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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
Winter 2014


Latest Highway Trust Fund Balance

Here’s the status of the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund as of December 31, 2013:

The Highway Account began fiscal year 2014 with about $3.8 billion on hand.

This balance was supplemented in early October with a transfer from the General Fund that was provided by MAP-21. MAP-21 provided for a transfer of $10.4 billion, but 7.2 percent of that amount was sequestered leaving a transfer of $9.65 billion.

Outlays for the quarter totaled $11.5 billion leaving a balance of $8.3 billion as of December 31, 2013.

Further information may be found at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/highwaytrustfund.


MAP-21 Implementation Schedule

The Transit Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) on the National Public Transportation Safety Plan, the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan, and the Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program was published Oct. 3, 2013 and can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-03/pdf/2013-23921.pdf. Public comments closed January 2, 2014.
The Proposed Policy Guidance on Metropolitan Planning Organization Representation issued jointly by FTA and FTA was published in the Federal Register for public comment on October 1, 2013. It closed on October 30, 2013. The draft guidance and public comments received on the guidance are available at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FTA-2013-0029-0001.

The FHWA/FTA NPRM on updates to the Transportation Planning Process for MAP-21, as well as the first of three Performance Management NPRMs and the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) NPRM are expected at the end of February. These three NPRMs will be released together since they are interrelated, with a common theme of performance management and the use of transportation system performance measures. There will be a 90-day public comment period on the Planning NPRM and the Performance Management #1 NPRM on Safety. The NPRM on the HSIP will have a 60-day public comment period.

FHWA staff should not submit comments on the NPRMs via the public comment process. Instead, FHWA staff may send any comments or suggestions on the Planning NPRM directly to Harlan Miller at harlan.miller@dot.gov.

FHWA/FTA Headquarters will hold an internal (FHWA/FTA) webinar with the Division offices after the release of the NPRM. The Office of Planning and Resource Center will also be working closely with the Office of Transportation Performance Management with the planned regional public workshops.

You can find a graphic that shows the projected time lines for these three Rules and others at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tpm/about/action.pdf.

Latest Estimate of Publication Dates (subject to change) :

National Goals and Performance Management Measures (MAP-21) NPRM Number One 02/28/2014

Statewide and Non-metropolitan Transportation Planning; Metropolitan Transportation Planning (MAP-21) 02/28/2014

National Goals and Performance Management Measures (MAP-21) NPRM Number Two 05/27/2014

Risk Based Asset Management Plan for the NHS (NPRM) 5/27/2014

National Goals and Performance Management Measures (MAP-21) NPRM Number Three 07/01/2014


The January Edition of the Performance Based Planning Newsletter has been posted at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/performance_based_planning/newsletter/january_2014/newsletter_pbp_january14.pdf

Performance Management Exchange

The TPM Exchange series is focused on performance management implementation topics of interest to FHWA units and partner agencies. The exchange includes speakers from throughout the transportation community who share their experiences in implementing various aspects of performance management. During these sessions you will have the opportunity to ask questions, share your own experiences, and learn how you can most effectively support implementation. The scheduled webinars are tentively:

Mar. 6, 2014 Let’s Talk Performance: Best Practices for Collaborating on Data Sharing and Data Analytics

Mar. 7, 2014 Summary of Safety NPRM - FHWA staff only

Mar. 13, 2014 External webinar on NPRM Overview

Mar 17, 2014 External webinar on Safety NPRM

Mar. 25, 2014 or after, Summary of Planning NPRM - FHWA staff only

For more information, contact Michael Kay, michael.kay@dot.gov, or 617-494-2404.


Implementation Assistance Program Recipients Announced for SHRP2 Project C19 (Expediting Project Delivery)

On October 17, 2013, FHWA and AASHTO jointly announced the recipients of Implementation Assistance Program (IAP) funding as part of SHRP2 “Round 2,” which included four products. Under the Capacity focus area, IAP funding was awarded to 12 recipients for SHRP2 Solution C19 (Expediting Project Delivery), which focuses upon strategies for addressing or avoiding common constraints to speed delivery of transportation planning and environmental review projects. The following is a list of the recipients under the two IAP funding categories (Lead Adopter Incentives and User Incentives, respectively):

Lead Adopter Incentives:

• Arizona Department of Transportation;
• Maricopa Association of Governments (Arizona);
• Florida Department of Transportation;
• Idaho Transportation Department;
• Massachusetts Department of Transportation; and
Vermont Agency of Transportation.

User Incentives:
• Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department;
• California Department of Transportation;
• Association of Monterey Bay Area
Governments (California);
• Nebraska Department of Roads;
• South Carolina Department of Transportation; and
• South Dakota Department of Transportation.

For more information on SHRP2 Solution C19, contact Damaris Santiago (FHWA Office of Project Development and Environmental Review) at 202- 366-2034 or Larry Anderson (FHWA Resource Center’s Planning and Freight Technical Services Team) at 720-963-3268.

SHRP Pre-Publication Reports

Pre-Publication Report for SHRP2 Project C10 (Dynamic Integrated Models and Networks):

SHRP2 Project C10A (Partnership to Develop an Integrated, Advanced Travel Demand Model and a Fine-Grained Time-Sensitive Network) created a model that integrated an advanced travel-demand model with a fine-grained, time-dependent network in order to evaluate the interplay of traveler behavior and transportation network conditions (including mode options), so that more realistic estimates of travel demand can be generated. The model’s performance was then demonstrated through validation tests and policy analyses. On October 22, 2013, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) posted the Pre-Publication Report for SHRP2 Project 10A entitled “Partnership to Develop and Integrated, Advanced Travel Demand Model and a Fine-Grained Time-Sensitive Network,” which is available at: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/169685.aspx. This report describes the implementation of the model system in Burlington, Vermont and Jacksonville, Florida, as well as the calibration and validation of the model system and the application of the model system to a set of initial sensitivity tests.

For more information on SHRP2 Project C10A, contact Brian Gardner (FHWA Office of Planning) at 202-366-4061 or Derek Miura (FHWA Resource Center’s Planning and Freight Technical Services Team) at 720-963-3271.

Synthesis of Lessons Learned From Transportation for Communities - Advancing Projects Through Partnerships (TCAPP) and Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF) Pilot Projects:

TCAPP provides agencies and practitioners with guidance on reaching collaborative decisions as they work through the traditional transportation planning, programming, and permitting processes. TCAPP also serves as a portal to other tools, including the IEF, which was developed to serve as a primary resource for those seeking to balance transportation needs with environmental protection. To test both the premises of TCAPP and the IEF, SHRP2 conducted four pilot tests of TCAPP in Project C18 and four pilot tests of the IEF in Project C21. On November 20, 2013, TRB posted the SHRP2 Project C41 Synthesis Report entitled “TCAPP and Integrated Ecological Framework Pilot Projects: Synthesis of Lessons Learned,” which is available at: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/168763.aspx. This report presents an overview of the TCAPP and IEF pilot studies and highlights and synthesizes key findings of the research.

For more information on TCAPP, contact Gary Jensen (FHWA Office of Human Environment) at 202-366-2048, Spencer Stevens (FHWA Office of Planning) at 717-221-4512, or Larry Anderson (FHWA Resource Center’s Planning and Freight Technical Services Team) at 720-963-3268. For more information on the IEF, contact Marlys Osterhues (FHWA Office of Project Development and Environmental Review) at 202-366-2052 or David Williams (FHWA Resource Center’s Environment and Realty Technical Services Team) at 410-962-2482.

Pre-Publication Report for SHRP2 Project C15 (Freight Planning Guide):

On December 10, 2013, TRB posted the Pre-Publication Report for SHRP2 Project C15 entitled “Integrating Freight Considerations into the Highway Capacity Planning Process: Practitioner’s Guide,” which is available at: http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/170008.aspx. This report/guide synthesizes best practices of collaborative, market-based highway-freight planning and provides examples of how State DOTs and MPOs might improve the quality of their interactions with the freight community in four key phases (long-range transportation planning, program development, corridor planning, and project development/environment/NEPA).

For more information on SHRP2 Project C15, contact Spencer Stevens (FHWA Office of Planning) at 202- 366-0149, Crystal Jones (FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations) at 202-366-2976, or Larry Anderson (FHWA Resource Center’s Planning and Freight Technical Services Team) at 720-963-3268.

Name Change for TCAPP

In December 2013, AASHTO (with FHWA concurrence) recommended a new name for the SHRP project TCAPP, which will now be known as “PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects.” For more information on PlanWorks, contact Gary Jensen (FHWA Office of Human Environment) at 202-366-2048, Spencer Stevens (FHWA Office of Planning) at 717-221-4512, or Larry Anderson (FHWA Resource Center’s Planning and Freight Technical Services Team) at 720-963-3268.

TRB’s Annual SHRP2 Accomplishments Report

On January 3, 2014, TRB released the summary report entitled “SHRP2 2013: Our Year in Review,” which is available at: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/170111.aspx. This report briefly summarizes the program’s major accomplishments in 2013 for each of the four focus areas (Capacity, Renewal, Safety, and Reliability). Also included is a listing of 2014 SHRP Tuesdays Webinars. For more information on SHRP2 Capacity products/solutions, contact James Garland (HEP’s SHRP2 Capacity Program Manager) at 202-366-0233 or Larry Anderson (FHWA Resource Center’s Planning and Freight Technical Services Team) at 720-963-3268.

Implementation Assistance Program “Round 3” Applications for SHRP2 Solution C20 (Freight Demand Modeling and Data Improvement)

On January 17, 2014, FHWA (in partnership with AASHTO) launched the third round of the Implementation Assistance Program (IAP) that can help transportation agencies deploy new products developed under SHRP2. One of the five products included within “Round 3” is SHRP2 Solution C20 (Freight Demand Modeling and Data Improvement). Approximately 10 Proof of Concept Pilot opportunities will be available for C20. The “Round 3” application deadline is February 14, 2014, with the announcement of “Round 3” IAP funding recipients to be made on March 28, 2014. Additional information on “Round 3” of the IAP is available at: www.fhwa.dot.gov/goSHRP2.

For more information on SHRP2 Solution C20, contact Ed Strocko (FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations) at 202-366-2997 or Vidya Mysore (FHWA Resource Center’s Planning and Freight Technical Services Team) at 404-562-3929.

SHRP II Project C40 “Integration of National-Level Geospatial, Ecological Tools and Data”

The TRB Committee working on the SHRP II Project C40 “Integration of National-Level Geospatial, Ecological Tools and Data” is hosting a workshop on the project during the AASHTO GIS-T Symposium in May. The primary objective of this project was to develop an integrated, geospatial, ecological screening tool for early transportation planning that produces results that can carry through and inform the environmental review process. This tool will advance both Eco-Logical and the Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF) by providing the transportation community with the means to identify and analyze environmental impacts at a regional scale. There are many emerging tools, but none appear to meet this objective.

This objective was accomplished through development of a geospatial tool, accessed on the Web, which draws much of its data and perhaps analytical capabilities from existing tools largely through Web services. This will leverage, possibly through portals established by others, existing and emerging tools and data sets for efficient and effective environmental analysis in transportation planning, corridor planning, and programming. The tool will, at a minimum, help users investigate, identify, and obtain data and other information useful for environmental screening in transportation planning. A secondary objective is to support collaborative decision making as embodied in the IEF.

They will be discussing the new tool developed as part of the project, the three case studies it was used on, and how other States can make use of it. For more information about the Workshop see www.gis-t.org or contact Michael Lamprecht, michael.lamprecht@dot.gov, 202-366-6454.

The pre-publication reports from these eight pilot tests are available from the TRB at: http://www.trb.org/StrategicHighwayResearchProgram2SHRP2/PilotTestsofTCAPPandtheIntegratedEcologicalFramewo.aspx.

SHRP Publications

SHRP2 Capacity Project C11 (Improved Economic Analysis Tools) has released a pre-publication, non-edited version of a report entitled “Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation,” which is available at: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/169524.aspx. These tools are housed within the Transportation Project Impact Case Studies (T-PICS) website at: http://www.tpics.us/tools/.

SHRP’s Reliability Project L08 has released a prepublication, non-edited version of a report titled Incorporation of Travel Time Reliability into the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) that serves as a supplement to the Proposed Chapters for Incorporating Travel Time Reliability into the HCM prepared for this same project. You can find it and the HCM chapters at: http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/169594.aspx.

SHRP Publications Catalog

Having trouble keeping track of all of the SHRP prepublications and documents? The SHRP 2 program has released a catalog of the program’s available reports that document more than 100 research projects. The catalog also highlights publications that provide guidance and tools to help implement SHRP 2 research results. You can find it at: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/170165.aspx.


Treatment of Development and Implementation of Asset Management Plans and Performance Based Management Costs

On Nov. 27, 2013, FHWA issued a memorandum clarifying the eligibility of costs for development and implementation of State asset management plans and performance-based management under MAP-21. States may use the following categories of Federal-aid Highway Program funds to implement their specific management systems and performance plans:

National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) funds, for asset management on National Highway System (NHS) roads (23 U.S.C. 119(d)(2)(K)).

Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, for asset management on any public road (23 U.S.C. 133(b)(24)).

State Planning and Research (SPR) funds, for the development and implementation of management systems, plans, and processes under 23 U.S.C. 119 (NHS Facilities and Performance Plans), 23 U.S.C.148 (Safety), 23 U.S.C. 149 (CMP), and 23 U.S.C. 167 (Freight) (23 U.S.C. 505(a)(3)).

You can find the entire memorandum at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/treatmgsyscst2013.pdf. If you have any questions, please contact Lorrie Lau, lorrie.lau@dot.gov, or 415-744-2628.


Economic Development Conference

FHWA is co-sponsoring the 2014 International Transportation Economic Development (ITED) Conference, April 9-11, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. ITED is a conference organized under the auspices of TRB’s Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, and is co-sponsored by a number of other transportation organizations, such as AASHTO. The conference will provide insight and information concerning the following topics:

Economic development implications of alternative transportation funding and financing strategies.
Economic development potential of passenger transport and freight rail infrastructure.
Assessing the economic development effects and community change of transit-oriented development.
International, national and regional economic development impacts of the Panama Canal expansion.
Linkages of international trade, economic development and transportation corridors and facilities.
Economic development implications of transportation disinvestment.
Climate change mitigation effects on transportation investments and sustainable economic development.
New perspectives on economic impact evaluation.
Economic development within the context of MAP-21 (July 2012 Re-Authorization Bill).
Transportation improvements and market competitiveness.

The following link provides more information: http://tti.tamu.edu/conferences/ited2014/.

TPCB Peer Program Reports

These reports have been added to the website of the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Peer Program:

Introducing Performance Management into the MPO Planning Process

This report highlights key recommendations and noteworthy practices identified at the peer exchange on “Introducing Performance Management into the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Planning Process” held on June, 19, 2013 in Bismarck, North Dakota and via video teleconference. The peer presenters, guest agencies, NDDOT District staff, Fargo and Grand Forks MPO staff, TPCB staff, and Volpe Center facilitator all participated virtually via NDDOT’s video teleconference (VTC) system. This exchange was the TPCB’s first fully virtual peer exchange, and as such, will provide useful insights into how to best use this technology for future exchanges.

City of Fresno Exchange on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

This peer exchange highlighted recommendations and best practices identified for bus rapid transit (BRT). The event was held on May 21 and May 22, 2013, in Fresno, California. This exchange was sponsored by the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Peer Program with involvement from the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute. First implemented in Curitiba, Brazil, in 1974 and introduced in the United States in the early 2000s, BRT is an innovative approach to traditional, urban public transportation that merges the efficiency of light rail systems with the flexibility and affordability of bus systems. BRT systems typically rely on advanced technologies, infrastructure, and operational investments that improve upon regular bus services. See:

North Central Texas Council of Governments Peer Exchange on Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Programs

This report highlights key recommendations and best practices identified at the peer exchange on bicycle and pedestrian count programs, held on May 29 and May 30, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. Transportation agencies have been monitoring motorized traffic for many years in order to analyze patterns; identify deficiencies in the transportation system; evaluate the impacts of projects; and inform future design, planning, and maintenance decisions. One of the greatest challenges facing bicycle and pedestrian planners seeking to perform comparable studies is the lack of data on usage and demand for non-motorized travel. To address this need, agencies have begun to implement monitoring and count programs for non-motorized traffic. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) requested this peer exchange to learn about different approaches for setting up and operating bicycle and pedestrian count programs to inform transportation planning.

Check out our other Transportation Planning Capacity Building resources at http://planning.dot.gov.

IPD Academy Webinars

The FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery (IPD) has announced their webinars scheduled through May 2014. There webinars are free and open to everyone who is interested. Each webinar is offered from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. EST. Through the use of web conferencing technology, participants can view the presentations on their computer and hear the audio portion of the presentations either via the computer or telephone, depending on their preference.

Here is the schedule of the upcoming webinars. You can register for each webinar at the following links:

Mar. 13, 2014 P3 Evaluation: Financial Assessment 201 (Prerequisites: Project Risk Assessment 201 and Public Sector Comparator/ Shadow Bid 201) Webinar

Mar. 20, 2014 State Infrastructure Banks (SIB) 101 Webinar

Apr. 18, 2014 P3 Evaluation: Financial Assessment 201 Webinar. Registrants for the P3 Evaluation: Financial Assessment 201 Webinar, will automatically be registered for this webinar.

For questions, contact Dana Williams, dana.williams@dot.gov, or 202-366-1616.


Interim CMAQ Program Guidance

On Nov. 12, 2013, FHWA issued Interim Guidance for the CMAQ program. This guidance replaces the October 2008 edition and provides information on the CMAQ program, including:

Authorization levels and apportionment changes specific to the MAP-21
Flexibility and transferability provisions available to States
Geographic area eligibility for CMAQ funds
Project eligibility information
Project selection processes
Program administration
Annual reporting
Performance management

The guidance has been prepared by the Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Team in Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Natural Environment, in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Office of Planning and Environment. You can find the updated Guidance at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq/policy_and_guidance/2013_guidance/index.cfm.

NTAQS 2014

The Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (NTAQS) 2014 will be held in Pittsburgh in August 2014. This meeting is held biennially in even years and alternates with its southern cousin the Southern Transportation and Air Quality Summit (STAQS) in odd years. The summit is a meeting of FHWA and other Federal agencies such as EPA, State DOTs, Regional MPOs, local air quality, transportation and planning organizations, and their consultates to discuss the transportation and air quality topics important to the region. This year’s summit will be co-sponsored by FHWA, PennDOT and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC – the MPO for the Pittsburgh area). Topics typically covered include: regulations and their impacts to the region, analysis and modeling requirements, climate change, programs such as CMAQ and other topics related to transportation and air quality.

This year’s meeting will consider legislative updates including reauthorization and MAP-21, the NAAQS Standards, conformity, transportation and energy topics, climate change and sustainability, programs for funding air quality improvements, analysis and modeling at both the regional and the local level, and roadside monitoring issues. Several selected organizations, MPOs, and State agencies will provide feedback to the meeting through a panel discussion. The summit may also provide some opportunities for training on policy or technical topics. For more information on the NTAQS 2014 Meeting, contact Kevin Black at kevin.black@dot.gov, or 410-962-2177.

CO Categorical Hot-Spot Finding

FHWA has made a carbon monoxide (CO) categorical hot-spot finding, a streamlined approach for project-level conformity on some projects in carbon monoxide nonattainment and maintenance areas. The CO categorical hot-spot finding is issued pursuant to the transportation conformity rule at 40 CFR 93.123(a)(3) and can be used on urban highway projects that include one or more intersections in CO maintenance areas (except in California). Project sponsors may be able to rely on the categorical hot-spot finding in place of doing their own CO hot-spot analysis as part of a project-level conformity determination in CO maintenance areas. The FHWA consulted with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) during the development of the CO categorical hot-spot finding.

All the documentation associated with the CO categorical hot-spot finding, including the technical document and modeling files can be found on FHWA’s CO categorical finding website. When a particular project falls within the acceptable range of modeling parameters, such as traffic volume, truck percentages, etc., the project sponsor would reference the finding in their project-level conformity determination in their NEPA document without running the hot-spot analysis themselves. The project sponsor would document that they are relying on FHWA’s analysis. To aid the implementation, FHWA has developed a web-based tool for project sponsors to determine if the project’s parameters fall within the acceptable range of modeled parameters to rely on the CO categorical hot-spot finding.

Please contact Emily Biondi at emily.biondi@dot.gov or 202-366-9482, or Cecilia Ho at cecilia.ho@dot.gov or 202-366-9862 if you have any questions.

MAP - 21 Changes to CEs

On January 13, 2014, FHWA and FTA published a final rulemaking updating their joint procedures that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by adding new categorical exclusions (CE) for projects within an existing operational right-of-way and projects receiving limited Federal funding, as described in sections 1316 and 1317, respectively, of the MAP–21.

The first CE is for any project located within an existing operational right-of-way and the second CE is for any project that receives less than $5 million of Federal funds or with a total estimated cost of not more than $30 million and Federal funds comprising less than 15 percent of the total estimated cost, respectively. Please note that these new CEs are effective on 02/12/2014. The link to the details of the Final Rule is at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/01/13/2014-00370/environmental-impact-and-related-procedures.

Documenting Ped and Bike Networks

The draft USDOT Strategic Plan establishes as a goal the creation of connected pedestrian and bicycle networks. These multimodal networks will contribute to making walking and bicycling viable transportation choices in communities throughout the U.S., while also improving safety, health, and other outcomes. In the coming months, the Livability Team in the Office of Human Environment will be working to define and document the concept of pedestrian and bicycle “networks.” This documentation process will serve as the first step to tracking progress in network creation and expansion over time. The Livability Team will be working closely with the FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Work Group and will also be reaching out to Division Office Pedestrian and Bicycle Points of Contact, State DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinators, and others. If you have questions or would like to offer feedback, please feel free to contact Dan Goodman, daniel.goodman@dot.gov, or 202-366-9064.


FHWA’s Livable Community Resources

The FHWA offers several resources for transportation professionals and the public interested in livable communities and activities stemming from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

• FHWA’s Fostering Livable Communities Newsletter presents real-world examples of ways that transportation investments promote livability, such as providing access to good jobs, affordable housing, quality schools, and safer roads. To read past issues of the newsletter, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/newsletter/. To subscribe to the newsletter, visit GovDelivery.

• The FHWA Livable Communities Discussion Board is an online public forum for users to participate in discussion threads and engage with colleagues on questions and ideas related to livable communities. Have a question or idea to post? Check out the site at: www.transportationresearch.gov/dot/fhwa/livablecommunities/.

• The FHWA Livability Website provides information about the FHWA Livability Initiatives and related activities and updates on the HUD/DOT/EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The website includes fact sheets, case studies, recordings of past webinars, and a variety of other resources. Learn more at: www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability.


FHWA External Webinar Series

The Transportation Planning Information Exchange webinar series is a comprehensive web-based forum that will connect the transportation planning community with timely information on training, technical assistance, and technical support for Federal, State, local, regional and Tribal governments, transit operators and community leaders. Topics will reach beyond traditional transportation planning to address issues like scenario planning, land-use modeling, livability, environmental quality, operations, and maintenance.

The next webinar is:

Feb. 27, 2014 Green House Gas Mitigation

Contact: Rae Keasler, rae.keasler@dot.gov, at 202-366-0329.


Talking Freight

The Talking Freight seminars are sponsored by the FHWA and are held via web conference. The seminars are held on the third Wednesday of each month, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST. The first hour of each seminar is dedicated to the presentations and the remaining 30 minutes are for audience question and answer. Future webinars are:

Mar. 19, 2014 Tentatively Truck Parking

Apr. 16, 2013 Tentatively FRATIS

Primary Freight Network (PFN)

In November 2013, FHWA released a draft highway Primary Freight Network for comment. The comments period for the draft initial designation of the highway PFN closes on February 15, 2014. The PFN was required by 23 U.S.C. 167(d) and the notice provides information regarding State designation of Critical Rural Freight Corridors (CRFCs) and the establishment of the complete National Freight Network (NFN), and to solicit comments on aspects of the NFN. The five areas for comment are: (1) Specific route deletions, additions, or modifications to the draft initial designation of the highway PFN contained in this notice; (2) the methodology for achieving a 27,000 mile final designation; (3) how the NFN and its components could be used by freight stakeholders in the future; (4) how the NFN may fit into a multimodal National Freight System; and (5) suggestions for an urban-area route designation process. FHWA have already begun reviewing the comments received and appreciate the thoughtfulness and insight many people have provided on the PFN and how to make it stronger and more useful. In the coming months FHWA will start making modifications to the draft network and expect to release a preliminary network in mid-2014.

In the meantime FHWA has been working with its Division Offices and representatives of State DOTs to develop the guidance for designating the CRFCs. The agency expects to release this guidance shortly to allow the States to start working on the designation of these routes.

Rural Safety Planning

The FHWA Office of Safety is in the process of conducting a project to assist Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) in the integration of safety into the transportation planning process to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on the roadways in their regions. As part of this process, FHWA are also seeking best/noteworthy practices from established RPOs who are already engaged in safety activities. For this, FHWA needs your assistance:

Are there RPO/Rural Transportation Provider Organizations in your state that are actively engaged in transportation safety activities?

What is the nature of their safety activity?

You can find out more at the Safety Technical Forum, or from Rosemarie Anderson, rosemarie.anderson@dot.gov, or 202-366-5007 or Dave Harris, dave.harris@dot.gov, or 334-274-6345.


Connecting Kentuckiana

The Louisville-Southern Indiana MPO (KIPDA) is updating their Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Connecting Kentuckiana, using new and innovative techniques. The once accepted idea that the flow of people moving to the suburbs and living on larger tracts of land would continue unabated is slowly shifting as existing urban areas are seeing more growth and new urban areas, or planned developments, are gaining in popularity.

Another factor driving the changing landscape is that funding priorities are shifting toward maintaining the existing transportation system before expanding it. In order to respond to the evolving landscape, KIPDA has approached the Connecting Kentuckiana update by identifying needs, determining solutions to those needs, and measuring impacts by using a goal driven performance analysis. The first and last mile of a trip are typically the most critical to people as they consider what mode of transportation they will utilize and what route they may take in order to complete their trip. By introducing new and enhancing existing mode choices, options are made available to transportation users that may reduce the negative impacts associated with limited modal options. In order to address the first and last mile of a trip, analysis is required that looks closely at where people are going and what options exist for them to get there. Employing GIS analysis in a unique way, KIPDA staff was able to combine several geo-coded data sets, as well as public comment, and identify clusters of attractions.

The Connecting Kentuckiana Community Workshops not only introduced new and innovative tools to collecting public comment, but took extraordinary steps to integrate comments into the planning process. Beginning with hosting twenty-four workshops over a six week period, the input process involved engagement through social media, a Connecting Kentuckiana Microsite, an extensive survey process geared toward modal decision-making, one-on-one meetings with various area stake-holders and issue oriented organizations, and geo-coding of participants’ issues into a GIS database for later analysis. Combining the multiple approaches in order to better understand the issues people are facing on a day-to-day basis, and some of the reasons behind the modal decisions they make introduced a valuable and meaningful public component in a tangible format that is new and innovative to transportation planning. For more information, see http://www.connectingkentuckiana.com/.

Climate Change / Extreme Weather Pilot Project

In 2012, FHWA solicited for proposals for piloting approaches to conduct climate change and extreme weather vulnerability assessments of transportation infrastructure, to analyze options for adapting and improving resiliency. The Connecticut DOT’s proposal was awarded funding to conduct a systems-level vulnerability assessment of bridge and culvert structures between 6 and 20 feet in length from inland flooding associated with extreme rainfall events. The study area is in the rural Northwest corner of the state, and was chosen because it has had a high incidence of road closures and cost impacts from extreme weather events. The goal of the assessment is to produce an evaluation of each structure’s hydraulic and structural adequacy to withstand these flooding events. Additionally, part of the pilot project includes considering each structure’s location within the roadway network and assigning a criticality value to the risk of structure failure related to emergency response and life and safety.

This past summer, Connecticut DOT engineers conducted field assessments of the structures. The engineers estimated water flows based on current rainfall data. They also examined the effects of the resulting flow estimates on structure adaptive capacity. The criticality component of the study is incorporating the hydraulic evaluations, data on at-risk populations, AADTs, FEMA flood zones, and emergency routes, as well as feedback from local emergency and public works personnel, among other factors. Connecticut DOT will complete the pilot project by the spring of 2015. For more information, contact Stephanie Molden, stephanie.molden@ct.gov, or 860-594-3160.

Upcoming TMIP Webinars

The following webinars are planned for the next six months. Please look out for our webinar announcements with specific dates and times delivered via GovDelivery. You can subscribe to the GovDelivery distribution lists on the TMIP website at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/tmip/.

Mar. 20, 2014 Presenter: Bhupendra Patel (AMBAG) Title: AMBAG’s Experience and Usefulness of the TMIP Peer Review process

Apr. 10, 2014 Presenter: Sam Granato (OhioDOT) Title: The When, Where and Why of Travel Time Data

May 22, 2014 Presenter: Hsi-Hwa (SCAG) Title: New Activity-Based Model for Southern California: Addressing Variety of Urban Conditions and Impact of Accessibility on Travel Behavior

Participants do not need to preregister to attend the webinar. All webinars start at 2:00 PM. Attendance is limited to 100 connections and is first-come, first-served. You can log on to the webinar at: http://fhwa.adobeconnect.com/tmipvirtualseminars/.


BAA Solicitation

The FHWA is now looking to “Advance Transportation Planning through Innovation and Research” through its Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). The objective of this BAA is to advance the practice and application of transportation planning among State, metropolitan, regional, local, and Tribal transportation planning governments in response to significant changes in the planning process and to identify new tools, techniques, and approaches that respond to national transportation planning priorities.

The FHWA’s research program funds innovation such areas as planning capacity building, congestion management, safety planning, public involvement, travel modeling, environmental justice, visualization in planning, freight planning, planning and environmental linkages, and pedestrian and bicycle planning and design.

Examples of travel modeling related research may be methodological innovation in:

Processing and analyzing large passive data sets collected via various media;
Using large passive data sets for analyzing current travel behavior and forecasting near future travel;
Using large passive data sets to assist calibrating and validating travel modeling techniques;
Providing strategies and methods for evaluating the effectiveness of travel forecasting techniques;

To apply, applicants should go to https://www.fbo.gov/ under the heading “Advancing Transportation Planning Through Innovation & Research” to submit your proposal. The Solicitation Number is DTFH6114R00019. Here is the direct link: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=46b5c187590e07a4ee6a60f6593a6b84&tab=core&_cview=0.


Discipline Award Nominations

Nominations are being accepted by FHWA staff for the 2014 Planning Discipline Awards. Nominations may be submitted through the Planning Discipline Awards Program page found on the Planning Discipline SharePoint site. The nomination deadline is March 28, 2014. The Planning Discipline Awards Program allow members the opportunity to nominate peers for Planning Discipline Awards in any of the following categories:

• Lifetime Achievement
• Planner of the Year
• Transportation Planning Collaboration
• Transportation Planning Innovation

The Planning Discipline Awards Program offers a simplified nomination process for each of the Planning Award categories. Nominations are submitted and edited directly through SharePoint to a private folder that is only visible and accessible by the author of the nomination. This on-line approach enables you to submit and edit nominations throughout the nomination period which ends on March 28, 2014.

For more information about the Planning Discipline Awards Program and the Planning Discipline Awards SharePoint site, please contact Theresa Hutchins, theresa.hutchins@dot.gov, or 360-753-9402.

Developmental Opportunities through the Planning Discipline

Applications to participate in FHWA Planning Discipline activities including the Planning Discipline Team (PDT) and other Ad Hoc teams are currently being accepted via the Developmental Assignment Clearinghouse. The Planning Leadership Council relies on field planner input to ensure that internal discipline activities are meaningful and helpful.

Many Planning Discipline activities are developed by the seven-member Planning Discipline Team (PDT). For example, the Planning Discipline Mentoring program was designed by the PDT. Each PDT member serves a one-year term and terms are staggered so that new members are solicited about every 6-months.

Justin Luther, Transportation Planner, NE Division, currently serves as a PDT Co-Leader and has this to say about his experience on the PDT:

“Being a member and Co-Leader of the PDT has been a great experience to work on matters that will have an impact on the Planning Disciplines’ long term growth. A valuable aspect of being involved with the PDT is the experience and interaction with the Planning Leadership Council. The teams’ central role is to develop ideas and products to help shape the future of the Planning Discipline. It has been a wonderful chance for me to gain a more corporate appreciation of the FHWA Planning Discipline.”

Applications submitted through the Developmental Assignment Clearinghouse are maintained for other Discipline Ad Hoc Team activities throughout the year. Ken Shooshan-Stoller, Transportation Planner, CT Division, served on the Boot Camp Phase II Ad Hoc team and has this to say about his experience on the team:

“This experience provided me with a wider perspective of the agency’s goals in the planning realm, and a greater appreciation of team dynamics in accomplishing a goal. I had a chance to work with excellent folks from HQ, Resource Centers, and Volpe, as well as other state Divisions to form a program that hopefully will be helpful to others. I found that the Boot Camp development process and structure also allowed exposure to team leading and research experiences that I can apply to other endeavors.”

The deadline to apply is Friday, April 11, 2014. If you have any questions about the application process or developmental assignments with the Planning Discipline, please contact Jocelyn Jones, jocelyn.jones@dot.gov, 410-962-2486.

Certification Process Website

FHWA has updated the FHWA/FTA TMA Oversight and Certification Process Website. The update includes improvements to the certification report database related to the designation of new TMA boundaries (based on the 2010 Census), and a revised login procedure. Note the website continues to be open only to US DOT staff. US DOT/Volpe Center to plan a webinar training session in the next couple of months to refresh current users on how the website and database work, to train new staff, and to gather feedback on potential future enhancements.
Improvements Included in this update:

2010 Census TMAs added and mapped to MPO planning boundaries (changes are behind the scenes on the back end)
Search function upgraded to allow searching by MPO as well as TMA… the drop downs auto-populate with the relevant lists when State, Region, or TMA is selected.
TMA information table updated to include 2010 Census information
MPO information table updated – links to certification reports added
New link for users to submit requests/notes related to database content (e.g., MPO/TMA mapping incorrect, missing certification report, other)

Continue to take advantage of this resource, which contains many years of TMA Certification Reports and the Certification Review Handbook. Also, please don’t forget to submit completed certification review reports and the transmittal letters to the FHWA/FTA HQ Offices (copy to Volpe, to Bill Lyons, William.Lyons@dot.gov) to add reports to the database).

Let’s Talk Planning

The FHWA and FTA strive to provide the planning staff with current policy information, guidance, and an opportunity for dialogue on key programmatic issues. The “Let’s Talk Planning” (LTP) series of web meetings are information-sharing sessions for the FHWA and FTA planners. These internal meetings are generally held the second Wednesday, every three months via webinar at 1 p.m. EST. Material from previous LTP sessions can be found on the FHWA Planning Discipline SharePoint site.

Mark your calendars! The scheduled date for the upcoming 2014 webinars is:

March 27, 2014 MAP-21 Section 1319 Accelerated Decision-Making in Environmental Reviews

June 11, 2014 TBD

If you have suggestions for LTP sessions, contact: Rae Keasler, rae.keasler@dot.gov, or 202-366-0329, Ed Christopher, ed.christopher@dot.gov, or 708-283-3534.

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/FTA staff and will generally last 90 minutes to two hours.

Mark your calendars. The dates of the 2014 POW sessions are:

Apr. 15, 2014 STIP Management

May 20, 2014 TBD

If you cannot attend the POW session for a particular month, the presentations and other information resources are available on the FHWA Planning Discipline SharePoint Reference Library. An Outlook appointment for each session will be sent to the FHWA Field Planners’ e-mail group approximately three weeks before each session. We hope to “see” you at the next session and 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.

We need to hear from you!

The Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program is seeking innovative transportation planning projects, plans, and practices. Highlighting successful projects on the TPCB website is a great way to showcase the excellent work by agencies in your state. We want to hear about innovative public involvement techniques. We are interested in sharing your performance based transportation planning and programming approaches. We’ll take what you have and share it with the rest of the transportation planning community.

If your project, plan or practice has been completed within the last three years, please email the project title, agency, and contact information, 300-word project description, and a photograph of the project (if available) to TPCB@dot.gov. Please note that by submitting this information, the photograph and write-up may be used in future publications. Visit the TPCB Innovative Project Feature website at http://planning.dot.gov/innovative_proj.asp . For more information, please contact michelle.noch@dot.gov .


Staff Changes

There have been changes in staff recently.

From Office To Office

FHWA Offices

Leah Sirmin NV Div. MA Div. Planning
Kris Riesenberg AR Div. MN Div. Planning
Calvin Edghill FEMA NJ Planning
Brenda Perez PDP NY Div.
Kevin Jones PDP NE Div.
Scott Allen PDP TN Div.
Will Clinton PDP TX Div.
Julian Merchant Boston OR Div.


FHWA Resource Center Training

For information, see contacts at: www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planningair/. You can find the Planning Menu of Resource Center technical assistance and training at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planningair/courses.cfm.

3/5/2014 3/6/2014 Performance Based Planning & Programming New York City, NY

3/11/2014 CTPP Cookeville, TN

Late March Performance Based Planning & Programming Philadelphia, PA for PA, NJ, & DE

April Performance Based Planning & Advancing Planning for Operations, Kansas City, MO

4/16/2014 4/17/2014 Integrating Planning for Operations into Metropolitan Transportation Plans & Programs, Kansas City, MO

5/14/2014 5/15/2014 Planning and Environmental Linkages Workshop, San Angelo, TX

National Transit Institute Training

For registration instructions see: www.ntionline.com/CourseDates.asp. For session dates, see below.

Start Date End Date Location

03/06/2014 03/06/2014 Garden City, NY
Understanding ADA

03/18/2014 03/20/2014 Anchorage, AK
Public Involvement in Transportation Decisionmaking,

03/19/2014 03/20/2014 Newark, NJ
National Transit Database (Urban Reporting)

03/19/2014 03/20/2014 National Transit Database (Urban Reporting), Newark, NJ

03/31/2014 03/31/2014 Long Beach, CA
Understanding ADA

04/11/2014 04/11/2014 Oklahoma City, OK
Understanding ADA

National Highway Institute Courses

Visit the NHI Web site at: www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/home.aspx. Also, you can now view the schedule of web conferences at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/eventcalendar.aspx.

The FHWA has invested in web-based courses to make it easier for people to get the training they need.
Interested in taking an NHI web-based Training (WBT) Course? View this help guide on enrolling in an NHI WBT course. Please click here for a complete list of NHI web-based courses.

Scheduled Courses in the Next Quarter:

Start Date End Date Location

3/6/2014 3/6/2014 St. Paul, MN
Freight and Land Use Workshop

3/11/2014 3/12/2014 Raleigh, NC
Highway Program Financing

3/11/2014 3/13/2014 Bismarck, ND
Highway Traffic Noise

3/18/2014 3/19/2014 Boise, ID
Pedestrian Facility Design

3/18/2014 3/20/2014 Concord, NH
Access Management, Location, and Design

3/18/2014 3/20/2014 Harrisburg, PA
NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

3/20/2014 3/20/2014 Lansing, MI
Freight and Land Use Workshop

3/24/2014 3/25/2014 Newington, CT
Federal-Aid Highways - 101 (State Version)

3/25/2014 3/26/2014 Sterling, VA
Pedestrian Facility Design

3/26/2014 3/27/2014 Sterling, VA
Bicycle Facility Design

4/1/2014 4/2/2014 Atlanta, GA
Traffic Monitoring Programs: Guidance and Procedures

4/16/2014 4/17/2014 Shoreview, MN
Fundamentals of Title VI/Environmental Justice

4/16/2014 4/17/2014 Concord, NH
Pedestrian Facility Design

4/1/2014 4/3/2014 Arlington, VA
Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development

4/15/2014 4/16/2014 Anchorage, AK
Federal-Aid Highways - 101 (State Version)

7/14/2014 7/18/2014 Newington, CT
Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting


2014 Calendar

March 12, 2014 TRB Webinar: Potential Use of Social Media in the NEPA Process

Spring 2014 TRB Innovations in Travel Demand Forecasting–2014, Baltimore, Maryland

April 1-4, 2014 Joint Rail Conference
Colorado Springs, Colorado

April 9-11, 2014 TRB Fifth International Transportation and Economic Development Conference, Dallas, TX

April 7-10 2014 US Forest Service “To Bridge A Gap” Conference Fayetteville, AR

April 16, 2014 HUD/DOT/EPA Region 6 Roundtable Discussion, Garland, TX

April 22-25, 2014 NAFTANEXT: Energizing Sustainable Trade Corridors Across North America - The Intersection of Energy, Environment, Jobs, and Growth,
Chicago, Illinois

April 26-30 APA National Conference, Atlanta, GA

April 27-30, 2014 TRB Innovations in Travel Demand Forecasting - 2014, Baltimore, Maryland

April 28-30, 2014 TRB 10th National Conference on Transportation Asset Management, Miami, Florida

May 5-8, 2014 AASHTO GIS for Transportation Symposium, Burlington, Vermont

May 13 - 16, 2014 National Outdoor Recreation Conference, San Francisco, CA

May 21-22, 2014 FHWA - TRB Developing Freight Fluidity Performance Measures Workshop, Washington, DC

June 3-5, 2014 Texas Department of Transportation Planning Conference, Corpus Christi, TX

June, 2014 NARC 48th Annual Conference and Exhibition, Louisville, Kentucky

June 29 - July 2, 2014 TRB North American Travel Monitoring Exposition and Conference, Chicago, Illinois

July 20-23, 2014 TRB Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration Committee Summer Conference, Portsmouth, NH

July 21-23, 2014 TRB 14th National Conference on Transportation Planning in Small and Medium Sized Communities, Burlington, VT

Aug.10 - 13, 2014 Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting and Exhibit, Seattle, Washington

Sept. TRB Sixth Biennial Northeast Transportation and Wildlife Conference, Burlington, VT

Sept. TRB Transportation-Related Environmental Analysis Summer Conference, Nashville, TN

Sept. 7 - 10, 2014 Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sept. 7 - 10, 2014 Intelligent Transportation Society 2014 Annual Meeting, Detroit, Michigan

Oct. 2014 National Association of City Transportation Officials 2014, Annual Meeting

Oct. 12 - 15, 2014 ITS America 2014 Annual Meeting,
Houston, Texas

Oct. 21 - 24, 2014 AMPO Annual Conference,
Atlanta, Georgia

FHWA Planning, Environment and Realty:

FHWA Resource Center:
Transportation Research Board:


Photo Credits:

Page 1 left - Envision Utah from Public Roads Sept./Oct. 2005

Page 1 left center - Forest highway, Photo courtesy of istockphotos

Page 1 right center - Portland light rail, Photo courtesy of istockphotos

Page 1 right - Church St. Marketplace, Burlington, VT. Retrieved from Wiki Travel http://wikitravel.org/en/Burlington_%28Vermont%29

Page 3 - SHRP 2 Logo courtesy of FHWA

Page 6 -SHRP Catalog Cover courstey of TRB

Page 7 - IPD Logo courtesy of FHWA

Page 8 - Corridor Study report cover from South Western Connecticut Regional Planning Agency website

Page 8- NTAQS logo courtesy of FHWA

Clip Art courtesy of Microsoft


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) 562-3671

Rae Keasler, Co-Editor
Transportation Specialist
FHWA Office of Planning
(202) 366-0329

John Sprowls, Contributing Editor
Community Planner
FTA Office of Systems Planning
(202) 366-5332


Page last modified on June 5, 2017
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