Dialogue Vol20 No1 2012 10


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Transportation planners today have to wear a lot of hats to compete. My article attached explains how STV\'s planners are doing this.

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Dialogue Vol20 No1 2012 10

  1. 1. Baltimore’s Transportation Planning Group on the Grow By Marta J. Mills, marketing editor, Baltimore  Leading the Transportation Planning and Policy Practice is Sam Minnitte, in front. In the middle, from support for the Maryland The ability to help clients write and the left are Jamie Lake, Christy Mainley, Kevin Quinn, Transit Administration manage transportation grants for public and John Gasparine. In the back, from the left, are (MTA). John assists the agencies has been a key contributor to Michael Helta and Charles Penny. John Manzoni MTA with its grants and the group’s growth. Congress passed the from the Philadelphia office and Cody Christensen in many of its federal report- American Recovery and Reinvestment Fairfax are not pictured. ing requirements, while Act (ARRA) in early 2009, which created Michael provides capital a flow of $275 billion in federal contracts When STV brought Sam Minnitte aboard programming support and coordinates and grants. in December 2007, the plan was for him to with local Metropolitan Planning Orga- “Getting grants has become very com- build a transportation planning and policy nizations. Jamie Lake serves as regional petitive. No longer is it a matter of fi lling practice in the Baltimore office where one planning staff support at Maryland De- out a form — now strategy is essential to did not previously exist. And, by all mea- partment of Transportation (MDOT) and handle the complex grants and reporting sures, he’s doing that, growing the staff is involved in the National Environmental requirements,” said Kevin Quinn, a certi- to eight-strong as their services evolve to Policy Act process of the Purple Line, fied planner brought into the group for his help meet clients’ changing needs. a proposed 16-mile light rail system in grants management and transit-planning Maryland connecting Montgomery and While transportation planning is a dis- expertise. Prince George’s counties. cipline that can be found company-wide One flagship project the group reeled in across many STV offices, the Baltimore Charles Penny thrives on the wide range came in 2009, when STV supported an group in addition to a transportation/ of projects and the new opportunities MTA federal high-speed intercity pas- transit practice has found a niche focusing the job brings every day. In addition to senger rail grant application targeting specifically on the policy end – assisting writing transit-operations assessments, preliminary engineering and environmen- clients with the federal grants and funding Charles also manages a MDOT Office of tal documentation for a new train station processes that are one of the main precur- Real Estate contract that involves policy at the Baltimore/Washington Interna- sors for a project to be designed and built. analysis, freight rail consulting and land- tional Airport and nine miles of a fourth Overall, the Baltimore group offers clients use planning. track along the Northeast Corridor. The turnkey services, including project man- While traditional transit planning remains MTA was awarded the $9.4 million grant agement, operational assessments, evalu- a primary focus for the group, they also six months later. STV is now leading the ation of economic and environmental help clients address challenging issues that preparation of a National Environmental impacts, resolution of government regula- arise in the process. For example, John Policy Act Environmental Assessment tions and neighborhood concerns, as well Manzoni, a team member in Philadelphia, to meet Federal Railroad Administration as traditional transit planning services. with assistance from Christy Mainley in requirements. Once in place, this new sta- The team works hard to involve other Baltimore, tackled a snow removal plan tion and track will address rising demand STV disciplines to compete for a variety for the MTA, identifying high-priority ar- and will better connect rail commuters to UUUUUUUUUU of projects and expand their client base. eas for ice and snow removal along transit intercity service throughout the Northeast Nearly 40 percent of the group’s time is routes. STV assisted the MTA in research- and southeastern United States. spent on-site with clients. John Gasparine ing operational costs and comparing those and Michael Helta provide on-site staff to sister agencies.10 dialogue