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FHWA Home / OIPD / Accelerating Innovation / Every Day Counts / EDC News: July 27, 2023

EDC News

July 27, 2023

Innovation of the Month: Integrating GHG Assessment and Reduction Targets in Transportation Planning

Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) play an essential role in implementing policies, programs, and projects that can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One MPO, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), is taking a novel approach to reducing GHG emissions. Instead of relying solely on strategies that improve transit or pedestrian/bike infrastructure, SACOG is focusing heavily on leveraging housing and development planning to reduce transportation emissions. Unlike urbanized areas that face geographic constraints that limit where growth can occur, the SACOG region has lots of room for outward development which can lead to housing further from existing job and activity centers. This means that GHG reduction strategies that rely only on providing alternative modes to driving are often less impactful on overall GHG emissions due to the distance people tend to travel between home and work centers.

In March 2018, the California Air Resources Board established a new 19 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for the SACOG region by 2035. “Green Means Go” is a new pilot program in the Sacramento region’s Sustainable Communities Strategy that addresses specific conditions and challenges relating to GHG emission reductions and will help the region achieve its GHG reduction goal.

SACOG’s plan prioritizes compact development patterns and multimodal options to reduce vehicle miles traveled and increase transit, biking, and walking trips. It is designed to make infill, development within the existing regional footprint, more attractive for developers who may otherwise only target greenfield development in areas further away from the region’s existing transportation system, job centers, and other travel destinations. Green Means Go has allocated flexible State-funding to projects in locally identified infill “green zones.” The initial grant program fund includes $34.5 million for such projects.

An example use of program funds would be to address a key roadblock for infill development—the cost of upgrading underground utilities. This cost is typically taken on by developers. Green Means Go funds can be used by localities to upgrade such utilities prior to development to offset some of that cost increase. To qualify for funding, localities must also ensure their policies are conducive to infill development.

xxx The Sunrise Tomorrow infill development turns the former mall in Citrus Heights, CA, into a development that includes housing, restaurants, recreation, and workspaces.(Credit: City of Citrus Heights/Gensler)

With this type of development, housing and work centers come closer together, reducing vehicle miles travelled and setting the foundation for robust multi-modal transportation options. Communities become walkable while simultaneously reducing GHG emissions and stimulating economic growth

SACOG believes this approach is a sustainable, responsible way to improve the region’s communities while also meeting its commitments to reducing GHG emissions. To learn more about SACOG’s plan and work in reducing GHG emissions, please contact Clint Holtzen.

Subscribe to this innovation’s e-bulletin to stay up-to-date on the latest news. To learn more about Integrating GHG Assessment and Reduction Targets in Transportation Planning, please contact David D'Onofrio, FHWA Office of Natural Environment, or Jim Thorne, FHWA Office of Planning.

Learn More About Strategic Workforce Development and ConnectU2Jobs

Last year, we introduced the Texas ConnectU2Jobs Program—a collaboration between the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Workforce Commission, Dallas College, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, the Regional Black Contractors Association, the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association, Lone Star Justice Alliance, and the Associated General Contractors of Texas. The program helps build alternative community-based support and employment opportunities for justice-involved emerging adults, ages 17-24. The program offers a unique opportunity to individuals who may not typically be provided access to such opportunities.

The Strategic Workforce Development (SWD) team recently released this ConnectU2Jobs video, which discusses the program in greater depth with program stakeholders and graduates of the program. For more information, view the ConnectU2Jobs case study.

To learn more about SWD, please visit the SWD toolkit, watch the EDC spotlight video, or contact Chrisy Currier or Joe Conway, FHWA Office of Innovation and Workforce Solutions.

Virginia Uses Value Capture for Multimodal Corridor

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is using value capture (VC) techniques to fund its Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. VC strategies can be used to help pay for roadway and transit improvements by leveraging localized benefits. This project is being delivered under a 50-year design-build-finance-operate-maintain public-private partnership concession. It provides 22.5 miles of new express lanes on Interstate 66, which were completed in November 2022, in addition to bicycle and pedestrian paths, safety and operational improvements, 4,000 park and ride spaces, and new and expanded commuter bus service. According to a VDOT news release, the project will deliver about $3.7 billion worth of transportation improvements benefiting the northern Virginia I-66 corridor that will be financed by a consortium of private developers.

To learn more about public-private partnerships and other value capture techniques, visit the FHWA value capture homepage.

Discover Home-Grown Innovations from Around the Country

Logo-Premium Quality Home Grown State & Local Innovations

Are you interested in homegrown innovations being used by your peers in other parts of the country? Check out the National STIC Network Showcase, a component of the EDC-7 Virtual Summit. Registering for the event allows you to access all the content through February 2024.

STIC Network Showcase section of EDC Virtual Summit website.
STIC Network Showcase section of EDC Virtual Summit website. Text title reads, National STIC Network Showcase with 10 categories of links which the innovations are broken up into. Those categories include Asset Management & Finance, Maintenance & Emergency Response, Operations, Design & Construction, Technology & Materials, Planning & Environment, Safety, Pavement & Structures, Civil Rights, Workforce, and Equity, and 2020 Archive.

Learn about the Mississippi Department of Transportation's Electronic Stormwater Inspection process, which streamlines the inspection workflow, electronically collects and stores inspection data, and reduces the time required to generate and distribute summary reports. The automated method reduces turnaround time on those reports from 7-10 to 2-3 days.

Celebrate the ingenuity of your peers and read about these innovations—developed and deployed in-house at transportation agencies nationwide. Additionally, we invite you to watch the one-hour presentations on-demand that feature many of these and other innovations.

Stay Up to Date on the EDC Innovations That Interest You Most

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EDC teams are always on the move! If you blink, you could miss out on important webinars, case studies, tools, videos, and more. To never miss information for the EDC innovations that interest you most, visit the subscription page and select the topics you’d like to receive updates on directly from the teams that coordinate them.

Recent bulletins:

NextGen TIM 7/25/2023
Strategic Workforce Development 7/20/23

About EDC

Every Day Counts, a state-based initiative of the Federal Highway Administration's Center for Accelerating Innovation, works with state, local and private sector partners to encourage the adoption of proven technologies and innovations to shorten and enhance project delivery.

EDC News is published weekly by the FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation.

Notice:The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this presentation only because they are considered essential to the objective of the presentation. They are included for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one product or entity.

Recommended Citation:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
EDC News; July 27, 2023
Washington, DC

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Jeffrey A. Zaharewicz
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Page last modified on August 11, 2023
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