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News & Updates

Statewide Planning Updates

New Iowa DOT Transportation Improvement Plan Includes Focus on Bridge Repair

  • The Department of Transportation’s draft of the new 5-year for improving the transportation system across the state estimates there will be $3.5 billion in funding available. The director of the DOT’s planning and programming division, Stuart Anderson says the five year plan continues the effort to improve and maintain the highway system. He says there is particular emphasis in this program to fund bridge improvements.

New Alabama DOT Plan Aims to Improve Pedestrian, Bicycle Access

  • The Alabama Department of Transportation wants people’s two cents when looking at the safety around two wheels. They’re hoping to roll out a new plan to make the state more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Georgia’s I-85 and the Value of Performance Incentives

  • The State of Georgia is celebrating the pending ahead-of-schedule opening of the I-85 Bridge, which collapsed in March. According to a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article, the bridge will open no later than May 15, perhaps a couple of days earlier. I-85 closed in Buckhead when a fire caused the highway to collapse. The fire allegedly was set by a homeless man and spread to construction materials the Georgia Department of Transportation stored under the bridge. Construction-related costs for the rebuilding included $11.9 million to build the new bridge, $1.6 million for demolition of the old one and up to $3.1 million in incentives for contractor C.W. Matthews to complete the work before June 15.


Summit Urges Cities to Plan Now for Shared Transportation Services

  • Gabe Klein experienced a prelude of what he expects urban living to be like in the U.S. in the not-too-distant future during a year-end trip to Stockholm and Amsterdam: In two weeks of travel with his wife, two young children and an au pair, the group was in a taxi for about four minutes. The rest of the time, they used public transportation, biked, shared rides with others or walked. Pushed by the development of self-driving vehicles, Mr. Klein said, that type of shared transportation model is quickly working its way here.

New York City Seeks the ‘Holy Grail’ of Street Design

  • In 2011, there were 15 injury-causing crashes at Seventh Avenue and West 23rd Street in New York City. Nine involved pedestrians struck by vehicles. The intersection boasts one of the highest rates of pedestrian pain anywhere in the city. So city traffic engineers targeted the Manhattan crossroads for a major safety improvement project in 2013. Once an open concourse of unseparated car lanes, Seventh Avenue now has two high-visibility pedestrian safety islands and specially marked left turn lanes squeezed between islands and curb. Left turns are banned altogether on one side of 23rd Street, and all four corners of the intersection have audible crosswalk signals.


Creating One Transportation Planning Agency for All of Tampa Bay Won’t Be Easy

  • They gathered around tables and tried to imagine what successful regional transportation planning could look like. Politicians, citizens, civil servants. Residents of multiple counties. Light rail advocates and opponents. The nearly 200 participants were a microcosm of a diverse population that could, one day, be represented by a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization that represents all of Tampa Bay – and not just each individual county. But Friday’s workshop at St. Petersburg College’s Collaborative Labs showed just how complicated it can be to reach consensus, especially on one of the region’s most hot-button topics.

Morgantown Monongalia MPO Talks Transportation Projects

  • Working with state and federal government to secure multi-million dollar transportation projects is a battle with two phases. The first is getting a project scheduled for completion. The second is keeping it there. With four major transportation projects in the greater Morgantown area programmed for construction in 2020-’21, Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Executive Director Bill Austin and MPO Policy Board Chairman Ron Justice are focused on eliminating any reason for the state to delay the projects. Austin and Justice sat down with The Dominion Post Editorial Board on May 15.

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Honored with APA Award

  • PRTC is pleased to announce that it has received an Outstanding Implementation Project Award for the TIGER Bus Priority Program from the American Planning Association (APA). Thanks to this program, PRTC was able to make capital improvements that ultimately resulted in better and safer trips for riders. TIGER, which stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, is a grant program through the U.S. Department of Transportation that provides federal funding for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure projects. “Through DOT’s TIGER program and our regional partners, PRTC was able to fund capital improvements that otherwise would have been very difficult to pay for – items that play a large role in helping riders feel safe and comfortable choosing to ride with us,” said Cynthia Porter-Johnson, PRTC Transportation Project Manager.


Analyzing Bike Accidents Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

  • City planners often decide which intersections and roads get safety improvements based on analysis of crash data, but according to a new study, that method may be missing something. A look at “near-miss incidents” by Houston-based Kinder Institute for Urban Research reveals that some streets in critical need of improvement could be overlooked.

SCAG Launching Walking, Biking Safety Campaign

  • The regional planning agency for Ventura County and five other Southern California counties is launching an advertising campaign encouraging motorists to slow down and be mindful of the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. The Southern California Association of Governments says the six-county region consistently ranks among the most dangerous parts of the country for people who walk or cycle.


Regional Transit Authority Would Tie Together Transportation in Central Oklahoma

  • Local officials and transportation planners continue to work on long-term plans to address road congestion as the population of central Oklahoma keeps growing, speakers said Monday at a Greater Oklahoma City Chamber forum. Part of that includes a regional transit authority, which would allow local cities to ask voters for additional property or sales taxes for a light rail system or other public transit projects.

Uber Announces New Integration with Transit App to Better Connect Users with Public Transportation

  • Uber announced Tuesday it is integrating with the Transit app in more than 50 cities across the U.S. including Seattle and Portland, as the company positions itself as a complement, rather than an alternative, to public transportation. With this integration, when an Uber rider marks a transit stop as a final destination, a card will pop up showing departure times for various modes of transportation. Uber said the integration with Transit will be available on Android devices to begin with.


New South Wales Transport: Autonomous Vehicles, AI Platforms the Future of Mass Transit

  • New South Wales residents and visitors may have a vastly different experience of public transport in the future, with Transport for NSW exploring applications for connected and autonomous vehicles with artificial intelligence-powered transport networks.

New Montreal Transit Boss Wants System That’s More User-Friendly

  • Montrealers have been waiting a long time for a coherent transit plan and fare system for public transportation. The region’s new transit boss says that wait is almost over. Just two weeks before the Autorite regionale de transport metropolitain comes into existence, Paul Cote, the agency’s director general, outlined his vision to the Montreal Gazette on Monday. He’ll be speaking Tuesday morning at the global conference of the Union internationale des transports publics.


Report: We Are on Cusp of ‘Deepest, Most Consequential Disruption of Transportation in History’

  • Within ten years, we may witness a radical technological shake up in the way we drive as people switch from petrol and diesel engines to self-drive electric vehicles. The cars will be owned by fleets, not individual owners. The days of individual car ownership are coming to an end, as people switch to self-drive electric vehicles which are ten times cheaper to run. They will also be significantly cleaner.