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News & Updates

Your Weekly Planning & MPO Updates

Thousands of Arizonans Help Share ADOT’s Long-Range Transportation Plan

  • Playing the part of a transportation planner isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to balancing priorities for Arizona’s highway system with the realities of limited funding. When the Arizona Department of Transportation turned to the public and stakeholders last fall to tell us what’s most important to them over the next 25 years, nearly 6,000 people statewide responded through a quick and interactive online survey.

FTA: Minnesota Light-Rail Funds Cannot Be Diverted to Roads, Bridges

  • A legislative resolution that calls for the diversion of nearly $1 billion in federal funds from the Southwest light-rail line to Minnesota road and bridge projects is currently barred by law, according to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Republican legislators introduced a measure at the State Capitol last week asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to funnel $929 million intended for the Southwest light-rail line to a “block grant that can be used for other transportation projects” in Minnesota.

PLANNING

Public Enthusiasm Bodes Well for Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s ‘Active Transportation’ Planning

  • The consultants helping Lancaster County develop a comprehensive walking, biking and transit plan said they’re encouraged by the high level of public interest here. To date, about 900 people have filled out an online survey, giving opinions on existing road and trail conditions and making recommendations.

Collaboration on Transportation Alternatives a Priority for Leaders Along Northern Atlanta Perimeter

  • Traffic for drivers along the northern Perimeter of metro Atlanta is going to get worse before it gets better, and finding alternatives to getting people around the city is of top importance, according to four northern Perimeter area mayors.

MPOs

Senators Hope to Overturn Obama-Era Transportation Planning Rule

  • United States Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, has signed on as a sponsor of legislation to repeal a U.S. Department of Transportation rule that would require the merging of transportation planning across U.S. Census-designated urban areas.

Houston Area Transportation Council: Roads Won’t Be Enough for Mobility by 2050

  • For an agency that’s spent decades guiding freeway expansion, it was a stark admission early in a briefing item for members of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s transportation policy council. “Future growth and the resulting travel is expected to surpass our ability to meet regional mobility needs by relying solely on increased roadway capacity,” agency staff wrote.

RAIL

Study to Examine Extending MARC Line in Cecil County

  • Regional transportation planners are conducting a feasibility study to examine the demand for an extension of the MARC commuter rail line from Perryville to Newark, Del. The 20-mile stretch between Perryville and Newark is the only spot in Amtrak’s northeast corridor that lacks a commuter rail service.

FUNDING

Shuster: Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Won’t All Come from DC

  • A key GOP lawmaker said Wednesday that President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure package won’t be entirely funded with public money and could include projects that are already in the works but have been stalled by the slow federal permitting process.

TRANSIT

Tampa Bay Area Lawmakers Take Action to Create a Regional Transit Planning Group

  • Two Tampa Bay area lawmakers are looking to put a dent in the region’s long-stagnant access to transit by creating a regional entity to oversee plans throughout the region rather than isolating solutions to individual counties.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

How Data is Helping New York City Cut Traffic Deaths

  • Traffic fatalities in New York City were down in 2016, marking three successive years of decline and a 23 percent reduction since 2013, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. A new report outlines how data shared across agencies is helping the city meet is Vision Zero goals of ending traffic fatalities.

Uphill Climb to Integrate Bikes Into Mass Transit in Broward County, Florida

  • Broward County was at the forefront of the international trend to add bicycles to the public transportation network. Now, five years later, plans to expand the bike system have been scaled back.

OTHER

Waze and Other Traffic-Dodging Apps Prompt Cities to Game the Algorithms

  • Call it planners versus algorithms. Smartphone apps like Waze, a godsend for some road warriors because they shave minutes and even hours off their commutes with their creative detours off main highways, are causing headaches for city planners.