Transportation Thursdays

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

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July 21, 2016

CONGRESS BRIEF
Both chambers are on recess for a seven-week recess period during party conventions and the usual August break. They will return after Labor Day, on September 5.

Obama Signs FAA Extension
President Barack Obama signed an FAA extension last Friday just hours before the previous extension expired. The current extension gives lawmakers until September 2017 to come up with a long-term bill. The Hill has outlined five ways the flying public might be impacted by the new law, including lost and delayed baggage refunds, shorter checkpoint lines, and improved travel for persons with disabilities.

ADMINISTRATION BRIEF
Republican Party’s T&I Platform
With the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week, NARC took a look at the party’s platform on transportation and infrastructure. While Republican nominee Donald Trump hasn’t released official transportation plans on his website, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) said this week that Trump is committed to investing in the transportation system.

MPO Coordination Proposed Rule Materials
Earlier this week, NARC released an analysis of the MPO Coordination NPRM. If you missed NARC’s webinar last Wednesday, you can still access the information via the recording and slides. FHWA and FTA held its first MPO Coordination NPRM webinar last week. Therecording, which includes the presentation and Q&A session, is now available online. They held a second webinar today, and NARC will provide a link to that recording when it is available.

USDOT Build America Bureau Opens
U.S. Transportation Secretory Anthony Foxx announced the opening of the Build America Bureau this week. The Bureau seeks to streamline credit opportunities and grants, provide technical assistance, and encourage best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and monitoring. The focus of the new Bureau is aimed at continuing the work of the Build America Transportation Investment Center (BATIC) and housing the $800 million FASTLANE grant program.

Official 2016 Platform of the Republican Party
According to the 2016 Republican Party Platform, the party proposes to remove some highway trust fund programs that provide funding for bike-share, landscaping, trails, and other enterprises – and then fund them through other sources. The platform calls for a phasing out of the federal transit program and reforms provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act with the aim of lowering the duration and costs associated with transportation projects. On the funding side, the party opposes a federal gas tax increase and hopes to offset that through increased public-private partnership transportation investments. It also includes a repeal of the Davis-Bacon law, which allows private ventures to provide passenger rail service and reverses the current administration’s decision to allow TSA to unionize.

REGIONS BRIEF
Want your organization featured here? Send details to erich@narc.org.

Car2go Reduces Car Ownership
A new report published by UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center has quantified the efforts of the car2go ridesharing service in cities across North America. The report found that this service creates an average reduction of 11 personal vehicles per car2go vehicle from the road, which adds up to 28,000 fewer cars in the five cities studied. In turn, this reduces the vehicle-miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. However, in the five cities studied participants also said that they used less transit as a result of the car-sharing service. As car-and-ride sharing services continue to grow, policymakers will need to determine how to have these services compliment transit and continue to provide environmental benefits.

JOBS
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Executive Director
Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission, Savannah, GA

OPPORTUNITIES
View full list of grants and events!

Pursuing Equity in Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning
July 26, 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET
This webinar will explore the ways in which transportation professionals can pursue and achieve more equitable processes and outcomes when planning and developing multimodal transportation systems. Five speakers will discuss a range of issues with time for a panel discussion at the end.

Road Diets Webinar: Did You Know a Road Can Go on a Diet?
July 28, 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET
Road Diets, one of the initiatives included in the Every Day Counts program, are a low-cost measure that improves safety, calms traffic, and takes into account the needs of all roadway users. FHWA is currently focusing on increasing awareness of Road Diets and their benefits through training, technical assistance, and outreach. This FHWA webinar will provide information on how to determine candidate roads for Road Diets, feasibility/evaluation criteria, design aspects, and other unique considerations.

NARC Webinar! Proposed Rule on MPO Coordination – Feedback Session
July 28, 3:00 – 4:30 PM ET
NARC will be holding a second webinar on the MPO Coordination NPRM. This will be a members-only webinar to provide the opportunity for you to provide frank and honest feedback on the NPRM. This will be valuable even if you attended our first webinar on the topic last week. You can find NARC’s analysis of the NPRM as well as the webinar recording and slides from last week on our NPRM resources page.

ITE 2016 International Annual Meeting & Exhibit
August 14 – 17, Anaheim, CA
The 2016 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Annual Meeting and Exhibit is about embracing the rapid change occurring in the transportation profession, meeting the challenges of new models and technologies, and being ready to take advantage of the immense opportunity offered by this new era. Leave Anaheim feeling energized and renewed to successfully achieve your current responsibilities, tackle your most daunting challenges, and confidently seek out new endeavors.

NARC Event! NARC’s 2016 Executive Directors Conference and Board Retreat
September 18-21 – South Bend, IN
Please join NARC and the Michiana Area Council of Governments this September in South Bend, IN for the annual Executive Directors Conference that is designed by and for Executive Directors of Councils of Governments and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. This intimate conference brings executives together to discuss topics ranging from human resources and succession planning to what’s new on the technological horizon. The conference also provides a great opportunity for networking and sharing of information on best practices. This year’s conference will start with a reception on Sunday night and end with the Board of Directors Retreat on Wednesday. The Board Dinner will be Tuesday evening, time and location TBD. Note: Please plan to arrive on Sunday, September 18 as we will not have hotel rooms available on Saturday night.

 

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