Transportation Thursdays

NOTE: NARC newsletters are typically uploaded to the website on the Friday of the week they were sent out.


February 23, 2017


NARC Needs Your Help with the MPO Coordination Rule!
Has a member of your congressional delegation (or their staff) offered to help dispose of the MPO Coordination Rule or otherwise expressed their opposition to the rule? If so, please let NARC know as soon as possible. There are matching stand-alone bills ready to be dropped in the House and Senate, but we need co-sponsors before that can happen. Please contact Erich Zimmermann,, immediately with details of which members we should contact, the level of their opposition, and other details that will be helpful. Thanks!

Congress is currently in recess. Both chambers return February 27 for a six-week work session.

Infrastructure Plan Delays?
An extremely busy 2017 legislative calendar combined with electoral realities have some Republicans assuming a significant delay – to 2018 – for a Trump infrastructure package. With elections in late 2018, the thinking goes that Democrats will be more willing to cut a deal with the administration on a major spending bill to boost their own chances of electoral success. Separately, there is also growing recognition that a tax bill will need to be worked out before an infrastructure package can really take shape. The timing of a tax overhaul bill is uncertain, but is likely to be measured in months, not years. Once that is known, an infrastructure bill can be developed.

3.2 Trillion Miles Driven on U.S. Roads in 2016
According to FHWA, over 3.2 trillion miles were driven in the U.S. in 2016 – that’s the fifth straight year of increased mileage. Out West, the 13-state area stretching from California to Montana led the nation with a 2.9 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The new data includes December 2016 numbers where North Dakota led with the largest decrease for December and Louisiana led with the largest increase. The continuing increase in VMT across the country is another indication of the importance of infrastructure funding and the dire need for bridge and road maintenance.

Regional Models of Cooperation Handbook
FHWA recently released their Regional Models of Cooperation Handbook. The Regional Models of Cooperation program is facilitated through FHWA and FTA and is a part of the Every Day Counts 3 Initiative. The handbook includes numerous case studies and examples of regional and statewide collaboration and partnership where agencies are working together to save money, be more efficient, and have a greater impact than they could individually.

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What You Need to Know: 2016 Highway Deaths Highest in 10 Years
According to the National Safety Council’s estimates, traffic fatalities rose six percent in 2016, reaching an estimated 40,200 deaths compared to 37,757 in 2015. The last time there were more than 40,000 deaths in one year was 2007, just before the economic downturn. American Trucking Association Chairman Kevin Burch believes that technology, such as texting while driving, plays a key role in the increased fatalities. The National Safety Council cites that Americans’ acceptance of increased traffic deaths – rather than taking action to prevent them – as another key concern. The National Safety Councils estimates include fatalities that occur in parking lots, driveways, and public roads while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only counts deaths that occur on public roads.

NARC Autonomous/Connected Vehicle Working Group
NARC held a listening session on autonomous and connected vehicles last week at our National Conference of Regions in Washington, DC. Members gave feedback on what their regions have done around this issue and ways NARC can help moving forward. The working group plans to hold regularly scheduled calls and/or webinars and will provide input into actions NARC can take to prepare regions for this technology. If you are interested in joining this working group please email Sarah Reed at

2017 National Conference of Regions Materials Available
Many presentations from our legislative conference are now available on our conference webpage. You can also take a look at our photo album on Facebook to see members experiencing the Union Station mobile tour, conference sessions, and trip to Capitol Hill for the congressional breakfast.

View full list of jobs!

Senior Grant Specialist
North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Newark, NJ

Office Manager
North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Newark, NJ

Principal Planner – Mobility Programs
North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Newark, NJ

Field Data Collection Intern
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Chicago, IL

Executive Director
Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, Salem, OR

View full list of grants and events!

RFQ: ACRP Research Roadmap on Select Airport Topics
Qualifications Deadline: March 9
TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) is seeking qualified research teams to conduct research to develop a research roadmap in the topic areas of airport design and construction, and airport operations and maintenance. The request for statement of interest, qualifications, and availability will be used to establish a short list of qualified teams for each topic area that will be invited to submit proposals to conduct the research.

Advancing Neighborhood Change through Equity and Inclusion
March 21, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
Walkability is at the cornerstone of creating neighborhoods that are vital and vibrant, allowing all members of a community to enjoy health and social and economic benefits in a variety of forms. How do we create neighborhoods where change and new development can happen along with the protection and promotion of a community’s identity and culture? Join America Walks as they share some of their recent work on the issues of gentrification and displacement and hear from three people working with and in communities around the US who are tackling this challenge.

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