Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Local Success Stories

In the NRC Technical Assistance News
State coordinating council profiles
Mobility management grants
Livability briefs
Online dialogue about senior transportation
I&R training
FTA procurement facts

[Details high up inside Chicago's Union Station.]

Planning Assistance

National Association of Regional Councils

NARC's newsletter welcomes communities to apply for the American Planning Association's Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) program. Communities facing a range of challenges including, but not limited to, social equity and affordability, economic development, sustainability, consensus building, and urban design are well-suited for assistance through the program. Demonstrated need for assistance is an important qualification. The deadline for applications is Dec. 13, 2011.

Transit Partnerships

American Bus Association

The ABA celebrates the new bus deck at Union Station in Washington, D.C., making the station truly multi-modal, with intercity bus and train services as well as local transit and bikeshare. The Union Station parking garage now accommodates Megabus, Bolt Bus, Washington Deluxe, DC2NY and tour bus parking.

[Chicago Transit Authority bus outside Union Station.]

American Public Transportation Association
APTA awards six Local Transit Coalition Grants, which "support grassroots coalitions and their advocacy efforts to achieve public transportation goals on the state and local levels." These include education and advocacy campaigns. The current winners are:
* Arizona Transit Association (AzTA), Gilbert, AZ, which will use the grant award to support a first-ever statewide poll of voter preferences for public transit in Arizona.
* Community Transportation Association of Idaho (CTAI), Boise, ID, which is working with Idaho Smart Growth and community leaders to place the question of local option tax authority on the November 2012 ballot.
* Friends of Transit for Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, MI, which will support grassroots advocacy efforts to secure local funding for public transportation services in Kalamazoo County and to increase public transportation funding in the state and federal budgets.
* Transit Alliance, Denver, CO, which will continue its educational efforts on the benefits of public transit in the Denver metropolitan region. The group is working with other regional stakeholders to identify ways to solidify long-term leadership and advocacy for the region’s livability.
* Transit Now Nashville (TNN), Madison, TN, which is partnering with the Metro Nashville Public Health Department to develop a pilot educational program focused on incorporating public transportation as a component of a healthy lifestyle.
* Washtenaw Partners for Transit (P4T), Ypsilanti, MI, which advocates for reliable funding to implement the 30-year Ann Arbor Transportation Authority Transit Master Plan.

Smart Growth Achievement Awards

Environmental Protection Agency

Last week at EPA, the agency celebrated this year's Smart Growth Achievement Awards. Terms like mixed-use, transit-oriented and walkable figured prominently. While none of the projects was a transit project, some provided access to transit and sought to engineer transit-oriented living. Two stand out from a transit perspective.
* LEED-platinum residential project in downtown Albuquerque, N.M., which is affordable and placed near transit, intercity transportation, restaurants and shopping. The site was previously a bus holding facility.
* Plan El Paso that envisions three mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhoods that will make possible responsible environmental stewardship and reduced car usage. Bus rapid transit service has already started.

[View of California coast.]

Big Partnerships in a Big State

From the newsletter of the National Complete Streets Coalition:
Though most everything else is bigger in Texas, AARP Texas isn't convinced mobility options for the state's aging population are the right size. Volunteers have begun conducting pedestrian safety audits across the state, including in El Paso, Dallas, Houston, Beaumont, Sherman, San Angelo, Austin, San Antonio, and McAllen. This information will be used to make the case for more Complete Streets solutions, including a renewed push for a state law when the legislature meets again in 2013. A bi-partisan group of legislators put forward a Complete Streets bill this year, but it failed to reach the floor in either chamber.

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