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State and Regional Updates

Maryland Department of Planning Broadens Conversation on ‘A Better Maryland’ Plan

  • The Maryland Department of Planning is currently engaging local officials, staff, and residents in the new State Development planning process, A Better Maryland. Planning kicked off the effort in early November with a listening session in Garrett County followed by meetings in St. Mary’s, Wicomico, Somerset, Allegany and Worcester counties. The purpose of the listening sessions and the larger statewide dialogue is to connect with stakeholders and solicit feedback about the A Better Maryland plan and how it can help local governments and state agencies better meet local planning needs.

States Embrace New Planning Methods for Corridor Projects

  • The Washington state Department of Transportation is mapping out performance goals and maintenance needs for all 304 of the state’s highway corridors. In 2015, WSDOT began its Corridor Sketch Initiative, a set of guidelines meant to make regional planning more efficient. The agency and its partners compile sketches for the corridors that include roadway descriptions, performance expectations and a list of features that need to change in the future.


Omaha’s Transportation Future: Planners Envision Widened Interstates, Expanded Public Transit

  • The road ahead of metro Omaha’s transportation system is an expensive one: $7.4 billion. But thew new road map is meant to chart the course for the Omaha of the future – one with 1.3 million people who are expected to increasingly use driverless cars, share the road with autonomous semis, hop Omaha’s growing bus rapid transit system or even take a streetcar.

MIT Professor’s Book a Manifesto for Designing Cities

  • “The city is a people’s art, a shared experience,” a Philadelphia architect and planner named Edmund Bacon once wrote, adding that any urban designer’s job was to “conceive an idea, implant it, and nurture its growth in the collective minds of the community.” It sounds like a common-sense approach to city building – and one that could lead to a pleasing urban mosaic, as both community needs and architectural styles change over time. But according to MIT professor Brent D. Ryan, this approach to designing cities that are of the people and for the people has been absent from most urban design work.


Sarasota/Manatee MPO Sets 2018 Priorities: Island Roads, Bridges

  • The direction of roads and bridges on Anna Maria Island will take a turn to the future in 2018. “It’s our No. 1 priority,” said Manatee County Commissioner Betsy Benac. “Create more capacity.” Island road and bridge updates were included in a Florida Department of Transportation presentation Dec. 18, 2017, for the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization before roughly 50 people. The meeting lasted nearly three hours.

CAMPO to Consider Innovative Way to Keep Will Conley as Chair

  • A unique proposal is in the works to keep Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board Chair Will Conley in his post despite his departure last year from the Hays County Commissioners Court. Federal statute dictates that board members of powerful transportation planning bodies such as CAMPO must be local elected officials, state officials or “officials of public agencies that administer or operate major modes of transportation in the metropolitan area.”


Florida-Alabama Transportation Planners Set Pedestrian/Bicycle Workshops

  • The Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization will hold two public workshops to gain input for pedestrian and bicycle facilities in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida and the Lillian and Orange Beach areas of Baldwin County, Alabama.


Seattle City Council Proposes Reducing Parking to Increase Public Transit Use

  • A Seattle City Council committee is proposing reducing parking city-wide. The proposal, made during Wednesday’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee meeting, would limit the number of parking spaces required for residential buildings; reduce parking in areas well-served by mass transit; prohibit parking on some streets and in certain neighborhoods; and limit parking in city parks. Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson, who chairs the committee, said that by curtailing parking people might be more inclined to take mass transit.

Get Ready for  a Lot More Housing Near California Transit Stations if New Legislation Passes

  • A dramatic increase in new housing near transit stations could be on its way across California under new legislation proposed by a Bay Area legislator. Subject to some limitations, the measure would eliminate restrictions on the number of houses allowed to be built within a half-mile of train, light-rail, major bus routes and other transit stations, and block cities from imposing parking requirements. Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author, said the state needs the housing to address affordability problems, maximize recent multi-billion-dollar transit investments and help the state meet its climate change goals.

Constant Planning Keeps Flathead County, Montana Bus System Rolling

  • Providing public transportation in a rural setting like the Flathead Valley is a complicated and challenging endeavor that’s a continuous work in progress. To keep the wheels on the bus turning in all the right directions takes planning – lots of planning. That’s why the Flathead County Agency on Aging, which oversees the Eagle Transit bus system, is involved in two transportation planning processes at the moment.