December 2013 Newsletter

December 2013 update >>

Register Now for “Reshaping Rural Highways for Livability: the Regional Scale” Webinar

Tuesday, January 21st @ 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST

This webinar details how Virginia DOT and stakeholder worked together to balance the dual roles of Route 50 as a major national highway and as the heart of communities it binds together.

The Rural Route 50 Traffic Calming Plan began in 1994 as a grassroots effort to protect a scenic and historic section of the Virginia Piedmont known as the Mosby Heritage Area, where it is the main street for several small towns. Traffic projections showed increasing demand for the 24-mile corridor located a mere 45 miles outside of Washington D.C., but an innovative public process and federal demonstration project funding ultimately produced a plan to manage and calm traffic rather than simply add capacity.

Today much of the plan has been implemented, including the Gilbert's Corner project in 2009, a system of four roundabouts to relieve congestion. Participants will learn about how the Route 50 plan was developed and implemented and will gain invaluable insights for DOTs and stakeholders seeking to achieve both mobility and livability in the rural areas.

Register now here.

FHWA Memorandum:
Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Flexibility

In August, FHWA released a memorandum expressing their support for taking a flexible approach to bicycle and pedestrian facility design. The memo affirms that, “The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Designing Urban Walkable Thoroughfares guide builds upon the flexibilities provided in the AASHTO guides, which can help communities plan and design safe and convenient facilities for pedestrian and bicyclists. FHWA supports the use of these resources to further develop nonmotorized transportation networks, particularly in urban areas.” Designing Urban Walkable Thoroughfares is an ITE Recommended Practice that guides practitioners through applying a context sensitive approach throughout planning and design.

View the memorandum here.

Featured Case Study:
Willamette River Bridge Project

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Willamette River connects the Willamette Valley to the rest of the country and to the Canadian border. The bridge is critical to freight movement and is expected to increase its vehicular average daily traffic (ADT) to 73,000 ADT by 2030.

In 2002, inspection of the bridge uncovered shear cracks detrimental enough to undermine the bridge’s structural integrity. The resulting weight limits detoured heavy trucks upwards of 200 miles out of their way. In 2004, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) opened a temporary bridge as an interim solution; however, the bridge did not meet environmental, design, seismic standards of permanent freeway bridges.

To build a permanent I-5 bridge, ODOT worked with local stakeholders, a Community Advisory Group, local artists, architects, landscape architects, engineers, and representatives for the Kalapuya tribe to develop an aesthetic enhancement plan for the bridge. ODOT kept the public informed with on-site information kiosks and a detailed online blog that chronicled progress. The project, including the development of new multi-use paths, was slated for completion in 2014; however the bridge component was built four months ahead of schedule and was open for business in August 2013. To date, the project is the largest bridge replacement in ODOT history.

Read the case study and check out the project blog here.

Watch the Albany CSS National Dialog

The workshop Albany included an up-to-date overview of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) plus presentations on exemplary CSS projects, plans and programs from the surrounding regions. The case studies were drawn from submissions from across the country, and were selected as examples of effective application of CSS principles to projects, plans, and programs.

Watch the video and view the slides from the Albany Workshop/Webcast here.

Register Now for
the Santa Fe CSS National Dialog

The next CSS National Dialogue workshop/webcast will be held in Santa Fe on Thursday, December 12th from 9:00AM - 1:00PM MST.

Register now here.

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