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News & Updates

Your Weekly Planning & MPO Updates

New Mexico DOT Solicits Input on Bike Routes

  • The New Mexico Department of Transportation is gathering input through the end of December about the possible creation of bike routes along state and U.S. highways. Representatives of NMDOT and Bohannan Huston, a firm hired to undertake the bike route study, met with the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy committee on Thursday prior to a public meeting at the Farming Civic Center.

PLANNING

Report Suggests Relieving Washington State Transportation Commission of Planning Duties and Giving Duties to WSDOT

  • A new report recommends stripping the state Transportation Commission of its major planning chores and giving them to the Department of Transportation, which is better funded and equipped to carry out the work. It also suggests other duties of the citizen commission such as setting ferry fares and tolls, and holding periodic public meetings on transportation issues, could be handed off as well, which might not leave enough tasks to justify the panel’s continued existence.

Local Groups Proposes New Traffic Solutions for Baton Rouge

  • A group in Baton Rouge says they have some new ideas about how to solve the city’s traffic problems. CRISIS is a research group that formed three years ago, and they released a report Monday morning called the Capital Region Mobility Strategy. It calls for many things the city is already pursuing, like more roadways, enhanced bridges, and more state funding. But they have some new ideas as well, like staggering the times that people get on the roads.

Merging City Planning and Design Technologies, Esri and Autodesk Announce Partnership

  • A new partnership between design software company Autodesk and geospatial software company Esri is laying the groundwork for new technologies that will allow cities to gather insights based on real-world modeling and virtual environments. The two California software makers announced on Wednesday plans to solidify opportunities that pair their technologies together. Esri’s geospatial information systems (GIS) software is widely used by government while Autodesk’s 3-D design and engineering software is a staple for engineers and architects.

New Human Mobility Prediction Model Offers Scalability, Requires Less Data

  • A new method to predict human mobility – which can be used to chart the potential spread of disease or determine rush hour bottlenecks – has been developed by a team of researchers, including one from Arizona State University. The research, Universal model of individual and population mobility on diverse spatial scales, was published in the Nov. 21 issue of Nature Communications.

MPOs

Court Ruling Ratchets Pressure on SANDAG to Limit Climate Pollution

  • An appellate court on Thursday issued a ruling that finds the San Diego Association of Government must thoroughly address greenhouse gases in its long-range planning for the region. The decision comes after a years-long battle that included a narrow ruling in July in the agency’s favor by the California Supreme Court. While the high court found that SANDAG properly analyzed greenhouse gas impacts, it didn’t explicitly take up whether the agency did enough to curb that pollution.

Knoxville Regional TPO Map Shows Walking, Biking Danger Spots

  • Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, groups of cyclists leave Cycology Bicycles in Maryville – sometimes riding south, sometimes east toward the Smokies, sometimes north toward Knoxville. But they generally avoid heading west, toward Alcoa, for good reason – according to a new interactive map from the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, Alcoa has the area’s highest rate per capita of vehicle crashes that involve pedestrians or cyclists. The rate is higher than Knoxville’s, though Knoxville has far more total crashes due to its much larger population, said Ellen Zavisca, principal transportation planner for the TPO.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

Ann Arbor City Council Debates How to Make Streets Safer for Pedestrians

  • Ann Arbor city council passed two resolutions on Thursday, Nov. 9, calling for additional steps to improve pedestrian safety around Huron High School and in other parts of the city. But some of the council members disagreed about how to go about making those improvements while balancing the needs of pedestrians and motorists traveling through the city.

ROADWAYS

Where Same-Day Deliveries Fit Into Traffic Management

  • The jury is still out on just how much the rise in online-shopping deliveries is affecting road traffic. When it comes to delivery and the services available to us online, there’s no denying that demand is growing in the world of online orders. With industry front-runners like Amazon and Google already throwing themselves into offering same-day services and retail stores starting to follow in their footsteps, the concept of ordering and receiving your order on the same day is quickly becoming more and more widely accepted. Even searches on a parcel-delivery comparison site are starting to bend towards faster delivery services.

TRANSIT

$45 Million Would Go a Long Way Toward Connecting People with Jobs, Memphis Transit Planners Say

  • If Memphis spent an extra $45 million on transit, how many more people could move about the city, to jobs and elsewhere, without owning a car? Planners went live Wednesday with a look at what’s possible with more money to shore up a bus network that has been steadily downsized in recent years. In the alternative, the new Transit Vision concept study shows what’s possible with current funding levels, if Memphis Area Transit Authority changes its focus to value more ridership over coverage of a larger area.

Regional Plan Association Says Rezoning Near Train Stations Essential to Transit-Oriented Development

  • Local zoning that prohibits multifamily development near train stations in the New Jersey and Connecticut suburbs outside Manhattan is the main roadblock to expanding transit-oriented development that could accommodate 250,000 homes and help solve the dearth of affordable housing in the tri-state area, according to a new report. “Untapped Potential,” issued Tuesday by the Regional Plan Association in anticipation of the release of the group’s fourth regional plan for the metropolitan area, envisions more mixed-use developments near train stations – even on land currently used for parking – as a solution for a host of the problems the congested region faces.

INTERNATIONAL

King Street Pilot Project Changes How Everyone Uses the Toronto Thoroughfare

  • If you’re commuting via King Street on Sunday, your trip will likely be far different. The city’s King Street pilot project, aimed at prioritizing streetcar service on the TTC’s busiest surface route, has launched and will face its first tests this week.

Halifax Blames Former Planner for Transportation Review’s Cost Overruns

  • The cost overrun on a review of Halifax’s transportation network is being blamed on Bob Bjerke, the former chief planner. The work on the integrated mobility plan was supposed to total $350,000. The bill is now $550,000. The acting director of planning says the project did not get enough oversight.