Transportation Thursdays

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


August 17, 2017

Conference Planning Committee: NARC and MetroPlan Orlando are forming an Annual Conference Planning Committee and would like your help. If you are interested in shaping the content of the Orlando agenda, please send your name to today!

House T&I Dems Fact-Check Trump Administration Claims
In response to the executive order on environmental review (see article below), House Transportation and Infrastructure minority staff released a fact sheet regarding infrastructure environmental review and permitting. The three-page document highlights “myths” from the administration related to how long the permitting process takes, the biggest impediment to infrastructure improvement, and the cost of environmental protections with facts rebutting the administration’s stances.

Executive Order on Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure
Present Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday aiming to reduce the federal environmental permitting process to no more than two years and implement a “One Federal Decision” policy, which requires a lead federal agency to serve as the coordinator for other relevant agencies. A fact sheet lists the president’s actions on infrastructure, and details the most recent executive order.

During Tuesday’s press conference to discuss infrastructure and announce the executive order, the president used a flowchart to emphasize his points on the slow permitting process, and compared U.S. infrastructure to a third-world country. Despite the administration’s attempt to get back to one of its signature issues after a tumultuous few days, the question and answer portion was not directed towards infrastructure and no further details were revealed about the administration’s $1 trillion plan.

Robert L. Sumwalt, NTSB Chairman
On August 10, Robert L. Sumwalt III was sworn in as the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) 14th chairman. Sumwalt has served as acting chairman since March 31 and has been a NTSB member since August 2006. Previously, Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, chaired the Air Line Pilots Association’s Human Factors and Training Group, and co-founded the association’s Critical Incident Response Program. He also spent eight years as a consultant for NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System, and has written extensively on aviation safety matters.

USDOT Proposes Rule to Streamline Private Sector Investment in Transit Projects
USDOT and FTA announced a proposed rulemaking to facilitate public-private partnerships (P3s) in public transportation by allowing recipients of federal funding to identify specific FTA regulations, practices, procedures, or guidance documents that may be an impediment to the use of P3s or private investment in transit projects. Under the proposed Private Investment Project Procedures (PIPP) the recipients would be able to obtain a waiver if certain criteria are met. The NPRM is open for comments until September 29.

Synthesis of Approaches for Addressing Resilience in Project Development
This FHWA report synthesizes lessons learned and innovations from recent studies and pilots to help transportation agencies address changing climate conditions and extreme weather events at the asset level. The report is designed to facilitate the integration of climate considerations into a range of transportation engineering design projects and includes many case studies from state DOTs and MPOs.

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Salt Lake City Seeks Major Transit Improvements 
A new draft city master plan for transit in Salt Lake City would provide three out of every four residents access to transit within two blocks of their homes. However, like many regions the plan lacks funding and the city council and transit authority are debating how to fund the improvements. Several councilmembers think the city should take big “attention-grabbing steps” to build ridership rather than wait for demand before expanding the system. The master plan looks at a variety of ways to raise funds including federal grants and raising local taxes, which city residents approved by vote last year but was voted down countywide. The mayor and city council are working to find the best way to implement the plan with full support from the Utah Transit Authority.

2017 FHWA Environmental Excellence Awards
Congratulations to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) for their FHWA Environmental Excellence Award in Air Quality! The Atlanta Roadside Emissions Exposure Study(AREES) analyzes how local-scale air quality and human health are impacted by changes to the transportation network. Before AREES, ARC could only gauge pollution levels in a regional context, as part of the transportation system, as required by transportation conformity regulations. AREES enables ARC to evaluate air pollution at the neighborhood level. The ability to better assess air quality at the project level is expected to have significant effects on long-term community health in Atlanta and beyond.

View full list of jobs!

Executive Director
Centralina Council of Governments, Charlotte, NC

Assistant – Associate Transportation Planner
Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments, Fargo, ND

Executive Director
Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Colorado Springs, CO

View full list of grants and events!

Incorporating Health in Transportation Decisions
August 24, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
The American Public Health Association (APHA) believes in working with the transportation sector to create equitable and healthy transportation policies and practices. Since its release in 2015, the Transportation and Health Tool has been an online resource for public health and transportation professionals alike. Using this tool, practitioners can learn how their states and metropolitan regions stack up against their peers in terms of key health and transportation indicators. In this webinar, you’ll hear transportation professionals promoting initiatives and efforts to integrate health considerations into their transportation decisions and policies.

Regional Planning and Economic Modeling: A Dialogue with Leading Experts
August 29, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
As technology, regulation, and industries rapidly change, regional planning councils, MPOs, COGs, and other transportation planning organizations are facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities in leveraging their regional assets for broad-based economic growth. Often the core objectives of these organizations, such as planning and prioritizing for transportation investments or assessing housing needs, relies on regional economic forecasting and simulation tools. Join REMI for a guest webinar to discuss the role that macroeconomic modeling and analysis plays in the planning process for some of REMI’s most innovative transportation planning clients.

Policies to Prepare for an Automated Future (AV Webinar Series Part II)
August 31, 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET
Speakers will discuss policy issues and tools that can guide the evolution of automated vehicles in a way that supports vibrant, multimodal communities. Hear perspectives from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), academics from UC-Davis’s National Center for Sustainable Transportation, practitioners from Sam Schwartz Engineering, and those leading the Portland, OR Smart Autonomous Vehicles Initiative (SAVI). Ask questions and share your own ideas in a facilitated discussion afterward.

APA National Planning Awards Nominations
Due September 8
The American Planning Association (APA) is now accepting nominations through September 8, for the 2018 National Planning Awards. Learn what is required for the online nomination, review award categories and criteria, and access the online nomination portal through APA’s website. All award nominations must be submitted through the online nomination portal.

The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System
September 15, 12:00 -1:00 PM ET
Join U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey A. Rosen for USOT Volpe Center’s newest thought leadership speaker series, The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System, which will explore challenges and opportunities affecting the advancement of transportation systems.

CMAQ From A to Z: Latest on Program Eligibility and Performance Measurement
September 19, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
The Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) program is one of many federal transportation programs that can fund TDM activities. The purpose of this webinar is to provide an A to Z overview of the program. In this webinar, the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) will go over everything you need to know about CMAQ, including: the basics of the program, who controls CMAQ funds & how you can access these funds, specifics on eligibility, FAST Act Performance measures & recent changes to the program, and an update on Interim Guidance and policies ACT is seeking. The Puget Sound Regional Council will present on how they manage the CMAQ program in their region.


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