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Your Weekly Planning Updates

California DOT Proposes Toll Lane, Other Options to Ease Highway 101 Traffic Congestion

  • If you could pay a toll to hop into the carpool lane on Highway 101 to make it through rush-hour traffic faster, would you? That’s one option Caltrans is considering as a solution to the growing traffic congestion on the major Bay Area corridor. The agency rolled out four options for a roomful of curious Peninsula residents in San Mateo. There were different opinions on those options, but everyone agreed something has to be done to manage the increasing crush of traffic.

PLANNING

Las Vegas Stadium Traffic Study Lists Improvements Needed by 2020 NFL Season

  • Every time a sold-out Las Vegas Raiders home game ends in 2020, thousands of vehicles are expected to take to local streets within an hour, according to a traffic impact study submitted Thursday to Clark County. To prepare for such a mass exit, the study lists close to 40 on-site and off-site transportation improvement measures that include widening Polaris Avenue, constructing multiple access roads to the stadium and creating traffic signal timing plans for games and other events.

Want Safer Streets? Transportation Engineer Says Redesign Urban Landscapes

  • Tallahassee has seen a string of pedestrian deaths and injuries, with one of the most recent incidents happening over the Memorial Day weekend. But these casualties don’t have to be as common as they are. WFSU sat down with a transportation engineer who has ideas on making city streets safer.

Debate About Addressing Housing Shortages Raise Important Points About Managing Traffic

  • America’s fast-growing cities are experiencing housing shortages. It’s a topic I’ve covered in my last two columns, focusing mainly on the emerging YIMBY (“yes in my backyard”) movement and how NIMBYs, or the “not in my backyard” contingent, have impeded efforts to build new construction that promotes density. And while both sides agree that more construction is needed, NIMBYs tend to ask an essential follow-up question: What about traffic? This question, while alluding to roads, often taps into a broader sentiment that the local services — schools, hospitals and sewer pipelines, among other things — are already overburdened in many cities. And the people who think this way have a point.

MPOs

California Senate Considers SANDAG Reform Bill

  • A bill in the California legislature that would change the governing structure of the San Diego Association of Governments took a big step forward last week when it passed the Assembly floor. It now moves to the Senate, where its fate is less certain. Critics say SANDAG, which plans and funds transportation infrastructure across the county, is undemocratic because small cities like Del Mar have the same number of seats on the board as larger cities like Chula Vista. Environmental groups often criticize the agency for giving too much money to freeways and not enough to public transit.

MTC Wins Transportation Planning Excellence Award for Plan Bay Area and One Bay Area Grant Program

  • The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has been awarded a 2017 Transportation Planning Excellence Award from the Federal Highway Administration for the project, “A Strategy for a Sustainable Region: Plan Bay Area and the One Bay Area Grant Program.” Plan Bay Area is the long-range transportation and land use plan for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area while the One Bay Area Grant Program channels the region’s federal transportation funding to make the vision of Plan Bay Area and its successors a reality.

ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

Data Bike to Hit the Trails in Des Moines

  • This summer, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) will help map conditions on over 600 miles of bicycle trails around Des Moines. Using an e-bike equipped with cameras and an iPhone, INHF staff will ride to capture data about surface roughness and images of the trails. The Iowa Data Bike, a joint project with the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Iowa Department of Public Health, aims to identify which sections of trail need maintenance so municipalities can direct their dollars wisely.

FREIGHT

Plan by Railroads, Local Government to Bolster Rail Freight in New York City

  • The Metropolitan Rail Freight Council has released a multi-faceted action plan designed to expand rail freight in and around New York City. The Council said the plan is “a guiding document to growing rail freight capacity and volumes, investing in and preserving rail freight infrastructure, creating quality jobs, promoting environmental sustainability, creating an infrastructure bank, and ensuring a more resilient freight supply chain for the New York City metropolitan area.

Port of Oakland Seeks to Move More Cargo via Rail

  • Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle has said that he wants more rail business at the port. He told a meeting of railroad executives in San Francisco in May that the port is poised to make it happen. “We have two outstanding partners at the Port in the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads,” Lytle told the annual meeting of the North American Rail Shippers Association. “And everyone in Oakland would like to see more cargo move in and out of the city on the rails than over the road.”

TRANSIT

Twin Cities Transit Board Takes First Step to Dissolve

  • A key source of transit funding in the Twin Cities, the Counties Transit Improvement Board, took the first step Wednesday to disband – again. Formed in 2008, the CTIB raises money for metro-area transit projects through a quarter-cent sales tax levied in Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka and Washington counties, as well as a $20 charge on new and used car sales. To date, CTIB has raised nearly $1 billion to support transit projects in the metro, including the Green Line LRT. The board tried to dissolve itself in March, but Dakota County balked at the breakup fee. Now, a new deal is on the table.

ROADWAYS

Boston Takes on Traffic By Building Better Data, Not More Roads

  • Cities prone to traffic congestion are scrambling for technologies that will help them get their residents to work on time and boost their local economies. But the best performers will likely be those places with the best data, not the best roads. That’s the situation some cities find themselves in as they look for ways to generate and acquire transportation data from public transit sources, commercial sellers and ride-sharing firms like Uber and Lyft.

RAIL

New Haven Unveils 100-Year Plan for Union Station

  • The Harp administration and the city’s parking authority unveiled a 100-year plan for developing and maintaining Union Station and the area surrounding it – if the state will give the city control. The plan and the extra push from the city came Thursday afternoon during the waning days of the state legislative session.

OTHER

Miami-Dade County Demonstrates How to Overhaul Urban Mobility Through Integration

  • Miami-Dade County in Florida is overhauling its transportation system and sharing that knowledge with cities across the country. Working with the City Innovate Foundation, a group that specializes in bringing technology companies and solutions to local governments, Miami-Dade has produced an Urban Mobility Playbook on how to integrate public transit and private transportation services for true multi-modal mobility in cities.

Can an App Increase Carpooling? Contra Costa County, California’s Partnership with Scoop Aims To

  • Contra Costa County, Calif., hasn’t found a resolution yet to the workweek gridlock that snarls highway traffic across the Bay Area, but one of its public agencies is in the early stages of another pilot aimed at convincing commuters to become part of a potential solution. On Monday, May 22, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) began a new partnership with San Francisco-based Scoop Technologies Inc., during which it will spend $2 per ride to incentivize residents to use the carpooling application during weekday drive times.