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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 2009

REAUTHORIZATION

Apportionments of Fiscal Year 2010 Funds Under a 31-Day Extension
(Continuing Resolution)

In the absence of a new surface transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU expired September 30, 2009) or a FY-2010 Appropriations Act, on September 30, 2009, Congress passed legislation in the form of a continuing appropriations resolution that enables a 31-Day Extension of Surface Transportation Programs. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Notice on October 9, 2009. The FHWA Notice shows the amount apportioned for each of the Federal-aid highway programs by State and by fund category. This notice is available at the following link: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510713.htm.

Status of Stimulus

The FHWA has obligated 70% of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds as of September 22nd.

Supplemental Guidance on Economically Distressed Areas

The FHWA issued this guidance to provide additional information on the determination of economically distressed areas under the priority language in the Highway Infrastructure Investment appropriation of the Recovery Act. The FHWA issued the guidance after consultation with the Department of Commerce and its Economic Development Administration, which reviewed the “special need” criteria. States shall use this guidance to determine whether any projects that have received Recovery Act funds should be reclassified in order to more accurately reflect the State’s investment in economically distressed areas. The guidance can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/guidancedistressed.htm .
Executive Compensation Reporting

Recipients and subrecipients of Federal financial assistance must report executive compensation data if they meet the statutory reporting thresholds. For the Federal-aid Highway Program, this means that the State, and any local agencies or other subrecipients of Federal-aid funds through the State, are subject to the executive compensation reporting requirement.

Contractors working for a recipient (i.e., the State) or for a subrecipient (e.g., local agencies) do not have to report on executive compensation. Guidance on this reporting can be found on FHWA’s ARRA site http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/index.htm

Rescission of Unobligated Balances of Contract Authority

On September 30, 2009, a $8,708,000,000 rescission of unobligated balances of Federal-aid highway funds apportioned to States took place. The rescission is required by section 10212 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law (Pub. L.) 109-59, as amended by section 1302(b) of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-280 and section 112 of the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-244, as affected by title XI, subtitle D, section 1132(a) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Pub. L. 110-140. This rescission effects not only NHS, STP, Bridge, Safety, CMAQ, and Interstate Maintenance fund categories but also STP funds attributable to the TMA areas and metropolitan planning (PL) funds.

Tables released in an FHWA Notice dated September 28, 2009 that show the rescission amounts by State, MPO and by funding category are available at the following link: The Notice, including amounts by MPO, can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510711.htm

TRIBAL PLANNING

Tribal Planning Capacity Building

Tribal issues, especially how tribes fit into the Federal-aid side of planning, is becoming a topic that more and more Division Office planners are getting involved in. The Transportation Planning Capacity Building program (TPCB) is one resource that Field Planners can use to help develop planning expertise among those agencies working directly with Tribes, and to help Tribes improve their understanding of how they might maximize their efforts as well.
One of the key features of the TPCB is the Peer Exchange. This has proved to be a very successful tool especially within the Tribal community. Most of us learn by example, and many of us learn best when we can talk face-to-face with those who have experience doing something we are interested in. Unfortunately, Tribes often don’t know about the Peer Exchange program, or how it works. Division Office planners can help by working with key Tribes in your State to develop and submit an on-line application for a peer exchange.

To submit an application for a Tribal planning peer exchange or to review completed peer exchange reports, please click on the following link: http://www.planning.dot.gov/peer.asp

For more information about the TPCB, Tribal Planning, contact Ken Petty at 202-366-6654.

BORDER ISSUES

Border Information Guide

The FHWA has developed a guide for its field staff on border issues. This report has been written to provide basic information to Division offices about the border environment and on the FHWA’s role. The document provides a general overview of players, projects and complexities that one is likely to encounter when working at or near these borders and highlights FHWA’s likely participation in projects at or near the international boundaries. Division Staff can find it at
http://intra.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/staffepi/bord_abstract.htm

Automated Measurement of Border Wait Times

To facilitate the safe and secure movement of goods and people across the U.S. and Canada land border crossings, a Border Wait Time (BWT) working group comprised of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), FHWA, Canada Border Services Agency, (CBSA), and Transport Canada (TC) are working together to foster the use of technologies for automating the measurement and dissemination of wait times at U.S. - Canada land border crossings. Border wait times and delays are an important concern for travelers and those involved with or affected by international trade. Accurate, timely and reliable border wait time data can be used by drivers to make decisions about when, where and if they should cross the border, and by border agencies to better manage traffic and port of entry (POE) operations. The data collected at many border crossings are primarily collected manually. The purpose of the project is to 1) identify and evaluate automated, technology-based solutions for measuring border wait times and 2) deploy an automated, technology- based solution for measuring border wait times at two border crossing locations along the U.S. – Canada land border. In order to achieve this purpose, two test-bed locations along the U.S. – Canada land border will be identified and prepared. The project anticipates testing various technologies during the Spring 2010 and implementing a system during the Fall of 2010. For more information, contact Travis Black 202-366-6798, travis.black@dot.gov or Crystal Jones 202-366-2976, crystal.jones@dot.gov.

ENVIRONMENT

New Report on Climate Change & Planning

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) posted this new report, conducted for the USDOT’s Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting and the FHWA as part of ongoing work to highlight innovative actions and initiatives undertaken by States, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and local areas to incorporate climate change considerations as part of the transportation planning process. These initiatives represent innovative attempts to use the planning process to manage and reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector within corresponding States, metropolitan areas, and local jurisdictions.

This report provides case studies and summaries of presentations from two panels of State and regional experts. The cases studies evaluate innovative planning and policy making by the Puget Sound Regional Council in the Seattle metropolitan area; the New York State DOT; and the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.

To access the site, go to: http://www.climate.dot.gov/state-local/integration/planning_process.html .

SAFETY PLANNING

Safety Planning Primer

The Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty, working in partnership with the Office of Safety, has produced a report on how to employ safety performance measures into the transportation planning process, titled “A Primer on Safety Performance Measures and the Transportation Planning Process.” The report outlines the benefits of using safety performance measures in planning, as well as basic information on what are safety performance measures. Seven case studies also are included in the primer that highlight the experience and application of the States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations that have developed and used safety performance measures, as well as a high level step-by-step approach for developing safety performance measures. For copies of the report or additional information, please contact Susan Grosser at susan.grosser@dot.gov or Tamiko Burnell at tamiko.burnell@dot.gov.


INTERSTATE JUSTIFICATION

Revised Interstate Access Justification

The FHWA’s Policy on Access to the Interstate System provides the requirements for the justification and documentation necessary to substantiate any proposed changes in access to the Interstate System. This policy also facilitates decision-making regarding proposed changes in access to the Interstate System in a manner that considers and is consistent with the vision, goals, and long-range transportation plans of a metropolitan area, region, and State. All new or modified points of access must be approved by the FHWA and developed in accordance with Federal laws and regulations. On August 27, 2009, the FHWA published in the Federal Register a change in the policy. The changes in FHWA’s policy were made to reflect the direction provided in SAFETEA-LU, to clarify the operational and safety analysis and the assessment of impacts that provides the basis for proposed changes in access to the Interstate System. State DOTs will continue to be required to submit requests for proposed changes in access to their FHWA Division Office, for review and action under 23 U.S.C. 106 and 111, and 23 CFR 625.2(a). You can find the revised policy at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/fraccess.cfm

BIKE / PED / TRAILS

Record Obligations in for Bicycle, Pedestrian, Recreation Trail & Enhancement Projects

Preliminary obligation figures for FY 2009 indicate record obligations for bicycle and pedestrian projects and for trails, even without counting Recovery Act (ARRA) funds. As of September 25, 2009:

Bicycle and Pedestrian Facility and Program Obligations: $1.117 billion. This almost doubles the previous record. It includes $402 million in ARRA funds ($252 million in ARRA TE funds), but also $715 million in non-ARRA funds: the highest ever.

Recreational Trails Program Obligations: $81 million. This is a record, and has no ARRA funds.

Transportation Enhancement Obligations: $614 million in regular (non-ARRA) TE funds. This is the highest since 2002; FY 2002 was the last year of no discretionary rescissions. There was a small “reduction” that year, but it was applied evenly across every program.

ARRA Obligations for Transportation Enhancement Activities: $466 million. Of this amount, $252 million was for bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs.

TRANSIT ACTIVITIES

FTA’s Office of Planning and Environment Welcomes New Staff

James Garland is a Community Planner in the Office of Systems Planning, where he will work on metropolitan and Statewide planning matters.

James formerly worked in Region IV where he was the State Programs Team Manager. He managed the Miami Urban Partnership Agreement for the Region, and was responsible for planning, environmental activities, and grant-making. Before joining FTA in 2005, James was with the Federal Highway Administration. He is a graduate of the FHWA’s Professional Development Program.

Jeffrey Price is a Community Planner in the Office of Systems Planning, where he will work on a variety of projects and programs supporting coordinated land use and transportation, including transit-oriented development and the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership on Sustainability and Livability. Jeff comes to FTA from the Federal Highway Administration, where he was employed for the past 2 years as a Program Analyst for the Office of Transportation Policy Studies.

Transit at the Table III

The FTA is pleased to announce the beginning of the third report in the “Transit at the Table” series, a research effort led by FTA’s Office of Planning and Environment. The first two reports focused on participation by transit agencies in the metropolitan transportation planning process in large and small urbanized areas. “Transit at the Table III: A Guide to Effective Participation in Statewide Decision-Making for Transit agencies in Non-urbanized Areas,” will focus on transit agency participation in the statewide transportation planning process, with particular attention to planning in non-urbanized or rural areas. The study, being conducted by the FTA with support from the US DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, will evaluate multimodal transportation planning practices in rural portions of up to 10 States and will involve discussions with a range of planning participants, including staff from State DOTs, transit agencies and associations, and local jurisdictions. The final report for Transit at the Table II will be released soon. For more information, contact John Sprowls, FTA Office of Planning, at 202-366-5362.


DATA

National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

The 2008 NHTS data collection was completed in May 2009, with a total of over 151,000 households, 325,000 persons, and over 1 million trips. A public data set will be released in January 2010, along with an on-demand table system using the 2008 data set. To address questions of travel behavior related to congestion, tolling, and e-commerce, some of the new questions added to the 2008 NHTS include:

• Flexibility of workers to arrive at work at
different times;

• Use of the interstate and payment of tolls
during any of their reported trips; and

• Internet purchases delivered to their homes.

For more information about the NHTS, please visit http://nhts.ornl.gov/

 

Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP)

The first CTPP data set using the American Community Survey (ACS) is expected to be released in late Spring/early Summer 2010. This data set will use 3 years of data (2006-2007-2008), and will be limited to larger geographic units such as Counties and Places. That is, tract and Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) data will not be available with this 3-year data set. Small area data from the ACS requires 5 years of data accumulation.

TAZ delineation for the 5-year CTPP (using 2006-07-08-09-10 ACS results) is now scheduled to occur in Spring 2011, with submittal to the Census Bureau Geography Division in Summer 2011.

Due to the delay in the CTPP 3-year data products, profile sheets that include data from Census 2000, CTPP 2000, and 2005-2007 ACS are now posted on the AASHTO CTPP page http://ctpp.transportation.org/profiles_2005-2007/ctpp_profiles.html. These profiles use standard 2005-2007 ACS data products and do not rely on custom tabulation of the ACS.

Urbanized Areas

The Census Bureau plans to release a Federal Register notice in October 2009 with proposed criteria for urbanized areas based on 2010 Census results. In June, the Census Bureau Geography Division participated in a webinar with a preview of what they expect. The archived webinar from June is available at http://fhwa.na3.acrobat.com/p20171907/

Some of the possible changes include:
1) possibility to include employment centers, not just residential density; and
2) possibility to include impermeable land using the National Land Cover Database.

FREIGHT

TALKING FREIGHT

Registration is open for the September & October Talking Freight Seminars. To register for this seminar, please visit
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/freightplanning/registration.htm
You will need to register for each seminar individually by clicking on the “Enroll” link to the right of the seminar information.

Dates and topics for the upcoming seminars:

Sept. 16: Institutional Arrangements
October 21: The Panama Canal Widening and Implications for Gulf & Atlantic Coast Ports

The Talking Freight seminars are sponsored by the FHWA and are held via web conference. This means that you view the PowerPoint presentations over the Internet while listening to the presenters over the telephone. There is no cost involved and you do not have to leave your desk to participate. However, registration and attendance is limited to 100 people.

The seminars are held on the third Wednesday of each month, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT/ 10:00 am - 11:30 am Pacific. The first hour of each seminar is dedicated to the presentations and the remaining 30 minutes are for audience question and answer. Archives of past sessions can be found at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/fpd/talking_freight.htm.


TRAVEL MODEL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM UPDATES

Technical Synthesis on Feedback Loops

TMIP recently completed a Technical Synthesis of the contributions and responses regarding feedback loops for travel demand models. Approaches noted by contributors, as well as potential considerations and criteria for measuring convergence, are also reviewed. The information can be found on the TMIP web site.

Travel Demand Forecasting CD-ROM

One of the most popular requests from the TMIP Clearinghouse continues to be the Introduction to Travel Demand Forecasting Self-Instructional CD-ROM. You can now download an ISO image file of the CD and create your own installation disk. The CD-ROM is great for the classroom to give students a basic understanding of travel demand forecasting. It can also be of benefit to new hires not familiar with modeling.

Travel Modeling Workshop
Webinar Series Wraps Up

The journey began back on October 16, 2008 and exactly 9 months later, on July 16, the ninth and final installment of the Travel Modeling Workshop webinars was held. The FHWA estimated that, on average, 178 people attended each workshop. Recordings of most of the Travel Modeling Workshop webinars are available on the TMIP Web site. http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/webinars/tmw-9. You will find copies of all the slide presentations in PDF format and the homework assignments, solutions, and transcripts of the question-and-answer sessions. Over the next 2 months, TMIP will host a new series of webinars on dynamic traffic assignment. These sessions introduce the concept and characteristics of dynamic traffic assignment and discuss how DTA offers an opportunity to supplement macroscopic travel demand model and microscopic traffic simulation model to address a variety of modeling challenges.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

New Style Public Involvement Training

With all of the State issues about travel funds the last few years, the FHWA has been looking for other ways to provide training. NHI 142059 (Effective Communications in Public Involvement) is a new NHI course that is a blend of Web-based Training (WBT) and Web conference Training (WCT). It is sponsored by the the FHWA Resource Center’s Environmental Technical Service Team and the Communications and Marketing Technical Service Team. Participant requirements include access to both a telephone and an internet connection to participate in the live WCT sessions.

The course length is 6 hours total, comprised of 4 hours of instructor-led Web conference training (WCT) and 2 hours of self-paced Web-based training (WBT). The course is designed to be completed over six consecutive business days, starting on a Tuesday and ending on a Tuesday. Participants begin with a 2-hour Instructor-led WCT, complete the WBT sessions on their own, and end with a second 2-hour WCT and the course exam.

There is an upcoming session of NHI 142059 which will be held on November 10-17. To enroll, go to the NHI web site at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov and select the “Enroll in a Course” link.


PLANNING EXCELLENCE

2010 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards

Planning transportation systems has a huge impact on the economic vitality and quality of life of the Nation’s communities. Whether using state-of-the-art tools to model travel demand, encouraging transit-oriented development, or devising innovative ways to involve the public in decision-making, communities across the country are realizing the benefits of effective transportation planning.

Transportation planning should include public input and consider land use, the environment, development, safety, and national security. Transportation planners examine past, present, emerging trends and take on new issues like climate change and livability. Planning happens at all geographic scales encompassing local, rural, tribal, metropolitan, statewide, national, and international efforts.

The 2010 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Program (TPEA) recognizes outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. The FHWA, FTA, and the American Planning Association are once again pleased to be partners in sponsoring the awards program. Awards will be made to applicants with the most innovative planning practices at the upcoming 2010 Summer TRB Meeting. To apply or for more information about the TPEA Program, contact Fred Bowers in the Office of Planning at frederick.bowers@dot.gov.

GIS
3D Visualization Peer Exchange

The Office of Interstate and Border Planning (HEPI) sponsored with assistance from the FHWA Resource Center a peer exchange on the application of 3D Visualization techniques and technologies. This meeting was hosted by the North Carolina DOT in Raleigh, North Carolina on July 8th and 9th, 2009. Representatives from Baltimore MPO, CalTrans, Minnesota DOT, New York DOT, North Carolina DOT, and Volusia County MPO shared their experiences in and knowledge of using 3D Visualization to better help communicate information to decision makers and the public. A summary report of the peer exchange is available soon on the Visualization in Planning website (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/vip/index.htm) for those interested in learning more about the peer exchange. For further information, contact Mark Sarmiento (mark.sarmiento@dot.gov) or Ben Williams (ben.williams@dot.gov).

GIS for Eco-Logical Peer Exchange

A peer exchange highlighting GIS applications that further Eco-Logical principles was held in Austin, Texas on July 22nd and 23rd, 2009. Sponsored by the Office of Interstate and Border Planning (HEPI), and planned in conjunction with the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review, this exchange brought together professionals from the Capital Area Council of Governments, Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Mid-America Regional Council, Oregon State University, and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire. The participants shared the lessons they have learned in using geospatial technologies to help transportation agencies and their partners implement an ecosystem approach to developing infrastructure projects. A summary report of this exchange is available on the GIS in Transportation website (http://gis.fhwa.dot.gov).

For more information, contact Mark Sarmiento (mark.sarmiento@dot.gov), Bethany Bacher-Gresock (bethaney.bacher@dot.gov) or Kimberly Majerus (kimberly.majerus@dot.gov).

GIS in Transportation Webcast

On September 25th, 2009, the FHWA hosted a webcast on the Nevada Department of Transportation’s GeoTrans multi-level linear referencing system model. The webcast also included a demonstration of NDOT’s new Event GeoLocator (EGL) application. This webcast was the fourth in a quarterly series of FHWA-sponsored webcasts highlighting applications of geospatial technologies in transportation. Information on this webcast and previous webcasts can be found on the FHWA GIS in Transportation website at http://www.gis.fhwa.dot.gov/. For more information, contact Mark Sarmiento (mark.sarmiento@dot.gov).

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS

Coming Soon! Virtual Conference on Transportation Planning Research Needs

The AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning/ Subcommittee on Research is building a multi-year program of research needs related to transportation planning. The Committee is holding a virtual conference in February 2010 to help identify transportation planning research needs. The conference will occur entirely online, through Webinars, Internet surveys, and blog postings. All you will need is an Internet connection. Plus, planning professionals will have the opportunity to help shape the conference by participating in a survey on key planning issues and challenges starting in Fall 2009. This effort is funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). For more information, please contact Michael Grant (mgrant@icfi.com) or Kathleen Rooney (krooney@icfi.com) at ICF International. More information about this effort will be provided soon.

AIR QUALITY

Final PM 2.5 Designations

In their October 14, 2009 email, the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations reported that on October 8, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Jackson signed the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS designations notice. The effective date of these designations begins the 1 year transportation conformity grace period for the newly designated areas. Because the final transportation conformity rule that includes the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS is not yet available, the EPA will soon be providing an interim guidance to help areas designated nonattainment for this NAAQS meet transportation conformity requirements in time. The effective date of designations i.e., the beginning of the one-year conformity grace period will be 30 days after the designations notice is published in the Federal Register. Thus, the grace period will likely begin sometime in November. The EPA announcements and materials have been posted at http://www.epa.gov/pmdesignations.


PLANNING RECOGNITION PROGRAM

Transportation Planning Discipline Awards

The FHWA Planning Leadership Council (PLC) has announced the Transportation Planning Discipline Awards Program. The primary purpose of the awards program is to support and recognize excellence within the FHWA Transportation Planning Discipline. The first awards were presented at the PEAR Symposium August 31, 2009.

The PLC is pleased to introduce this year’s award recipients:

Planner of the Year: Leadership in Planning Award, William Haas, Metropolitan Planner, Colorado Division Office

Planner of the Year: Leadership in Planning Award
William Haas, Metropolitan Planner,
Colorado Division Office

Mr. Haas used his ability to build relationships, exercise patience, and maintain a positive attitude and approach to successfully organize interest and enthusiasm within his State over a period of several years to institute a strong Planning and Environmental Linkages program. He helped the State and others build relationships that didn’t exist previously, and fostered a Partnership Agreement among the various agencies involved to ensure long-term continuity of the effort.

Transportation Planning Collaboration Award Bernadette Sarah Dupont, Air Quality and Freight Specialist Kentucky Division Office

Transportation Planning Collaboration Award
Bernadette Sarah Dupont, Air Quality and Freight Specialist
Kentucky Division Office

Ms. Dupont led efforts to revitalize an existing freight council and also led the development of a freight newsletter and the first state-wide freight conference. As interest grew, Ms. Dupont skillfully modified her role from leader to technical assistant – helping the State DOT assume the lead position, but continued her collaborative efforts and expert assistance.

Transportation Planning Innovation Award, Kyle Kitchel, Community Planner, Federal Lands Highway

Transportation Planning Innovation Award
Kyle Kitchel, Community Planner
Federal Lands Highway

Kyle Kitchel’s efforts resulted in the development of an entirely new tool called the Indian Reservation Road (IRR) Project Planning Board Game. This game helps to teach players about the IRR program, planning for IRR projects, and how to get an IRR project through the project planning processes. This effort not only filled a need within the tribal community, but it created an entirely new concept in how information can be delivered.

Transportation Planning Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Donald Cameron, Planning and Program Development Unit Manager, Michigan Division Office

Transportation Planning Lifetime Achievement Award
Mr. Donald Cameron, Planning and Program Development Unit Manager
Michigan Division Office

The PLC elected to recognize Donald Cameron because of his demonstrated long-term dedication to planning, as well as his strong leadership within the FHWA’s planning discipline. Mr. Cameron has earned respect within the agency as a true transportation planning resource.

In addition to the award recipients, the PLC chose to extend Honorable Mention recognition to several other nominees who also demonstrated outstanding contributions within the categories for which they were nominated. The following individuals were selected as Honorable Mentions:

Transportation Planning Collaboration:

David Harris, Alabama Division Office
Stacie Blizzard, Florida Division Office

Transportation Planner of the Year: Leadership in Planning:

Matthew S. Smoker, Pennsylvania Division Office
Susan Law, Central Federal Lands Highway Division
Sandra Price-Jackson, Washington, DC Division Office

For more information about the awards program or nomination process, contact Theresa Hutchins at Theresa.Hutchins@dot.gov or 360-753-9402.

FHWA PLANNING DISCIPLINE ACTIVITIES

Let’s Talk Planning

The FHWA and the FTA strive to provide the planning staff with current policy information, guidance, and an opportunity for dialog on key programmatic issues. The Let’s Talk Planning series of video/web meetings are information-sharing sessions for the FHWA and the FTA planners. These internal meetings are generally held the second Thursday every 3 months via video conference or webinar. Starting in June, the LTP sessions are going from two sessions per day to one session, starting at 2 pm EDT. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the Planning Community of Practice site.

Mark you calendars! The scheduled dates for the rest of the 2009 video conferences are October 27th and Dec. 10th. The topic of the October session will be Livability. If you have suggestions for LTP sessions, contact Jocelyn Jones, Fred Bowers or John Spowls.

”Planning On the Web” Training Seminar Series

To help support the FHWA and FTA staff and promote continuous professional development of agency planners, the FHWA Resource Center is offering a series of internal web-based training seminars through an initiative known as “Planning on the Web” (POW). The POW training sessions are for the FHWA staff and will generally last 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Mark your calendars, the dates of the POW sessions are changing!! They will now be on the third Tuesday of the month at 1 pm eastern time. Below are topics for subsequent months:

Oct. 20 - Cost Estimation for FHWA Planners
November 17 - Project Selection, Criteria and Notable Practices

If you cannot attend the POW session for a particular month, the presentations and other information resources are available on the RC internal web site, as well as the Planning CoP. Preregistration e-mail for each session will be sent to the FHWA Field Planners e-mail group approximately 3 weeks before each session. We hope to “see” you at the next session and to 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.

TRANSPORTATION CAPACITY BUILDING

FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program Review

A comprehensive review of the accomplishments for the joint FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program for fiscal years 2004-2008 has been conducted. In pursuit of the program’s goals of enhancing professional and stakeholder understanding of the federally-defined transportation planning process and building associated skills, over this 5 year period, 39 TPCB Peer Program events were held; 37 Transportation Planning Excellence awards were given; 28 Planning Workshops were jointly sponsored with stakeholders and partners; and 15 Scenario Planning Workshops were conducted reaching thousands of participants.

The TPCB Program is following up on many of the insights gained as a result of conducting the review. Among the actions under way are an update of the program’s web site and the implementation of streamlining measures to the peer exchange application form and program. For additional information on the TPCB Program or the comprehensive review, contact Susan Grosser at susan.grosser@dot.gov or 202-366-2825.

FIELD ACTIVITES

Staff Changes

There have been several changes in staff recently.

From Office To Office

Unwanna Dabney VA Div. Planning North Carollina Div. Planning,

Kris Riesenberg Eastern FedLands Div DelMar Div Planning,

Cecil Vick Mississippi Div. retirement

Claiborne Barnwell Mississippi Div. Planning

Mark Huffines Kansas Div. retirement

Paul Foundoukis Kansas Div. Planning

Rob Griffith NY Div. Planning NY Div. Financial Manager

WORKSHOPS & TRAINING

FHWA Resource Center
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

12/3/2009 Congestion Management Process Indianapolis, IN Contact: Joyce Newland 317-226-5353 joyce.newland@dot.gov

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

The NTI has a new class available on the National Transit Database. This 2-day course is to help transit professionals learn the necessary skills for reporting data to the NTD internet reporting website. The first offerings will be in La Plata, MD, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA , Chattanooga, TN and Tampa, FL. For session dates, see the list below.

Start Date End Date Location

11/18/2009 -- 11/19/2009 Houston, TX
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

12/9/2009 -- 12/11/2009 Kansas City, MO
Transit and Congestion Pricing
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TRI18-010

12/15/2009 -- 12/16/2009 Los Angeles, CA
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

January 5-6, 2010 Chattanooga, TN
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

2/8/2010 -- 2/8/2010 Phoenix, AZ
Understanding ADA
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TCR08

March 2-3, 2010 Tampa, FL
National Transit Database
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TBP50-20

4/29/2010 -- 4/29/2010 Los Angeles, CA
Understanding ADA
http://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.ASP?CourseNumber=TCR08

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

We have added a new section in this edition with online web based training classes. With the States experiencing difficulties with travel budgets, the FHWA has invested in web based courses to make it easier for people to get the training they need.

Web based courses available anytime:

Interested in Taking an NHI Web-based Training (WBT) Course? View this help guide on enrolling in an NHI WBT course.

Complete list of NHI web-based courses

Look for these web based courses on NHI’s web site:

ITS Deployment Analysis System (IDAS)

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

Traffic Monitoring and Pavement Design Programs

Highway Performance Monitoring System: An Introduction

Introducing Highway Federal-Aid
Standard Version

Introducing Highway Federal-Aid
Accessible 508 Version

Scheduled Courses in the next Quarter:

Start Date End Date Location

10/27/2009 -- 10/28/2009 Pierre SD Pedestrian Facility Design

10/28/2009 -- 10/29/2009 Pierre SD
Bicycle Facility Design

10/20/2009 -- 10/22/2009 Boston MA
Highway Traffic Noise

10/06/2009 -- 10/13/2009 Arlington VA
Effective Communications in Public Involvement, web based
Available anytime from NHI web site Traffic Monitoring and Pavement Design Programs, web based

Available anytime from NHI web site
Highway Performance Monitoring Systems : An Introduction - web based

10/20/2009 -- 10/21/2009 Arlington VA Highway Program Financing

10/28/2009 -- 10/29/2009 Albuquerque NM Highway Program Financing

11/17/2009 -- 11/19/2009 Shoreview MN
Advanced Seminar on Transportation Project Development: Navigating the NEPA Maze

10/10/2009 -- 11/17/2009 Arlington VA
Effective Communications in Public Involvement, web based

11/02/2009 -- 11/04/2009 Austin TX
Practical Conflict Management Skills for Environmental Issues

12/08/2009 -- 12/10/2009 Chester VA
Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development

Travel Model Improvement Program Workshops

For more detail see: http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/conf_courses/ or contact: Sarah Sun (202) 493-0071, sarah.sun@dot.gov. For the NHI travel demand courses, see the NHI list.

Currently the only training that the TMIP program has approved is through web seminars. These sessions will focus on the estimation process for logit models, which are used not only for mode choice but often for other model components. The session will focus on multinomial and nested logit models. The discussion will include the statistical methods used and the evaluation of model estimation results. The software used in model estimation will be discussed, as well as the programs used for model application.

October 23, 2009 2:30pm - 4:30pm Dynamic Traffic Assignment - Session 2 Online Webinar

November 6, 2009 3:00pm - 4:00pm VMTSC Office Hour Online VMTSC Office Hours

November 9, 2009 2:30pm - 4:30pm Dynamic Traffic Assignment - Session 3 Online Webinar

November 23, 2009 2:30pm - 4:30pm Dynamic Traffic Assignment - Session 4 Online Webinar

December 7, 2009 2:30pm - 4:30pm Sharing Travel Model Development and Estimation Experience Online Webinar

December 14, 2009 3:00pm - 4:00pm VMTSC Office Hour Online VMTSC Office Hours

Check back with the website http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/discussions/webinars/ for future sessions.


2009 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Oct 22-27, 2009 AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) 2009 Annual Meeting Palm Desert, CA

Oct 27-30, 2009 AMPO (Association of MPOs) Annual Meeting Savannah, GA

Oct 28-30, 2009 NADO (National Association of Development Organizations) State National Rural Transportation Peer Learning Conference Savannah, GA

Oct 19 - 21, 2009 8th National Conference on Transportation Asset Management, Portland, OR

Oct 30-Nov 1, 2009 Rail-Volution Annual Conference Boston, MA

November 10 - 14, 2009 National League of Cities’ 86th Congress of Cities & Exposition San Antonio, TX

Nov 10-12, 2009 Fifth National GIS in Transit Conference, St. Petersburg, Florida

March 21 - 31, 2010 National Bike Summit 2010
Washington DC

April 10 - 14, 2010 American Planning Association Annual National Planning Conference, New Orleans, LA

Apr 11 -14, 2010 AASHTO Geographic Information System for Transportation, Charleston, WV

April 12, 2010 TRB Geospatial Information Technologies for Asset Management Peer Exchange Charleston, WV

May 5 - 8, 2010 International Mountain Bicycling Association World Mountain Bike Summit Augusta, Georgia

May 9, 2010 TRB Conference Innovations in Travel Demand Forecasting: 2010, Tempe, Arizona

May 13, 2010 TRB Innovations in Pricing of Transportation Systems: Workshop and Conference Orlando, Florida

June 10 - 12, 2010 International Snowmobile Congress
Coralville IA

June 21-30, 2010 TRB’s North American Travel Monitoring Conference and Exposition (NATMEC)
Denver, CO

July 16 - 17, 2010 Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. Norcross, GA

August 11, 2010 ITE 2010 Annual Meeting and Exhibit
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Aug 15 - Aug 18, 2010 American Public Works Association Annual Meeting Boston, MA

Sept 13 - 17, 2010 ProWalk/ProBike 2010
Chattanooga, TN

Sept 22-24 2010 TRB 12th National Tools of the Trade Conference Williamsburg, VA

Oct 10, 2010 TRB 9th National Conference on Access Management Natchez, Mississippi

Nov, 2010 State Trail Administrators Meeting Chattanooga, TN

Nov 14 - 17, 2010 National Trails Symposium
Chattanooga TN

April 9 - 13, 2011 American Planning Association Annual National Planning Conference, Boston, MA
October 25, 2010 TRB 6th International Conference on Visualization in Transportation Location TBA

Oct 26, 2010 TRB Using National Household Travel Survey Data for Transportation Policy Decisions Washington, D.C.

June 1, 2011 TRB Household Travel Data Conference–-Measurement, Applications, and New Approaches Irvine, California

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.

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

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/

 

EDITORIAL STAFF:

Ben Williams, Co-Editor
Metropolitan Planning Specialist,
FHWA Resource Center
(404) 561-3671
ben.williams@dot.gov

Fred Bowers, Co-Editor
Transportation Planner
FHWA Office of Planning
(202) 366-2374
fred.bowers@dot.gov

James Garland, Contributing Editor
Community Planner
FTA Office of Systems Planning
(202) 366-0526
james.garland@dot.gov

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