NOTE: NARC newsletters are typically uploaded to the website on the Friday of the week they were sent out.
January 21, 2016
No Reason to Stall
Representatives Sam Graves (R-MO) and Todd Rokita (R-IN) published a column this week advocating for reform of the Federal Aviation Administration and calling for the U.S. to take the lead in aviation. They hope to create a private Air Traffic Control Organization that protects aviators and encourages Congress to complete the reauthorization before the March 31 expiration of the current extension.
Senate Energy Bill to be Considered
The Senate is set to consider a bipartisan energy package that would streamline permitting for gas exports and boost energy-efficiency standards, among other priorities. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans for an open amendment process due to the range of views and perspectives within the energy sector. Other issues that could come up with the bill include the recent lifting of economic sanctions on Iran and policy initiatives to increase use of renewable sources. So far, the Senate energy bill has avoided partisan provisions to maintain broad political support. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will have to factor in the declining price of oil, which could affect the bill by encouraging lawmakers to lower regulatory barriers to sustain output and stabilize prices.
Toward Low Carbon Transportation
FHWA released a new document this week about reducing greenhouse gas emissions to reach U.S. targets. The fact sheet provides suggestions for DOTs and MPOs on addressing climate change and includes several examples where FHWA is partnering with states and regions to reduce emissions.
FTA Says FAST Act Transit Increases Mostly Target Good Repair, Bus Grant Programs
FTA recently provided fact sheets that outline Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act transit programs and funding levels. One of several programs to receive a bump is the bus and bus facilities program, which is slated to receive an increase of $268 million. A slide presentation provides exact numbers and information about FTA programs under the FAST Act.
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Millennials Spurn Driver’s Licenses, Study Finds
Studies continue to show that young adults are ditching drivers’ licenses for ride-sharing and other mobility services. A new University of Michigan report shows just over 76.7% of 20-24 year olds possessed a driver’s license in 2014, while only 24.5% of 16 year olds had driver’s licenses compared to 31.1% in 2008. Major automakers are adapting their business models to address these shifts even though they have not noticed a direct impact on their sales.
Virginia has a New Way of Rating Transportation Projects
A new scoring system for transportation projects in Virginia had its debut this week when several projects were presented to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The Board has until June to create a final list of projects. The rating system looks at congestion relief, safety, land use, and other factors to rate the 300 projects proposed. Virginia hopes this system will take the political aspects out of picking projects and will promote projects that give the most benefit.
Director of Transportation
East Texas Council of Governments, Kilgore, TX
Entry-Level Transportation Planner
South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, Vineland, NJ
Alamo Service Connection Care Specialist
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX
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FHWA Call for 2016 Talking Freight Webinar Topics
The FHWA Freight Office is identifying topics for the 2016 Talking Freight webinars. They would like to hear from you regarding potential topics and speakers. If you have an idea, please send the topic, speaker name(s), a brief topic description, and/or speaker contact information to Chip Millard (email@example.com) and Nicole Coene (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Role of Commercial Establishment Surveys in Freight Behavior Research; and the Modeling of Freight Trip Generation, Freight Generation, and Service Trips
January 28, 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET
This webinar will outline the role of commercial establishment surveys in regional and statewide transportation planning, freight demand forecasting, and modeling. Presenters will discuss common methods and approaches to collecting the survey data, as well as typical challenges encountered when conducting the surveys. In addition, it will also describe the use of data obtained via establishment-level surveys to estimate disaggregate Freight Generation (FG), Freight Trip Generation (FTG), and Service Trip Generation (STG) models.
Understanding Transportation Safety Risks on Tribal Lands: Learning from a Collaborative Research Project with American Indian Communities in Minnesota
February 4, 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET
The Transportation Research Board will discuss ways to interpret and respond to the high rates of fatalities and severe injuries among American Indians from crashes. This webinar will share results from a study being conducted in collaboration with several tribal governments in Minnesota, which includes findings about best practices, successful interventions, and other lessons learned about policies and management strategies to address those risks effectively and reduce harm.
Regional Models of Cooperation: Congestion Management Webinar
February 11, 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET
Transportation congestion impacts the daily lives of many who live or work in urban areas. It is also a complex issue that frequently crosses planning jurisdictions in metropolitan areas. MPOs often work together with neighboring MPOs, local jurisdictions, and State DOTs to comprehensively measure and address congestion at a regional scale. This FHWA and FTA webinar will feature examples from 2-3 regions where MPOs and their partners are working together across jurisdictions to manage congestion.
Pedestrian Planning for Communities: A Transferable Training and Implementation Program from Kentucky
February 11, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
A pedestrian plan is an essential first step in the process of creating a walkable community. By bringing together city residents and elected officials with planning, transportation, and health professionals, the entire community can build a vision for safe, attractive, and walkable neighborhoods and identify specific projects that will realize that vision. Once the plan is officially adopted, the community is well positioned to receive state and federal grants, and allocate some of its own resources for implementation. This America Walks webinar will present an example from Kentucky where the state health and transportation agencies have collaborated over several years to develop a Pedestrian Planning for Communities training program, which has led to 30 local pedestrian plans in various stages of implementation across the state.