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Planning and Air Quality

Publications: Transportation Planning Update
Spring 2008

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Welcome to the Fast Lane!

Image of Mary Peters

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched Fast Lane (http://fastlane.dot.gov), the Department’s new blog. The site will serve as an open forum, and help facilitate dialogue both outside and within the Department.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters has made 21st century solutions a priority for our transportation system, and now she is thrilled to be using a 21st century communications tool to reach Americans in a whole new way. The Secretary directly contributes to the conversation, and she looks forward to seeing you in the Fast Lane!

SAFTEA-LU Technical Corrections Bill becomes law

A SAFETEA-LU technical corrections bill (H.R. 1195) was passed by the U.S. Senate on April 17, by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 30. The President signed it June 6, 2008, as Public Law 110-244.

P.L. 110-244 makes numerous technical revisions to Public Law 109-59, many of which the Administration has sought and others that will improve the implementation of the law. To improve safety, the bill amends the formula for apportioning funds under the new Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) to base all factors on the roads included within “Federal-aid highways (a broader set of public roads),” allows a State that has met all its needs for protective devices at railway-highway crossings to use funds authorized for that purpose for any HSIP purpose, and makes Tribal governments eligible grant recipients under the Safe Routes to School Program.

The Bill allows transit systems serving urbanized areas whose population went from under 200,000 to over 200,000 in the 2000 census to use a portion of their Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 and 2009 urbanized area formula grants for operating costs. Transit systems in these areas can use an amount equal to 50 percent of the urbanized area

formula grants received in FY 2002. The Bill also eliminates the set-aside of funding for the Future Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) from the amount authorized for Surface Transportation Research Development and Deployment (STRDD). The SHRP2 is instead funded by a takedown in FYs 2008 and 2009 of up to 0.205 percent on amounts authorized for the six core highway formula programs.

The H.R. 1195 offsets raise authorizations by increasing the SAFETEA-LU rescission of unobligated funds that will be made at the end of fiscal year 2009. A copy of the Bill can be found at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:h1195enr.txt.pdf .

Under New Management

Photo of Jim Ray

When Federal Highway Administrator Rick Capka announced his plans to leave the Agency earlier this year, Jim Ray, our Deputy Administrator, was named Acting Administrator. Before joining the FHWA, he served in the USDOT’s Office of the General Counsel, where he advised the General Counsel and other senior Department officials on a variety of legal and policy matters relating to all modes of transportation. Mr. Ray is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and received his law degree from Georgetown University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Photo of Jeff Paniati

Jeff Paniati, Associate Administrator for Operations, was also recently selected for appointment as the FHWA’s new Executive Director. In this capacity, he now manages the day-to-day operations of the Agency, and assists the Acting Administrator in planning and establishing Agency policies, objectives, and priorities. He manages a $40+ billion annual budget and a workforce of approximately 2,800 transportation professionals. Mr. Paniati, who joined the FHWA in 1983 as a Highway Engineer Trainee, has been in the Senior Executive Service (SES) since 2000. The Executive Director position is the only one in civil service that requires the approval of the President. President Bush gave his final approval for Mr. Paniati’s selection in early April on the recommendation of USDOT Secretary Peters and FHWA Acting Administrator Jim Ray.


GAO Report on Involving Others in Planning and Environmental Decisions Goes to Capital Hill

On April 25, 2008, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) forwarded its report entitled “Highways and Environment: Transportation Agencies Are Acting to Involve Others in Planning and Environmental Decisions” -- focused on involving outside groups in the planning and environmental process -- to the
U.S. Congress.

In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) made a number of changes to the planning and environmental review processes required of State and local transportation agencies.

The GAO was asked to assess whether the changes the U.S. Congress envisioned for transportation planning and the environmental review and approval of highway projects are being effectively carried out. The agency assessed progress made by six selected State departments of transportation, MPOs, and the FHWA in incorporating environmental considerations in transportation planning and the progress made in implementing changes in the environmental review of highway projects.

The summary of the report concluded that all of the State DOTs and the MPOs that the GAO contacted were taking or considering initial steps to incorporate environmental considerations into long-range transportation planning. Challenges included (1) these agencies’ limited resources and the limited incentive to contribute at the planning stage and (2) lack of knowledge by resource agencies and planners of each other’s roles and processes.

As it has for the planning provisions, the FHWA has undertaken a number of efforts to implement the environmental review provisions. The State officials contacted generally viewed the FHWA’s efforts positively. Because of the long-term nature of the planning process, it will likely take years before any benefits of these changes are apparent.

The final report can be found at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08512r.pdf

CMAQ Provisions of the Energy Act

The FHWA issued a list of Questions & Answers regarding a number of issues raised by the CMAQ Provisions of the “Energy Independence and Security Act” (Energy Act).

Some fear the Act may impact the Federal share of CMAQ projects obligated during FY 2008 and FY 2009. The bottom line: States retain the flexibility provided in 23 USC 120(i) to contribute an amount in excess of the traditional 20 percent non-Federal share of a project under Title 23. Consequently, CMAQ projects that are in the planning or implementation phases that are programmed for less than the standard 80 percent Federal share can move forward. While the Energy Act provided for CMAQ funds to be used for up to 100 percent Federal share for FY 2008 and FY 2009, the Energy Act did not affect the States’ discretion to require a local match greater than the standard 20 percent.

For more information, contact Michael Koontz at (202) 366-2076 or via e-mail at michael.koontz@dot.gov.

MPO Peer Workshop on Planning for Climate Change

Representatives from 13 MPOs shared their experiences and challenges in their efforts to integrate climate change considerations into the transportation planning process at a FHWA funded workshop hosted by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) on March 6 and 7 in Seattle, WA. Each participant was given an opportunity to report on activities and approaches to climate change within their individual MPOs. Six key issues of common concern emerged from the 2-day workshop discussions:

“Making climate change a national planning priority” – Participants agreed that there is a need for national goals and priorities related to climate change, but that any Federal policy not be overly “heavy-handed,” and allow MPOs flexibility in how they respond to such policies by allowing the development of climate change plans and strategies that are as sensitive to local conditions as possible;

Planning for adaptation to climate change – The majority of participants agreed that MPO and related efforts should be focused on adaptation strategies at least as much as mitigation strategies since there is little doubt that the impacts of climate change are currently underway;

Educating the public and policy-makers about climate change and transportation – Participants agreed that educating the public and policy-makers about climate change is a major challenge due to the difficulty associated with translating complex and sometimes obscure climate change information into tangible, meaningful, and compelling stories. Also, it was agreed that the focus of public education on these issues should be on changing individual behaviors, and that visualization tools and techniques could be significantly useful in helping to associate how individual actions can impact a global problem;

Articulating the relationship of land use patterns to climate change – Most participants agreed that making fundamental changes in how land use and transportation are planned and integrated are essential to both mitigating and adapting to climate change. However, they believed that MPOs could have only minimal positive impact in this area because in general they have little, if any, authority to make land use decisions;

A need for tools to address climate change planning challenges – Participants identified various tools that could motivate the public to make behavioral changes, which would help address climate change challenges, such as financial incentives and tax breaks. Tools were also identified that would facilitate a greater MPO role in motivating the public, such as Federal guidance, funding, and technical support.

A need for continuous communication and information sharing among planning partners – There was agreement that opportunities for sharing information across MPOs, State DOTs, localities and the Federal Government need to be more accessible and made more frequently.

The full report/summary of this workshop will be posted on the FHWA Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) website at http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/integ/index.asp and the FHWA Planning Community of Practice (internal FHWA only).

For more information, contact Diane Turchetta at (202) 493-0148 or via e-mail at diane.turchetta@dot.gov.

EPA Proposes Revised Air Quality Standards for Lead

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to revise the Nation’s air quality standards for
lead for the first time in 30 years. The proposal released on May 1, 2008, recommends tightening the primary standard to protect public health by 80 to 93 percent. It would revise the existing standard of 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air to a level within the range of 0.10 to 0.30 micrograms per cubic meter. The agency is taking comment on alternative levels within a range from less than 0.10 to 0.50 micrograms per cubic meter. The EPA is proposing that the secondary standard, to protect the environment, be identical to the primary standard. The EPA will accept public comment for 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

The agency will hold two public hearings on June 12, 2008: one in St. Louis and one in Baltimore. The EPA must issue a Final Decision on the lead standard by September 15, 2008. Details about the proposal and public hearing information is available at: http://www.epa.gov/air/lead and the Federal Register announcement at http://www.epa.gov/air/lead/pdfs/20080501_proposal_fr.pdf .

Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit

Join us this summer for the Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (NTAQS) in Baltimore, MD, August 13-15, 2008. The Summit is expected to bring together stakeholders from the transportation, planning, and air quality communities to discuss the current and upcoming regulatory environment, new technologies, and current practices. The content is geared toward practitioners in the northern and Mid-Atlantic States involved with public agencies at all levels. A host of speakers from the national and regional levels will present on key topics, best practices, and latest information vital to transportation, planning, and air quality professionals.

For more information, contact Karen Perritt at
(410) 962-0720, via e-mail at karen.perritt@dot.gov, or visit the NTAQS website at www.marama.org/ntaqs

Introduction to the EPA’s Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator

The EPA will be offering a course called “Introduction to the EPA’s Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator” at the 17th Annual International Emission Inventory Conference in Portland, Oregon on June 2, 2008. This is a brief (about 4 hours) hands-on introduction to the basics of MOVES, including how to create a Run Specification, how to run the model, and how to work with model output. It will be based on the existing highway vehicle demonstration version of MOVES posted on the EPA’s MOVES website www.epa.gov/otaq/ngm.htm. Details on the International Emission Inventory Conference, including information on how to register for the conference and how to sign up for courses, can be found at the conference website: www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/conference/ei17/index.html. The conference program (posted at www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/conference/ei17/prelimprogram.pdf) includes a more complete description of the MOVES course, as well as a description of a basic course in the use of the EPA’s NMIM modeling system. Additional MOVES training classes are in the planning stages for late 2008 and early 2009.

South Carolina Gets the Go-Ahead to Start Building I-73

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced February 8, 2008, that the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved environmental documents for I-73 in South Carolina. With all Federal clearances in place, South Carolina can take the next step -- explore financing options to start constructing this new section of Interstate. I-73 in South Carolina was the first project to have a slot reserved under the Department’s new Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program, which gives the State authority for tolling and allows other States
to expand I-73.

For more information, contact Ian Grossman at (202) 366-0660 or via e-mail at lan.grossman@dot.gov.

Procedures Posted for Future Interstate Designation

Although many people think the Interstate highway system is complete and permanent, each year there are changes made to the system and occasionally there are also designations of future Interstate corridors. The FHWA posted information about the two paths States can pursue toward designations of future Interstate corridors. This document was produced to assist FHWA Division offices and State transportation agencies in their discussions with each other and with elected officials in understanding the distinctive methods by which such designations occur. For more information see https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/nhs/dfitm.htm or Contact Martin Weiss at martin.weiss@dot.gov .


Congestion Reduction Demonstration (CRD) Awards

As a follow on to the Urban Partnership Program, but also as separate and distinct from that program, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a Solicitation of Applications for Funding of Congestion-Reduction Demonstration (CRD) Initiatives in the November 13, 2007, Federal Register. On April 25, 2008, the Department announced a $213 million CRD award to the City of Los Angeles, followed on April 29, by an announcement to award $153 million to the City of Chicago.

Los Angeles
Under the terms of the CRD Agreement, the Partner Agencies (the California Department of Transportation
and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) have committed to providing non-Federal funding – an estimated total of $110 million – to convert the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-10 and I-210 to dynamically-priced high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. If financing is available, the Partner Agencies have committed to converting the HOV lanes on I-110 to dynamically-priced HOT lanes too. In exchange for these commitments, the USDOT has agreed to provide them with substantial Federal transit funding.

Federal funds will be used to support Chicago’s creation of four pilot routes of a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network. The new BRT routes will have their own dedicated lanes and the buses will be equipped with technology to help get them through traffic more rapidly with priority right-of-way at busy signalized intersections. They will also implement:

Loading zone fees. The City of Chicago will implement pay-for-use charges on its on-street loading zones, with varying prices based on time of day or level of demand in a manner that both reduces traffic congestion and ensures reasonable availability of commercial loading zone space.
Variable parking pricing. The City of Chicago will institute a peak period surcharge on off-street non-residential parking, and it will establish a system for variably pricing downtown, on-street, metered parking. Parking prices will vary dependant on time of day or level of demand, in order to ensure the availability of parking and reduce associated traffic (by eliminating the need for drivers to circle in search of open parking spaces).
Parking concession agreement. The City of Chicago will enter into a long-term concession agreement for the operation, improvement, and maintenance of its metered parking system.

Both areas will have to implement the legal authority for the program by December 31, 2008.

New CMP/M&O Guidebooks Published!

The FHWA has published two new Guidebooks on topics that changed under SAFETEA-LU -- the Congestion Management Process (CMP) and incorporating Management and Operations (M&O) into the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The Guidebooks will be posted on the FHWA’s Planning for Operations website at http://www.plan4operations.dot.gov/. Webinars will be held June 24 and 26 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm EDT. This summer regional workshop will be held for groups in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Providence, and Seattle.

For more information, contact Rick Backlund at (202) 366-8333 or via e-mail at richard.backlund@dot.gov or Egan Smith at (202) 366-6072 or via e-mail at egan.smith@dot.gov.

The FHWA Resource Center has also revised its “Implementing Effective CMPs” workshop to include new information on SAFETEA-LU, the new Planning regulations, and the Guidebooks.

For more information, on this 1-day session or for technical assistance in this area, contact Ben Williams at (404) 562-3671 or via e-mail at ben.williams@dot.gov.

New Tolling and Pricing Program Website

The FHWA has established a new website to provide information about the tolling and pricing programs and provisions available under Title 23 of the United States Code (23 U.S.C.), following the enactment of Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), and to invite expressions of interest from States and/or other public entities. This site contains information on “getting started” with pricing strategies. For more information see http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/tolling_pricing/index.htm .

Transit Activities

TPCB New Emphasis Area on Transit-Oriented Development

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is announcing a new emphasis area, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), to the FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program’s Peer Program. Under this program, resources will be made available to increase the state-of-the-practice in transit-oriented development and joint development.

Through the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Peer Program, the FTA will be offering technical assistance on TOD to staff in State DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and Transit Authorities. These exchanges could be in the form of workshops, symposiums, or Webcasts.

For more information or to apply for a Peer Event, visit our websites at: www.planning.dot.gov

Station Area Planning: How to Make Great Transit-Oriented Places

The FTA is pleased to announce the latest product under its joint venture with the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. This station area planning manual is intended to help simplify the complex decisions that surround planning for transit-oriented development projects and station areas by providing details about the scales of development that are likely to occur in different types of places. The manual begins with a discussion of seven “TOD place types,” followed by a self-diagnostic questionnaire to help planning partners identify a particular station area in a TOD typology. There are also typologies of the buildings and open space – plazas and parks – that are often included in these transit-oriented place types. All of the typologies can help inform decisions by enabling the planning partners to visualize and talk about the possibilities for station area plans.
The second section is a discussion of station area planning principles, and includes TOD plan checklists for each principle to help planning partners consider all the options. Again, the goal is to help all the planning partners better understand the potential outcomes at the beginning of the planning process. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the creation of high-performing TOD projects and great neighborhoods.” For copies of this document, please contact Effie.Stallsmith@dot.gov or Allison Brooks at abrooks@reconnectingamerica.org
For more information, go to www.fta.dot.gov/planning/metro/planning_environment_7392.html.

The Value of Having a TPCB Exhibit at Your Conferences

Many times today, with the big push to put everything on the Web, we wonder if having an exhibit with documents, program one-pagers, and program brochures is still a good way to get information into the hands of our stakeholders. After reading the latest report from our Volpe staffing team, one will be convinced that this tool is still an effective way to interest attendees in what we have to help them meet their transportation planning requirements.

During the “Transportation Research Board” and the “New Partners for Smart Growth” conferences, it was found that those who frequented the booth came from both the private and public sectors - planning agencies, non-profit organizations, Federal and State Governments. Most individuals who approached the booth stopped to speak with staff and asked questions and few had prior knowledge of TPCB programs. The most popular publications at these conferences were 1) The Updated Briefing Book, 2) The Returning City Report, and 3) the Peer Exchange brochure. However, one-pagers on new programs were also popular.

Bringing the TPCB booth to forums like the “New Partners for Smart Growth Conference” is an opportunity to better market the tools and resources produced under the auspices of the program and generate broader interest and awareness of these resources to expand their implementation by our customer base. The larger 10-foot exhibit (or the tabletop exhibit) is available for field staff to take to Regional and State conferences along with appropriate documents. For more information for how have one of these exhibits at your conference, contact Effie.Stallsmith@dot.gov or Kenneth.Petty@dot.gov.


CTPP Update Webinar

This webinar was held May 21 and June 4, 2008 to update the user community on the status of the Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP) program. Over the past few months many of the plans for the CTPP program using data from the American Community Survey (ACS) data have been progressing.

Topics included what’s going on with the Census Transportation Planning Products Program, the AASHTO status report on Oversight Board and Work Plan, the AASHTO SCOP Census Work Group activities (table definition and disclosure review board issues, data access software design, and research and capacity building proposals), Traffic Analysis Zone definition timeframe, and research activities.

For those who attended the Webinars and wanted to download the presentations, they are now available at http://fhwa.acrobat.com/ctpp1.

Guidebook on Using ACS for Transportation Planning

The NCHRP Report 588 entitled, “A Guidebook Using American Community Survey Data for Transportation
Planning” is now available. This practitioner guidebook provides approaches to incorporating ACS data into the transportation planning processes at national, state, metropolitan, and local levels. The guidebook evaluates ACS data and products and demonstrates their uses within a wide range of transportation planning applications.

The Principal Investigator was Kevin Tierney of Cambridge Systematics. For more information, contact:
Nanda Srinivasan, NCHRP, nsrinivasan@nas.edu You can find the Guidebook at: http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=924.

Driving in the States Drops

The FHWA’s “Traffic Volume Trends” report, produced monthly since 1942, shows that the estimated vehicle
miles traveled (VMT) on all public roads in the United States for March 2008 fell 4.3 percent as compared with March 2007 travel. This is the first time estimated March travel on public roads fell since 1979. The estimated data shows that VMT on all U.S. public roads have dropped since 2006. More comprehensive data are published in the FHWA’s “Highway Statistics” at the end of each year. To review the FHWA’s “Traffic Volume Trends” reports, visit https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/tvtpage.htm. For “Highway Statistics 2006,” visit https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs06/index.htm.

Public Involvement

The Nation’s MPOs continue to look for new ways of engaging elected officials and the general public in the decision making process. One of these involved a Monopoly-like game dealing with fiscal constraint in the TIP created by the Charlotte County Florida MPO. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in hurricane damage. Recently, we have run into a few other innovative games:

The Volusia County Florida MPO has created a virtual game on their plan’s fiscal constraint http://www.vcmpo2025.com/virtualbudgetgame.html .
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has a game aimed at conveying the connection of transportation and land use called Transopoly. CNT modifies the game for specific areas they are working with. (See http://transopoly.cnt.org/)

“Talking Freight” Seminars

Registration for the February Talking Freight Seminars is now available at www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/FPD/talking_freight.htm. Registration for June will be available soon. The topic for the next seminar is:

June 18, 2008 – Freight Planning: Impacts on Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

All seminars will be held from 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET.

When registering, please make sure to enter your correct e-mail address, as once you register, the login information for the seminars will be e-mailed to you. If you have not yet participated in Talking Freight, you are encouraged to do so. These monthly seminars, sponsored by the FHWA, are held via Web conference, which 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.

Recordings of past seminars, as well as transcripts and downloadable PowerPoint presentations are available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/freightplanning/talking.htm.


Framework for Considering Trail Motorized Use

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Framework for Considering Motorized Use on Non-motorized Trails and Pedestrian Walkways under 23 §U.S.C. 217, on February 26, 2008. The purpose of the Memorandum is to provide guidance to FHWA division offices and a consistent framework for determining when to permit an exception for motorized use on non-motorized trails and pedestrian walkways under 23 U.S.C. §217(h)(5). See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/framework.htm.

The FHWA’s policy is to allow motorized use on non-motorized trails or pedestrian walkways only in exceptional cases. Such allowances will benefit from significant data gathering and careful justification so as to not unduly impair non motorized operation of the trail or pedestrian walkway, or violate the expectations of adjacent or nearby property owners. An exception should be considered only when other reasonable options have been exhausted. The exception may allow limited use of segments of non motorized trails and pedestrian walkways, such as for 90 degree crossings, short doglegs, crossing structures such as bridges, or other exceptional circumstances.

For more information, contact Gabe Rousseau at (202) 366-8044 or via e-mail at gabe.rousseau@dot.gov.

FHWA Field Activities

Let’s Talk Planning Scheduled

The FHWA and the FTA strive to provide the planning staff with current information, technical assistance, and clarification to the topics that field planners suggest. 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 videoconference or webinar, at 12pm and 3pm ET.

The schedule for the rest of the 2008 videoconferences has been updated. Save-the-Dates!

June 25 Climate Change
September 17 to be announced
December 17 to be announced

”Planning On the Web” Initiative

To help support the FHWA planning discipline and promote continuous professional development of agency planners, the FHWA Resource Center is offering a series of internal web-based training seminars (approximately eight times during FY08) 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.

This new web-based training initiative is in response to requests from several division offices for additional, short, focused training for FHWA staff on key planning topics. Organizers believe this format and approach will meet that need. In addition, this new POW training series complements other efforts designed to promote a dialogue and collaboration within the FHWA Planning discipline, such as the “Let’s Talk Planning” series which is designed to foster exchange among peers on different planning topics, as well as offer an opportunity for critical and timely updates on planning topics from Headquarters.

Below are topics for subsequent months:

July 14: Everything you wanted to know about land use & transportation
August 18 Revenues & costs and what you need to know about fiscal constraint

If you cannot attend the POW session for a particular month, the presentations and other information resources are available on the RC internal website, as well as the Planning CoP. Pre-registation 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, please contact Lisa Randall, Rob Ritter, or any member of the RC Planning team.

2008 FHWA/FTA Planner’s Seminar

The next FHWA/FTA Planners Seminar has been scheduled for the week of July 21, at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, in Washington, DC. *The hotel is within walking distance of the McPherson Metro Station with access to the Blue and Orange lines.

The Seminar will start on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 22, and adjourn by noon on Friday, July 25. The Seminar may be preceded by an optional FHWA meeting or workshop on the morning of Tuesday, July 22. The Agenda is posted on the Planning Community of Practice.
A block of rooms is available at the Washington Plaza Hotel at the Federal Government rate of $154 per night, plus tax. Please make your reservations by June 18, to guarantee a government rate room. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (202) 842-1300 or (800) 424-1140 and identifying yourself as part of the “FHWA-FTA Planners’ Seminar.”

The Session will include a tour of the USDOT Headquarters Building and the new Washington Nationals’ baseball stadium.

For further information on the FHWA/FTA Planners Seminar, please contact Robin Smith at (720) 963-
3072/robin.smith@dot.gov, Jienki Synn (202) 366- 5001/jienki.synn@dot.gov of the FHWA Planning Oversight and Stewardship Team or Victor Austin
(202) 366-2996/victor.austin@dot.gov of the FTA Office of Planning and Environment.

Workshops and Training

FHWA Resource Center
For information see contacts at www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planningair/ .

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

Start Date End Date Location

6/11/2008 6/13/2008 New York, NY
State & Metropolitan Transportation Programming

6/23/2008 6/25/2008 Los Angeles, CA
Transportation and Land Use

6/25/2008 6/27/2008 Portland, OR
Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning

6/25/2008 6/26/2008 Honolulu, HI
Introduction to Statewide Transportation Planning

7/17/2008 7/18/2008 Minneapolis, MN
Advanced Seminar on Managing the Environmental Review Process

10/19/2008 10/22/2008 Denver, CO
Transit Trainers’ Workshop

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 .
New Course
FHWA-NHI-139003 Advanced Freight Planning
FHWA-NHI-134068 Addressing Uncertainty in Cost Estimating

Updated Course
FHWA-NHI-380073 Fundamentals of Planning, Design, and Approval of Interchange Improvements to the Interstate System

Web Courses
FHWA-NHI-141047 Local Public Agency Real Estate Acquisition
FHWA-NHI-141048 Outdoor Advertising Control: Bonus States
FHWA-NHI-141049 Outdoor Advertising Control: Non-bonus States

Scheduled Courses in the next Quarter:

Start Date End Date Title Location
6/2/2008 6/6/2008 Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting Baton Rouge, LA
6/9/2008 6/10/2008 Bicycle Facility Design San Rafael, CA


Administration of FHWA Planning and Research Grants Austin, TX


Transportation and Land Use Los Angeles, CA
6/24/2008 6/26/2008 NEPA & Transportation Decisionmaking Charleston, WV


Highway Program Financing Raleigh, NC


Administration of FHWA Planning and Research Grants Fort Worth, TX


Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development Indianapolis, IN


Administration of FHWA Planning and Research Grants San Antonio, TX

Travel Model Improvement Program Workshops

For more detail see: http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/conf_courses/ or contact: Penelope Weinberger at (202) 366-4054/penelope.weinberger@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. Check back with the website http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/discussions/webinars/ for future sessions.

The presentation from the recent Webinar Web Knowledge & Information Exchange: Shining a Light Inside the Black Box: Translating Results into Insights has been posted to the website. Mark your calendar for this future session:

6/12/2008 Webinar - Household travel Survey: Lessons Learned

2008 Calendar of Events

June 1 - 3 - NASTO’s Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials 2008 Conference - Pittsburgh, PA - www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/portal/nasto/2008-conference

June 7 - National Trails Day - FHWA, NPS, American
Hiking Society - Contact: Christopher Douwes, FHWA at (202) 366-5013/christopher.douwes@dot.gov

June 11 – 14 - International Snowmobile Congress; Int Assn of Snowmobile Administrators - The Grove Hotel and Convention Center - Boise ID - Contact: Shareen Pense at (208) 989-0306/lolagram3@aol.com

June 14 - 17 - NARC’s 42nd Annual Conference and Exhibition - Des Moines, IA - Contact: NARC’s Marcy Cording at (202) 986-1032/marcy@narc.org

June 15- 18 - TRB Summer Conference - Baltimore, MD - www.trb.org/conferences/2008/Summer/announce.pdf

June 17 – 19 - FHWA Environmental Conference Washington DC -FHWA staff only- Contact: Marlys Osterhues 202-366-2052

June 18 – 19 - Regional Asset Management Conference - Las Vegas, NV - Contact: Francine Shaw-Whitson at (202) 366-8028/francine.shaw-whitson@dot.gov

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

June 19 – 20 - 5th Oregon Symposium on Integrated Land-Use Transport Models - Portland, OR - Contact: OR DOT’s Bill Upton at William.J.Upton@odot.state.or.us

June 22 – 24 - TRB Innovations in Transportation
Modeling (ITM) - Portland, OR - www.trb-forecasting.org/innovationsConference2008.html

June 22 - 27 - AASHTO’s 53rd Annual National Transportation Management Conference - Orlando, FL -

July 22 - 25 - FHWA Planners Seminar - Washington DC Contact: Robin Smith 720-963-3072 robin.smith@dot.gov

July 13 - 16 - 8th National Conference on Access Management - Baltmore, MD http://www.accessmanagement.info/conference.html

July 24 - 25 - Surface Transportation Policy Project / Center for Neighborhood Technology Workshop “Context Sensitive Solutions: Designing Transportation Projects for People and Places” - Denver, Colorado see: www.transact.org

July 31– August 2, 2008 - Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference - North Charleston, SC - Contact: Jim Edwards at (864) 683-5757/jim.edwards1@yahoo.com

July/August, 2008 - TRB’s Bus Rapid Transit Workshop
Cleveland, OH - Contact: TRB’s Peter Shaw at (202) 334-2966/pshaw@nas.edu

August 2008 - Northeast Transportation and Air Quality Summit 2008 - Baltimore, MD - Contact: Karen Perrit at
(410) 962-0720/karen.perritt@fhwa.dot.gov

August 6 - 8 - TRB’s North American Travel Monitoring Conference and Exposition (NATMEC) - Washington, DC -

August 13-15 - Northern Transportation & Air Quality Summit Baltimore, MD Contact: Karen Perritt 410-962-0720 karen.perritt@fhwa.dot.gov

August 24 - 27 - Association for Commuter Transportation International Conference & Vanpool Summit Atlanta, GA - Contact Nancy Williams 202-712-9028 http://www.actweb.org/mc/page.do

September 2 – 6 - 14th Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference
Seattle WA - Contact: Mark Plotz at (301) 656-4220 info@bikewalk.org

September 3 - 5 - TRB’s Best Practices in Meeting Federal Surface Transportation Requirements in the Statewide Transportation Planning Process: A Conference - Atlanta, GA - Contact: Kimberly Fisher (202) 334-2968/ KFisher@nas.edu

September 10 – 11 - Regional Asset Management Conference - Albuquerque, NM - Contact: Francine Shaw-Whitson at (202) 366-8028/francine.shaw-whitson@dot.gov

September 17 – 19 - 11th National Tools of the Trade Conference - Portland, OR - www.trbtoolsofthetrade.org/conference.html

September 22 - 23 - TRB’s North American Freight Transportation Data Conference - Irvine, CA - Contact: TRB’s Thomas Palmerlee at TPalmerlee@nas.edu or 202-334-2907

October 6 - 7 - TRB’s Northeast Traffic Data Workshop & Exhibit: Successful Strategies in the Collection of Data for Corridors and Planning - Woods Hole, MA - http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?e=f03941f8-82db-4bc0-9dc1-17629d3aeb28

November 15 – 18, 2008 - 19th National Trails Symposium & State Trail Administrators Meeting - Little Rock AR - Contact: Christopher Douwes at (202) 366-5013/christopher.douwes@dot.gov http://www.americantrails.org/2008

December 9 - 11, 2008 (by invitation only) - TRB’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Peer Exchange and State DOT Safety Engineer Peer Exchange - Houston, TX - Contact: TRB’s Richard Pain at (202) 334-2964/RPain@nas.edu


Ben Williams, Co-Editor
Metropolitan Planning Specialist,
FHWA Resource Center
(404) 561-3671

Fred Bowers, Co-Editor
Transporation Planner
FHWA Office of Planning
(202) 366-2374

John Sprowls, Contributing Editor
Community Planner
FTA Office of Systems Planning
(202) 366-5362

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.




Page last modified on June 5, 2017
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