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News & Updates

State and Regional Updates

Maritime Industry in Washington State Faces Aging Crisis

  • The owner of a private maritime-training school in Edmonds sees a lot of opportunity opening up in the industry for young people. “What we’re finding in our industry is that we have too many people retiring and not enough young people getting involved,” said Julie Keim, owner of Compass Courses, located in Harbor Square on Dayton Street. Partly it’s a matter of changing attitudes, she said, of today’s generation wanting instant gratification and not liking to be away for long – the opposite of older generations.

Connecticut Governor Worries Lawmakers Won’t Follow Through on $100 Billion Transportation Plan Once He’s Gone

  • On the first day of his second term, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made transportation one of the pillars of his administration. He called for a “collective vision for the next 30 years” that would produce a “best-in-class transportation system” in his January 2015 State of the State address. He unveiled a 30-year, $100 billion plan just weeks later. As Malloy, who will not seek re-election next year, heads into the final 16 months of his tenure, he’s concerned about the future of his 30-year plan after just four years. In particular, he’s worried the next governor and the legislature will take a shorter view and curtail transportation spending.

PLANNING

New York City DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg Discusses Smart Communities

  • In this third episode of the ITE Talks Transportation Smart Communities series, NYCDOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg talks about smart mobility advances, initiatives, and challenges in New York City.

Public Hearings to Begin in September on New Hampshire Transportation Priorities

  • New Hampshire residents will have a chance to weigh in on the state’s long-term transportation plan over the next two months. Transportation officials will hold 19 public hearings across the state in September and October on what’s known as the ten-year plan.

Lexington, Kentucky City Planners: Keep Current Growth Boundary

  • Lexington city planners recommended Thursday the city keep its current growth boundary, encourage more density and housing options along key corridors and loosen some zoning restrictions to make infill development easier. The recommendations were announced at an Urban County Planning Commission work session Thursday as part of the goals and objectives for the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, which guides development for the Lexington-Fayette merged government over the next five years.

MPOs

Hillsborough, Florida MPO Works on Vision Zero Strategy

  • What would it take to eliminate all traffic deaths in the county that has the most of them? Local planners think a combination of repainting roads, narrowing lanes, expanding data-driven policing and installing new lighting will help ensure that Hillsborough loses the dubious distinction it holds among the nation’s large counties. They presented an action plan Tuesday at the Tampa Theatre during the fourth local workshop of the Vision Zero Coalition – a national campaign to eliminate deaths and serious injuries caused by traffic.

Maryland’s Hagerstown Eastern Panhandle MPO Survey: Safety, Security Top Transportation Priorities

  • Safety and security topped the priority list for people surveyed about area transportation issues, with economic prosperity ranking second. The results also show differences among those who took the questionnaire online and those who were contacted at public places by street teams for what are called “intercept” surveys.

Two North Carolina MPOs Push for Ferry Toll Rate Increase

  • Two local transportation planning organizations are once again seeking to increase ferry toll rates for the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry, which carries vehicles and passengers between Southport and Pleasure Island. The proposed rate hike is based on a study the N.C. Department of Transportation conducted a few years ago.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

Bicycle Safety Still a Work in Progress, Says National Report

  • The good news is that bicycle fatalities involving children and teens have dropped by nearly 90 percent over the past four decades. The bad news is that overall deaths have trended downward much more slowly, and recently ticked back upward, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. In 2015, there were 818 bicycle fatalities, the report said, citing the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

FUNDING

How Cars Help Fuel Municipal Budgets

  • States and the federal government have the income tax to help pay for things. They tax traded goods, business activity, investment earnings and more. Cities have shallower pools of money to draw from. As a recent analysis from Governing magazine shows, one common place local governments look to find revenue is motor vehicles. In fact, cities collected about $5 billion in revenue related to vehicles in fiscal year 2016.

ROADWAYS

Brickell Tunnel Under Miami River Gets MPO’s Unanimous OK

  • The push to bore a tunnel underneath the Miami River got a boost when the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO)’s Transportaiton and Mobility Committee voted unanimously last week to add the tunnel to a 2040 long-range transportation plan. The committee also voted to urge the Florida Department of Transportation to fund and order a study that is required before the county can apply for state or federal money. The matter is to go before the TPO’s full board Sept. 14.

TRANSIT

Memphis Area Transit Authority Eyes Costly Expansion to Drastically Reduce Wait Times

  • The Memphis Area Transit Authority will begin forming a transit vision plan this September, a necessary step to securing state dollars for a sweeping expansion of the city’s bus system. With the approval of its board and City Council early next year, MATA could add 200,000 hours of additional bus service as early as July 2019, said interim MATA CEO Gary Rosenfeld. The expansion could significantly shorten sometimes hours-long wait times for MATA riders, who take about 7.5 million trips annually, creating new jobs and schooling opportunities.

For that Last Mile or More, Zipcars Will Be Added to Miami-Dade Metrorail Stations

  • As part of a new partnership with Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation, car-sharing service Zipcar will add 10 vehicles at five Metrorail stations, providing transit riders with on-demand access to vehicles parked at train stops. The cars, including a Ford Focus named “Semester” and a Toyota Prius named “Paddy,” will be available for reservation by the hour or by the day along the green and orange lines at Vizcaya Station, Coconut Grove Station, Palmetto Station, Hialeah Station and Earlington Heights Station. It’s part of a one-year pilot program with the county aimed at reducing personal vehicle ownership, traffic, congestion and CO2 emissions.

RAIL

Was Costly Amtrak Stop Near Detroit Worth the Fight? Naysayers Remain But Riders Say Yes

  • Whether you love mass transit or hate it, one thing’s certain: It was extremely difficult and surprisingly costly getting a regional train station built in Oakland County. Last week, two decades of conflict came to a quiet end at a Troy City Council meeting, the site of previous pitched battles over whether this city known for its strong conservative leanings should accept federal funds for mass transit, a concept widely despised in auto-centric Michigan.

INTERNATIONAL

On-Demand Public Transport Coming to Sydney

  • Eastern suburbs residents will soon be able to order public transport to their front door. In November the State Government will trial an app allowing commuters to book on-demand door-to-door shuttle services. Vaucluse state Liberal MP Gabrielle Upton said the program would connect commuters from or near their house to key destinations, including Edgecliff station, Rose Bay wharf, Westfield Bondi Junction, hospitals and medical centres. The east was chosen as one of the eight pilot areas across Sydney.

UK to Start Trial of Driverless Trucks on Public Roads

  • A commercial trial of platoons of driverless trucks is to start in the UK later this year. The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England has commissioned TRL to lead the tests which will start on a private track and move to public motorways in 2018. The trials will use trucks from DAF with 802.11p wireless links and radar systems from NXP (which is being acquired by Qualcomm). Ricardo, which worked with TRL to deliver the HGV Platooning feasibility study for the DfT in 2014 and courier company DHL are also part of the consortium.

OTHER

Plano, Texas Finds It’s Not Easy Going Green

  • It is often the state’s blue (and increasingly urban) areas that elect to go green. In July, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the cities of Houston, Dallas, and Austin for being among the largest green-power users among local governments across the nation. The three Texas cities all ranked within the top five out of thirty local governments recognized by the agency’s Green Power Partnership. Noticeably absent from the list were Texas suburbs. Since 2015, the city of Dallas has purchased renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of municipal energy use, but the nearby suburb of Plano (the state’s ninth largest city), has nothing like this program.