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Messages - GSullivan

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16
Research and Resources / House Approves 3-Month Authorization Extension
« on: September 24, 2009, 01:30:10 pm »
According to the AASHTO Journal, The House of Representatives voted 335-85 this evening to approve a bill that would extend federal highway and transit programs until the end of this year. Federal law authorizing spending on federal-aid highways, transit projects, and highway safety programs is set to expire Sept. 30.

House Democratic leaders brought the measure, HR 3617, sponsored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-MN, to the floor late this afternoon using an expedited procedure known as suspension of the rules. This process allowed the bill to bypass a committee markup and also precludes amendments to the bill.

The legislation does not address a looming $8.7 billion rescission of existing contract authority (enacted in the 2005 transportation law known as SAFETEA-LU and amended by a 2007 energy law), which will be executed next week by the Federal Highway Administration if not repealed.

Read AASHTO's full story here http://www.aashtojournal.org/Pages/Default.aspx


17
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Illinois overview
« on: September 24, 2009, 01:27:13 pm »
Thanks for the post. That is very good news and I will reach out to Rich a LIB and NE IL Greenways and Trails to see how we can support them. I have been in contact with the Bike/Ped and offered our services (mapping, meeting coordination, etc.)

18
Hey Paul -
I am taking the "best of"  your process - that which will be adaptable for other agencies and will be putting this on the Resource page of the USBRS website. Kerry Irons from Michigan and a volunteer to the project, has helped pull this together from your various postings. I wanted to thank you for posting your ideas and appreciate the thoroughness of it. I know others will really benefit from having this outlined.

Thanks again!
Ginny

19
Corridor 66 Implementation / Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
« on: September 01, 2009, 06:54:13 pm »
Great news!

20
Hi Larry,
I will direct the folks in California to read your post. thanks for the suggestion.

21
Wow! I go on vacation for a couple weeks and kapow! look at what you guys have pulled together!

I will have to take some time to look all this over before I throw my hat into the ring. I will also call upon my friend and leader on this - Mr. Richard Moeur - to take a stab.

thanks for all the input folks.

22
Greetings,
I read through your post and agree, the concept of building more lanes to reduce traffic congestion isn't working and our current community planning model doesn't work either. I think the shift to a higher quality of life will prevail. For instance, Rep. Oberstar and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood both feel quality of life is very important - let's just hope they can come to agreement on what that means. For Rep. Oberstar (D-MN) and DeFazion (D-OR) they realize that transportation plays a key role in quality of life issues (like driving 100 miles per day to a job means sitting in the car when you could be spending time with family). The House bill that is on the table at the moment creates an "Office of Livability" within the Secy of Transportation's office. Mmmm.

I wanted to give you hope. There are thousands of people working for a variety of organizations and agencies that think as you do and are actively working to make things better. I appreciate your post as it emphasizes how much we need everyone to change course and rethink transportation.

Keep riding that trail!

23
From our friends at the Alliance for Biking and Walking, I recently learned the following:

America Bikes has recently been informed by the Department of Transportation that large bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible and that organizations are encouraged to submit such projects for the TIGER discretionary grants in the stimulus package.

The TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) is a discretionary grant program in the stimulus that makes $1.5 billion dollars available to local governments and MPOs “to make grants for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.”

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has assured America Bikes that large and/or network-based bicycle projects, such as 2010 communities, are strong applicants and are encouraged to apply.
At a quick glance, the grant may not seem a good fit, but three of the five primary criteria for selection are livability, sustainability and safety –categories that bike/ped projects excel at – and the DOT has restated their ability to waive the $20 million minimum for a project that meets those criteria.
 
Applications are due September 15th.

We encourage Alliance groups to talk with their state or local governments about appropriate bike/ped projects for the TIGER Grant as soon as possible and to send any questions to TIGERGrants@dot.gov

Some additional resources that may help you:

 FAQs: http://www.dot.gov/recovery/ost/faqs.htm

Notice of Funding Availability: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-14262.pdf


24
Tell us your thoughts on funding the next Transportation Bill As State DOTs across the country are struggling to make payrolls, stimulus projects are beginning to roll out and the Highway Trust Fund is belly-up - what are the opportunities for transportation? Tell us your thoughts here!

26
Okay Forum Members (and interested others)
The section of the bill that pertains to the USBRS is under the Office of Livability Sec 1203, pg 198. The section that addresses implementation of the U.S. Bicycle Routes is on pg 214 (A) lines 10-15. This language needs to be changed to reflect the operational process that AASHTO established for developing U.S. Bicycle Routes through the State DOTs. Just wanted to point out that the task force is working on this!

27
Thanks Paul for pulling this all together. It really does have some important pieces spelled out in it. Let's keep talking about how we might simplify it so that it creates a working template that states can use (and then they can add relevant pieces vs. removing process that doesn't apply). It would be great to have other forum members take a stab at different versions.

28
Chairman Oberstar and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced the Surface Transportation Bill of 2009. Read it at http://transportation.house.gov/

Read Bike Portland's blog http://bikeportland.org/2009/06/18/oberstars-500b-t-bill-would-establish-livability-office-us-bike-route-system/

And the media take on it http://www.examiner.com/x-2429-DC-Bicycle-Transportation-Examiner~y2009m6d21-Oberstar-reveals-transportation-blueprint



29
Greetings! Nothing is out of the picture yet. The corridor plan is just that, a plan. Although I have been talking to CALTRANS about the USBRS, we haven't gotten into the details of the corridor plan and the plan can change depending up a number of factors: the state's interest in connecting cities, the cities willingness to be a part of the system and the routes that can be defined as appropriate. The routes chosen may be spurs into cities and skirt around the urban centers entirely or might provide alternative loops, etc.

One thing that might play into how the corridor plan and the eventual route system in Calfornia turns out is the movement to create a California route network (possibly similar to what states like NY and PA have done). There is much momentum behind this idea right now and the USBRS could become a "user" of the state system that develops from this movement. You can learn more here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_1451-1500/ab_1464_bill_20090504_amended_asm_v97.pdf

30
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Volunteer in Oklahoma
« on: June 22, 2009, 05:13:59 pm »
John, Thanks for posting on the forums. It will help move us forward in OK and beyond to have as many voices show up here as possible. If we start working with OK on routing, I will let you know. In the meantime, be sure to let the OK DOT know you're a willing volunteer. You can access all the bike ped coordinators from this website: http://www.walkinginfo.org/assistance/contacts.cfm

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