Categories
Transportation Funding US DOT

US DOT Releases TIGER Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability

This morning the Department of Transportation will announce the availability of funds for the next round of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program.

The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) can be found here:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-31/pdf/2012-1996.pdf.

As you will note, the Fiscal Year 2012 TIGER grant program will make $500 million available for projects having a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or region.  In addition, as in prior rounds of funding, this year’s TIGER grants  are for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis.  Projects will be evaluated on primary criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, livability, environmental sustainability, state of repair and short-term job creation.

Please be aware of the following KEY DATES:

  • Deadline for Pre-Applications—    February 20th, 2012
  • Deadline for Final Applications— March 19th, 2012

The DOT pre-application system will open on or before February 13th.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit pre-applications and applications in advance of the application deadlines.

If you have any questions regarding the TIGER 2012 NOFA, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Aaron Rosenthal

Associate Director | Governmental Affairs

Office of the Secretary | U.S. Department of Transportation
202-493-2234 office | 202-400-1098 cell

 

Categories
Complete Streets Livable Communities NewsFlash Research Safe Routes to School

Research Shows Dramatic Health Benefits of Walking & Biking

Research Shows Dramatic Health Benefits of Walking & Biking

From the California Dept. of Public Health – November 2011; Neil Maizlish, PhD, MPH, Epidemiologist

A public health research team recently developed the Integrated Transport and Health Impacts Model (I-THIM) that makes it possible to estimate the health co-benefits and potential harms from active transport and low carbon driving in urban populations. The team applied the model to the Bay Area, and the results are dramatic.  According to the report, “Reducing risks from chronic disease of the magnitude suggested by I-THIM would rank among the most notable public health achievements in the modern era, and reduce the estimated $34 billion annual cost in California from cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions such as obesity.”

Download the 2-page report summary
Download the technical report
Download the powerpoint overview

At 15% of all miles traveled by active transport, disease reductions include:

↓ 14% of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

↓ 6-7% of dementia and depression

↓ 5% of breast and colon cancerMajor public health impact

$34 billion annual health costs from cardiovascular disease in California

Categories
Complete Streets Livable Communities NewsFlash Public Health Publications Research Safe Routes to School

When We Have Safe Routes to School We Have Safe Routes for All

I read two articles tonight which caught my attention related to Safe Routes to School – right after a neighborhood bike ride home with my 17 year old nephew from his downtown Sacramento high school where I am volunteering as a mentor to students working on campus bicycle programs.  The first was a tragic article in the Sacramento Bee on Michelle Murigi who was fatally injured just one week before her 17th birthday a few blocks from her high school campus.  The second was on a new report released today by the National Center for Safe Routes to School on how to prevent such tragedy through ways to engage schools in increased safety measures, better infrastructure and education programs.

15% of students in California walk to school each day

— many crossing high speed streets without sidewalks or crosswalks

Key Findings from the California Statewide Travel Demand Model

Source: UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center

  • 15% of all school trips are made by walking, however, funding to support safe infrastructure, programs and plans at schools are far below the demand
  • High income students produce 19% of total school trips – contributing 17% of total trips by automobile
  • While 40% of low income students walk to school, only 8% of high income students walk – many schools lack adequate facilities to support active transportation.
  • Middle income students bike to school more than low and high income students combined – the fact that bicycle trips only account for 1% of total school trips may reflect the lack of investment, planning, and programs needed to foster bikable neighborhoods

Study Identifies Four Key Strategies of Successful Safe Routes to School Programs

National Center for Safe Routes to School Releases New Travel Mode Report

(Chapel Hill, N.C.) January 24, 2012 — Do Safe Routes to School programs that increase walking and bicycling have some characteristics in common? A new report conducted by the National Center for Safe Routes to School has found that may indeed be the case.

Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of Safe Routes to School Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes identifies the following four key factors that successful SRTS programs share:

  1. Identifying an in-school leader, often the principal, to champion SRTS.
  2. Conducting activities that reinforce walking and bicycling, such as frequent walker/biker programs and Walk to School Day events.
  3. Generating parent support for SRTS.
  4. Establishing policies that support SRTS, such as early dismissal for students who walk or bicycle home from school.

“SRTS programs across the country are increasing the number of students walking and bicycling to school, and this research reveals some of the ways they did it, which is important for two reasons,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “For transportation and public health officials, it establishes a baseline of data for future research to extend and enrich; for local SRTS program organizers and leaders, it identifies four distinct similarities among successful programs.”

In the Shifting Modes study, National Center researchers explore how school-level dynamics that underlie planning and implementation of SRTS programs relate to the percentage of students who walk and bicycle between home and school. The National Center examined three schools with SRTS programs that measured increases in walking and bicycling to school and compared them to a sample of schools that shared similar demographics but did not increase walking or bicycling to school. To view the complete report, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/program-tools/shifting-modes-report.

Because the study was limited to schools with three years of data and only those schools that adopted SRTS programs early and met stringent data collection criteria were examined, the study’s sample is small. The student travel mode data were complemented with structured interviews with local SRTS program coordinators. This approach yielded insights into ways to increase the percentage of students who walk and bicycle to school.

The National Center also developed a brief document specifically for the SRTS practitioner. Getting More Students to Walk and Bicycle:  Four Elements of Successful Programs highlights how practitioners can use the study’s findings to increase student participation in walking and bicycling to school. The four key strategies identified in the Shifting Modes study are compared to two schools that have been nationally recognized for increasing walking and bicycling to school; the programs at both schools shared all four identified strategies. To view Getting More Students to Walk and Bicycle, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/program-tools/getting-students-to-walk-and-bicycle-for-practitioners.

“We encourage those who are on the ground implementing SRTS programs to consider which of these identified strategies might work for their schools and communities,” Marchetti said. “Every school has different needs; however, the key factors identified in the study were common across programs in urban, suburban and rural settings.”

###

About the National Center for Safe Routes to School

Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, the National Center also provides technical support and resources and coordinates online registration efforts for U.S. Walk to School Day and facilitates worldwide promotion and participation. For more information, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org.

 

Categories
California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning SB 375

UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies to Host Former Graduate Student Lauren Michele for Winter Seminar



 

 

 

 

Time: February 10,2012 , 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Location: 1065 Kemper Hall, UC Davis

Speaker:  Ms. Lauren Michele, Principal/Founder of Policy in Motion

Title: Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32

Follow these steps to view a seminar remotely live:

  • On Friday at 1:30 p.m., log into this web site
  • The login window will appear. Select Enter as a Guest.
  • Enter your name and Enter Room.
  • Wait a few moments to be accepted into the meeting room. Your name will appear as a guest as long as you are logged into the seminar.

 

Abstract: While state and federal actions have been taken to set new requirements for vehicle efficiency and fuels, tackling travel behavior policies that reduce vehicle-miles-traveled and improve transportation network management is needed if California is to reduce its transportation sector’s 38 percent contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. California’s unique democracy and global economy is unparallel to any other union. The State is setting new policy directions for sustainable living through transportation planning, but outdated regulatory frameworks must be aligned with supporting paradigm shifts if California is to move forward in a truly unified vision for people-oriented development and transportation. In a time where both state and federal efforts are pointing toward sustainable planning, Lauren Michele covers five key topics that are necessary for policymakers and practitioners to understand in order to implement sustainable transportation solutions at all levels of government:

  • The Four Circles of GHG Reduction Strategies from Travel Behavior:
    categorizes the existing literature on GHG reduction ranges from land use and transportation strategies into four major themes
  • Planning Theory and Frameworks in California: analyzes how environmental review frameworks, funding structures, and the land use/ transportation planning process work at the local, regional, state, and federal levels
  • Implementing SACOG’s Blueprint and Metropolitan Transportation Plan: reveals what aspects of California government need policy reform in order to successfully implement SB 375’s ”Sustainable Communities Strategies” through an analysis of SACOG’s Blueprint process, successes, and challenges
  • Recommendations for New Policy Frameworks in California: contains suggestions for statute changes, agency actions, and framework reforms that support AB 32, SB 375, AB 857, and SB 391 objectives
  • Creating a Federal Framework for Integrated Planning: provides recommended language for evolving federal climate/energy bills and the transportation reauthorization to support GHG reduction through the planning process

Biographical Sketch: Since the passage of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006 (AB 32), Lauren Michele – Principal/Owner/Author of Policy in Motion, has worked with government agencies and varied stakeholders from the local to federal level on crafting and implementing transportation plans and regulatory frameworks which work toward community sustainability and people-oriented development. A graduate of ITS-Davis and analyst with the Institute’s Urban Land Use and Transportation Center, Ms. Michele’s background extends from working as a local transportation planner in California’s capital city to a federal climate policy analyst in Washington D.C. Her research and strategic analyses have been shared with the Federal Highway Administration; State of California Department of Transportation, Air Resources Board, Energy Commission, Strategic Growth Council, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Assembly and Senate; as well as regional and local transportation planning agencies developing integrated land use and transportation sustainability plans pursuant to Senate Bill 375 (Steinberg, 2008). Her recent book, ‘Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32 was released on August 10th of 2011, including a foreword by Dr. Daniel Sperling. ”This book examines California’s transportation planning initiatives since AB 32, with a nuanced eye toward the State’s particular rules, laws, politics, and institutions. Lauren Michele provides insights and lessons for policymakers and practitioners-in California and elsewhere-as they strive to create more sustainable communities and transportation systems.”– Dr. Daniel Sperling; Director/Professor, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.

 

 

Categories
Education/Webinars Livable Communities NewsFlash

GreenTRIP Webinar for APA Certification Maintenance Credits

GreenTRIP Webinar - Great Access: Deep Affordability
Your Host:

Ann Cheng

Message:

Walkable, transit-oriented communities are seen as an antidote to unfettered sprawl. But outdated city codes vastly overestimate how much people drive and require excessive parking in these transit areas, especially for low-income families and seniors. This leads to oversize parking lots, fewer and more expensive homes, bad design and community opposition. GreenTRIP is an innovative certification program that is overcoming these barriers and ensuring it goes one step further; getting developers to include free transit passes, car share and other strategies to make truly low-carbon, affordable developments that are embraced by the community.

Learn about GreenTRIP’s success and TransForm’s plans to bring it to scale to improve development in California and eventually the country. Join Switzer Fellow Stuart Cohen, Executive Director of TransForm, and Ann Cheng, GreenTRIP Program Director for this informative and inspiring webinar.

Wednesday, January 11
10 – 11am Pacific Standard Time (1-2pm EST)

Register for the webinar here:
(link)

What:

GreenTRIP Webinar – Great Access: Deep Affordability

Where:

https://www3.gotomeeting.com/r egister/904921542

American Planning Association is offering Certification Maintenance Credits!

CM | Pending

When:

January 11th, 2012, 10am – 11am

Categories
California Policy Livable Communities Metropolitan Planning Modeling/Tools NewsFlash SB 375 Sustainability

Policy in Motion and Fehr & Peers Submit Joint Comment Letter on Strategic Growth Council’s Strategic Plan

January 3, 2012

Chairman Ken Alex

Strategic Growth Council

1400 Tenth Street

Sacramento, CA  95814

 

Re:  Comments on the Strategic Growth Council’s Strategic Plan

Dear Chairman Alex and Members of the Council:

Policy in Motion and Fehr and Peers would like to recognize and appreciate the efforts of the strategic planning process undertaken by the Strategic Growth Council.  The draft Strategic Plan reflects a statewide shift toward planning and crafting policies which support sustainable communities in California.  As firms whose mission is to improve and grow efficient, prosperous and beautiful communities, the Principals of Policy in Motion and Fehr & Peers offer encouragement that the draft Plan support the Council’s priorities as stated in SB 732 (2008) and AB 857 (2001).

“Quality of Life” has become a key principle at federal, state, regional and local levels of government; however, efforts to define and measure “livability” are still highly variable and the need for performance based planning frameworks in conjunction with developing consistent quantification tools and modeling to capture policy impacts across the economic, environmental and equitable aspects of sustainability planning is greatly needed.  Additionally, the possible MAP-21 federal redesignation of Metropolitan Planning Organization size from 50,000 to 200,000 would greatly increase the need for resources and guidance on performance based and cost-effective infrastructure planning among California’s smaller MPOs – given the redesignation would impact 10 of California’s 18 MPOs which would no longer be subject to SB 375 (2008).  These regions would include four of the eight San Joaquin Valley MPOs, and the regions of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Shasta, Butte and Tahoe.

In light of the limited staff resources and diversity of important issues facing the Council, Policy in Motion and Fehr & Peers would like to recommend focus the draft Strategic Plan on initiatives which are cross-cutting and supportive in sustainability objectives by leveraging recent State investments with staff and technical resources across agencies and stakeholder groups.  Please consider the following comments pertaining to the development of the Five-Year Infrastructure Plan and coordinated investment strategies:

Strategy 1.4: Promote incorporation of SB 732’s objectives into the state’s Five-Year Infrastructure Plan.

“A work group created by the Executive Director and Key Staff will. . . make recommendations on how planning priorities and sustainability objectives can be more fully integrated into the development of the Five-Year Infrastructure Plan administered by the Department of Finance. Council Members will provide leadership to encourage their agencies’ cooperation, and may request an assessment of how infrastructure investments within their agencies and departments support state planning priorities.”

  • The Council and member agency involvement in developing the Five-Year Infrastructure Plan should include a transportation element oriented toward the implementation of the short term elements of the California Transportation Plan and coordinated across member agencies to integrate water, energy, public health, and other related infrastructure.
  • In facilitating the process for the Five-Year Infrastructure Plan and long range planning objectives under SB375, the Council should provide guidance, support and capacity building for MPOs and RTPAs on tools and resources, including the California Statewide Integrated Model (CalSIM) and other consistent tools for use across regions in Regional Transportation Plan development and evaluation.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.  We look forward to working with you as the Council works toward adoption of a final Strategic Plan.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lauren Michele

Principal/Owner

Policy in Motion

 

Gerard Walters

Principal, Chief Technical Officer

FEHR & PEERS

 

Jerry Walters is Fehr & Peers Chief Technical Officer and leader of the firm’s Cool Connections initiative on transportation strategies for sustainable climate, energy and health.  He has over thirty years experience in transportation planning and engineering, and has participated on committees responsible for defining best practices for integrated land use, transportation and climate change methods for the California Transportation Commission, Air Resources Board, Department of Housing and Community Development, Caltrans, and the American Public Transit Association.  He has also directed development of project evaluation methods and metrics for the US EPA and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.  Mr. Walters is a co-author of the 2008 book Growing Cooler – the Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change published by the ULI. He also led development of smart growth travel analysis methods for Sacramento Regional Blueprint study, San Joaquin Valley Growth Response study, and smart growth planning for the San Diego and San Luis Obispo regions, and sustainable development plan throughout the US.

Lauren Michele is the Principal and Founder of Policy in Motion, a Woman/ Disadvantaged Business Enterprise highlighting how transportation policy impacts community sustainability and “people-oriented development” — access to affordable living near quality jobs, food, schools and health services through livability planning.  Ms. Michele’s combined knowledge as a practicing transportation planning consultant, climate policy analyst, and University of California researcher has given her a foundation to build a business and author a book connecting federal and state legislative priorities with local and regional implementation.  She has worked on issues from local transportation planning to federal climate policy. Her recent book, Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32 was released August 10, 2011.

“People-oriented development is a concept that goes beyond traditional planning concepts of promoting high density development near transit stations; rather, POD focuses on what makes people happy and how to offer existing neighborhoods job growth, community schools, places of gathering, quality travel, resource management, and housing diversity.  In a state that drives 800 million miles a day and spends ten percent of household income on cars, planning for PODs today will blossom beautiful communities tomorrow.”

– Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32

 

 

 

Categories
California Policy Livable Communities Local Government State Policy Sustainability

Wishing You a Happy New Year from Policy in Motion!

A Gift for You!

What if the joy of the holiday season extended throughout the year and laid the foundation for community sustainability policy and planning? “Quality of Life” is a recent concept in the land use/ transportation/ environmental planning profession to depict how the creation of sustainable communities fosters individual “livability” — or happiness.  In an attempt to translate the abstract concept of “Livability Planning,” Lauren Michele has combined her graduate research on greenhouse gas reduction strategies and travel behavior policy with a vision for “People-Oriented Development” (POD) in the launch of a business and book — Policy in Motion.

Since the launch of my book in August, I have shared my technical research and “POD” vision with over 350 University students, emerging professionals, and leading experts — as well as over two dozen policy makers from the California Governor’s Office and State Legislature — all interested in more integrated sustainability planning at the local, regional and state levels of government.  Additionally, the book has been made available in the libraries of the State of California’s Department of Transportation, Energy Commission, and Air Resources Board for employees.

Policy in Motion is now certified as an Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprisein the states of California and Nevada, and is seeking new partnership and creative opportunities with other private and public organizations across the Western United States and in Washington D.C.  Policy in Motion will also be expanding its Career Development Mentorship Program (Interns in Motion) in 2012 to include motivated high school students from downtown Sacramento to work together with undergraduate and graduate University student interns — to achieve this vision the organization is seeking shared office space opportunities.

“People-oriented development is a concept that goes beyond traditional planning concepts of promoting high density development near transit stations; rather, POD focuses on what makes people happy and how to offer existing neighborhoods job growth, community schools, places of gathering, quality travel, resource management, and housing diversity.  In a state that drives 800 million miles a day and spends ten percent of household income on cars, planning for PODs today will blossom beautiful communities tomorrow”
— Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32

Download a free book sample of Policy in Motion’s highlights and have a beautiful holiday season! And don’t forget to check out the Policy in Motion Blog for the latest on all the planning acronyms to keep up with everything from performance based planning in MAP-21, LEED-ND, STARS; to webinars / events with APA, ULI, ASLA, SGC; for the scoop on regional/statewide planning under SB 375, SCS, RTP, CIB, HSR; and all the research / grant resource opportunities in between!

~  Lauren Michele  ~

Woman Business Owner & Author
530.848.4342 │lauren.michele@policyinmotion.com
Growing Beautiful Communities at www.policyinmotion.com