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News & Updates

Statewide Planning Updates

Connecticut DOT Unveils Long-Range Transportation Plan

  • The Connecticut Department of Transportation has released its draft 2018 statewide long-range transportation plan. The plan, which is a federally mandated policy document, outlines strategies and actions for addressing transportation issues and needs in Connecticut. The plan’s foundation is Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s “Let’s GO CT” strategic transportation initiative, which identified $100 billion in investments to help preserve and enhance the state’s transportation infrastructure, according to a CTDOT press release.

Oklahoma Freight Transportation Plan Receives Federal Approval

  • Freight movement is vitally important to Oklahoma’s and the nation’s economy. More than 800 million tons of freight with an estimated value of $1.3 billion are transported in Oklahoma annually by truck, rail and waterway. Freight movement is expected to increase in the coming years, something the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is better positioned to accommodate thanks to recent federal approval of the Oklahoma Freight Transportation for 2018-2022.

Toll Hike Included in New 10-Year New Hampshire Transportation Plan

  • Executive councilors inched closer to raising statewide toll prices Wednesday, sending a final draft 10-year transportation plan that includes projected revenues from a toll hike. At a meeting of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation – comprised of members of the Executive Council and the commissioner of the Department of Transportation – councilors formally signed off on the draft plan, which dictates spending roadway construction and repair priorities for the department. The draft now heads to Gov. Chris Sununu, who has until Jan. 15 to pass on his version to the Legislature.

Connecticut Governor: Transportation Investment Crucial in Next Session

  • Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in an annual end-of-the-year speech to the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning said transportation will be the most critical need facing the legislature in its upcoming 2018 session. He said he will make his agenda known before the session starts in February, but declined to elaborate on whether that agenda would include support for tolls or other measures to raise money for transportation investments.

PLANNING

Gwinnett County, Georgia Commissioners Adopt Transportation Plan that Looks Ahead to 2040

  • A major update to Gwinnett’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan that has been underway for two years reached the finish line Tuesday when county commissioners voted to adopt the new plan. The new transportation plan is expected to guide Gwinnett County’s transportation planning for the next two decades, going through 2040. One of the major developments to come out of the update was the county’s transit development study that is currently underway, but Transportation Director Alan Chapman said there was more to the plan than just that.

Twin Falls, Idaho Transportation Master Plan Meeting Continue, Identifying Problems to Improve Roads

  • Twin Falls City continues to meet for their master transportation plan. The topic of Tuesday’s meeting included talking about traffic on intersections and trying to improve busy roads along with those that are starting to get busy. Civil Science, the consultant with the Transportation Advisory Committee, said they also talked about plans going toward 2040. “We also talked to them about the future traffic, the future estimated traffic counts for those roadways,” said Project Manager Rob Ramsey at Civil Service.

How Urban Design Can Help Protect Pedestrians from Vehicle Attacks in the City

  • As emergency services rushed to help after a vehicle was driven into pedestrians on Flinders Street in Melbourne, Associate Professor Douglas Tomkin – an expert on how to make pedestrians safer in exactly these situations – passed by in a bus. His first thought was: “Oh no. Not again.” The latest attack, which Victorian police say was “not terror-related,” underscores the need for new ways to design city features to reduce risk when these incidents occur, he said.

MPOs

Pushback on Toll Roads Rankles Houston-Area Leaders

  • Texas lawmakers have gone from championing to criticizing toll roads, a shift that some Houston-area leaders worry has gone too far and could limit coming projects. “Without toll roads and that funding, I don’t know what we are going to do,” said Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, citing the need for new roadways in rapidly growing parts of the Houston area. The concern, voiced at a Dec. 15 meeting of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council – the region’s transportation planning group – was shared in response to decisions by the Texas Transportation Commission.

Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments Approves $1.24 Million Budget

  • The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments board on Wednesday approved a $1.24 million budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year at its annual meeting. The spending plan is $388,337, or about 31 percent lower than the adopted fiscal year 2018 budget, due in large part to an incomplete revenue picture, according to Executive Director James Butler.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

Permian Basin MPO Discusses Funds for Bike Route Study

  • With heavy traffic on the region’s roadways, cyclists are looking for safer routes to protect riders from large trucks and debris. The Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization wants to aid the cycling community. The MPO at its public policy board meeting Monday discussed increasing the amount of money to be allotted for a study that would analyze the feasibility of a thoroughfare between Midland and Odessa.

TRANSIT

RTA Unveils Long-Range Plan for Improving Public Transit in New Orleans

  • After a yearlong, $1 million planning process, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority on Tuesday unveiled a multiyear plan for improving public transportation in the city – a document that spells out not only lofty, long-term goals but also some changes that can be achieved quickly and at little cost. At its core, the 12-page document seeks to accomplish the bread-and-butter objective of any transit system: getting riders to and from their destinations reliably and within a reasonable amount of time.

MIT’s ‘CoAXs’ Turns Commuters Into Transit System Planners

  • It’s been two years since CoAXs – a tool that allow commuters to act as transit system planners – was released and tested. The tool was designed by a group of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2015, giving users the chance to display the changes they want to see in transit systems in their cities. The designing platform is scaled on a live map, allowing users to alter transport and check the results, which are calculated based on real data. Earlier this month, the coders and researchers behind CoAXs released a report evaluating how the transit tool has fared during these tests.

ROADWAYS

New Bridge Across San Francisco Bay? Transit Planners ‘Happy’ to Take a Look

  • Regional transportation planners will meet soon with Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord to discuss the two Democrats’ call for a study into building a new bridge between the East Bay and northern Peninsula or southern San Francisco. The idea of a “Southern Crossing” that would carry both cars and rail transit has been discussed for decades but has never gotten off the ground, in part because of the cost. But the combination of ever-increasing traffic congestion and the call to action from two political heavyweights has planners once again sharpening their pencils.

I-80 Study for Rural Iowa Due in May, Public Invited to Weigh In

  • A major study of Interstate 80 through rural Iowa is due to be completed in May, according to the state Department of Transportation, and the public will get a chance to weigh in on it early next year. The DOT has been studying the state’s most-traveled east-west road for more than a year, with an eye toward figuring out what improvements will have to be made to accommodate the expectation of growing traffic volumes.

OTHER

Development, Business Expansion Could Follow Removal of Parking Minimums in Hartford, Connecticut

  • The city will no longer require developers and businesses across the city to provide a minimum number of parking spaces, a dramatic move intended to make Hartford more “walkable” and spur development. “We want to send the message that Hartford is a town focused on people and bicyclists and is not a town that is just focused on housing cars that sit idle for 90 percent of the day,” said Sara C. Bronin, chair of Hartford’s planning and zoning commission. The commission approved the change last week, and it became effective Friday.

Transportation and Health with City of Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price

  • This episode of ITE Talks Transportation kicks off a new series on ITE initiatives, starting with Transportation and Health. City of Fort Worth, Texas Mayor Betsy Price talks about how transportation and health are linked in the city’s initiatives and partnerships aimed at providing choices that help people improve their health.