Transportation Thursdays

53rd ANNUAL CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION

Gain knowledge, tools, and resources to build your community at NARC’s  53rd Annual Conference & Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska from June 9-12, cohosted by the Omaha – Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency.

Events begin Sunday afternoon with two optional mobile workshops exploring Omaha. Sessions and exhibits will highlight economic development tools for regions, the impact of changing demographics, innovations in transportation, regional data solutions, and approaches to disaster response and resiliency. 

Check out our DRAFT AGENDA and conference page for more details. 

Now Accepting Awards Nominations!
The NARC Achievement & Leadership Awards recognize outstanding regional programs and individuals. Gain recognition for all the outstanding work you do at the NARC Awards Gala Dinner during the 53rd Annual Conference and Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska on June 11th!

Guidelines and application are available here.    APPLICATIONS DUE: May 1

CONGRESS BRIEF
Congress returns from recess April 29.

Senators to Metro: No More Federal Funding If You Buy Chinese Rail Cars
A Senate bill would raise federal funding for the DC Metro system from $150 million to $200 million per year and approve that funding for ten years – but only if the transit agency agrees to not buy new rail cars from China. The legislative push, brought about by the region’s senators, comes as China’s state-owned rail company is pursuing a Metro contract worth over $1 billion. This deal could potentially save Metro hundreds of millions of dollars, but there is growing concern in Washington over the effect of Chinese domination on American manufacturers and the potential security risk that Chinese-manufactured technology poses.

ADMINISTRATION
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Availability of $900 Million in Infrastructure Grant Funds
USDOT has announced the availability of $900 million in discretionary grant funding through the BUILD program. The FY 2019 BUILD Transportation grants are critical investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded to projects that illustrate significant local or regional impact. The DOT intends to award up to 50% of available grant funding to projects in rural areas, giving special consideration to projects focused on improving transportation, infrastructure and economic conditions in rural communities. The deadline to apply for the FY 2019 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 15, 2019.

National Coalition on Truck Parking’s Releases Advocacy Resources With Ease-of-Use in Mind
The National Coalition on Truck Parking released new resources geared towards making state, regional, and local government coordination easier when it comes to truck parking issues. The materials cover topics including how to improve truck parking across regions, the importance of local planning and zoning, and how to include truck parking in MPO freight plans.

Alphabet’s Drone Delivery Business Cleared for Takeoff by FAA
Wing Aviation LLC, a Google subsidiary, has become the first drone operator to receive FAA approval as an airline. Wing can now legally begin dropping products to actual customers, and while there are limits on where the offshoot can operate, there is growing optimism about the precedent this sets. Plans are also in the works to conduct extensive outreach to local government leaders and the public to address concerns regarding noise and privacy and understand how this will affect local communities. The approval marks a big step towards the integration of drones into the American economy and highlights the changing landscape of delivery services.

Connecting Transportation and Health: A Guide to Communication and Collaboration
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program has compiled a guide for transportation professionals on connecting transportation and the public health sector. The resource provides insights into how to communicate and work within the public health sector on a federal, state, regional and local level, while also highlighting techniques for successful collaboration and coordination with health professionals.

REGIONS
Safe Routes to School Demonstrates Significant Benefits
A Mineta Transportation Institute report explores the effects and successes of the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program. Passed in 2005, the program was designed to increase walking and biking to school by making it safer and more appealing to elementary and middle school children. With the goal of promoting more active lifestyles as well as reducing traffic and pollution within two miles of schools, the SR2S program has seen as high as a 70 percent increase in children walking to school for some areas.  They have also found a 23 percent reduction in pedestrian/bicyclist injury rates overall. Many of their projects have included bike lanes, speed bumps, intersection improvements, and better sidewalks.

Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) Selected as the 2019 Local Public Agency of the Year
The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission was selected as the 2019 Local Public Agency of the Year during the Ohio DOT’s Annual Civil Rights Transportation Symposium. The award recognized the agency’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, ongoing collaboration with communities in order to advance regional priorities, and their support for the recruitment and retention of a diverse staff. MVRPC continues to lead the way by addressing equity and access to opportunity, while urging members to do the same.

ITIF Proposes Plan for Replacing the Gas Tax with a Road User Charge
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has proposed replacing the gas tax with a national road user charge (RUC) system. As automobiles become electrified and more fuel-efficient, standard gas taxes are failing to pay for transportation maintenance. The proposed plan would use technology to calculate miles traveled and then charge users accordingly. ITIF argues that the RUC system is a more viable and sustainable long-term plan to raise necessary funding and equally distribute the burden of infrastructure costs.  The transition to the RUC system would require massive political and technological overhaul including policy changes, education, and cooperation between private and federal agencies.

JOBS

View full list of jobs!

Transportation Planning Coordinator
Posted: 4/25/2019
North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Ridgway, PA

Executive Director
Posted: 4/22/2019
East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Cedar Rapids, IA

Executive Director
Posted: 4/22/2019
Franklin County Development Council, Ottawa, KS

Senior GIS Planner
Posted: 4/18/2019
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, Allentown, PA

Data and Planning Intern (2 Positions)
Posted: 4/18/2019
Puget Sound Regional Council, Seattle, Washington

OPPORTUNITIES
View full list opportunities!

2019 BUILD Grant Webinar Series
Tuesday, April 30th – 3:00 PM EDT
The DOT is hosting a series of webinars geared towards prospective applicants interested in the BUILD Transportation Grants program, the first of which will discuss how to create a competitive project. The webinars provide information on the technical application process and offer an opportunity for interested members to ask any potential BUILD related questions.

Proposed Guidance Changes and Reporting Clarifications to the National Transit Database
Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 – 2:30 PM ET
This FTA hosted webinar will review proposed changes to the National Transit Database, which was established to the nation’s primary source for information on U.S. transit systems. Public comments are open through June 10th, 2019, with the proposed changes going into effect in September.

ITS ePrimer Webinar: Port Operations
Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 – 1:00 PM ET
The ITS ePrimer provides transportation professionals with concepts and practices related to intelligent transportation system technologies. This webinar will provide an overview of the ITS ePrimer as it relates specifically to port operations, examining what goes into creating ITS projects that address transportation network challenges experienced by ports, and how ITS is a tool to maximize efficiency in freight and port projects.

National Performance Management Research Data Set Users Quarterly Technical Webinar
Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 – 1:00 PM ET
The National Performance Management Research Data Set provides passenger and freight analysis data that FHWA will give to states and MPOs in support of national transportation performance measures. During this webinar FHWA will provide an overview of NPRMDS, demonstrate data applications and respond to any technical assistance questions.

NTI’s State and Metropolitan Transportation Programming Course
Monday, May 13th – Wednesday May 15th, 2019
The National Transit Institute is sponsoring a course in Baltimore on state and metropolitan transportation programming aimed at helping planners advance their approaches to the multimodal nature of programming processes. The concepts presented will address legal, political, and local constraints as well as providing insights and tools to improve planning and programming activities

Let’s Talk Performance: Results from the National TPM Implementation Review Survey
Tuesday, May 14th – 3:30 PM ET
In this webinar the Federal Highway Administration will analyze the results of the National TPM Implementation Review Survey, discuss future FHWA activities, and also ask participants to share their own experiences with TPM. The event is open to staff from FHWA, State DOTs, SHSOs, MPOs, and other stakeholder agencies.

FHWA-FTA TPM and PBPP Implementation Midwest Workshop
Tuesday, June 18th – Thursday, June 20th
FHWA and FTA are hosting a combined workshop discussing both Transportation Performance Management and Performance-Based Planning and Programming implementation. The workshop is the first in a series to be hosted in selected regions, bring together State DOTs, MPOs and public transit operators in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Attendees will discuss target setting, coordination, system performance reports and other requirements related to TPM and PBPP implementation.

 

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