Monday, June 7, 2010

Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility - Draft DOT Strategic Plan part 3

Department of Transportation Draft Strategic Plan

DOT embraces CCAM, which seeks to coordinate the many transportation programs dispersed throughout the federal bureaucracy. Explicitly mentioned for continued federal support are:
* Local coordinating councils,
* One-call services - "single point of access that links human services with transportation providers to address the special mobility needs of persons with disabilities, older adults, low-income persons and others without ready access to automobiles,"
* ITS to assist human service transportation via transportation management centers (such as the Mobility Services for All Americans - MSAA - program), and
* "[T]echnical assistance and training activities to improve the operations of local public and non-profit community transportation providers."

With no discussion, the plan directly ties CCAM's work and the technical assistance and local efforts mentioned above to DOT's livability initiative. Mobility for vulnerable transportation-challenged populations is considered a livable communities issue that is part of DOT's overarching mission. Connecting CCAM’s work to the major goal at three federal agencies (DOT, HUD and EPA) will lend gravitas to the Council’s efforts and allows it to fit in with the Administration’s emphasis on federal cooperation and coordination.

The plan delves into the performance measures for CCAM's assistance to states, regions and communities. These include:
* Increase in "transit seat-miles by urbanized area transit systems,"
* Increase in non-urbanized area transit trips,
* Increase in "intermodal transportation options for travelers,"
* Improved transit reliability,
* Improved walking and biking networks - a Federal Highway Administration task,
* Improved ADA access on rail and buses for people with disabilities.

DOT plans to seek reauthorization of transportation legislation that will foster livable communities,

providing funding to regions and communities to carry out livability goals in partnership with States and other public agencies; strengthening the consideration of land use, energy, the environment, and other livability elements in transportation planning; and establishing criteria for performance-based planning and incentives to focus on outcomes.

DOT acknowledges that there will be resistance to the livability agenda and its vision of a multi-modal future. Housing, land use design, roads and other infrastructure are investments that last a generation, the plan recognizes, and many communities and states are not accustomed to thinking in terms of sidewalks, bike paths, distances between residential and commercial areas, or connectivity among transportation modes.

Remember that DOT comment invites the public to comment on its proposals. Read the draft plan sections that interest you and respond to DOT.

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