runoff

12/17/2013 12/19/2013 Phoenix, AZ
Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development

12/18/2013 Boise, ID
Freight and Land Use Workshop

1/29/2014 1/30/2014 Columbus, OH
Transportation Safety Planning

2/17/2014 2/18/2014 Helena, MT
Traffic Monitoring Programs: Guidance and Procedures

CALENDAR OF EVENTS


2013 Calendar

Jan. 12 - 16, 2014 TRB Annual Meeting 2014
Washington, DC

Jan. 22, 2014 2:00 PM EST AASHTO Data Needs, Issues, and Governance for Improved Management of Highway Assets Webinar

March 3-4, 2014 TRB 2014 Transportation Planning, Land Use and Air Quality Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina

Spring 2014 TRB Innovations in Travel Demand Forecasting–2014, Baltimore, Maryland

April 9-11, 2014 TRB Fifth International Transportation and Economic Development Conference, Dallas, TX

April 26-30 APA National Conference, Atlanta, GA

April 28-30, 2014 TRB 10th National Conference on Transportation Asset Management, Miami, Florida

June, 2014 NARC 48th Annual Conference and Exhibition, Louisville, Kentucky

July 21-23, 2014 TRB 14th National Conference on Transportation Planning in Small and Medium Sized Communities, Burlington, VT

May 5-8, 2014 AASHTO GIS-T Symposium, Burlington, VT

Aug.10 - 13, 2014 Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting and Exhibit, Seattle, Washington

Sept. 7 - 10, 2014 Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sept. 7 - 10, 2014 Intelligent Transportation Society 2014 Annual Meeting, Detroit, Michigan

Oct. 2014 National Association of City Transportation Officials 2014, Annual Meeting

Oct. 12 - 15, 2014 ITS America 2014 Annual Meeting,
Houston, Texas

Oct. 21 - 24, 2014 AMPO Annual Conference,
Atlanta, Georgia

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/

 

Photo Credits:

Page 1 left - Envision Utah from Public Roads Sept/Oct. 2005

Page 1 left center - Forest highway, Photo courtesy of istockphotos

Page 1 right center - Portland light rail, Photo courtesy of istockphotos

Page 1 right - Church St. Marketplace, Burlington, VT. Retrieved from Wiki Travel http://wikitravel.org/en/Burlington_%28Vermont%29

Page 8 - Corridor Study report cover from South Western Connecticut Regional Planning Agency website

Clipart courtesy of Microsoft

 

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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