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News & Updates

Springtime Planning Updates

Wider I-30 Plan Only Shifts Jams, Arkansas Planners Advise

  • Widening Interstate 30 across the Arkansas River and in portions of downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock would eventually cause bottlenecks and worsen congestion on other sections of the roadway as well as a part of Interstate 630, planning and highway officials said Wednesday. In an effort to be fully transparent, leaders want to solicit public feedback on changing how the proposed “30 Crossing” project is described in central Arkansas’ long-range transportation plan.

PLANNING

Regional Alliance in Southwestern Pennsylvania Seeks to Use Transportation as Economic Development Tool

  • Changing the road once known as state Route 60, or the Parkway West, to Interstate 376 involved more than just replacing a lot of signs. And it meant a whole lot more than just a name change. The ethane cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County — arguably the area’s biggest economic development project in decades — might not have come here without it, said Ken Zapinski, senior vice president for energy and infrastructure for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Group Looks at How to Address Transportation Needs in Minnesota County

  • Building Community and Empowering Families in Northern Mille Lacs County held its last session on April 20 at Eddy’s Resort in Onamia. The evening’s agenda was to choose the issue most important to each individual, form a group, and within that group – choose a key outcome, choose a solution and define an action plan.

Bozeman, Montana Adopts First Transportation Master Plan in a Decade

  • In a unanimous decision, Bozeman city commissioners voted to approve a new Transportation Master Plan that will affect how residents get around in the future. The plan will serve as a guide for development and investment in the city’s transportation system. The document takes into consideration all modes of transportation including roadways, bike lanes and sidewalks.

MPOs

House Passes Senate Bill to Repeal Widely Panned MPO Rule

  • The House of Representatives voted 417-3 April 27 to pass a Senate-passed measure that would repeal a widely criticized rule from the last days of the Obama administration that would have required operational changes for many of the nation’s metropolitan planning organizations.

Bike Path Plans, Fort Smith Truck Traffic Study on Frontier MPO To-Do List

  • Bike and pedestrian path plans for Van Buren and Alma, wayfinding signs for west central Arkansas region cities and a downtown Fort Smith semi-truck traffic study are on tap in the coming year for the Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization. A Unified Planning Work Program with these and other tasks are set to be performed between July 1 and June 30, 2018. The program was approved by the MPO’s Technical Committee on Thursday. The Frontier MPO Policy Board will further discuss the items for approval at its meeting May 13.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

Active Transportation Forecasting: The Critical Need for Activity-Based Modeling Tools

  • Considering America’s great love of the automobile, it’s no surprise that the U.S. Surgeon General has issued a nationwide call to action promoting walking and walkable communities. Despite the proven health benefits of an active lifestyle, Americans rely on their personal vehicles for 83 percent of their daily trips while only 10 percent of their travel is by foot and one percent by bicycle.

Communities Need to Stay Up to Speed on Bicycle Infrastructure

  • “Communities that don’t become bicycle-friendly will lose out because people will choose other places to live and visit,” said Jason Brody, associate professor of regional & community planning at Kansas State University. “We won’t see a change from one day to the next, but eventually, people will move to places with multiple transportation options.” In contrast to earlier generations, today’s young adults view cycling not just as a leisure activity but as an option for everyday transportation, Brody said.

TRANSIT

When I-85 Reopens, Atlanta Mass Transit Hopes to Keep Riders

  • As work on the rebuilding of the section of the Interstate 85 bridge that collapsed last month progresses, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority hopes to keep its new passengers. WABE-FM reports that MARTA saw a 21 percent increase in train ridership the day after the March 30 bridge collapse and has since experienced an average train ridership increase of 11 percent.

Boston Foundation Offering Grants for Bus Rapid Transit

  • If you don’t know much – or anything – about “bus rapid transit,” the Barr Foundation wants that to change. The Boston-based foundation is offering as much as $100,000 in grants to communities that want to adopt the transit system, which features bus-only lanes, on-board fare collection, and more comfortable stations. Cities from Mexico City to Cleveland have gone all-in on the idea to improve bus service.

INTERNATIONAL

Australian Government Sools Big Data on Road Planning

  • The federal government aims to use the massive amount of freight vehicle GPS data that has been collected to help it plan transport infrastructure investments. The message comes as urban infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher releases the terms of reference for the Data Collection and Dissemination Plan project, with a draft plan scheduled for release within six months. Fletcher has also revealed that the government has undertook a pilot study last year “using a month’s worth of GPS data collected from 1,500 vehicles, providing data for some 100,000 trips and some 18 million GPS records.”