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Planning and Air Quality

Publications: Transportation Planning Update

Fall Edition 2005

Jody McCullough
Transportation Planner, FHWA Office of Planning

Ben Williams
Metropolitan Planning Specialist, FHWA Resource Center

Hooray!! We finally have reauthorizing legislation! This is our first post reauthorization issue. Much of FHWA will be spending the next months summarizing and communicating what is in the new SAFETEA-LU. Many of the fact sheets have not been released yet. In this issue we will cover just a couple of the new items. We will have more in the Winter 2006 version.

In This Issue

SAFETEA-LU Planning Impacts
State Reimbursement of PL
Fiscal Constraint Guidance
Safety Conscious Planning
Integrated Planning & Environment
US 93 Corridor Mitigation 3 Freight Planning
State Trails Administrator Meeting
Enhancement Manger Meeting
Travel Model Improvement Program
Future NPTS Surveys
Tribal Planning Websites
Asset Management Peer Review
Resource Center Items
Missouri Advanced Planning Initiative
Scheduled Training Opportunities
Calendar of Events


Here's a chance to get a head start on getting acquainted with our title of the bill: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). You can find the entire bill and a series of Fact Sheets on each of the Bill’s sections on the reauthorization web site. Metropolitan and statewide transportation planning is largely addressed in Sections 3005, 3006, 6001, and 6011 (Conformity). As with ISTEA, the highway and transit sections are duplicates of the same requirements. Environmental changes are in sections 6002-6010.

SAFETEA-LU Planning Impacts

Some of the noteworthy revisions include:

· Revised Planning Factors (now a total of eight);
· Metropolitan Transportation Plan Update Cycles (at least every four years in nonattainment/maintenance areas and at least every five years elsewhere).
· TIP/STIP Scope and Update Cycles (covers four years and updated at least every four years).
· Expanded Consultation and Participation in Transportation Plan and TIP/STIP Development.
· Environmental Mitigation Activities have to be addressed in Metropolitan and Statewide Transportation Plans.
· Operational Management Strategies Activities have to be addressed in Metropolitan Transportation Plans.
· Annual Listing of Obligated Projects has to be published.
· Congestion Management Processes in Transportation Management Areas (TMAs).
· Expanded 4 year TMA Certification Cycle

When do we have to make the changes from the new requirements? As noted in Section 3005(b) and 6001(b): “Beginning July 1, 2007, State or MPO plan or program updates shall reflect [these] changes.” On September 2, 2005 FHWA and FTA issued interim guidance for implementing key SAFETEA-LU provisions on planning, environment and air quality. Included in the guidance:

· Transportation plans and programs currently under development may be completed under TEA-21 requirements and schedules.
· Transportation plans and programs adopted after July 1, 2007 must comply with all SAFETEA-LU planning provisions.
· States or MPOs opting to implement SAFETEA-LU requirements prior to July 1, 2007 must satisfy all SAFETEA-LU provisions prior to adoption of transportation plans and programs.
· FHWA/FTA certifications of TMAs may now be extended to four years (except for any existing “conditional” certifications, which must be completed as previously scheduled).

For copies of the complete interim guidance, check with your local FHWA Division Office or FTA Region. During the period prior to July 1, 2007, FHWA and FTA will be working on a rulemaking to implement the changes created by the legislation.


State Reimbursement of PL funds to MPOs

A provision in SAFETEA-LU regarding State reimbursement of metropolitan planning (PL) funds to MPOs. SAFETEA-LU Section 1007, Metropolitan Planning, added the following provision to 23 USC 104(f)(4):

"(B) REIMBURSEMENT.-Not later than 30 days after the date of receipt by a State of a request for reimbursement of expenditures made by a metropolitan planning organization for carrying out section 134, the State shall reimburse, from funds distributed under this paragraph to the metropolitan planning organization by the State, the metropolitan planning organization for those expenditures.’’

FHWA has informed State DOTs that this provision became effective when SAFETEA-LU was signed by the President and that all claims for reimbursement for PL funds that the State receives from an MPO after August 10 must be paid within 30 days of receipt of the MPO's request for reimbursement. This requirement will be reflected in a revision to 23 CFR Part 420, Planning and Research Program Administration, as soon as possible. If States have concerns about the accuracy of the reimbursement claim, they should still reimburse within 30 days, investigate the claim and withhold funds from any future reimbursements, if appropriate. If you have any questions, please contact Tony Solury 202-366-5003 or Ken Petty 202-366-6654.

Fiscal Constraint

FHWA/FTA Interim Guidance on Fiscal Constraint:

On June 30, 2005, FHWA and FTA jointly issued interim guidance, references, and worksheets entitled "Fiscal Constraint for STIPs, TIPs, and Metropolitan Transportation Plans." The interim guidance reinforces the ISTEA and TEA-21 fiscal constraint requirements to ensure that transportation plans and programs reflect realistic assumptions on capital, operations, and maintenance costs associated with the surface transportation system. The accompanying materials are intended to be utilized as tools by State DOTs, MPOs, and transit agencies in satisfying the FHWA/FTA requirements for fiscal constraint and financial plans in transportation planning and programming. The interim guidance and various support materials are available on the FHWA Office of Planning, Environment and Realty website. For additional information, please contact Larry Anderson, FHWA Office of Planning at (202) 366-2374 or Charlie Goodman, FTA Office of Systems Planning, at (202) 366-1944.

Safety Conscious Planning

Building upon the foundation established through the Safety Conscious Planning Forum and Course, the Georgia Division and the GDOT planning staff met to develop action items for MPO planning. One of the meeting’s objectives was to provide background information, examples of planning practices, to discuss performance measure development and analysis of crash data with the Critical Analysis Reporting Environment (CARE) package, and to encourage MPOs to make use of the analysis in their planning activities. CARE is a data analysis software system developed by the University of Alabama. GDOT has funded the CARE analysis for users in Georgia.

A good example of crash hot-spot analysis has been provided by the Valdosta MPO showing 3D imaging to portray this information dramatically. This has been used by the MPO in stressing project importance to elected officials and the public and coordinating enforcement efforts. For further information contact Andy Edwards, 404-562-3659 or Dana Robbins, 404-562-3642 at the Georgia Division Office.

Environmental Stewardship and Streamlining

Integrated Planning Workgroup Baseline Report

The Federal Interagency Task Force created by Executive Order 13274, Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews, established a workgroup to explore opportunities for integrated planning. Comments may be emailed to: projectstreamlining@ost.dot.gov. In addition to comments on the report, the workgroup is also seeking additional examples of integrated planning processes to use as case studies or pilot efforts.

US 93 Corridor Mitigation Plan
There is a long range mitigation plan under development for the US 93 corridor in Montana. The objective is to develop ecosystem based approaches to mitigation under the guidance of an interagency steering group, which includes USFWS, USFS, FHWA, USACE, MtDT, MtDNR, MtDEQ, and MtDFWP. One of the bases for mitigation planning is the Montana Habitat Conservation Plan, which is being developed by the MDFWP to focus on rare, critical or declining habitat types in the state. For more information contact Paul Garrett at 720-963-3071 .

Freight Planning

The long awaited launch of the freight modeling improvement program (FMIP) has materialized. Professionals involved in freight modeling now have a single site to obtain comprehensive information on various subjects and issues pertaining to freight modeling. The website is an interagency effort among the US Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Managed by the Office of Freight Management and Operations of the Federal Highway Administration, the function of the FMIP is to:

1. Improve the state-of-practice and state-of-art in freight forecasting and analysis models
2. Monitor the state-of-practice and state-of-art in freight demand models and the application of those models to transportation policy and planning at national, multi-state corridor, state, metropolitan, and local levels
3. Provide best-practice assessments, training, tool development, and other short-term improvements to local estimation and forecasting methods
4. Support research to develop a new generation of innovative, multidisciplinary freight models and tools for national, regional, and local transportation analyses
5. Promote consensus building among all freight stakeholders as to needed model improvements and data requirements, and encourage vendors and others to meet those needs

For further information, visit the website or contact: Tianjia Tang, Ph.D., PE at 202-366-2217

Recreational Trails

The Nation's State Trail Administrators will meet on September 20-22, 2005, in Newark, DE, hosted by Delaware State Parks.

They will discuss the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), including changes that may result from program reauthorization under new surface transportation legislation, and to explore other trail related issues. This is an opportunity for problem solving on specific RTP requirements and to share ideas on more effective use of resources. Delaware State Parks will offer on-the-ground trail training with hand tools and mechanized equipment, with input from the International Mountain Bicycling Association. American Trails will provide training on the Universal Trail Assessment Process. For more information.

For more information on the Recreational Trails Program.

Transportation Enhancements

The Nation's Transportation Enhancement Program Managers met on July 26-27, 2005, in Minneapolis, MN, just prior to the TrailLink 2005 conference. Participants discussed their experiences managing TE, attended workshops on issues such as environmental review processes and managing projects, and project eligibility issues. For more information on Transportation Enhancements.

Travel Model Improvement Program

The Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) recommends, supports and sponsors courses and seminars to further the state of the art and the state of the practice of travel demand forecasting. TMIP recommended courses are available through the National Highway Institute (NHI). These courses can be requested through the regular NHI process, and also are occasionally sponsored by TMIP for open enrollment. The NHI courses are Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting (NHI #152054A), Estimating Regional Mobile Source Emissions (NHI #152071A), and, currently being updated, Advanced Urban Travel Demand Forecasting (NHI #152060A).

TMIP has also developed three seminars on advanced modeling topics. TMIP Seminars are offered free of charge by TMIP several times a year. They are day-long workshops on the following topics: Forecasting Land Use Activities; Model Validation, Calibration and Reasonableness Checking; and Activity and Tour Based Forecasting. Seminars can also be offered"on demand." The courses and seminars are held in various locations around the country to accommodate and educate a wide audience.

To get the latest schedule or to register for modeling courses and seminars visit the TMIP web site.

This past May, over 100 transportation and data specialists met at a TRB Conference in Irvine, California to discuss issues related to the use and application of the American Community Survey (ACS), including the development of future CTPP-like products. The CTPP is a unique tabulation historically built from the decennial census “long form.” The latest version of CTPP uses the decennial census 2000, but as the “long form” is being replaced with the American Community Survey (ACS), any future CTPP will use the ACS as it’s data source.

The overall objectives of the conference were to assess the uses of the 2000 census data; review the current plans for ACS and assess its usefulness for transportation programs; review ACS-related research; and, recommend agency actions to improve transportation use of census products. Several MPOs, State DOTs and transit operators contributed to the poster session documenting their uses of Census data for transportation planning, including travel demand model calibration and validation for home-to-work trips, statewide travel demand model development, monitoring commuting trends as part of performance measures, reviewing transit equity in service delivery, and transit service planning. TRB anticipates electronic posting of the final recommendations in December 2005, and paper copies to be available by the TRB Annual Meeting in January 2006. Conference information, including several commissioned papers.

For more information about CTPP.

National Personal Travel Survey

Future Plans for Passenger Travel Data

States and MPOs have an opportunity to purchase additional samples to the National Personal Travel Survey to be conducted in 2007-2008. The next NPTS anticipates a strong participation by MPO and State DOTs via the NPTS Add-On program. These additional samples, along with random national samples collected in their area, will be compiled into a cleaned and geocoded database for ready application to local planning. Trips of all lengths, for all purposes, and by all modes will be collected. In the 2001 NHTS, nine add-on areas included five States and four MPOs, with a total of nearly 44,000 additional households.

The National Personal Travel Survey (NPTS) is the flagship survey of the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) on the travel behavior of the American public. It serves as a “benchmark” on all travel in the United States. Some of the changes that impact traffic and congestion include work force participation, vehicle ownership, daily Vehicle Miles of Travel, and trips by time-of-day. Data from this survey are available.

For more information on the Add-On program and plans for the 2007-2008 NPTS, please contact Susan Liss, NPTS Program Manager, FHWA (Susan.Liss@fhwa.dot.gov).

Tribal Planning

Tribal transportation planning activities have an updated presence on three FHWA planning websites.

The FHWA Native American Program Coordination staff provides guidance and technical assistance to federally recognized Native American tribes on a government-to-government basis and strives to improve communication with tribal governments by responding effectively to tribal transportation concerns. For your tribal transportation guidance and technical assistance needs, three websites have been updated:

· The Tribal Planning page on the FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program website provides a broad range of transportation planning resources for tribal leaders, State agencies, staff and elected officials. Included is information on legislation, regulations and guidance; training and educational opportunities; technical resources; as well as peer exchange reports about tribal government planning efforts.

The FHWA Native American Program Coordination page on the Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty website provides information on grant programs supporting tribal transportation; topic areas on planning, historic preservation and safety as applied to tribal governments; State liaison offices and activities; legal references; case studies; tribal transportation programs and links to the Tribal Technical Assistance Program.

· FHWA's Tribal Transportation Intranet website provides resources, references, and articles on tribal transportation issues intended for internal staff use and reference.

For further information, contact Tim Penney at (202) 366-2698; Robin Mayhew at (360) 753-9416; Kenneth Petty at (202) 366-6654.

Asset Management

State and Metropolitan Peers Discuss Benefits of Asset Management for Planning

FHWA Office of Planning has been working with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and other national, planning stakeholders to promote peer exchanges on key topics. One example is the Asset Management in Planning and Operations Peer Exchange, which took place in Washington, DC on September 7-8, 2004. The exchange was designed to assess current practices used to integrate asset management in the development of statewide, regional and local infrastructure funding programs and to identify research needs and potential areas for innovation.

One conclusion from the peer exchange is that agencies with more sophisticated asset management programs are realizing significant benefits from predictive models and the ability to analyze trend data. For example, Missouri DOT indicated that one of the largest benefits from asset management is the ability to perform what-if scenarios that predict system conditions based on assumed changes in funding levels or distribution factors. The report of the peer exchange was printed in June 2005.

Resource Center News

Planning Conference/Workshop Proceedings Available Soon!

The Western Plains MPO Conference proceedings will be available on the Resource Center web site and in CD format. For additional information on the conference, contact Mark Hoines at 605-224-7326. The Division Planners Workshop Proceedings will also be available on the Resource Center website. For additional information on the conference, please contact Susan Moe at 651-291-6109. If you have any questions regarding the proceedings and availability.

New Seminar Available: Coordinating Land Use and Transportation

The FHWA Resource Center Planning Technical Service Team, in cooperation with the FHWA Office of Planning has developed a 6-hour seminar to address challenges faced by planning professionals in dealing with land use and transportation activities. Contact: Jim Thorne, FHWA Resource Center Planning Team, 708-283-3538.

Let's Talk Planning

Division Planners participated in the “Let's Talk Planning” Video Conference, Thursday, September 8, 2005 to discuss SAFETEA-LU Planning Issues. Two videoconference sessions, 12:00 Noon Eastern and 3:00 PM Eastern were held. The next “Let’s Talk Planning” Video Conference will be held December 8.

News From Our Partners

Missouri "Map's" its Future

The Missouri Advance Planning (MAP) Initiative is a process designed to involve Missourians from every walk of life in defining what our transportation system could and should do for its citizens and how best to fulfill those expectations and its potential. MAP will consider all aspects of the transportation system, including roads and bridges, bicycle and pedestrian needs, rivers and ports, aviation, rail, freight and public transportation.
The MAP initiative is the beginning of a statewide dialogue on what the transportation system could and should do for its citizens and how best to fulfill those expectations and that potential. This initiative will produce “Missouri’s transportation vision” and will provide the building blocks for developing a shared plan of action that identifies the role everyone can play in creating the transportation system they want and deserve.

An extensive public involvement process including a 3100 person random dialed customer phone survey, focus groups and regional working groups are helping develop it. The website will have two innovative tools that the general public can use to evaluate MoDOT’s investments and operations:
An Investment and Decision making Tool and Missouri’s Funding Allocation Challenge. They are intended to show how reallocating money to one goal will effect the funding and performance of others. For more about MAP.

Scheduled Training Opportunities

These Workshops and courses have currently been scheduled for the next quarter.

National Transit Institute

For National Transit Institute registration instructions

9/26-28/2005 Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Programming Houston, TX

10/18/2005 Accessible Pedestrian Signals New Brunswick, NJ

10/26-28/2005 Introduction to Transportation /Air Quality Conformity Los Angeles, CA

10/26-28/2005 Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making Miami, FL

11/30/2005 - 12/1/2005 Statewide Transportation Planning New Orleans, LA

12/6-8/2005 Financial Planning in Transportation Boston, MA

12/14-16/2005 Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making Boston, MA

National Highway Institute

National Highway Institute information or contacts.

9/13-15/2005 #139002 Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning Schenectady, NY

9/13/2005 - 9/14/2005 #142043 The CMAQ Program: Purpose and Practice Pittsburgh, PA

9/13/2005 - 9/14/2005 #151039 Applying GIS and Spatial Data Technologies to Transportation and Resource Center “GIS for Environmental Streamlining& Stewardship” Atlanta, GA

9/13/2005 - 9/15/2005 #142005 NEPA and Transportation Decision Making Lansing, MI

9/20/2005 - 9/22/2005 #139002 Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning Mendota Heights, MN

9/27/2005 - 9/28/2005 #151039 Applying GIS and Spatial Data Technologies to Transportation and Resource Center “GIS for Environmental Streamlining& Stewardship” Lakewood, CO

9/27/2005 - 9/29/2005 #142005 NEPA and Transportation Decision Making Phoenix, AZ

9/29/2005 - 9/30/2005 #139001 Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process Olympia, WA

10/3/2005 - 10/7/2005 #152054 Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting Arlington, VA

10/4/2005 - 10/6/2005 #139002 Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning Salem, OR

10/17/2005 - 10/21/2005 #152054 Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting Frankfort, KY

10/18/2005 - 10/20/2005 #139002 Uses of Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning Austin, TX

11/1/2005 - 11/3/2005 #139002 Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning Raleigh, NC

11/15/2005 - 11/17/2005 #139002 Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning Phoenix, AZ

11/15/2005 - 11/19/2005 #152071 Estimating Regional Mobile Source Emissions Arlington, VA

12/2/2005 - 12/6/2005 #142005 NEPA and Transportation Decision Making Anchorage, AK

12/7/2005 - 12/9/2005 #142005 NEPA and Transportation Decision Making Anchorage, AK

12/13/2005 - 12/15/2005 #142005 NEPA and Transportation Decision Making Clearfield, PA

Travel Model Improvement Program Workshops

Details about Travel Model Improvement Program Workshops

More details about Travel Model Improvement Program Workshops

9/27/2005 Travel Model Calibration, Validation and Reasonableness Checking Seminar Ft. Worth, TX

9/28/2005 Activity and Tour Based Forecasting Seminar Ft. Worth, TX

9/29/2005 Forecasting Land Use Activities Seminar Ft. Worth, TX

10/3-7/2005 Introduction to Urban Travel Demand Forecasting Arlington, VA

11/8/2005 Travel Model Calibration, Validation and Reasonableness Checking Seminar New York, NY

11/9/2005 Activity and Tour Based Forecasting Seminar New York, NY

11/10/-2005 Forecasting Land Use Activities Seminar New York, NY

11/15-18/2005 Estimating Regional Mobile Source Emissions Arlington, VA

Calendar of Events

9/15-20/2005 AASHTO Annual Meeting, Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville, TN See: Contact : Hannah Whitney 202-624-5800

State Trail Administrators, Newark, DE

9/18-21/ 2005 International ACT Conference , Sponsored by the Association for Commuter Transportation Anaheim, CA

National Rural Transportation Peer Learning Conference
with the Development District Association of Appalachia and the National Association of Counties
Marriott Louisville Downtown Louisville, KY
Contact: Zanetta Doyle at 202-624-5257

9/26 - Sep 28/ 2005
American Public Transportation Association (APTA) EXPO 2005: International Public Transit Expo 2005
Dallas, TX

2005 Summit on Applications in Transportation Data
Atlanta, GA

CTE Teleconference Series: "Technologies to Improve Environmental Considerations in Transportation Decisions"

10/3-5/ 2005
2005 Northwest Regional Right of Way Conference
Coeur d'Alene, ID Contact Bob Snyder at 800-745-2752

NEPA Practice: 2005 Update
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, OR

10/11-14/ 2005 AMPO Annual Conference Hyatt Regency Denver, Denver, CO

12/08-9/2005 Data Requirements for Transportation Reauthorization Legislation Washington, DC

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

FHWA Planning, Environment and Realty Calendar

TRB Conferences & Workshops


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