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FHWA Resource Center

PLANNING TEAM

Publications

Transportation Planning Update

Fall Edition 2007

Jody McCullough
Transportation Planner, FHWA Office of Planning
Co-Editor

Ben Williams
Metropolitan Planning Specialist, FHWA Resource Center
Co-Editor

The Transportation Planning Update is a quarterly newsletter providing information to the transportation planning community. Articles are written and submitted by Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration staff to promote the sharing of ideas, highlighting of good practices and informing of current events.

In This Issue

SAFETEA-LU Planning
New Director of Planning
Corridors of the Future
Urban Partnership Agreements
Planning & Environment Linkage Update
Field Focus - DELMAR
Planning Excellence Awards
National Revenue Study Commission Videos
Freight Planning
Transit Circulars & Transit Oriented Development
Asset Management
EPA Ozone Standard Change
American Community Survey
Trail Administrators Meeting
Office of Planning Reorganization
Staff Changes
Community of Practice
Let’s Talk Planning
Travel Modeling Newsletter
News from Our Partners
Scheduled Training Opportunities
Calendar of Events

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SAFETEA-LU Planning

SAFETEA-LU Planning: Illustrative Examples

The SAFETEA-LU Planning: Illustrative Examples report is intended to support timely accommodation of SAFETEA-LU provisions by presenting examples of current practice from metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and state departments of transportation (DOTs) to illustrate a range of approaches for addressing several selected planning provisions. The "illustrative examples" presented in this report were drawn from a cross-section of large and small MPOs and DOTs and are offered for consideration by all practitioners as they formulate and implement their own plans to achieve SAFETEA-LU compliance.

The illustrative examples contained in this report were obtained from a variety of sources and were subjected to careful review by the staff of FTA and FHWA. The primary sources of the illustrative examples were: commendations for effective planning practice offered by FTA and FHWA during the course of planning certification reviews of MPOs serving transportation management areas; information from publications and internet postings of various national stakeholder organizations; and case studies. For more information, go to: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/metro/sftluexamp.htm.

All 51 Strategic Highway Safety Plans Approved

The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a new federal requirement of SAFETEA-LU, 23 U.S.C. 148, and is a major part of the core Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). As of September 28, 2007 all 50 states and the District of Columbia had an approved SHSP. The purpose of the SHSP is to identify the State’s key safety needs and guide investment decisions to achieve significant reductions in highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. The SHSP development process, much like the transportation planning process is comprehensive and collaborative. These processes both include input from public and private stakeholders. SAFETEA-LU requires that "Each statewide and metropolitan planning process shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users." The objectives of Transportation Safety Planning (TSP) and the SHSP are based on bringing together all the appropriate partners to ensure a coordinated effort toward improving surface transportation safety.

SHSPs will undoubtedly lead to further collaboration among transportation planners, safety engineers, and other safety stakeholders. The metropolitan and statewide transportation planners are an integral part of the SHSP process. Transportation planners help ensure that the goals, objectives, and strategies of the SHSP are integrated into statewide and metropolitan long range transportation plans as well as transportation improvement programs (TIPs). The integration of the plans and processes will ideally place safety on par with other planning factors, particularly, in choosing or evaluating new and continuing projects and initiatives. If you would like more information on your State’s safety goals, emphasis areas, strategies, etc., contact your State DOT’s Safety Engineer to obtain a copy of the SHSP for your State. Most SHSP can be obtained via the state DOT’s web-page. For general questions on SHSP, please contact Tamiko Burnell at Tamiko.Burnell@dot.gov

Welcome New Director of Planning

Photo of Mr. James A. Cheatham


FHWA announced that Mr. James A. Cheatham has been selected for advancement into the Senior Executive Service position of Director, Office of Planning in the Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty. Jim will begin his new position on October 29. Jim currently serves as Division Administrator (DA) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a position he has held since 2000. Prior to this appointment, he served as DA in the District of Columbia from 1997-2000. He also served as the Assistant DA in Minnesota from 1994-1997. Jim has held other key positions in the field including Statewide Programs Engineer and District Engineer in Minnesota, and Statewide Planning and Programs Engineer in the former Region 5 Regional Office in Homewood, Illinois. He joined the Federal Highway Administration in 1971 as a Highway Engineer Trainee.

Transportation Planning Issues

Financing Federal-Aid Highways

FHWA prepared a report, "Financing Federal-Aid Highways," in January 1974 to describe the basic financing process. The report was modified and updated following enactment of new surface transportation acts to reflect changes made by those acts. Enactment of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) has made it necessary to update the August 1999 version to incorporate the changes in financing procedures brought about by that act. For a copy of the updated report, go to: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/financingfederalaid/index.htm

Transportation Planning – Briefing Book Updated

FHWA Office of Planning and FTA Office of System Planning are pleased to announce that an updated version of “The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues” will be available this October on the Transportation Planning Capacity Building web site at www.planning.dot.gov. The publication, frequently referred to as the “briefing book” provides government officials, planning board members, and transportation service providers with an overview of transportation planning. Printed copies of the publication will be available in January. For further information, please contact David Kuehn at 202 366 6072 or David.Kuehn@dot.gov.

Final Corridors Selected
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has selected the final corridors to be designated as the Corridors of the Future (CoF) under the DOT’s Corridor of the Future Program (CFP). DOT selected the corridors which would best achieve all of the goals of the CFP: reducing congestion, increasing freight reliability, and enhancing the quality of life for U.S. citizens. The six CFP Corridors of the Future and winning applicants are:

1. Interstate 5 - A Roadmap for Mobility – Submitted by the Washington DOT in partnership with the California and Oregon DOTs.

2. Interstate 10 - Submitted by the I-10 National Freight Corridor Coalition.

3. Interstate 15 - A Corridor without Borders - Submitted by the Nevada DOT on behalf of the Western States Coalition (Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah DOTs).

4. Interstate 69 - Submitted by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department on behalf of the I-69 Corridor Coalition.

5. Interstate 70 Dedicated Truck Lanes - Submitted by the Indiana DOT in partnership with the Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio DOTs.

6. Interstate 95 (I-95)

A. I-95 Florida to the District of Columbia - Submitted by the North Carolina DOT in partnership with the Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia DOTs.

B. I-95 - Florida to the Canadian Border - Submitted by the I-95 Corridor Coalition.

A final designation as a CoF is contingent upon the execution of a detailed CFP Development Agreement (CFPDA) with the co-sponsors of each corridor. CFPDAs

Urban Partnership Agreements

In August 2007, the Secretary announced five final urban partners: Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle.

In August 2007, the Secretary announced five final urban partners: Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle.

With congestion continuing to grow despite valiant efforts to curtail it, and as the cost of congestion both in terms of lost personal time and reduced economic productivity continues to rise, the U.S. Department of Transportation decided to rethink the approaches the nation is taking to addressing congestion and to redirect efforts to improve results. The Department developed a bold, aggressive strategy, outlined in its May 2006 multi-prong National Strategy to Reduce Congestion on America's Transportation Network (PDF), which is often referred to as the Congestion Initiative. The first of the Congestion Initiative's tenets is to "relieve urban congestion," which further calls for the Department to enter into Urban Partnership Agreements with model cities, pursuant to their commitment to, among other things, implement "broad congestion pricing." To educate the public about the congestion problem and how broad congestion pricing is key to addressing it, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed a Congestion Pricing Primer. For more information go to: http://www.upa.dot.gov/

Research Projects Awarded

The Office of Planning with the support of the Office of Acquisition Management awarded 12 organizations over $1,040,000 in FY 2007 funds. Sixty organizations responded to a broad agency announcement soliciting research proposals that could lead to transformational changes and revolutionary advances for state, regional and local transportation planning agencies and identify new tools, techniques and approaches that respond to national transportation planning priorities. FHWA has the option to award additional work up to $309,000 in FY 2008. For additional information, please contact David Kuehn at 202 366 6072 or David.Kuehn@dot.gov.

PEL Update

FHWA’s Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) program is continuing to identify and highlight “best practices” related to the integration of planning and environment, linking planning and NEPA, providing technical assistance, information and resources to practitioners, and promoting training and workshops. New efforts currently underway include:

• Development of five new Linking Conservation and Planning Workshops – the new workshops will address SAFETEA-LU requirements for statewide and metropolitan planning processes, which involve consultation with resource and conservation agencies and addressing mitigation at a broader, system-wide level. Currently, workshops are planned in Texas, Missouri/Kansas (Kansas City), and Oregon -- more deliveries are anticipated in 2008. In addition, the Integrated Planning Work Group (IPWG), under Executive Order 13274, will soon be conducting additional outreach and training on the new planning regulations for resource and transportation agencies. More details on the IPWG work will be made available soon;

• In coordination with AASHTO, the development of a Practitioner’s Handbook to help transportation planners and NEPA practitioners improve linkages between the planning and NEPA processes;

• Development of a PEL Reference Guide to consolidate available information together in one resource and make the information more accessible to transportation practitioners; and,

• The integration of climate change considerations into the transportation planning process from both a mitigation and impacts/adaptation perspective. FHWA currently has efforts underway to explore how climate change considerations can best be integrated into the transportation planning process and to document successful practices to date.

For more information go to: http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/integ/index.asp
Contact: Diane.Turchetta@dot.gov or Michael.Culp@dot.gov

Field Focus

Map of Maryland and Delaware

The DELMAR Division

The Delmar Division is one of FHWA’s pilot efforts at looking for more efficient ways of serving our customers. The Delmar Division is the newly combined Division Offices of Delaware and Maryland. Nelson Castellanos is the Division Administrator for Maryland and Hassan Raza is the Division Administrator for Delaware. Bill Wade is the Assistant Division Administrator for Maryland and Bashrat Siddiqi is the Assistant Administrator for Delaware. The Delmar Division Planning Team is responsible for the Statewide and Metropolitan Planning Organization activities in Delaware and Maryland. The planners include Robert Kleinburd as the Team Manager, Kwame Arhin and Tashia Clemons. The Delmar Division functions as one Division. Robert, Kwame and Tashia are a true team, working closely with both states, doing joint reviews, sharing responsibilities for the Statewide and Metropolitan Planning Organization activities, providing stewardship and oversight and spending a quarter of their time traveling between Maryland and Delaware. The new strategy to combine Divisions is a more efficient and effective way of addressing crosscutting issues. The similarity in projects further facilitates the integration of programs, projects and activities.

Robert Kleinburd has been with FHWA for 38 years working in planning, ROW and environment. Kwame Arhin the Planning Program Manager for the Maryland Office in Baltimore, Maryland joined the FHWA in 2000 with the Florida Division Office. Prior to that Kwame worked as a Program and Planning Analyst for Wisconsin Department of Transportation from 1990-2000. Kwame has a Ph.D. and Masters Degrees from University of Wisconsin, Madison, in Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration in Fiscal and Economic Planning. Tashia Clemons is the Planning Program Manager for the Delaware Division in Dover, Delaware. Tashia has a Bachelors Degree in Urban Studies from the Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1998 Tashia was chosen for the 1998-2000 Academic Study Program and attended the Ohio State University in the field of City and Regional Planning. Prior to working in the DelMar Division, Tashia was in the Ohio Division as a Planner from 2003 to 2007 and as an Environmental Protection Specialist from 1996 to 2003. During 1993 to 1998 Tashia represented FHWA Headquarters as an Environmental trainee. The Delmar Division major projects include the Intercounty Connector, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the I-95 Mainline Widening. For more information go to: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/demddiv/index.htm

Transportation Planning Excellence Awards

The Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Program
The Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Program call for nominations is approaching fast. The deadline for the 2008 Transportation Planning Excellence Award nominations which will be submitted electronically will be February 29, 2008. The nomination process will begin in December. The Program is a biennial awards program developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to recognize outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan and implement innovative transportation planning practices. The program is co-sponsored by the American Planning Association. For more information go to: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/tpea/index.htm

National Surface Transportation and Revenue Study Commission

You can view a video about the work of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. The video production can be found on the Commission’s website or visit YouTube, where you can provide comments.

Website: www.transportationfortomorrow.org
YouTube:
Part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJyW_3Qn_xM
Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dagbo23JzY

Freight Planning

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Office of Freight Management and Operations and the Office of Planning host the "Talking Freight" seminars. The seminars are part of a broader Freight Professional Development Program aimed at providing technical assistance, training, tools, and information to help the freight and planning workforce meet the transportation challenges of tomorrow. Seminars are held on a monthly basis throughout the year and are open at no cost to all interested parties in both the public and private sectors. Registration for November and December will be available soon.
http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/FPD/talking_freight.htm.
Dates and Topics for these seminars that will be held 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET are:

• November 21 – Monitoring and Measuring Freight Mobility

• December 12 - Accounting for Freight Benefits in Transportation Projects

When registering for these monthly seminars, please make sure to enter your correct email address, as once you register the login information for the seminars will be emailed to you; there is no cost and you don’t have to leave your desk. For more information contact Carol Keenan in the Office of Freight Management & Operations 202-366-6993 carol.keenan@dot.gov . Recordings of past seminars, as well as transcripts and downloadable PowerPoint presentations are available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/freightplanning/talking.htm.

Transit

Update on Planning Circulars

FTA’s Metropolitan and Statewide circulars provide instructions to grantees or other stakeholders on how FTA grants will be administered. The Office of Transportation Planning and Environment is in the process of reviewing the Metropolitan Planning Program (MPP) Circular 8100.1B and the State Planning and Research Program (SPRP) Circular 8200.1. A working group comprised of FTA Region Offices and several offices from FTA Headquarters was formed to guide this effort. The working group has proposed to update both circulars and to combine the content into one circular. For additional information go to: http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_7256.html Contact: Victor.Austin@dot.gov

Transit Oriented Development

Transit-Oriented and Joint Development Website

FTA’s Office of Planning and Environment has created a distinct website to highlight its Transit-Oriented and Joint Development activities. Although transit-oriented development (TOD) and joint development (JD) are not discreet programs of FTA, grantees may use FTA financial assistance for joint development activities that incorporate private investment or enhance economic development. Such projects may include transferring land for nearby real estate development; preparing land for development; providing enhanced access; and developing on-site community services such as dependent care, health care, public safety, or commercial conveniences. In addition, many aspects of a transit-oriented development projects are eligible for Federal assistance. Moreover, Federal transit law (49 U.S.C. §5301 et. seq.) references transit-oriented development throughout and this site will provide those interested in joint development and/or transit-oriented development with the documents and tools to make projects a reality. For information go to: http://www.fta.dot.gov/tod Contact: Effie.Stallsmith@dot.gov.

Asset Management

New Case Study Report: The OKI Experience

The Transportation Asset Management Case Study Series is the result of a partnership between State departments of transportation, local government agencies, and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Office of Asset Management. The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) located in Cincinnati, is engaged in a process to improve its ability to plan transportation improvements through the use of economic analysis methods. These methods are intended to augment OKI's existing evaluation approaches to small- and large-scale transportation projects. In the past, OKI made occasional use of economic analysis for large corridor projects, although typically this analysis was limited to very large projects and was performed by outside experts. To attain broader application of benefit-cost techniques and also reduce the cost of such analyses, OKI has recently explored methods to do in-house economic analyses of surface transportation projects. As part of this effort, OKI investigated the potential use of the FHWA's Surface Transportation Efficiency Analysis Model (STEAM) software for the analysis of large projects and clusters of smaller projects. You can find the report at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/asstmgmt/wsoki0700.cfm .

Environment

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to tighten the 8-hour ozone standard

On June 20, 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to tighten the 8-hour ozone standard from the current 0.08 part per million (ppm), averaged over eight hours, to between 0.070 and 0.075 ppm. The agency also announced that it will take comment on options including tightening the standard to 0.060 ppm or maintaining the standard at its current level. The proposal would also revise the secondary standard for ozone to protect plants, trees, and crops during the growing season.

Recently, EPA released their Regulatory Impact Assessment which details the anticipated health benefit, projected costs and list of counties which would exceed the new more stringent standard. Since EPA is proposing a range of options, they predict that setting the standard at the lowest proposed threshold would result in an additional 154 counties for a total of 280 nationwide not meeting the standard. On the other end of the spectrum, if the standard is set at the upper limit, an additional 15 counties would exceed the standard for a total of 24 nationwide. For more information on the revision of the ozone standard or the Regulatory Impact Assessment go to: http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone/. Contact Mike Roberts at 404-562-3928, Michael.Roberts@fhwa.dot.gov

New Highway Traffic Noise Course
NHI is now offering a new course to help educate engineers, environmental specialists, designers, planners, and consultants about traffic noise and ways to reduce the impacts. Shaped by a technical panel of FHWA noise specialists, environmental specialists at State departments of transportation, and the chair of the Transportation Research Board's Committee on Transportation -Related Noise and Vibration, the course is an introductory- yet comprehensive- overview of highway traffic noise.

Topics covered include the basic principles of acoustics, how to determine when a noise analysis is required, and typical strategies to mitigate noise in highway projects. The course also provides an overview of the FHWA Traffic Noise Model which was developed to predict noise levels and evaluate mitigation options. NHI commissioned a customized version of the Interactive Sound Information System (ISIS) as part of the course design. ISIS is a noise simulation software program that employs high-quality digital recordings, precise sound control, and graphic imagery to present noise from various traffic loads, and demonstrates the noise-reducing impacts of various barriers.

To learn more or to host the class; go to the NHI web site: http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/training/course_detail.aspx?num=FHWA-NHI-142051&cat=&key=&num=142051&loc=&sta=%25&tit=&typ=&lev=&ava=&str=&end=&drl

Planning Data

2006 American Community Survey

The Census Bureau released the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) social, economic, and housing characteristics, demographic and housing estimates, and PUMS data. Data are again available for the nation, the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, every congressional district, and all counties, places, and metropolitan areas with populations of 65,000 or more.

Key topics included in this release: Educational attainment; Industry; Occupation; Class of worker; Journey to work; Employment status; Work status; Veteran status; Housing; Households and families; Marital status; and Migration. These data may be found at:
http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en.

As noted in the 2006 ACS data release on Aug. 28, 2007, this year marks the first time that ACS data products cover the total U.S. population, including populations residing in group quarters (such as prisons, college dormitories, military barracks, and nursing homes).

The Census Bureau's Web site now contains guidance on comparing 2006 ACS data to 2005 ACS data, as well as comparing 2006 ACS data to Census 2000 data. This guidance may be found at:
http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/compACS.htm.

The final release of 2006 ACS data will occur on Sept. 27, 2007 and consist of selected population profiles/tables for about 200 selected population groups by race, Hispanic origin, and ancestry. In addition, this release will include group quarters profiles, the first such release since the 1990 Census. Also released at that time will be workplace geography tables.

Trails

State Trail Administrators Meeting Report—September 18-20, 2007

The State Trail Administrators met on September 18-20, 2007 in Stateline NV/South Lake Tahoe CA. Nevada State Parks and California State Parks hosted the meeting, and led mobile workshops to see trail design, construction, and maintenance techniques. For more information go to: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/stam2007/index.htm There were presentations about the trail accessibility guidelines, the National Trails Training Partnership (www.NTTP.net), National Recreation Trails, and trail contracting.

Karl Knapp of California State Parks made a presentation about maintaining trails. See Karl’s presentation at www.parks.ca.gov/pages/1008/files/rtp_overview_2007.pdf. The USDA Forest Service’s Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/fspubs/07232806/page06a.htm#wate.

Office of Planning Reorganization

Planning Methods Team

The FHWA Planning Methods Team that support TRANSIMS and the Travel Model Improvement Program have been shifted from the Office of Interstate & Border Planning to the Office of Planning.
New - FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty Discretionary Programs Team

A new team, the Byways, TCSP & Delta Programs Team, has been established to manage the Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty discretionary funding programs. This team will provide leadership and direction for the National Scenic Byways Program, the Transportation, Community, and System Preservation (TCSP) Program, the Delta Region Transportation Development Program, and the TEA-21 National Corridor Planning and Development (NCPD) Program. The team is being led by Gary Jensen and resides directly within the Office of the Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty. TCSP, Delta, and NCPD program staff will continue to work with the new team on those programs, but will remain within the Office of Planning and the Office of Interstate & Border Planning respectively.

For information regarding the National Scenic Byways Program, please contact Gary Jensen at 202-366-2048 or gary.jensen@dot.gov. For information regarding the TCSP Program, contact Kenneth Petty at 202-366-6654 or kenneth.petty@dot.gov. For information regarding the Delta or NCPD Programs, contact Mike Neathery at 202-366-1257 or mike.neathery@dot.gov.

Tony Solury is Retiring!

Tony Solury is Retiring!

Tony Solury, Program Coordinator for the Office Planning, Environment & Realty is retiring at the end of the year.

Tony is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Yale Bureau of Highway Traffic. Tony entered the 18-month Masters Planning Program in 1968 with assignments in the Connecticut Division, FHWA Region 8 in Denver, and the Statewide Planning Division in the New York State DOT. Tony worked in various HQ planning offices since graduating from the training program in 1970 except for 2 years in the former Office of Traffic Operations, 9 months as the regional Research Engineer in Region 3 in Baltimore, and 13 years as the Planning and Research Engineer in the FHWA Virginia Division; he returned to HQs in 1989 with responsibility for planning grant administration and emergency preparedness and has been the Program Coordinator for the Office of Planning, Environment & Realty since 1999.

Bob Bini will be the new Program Coordinator for the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty.

Other moves…

Lee Ann Jacobs has taken over the lead of the planning team in the FL Division.

Supin Yoder has moved from the Resource Center to the Office of Planning remotely stationed in Chicago, IL.

Marcus Wilner will be moving from North Carolina to the Ohio Division.

Randy Jansen is the new planner in Mississippi. He was in an engineering position in that Division before his "move".

Resource Center

The Resource Center Planning Team will soon be setting up the regional network conference calls to discuss the Division requests for FY08 assistance and how they can be satisfied.

New Resources for FHWA Field Staff

Look for these two new resources aimed at Division Planners. The first is a one hour webinar on what a field planner needs to know about State DOT and MPO implementation of performance based approaches to planning.

The second resource is a self paced web overview of basic planning references targeted to new staff learning the role of FHWA Field planners. This material is currently only accessible to Federal staff.

CoP

Planning Community of Practice

The presentations from the 2007 Division Planners Workshop have been posted to the Planning Community of Practice site. We want to thank the Texas Division and everyone who helped make it a success.

Fall COP Knowledge & Participant Drive

We are encouraging all FHWA field Planning staff to register for the CoP site and sign up to be notified about new discussions and materials posted there. For more information contact Brian Betlyon 410-962-0086 brian.betlyon@fhwa.dot.gov .

Let's Talk Planning

The Let’s Talk Planning series of video/web meetings are information-sharing sessions for FHWA and FTA planners. FHWA and FTA strive to provide the planning staff with current information, technical assistance and clarification to the topics that field planners suggest. These internal meetings are held the second Thursday every 3 months via videoconference or webinar.

Save-the-Dates!

• December 13, 2 sessions noon and 3:00 pm/EST

Fiscal Constraint:
Year of Expenditure (YOE) and Cost Banding

The previous topic of the Let's Talk Planning Video Conference on October 16th was Fiscal Constraint, focusing
on Year of Expenditure (YOE), Cost Banding and Operation and Maintenance. Harlan Miller from the Office of Planning and Darin Allan from the Federal Transit Administration provided definitions of what Fiscal Constraint; Year of Expenditure (YOE) and Cost Banding are, what they mean in the transportation planning and programming process, and why they are important. The implications of SAFETEA-LU regarding Fiscal Constraint; Year of Expenditure (YOE) and Cost Banding were also discussed. In addition, Matt Smoker, Steven Call and Andy Edwards provided discussion from the field. This videoconference referenced the following documents during the discussions:

• TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 574: Guidance for Cost Estimation and Management for Highway Projects during Planning, Programming, and Preconstruction NCHRP Report 574
• http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?ID=7271

• FHWA, Office of Program Administration, Major Project Guidance, Cost Estimating Guidance http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/mega/cefinal.cfm

• Guidance for Transit Financial Plans http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/finance/grants_financing_1336.html

• FTA’s Financial Capacity Policy http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_4122.html

The July 26 session focused on the Congestion Management Process. The presentations were uploaded to the Planners’ Community of Practice at: http://knowledge.fhwa.dot.gov/cops/tdx.nsf/home?OpenForm&Community=Planning&Group=Planning%20Meetings%20and%20Information

DVDs are also available by contacting Jody McCullough (jody.mccullough@dot.gov) or Jocelyn Jones (jocelyn.jones@dot.gov ).

Please send any requests or ideas for future topics to Jocelyn Jones at 410-962-2486 or Jocelyn.Jones@dot.gov or Jody McCullough at 202-366-2825 or Jody.McCullough@dot.gov

Travel Modeling

New TMIP Newsletter
The Travel Model Improvement Program has published their latest newsletter. It can be found at
http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/clearinghouse/tmip_newsletter/summer07_issue27/ . For more information contact Penelope Weinberger, 202-366-4054 Penelope.weinberger@dot.gov .

News From Our Partners

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board’s (TPB)
Constrained Long Range Plan Website

Simplifying transportation planning themes through the use of maps, illustrations, interactive functions, images and concise text helps educate constituents and can encourage public involvement. There are several noteworthy practices in which state and local governments apply visual planning techniques such as the ones mentioned. For example, the National Capital Regions Transportation Planning Board (TPB) began designing an innovative version of their Constrained Long Range Transportation Plan (CLRP) years before SAFETEA-LU’s requirement to use visualization techniques. The TPB’s most recent CLRP is in the form of a website which comes along with a brochure that contains key information and a list of projects. The website is a “living document” of the long-range plan and reflects the changes made to the Plan each year. Prior to this website, a 400-page document was the format commonly used and was produced only every three years (as a hard copy which was downloadable from the main website).

Some highlights of TPB’s CLRP website includes instant translation for limited English speakers, the use of concise text to encourage reading, an environmentally friendly approach, and employs vibrant colored flow charts with a Google-feel website layout. The TPB is one example of many state and local government efforts to incorporate visualization planning for the benefit of furthering constituent comprehension of the transportation planning process and encouraging public involvement. To view TPB’s CLRP please visit their website at: www.mwcog.org/clrp.

Long Range Plan Update on MySpace.com

To help with the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) update process, the San Antonio MPO announced the creation of a website at www.mtp2035.org. The website has additional information about the MPO, the MTP, and the update process. It also hosts an online survey that the public is encouraged to complete prior to Friday, October 19, 2007.

The MPO has also decided to establish a website through MySpace as a way to reach a larger and possibly younger audience. “Most of the planning we do will benefit future generations”, said Scott Ericksen, Public Involvement Coordinator for the MPO. “Our hope is that this will help us reach the 18-24 age group.” The MPO wants to ensure participation in this update planning process by as many people as possible. A MySpace site is just another tool towards accomplishing this goal. To see the MySpace site, please visit www.myspace.com/mtp2035.

Scheduled Training Opportunities

Next Quarter’s Workshops & Training Courses

National Transit Institute
For registration instructions see: http://www.ntionline.com/CourseDates.asp

10/17/2007-11/30/2007 Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment (Online) www.rutgersonline.com

10/23/2007-10/25/2007 Introduction to Transportation Conformity Sacramento, CA

11/6/2007-11/8/2007 Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making St. Paul, MN

11/13/2007-11/15/2007 Introduction to Transportation Conformity Indianapolis, IN

11/14/2007-11/15/2007 Introduction to Statewide Transportation Planning Schenectady, NY

11/27/2007-11/29/2007 Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making Nashville, TN

11/27/2007-11/29/2007 Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment Chicago, IL

11/27/2007-11/29/2007 Transportation and Land Use New York, NY

12/13/2007-12/14/2007 Coordinated Mobility: A Unified Transportation Management Solution Nashville, TN

1/8/2008-1/10/2008 Introduction to Transportation Conformity, Atlanta, GA

2/26/2008-2/28/2008 Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making New York, NY

National Highway Institute

Try out the new NHI Web site!
http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/home.aspx Also, you can now check on the schedule of web conferences at http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/eventcalendar.aspx .

New NHI Courses
FHWA-NHI-142051 Highway Traffic Noise

FHWA-NHI-131112 Principles and Practices for Enhanced Maintenance Management Systems

FHWA-NHI-133099 (2-day)/ FHWA-NHI-133099A (1-day) Managing Travel for Planned Special Events

FHWA-NHI-137043 Integrated Transportation Management for Small- and Medium-Sized Communities

Updated NHI Courses

FHWA-NHI-142036 Public Involvement in the Transportation Decision-Making Process

FHWA-NHI-151021 Administration of FHWA Planning and Research Grants

FHWA-NHI-133078 Access Management, Location and Design

NHI Web Courses Now Available Anytime

FHWA-NHI-151044 Traffic Monitoring and Pavement Design Programs

FHWA-NHI-151045 Highway Performance Monitoring System: An Introduction

FHWA-NHI-141045 Real Estate Acquisition Under the Uniform Act: An Overview

FHWA-NHI-142052 Introduction to NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

NHI Scheduled Courses
10/23/2007 - 10/24/2007 Highway Program Financing ,Jefferson City MO

10/30/2007 - 11/1/2007 Public Involvement in the Transportation Decisionmaking Process, Frankfort KY

10/30/2007 - 11/1/2007 NEPA & Transportation Decisionmaking, Atlanta GA

11/6/2007 - 11/8/2007 Highway Traffic Noise, Denver CO

11/6/2007 - 11/7/2007 Highway Program Financing,
Baton Rouge LA

11/14/2007 - 11/15/2007 Highway Program Financing,
Pierre SD

12/4/2007-12/6/2007 Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development Atlanta GA

12/4/2007 - 12/5/2007 Transportation Safety Planning, Anchorage AK

12/4/2007 - 12/5/2007 Highway Program Financing,
Nashville TN

Resource Center

For information see contacts at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/index.cfm .

Since the Resource Center serves just in time training and technical assistance needs, the staff will be contacting the Divisions about their FY 2008 requests shortly.

Travel Model Improvement Program

Travel Model Improvement Program Workshops details: http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/conf_courses/ or contact: Penelope Weinberger 202-366-4054 penelope.weinberger@dot.gov.

Calendar of Events

10/22/2007-10/23/2007
Research Issues in Freight Transportation -- Congestion and System Performance
Washington, DC

11/6/2007 – 11/9/2007 10th Annual National Tribal Transportation Conference, Golden, CO http://ttap.colostate.edu

11/6/2007-11/8/2007 7th National Conference on Transportation Asset Management
New Orleans, LA Contact: Francine Shaw-Whitson
202-366-8028 francine.shaw-whitson@dot.gov

11/6/2007-11/8/2007
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Transit
Tampa, Florida

11/11/2007
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Forum
Quebec, Canada

11/12/2007 – 11/16/2007 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Skills Symposium Scottsdale, AZ. For more information: http://www.iap2.org/

11/28/2007-11/30/2007 Highway Information Seminar Rossyln-Arlington, VA Contact: Steven Jessberger 202-366-5052 Steven.Jessberger@dot.gov

11/14/2007
Workshop on Improving National Transportation Geospatial Information: Working Together for Better Decision Making Washington, DC

1/13/2008-1/17/2008 TRB 87th Annual Meeting Washington, D.C.

3/5/2008-3/7/2008 National Bike Summit
Washington DC Sponsor: League of American Bicyclists
Contact: Elizabeth Preston 202-822-1333 bikeleague@bikeleague.org

March 2008 Data Sources to Measure the Impacts of Goods Movement on Air Quality
Irvine, California Contact : tpalmerlee@nas.edu

4/8/2007-4/9/2008 Highway Economic Requirements Modeling and Data Integration Conference Irvine, California
Contact : Thomas Palmerlee tpalmerlee@nas.edu

4/10/2008-4/11/2008 Traffic Data Workshop: Successful Strategies in the Collection of Data for Corridors and Planning Irvine, California Contact : tpalmerlee@nas.edu

4/27/2008 – 5/1/2008 American Planning Association Annual National Planning Conference
Las Vegas, NV http://www.planning.org/2008conference/
For additional information call (312) 786-6397

6/14/2008-6/17/2008 42nd Annual NARC Conference and Exhibition Des Moines IA http://www.narc.org/

6/18/2008 – 6/21/2008 International Mountain Bicycling Association World Summit Park City UT Contact: Patti Bonnet 303-545-9011 patti@imba.com

6/19/2008 – 6/20/2008 5th Oregon Symposium on Integrated Land Use-Transport Models Portland, OR

6/22/2008-6/24/2008 TRB Innovations in Transportation Modeling (ITM) Portland, OR www.trb-forecasting.org

8/62008-8/8/2008 North American Travel Monitoring Conference and Exposition (NATMEC) Washington, DC

9/17/2008 – 9/19/2008 11th National Tools of the Trade Conference Portland, OR http://www.trbtoolsofthetrade.org/

10/6/2008-10/7/2008 TRB Regional Traffic Monitoring Workshops Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Contact : Thomas Palmerlee tpalmerlee@nas.edu

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 or actual or implied endorsement of such products.

For more information, review the following calendars for upcoming transportation events:

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

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

TRB Conferences & Workshops
http: www4.trb.org/trb/calendar.nsf

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