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News & Updates

Statewide Planning Updates

Portland, Oregon Regional Leaders Endorse State Transportation Funding Plan

  • Leaders from throughout the metropolitan region endorsed the transportation funding plan being considered by the 2017 Oregon Legislature in an opinion piece published in the Tuesday issue of the Portland Tribune. The statement was signed by Metro Chair Tom Hughes, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Washington County Chair Andy Duyck, Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard, TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane, Port of Portland Executive Director Curtis Robinhold, and virtually every mayor in the tri-county region. The endorsements are significant because the plan requires regional residents and businesses to bear a higher share of the 10 year, $8 billion plan’s costs to receive a larger share of its benefits.

Tennessee DOT Talks Traffic Issues with Public for I-65 Corridor Study

  • Middle Tennessee drivers in Brentwood and Spring Hill are getting an opportunity to give the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) feedback on what should be done on the I-65 corridor. TDOT will host the second of three public meetings on Tuesday night to gather feedback and add to their 18 month study of the corridor. The study will identify short and long term solutions to improve problem areas on I-65 to address future travel demands.

Interview with Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne

  • Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne has all aspects of transportation under his purview. From highways, to ports, to transit, if it moves people or cargo, chances are he plays a role. In Transportation Radio’s ongoing series featuring state transport agencies around the US, we talk about how the commonwealth manages transportation and what makes Virginia unique.

PLANNING

Baltimore Learns a Lesson in Complete Streets Planning

  • Like many cities across the United States, Baltimore has embraced “complete streets” design principles. The approach emphasizes moving people over moving cars and allowing all potential users of a road to use it safely. The National Association of City Transportation Officials book “Urban Street Design Guide” lays out the complete streets philosophy and its design elements, and Baltimore, a NACTO member, turned to the guide as it sought to transform its thoroughfares from conduits for cars into bike- and pedestrian-friendly arteries.

Seven Questions with Iowa DOT Planner/Future Missouri River Historical Development President Dakin Schultz

  • After graduating from Schleswig High School in 1986, Dakin Schultz spent the summer on a road crew for the Iowa Department of Transportation. He continued working for the DOT during the summers as he earned a journalism degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. But back then he wasn’t thinking about a career in transportation.

Transport Chicago Keynote Speakers Support Value of Planning to Build Viable Transportation Networks and Vibrant Communities

  • Sound and forward-thinking planning policies build strong transportation networks and strong communities. That statement summarizes the messages the messages delivered by the two keynote speakers at the Transport Chicago 2017 conference June 9. Now in its 32nd year, the annual conference attracted some 300 transportation professionals, academics and students for a day of workshops and presentations on a broad range of the latest transportation research and developments.

MPOs

North Florida TPO’s Priority List Includes Funded, Unfunded Projects for State Roads

  • The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization this month approved its List of Priority Projects for the region over the next five years. The annually updated list includes road improvement projects, among other infrastructure and transportation-related projects, in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. The organization uses the priority list as a tool to lobby the state for more transportation funding for Northeast Florida. This year’s document outlines more than $257 million worth of regional road construction projects already funded and at various stages of completion, but another $2.36 billion, at least, in projects yet to be funded.

Dover/Kent County MPO Executive Director Rich Vetter to Leave Agency

  • The Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Director Rich Vetter recently announced his intentions to leave the agency after six years to focus full-time on his own engineering and land surveying business. Vetter’s last day as full-time director will be June 30. After that, he will work with the agency on a part-time basis until the MPO Council names a new director.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

Planner Seeks Patterns to Crashes Involving Bicyclists, Pedestrians in Knoxville

  • The most dangerous intersection in the region for pedestrians is at Cumberland Avenue and 17th Street. A five-year study in four counties of pedestrian and bicycle crashes with vehicles concluded most of those conflicts are reported in Knoxville. And the intersection with the highest count of those crashes is the one that borders the University of Tennessee where the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy occupies one corner. Ellen Zavisca, principal planner with the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, collected records of 880 crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists from 2012-2016.

ROADWAYS

Uber, Lyft Cars Have Heavy Impact on San Francisco Streets, Study Finds

  • Uber and Lyft vehicles rack up over half a million miles every day on San Francisco streets, according to a report being released Tuesday by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which manages local congestion. Ride-hailing cars make more than 170,000 trips within the city every weekday, while putting in some 570,000 vehicle miles, the report said. That figure is 6.5 percent of total weekday vehicle miles in the city. When only considering trips that start or end within the city-the focus of the authority’s study-ride-hail vehicles amount to a fifth of all vehicle miles.

TRANSIT

MBTA Launching Study of Future Needs of Commuter Rail

  • The MBTA is releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) tomorrow, June 16, to study and identify current and future Commuter Rail needs and improvements as part of the MBTA’s Commuter Rail Vision. The MBTA already has a future planning exercise underway for bus, subway, and ferry, which is known as Focus40. “Now is the appropriate time to think about the future needs of people in terms of our Commuter Rail system,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.

FUNDING

‘Tampa Bay Next’ Transportation Plan Gets Initial Funding

  • The replacement plan for a controversial Tampa interstate project received approval Tuesday for five years of funding, following a contentious Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting. The Florida Department of Transportation project, called “Tampa Bay Next,” replaced the Tampa Bay Express project, or TBX, after it didn’t receive MPO approval during a marathon eight-hour meeting last year. “Last year there were a lot of concerns the community brought to us, we’ve taken a step back and we’re listening to those concerns,” said FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson. “It’s really listening to the public, having them bring ideas. We’re going to study those ideas.”