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APPLYING DESIGN FLEXIBILITY & REDUCING CONFLICTS
-> A recently published FHWA report helps build multimodal transportation networks by highlighting ways planners and designers can apply design flexibility in current national design guidance to address common roadway design challenges and barriers. The report focuses on reducing multimodal conflicts and achieving connected networks so that walking and bicycling are safe, comfortable, and attractive options for people of all ages and abilities. This resource includes 24 design topics, organized into two themes. The 12 design topics in Part 1 focus on design flexibility. The 12 topics in Part 2 focus on measures to reduce conflicts between modes. Each design topic includes relevant case studies and references to appropriate design guidelines. "Achieving Multimodal Networks: Applying Design Flexibility and Reducing Conflicts" http://bit.ly/2bhtFk0
15 FEDERAL PED/BIKE FUNDING SOURCES
-> The Federal Highway Administration updated its table "Pedestrian and Bicycle Funding Opportunities: U.S. Department of Transportation Transit, Highway, and Safety Funds" (http://1.usa.gov/1pQWubk) to account for the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (http://bit.ly/2blykBj). The updated list provides more project examples, includes 15 federal funding sources, indicates potential eligibility for pedestrian and bicycle projects, notes basic program requirements, and links to program guidance. Bookmark this resource!
Section 1404 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act modified 23 U.S.C. 109 to require federally funded projects on the National Highway System to consider access for other modes of transportation, and provides greater design flexibility to do so.
TRB STUDY LAUNCHED: FUTURE OF THE U.S. INTERSTATE
-> TRB is launching a new study on the future of the U.S. Interstate pursuant to Section 6021 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act of 2015. The act calls for TRB to conduct "a study on the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways to its role as a premier system that meets the growing and shifting demands of the 21st century."
To guide this study and author its report, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has appointed a committee of 14 experts with balanced backgrounds and perspectives in transportation policy and planning in both urban and rural contexts, travel demand, highway construction and operations, traffic safety, modeling, environmental and community impact mitigation, economic development, supply chains and goods movement, funding, equity and access to economic opportunity, multimodal transportation, and advanced vehicle technologies. The committee will develop its report over the course of the 30 month project. During the first 20 months of the study, the committee will meet regularly to hear from key stakeholder groups. http://bit.ly/2bhpVNm
LIMITS OF DATA-DRIVEN APPROACHES TO PLANNING
-> A recent CityCommentary article observes sometimes the quantitative transportation data that’s available is too limited to enable us to see what’s really going on. And incomplete data can lead us to the wrong conclusions. Plus, there’s an evident systematic bias in favor of current modes of transportation and travel patterns. The car-centric data we have about transportation fundamentally warps the field’s decision-making. Unless we’re careful, big data will only perpetuate that problem—if not make it worse. If we want cities that are truly walkable and bikeable–that can become great places to be rather than easy corridors to travel through–we have to listen to more than big data. We need a framework that considers a wide array of evidence of what we’ve done and what we’ve left undone; of what we are, and what we aspire to be. http://bit.ly/2c5BEEF
CARLESS RENTERS PAY $440M/YR FOR PARKING THEY CAN’T USE
-> A Streetsblog article notes many residents of American cities can’t escape the high cost of parking, even if they don’t own cars. With policies like mandatory parking requirements and "bundling" parking with housing, carless renters pay $440 million each year for parking they don’t use, according to a new study published in Housing Policy Debate. (Hidden Costs and Deadweight Losses: Bundled Parking and Residential Rents in the Metropolitan United States: http://bit.ly/2c5EjhL) The financial burden works out to an average of $621 annually per household, or a 13 percent rent premium — and it is concentrated among households that can least afford it. Researchers estimate that nationwide there are 708,000 households without a car renting an apartment with a garaged parking space. http://bit.ly/2bQoEBv
QUANTIFYING THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF TRANSPORT
-> The International Transport Forum published a summary report of its 2015 roundtable meeting on Quantifying the Socio-Economic Benefits of Transport (http://bit.ly/2bzeukZ). Socio-economic cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a powerful framework that can be very useful to governments making investment decisions. This paper describes efforts to improve the quality of transport CBA and its applicability to decision making.
EUROPEAN CYCLISTS, SHOP OWNERS, LIVABLE STREETS & BOTTOM LINES
-> Livable cities are economically successful, and cyclists are good customers – more and more local businesses in Europe understand this link and work together with cycling advocates to improve conditions for active mobility. This is also the case in Padova (Padua), a city in Northern Italy. When the mayor decided to prohibit cyclists from riding in the city centre on Saturday afternoons, shop owners suffered a 50% loss in income during this time. Their local associations, representing more than 250 businesses, protested against this harmful decision, and called for their customers to be able to come by bike. European Cyclists’ Federation: http://bit.ly/2bhzX64
BRITISH COLUMBIA CYCLISTS: ALLOCATE SURPLUS TO BIKE & PED PROJECTS
-> A Cycling Industry News article notes a new petition by the British Columbia Cycling Coalition is calling on Finance Minister Mike de Jong to allocate a CAN$730 million budget surplus to building in safety for cyclists and walkers. Further, the BC economy is growing at three times the rate of the national average. The Cycling group has now asked for CAN$1 billion in funding over the next ten years. With the funding, the petition calls for safe routes to school for children, investment in trails and routes with a view to boosting regional tourism, an upgrade of cycle lanes on provincial roads and bridges, as well as a complete walking and cycling network linking communities. http://bit.ly/2bvADU4
FIRST CYCLE HIGHWAYS INCLUDED IN GERMAN TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN
-> According to the European Cyclists’ Federation, for the first time in history, the German government has included cycle highways in its new Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan adopted earlier this month. The plan, which is going to be the central document for national level transport infrastructure planning in Germany until 2030, now addresses cycling besides investments in road, rail and inland waterway infrastructure. The earlier drafts of the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan were criticized by the Federal Environmental Agency, among others, for their bias towards road infrastructure for cars and their failure to meet Germany’s CO2 emission reduction targets. In the final adopted version, the federal government made some corrections to better support cycling. http://bit.ly/2bUZPEx
WHAT MAKES A COMMUNITY LIVABLE FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES?
-> Take AARP’s 10-item What Makes a Community Livable for People of All Ages? quiz in English or En español. The quiz responses identify some of the livability features that help people of all ages and life stages. http://bit.ly/2bNfgvT
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