AASHTO’s CEE Hosting Virtual Peer Exchange

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Center for Environmental Excellence will host a virtual peer exchange discussing alternative project delivery and the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA process on March 8 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm eastern.

That exchange will feature representatives from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Utah sharing their experiences using alternative project delivery methods, such as public-private partnerships or P3s and design-build contracts.

The discussion will highlight best practices when using alternative delivery methods as well as discuss the experiences of those states navigating the NEPA process when using an alternative delivery method.

The exchange also includes a question and answer session once the state presentations conclude.

To register for this virtual peer exchange, click here.

Colorado DOT Issues Transportation Demand Grants

The Colorado Department of Transportation recently awarded $492,000 in grants to communities and organizations statewide in support of “transportation demand management” strategies that help relieve traffic congestion and lower greenhouse gas or GHG emissions.

[Above photo by the Colorado DOT]

“We’ve known for a long time that we can’t simply build our way out of congestion, and we’re proud to help these pioneering communities and organizations give people more options for traveling,” explained Shoshana Lew, Colorado DOT’s executive director, in a statement.

“Transportation demand management strategies can help manage congestion, restore air quality and reduce emissions,” she said. “They can also make communities more thriving and sustainable.”

Colorado DOT explained that transportation demand management seeks to provide travelers with more travel choices instead of relying on single-vehicle occupancy vehicles. Such choices can include mode, route, time of travel, and work location, the agency added.

Common transportation demand management strategies focus on transit, “micro-mobility” such as bikes and scooters, improvements to pedestrian infrastructure, smart growth policies, intelligent transportation systems, managed lanes, and the encouragement of “e-work” or remote work options. While such approaches are more common in large urban areas, Colorado DOT said many smaller communities could benefit from them as well – with its grant program designed to help them do so.

“There are organizations in the metro area that have been doing great work on these strategies for many years,” noted Kay Kelly, chief of innovative mobility for Colorado DOT. “We’re excited to see these grants help existing groups scale up successful projects and to be encouraging innovation and expansion of transportation demand management efforts to new audiences statewide.”

Other state departments of transportation are engaged in similar efforts.

For example, the Vermont Agency of Transportation awarded roughly $500,000 in grants via the Mobility and Transportation Innovation or MTI program in December 2021 to support “innovative strategies” that improve both mobility and access for transit-dependent Vermonters, reduce the use of single-occupancy vehicles for work trips, and reduce GHGs.

The agency noted that Vermont’s legislature specifically created that program with the passage of the state’s 2020 Transportation Bill in June 2020.

AASHTO’s CEE Hosting Virtual Peer Exchange

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Center for Environmental Excellence will host a virtual peer exchange discussing alternative project delivery and the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA process on March 8 from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm eastern.

That exchange will feature representatives from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Utah sharing their experiences using alternative project delivery methods, such as public-private partnerships or P3s and design-build contracts.

The discussion will highlight best practices when using alternative delivery methods as well as discuss the experiences of those states navigating the NEPA process when using an alternative delivery method.

The exchange also includes a question and answer session once the state presentations conclude.

To register for this virtual peer exchange, click here.

Webinar Series Focuses on Community Outreach Techniques

A webinar series sponsored by Smart Growth America is examining virtual public engagement practices for community outreach, examining a range of online platforms, as well as email and social media, as means of public involvement on projects and programs.

The group is holding three webinars on the subject, the first of which was held on April 28 and is now available via recording. The next two webinars are in June and cover:

“Online engagement might not be the best platform for every community to engage every citizen on every topic,” Smart Growth America noted. “But necessity is often the mother of invention and the need to stay home has exposed inequities and fostered innovations that have started many community leaders thinking about new and better ways to achieve wider and more meaningful representation in public decision-making.” For more information, registration, and recordings, click here.