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Your Weekly Planning Updates

Residents, Urban Planner Call for Florida to Demolish I-275

  • Residents of Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights are calling on Florida officials to demolish Interstate 275. The effort comes after an urban planner suggested the Florida Department of Transportation review 275, which cuts through Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The highway is “expendable” and has damaged neighborhoods, Joshua Frank said.

PLANNING

Biden Talks to Regional Plan Association About Infrastructure

  • “This is a national disgrace,” said former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden exhorted the movers and shakers at the 27th annual Assembly of the Regional Plan Association to sound the alarm about crumbling infrastructure, especially the century old train tunnel under the Hudson River. Biden noted, this crowd needs to push the Gateway Project and replace that tunnel.

Breaking the Link: City Planning Expert Andrew Salzberg on Changing the Personal Car Mindset

  • Like many Southern Californians, my commute is no walk in the park. If I leave my house even two minutes later than usual, a cool 30 minutes could be tacked onto my drive. Unless you live and work in downtown San Diego or are connected to CalTrans’ trolley line, public transportation isn’t an option either. According to Google Maps, my 26-mile commute home from work on public transit-via a train, two buses, and a walk-would take well over two hours.

MPOs

Making Government Smaller: Congress Looks to Rein in Metropolitan Planning Councils

  • As the United States has grown from thirteen free and independent states to a superpower spanning an entire continent, its government has grown too. While reformers have periodically tried to roll back the tide of bureaucracy, the fight has often been bitterly partisan and largely unsuccessful. This makes it somewhat surprising that a bill to limit the authority of metropolitan planning organizations has received overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill, recently introduced by Reps. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., and Jason Lewis, R-Minn., and eleven other original co-sponsors (now up to 28), would roll back an Obama-era regulation that dramatically expanded the area overseen by metropolitan planning councils.

Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville TPOs Win Competitive Award to Implement Complete Streets

  • The Transportation Planning Organizations (TPOs) for Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga have collectively won a competitive national award to form Complete Streets. TPOs are federally-designated metropolitan planning areas, which help make streets safer and ensure Tennessee is more livable and equitable. Complete Streets are designed and operated to allow safe access for everyone, including people walking, biking, driving or using public transit.

Input on Transportation Planning Focus of Kern COG

  • The Kern County Council of Governments is conducting a series of workshops designed to help regional planners determine transportation priorities in the coming years. Rob Ball, the planning director for Kern COG, was a guest on “The Richard Beene Show” on Wednesday to discuss the work being done, and how it is looking for input from the public about transportation projects.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

Walkability a Goal for Bowling Green-Warren County MPO

  • A more walkable community is a healthier and safer community, according to Miranda Clements, greenways/multimodal coordinator for the Bowling Green-Warren County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Through new greenways, sidewalks and multi-use paths, officials are working on making the city and county a place where feet are an increasingly popular mode of transportation.

New Virginia Bike, Sidewalk Projects Aims to Provide a Way Out of Driving

  • A series of projects aimed at making it easier to get around without sitting in traffic are moving forward in Virginia. Expanding the new Fairfax County Capital BikeShare system in the Tysons and Dunn Loring areas, upgrading regional trails, and adding sidewalks in areas where people run the risk of being struck by cars are among the projects approved this week by the Washington region’s Transportation Planning Board.

FREIGHT

Port Tampa Bay Commits $400,000 – at Least – for All Purpose Consultant

  • Port Tampa Bay’s board gave the green light Tuesday to negotiate hiring an all-purpose planning consultant with an open price tag extending beyond 2017. Up to $400,000 will be earmarked to fund the position per year on a project-by-project basis. If approved, that consultant could be called upon to help with policy-making, grant proposals, transportation, development and economic analysis, according to the proposal presented at the board’s monthly meeting.

FUNDING

I-25 Coalition Looking to Fill Gap in Funding for Colorado Highway Expansion

  • State and federal funding for the long-anticipated widening of Interstate 25 are still uncertain, but a newly-formed group of local government and community leaders is looking to improve their prospects. They’ll be weighing options for speeding the expansion of the interstate from Monument to Castle Rock, which transportation officials say could be done by 2021 if the state can find the money.

ROADWAYS

How the Supercomputer in Our Pockets Can Help with Road Redesign

  • Public perception may not be the most accurate measurement when assessing a projects’ effectiveness. After a massive street redesign project, for instance, residents may complain that parking has been affected or traffic is now slower. So getting large amounts of high-quality data to city planners so they can objectively judge a project’s true effectiveness is of the utmost importance. And the San Francisco Bay area’s increasing population has forced city officials to think about new ways to accomodate the influx-especially in San Francisco and Oakland, both of which have recently pursued “road diet” projects, which are essentially creating bus- and bike-only lanes to alleviate congestion and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

TRANSIT

Tampa-Area Transit Agency Deploying Tesla Vehicles for Pilot Program

  • The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority is deploying four vehicles to supplement a program that lets riders receive subsidized rides to or from bus stops in certain areas. The new vehicles, which will service areas surrounding the University of South Florida, are being leased from the tech company Telsa (NASDAQ: TSLA). Private donations from local businesses are funding the lease price of the Teslas.

 

OTHER

When Car Ownership Fades, this Los Angeles Parking Garage Will Be Ready for Its Next Life

  • One of the country’s biggest apartment developers is working on plans for a grand residential complex in downtown Los Angeles that includes what appears to be an ordinary garage. There will be row upon row of lined stalls at street level and two floors underground to store nearly 1,000 cars of tenants and visitors to the trendy Arts District, where parking is relentlessly hard to find. But when it’s completed in about four years, the ample garage will be one of the first of its kind in Los Angeles: It’s designed to eventually serve other uses.