FHWA Resource Center
Fall Edition 2004
Welcome to our fourth
joint issue of the Transportation Planning Update! We hope you enjoy the
information presented. If you have transportation planning information
to share please contact us.
Sherry B. Ways
Transportation Planner, FHWA Office of Planning
Metropolitan Planning Specialist, FHWA Resource Center
What’s New for FHWA’s Vital Few
Planning Video Conference
NHI/NTI Planning Courses
Bicycle and Pedestrian News
Calendar of Events
Transportation Planning Excellence Awards
Planning Excellence Awards (TPEA) website has been updated to include
an overview of the awards program, and the application and selection processes.
The updated website also includes project information for each award winner
and honorable mention.
In the summer of 2004,
eleven Awards and five Honorable Mentions were presented for projects
in: Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento, California;
St. Petersburg, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Hanalei, Hawaii; State of Michigan;
Detroit, Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; Poughkeepsie, New York; Lincoln
City, Oregon; and Houston, Texas.
For further information
regarding the TPEA and the 2004 winners and honorable mentions, please
visit the TPEA website or call
the FHWA Office of Planning at (202) 366-0106 or the FTA Office of Planning
& Environment at (202) 366-5653.
Please check the website
for information about the 2006 Awards.
New for FHWA's Vital Few?
The Vital Few priorities
are the focus areas that show the biggest performance gaps in the transportation
system and present opportunities for FHWA to make the greatest difference.
We are committed to being successful in these focus areas. This section
features the activities currently being undertaken in FHWA’s Vital
Few focus areas.
New GIS Use
in Environmental Streamlining And Stewardship Workshop (GIS4EST)
The FHWA Resource
Center and the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
have developed a 1 ½ day workshop on the use of spatial data in
facilitating environmental considerations in planning and project development.
We are looking for a Pilot State for the workshop. For more information
contact Ben Williams, FHWA Resource Center, at (404) 562-3671,
More MPOs and States
are using microsimulation models to get another viewpoint on the impact
of Congestion Management Systems and operational issues in planning. The
FHWA Office of Operations recently has produced a primer on traffic analysis
tools and user guidelines for their use..
FHWA and the Association
for Commuter Transportation have released an updated report on the role
of travel demand management strategies on congestion. The report entitled
"Mitigating Traffic Congestion: The Role of Demand-Side Strategies"
figuring out how to get a freight study started? This interactive
seminar examines the reasons and methods for performing freight studies
within the transportation planning process. Its audience is small and
medium sized MPOs. As background, three questions are addressed: what
is freight transportation; why do we do freight studies; and why are we
seeing all these trucks on the roads? In addition, growth of containerization,
e-commerce, and freight impacts on traffic are reviewed. In a brainstorming
setting, participants are invited to discuss their personal knowledge
of freight movement through and within their communities to determine
if there is a "freight problem", its magnitude and causes.
Participants are encouraged to familiarize themselves beforehand with
congested areas and times within their areas. Once a determination is
made that there is a problem, a methodology is presented to determine
the causes and possible remedies. Contact: Robert Radics, FHWA Resource
Center, (404) 562-3692 or email@example.com
FHWA and FTA are holding
workshops in each of the FTA Regions on the TMA Certification Process
for both FHWA Division and FTA Regional staff. The topics will include
the Certification Field Handbook, certification tracking system and travel
forecasting methods. Sessions will be held at the following locations:
December 14-15, 2004
Location: Dallas, Texas
December 2004 or January
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
For more information
contact: John Humeston, FHWA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(404) 562-3667 or Candace Noonan, FTA, at Candace.Noonan@fta.dot.gov.
The FHWA Office of
Planning and the Resource Center are initiating a dialogue on planning
issues and concerns called Let's Talk Planning. This is basically an internal
planning peer exchange for FHWA and FTA field planners, headquarters and
resource center staff. The idea for this Let's Talk Planning series came
as a result of feedback that the Resource Center, Transportation Planning
Capacity Building Program (TPCB) and the FHWA Planning Discipline team
have received from Division Offices throughout the past year. In particular,
at the August annual planners' conference, many Division Office planners
indicated that such a forum would be very helpful. The Let's Talk Planning
series’ primary goal is to provide an opportunity for Division Office
planners to share common experiences and discuss similar issues they may
The first videoconference session will be on December 16, 2004 with two
sessions to accommodate all of the Division Offices and time zones. The
first session will take place from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm EST, for participants
in the Eastern and Central Division Offices. The second session will take
place from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm EST, for participants in the Mountain and
Western Division Offices. The forums will be interactive and informal.
Topics are based on suggestions from Division Offices. The staff contact
for the FHWA Resource Center is Bob Radics at Robert.email@example.com.
The staff contact for the FHWA Office of Planning is Jose Dory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning Status Reviews
The Tennessee Division
of the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration’s
Region 4 office and the Tennessee Department of Transportation are developing
a process to assess the non-TMA MPOs’ planning activities in meeting
the planning regulations. The assessment will also be used for the federal
and state agencies to determine how and where to focus technical assistance.
Priority improvements identified through the Planning Status Review (PSR)
will be included in the MPO’s subsequent Unified Planning Work Programs
(UPWP). A demonstration of steps and timeline to show progress in improving
the specified areas will also be included.
Each PSR will include
a one-day review of MPO material, one-on-one time with MPO staff to clarify
questions, and an assessment tool where focus areas and technical assistance
strategies are identified. For more information contact,
Theresa Hutchins, FHWA TN Division Office, email@example.com.
Maureen Bluhm, FHWA TN Division Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s New in Statewide Plans?
In 2002, FHWA, with
support from the Volpe National Transportation System Center, disseminated
a review of Statewide Long Range Transportation Plans. The review noted
the emergence of issues such as freight, safety, system preservation,
and performance measurement in Statewide Plans. To see the results of
In the last three
years more than half of the states have updated or replaced their Long-Range
Plans. State Plan updates may reflect changes in State administrations,
reduced forecast of revenue and concern over infrastructure security.
We would like to assess
the current trends and identify notable practices in statewide long-range
planning without having to review each and every plan. Instead, we would
appreciate if interested FHWA and FTA planners volunteering the following:
What are key changes
in the most recent statewide plan?
What new issues does the plan identify?
Would you consider the statewide plan innovative? If so, how it is innovative?
Has it won awards? Received exceptional positive feedback from stakeholders?
What lessons would you like others to gain from the plan?
The Volpe Center then
will document the most interesting and innovative practices so they are
available to other states. If you have thoughts, suggestions or want to
get more information, please contact David Kuehn, FHWA, at (202) 366-
6072 or email@example.com.
An updated version
of the Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making
guide is now available at www.planning.dot.gov/PublicInvolvement/pi_documents/toc-foreword.asp.
The guide shares a wide variety of public involvement techniques that
have been used and tested in the field. Like the 1996 version, the new
guide groups techniques by function and discusses them in a question and
This update includes:
New and revised material on working with minority populations and with
low-income populations; electronic interaction (such as web sites and
3-D visualization); working with community-based organizations; and how
to make public involvement accessible for people with disabilities.
The "Planning Assistant," a self-diagnostic tool to help form
ideas, identify techniques, and organize notes for a public involvement
A "Notebook" to create and save a record of responses to the
"Planning Assistant," document parameters of a public involvement
activity, and collaborate public involvement ideas by sharing results
For more information
or to suggest techniques to be included in future updates, please contact
David Kuehn, FHWA, at (202) 366 -6072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHI and NTI Planning Courses
The American Institute
of Certified Planners (AICP) has endorsed seven National Highway Institute
(NHI) and National Transit Institute (NTI) joint multi-modal planning
courses for their Continuing Professional Development Program (CPDP).
These courses are as follows:
Metropolitan Transportation Planning
Introduction to Statewide Transportation Planning
Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Programming
Coordinating Transportation and Land Use
Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making
Bus Rapid Transit
may receive Continuing Professional Development Program hours for taking
For more information
about the American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Professional
is a process in which transportation professionals, local elected officials,
and citizens work together to analyze and shape the long-term future of
their communities. Using a variety of tools and techniques, participants
in scenario planning assess trends in key factors such as transportation,
land use, demographics, health, economic development, environment, and
more. The participants bring the factors together in alternative future
scenarios, each of these reflecting different trend assumptions and tradeoff
preferences. As a result of the process, all members of the community-the
general public, business leaders, and elected officials- reach agreement
on a preferred scenario. This scenario becomes the long-term policy framework
for the community's evolution, and is used to guide decision-making.
In FY05, FHWA will
hold four peer workshops on scenario planning to be co-sponsored by four
FHWA Divisions. To date, the schedule is as follows:
December 2004 Florida
February 2005 Iowa Division
April 2005 Illinois Division
July 2005 North Carolina Division
The Peer Workshops
provide participants with an overview of the scenario planning process
and examples of scenario planning efforts from elsewhere in the country.
In addition, information on available resources and tools to assist with
scenario planning analysis are also discussed. The results of the workshops
will be posted on a new FHWA Scenario Planning website which will be launched
in early 2005.
Other FHWA efforts
include a National Broadcast on scenario planning in March 2005, as well
as the completion of a synthesis research on scenario planning activities
across the country. For more information, contact Sherry B. Ways, FHWA,
at (202) 366-1587, or email@example.com.
Nine Ozone Nonattainment Areas
On September 17, 2004 U.S. EPA announced the reclassification of nine
areas to "marginal" instead of "moderate" nonattainment
of 8-hour ozone standard. The reclassified areas are: Cass County, MI;
Muskegon County, MI; the eight-county Detroit, MI metro area; Greensboro
County, NC; Kent and Queen Anne counties, MD; Lancaster County, PA; LaPorte
County, IN; the counties surrounding Memphis, TN; and the counties surrounding
Richmond, VA. Although the new classification lifts some CAA mandates,
including auto tailpipe emissions testing, it mandates faster compliance,
requiring standards to be met by 2007 instead of 2010. For transportation
conformity, these areas (except Greensboro, NC, which is an Early Action
Compact area) will be allowed to choose between either the no-greater-than-2002
test or the greater-than-no-build test to demonstrate 8-hour conformity
if interim emissions tests are applicable in these areas. However, it
should be noted that the effective date of the nonattainment designation
has not changed from June 15, 2004. The one-year grace period for conformity
will expire on June 15, 2005 for these areas (except Greensboro).
MOBILE6 Research Study
A recently completed
FHWA research study on project-level impacts of the MOBILE6 model is now
available. The CAL3QHC roadway intersection model is typically employed
to determine potential air quality impacts for project-level analysis.
The study is divided into three main components addressing the following
three questions: 1) How will changes in MOBILE6 impact project-level results?
2) How will changes in MOBILE6 affect the process for project-level analysis?
3) Will changes in MOBILE6 significantly impact screening assessment procedures?
MOBILE6 study results.
DYNASMART-P and Training Workshops
A State-of-the-Art Dynamic Network Traffic Operational Planning Tool
The Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) has recently released the DYNASMART-P software tool.
DYNASMART-P was developed for traffic operations planning applications
under the FHWA’s Dynamic Traffic Assignment (DTA) research program.
DYNASMART-P combines (1) dynamic network assignment models, used primarily
in conjunction with demand forecasting procedures for planning applications,
and (2) traffic simulation models, used primarily for traffic operations
FHWA has also developed an input editor, DSPEd, to assist users in preparing
input data. DYNASMART-P and DSPEd are available from the McTrans Center.
FHWA will sponsor two-day application-oriented training workshops on DYNASMART-P
at the University of Maryland on December 13-14, 2004 and March 21-22,
2005. The workshops will be free to participants selected by the FHWA.
However, space will be limited and each attendee will be responsible for
his or her own expenses for travel, lodging, etc. If you are interested
in participating in the workshop, please contact Henry Lieu, FHWA, at
(202) 493-3273, or Henry.Lieu@fhwa.dot.gov.
and Pedestrian News
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking held ProWalk/ProBike, the
13th International Symposium on Walking and Bicycling on September 7-10,
2004, in beautiful Victoria BC, under the theme "Creating Active
Communities". This is the premier North American conference on nonmotorized
transportation for planners, designers, engineers, and researchers. This
conference emphasized Safe Routes to School and Active Communities and
recognized the increasing public attention toward the need for more physical
activity as a measure to control obesity.
State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators Meeting
The AASHTO Joint Technical Committee on Nonmotorized Transportation met
on September 7, 2004 in Port Angeles WA, with State Bicycle and Pedestrian
Coordinators. The meeting concentrated on needed research and on mechanisms
to suggest ideas through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.
View the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators contact list.
Thirty-nine FHWA representatives
and one Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staff member participated in the
Tribal Transportation Conference held on August 17-18, 2004 in Minneapolis,
MN. Participation included representatives from 19 FHWA Divisions and
two Federal Land Highway Divisions as well as multiple representatives
from Headquarters and the Resource Center. Al Steger, DFS East, who previously
served as the DA for Minnesota, started the meeting with the success story
on the partnership between Tribes and the State DOT in Minnesota. Topics
covered included safety planning, Tribal Employment Rights Ordinances
(TERO), Tribal Transportation Assistance Program (TTAP) overview and functions,
reauthorization, contractual project agreements between States and BIA,
and State coordination activities with Tribes. For more information, contact
Tim Penney, FHWA, at (202) 366-2698 or Tim.Penney@fhwa.dot.gov.
of Transportation Data Studied
The American Community Survey (ACS), a continuous measurement survey,
will likely replace the decennial census long form. The ACS presents an
opportunity to obtain transportation data collected throughout the year,
which may reflect seasonal differences. This study looked at whether the
data reveals variations that can be attributed to seasonality. The results
are of special note for the transportation planning community and policymakers
who rely on decennial census journey to work data such as the Census Transportation
Planning Package (CTPP).
What are the implications
for future "CTPP-like" data products and transportation planning
and policies? The wildly fluctuating data streams observed here may also
cause alarm about the variability in the data and the usefulness of aggregating
data collected at disparate times. Further, many planners currently calibrate
most of their models with the census long form data collected in April.
These results show that travel times are shorter and departure times are
earlier in the spring. So the models may not represent typical conditions..
Meet Joyce Newland
Joyce Newland has worked with the Indiana Division of the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) for 7 years as an Environmental Specialist and now
as a Transportation Planner. Ms. Newland is responsible for working with
the Indiana MPOs, INDOT, and EPA to ensure conformity. Currently, she
is responsible for planning activities for the Indianapolis, Anderson,
Muncie, Kokomo, and Fort Wayne MPOs. Ms. Newland is also a FHWA Professional
Development Program (PDP) Coach for the first time and is looking forward
to helping PDP participants become community planners within the agency.
Prior to joining the FHWA, Ms. Newland spent 9 years with the Indiana
Department of Transportation (INDOT) in a variety of positions that range
from performing feasibility studies (establishing purpose & need),
managing the old Section 18 and Section 16B programs as a transit manager
to developing the procedures for CMAQ funding and creating environmental
compliance policies as an environmental analyst. Ms. Newland worked for
the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in the Air Quality
Office for four years and developed the MOUs that rule the conformity
Ms. Newland holds a Masters degree in Public Administration with a concentration
in Environment from Indiana University and a Bachelors degree in Planning
from Ball State University. Her husband of 18 years, Mark, is the Director
of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program at INDOT. Mark and Joyce
enjoy playing golf and hiking. The couple and their three cats Jake, Elwood,
and Cosmo reside in the same Indianapolis neighborhood where Joyce grew
DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE NEXT ISSUE is January 30, 2005. Please
forward submissions to Sherry Ways at firstname.lastname@example.org.
or Ben Williams at email@example.com.
Here are a few of
the upcoming events of interest to the planning community:
FHWA Talking Freight Series: Multijurisdictional Coalitions.
For more information contact: Eloise Freeman-Powell, FHWA, at Eloise.Freeman-Powell@fhwa.dot.gov.
or Scott Johnson, FHWA at scott.Johnson@fhwa.dot.gov.
Let’s Talk Planning Video Conference
For more information contact: Bob Radics, FHWA Resource Center, at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
or Jose Dory, FHWA, at email@example.com.
Transportation Research Board 84th Annual Meeting
For more information contact: TRB’s Linda Karson at Lkarson@nas.edu.
National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) 2005 Washington Policy
March 5, 2005
AASHTO’s Legislative Briefing
For additional information contact: Janet Oakley, AASHTO, at (202) 624-5800
March 8 –
Contact: Ralph Volpe, FHWA, at (202) 366-4048 or:
Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) Data Collection Workshop
Salt Lake City, Utah.
March 16 –
18, 2005 National Bike Summit
Contact: League of American Bicyclists (202) 822-1333 or
March 19 –
23, 2005 American Planning Association Annual National Planning Conference
San Francisco, CA
Phone: (312) 786-6397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AASHTO Geospatial Information for Transportation Symposium Lincoln, Nebraska
For more information contact: Ben Williams, FHWA Resource Center at (404)
562-3671 or Ben.Williams@fhwa.dot.gov. You may also contact Mark Sarmiento,
FHWA, at 202-366-4828, or Mark.Sarmiento@fhwa.dot.gov.
2005 Transportation Management Association Summit
Radisson Plaza Hotel- Minneapolis, MN
See: ACT at 2005 Transportation Management Association Summit