Thank you for the introduction. Today I will talking about shifting behaviors both with users and policy makers.
Metropolitan Planning Organizations or MPOs are regional transportation planning organizations created by Congress in the late 1960’s. This maps show the several hundred MPOs in the U.S. Every city in the U.S. with 50,000 or more people has an MPO staffed by transportation planners. MPOs work with local governments to determine how to make regional transportation improvements using Federal transportation dollars .
The Nashville Area MPO is comprised of: 24 Cities and Counties 1.3 million today, but by 2035 we anticipate we will be about 2.5 million, the size of the Denver region today.
We have our fair share of challenges…continue to develop land and provide transportation facilities to those land uses.
Use these slides to educate stakeholders and policy makers.
When talking about transportation, it is important to consider the bigger picture. In Nashville like a lot of cities, people may purchase a home with a cheaper mortgage in the suburbs, but may not consider that their transportation costs can exceed their mortgage costs, or that their transportation habits may affect their health. Also, these ranges price a lot job types such as teachers and police officers from being able to afford the average home price and these transportation costs. 95% of Nashvillians spend more than 20% of their income on transportation In contrast, most Denver residents spend less than 20% of income on transportation. Denver also has more transit and lower obesity rates than Nashville. If you don’t already with the, realtors, developers and affordable housing advocates can be your partners in bicycle advocacy.
Transportation planners must also start thinking about the relationship between transportation and health. This chart shows a similar trend in the national increases in Vehicle Miles Traveled or number of miles we are driving, and in obesity. When I charted this data I was quite shocked at similarities. The purple line is the national adult obesity rate since 1962 as reported by the CDC and the green is the miles driven as reported by the US DOT. Public health practitioners and policy makers can also be partners. $6 on health for every $1 on transportation
1996 – David K. attends Pro Walk/Pro Bike and gets inspired 1996 –Metro Council created the TAPS Task Force to address concerns about pedestrian and traffic safety. Group met 15-20 times. Brought together metro agencies and walking/bicycling advocates (Striders and Harpeth Bike Club). TAPS Recommendations Pilot neighborhood traffic calming program Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (overhauled Metro code for bikes, -- no riding on sidewalks and 3 feet rule) Increased funding for sidewalks (lawsuit) Creation and funding of a bike/ped coordinator for Metro – hired 2002 1999 – Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Task Force – Recommended by TAPS. This body was created by Council in January 1999 and met until it was allowed basically to “sunset” two years later. Not really “before” Walk/Bike Nashville was created, but still important event. This group received the a backhanded compliment from the Nashville Scene in 2000 when they described the committee as “oddly powerful” in a story that belittled the committee’s proposal that Nashville should hire a bike/ped coordinator. Major overhaul of bike provisions in Metro Code, including 3-foot rule for Nashville almost 10 years before Tennessee adopted the same law. BILL NO. O99-1815 -- (ENACTED 08/17/1999) AN ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 12 OF THE METROPOLITAN CODE TO PROVIDE REVISIONS RELATING TO THE OPERATING OF BICYCLES ON SIDEWALKS, STREETS AND ROADS OF METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT. Bike/ped coordinator hired in 2002
1999 -Advocate for infrastructure, try to get people to use it Two groups have now merged
CHWT – created to support physical activity in the community, not the gym. Precursor to active living movement. Walk to school day signature event – started in one school. Great way to get infrastructure changed – invited elected officials, have them see a lack of sidewalk or a crosswalk, and watch it get done the next month. Healthy Nashville 2000 –In 1995, the Metropolitan Health Department initiated “Healthy Nashville 2000” to improve the health of the population. The health department also convened a community health and wellness team. This coalition – comprised of agency representatives and concerned citizens – strives to make physical activity a routine part of everyday life and focuses on altering social norms to support active lifestyles. The coalition sponsors the annual initiative, Walk Nashville Week, which features a variety of events from active aging walks to organized walks to school and a Tennessee Titans football game.&quot; Met in October 1997. Sponsored by Chamber of Commerce. Created several “teams” to work on different issues. Healthy Nashville 2000 is a group of companies, organizations and individuals that came together for the first time in October 1997 to make plans to improve the overall health of the Nashville community. The effort is very well planned and consists of several layers of organization. I have been most involved with the &quot;Physical Activity Subcommittee&quot; of the &quot;Community Health and Wellness Team.&quot; To me, the importance of the CHWT was that rather than focusing on ways to get people to the gym, or participating in sports, or the other previously standard ways to &quot;get in shape,&quot; the team focused on integrating activity into daily activities. That's pretty much a standard part of the program now, but 15 years ago the concept of &quot;active living&quot; wasn't as mainstream as it is now. Community Health and Wellness Team – As far as I know, it’s the only team that is still in operation. This group’s primary event since 1999 has been Walk to School Day. Now consists of multiple events and has expanded to “Walk Nashville Week.”
now in nearly 70 schools with 10-30,000 participants
Walk for active aging – month long competition (5,000 miles walked) ended in dance celebration Mention Titans Walk – Walking and train runs just on game days, bridges closed to pedestrians 70,000 fans
Bike Week Activities : Bike to Work Day – Nashville Mayor Great Commuter Race – Bike has won every year, good media coverage
First adopted in 2003 In 2000, there were 0 miles of bike lane, 11 miles of bike route and 18 miles of greenway About half the 24 cities and counties in my MPO area have master plans like these
RWJ Grant – Governments and Non-profits working together 5 P’s : Preparation, Promotion, Programs, Policy, Projects
Brain child of bike advocate (Glen Wanner) Showcases greenways and bikelanes throughout city Free events – try to encourage those who might not otherwise ride bicycles
Music City Moves Kids Teach bike safety to children Community meetings to identify barriers to a safe route to school
1/3 Americans do not drive 40% of trips are 2 miles or less, with nearly 30% 1 mile or less These trips can be taken by transit, walking or bicycling. Community schools save money by not having to build new infrastructure such as roads, water, and sewer, and save costs on busing and traffic congestion. Gen Y will pay 30% more for housing that is walkable and most don’t want to own a car. Bicycle/pedestrian facilities associated with economic prosperity, safer streets with fewer crashes, and improved phsical activity This was our message to stakeholders and policy makers
As part of the Plan, we created a Regional Bikeway and Regional Sidewalk Network, which both include approximately 1,000 miles infrastructure. Key Highlights The proposed Regional Bikeway Network serves to provide bicycle accommodations along major commuting corridors and corridors that connect communities, activity centers, transit, and major destinations throughout the region. Consists largely of on-street facilities but also includes the Cumberland River Greenway in Davidson County and the Stones River Greenway of Davidson & Rutherford Counties. The Regional Bikeway Network consists of 1,127 miles traversing the complete region, approximately 40% of the facilities exist today. All arterial roads within UGBs to get sidewalks. Total almost 1,000 miles and as of today approximately 24% are built.
Equity –health disparities also crash analysis Mention Bike/ped counts
The MPO staff knew we needed to move in a new direction and we had an opportunity with our Federally required Regional Transportation Plan. This is a long-range plan looking out a minimum of 20 years that every MPO must update every 5 years. This plan estimates an MPO region’s Federal allocation of transportation dollars, which for our MPO is about $6 billion, and determines which transportation projects should receive those dollars.
Heavy citizen engagement in bike/ped study with over 2400 people and 1100 in this survey. All told we engage over 5,000 in our RTP planning process. First we wanted to go out and see what the public wanted. We looked at national survey of Public Attitudes toward Transportation Policy that shows the majority of people feel that they have no other option than to drive, but want to be in the car less. Another national survey shows a majority of people would prefer to invest in transit, walking and bicycling rather than roadways. And, Americans would rather walk than drive to destinations if it were safe and convenient. To find out about local attitudes, we conducted a random sample 10-county survey asking residents how they would like to spend transportation dollars -- the answers were to prioritize mass transit first, make communities more walkable and bikeable, and build new roads as the last choice. This demonstrated to us that people want alternatives to driving, even in the rural Southeast. This is only one example of public engagement efforts by our MPO. We did a lot of public engagement in our bicycle/pedestrian study with over 2,400 public participants including 1,700 people that responded to a survey on bike/ped needs. Middle Tennessee residents are least satisfied with : how walkable their community is ( 49% ) how safe it is to ride a bicycle in their community ( 42% ) availability of mass transit services in their area ( 29% ), with lack of transit options considered the greatest problem in Middle TN, followed by lack of walking & bicycling options. Of several issues mentioned, the most important to solve was to provide alternatives to driving .
National polls show that Americans want transportation options. The Nashville MPO conducted a poll which asked residents in 10 counties how they would spend money, and the results were the same.
But, this is how we spend transportation dollars.
Quality of Life Sustainability for economically and environmentally Prosperity – more money in the pockets of households because of transportation savings and more income for communities Diversity – variety of transportation options for a variety of users
In order to build-out this network, we needed to provide policy and funding support. So, we made some strategic additions to our Regional Transportation Plan. First, we set aside 15% and reserved them for active transportation – primarily walking and bicycling. This money can be used for infrastructure, but also can be used for education of the public and law enforcement, programs like Safe Routes to School. Nationally we spend approximately 1% of Federal transportation dollars on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, so 15% is a significant step up. In addition, our citizen-based Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will be making the recommendations on how this money should be spent. We did not wait for a new Transportation Bill to guide us – we changed the policies that we control and used the Federal funding sources that currently exist. This is not additional or new money – we are simply spending what we have in a better way. We also flexed 10% of STP dollars to transit, adding to money we received from the Federal Transit Administration so we could add funding to our transit initiatives. So, at a minimum we are dedicating 25% of our largest Federal funding source to Active Transportation. Finally, we scored all 500 transportation projects on a set of criteria in which 60% of the criteria related to health and safety. The results of these policy changes are we have increased the percentage of projects in our Regional Transportation Plan that include bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure from 2% in our old plan to 70% in this plan. We also have $2.5 million to spend from the 15% set-aside just in the next couple of years.
Bike Share – 200 bicycles all over town with an balance between areas with high use like downtown and universities, and underserved areas. HIA transit, Music City Bikeway – 30 mile premier bikeway traversing Nashville, Walk 100, artistic bike racks Nash Vitality – includes promotion of these things plus community gardens, corner store overhauls to fill areas with food deserts. Mention bicycle parking at events like earth day and music festivals. The Music City Bikeway (MCB) is a proposed continuous bicycle route that will link Percy Warner Park in western Nashville/Davidson County to Percy Priest Dam in eastern Nashville/Davidson County. This planned bicycle route will utilize a combination of greenway trails, bike lanes, park roads, and signed-shared roads to create bicycle connections between major parks, densely populated neighborhood areas, and downtown Nashville. When complete this bike route will cover a total distance of approximately 30 miles. Currently, bicycle facilities exist on about 2/3 miles of the route. The next major phase to be constructed is between White Bridge Road and Percy Warner Park. Upon completion, the route will be designated by special Music City Bikeway signs to direct users.
Local funds out of capital budget Mention 28 th Avenue Connector – 18 million
Accident survey Share the Road event
MPO staff in coordination with Walk/Bike Nashville wrote a 2 week elementary school curriculum for P.E. teachers to teach Safe Routes to Schools program in elementary schools Williamson County and Davidson County P.E. teachers have been trained, and grant application is underway now to teach other MPO County school systems MPO staff attend the Tenn. Association of Health and Phy Activity this fall at statewide conference to teach curriculum to P.E. teachers from across the state MTSU – Center for Physical Activity and Health in Youth – grant written by MPO staff awarded to Nashville Community Health and Wellness Team do data collection and analysis on effects of health on children walking to school
Free and open to all – attended by over 100 at each event Elected officials keynote lunch Complete Streets policies at the State, Regional and local levels (Nashville) plus statewide school siting survey and policy project
Mention Bronze level LAB award Share the Road Event! Strategic Highway Safety Plan – MPO wrote first language mentioning bicycle and pedestrian modes and travel Road Safety Audit Reviews – FHWA training this fall on RSARs and bike/peds, going to all RSARs in MPO region to look at bike/ped safety HSIP Funds – first pilot project in the state going on how to spend Highway Safety Improvement Program funds on a bike or ped project DOS – Drivers License Manual/Test – MPO staff drafted language for the DL manual on laws regarding bike/ped modes Law Enforcement Training – MPO staff ordered materials and is organizing training with Gov Highway Safety Office and Department of Safety for all law enforcement agencies and highway patrol offices in the state of bike/ped laws and responsibility of roadway users Lifesavers and Highway Safety Conference – Staff making presentations this fall at the TN Lifesavers Conference and Highway Safety Conference on bike/ped safety
Transit is the key Priorities first/funding later Peer cities Research and public-opinion Talk to policy makers through their issues Economic Development Jobs Health Education Equity Fiscal Responsibility If, economic development is important to an elected official, talk to them about how communities with bike/ped facilities are more attractive to new businesses and homeowners and thrive better in economic downturns. If Jobs is a major issue, talk about jobs created by implementing bicycle infrastructure, tourism and drawing in new companies. If Health is an issue, talk about how an unhealthy child cannot learn in school, and an unhealthy worker looses productivity and costs more to insure. If Education is an issue, talk about how walking and bicycling to school boosts academic performance and behavior. If Equity is an issue, talk about how 1/3 of Americans do not own a car or drive. If Fiscal Responsibility is an issue, talk about how it may be cheaper to add a bike lane to add capacity than to widen a road. Meet the staff of your MPO or RPO (Rural planning organization) and find out about their policies and funded projects. Get to know the city planners, transportation planners and mayors who guide and approve MPO plans. Find Partners – the YMCA, Realtors, Motorcycles!! In TN, we have partnered with motorcycles. They are on two wheels, have a lot of crashes and also fight to be seen on the roadway. We attend safety meetings together and hold an annual Share the Road event. Learn when the next update will be of the MPO plan . Remember, plans are updated every 4 to 5 years and planning typically starts 1-2 years before the update. Ask how you can help – can you help get the public to meetings or help recommend people to sit on committees?
I hope this was helpful to illustrate how advocates can be a part of the transportation planning process. Thank you for having me.
Shifting Behaviors Transitioning trips to walking, bicycling and transit
Development Pattern, 1965-2035 Properties affected by development 1965 750,000 2000 1,450,000 2035 2,600,000 (In 2035, the Nashville region will be larger than the present-day Denver & Portland MSAs) Population
Resiliency in Urban Congestion Daily Recurring Congestion on Major Roadways. TODAY 2030 w/ Short-Term Improvements 2030 After Long-Term Improvements Congestion in Urban Areas Cannot Be Treated with Roadway Capacity Alone.
On average, Americans spend about 18% of their Household Income on Transportation- Related Expenses Source: Center for Neighborhood Technology Housing + Transportation Affordability Index ( http://www.htaindex.org/ )
Transportation and Obesity Sources: Centers for Disease Control – National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey/ U.S. DOT – Federal Highway Administration, Annual Vehicle Distance Traveled in Miles and Related Data
Shifting Behaviors Players: Advocates Government Evolution: Events Policy Infrastructure
Nashville Scene group called TAPS “oddly powerful”
Creation of Advocacy Groups - 1998 An Initiative of the Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Public Health Dept. "Promoting Wellness For All Ages Through Physical Activity" Mission: Build a More Walkable, Bikeable, Livable Nashville
Walk to School Day - 1999 Walk To School Day Wednesday, October 7, 1999
Walk to School Day - Today Walk Our Children to School Day 2002
Livability - Work to enhance the quality of life in the region by supporting initiatives that increase opportunities for affordable housing, education, jobs, recreation, and civic involvement without increasing the burden on citizens to enjoy their community.
Sustainability – Strive to support growth and prosperity without sacrificing the health, environment, natural and socio-cultural resources, or financial stability of this or future generations.
Prosperity – Contribute to the continued economic well-being of the greater Nashville area by investing in transportation solutions that increase access to education, jobs, and amenities, reduce the cost of living and doing business, and attract new investment to the region.
Diversity – Recognize the multitude of needs and the variety of perspectives and backgrounds of the people that live and work in the greater Nashville area by promoting a range of transportation choices that are designed with sensitivity to the desired context.
#1 A Bold, New Vision for Mass Transit #2 Support for Active Transportation & Walkable Communities #3 Preservation & Enhancement of Strategic Roadways Adopted December 2010
State Agency Collaboration TN Strategic Highway Safety Plan – first bike/ped language Bicycle-friendly Rumble Strip Policy Bicycle/Ped Laws included in Drivers License Manual and Test Training law enforcement officers on bike/ped laws