ETAP Podcast Discusses Active Transportation

The second episode of a four-part Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP podcast series focuses on the crucial connections required between planners, policymakers, and local communities in order to make active transportation systems more attractive and inclusive for all users. (To listen to the first episode, click here.)

[Above photo by AASHTO]

“Active transportation” encompasses “human-powered” mobility options, such as biking or walking, and is also viewed as a way to help bridge the first- and last-mile gap in public transit systems. Active transportation also offers public health benefits as well, as it engages users in physical activity.

This ETAP podcast episode sits down with Tamika Butler, principal of Tamika Butler Consulting, who describes how her firm strives to help build more equitable and inclusive active transportation systems for minority and low-income communities.

The podcast also visits with Joshua Phillips, communications and public relations coordinator for the Alabama Department of Transportation, about “City Walk Birmingham,” also known as “City Walk BHAM.”

The recent completion of Birmingham’s I-59/20 Central Business District (CBD) Interstate bridges brings about a renewed focus on the space underneath the bridges known as City Walk BHAM. The goal of the project is to provide a space to assist in reconnecting Birmingham and create a destination and common area open to all citizens.

Conceptual planning began on City Walk BHAM in 2014 as a way to create a “fresh and vibrant space” underneath the I-59/20 Central Business District Interstate bridges.

Phillips noted on the podcast that at every phase of the project, Alabama DOT worked to engage the public in the project so it could be better tailored to pedestrian needs; an effort that resulted in the creation of public park and recreation spaces within the project.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

California Issues $114M for Beautification Projects

Cities and local agencies throughout California recently received $114.5 million in grants to help fund 60 litter removal as well as neighborhoods and public space beautification projects.

[Above photo by Caltrans]

That funding includes $14.5 million set aside specifically to support 18 projects for cleaning transit stations and other areas around the state’s public transportation systems.

Those grants represent the latest round of funding from the “Clean California” initiative; a sweeping billion-dollar multiyear clean-up effort led by the California Department of Transportation, known as Caltrans, to remove trash and help to revitalize public spaces in local communities statewide.

[Editor’s note: Caltrans is also supporting those clean-up and revitalization efforts though a public outreach campaign starring several well-known celebrities; in this case, Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who plays for the San Francisco 49ers football team.]

According to a statement by the California Governor’s Office, the 60 projects receiving this round of “Clean California” grant funding will improve parks, tribal lands, neighborhoods, transit hubs, walking paths, streets, roadsides, recreation fields, community gathering spots, and places of cultural importance or historical interest in underserved communities.

This funding builds on the nearly $312 million in grants to 126 beautification projects along the state highway system announced by Governor Gavin Newsom (D) in April 2022. Since launching Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans has removed an estimated 1.9 million cubic yards of litter from state highways.

The program has created more than 4,000 jobs that have helped state residents overcome barriers to employment – including 357 people who had been experiencing homelessness – and drawn more than 10,000 volunteers to events ranging from community cleanups to large debris collections for appliances, tires, and mattresses.

Environmental News Highlights – October 18, 2023


State DOTs Support National Pedestrian Safety Month -AASHTO Journal

USDOT Equity Committee Working on Recommendations -AASHTO Journal

Why Transportation Planners Should Prioritize the ‘Silently Suffering’Governing

Human Environment Digest –FHWA



AASHTO Comments on CEQ’s Proposed NEPA Revisions -AASHTO Journal



New York Offers $165M for Community-Based Projects -AASHTO Journal

Why Tugboats Are Key to the $19 Billion Overhaul of Kennedy Airport -New York Times

AI for good: Google unveils raft of new tech schemes for sustainability –edie

Port of Savannah Seeks to Deepen Shipping Lane Again – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Decarbonizing the Transportation Sector: How Transportation Demand Management Can Untangle the Nation’s Mobility Crisis Through Efficiency -Association for Commuter Transportation

Charging up EVs: Bridging the apartment gap -Transportation for America (commentary)



Stockholm Bans Diesel, Petrol Cars in City Center From 2025 –CityLab

Ford’s Patent Tracks How Much Your Car is Polluting -Daily Upside

DOJ sues eBay for selling ‘rolling coal’ devices; fines could hit $2 billion –CNBC

First Intercity Zero-Emission, Hydrogen Passenger Trains in North America Coming to California –Caltrans (media release)



California Governor Signs Bill Creating ‘Ebony Alerts’ For Missing Black Women, Children -KABC-TV

Equity Moves to the Center of Transportation Planning in Austin -Government Technology

ZIP code discrimination, pollution top concerns at DEP meeting on environmental justice policyPennsylvania Capital-Star

A new U-Md. research center will study fairer, greener transportation networks -Washington Post

LADOT Launches Universal Basic Mobility Pilot -LA Department of Transportation (blog)

DOL Scales Program to Expand Equal Opportunity, Diversity In Construction Trades for Jobs On Large Infrastructure Projects -U.S. Department of Labor (media release)



Iowa DOT Experimenting With Road Salt Application -KSOM Radio

Arkansas DOT preparing for heavy traffic during the 2024 total solar eclipse -KHBS/KHOG-TV

When It Comes to Urban Trees, More Isn’t Always Better –CityLab



150-year-old Florida Keys lighthouse illuminated for first time in a decade –AP

Cambridge to install street signs in American Indian language -WGBH Radio



Ohio DOT Helps Equip Rest Areas with Naloxone Kits -AASHTO Journal

RIDOT Helps Support ‘Gotham Greens’ Path Project -AASHTO Journal

Iowa DOT approves $1.5 million funding for 3 trail projects -KCCI-TV

ADOT recommends improvements to reopen 5 miles of Apache Trail -Queen Creek Sun Times

Truesdale, MO approves active transportation plan -Warren County Record

Chico, CA Active Transportation Plan ready for fresh input -Enterprise-Record

Raleigh’s investment in cycling infrastructure paying off in big way, data shows -WRAL-TV

New York City Mayor Promises 40-Mile Greenway Expansion, Mostly Along Waterfronts –Gothamist



Small Group Discussions and Community Listening Session to Inform the Public Health Research and Surveillance Priorities from the East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment: A Workshop –TRB

Transportation for People with Disabilities and Older Adults During COVID-19: Lessons for Emergency Response –TCRP

Webinar: Carpool-based Parking Assignment Policy -National Institute for Congestion Reduction

Gender roles and identities influence transportation needs and experiences, new equity-focused research finds -University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies



Reformulated Gasoline Covered Areas -EPA (Final rule)

Revisions to the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements -EPA (Proposed rule; extension of comment period)

Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB); Notice of Public Meeting -Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (Notice of public meeting)