Kansas DOT Issues Revised Active Transportation Plan

A revised active transportation plan or ATP recently issued by the Kansas Department of Transportation seeks to boost walking, bicycling, safe wheelchair use, skateboarding, and non-motorized vehicle mobility options across the state.

[Above photo by Kansas DOT]

Developed with extensive input from state residents – with guidance from various state agencies and partners as well as national and local experts in planning, design, and safety – the new plan is expected to serve as a guide for Kansas DOT and communities statewide on how to include and promote active transportation when planning roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure projects.

“Providing access to safe, direct and continuous routes for people whether they are driving, walking or cycling is essential for a healthy multimodal transportation system,” said Calvin Reed, acting secretary for Kansas DOT, in a statement.

“The vision of the ATP is for Kansas to be a place where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds have safe and convenient active modes of travel available throughout the state,” he noted.

“This plan provides communities with information to develop active transportation opportunities through improved planning, design and partnerships with state agencies,” added Matt Messina, multimodal bureau chief for the agency.

“Whether Kansans use active transportation regularly, rarely or somewhere in between, infrastructure that supports all modes of transportation is critical for residents,” he pointed out.

Kansas DOT plans to host “Bike, Walk, and Roll” webinars starting May 24 to detail how local communities can help implement its new ATP. The agency is also hosting in-person “ATP Summit” Sept. 20-22 to offer more insight on the transportation options within the new plan.

State departments of transportation across the country are beefing up efforts to provide more active transportation options to their residents.

For example, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is working on its first-ever active transportation plan – a policy toolkit that can be used internally and by Oklahoma counties and towns as engineers and designers look to develop more people-friendly infrastructure.

The plan will address walking, biking, “wheelchairs and mobility scooters, pedal and electric scooters, electric bikes, skateboards, and other similar wheeled vehicles,” according to a website developed by the agency that details the plan’s contents.

The finished product will be more of a policy guide than a rule book, said Shelby Templin, an Oklahoma DOT certified planner who is heading up the plan’s development.

“We’re hoping this will guide our engineers and designers, in-house, as well as provide a starting-off point for smaller communities that may not have the resources,” she said. “It also will give the multi-modal group more of a leg to stand on for project development.”

The agency said its Active Transportation Plan is expected to be completed this summer and opened to a 30-day public comment period. In the fall, Oklahoma DOT expects to submit the plan to the Oklahoma Transportation Commission for approval.

The Washington State Department of Transportation unveiled a formal Active Transportation Plan in December 2021 – a plan that subsequently won the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards contest’s “People’s Choice Award.”

Video: New Jersey DOT’s Use of Foamed Glass Aggregate

The New Jersey Department of Transportation recently released a video detailing how its use of “foamed glass aggregate” provides a multitude of green benefits to the state – especially as the material is made from recycled glass bottles.

[Above photo by the New Jersey DOT]

Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey DOT, noted in testimony before a state assembly hearing on her agency’s fiscal year 2024 budget plan that foamed glass aggregate is one of the “new innovations” her department is using to build resiliency into the state’s transportation projects.

“[We] recently started using ultra-lightweight foamed glass aggregate made from 99 percent recycled glass bottles [as] it is up to 85 percent lighter than traditional aggregate, which makes it a good material for projects that require fill on soft soils, areas with underground utilities, and embankments,” she explained.

She pointed to a recent example of a project – the Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge project, which connects Jersey City and Kearney over the Hackensack River – that used 32,000 cubic yards of foamed glass aggregate, repurposing more than 27 million bottles. 

“As the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and increasingly severe weather continue to impact New Jersey, resiliency projects will become even more important,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “We cannot control Mother Nature, so we are doing more to build resiliency into our projects and to safeguard our infrastructure for the future–not just a few years into the future, but for decades to come.  It is about supporting today’s critical transportation infrastructure needs while laying the foundation for the next generation of transportation advancements in New Jersey.”

Many state departments of transportation are experimenting with ways to use recycled materials in roadway and other pavement designs to help boost their resiliency and sustainability.

For example, the Illinois Department of Transportation began working with the Illinois Center for Transportation in December 2021 to develop more “sustainable pavement practices,” which includes ways to incorporate more recycled materials such as plastic into asphalt mixes.

Both are working on a joint project – dubbed “R27-196-HS: Rheology-Chemical Based Procedure to Evaluate Additives/Modifiers Used in Asphalt Binders for Performance Enhancements: Phase 2” – to investigate methods to “soften” asphalt binder to reduce pavement cracking.

As recycled materials are added to hot mix asphalt, the asphalt tends to harden and become brittle, potentially leading to premature cracking. As a result the project’s researchers began testing the use of different “modifiers” or softening additives to asphalt binders to improve long-term pavement performance, especially when recycled materials are used in the mix.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation wrapped up a pilot project in 2021 that used pellets made from grocery bags, milk jugs, and other recyclable plastics in an asphalt reconstruction project.

Those pellets were added to the asphalt in two quarter-mile test sections of the project at the entrance to Ridley Creek State Park, about 15 miles west of Philadelphia.

The expected benefits from this project include diverting waste plastics from landfills, helping to establish a market for recycled plastics, and extending the useful life of asphalt pavements, PennDOT said.

Environmental News Highlights – May 10, 2023


FHWA Issues $21.8M in National Scenic Byways Grants – AASHTO Journal

US settles landmark Alabama environmental justice case – Reuters

The Future of Transportation: The Role of Bike Lanes – Momentum Mag

Now Open: PROTECT Grants to Make Transportation More Resilient – National League of Cities

EPA Announces $4 Billion Through the Investing in America Agenda for Clean Port Upgrades and Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles to Improve Air Quality and Protect Public Health – EPA (media release)


FHWA Offering Grants for Port Electrification, Efficiency Gains – AASHTO Journal

Texas Wants EV Owners to Pay a $200 Annual Fee for Highway Costs – Jalopnik

NOAA to Improve Storm Surge Predictions Ahead of 2023 Hurricane Season – Nextgov

PHMSA Announces Bipartisan PIPES Act Proposal to Modernize Decades-Old Pipeline Leak Detection Rules, Invests in Critical American Infrastructure, Create Good-Paying Jobs, Improve Safety – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (media release)


California enacts first-in-the-nation crackdown on pollution from trains – San Francisco Chronicle


Troy, New York to audit accessibility of pedestrian infrastructure on city streets – Spectrum News 1

Hidden Treasures: Remote community airports play an essential role in Texas life. – Texas A&M Transportation Institute (podcast)

Pittsburgh Mobility Pilot Builds on Transportation Equity Goals – Government Technology

Pilot Project to Help Patients with Transportation Barriers Get to Appointments – UC San Diego


Supporters plan climate-friendly environment for Lake Superior parks – Capitol News Service

NC Wildlife Commission, NCDOT Renew Focus on Wildlife Passages to Reduce Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions – North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (media release)


Wisconsin Bike Fed, partners request increased funding for trail infrastructure – Press Times

USDA Announces $36M to Improve Roads, Trails, Water Quality as part of Investing in America Agenda – USDA (media release)


Philly will increase policing of bike lanes in effort to improve traffic safety – PhillyVoice

Why cities continue to have a love-hate affair with e-scooters – CNBC

Euclid, Ohio seeking community input on transportation plan – News-Herald

Chicago expands Divvy bikeshare program to operate across entire city – WLS-TV

New Yorkers give low marks to city’s bike infrastructure in new ‘Cycling Census’ – amNew York

Bike boulevards bring hope to Durham, North Carolina cyclists – 9th Street Journal

Blind walkers winning safer road crossings – AP

Denver proved the power of e-bike rebates. Now, the discounts are going statewide – Colorado Public Radio

Comment period open for proposed U.S. Bike Route 37 in Indiana – Indiana Department of Transportation (media release)

CTDOT Celebrates National Bike Month this May – Connecticut DOT (media release)


TrainMate Robotic System Making Public Transportation, Public! – TRB (link to PDF)

Committee on Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Coast Guard Certificate of Compliance Examination Program for Gas Carriers – Meeting 4 – TRB


Official Trail Marker for National Water Trails National Park Service (Notice of designation)

Safety Zone; Atlantic Ocean, Key West, FL – Coast Guard (Notice of proposed rulemaking)

Area Maritime Security Advisory Committee (AMSC), Eastern Great Lakes, Northwest Pennsylvania Sub-Committee Vacancy – Coast Guard (Notice; solicitation for membership)

Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution: Request for Public Comment – EPA (Notice of availability)

Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles – EPA (Proposed rule)

Development of Guidance for Zero-Emission Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Port Equipment, and Fueling Infrastructure Deployment Under the Inflation Reduction Act Funding Programs – EPA (Notice; request for information)

Federal Baseline Water Quality Standards for Indian Reservations – EPA (Proposed rule)

Assessment of Biodiversity and Climate Change; Request for Public Comment and Nomination – Geological Survey (Notice)

Climate Adaptation Export Competitiveness Request for Information International Trade Administration and U.S. Trade and Development Agency (Request for public comments and Information)

Proposals by Non-Federal Interests for Feasibility Studies, Proposed Modifications to Authorized Water Resources Development Projects and Feasibility Studies, and Proposed Modifications for an Environmental Infrastructure Program for Inclusion in … – Army Corps of Engineers (Notice)

Notice of Intent To Amend the California Desert Conservation Area Plan Associated With the Mojave Trails National Monument Management Plan and Prepare an Associated Environmental AssessmentBureau of Land Management (Notice of intent)

Safety of Underground Natural Gas Storage Public Meeting – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (Correction)