U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content

FHWA Resource Center

FHWA Home / Resource Center / Planning and Air Quality Team / Resources

Planning and Air Quality

Publications: Transportation Planning Update

View PDF Version of this Newsletter

To view PDF files, you need the Acrobat® Reader®

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration
Resource Center
Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program

Transportation Planning Update
Winter 2009

Economic Recovery Legislation under Development in Congress

Congress is working on an economic recovery bill that could be passed and signed by the President as early as mid-February. The legislation could likely include a doubling of funds for highways over 2008 levels, as well as significant new funding for transit and railroads. A series of questions and answers on the bill have been developed to help the FHWA and FTA field offices work with their State DOTs, MPOs, and transit agencies prepare for implementation. The questions and answers are updated periodically as new information becomes known. FHWA’s web site is available at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/.

FHWA Staff Economic Recovery Website

Headquarters has started a website regarding the preparations for the proposed Economic Recovery Package, several Program Offices have come together to develop questions and answers and to facilitate general comments. The material is currently accessible only to FHWA staff. A couple of highlights to monitor as Congress finalizes the Stimulus Package are:

Time frames for authorization “shovel ready” projects are yet to be determined
Unless the bill specifies otherwise, existing Federal laws and FHWA regulations remain applicable:
• Emergency procedures cannot be adopted
• Conditional STIP approvals are not allowed

FTA Economic Recovery Assistance

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is also taking action to support their grantees and other stakeholders in implementing the terms of the legislation as expeditiously as possible. FTA has established a website http://www.fta.dot.gov/index_9118.html with information on a list of recommended actions that can be taken to expedite the award and use of economic recovery funds.

Issues Requiring Immediate Attention:

It is critical that FTA and the state and local partners be prepared for funding that will come with the legislation immediately following enactment. Therefore, FTA is recommending grantees consider the following issues immediately:

• State and local officials and transit agencies may substitute new recovery funds for FTA program funds currently associated with projects already listed in metropolitan transportation improvement programs and state transportation improvement programs (TIP/STIP).

• If you have projects that may be eligible for recovery funds that are not already in TIPs and Federally-approved STIPs, please work with your local metropolitan planning organization (MPO) or state transportation department representative to amend the TIP/STIP. For programming purposes, you may assume a doubling of FTA’s annual program funding, but without the requirement for local match for most projects.

To avoid delays in grant processing, FTA encourages project sponsors to begin preparing potential grant applications for capital assistance. (See Instructions for Preparing a Grant Application to FTA, Appendix A) This can be used as a general guide for developing your proposals, but please remember the specific requirements may differ from the regular FTA program, and these differences will be reflected in a final Grant Application Guide we will issue.

You can sign up for automated email updates on the Economic Recover Act and FTA projects on their website.


New Transportation & Climate Change Website

A new Transportation and Climate Change (TCCC) website has been created the NCHRP Program and U.S. DOT’s Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting. The TCCC provides information on Greenhouse gas inventories, methods and tools for analyzing transportation greenhouse gas impacts, strategies for reducing transportation related greenhouse gases, Potential impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure, Approaches for integrating climate change considerations into transportation decision-making. See www.climate.dot.gov/clearinghouse.

Transportation & Climate Change Newsletter

FHWA has released the December 2008 version of the newsletter dedicated to the impacts of climate change. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/climatechange/newsletter/index.htm . If you have a questions about the Climate Change Newsletter contact Becky Lupes rebecca.lupes@dot.gov .

Climate Change Webinar

FHWA will host a webinar on transportation and climate change. The webinar will be presented on Friday, February 20, and again on Friday, February 27, from 1:00-3:30 EST on both days. As you know, climate change has become an issue of significant concern for our transportation programs. This webinar is intended to provide an understanding of some of the key facts surrounding climate change and its relationship to transportation. Specifically, it will provide background information on the science behind climate change; the link between transportation and greenhouse gas emissions; the impact of climate change on transportation infrastructure and operations; and strategies and policies currently under consideration to address climate change.

If you or your staffs plan to participate in the webinar, would you please R.S.V.P. to Linda Williams at linda.d.williams@dot.gov. State DOT colleagues are welcome to participate, but please come into the Division office as we have a limited number of lines per webinar.


Land Use & Air Quality

The 2009 Transportation Land Use Planning and Air Quality Conference will be in Denver, Colorado on July 28th and 29th, 2009. The highlight theme this year will be climate change. The sponsors are FHWA, TRB, Iowa State University and the ACSE. Papers and ectended abstracts have been submitted to the conference planners and a draft program and registration informationwill follow shortly. If you have any questions, please contact Bob O’Loughlin at (415) 744-3823, or robert.oloughlin@dot.gov.

Eligibility of Land Use Planning

FHWA has issued clarification about the eligibility and criteria for use of FHWA/FTA metropolitan planning and statewide planning funds for activities addressing the integration of transportation, land use and climate change. Current regulations call for MPOs and State DOTS to consider land use and economic development impacts in the transportation planning process. For more information see https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/plnlnduse.htm or contact FTA - Victor Austin at 202 366-2996, and FHWA - Robin Smith at (720) 963-3072.


Safety Professional Development

ITE and the Federal Highway Administration, Office of Safety, have developed targeted highway safety training for transportation engineering and planning professionals. These have been developed as a series of web conferences that ITE is hosting.

Course titles include: History, Perspectives and Institutionalization of Traffic Safety in the United States, The Es of Safety, Introduction to Traffic Safety Data, Introduction to Transportation Safety Planning, Introduction to Human Factors, Introduction to The Road Environment, Introduction to Safety Evaluation: Part I, Introduction to Safety Evaluation: Part II and Introduction to Crash Analysis.

To find out more or register see the website: ITE webinars - Safety101 .


New Travel Demand Management Workshop

The Federal Highway Administration has developed a workshop “Managing Travel Demand to Mitigate Congestion” that provides a new perspective on demand management. Based on a series of recent FHWA guidance reports and, in particular, the findings from an FHWA International Scan to Europe, the new workshop aims at imparting a new way of thinking about urban travel that focuses on both the need for travel itself and means to accommodate travel via new and innovative choices. It is being offered by the FHWA Resource Center Operation Team. Contact: Grant Zammit 404-562-3575 grant.zammit@dot.gov .

Real Time System Management Information

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Real-time System Management Information Program called for in SAFETEA-LU Section 1201 was published in the January 14, 2009 Federal Register (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-392.htm) with a 90-day comment period (April 14). FHWA has updated the Operations Web site (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/)to announce the NPRM. More outreach will follow including Web conferences with stakeholders, etc. to generate comments to the Docket.

The NPRM addresses statewide and metropolitan provision of real time information on roadway or lane closures, environmental conditions restricting travel, extent and degree of congestion and travel times or speeds. A system to do this is proposed to be established for the Interstates within two years of a final regulation and other designated “routes of significance” within four years of a final regulation. For more information contact Bob Rupert, 202-366-2194 Robert.Rupert@dot.gov .

New ITS Buzzword

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is introducing a new name and logo for an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiative that is attracting growing interest and excitement across the global transportation research community. The new name, IntelliDriveSM, is being adopted to refer to a group of ITS initiatives that offer drivers greater situational awareness of the events, potential threats, and imminent hazards within their vehicle’s environment. Until now, those converging efforts have been referred to as “Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII).” For more information, see http://www.its.dot.gov/intellidrive/.

Value Pricing Publications

FHWA has posted two new publications on value pricing:

Value Pricing Pilot Program: Lessons Learned

This “Lessons Learned Report” provides a summary of projects sponsored by FHWA’s Congestion and Value Pricing Pilot Programs from 1991 through 2006 and draws lessons from a sample of projects with the richest and most relevant experience across selected project categories.

Lessons Learned from International Experience in Congestion Pricing

To further understanding of international pricing, “Lessons Learned from International Experience in Congestion Pricing” provides a summary of selected operational areawide congestion pricing projects outside of the U.S. The report draws lessons from a sample of projects with the richest and most relevant experience, focusing on three comprehensive area wide projects: Singapore, London and Stockholm.


FRA Funding for MAGLEV Projects

Section 102 of the SAFETA-LU Technical Corrections Act amended SAFETEA–LU, which had authorized $90 million for maglev projects, 50 percent of which would go to the maglev project between Las Vegas and Primm, NV, and 50 percent of which would go to an undetermined maglev project located east of the Mississippi River. Congressional report language specified intent to limit eligibility to three existing projects east of the Mississippi River: Pittsburgh, Baltimore-Washington, and Atlanta-Chattanooga.

FRA announced availability of grants for those eastern projects in an October 16, 2008 Federal Register. Grants which can be used for preconstruction planning activities and the capital costs of the fixed guideway infrastructure. For more information about FRA’s maglev program see http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/200 or contact Rob Kulat at 202-493-1306.

FTA Showcases MPO Safety & Security Planning

On January 14, 2009 the FTA Office of Planning hosted a TRB session entitled, “The FTA/AMPO Safety & Security Incentive Grant Program.” In coordination with AMPO, FTA created this special grant program in 2005 for promoting safety and security planning in the metropolitan transportation planning process. Of an original 14 applications received, four MPOs were selected to receive grant awards for creating: a post-disaster transit recovery plan in Biloxi, MS; a unified first responder communications system in Dallas, TX; an access management strategies report in Boise, IA; and a transit-enhanced accident reports database in Buffalo, NY.

For more information, contact: Kimberly Goins (FTA), kimberly.goins@dot.gov . You can find the reports at http://tsp.trb.org/assets/FTA-AMPO%20Innovation%20Case%20Studies.pdf


TAZ delineation for CTPP postponed until 2011

In early 2008, State DOTs and MPOs were advised to plan for Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) delineation for inclusion in the
Census Bureau’s TIGER files database in calendar 2009. A decision by the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP) Oversight Board was made on November 3, 2008 to delay the effort until 2011.

The new schedule now is:
• Software development, testing Completed by Early 2011
• Distribution of materials (software, TIGER files) Spring 2011
• State DOTs and MPOs submit TAZs to Census Bureau Summer 2011
• Census Bureau verification Fall 2011

Over the past few months, in discussion with the Census Bureau, completing this work in 2009 using current information contained within the Census Bureau’s TIGER database became increasingly complex and expensive. Therefore, the CTPP Oversight Board decided to use an alternative approach using 2010 census block equivalencies with a post-2010 TIGER file. They plan to use a GIS-based system that would not require any additional licensing on the part of local agencies. For more information, Contact: Elaine Murakami, FHWA Office of Planning Elaine.murakami@fhwa.dot.gov

First 3-year data from ACS released December 9, 2008

On December 9, 2008, the Census Bureau released the first 3-year summary data using the American Community Survey (ACS) http://factfinder.census.gov . Earlier in 2007, the Census Bureau released the 2007 ACS 1-year data. The ACS 1-year data is limited to geographic units with 65,000 population or more. The ACS 3-year data is limited to geographic units with 20,000 population or more. Approximately 60 percent of counties are included in the ACS 3-year tabulations.


Long Range Planning Effort

The Federal Lands Highway Division offices and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 1 (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawaii) are undertaking a pioneering effort to develop a long range transportation plan (LRTP) for the Pacific Region’s wildlife refuges and hatcheries. This pilot project will serve as a model for regional-level transportation planning within the USFWS.

Federal Lands Highway Division is taking a context sensitive approach to transportation planning, working with this Federal land management agency whose mission is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife and their habitat. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to use sound asset management practices and identification of critical transportation needs, combined with their transportation mission and goals, to guide an informed decision making process. Finding a balance between resource protection and visitor experience; safe travel for the visitors and the wildlife; and finding partnerships with States, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, counties and local communities to address climate change, extend financial resources and address safety issues are all a part of this plan.

A draft of the USFWS Region 1 LRTP is scheduled for the summer of 2009. For more information go to: http://www.fws.gov/pacific/planning/main/docs/Transportation/LRTP%20update1.pdf or contact Roxanne Bash at (360) 619-7558, email: roxanne.bash@fhwa.dot.gov


Freight Transportation Partnership

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) co-host bi-annual meetings of the Freight Transportation Partnership. These meetings bring together freight and transportation officials from State Departments of Transportation, FHWA Division offices, USDOT Headquarters, the private sector, and Metropolitan Planning Organizations for targeted discussions on enhancing freight transportation throughout the nation. The next version of these meetings, the Freight Partnership III, will be held March 10-13, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This meeting is by invitation only.

In preparation for the meeting, FHWA has sponsored a survey that was sent to MPOs intended to capture information that will help in developing educational materials, technical assistance, and tools that will enhance a Metropolitan Planning Organization or Regional Council’s ability to incorporate freight into their transportation activities and responsibilities. Contact: Kate Quinn 202-366-4241 kate.quinn@dot.gov or Jennifer Symoun 703-676-6849 jennifer.e.symoun@saic.com.

New Publication

The freight office has posted a publication called Freight Story 2008 -The report provides a national summary of freight movement and shows where concentrations of freight volumes place pressures on the on the U.S. transportation system. Economic costs to carriers, shippers, and the overall economy are examined, and efforts by the public and private sectors to improve freight transportation and mitigate the safety and environmental effects of freight movement are highlighted.

FAF Redesign

FHWA is beginning to plan updates and improvements to the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF). A paper on Initial Thoughts on FAF2 Experience and FAF3 Design has been posted to stimulate comments and suggestions from FAF users. For more information contact Mike Sprung, 202-366-9047, michael.sprung@dot.gov


Designing Pedestrian Facilities for Accessibility

The Washington Division and the Resource Center’s Safety & Design Team have developed an online course to help planners and engineers design pedestrian facilities for accessibility. It involves 2 web conference sessions and seven self paced online modules. The Division expects to offer the first of these sessions in February, 2009. For more information Contact: Peter Eun, peter.eun@dot.gov 360-753-9551.

Bicycling & Walking Professional Development

The National Center for Bicycling & Walking, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, (APBP), and Cullbridge Communications are hosting a series of Professional Development webinars. Webinars in the Professional Development Series are scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month, from 3p.m. to 4p.m., Eastern Time. Upcoming webinar topics and presenters include:

Jan 21st, 2009 – Cycle Zone Analysis,
Feb 18th, 2009 – Ped Safe/Bike Safe Program.
Mar 18th, 2009 – Level of Service (LOS).
Apr 15th, 2009 – Shared Lane Marking
May 20th, 2009 – Sunday Parkways
Jun 17th, 2009 - Counting Bicyclists & Pedestrians

For more information see the National Center’s website


TMIP Virtual Mentoring and Technical Support Center

TMIP is pleased to announce a new phase in the Travel Model Mentoring Program. The Virtual Mentoring & Technical Support Center (VMTSC) represents an effort by TMIP to expand the reach of the Mentoring Program by offering biweekly one-hour online virtual office sessions via the TMIP web conferencing system. These virtual office sessions are designed to enhance the exchange of technical knowledge, provide wider opportunities for new travel demand modelers to gain knowledge from experienced modelers and more widely communicate the breadth of experiences within the travel modeling community.

These weekly virtual office sessions involve dialog between mentors and the modeling community through responses and related discussion to pre-submitted questions from the travel modeling community. The goal of the virtual office sessions is to provide answers to as many questions as possible along with elaboration on the issues raised by questions as time and the number of questions permits. The online virtual office is set-up in a manner that attendees can come and go from the virtual office at their pleasure.

The format involves responses from volunteer mentors to the pre-submitted questions followed by short follow-up discussion among those that login to the virtual office http://fhwa.na3.acrobat.com/tmip/. Issues and questions that can be dealt with within the parameters of the one-hour virtual office sessions, with some possibility of follow-up will make-up the content of these online chats.

These virtual offices sessions do not replace the TMIP webinars. They represent a new first level of TMIP support of the travel modeling community by offering a regular weekly opportunity to submit questions, receive guidance and discuss issues with other travel modeling professionals. Questions and issues that require more detailed dialogue and/or are of wider interest are candidates for a TMIP webinar. Those issues which are of a highly location specific nature and could benefit from intense individual attention, will be considered for a Peer Exchange or Peer Review.

2009 Spring Sessions will be Friday, February 13, Monday, February 23, Friday, March 13, Monday, March 23, Friday, April 10, Monday, April 20, Friday, May 8, Monday, May 18, and Friday, June 5.

Additional information regarding the VMTSC and the online virtual offices can be found at http://tmip.fhwa.dot.gov/ Contact Sarah Sun 202-493-0071 sarah.sun@dot.gov).


Change of FHWA Staff Contacts

Jim Cheatham, the Director of the Office of Planning, is now serving as the Acting Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy and Governmental Affairs for an indefinite period. During that period, Rob Ritter and Harlan Miller will alternate in his position until he returns. Rob will be acting in this capacity during February and Harlan will take over for March.

The FHWA Office of Planning has reorganized the program responsibilities of their staff. Rob Ritter who has headed the Capacity Building Team will be leading Phase II of the Impacts of Climate Change Variability and Change on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure – Gulf Coast Study. The Gulf Coast Study is part of a series of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products of the US Climate Change Science Program’s aimed at providing current assessments of climate change science to inform public debate, policy, and operational decisions. In addition to the Phase II Study, Rob will continue to maintain primary responsibility for:

• Asset Management
• Climate Change and Transportation Planning
• Mega Regions
• And other management and legislative activities, as necessary

Ken Petty will become the Associate Team Manager of the Planning Capacity Building Team and take on new responsibilities as well. Ken will take on day-to-day leadership in the following areas:

• Office of Planning Research Budget
• Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program
• Let’s Talk Planning; Planning Update newsletter
• Transportation Planning Excellence Awards
• Coordination with AASHTO, AMPO, NARC and other stakeholders
• Planning and Environment Linkages
• Transportation Safety Planning
• Coordination with NHI/NTI on training courses
• And other activities of the Planning Capacity Building Team

FY 2009 Research Priorities

FHWA has posted the proposed fiscal year 2009 Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) research projects. The STEP is a cooperative research program that reflects national priorities as well as stakeholder input. The STEP also reflects research partnerships and efforts to leverage research funding with other research initiatives that are planned or underway. Proposed and anticipated funding levels for the FY2009 STEP research projects are subject to the completion of the FY2009 Department of Transportation (DOT) appropriations legislation. Therefore, these anticipated FY2009 STEP research efforts are preliminary and may change.

FHWA Discipline Workforce Assessment Survey

Most of the FHWA Discipline Champions and Teams recognized the need to survey their disciplines in order to update existing workforce information and gather new information to help guide their efforts over the next 18 months. In order to prevent FHWA specialists from being swamped with numerous similar surveys from different disciplines, a group of people representing Human Resources and various Discipline areas was asked to organize an Agency-wide survey for all disciplines.

It is designed in identical fashion to the technical work force survey conducted in 2004. The intent is that the 2004 assessment will serve as a benchmark for this assessment. The assessment is organized with a.) A general section that captures information that should be relevant to all disciplines. The information provided in this section will be linked to all of the other sections. Note that we will identify who is engaged in each discipline in this section and how much time they spend in each discipline. b.) A series of separate discipline sections. Each respondent will be invited to enter information in one primary discipline and as many other disciplines that they may be involved in.

Information on the workforce survey will be sent to all FHWA staff in late February / early March. All staff are encouraged to complete the survey. For more information, please contact Lisa Randall or Patrick Hasson if you have any questions.

GIS in Transportation Newsletter

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Interstate and Border Planning (HEPI) recently started publishing a new quarterly newsletter “GIS in Transportation” on significant geospatial transportation news, events, and applications. The goals of the newsletter are to help distribute useful and informative stories on transportation agencies’ efforts to develop and implement geospatial technologies.

Each issue of the newsletter highlights a specific application of GIS or geospatial data and technology from a State department of transportation, metropolitan planning organization, or other transportation agency. Each issue will typically be in a `Question and Answer’ format and will include a guest editorial focusing on issues related to the use of geospatial technologies in transportation agencies. Information about upcoming and recent events, as well as recently released reports, will also be included. If you are interested in contributing to the newsletter or if there is something you would like to see in an upcoming issue, please let Mark Sarmiento (at 202-366-4828 or mark.sarmiento@dot.gov) or Alisa Zlotoff (at 617-494-2310 or alisa.zlotoff@dot.gov) know.

The newsletter has been uploaded to the ‘Files’ section of this GIS-T Yahoo Group and will also be made available on the FHWA GIS in Transportation website at http://www.gis.fhwa.dot.gov .

Updated Field Planner’s Guidebook

A new section to the Field Planner’s Guidebook has been posted for FHWA Field staff on the intranet. The new chapter discussed advance construction and how to handle these projects within the planning process. For more information, contact Lorrie Lau at (415) 744-2628 or via e-mail at lorrie.lau@dot.gov.

FY 2009 International Scan Program

FHWA, AASHTO and NCHRP have agreed to jointly conduct and sponsor the following scans in FY2009:

Reducing Congestion, Enhancing the Environment and Funding Transportation Using Road Pricing
Survey of Innovative Pedestrian and Bicyclist Infrastructure Improvements and Policies to Increase Safety and Mobility
Assuring Acceptable Safety and Performance of Highway Bridges through Advanced Load Rating
Linking Performance and Accountability to National and State/Provincial/Metropolitan Budget and Revenue Increases
For more information contact Hana Maier, 202-366-6003, hana.maier@dot.gov


Let’s Talk Planning Scheduled

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 videoconference or webinar, at 12pm and 3pm ET. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the Planning Community of Practice site.

We have a special session scheduled on Feb. 19th from 11:30AM to 1:30PM ET on Implementing the Economic Recovery Program. It will have both FHWA and FTA speakers. The scheduled dates for the rest of the 2009 videoconferences are March 12, June 11, Sept. 10 and Dec. 10th. If you have suggestions for LTP sessions contact Jocelyn Jones, Fred Bowers or Victor Austin.

”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:

February 17st Census Data for Transportation Planners
April 21st Tribal Planning 101 for Field Planners
May 19th SHSPs, Model Practices & Linkages with Transportation Safety Planning
July 21st Emerging Issues in Freight Planning
August 18th EJ / Title VI - Latest Developments & 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 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.

North Carolina Develops Guidance and Training for Purpose & Need

The North Carolina Division and NCDOT are embarking on an effort to better integrate the Planning & Environmental components of project delivery. As part of this “Integration Project”, a multi-agency team was assembled to develop the process, documentation standards (format and content) and create a training module for Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) Problem Statement that may be used as the primary source of information for establishing Purpose and Need.

The Team developed guidance that addresses the aspects of Purpose & Need on background information (e.g. “who, what, why, when”); the range of possible purposes associated with highway projects; and documentation needs for supporting purposes.

The Team has also developed training material based on the Guidance. The training is taught by the Division Office and NCDOT members of the team, and will be delivered to NCDOT personnel and other stakeholders on an as-needed basis. Contact: Rob Ayers, 919-747-7029, rob.ayers@fhwa.dot.gov

2009 FHWA PEAR Seminar

Originally FHWA was scheduled to host the FHWA Division Planners Seminar this summer. A new training opportunity for FHWA field staff in Planning, Environment, Air Quality and Reality (PEAR) is being developed. This opportunity will be for FHWA staff only this year. Planning for the 2009 Planning, Environment, Air Quality & Realty (PEAR) Learning & Development (L&D) Seminar is currently in process. The official rollout is expected in the February / March time frame from Jeff Paniati. The primary focus will be on discipline specific competencies and skills development to address identified gaps. This initiative will only be extended to FHWA employees only and will be offered every other year.

The 2009 PEAR L&D Seminar is planned for the late August to September time frame and will be held in Phoenix Arizona. The Agenda Committee consists of representatives from 12 representatives from FHWA Division Offices, Western Federal Lands with liaisons from the HQ Office of Planning and the Resource Center Planning Team. Keep your eyes open for updates. For more information Contact either Ed Stillings (AZ Division Office), Susan Grosser (HEPP).


FHWA Resource Center

For information see contacts at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planningair/ .

2/23/09 Performance Measures for Transportation Planning Workshop - Macon, GA
Contact Brian Betlyon 410-962-0086 brian.betlyon@fhwa.dot.gov

2/25/2009 Managing Travel Demand to Mitigate Congestion (invitation only)
Contact: Grant Zammit 404-562-3575 grant.zammit@dot.gov .

5/1/2009 Census Transportation Planning Products program. This session will be offered through the TRB Planning Application Conference Contact: Ed Christopher 708-283-3534 edc@berwyned.com

National Transit Institute

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

Start Date End Date Location

1/20/2009 1/22/2009 Sacramento, CA
Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning

1/27/2009 1/29/2009 Tampa, FL
Introduction to Transportation Conformity

2/5/2009 2/5/2009 New Brunswick,NJ
Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning

2/9/2009 2/11/2009 Newark, NJ
Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning

2/18/2009 2/219/2009 Philadelphia, PA
Introduction to Statewide Transportation Planning

2/25/2009 2/26/2009 Seattle,WA
Characteristics and Planning of Bus Rapid Transit

3/3/2009 3/5/2009 Birmingham,AL
Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning

3/3/2009 3/5/2009 Seattle.WA
Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making

3/17/2009 3/19/2009 Denver,CO
Transit Noise and Vibration Assessment

3/23/2009 3/25/2009 Houston,TX
Introduction to Transportation Conformity

3/31/2009 4/2/2009 Richmond, VA
Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making

4/28/2009 4/30/2009 Seattle.WA
Introduction to Metropolitan Transportation Planning

6/1/2009 6/3/2009 Seattle,WA
Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Programming

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-13003 Advanced Freight Planning
FHWA-NHI-134068 Addressing Uncertainty in Cost Estimating
FHWA-NHI-134078 TCCC GPS Technology
FHWA-NHI-142048 Managing Road Impacts of Stream Ecosystems: An Interdisciplinary Approach
FHWA-NHI-134077 Contract Administration Core Curriculum (Resource Center Workshop)

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

Web Courses
Complete Listing of All NHI Web-based Courses
FHWA-NHI-310115/310115A Introducing Highway Federal-Aid
NHI-139006 Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process

Scheduled Courses in the next Quarter:

Start Date End Date Location

02/10/2009 02/12/2009 Anchorage, AK
Public Involvement in the Transportation Decisionmaking Process

02/11/2009 02/12/2009 Boston, MA
Pedestrian Facility Design

02/12/2009 02/13/2009 Boston, MA
Bicycle Facility Design

02/24/2009 02/26/2009 Hanover, MD
NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

03/09/2009 03/13/2009 Austin, TX
Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting

03/10/2009 03/11/2009 Austin, TX
Highway Program Financing

03/12/2009 03/14/2009 Vancouver, WA
Public Involvement in the Transportation Decisionmaking Process

03/17/2009 03/19/2009 Charleston, WV
Metropolitan Transportation Planning

03/23/2009 03/27/2009 Phoenix, AZ
Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting

03/24/2009 03/25/2009 Lansing, MI
Design and Implementation of Erosion and Sediment Control

03/24/2009 03/25/2009 Oakland, CA
Highway Program Financing

04/07/2009 04/08/2009 Sterling, VA
Highway Program Financing

04/15/2009 04/16/2009 Lansing, MI
Highway Program Financing

05/05/2009 05/06/2009 Vancouver, WA
Highway Program Financing

07/14/2009 07/15/2009 Lakewood, CO
Highway Program Financing

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

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.

Feb 10, 2009 Estimation of Logit Models

Mar 12, 2009 Application programming for logit models, disaggregate and aggregate validation process for logit models

Apr 14, 2009 Advanced topics in discrete choice and mode choice models, including further model estimation exploration

May 7, 2009 Highway and transit assignment processes, volume-delay functions

Jun 9, 2009 Evaluation of model validation results, wrap-up, questions and further discussion


Feb 18-20, 2009 APTA (American Public Transportation Association) APTA TransTech Conference Toronto, ON

Feb 22-24, 2009 NARC (National Association of Regional Councils) 2009 National Conference of Regions Washington, DC

Mar 10-12, 2009 National Bike Summit , League of American Bicyclists Washington DC

Mar 10-13, 2009 FHWA/AASHTO Freight Partnership Washington DC

Mar 17 - 16, 2009 Professional Trailbuilders Conference Asheville, NC

Mar 24 - Mar 25, 2009 TRB Midwest Traffic Monitoring Workshop, Columbus, OH

Mar 24 - 26, 2009 National OHV Program Managers Workshop Houston, TX 2009 National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers Annual Conferences Contact: Tom Metsa 303-791-1954 x132 thomas.metsa@state.co.us

Apr 5-8, 2009 AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) GIS-T (GIS for Transportation) Symposium Oklahoma City, OK

Apr 19-22, 2009 TRB (Transportation Research Board) 11th Light Rail Transit Conference: Renewal and Growth Los Angeles, CA

Apr 19-23, 2009 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Right of Way and Utility Annual Conference Oklahoma Contact: karen.hider@fhwa.dot.gov

Apr 21-23, 2009 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Peer Exchange and State DOT Safety Engineer Peer Exchange (by invitation) Chicago, Illinois Contact: Richard Pain

Apr 25 - 29, 2009 American Planning Association Annual National Planning Conference Minneapolis, MN

May 1-6, 2009 APTA (American Public Transportation Association) 2009 Bus & Paratransit Conference & International Bus Roadeo Seattle, WA

May 3 - 6, 2009 Making Sustainability Happen. Goals, Practices, and Challenges, Radison Fort McDowell , Scottsdale, AZ Contact: Donna Carter 863-679-3852

May 3-6 TRB (Transportation Research Board) 4th Bus Rapid Transit Conference Seattle, WA

May 3-5, 2009 TRB Seventh National Aviation System Planning Symposium Monterey, California

May 4-6, 2009 TRB Annual Ports, Waterways, Freight & International Trade Conference Irvine, California

May 13-18, 2009 AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Spring Meeting Bedford, PA

May 17-21, 2009 TRB (Transportation Research Board) 12th Annual National Transportation Planning Applications Conference Houston, TX

Jun 2009 North American Transportation Statistics Interchange (by invitation) Washington, DC, Contact: Thomas Palmerlee

Spring/Summer 2009

Research Road Map for Geospatial Information Technologies for Transportation (by invitation), Contact: Thomas Palmerlee

Jun 2-3, 2009 TRB Data and Tools for Understanding the Goods Movement – Air Quality Connection Irvine, California

Jun 1-3 ITSA (ITS America) 2009 Annual Meeting & Exposition Fort Washington, MD

Jun 1-3 NARC (National Association of Regional Councils) 43rd Annual Conference and Exhibition Denver, CO

Jun 2-3 TRB Workshop on Data and Tools for Understanding the Goods Movement-Air Quality Connection Irvine, California

Jun 6 National Trails Day

Jun 10 - 13, 2009 41st International Snowmobile Congress, Credit Union Place, Summerside, Prince Edward Island (Canada)

Jun 11-15, 2009 APTA (American Public Transportation Association) International Rail Rodeo and June 14-18 Rail Conference Chicago, IL

Jun 28 - Jul 1, 2009 IRWA’s Annual International Education Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana

Jul 7 - 8, 2009 State Trail Administrators Meeting, Gainesville, FL

Jul 9 - 12, 2009 Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference , Gainesville FL , Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation

Jul 19-22, 2009 2009 TRB Joint Summer Conference Seattle, Washington

Aug 9 - 12, 2009 ITE 2009 Annual Meeting and Exhibit , Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center , San Antonio, TX

Aug 23-26, 2009 2009 National Scenic Byways Conference Denver, CO

Aug 30 - Sept. 2, 2009 Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) 2009 Conference, Washington DC

Sept 16-17, 2009 North American Freight Flows Conference 2009 Irvine, California

2009 National Highway Data Workshop and Conference California Sept 22-24, 2009

October 19-22, 2009 8th National Conference on Asset Management Portland, Oregon

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

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

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.



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


Page last modified on June 5, 2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000