Transportation Thursdays

March 14, 2019       View original email

Early Bird Registration is Open for NARC’s 53rd Annual Conference & Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska June 9-12, hosted by the Omaha – Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency.

Learn More & Register
Register here before Friday, April 12 to take advantage of early bird pricing. A draft agenda summary with Board and EDC times is listed on our conference page. If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting, please view our sponsor benefits and application packet.

Vote on Conference Topics
Take this five minute survey  to help choose the topics for the conference’s panel discussions and keynote/lunch sessions. We look forward to seeing your responses!
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee: Aligning Federal Surface Transportation Policy to Meet 21st Century Needs
Yesterday the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit convened to discuss prioritizing the reauthorization of highway and transit programs before they expire next year. Regions and local communities require continued federal infrastructure investment to provide regional connectivity and modern mobility through efficient multi-modal systems. There were conversations around creating funding models, including the use of a gas tax or a mileage-user-based fee program, that will increase the long-term solvency of the highway trust fund and give local governments the ability to invest in long-term projects. There was recognition that MPO’s need the flexibility to address localized impacts and needs, but that their work creates solutions across regions that benefit everyone. Discussions during the hearing also emphasized the importance of considering intersecting issues such as climate change and affordable housing when developing transportation projects. Read NARC’s detailed notes from the hearing.
Trump Administration Releases 2020 Budget Proposal

The Trump administration earlier this week released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, which contains massive cuts in discretionary spending to support significant increases in spending on the military and other administration priorities. Within transportation, there is good and bad news for important regional and local priorities. The good news is that FAST Act levels would be fully funded under the President’s proposal. The bad news is that there are deep cuts on the discretionary side of the ledger. That includes a near-zeroing out of the $3 billion that Congress added for infrastructure in the most recent funding bill, much of which went to MPOs through increased funding for the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program.

The budget does, however, request an additional $1 billion for discretionary freight infrastructure grants through the INFRA program, which could be in addition to what is already provided for FY2020 through the FAST Act. The BUILD program (formerly TIGER) would be funded at $1 billion, a $100 million increase over last year, and a $300 million discretionary program is requested for a new competitive rural bridge program. Discretionary transit funding for Capital Improvement Grants (CIG) would be slashed by $1 billion and transit infrastructure grants by $200 million. Amtrak would also be cut by $1 billion, with massive restructuring of long-distance service (including replacing some train routs with buses). The DOT budget justification has lots of additional information and much more detail.

As you have no doubt heard by now, the administration’s proposal is dead on arrival in Congress, which will ignore most of what has been proposed (which makes you wonder why we spend so much time and effort talking about it!). The real action to watch is what Congress does with its budget agreement for the year. This is a more challenging endeavor than usual because the significant spending increases that resulted from the two-year budget agreement that got us through the FY2019 spending year are about to collide with draconian cuts mandated by the sequester deal, which still has two years of life left. That will be a much better barometer of what to expect during the appropriations process than anything from the administration.
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Program Manager
Posted: 3/14/2019
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, MA

Business and Operations Manager
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San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego, CA

Equity Manager
Posted: 3/14/2019
Puget Sound Regional Council, Seattle, WA

Center Director, Center for Strategic Relations
Posted: 3/12/2019
Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta, GA

Senior Transportation Planner
Posted: 3/11/2019
Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission, Manchester, NH

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Bridging the Gap Between City Sustainability and Land Use Planning
Wednesday, March 20th – 2:00 P.M. EST
Join Urban Footprint for a discussion with ICLEI USA, the City of Honolulu, and the City of Madison on bridging the gap between city sustainability and land use planning in order to create data-driven climate action projects.
Talking Freight: ITS MARAD Truck Staging Problem
Wednesday, March 20th – 1:00 P.M. EST
The ITS MARAD Truck Staging Study intends to establish the foundation for the long-term development and demonstration of port truck staging concepts by improving the safety, access, reliability, and readiness of port facilities. This webinar will discuss the study’s findings and provide a port perspective on addressing truck staging needs.

REMI Webinar: Transportation Resilience Assessment and Management
Tuesday, April 2nd – 2:00 P.M. EST

Transportation resilience measures a network’s ability to absorb, recover from, and adapt to both expected and unexpected disturbances. Learn more about resilience planning and creating adaptive systems from guest speaker Igor Linkov, Ph.D., Risk and Decision Science Focus Area Lead for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Center and Adjunct Professor of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

T3e Webinar: Signal Timing Optimization for Improved Mobility and Air Quality
Wednesday, April 10th – 2:00 P.M. EST
There is a critical need to mitigate congestion and its associated impacts on urban multimodal transportation systems. In this webinar by the U.S. DOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)-Joint Program Office (JPO) attendees will learn about ongoing research into a bi-objective signal control system that minimizes a weighted combination of total vehicle delay and emissions for both cars and buses at signalized intersections.