Developing Long-RangeTransportation PlansApril 25, 2013Darrel S. Johnson, Rural Planning Program ManagerTransportation and Mobility Planning Division2013 National Rural Transportation ConferenceJake Gilmer, Senior PlannerVolunteers for Energy, Transportation Planning
Background of Virginia’s RuralTransportation Planning Program• The Rural Transportation Planning Program was created by TMPD in1993 to provide funding to the 20 rural regions for transportationplanning. This program was comprised of two sub-programs.• Rural Planning Assistance Program - Each of the 20 Rural PlanningDistrict Commission (PDC) receives $48,000 annually ($12,000 localmatch) to support rural transportation planning.• Rural Planning Grant Program – Each year the rural PDCs compete for$200,000 in grant funds to support rural transportation planninginitiatives.• Since the inception of the Rural Planning Program, VDOT has investedover $20,000,000 to support rural transportation planning activitiesthroughout the Commonwealth
Background of Virginia’s RuralTransportation Planning Program• Funding modifications were made to the RuralTransportation Planning Program in FY-09• Each Rural PDC received an additional $10,000towards The Rural Planning Assistance Program($58,000 annually + $14,500 local match =$72,500 to support rural transportation planning)• Rural Planning Grant Program eliminated
Overview of Virginia’s RuralTransportation Planning ProgramNot eligible for ruralplanning funds
Changing the Way We Plan• Traditionally, the planning process has focused on long-term, high-cost capital improvements for the transportationsystem• With today’s safety, mobility, and funding challenges, it isimperative for State DOTs to continue to identify innovativeways to improve and refine business practices• A significant challenge we all face is the lack of revenuesneeded to implement large-scale highway improvements• We must begin to focus more heavily on identifying andimplementing short-term, low-cost roadway improvementsaimed at improving efficiency, capacity and safety and prioritize.
6Highway ElementSTPPolicyRecommendationsProjectRecommendationsVisionGoalsObjectivesStateRecommendationsRLRPsSUATSMPO CLRPsDepartmentalRecommendationsSTARSTools:GIS MapsSPSTDMsTechnical ExpertiseConsultant ServicesPublic MeetingsCoordination with Districtsand MPOsBike PlanHighway NeedsAssessmentRelationship between RLRP and the SurfaceTransportation PlanCorridor StudiesFreight Study
Overview of Virginia’sRural Long Range PlansThe development and components of each RLRP consists of:• Modeled after the federally mandated metropolitan transportationplanning process (continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative).• The transportation plans will have a minimum planning horizon of 20years and will address the expected impacts of population andemployment growth on the transportation system.• Each will be developed as a vision plan and will be updated every fiveyears.• It is VDOT’s goal that each region will be able to use these plans toidentify regional priorities for funding.
Objectives of Virginia’sRural Long Range Plans• Identification of operational improvements (intersection improvements,access managementstrategies, etc.)• Identification and potentialimpact of high growth areas(residential, retail, anddistribution centers) using localcomprehensive plans• Identification of critical freightinfrastructure andimprovements• Identifying facilities that should be targeted for bicycle and pedestrianImprovements
Objectives of Virginia’sRural Long Range Plans• Recognizing corridors to preserve right of way for future transportationimprovements• Identifying areas of need for on-demand transit services• Providing increased opportunityfor local/regional input oninterstate and primaryrecommendations in the SurfaceTransportation Plan• Ensuring consistency of secondary recommendations with interstate andprimary recommendations
Objectives of Virginia’sRural Long Range Plans• RLRP recommendations could be prioritized using the methodologythat has already been developed for the Surface Transportation Plan.• This will assist localities and the region in identifying and establishingpriorities.• The programming of secondary roads projects already occurs on acounty-by county basis, with the Board of Supervisors and VDOTResidencies working together to develop a list of priorities.• The development of a RLRP will further formalize the process, addressregional continuity issues, and allow for opportunities to bettercoordinate land use and transportation issues (linking comprehensiveplans with transportation recommendations).
The Process of Virginia’sRural Long Range Plans• The four phases for this initiative are:– Phase I - Goals and Data Collection– Phase II - Analysis and Problem Identification– Phase III - Public Outreach and Recommendation Development– Phase IV - Public Endorsement and Regional Adoption
Roanoke Valley – Alleghany RuralLong Range Transportation Plan
Goals & Objectives1. Reduce congestion and impact of incidents on I-81 and I-64.2. Strengthen transportation linkages between the Roanoke Valleyand the surrounding regions (Alleghany Highlands, New RiverValley, West Piedmont, and Region 2000).3. Preserve and maintain the existing transportation system andencourage efficient system management and operations.4. Promote recreational travel and tourism within the region.5. Expand public transit and passenger rail service.6. Provide a safe and secure transportation system.7. Consider freight needs in transportation facility re/design.8. Provide on-road and off-road bicycle and pedestrianaccommodations.
Public Involvement Public involvement and outreach to: General public (public meetings, openhouses, and kiosk surveys) Rural Technical Committee Public officials Media Other transportation stakeholder and/or interestgroups
Field Reviews and Counts Safety location analysis is based primarily on field review(photos, detailed sketches, field recommendations)supplemented by review of crash databases; not a fullanalysis of crash history Use of existing count data aswell as new counts foranalysis Level of service analysis andpre-warrant determinations(planning-level assessmentfor potential signalization)
Identification of Deficiencies& Recommendations OperationsSafetyCongestionGeometricBicycleTransitRidesharing
Why Prioritize?Why develop a prioritization process?• Resources are limited• Brings accountability and transparency toproject selection process• Focuses limited transportation dollars oncritical needs• Provides a tool to assist decision makers
Step 1 - Establish Goals• Needed to establish the overarching policy goalsthat would guide process• Looked to goals that had already been established -CTB priorities, VTrans goals and report from theCommission on the Future of Transportation• Sought input from Commissioner and Secretary ofTransportation• Arrived at 5 overarching goals
Prioritization GoalsGoal 1: Provide a transportation system that facilitatesthe efficient movement of people and goodsGoal 2: Provide a safe and secure transportation systemGoal 3: Retain and increase business and employmentopportunitiesGoal 4: Improve quality of life and minimize potentialimpacts to the environmentGoal 5: Preserve the existing transportation system andpromote efficient system management
Step 2 - Weighting GoalsGoal 1: Provide a transportation system that facilitatesthe efficient movement of people and goodsGoal 2: Provide a safe and secure transportation systemGoal 3: Retain and increase business and employmentopportunitiesGoal 4: Improve quality of life and minimize potentialimpacts to the environmentGoal 5: Preserve the existing transportation system andpromote efficient system management29%23%18%15%15%100%
Goal 1: Provide a transportation system that facilitatesthe efficient movement of people and goods• Current Level of Service (A-F)• Current Volume to Capacity ratio• Current Flow Rate (passenger cars per lane perhour• Enhance access to other modesStep 3 - Performance Measures
Step 3 - Performance MeasuresGoal 2: Provide a safe and secure transportation system• Crash rate• Part of Strategic Highway Network ordesignated Emergency Evacuation RouteGoal 3: Retain and increase business and employmentopportunities• Average Daily Volume of Trucks• Local unemployment rate
Goal 4: Improve quality of life and minimize potentialimpacts to the environment• Potential environmental/cultural impacts• Utilization of existing right-of-wayGoal 5: Preserve the existing transportation system andpromote efficient system management• Interchange spacing/mainline adequacy• Inclusion of other modes• Bridge conditions• Cost effectiveness - VMT/$costStep 3 - Performance Measures
10Step 4 - Collect Data• Statewide Planning System (SPS) provides many of theperformance measures• GIS assists with environmental/cultural impacts
Step 5 - Run, test, adjust• Give process a spin and adjust weights andmeasures as needed• Present findings and solicit feedbackRule Above all Rules: Prioritization process is a tool -not the decision makerVS
Benefits Virginia’s RuralLong Range PlansRLRPs will:• Serve as a proactive step toward addressing land use andtransportation issues in potential growth areas• Assist localities with determining impacts from futuredevelopment, assisting localities with the identification of potentialproffer requests for developers• Assist localities with the development of setback/ entrancerequirements on transportation corridors• Assist localities in identifying transportation priorities for theprogramming process
Benefits Virginia’s RuralLong Range Plans• Ensure coordination of Surface Transportation Plan recommendations withlocally identified recommendations• Address linking local, regional, and statewide transportation planning efforts• Assist VDOT in meeting VA Code requirements for assisting localities withtransportation elements of their local comprehensive plans– § 15.2-2223. Comprehensive plan to be prepared and adopted; scope andpurpose.– As part of the comprehensive plan, each locality shall develop a transportationplan that designates a system of transportation infrastructure needs andrecommendations that may include the designation of new and expandedtransportation facilities and that support the planned development of theterritory covered by the plan and shall include, as appropriate, but not be limitedto, roadways, bicycle accommodations, pedestrianaccommodations, railways, bridges, waterways, airports, ports, and publictransportation facilities. The plan should recognize and differentiate among ahierarchy of roads such as expressways, arterials, and collectors. The VirginiaDepartment of Transportation shall, upon request, provide localities withtechnical assistance in preparing such transportation plan.
Benefits Virginia’s RuralLong Range Plans• Contributes to the purpose of Planning District Commissions, as set out in theCode of Virginia, Section 15.2-4207– "...to encourage and facilitate local government cooperation and state-local cooperation in addressing on a regional basis problems of greaterthan local significance. The cooperation resulting from this chapter isintended to facilitate the recognition and analysis of regionalopportunities and take account of regional influences in planning andimplementing public policies and services.The planning district commission shall also promote the orderly andefficient development of the physical, social and economic elements ofthe district by planning, and encouraging and assisting localities toplan, for the future."• Assist VDOT in meeting the requirements and duties as outlined in MAP-21(Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act)
Benefits Virginia’s RuralLong Range Plans• Assist VDOT in meeting requirements and duties as outlined inMAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act)– The Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act - ALegacy For Users (SAFETEA-LU) provides for consultation with non-metropolitan officials when State Departments of Transportationmake transportation decisions in their Statewide TransportationPlanning and Programming processes. This consultationprocess, separate and discrete from the public involvementprocess, is required to be documented in writing. All States havecompleted this task. Every five years beginning in 2006, States arerequired to review and solicit comments from non-metropolitanlocal officials and other interested parties regarding this process inorder to ensure that the process continues to be effective.
Moving Ahead for Progress in the21st Century Act (MAP-21)RPOs DUTIES (as defined in MAP 21) Current Duties of VA’s PDC‘‘(A) developing and maintaining, in cooperation with the State,regional long-range multimodal transportation plansPDCs in Virginia has developed Rural Long Range Plans incooperation with the State‘‘(B) developing a regional transportation improvement programfor consideration by the State;PDCs submit regional priorities to VDOT for possibleincorporation into the Six Year Improvement Plan‘‘(C) fostering the coordination of local planning, land use, andeconomic development plans with State, regional, and localtransportation plans and programs;PDCs in Virginia has developed Rural Long Range Plans incooperation with the State‘‘(D) providing technical assistance to local officials;Virginia PDCs currently provide this service. (ComprehensivePlans update, bike plans, corridor studies)‘‘(E) participating in national, multistate, and State policy andplanning development processes to ensure the regional andlocal input of nonmetropolitan areas;The PDCs provides input and review on the VA STP & Update,VTRANS 2035 & Update along with providing input on nationand multistate and State policy through VAPDC.‘‘(F) providing a forum for public participation in the statewideand regional transportation planning processes;YES, Fall planning meeting, RLRP public meetings, VSTP publicmeetings, PDC meetings‘‘(G) considering and sharing plans and programs withneighboring regional transportation planning organizations,metropolitan planning organizations, and, where appropriate,tribal organizations; Information is shared through VAPDC and individual PDC efforts‘‘(H) conducting other duties, as necessary, to support andenhance the statewide planning process under subsection (d). The PDCs support statewide planning efforts led by the state
Keys to Success• Success of the RLRP effort hinges on the support and participation oflocal governments• As always, local governments retain the authority to make land useand transportation decisions• RLRPs could serve as a resource to localities, providing valuableinformation on transportation issues to decision-makers
Developing Long-RangeTransportation PlansQuestions / AnswersFor additional information on For additional information onVDOT’s Rural Planning Program Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional CommissionContact: Contact:Darrel.Johnson@vdot.virginia.gov firstname.lastname@example.org(804) 371-8868 (540) 343-4417
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