Oregon DOT Preps IIJA Funds for EV Charging Projects

Some $52 million of additional funding over the next five years should flow to Oregon for investment in electric vehicle or EV charging infrastructure. That money comes from the $1.2 billion in additional transportation funding Oregon will receive from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed in to law in November.

[Above photo by the Oregon DOT]

The Oregon Department of Transportation said the federal government makes the initial decisions on how to spend that $52 million, with the agency expecting to receive its first set of federal guidelines for that EV funding by February 2022.

Suzanne Carlson, director of the Oregon DOT Climate Office, said in a statement that her office expects those federal guidelines to steer that funding to Alternative Fuel Corridors, which are national highways that are eligible for federal grant funding to add public EV charging and other alternative fuel infrastructure. Oregon has seven corridors designated under the program: Intestates 5, 84 and 82, and U.S. 26, 101, 20 and 97.

Public-private partnerships will be a key component of Oregon’s EV investment strategy, the agency said, pointing to previous examples such as its investment of $4.1 million earlier this year to support EV charging upgrades to Oregon’s slice of the West Coast Electric Highway.

Oregon DOT also collaborated with local firm Forth, Kittelson & Associates along with the Rocky Mountain Institute to complete a future electrification needs study in 2020-21, which examined Oregon’s EV charging needs over the next 15 years. That study presents a “clear roadmap” for the agency and its partners for electrifying the state’s transportation system for multiple types of vehicles, explained Carlson.

According to data tracked by Oregon DOT, state residents are adopting EVs at a “swift rate,” with new EV registrations in 2021 on track to increase by about 70 percent compared to 2020. “With the study’s findings, we can be more strategic and keep up momentum on EV adoption rates,” she said. “Our role will be to make targeted state investments, secure more federal grant funding, and make sure public EV charging is equitable and practical.”

Grants Issued to Replace Aging Diesel Transit Buses in Ohio

The Ohio Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant or DERG program recently awarded six grants totaling more than $9 million for replacing 25 aging diesel transit buses with cleaner diesel or alternative fuel technology. The Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency jointly administer the state’s DERG program.

[Above photo by the Ohio DOT]

In a statement, the Ohio EPA estimated that those new buses should cut emissions by more than six tons of air pollutants annually; an air quality benefit that should continue to accrue each year the new buses remain in service.

Projects receiving funding include:

Funding for those DERG grants comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program. The Ohio DOT noted that the next DERG application deadline occurs in the fall of 2022.

AASHTO Issues Revised Pedestrian Facilities Guide

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently released the second edition of the Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities.

This new and completely revised edition – which supersedes the guide’s first edition, published in 2004 – provides guidance on the planning, design, and operation of pedestrian facilities along streets and highways.

The new guide focuses on identifying effective measures for accommodating pedestrians on public rights-of-way as well as appropriate methods for accommodating pedestrians, which vary among roadway and facility types.

The primary audiences for this guide include planners, roadway designers, and transportation engineers – whether at the state or local level – the majority of whom make decisions on a daily basis that affect pedestrians. This guide also recognizes the impact of land-use planning and site design on pedestrian mobility.

The new guide is available to purchase in hardcopy, as a PDF Download (either single-user, five-user, or ten-user), or in a set that includes both the hardcopy and single-user PDF Download at a discounted rate. For more information on the new pedestrian guide, visit the online AASHTO Store and search by the Item Code GPF-2 or go directly to new publication by clicking here.

State DOTs Issue Grants to Support Active Transportation Projects

The Georgia Department of Transportation and North Carolina Department of Transportation recently issued millions in grants to support a variety of alternative transportation projects across their respective states.

[Above photo by the Georgia DOT]

In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, the Georgia DOT awarded nine Transportation Alternatives Program or TAP grants totaling over $4.5 million to support the development and/or improvement of multi-use trails, sidewalks, bicycle, pedestrian, and streetscapes in nine counties statewide.

Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said TAP grants provide an opportunity for local governments to pursue “non-traditional” transportation related activities, with those awards comprised of 80 percent federal funds with a 20 percent local match.

“One of our most important initiatives is ensuring the safety of the public and these projects, while not traditional road improvement projects, certainly lend themselves to enhancing the safety of the pedestrians of Georgia,” he noted in a statement.

Meanwhile, NCDOT said in a statement that it is providing grants to 13 municipalities statewide with bicycle and pedestrian planning efforts.

The NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant program, now in its 19th year, helps North Carolina communities develop a comprehensive strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and improving the safety of our transportation network for all users.

Jointly sponsored by the agency’s Integrated Mobility Division and Transportation Planning Division, that program has to date issued more than $7.5 million to support for 244 plans in 238 municipalities and 6 counties.

Environmental News Highlights, Dec. 21, 2021


AASHTO Provides Comments on USDOT Strategic Plan – AASHTO Journal

White House adds two key coordinators to implement $1 trillion infrastructure law – CBS News

White House unveils plan to replace lead pipes in U.S., set new water quality standards – UPI

Harris rolls out plan for electric vehicle charging network – The Hill

Rolling Coal vs. Biking. How Politics Has Changed Transportation. – Governing

Democrats request probe of White House EJ actions – E&E News


CDC program offers travelers free at-home COVID test kits at select US airports – USA Today

Bay Area transit faces ‘fiscal cliff’ as ridership collapse endures – East Bay Times

Amid rise of omicron, businesses ease up on return-to-work policies – NBC News


Public Review Period Extended for Port Master Plan Update Draft Program Environmental Impact Report – The Log

Remote Sensing Could Predict Well Water Quality After Floods – EOS

Amtrak Works to Keep the NYC Rail Tunnel Open Until Its Gateway Project Is Done – Bloomberg

Winds damage hundreds of traffic signs across Kansas – Kansas DOT (Media release)


Washington State Ferries to debut first hybrid-electric ferry in 2025 – KOMO News

Colorado enacts new rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with fewer road expansions, more mass transit options – KMGH-TV

Lamont’s executive order mirrors Transportation Climate Initiative policies – WSHU Radio

A rush to mine lithium in Nevada is pitting climate advocates and environmental groups against each other – KAKE-TV

Oregon DOT responds to concerns raised by climate organizers – Oregon Public Broadcasting


Climate Activists and Environmental Justice Advocates Join the Gerrymandering Fight in Ohio and North Carolina – Inside Climate News

Colorado, Montana and Utah projects among $14.1 million in environmental justice grants nationwide – Ark Valley Voice

Proposed California law seeks to ban freeway expansions in underserved communities – Los Angeles Times

Air pollution still disproportionately harms communities of color, study says – Washington Post


AASHTO Comments on Proposed Migratory Bird Rule – AASHTO Journal

BNSF fined $1.5 million for alleged Clean Water Act violations – National Hog Farmer

Why Pittsburgh Is Dimming Its Streetlights – CityLab

This is how we solve Utah’s land, water and air problems – Deseret News (Opinion)


Conservative Backlash Erupts Over Notre Dame’s Restoration – CityLab


AASHTO Issues Revised Pedestrian Facilities Guide – AASHTO Journal

New bike-share company to bring 1,500 e-bikes to Seattle streets by spring to boost mobility options – GeekWire

Missouri closing in on second major bike trail on former Rock Island corridor – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Windsor, Colorado’s new pedestrian bridge, Pelican Bridge, is turning heads – Coloradoan

Cities ditch parking spaces in favor of bicycles and people – Momentum

Pittsburgh’s bike-share program to get upgrade with electric bikes, mobility hubs – Tribune-Review

New study will guide pedestrian safety improvements around Orlando – WESH-TV

Missouri Department of Conservation expands bicycle use on many conservation areas – Missouri Department of Conservation (Media release)


Air Plan Approval; Arizona, California, Nevada; Emissions Statements Requirements – EPA (Proposed rule)

White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council; Notification of Virtual Public Meeting – EPA (Notice)

Colonial National Historical Park; Vessels and Commercial Passenger – Carrying Motor Vehicles National Park Service (Final rule)