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September 2006

Welcome to the September 2006 edition of the ContextSensitiveSolutions.org newsletter! This newsletter will keep you informed of updates to the ContextSensitiveSolutions.org website as well as other CSS-related news & information.

In This Issue:

New Hampshire Publishes First Ever Citizen-Drafted Long Range Plan

On June 9, 2006 New Hampshire DOT Commissioner Carol Murray accepted the first citizen drafted long-range statewide transportation plan. The citizen plan, drafted by a 24-member Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) chaired by Lew Feldstein, President of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, is the result of almost two years of committee study, community outreach and deliberations. The plan will be integrated into the formal state plan submitted to FHWA in the fall of 2006. Read More >>

The Case for Moderate Growth in Vehicle Miles of Travel: A Critical Juncture in U.S. Travel Behavior Trends

This report explores the major factors that influence travel behavior. Several of these factors appear to be undergoing historic trend reversals. In addition, new evidence suggests that congestion levels have reached the point where average travel speeds are declining. Read More >>

Planning and Environment Linkages Website

FHWA has launched a new website that highlights information developed and compiled by the FHWA and its partners that is designed to strengthen planning and environment linkages. The site includes links to information on the benefits of an approach to transportation decision making that considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the planning stage and carries them through project development, design, and construction. Read More >>

Visualization in Planning Website

To strengthen public participation in the planning and project delivery process and specifically to aid the public in understanding proposed plans, SAFETEA-LU calls for States and MPOs to use visualization techniques. Through visual imagery, the complex character of proposed transportation plans, policies and programs can be portrayed at appropriate scales and from different points of view. FHWA has launched a new website where you can learn about noteworthy practices and innovative uses of visualization for transportation planning. Read More >>

Materials from TRB "Tools of Trade" Conference

The Transportation Research Board's 10th Tools of the Trade Conference took place September 13th-15th. The national conference provides ready-to-use, economical and practical techniques for transportation professionals in small (under 50,000) and medium sized (50,000 to 250,000) communities. The documents below are among several presentations from the conference that highlighted information relevant to CSS practice. ContextSensitiveSolutions.org will post further materials as they become available.

ASCE Conference - "Context Sensitive Solutions in Practice: What You Need to Know"

ASCE's second national Context Sensitive Solutions conference, "Context Sensitive Solutions in Practice: What You Need to Know," will be held in Atlanta on November 16th and 17th. Participants will hear from industry leaders on where CSS is now and what the future holds. Cutting-edge tools and techniques for engaging the community, communication, working with interdisciplinary teams, selecting alternatives and setting design parameters will be presented, and breakout sessions will allow attendees to see how applying these tools can enhance the project development process. Read More >>

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Standards and Innovations in Large Central Cities

This report compiles and synthesizes the findings from two endeavors: (1) A literature review and analysis of the challenges facing large central cities when trying to support pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as a review of several promising approaches being taken in various cities, and (2) a September 2005 peer-to-peer session with representatives from ten cities, and several agencies and advocacy groups, that filled in gaps related to these approaches and policy concerns. Read More >>

Safeways to School - The Role in Multi-Modal Planning

The Florida Department of Transportation has released a report that examines the relationship between multimodal transportation planning, school siting, and Florida's Safe Ways to School Program. The report explores various aspects of school transportation as they relate to the safe movement of children to school and the establishment of multimodal transportation districts. Read More >>

Review of September AASHTO/FHWA CSS Peer Exchange

Over 250 people from 41 states attended September's CSS Peer Exchange organized by AASHTO and FHWA, including several state DOT commissioners. Participants discussed core principles of CSS and how to incorporate those principles as standard practice in transportation planning. After the conference, AASHTO and FHWA representatives met to outline a "State Action Plan" for CSS. A second meeting will occur at the AASHTO annual meeting in Portland in October (see below). ContextSensitiveSolutions.org will post materials from the September event as they become available.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

October and November Calendar:

Announcement: ICOET Call for Papers
The call for abstracts is currently underway for the 2007 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation (ICOET 2007). The call was issued in late July and will remain open for submissions through Friday, October 13, 2006. ICOET is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration in cooperation with numerous other agencies and organizations. The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department is the host of the 2007 program.

The steering committee of ICOET 2007 is seeking abstracts related to the conference theme "Bridging the Gaps, Naturally" in the following areas:
- Integrating transportation and conservation planning
- Aquatic and marine ecosystems
- Wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems
- Transportation operations/maintenance
- Coordination and regulatory compliance

Abstracts must be submitted through the online form located on the ICOET website. Instructions for submitting abstracts, along with more information about the conference, are available at: http://www.icoet.net/ICOET_2007/07abstracts.asp

Announcement: Submit Content to ContextSensitiveSolutions.org
ContextSensitiveSolutions.org is a collaborative website, and we welcome user submissions of resources to share with others in the transportation community. We are looking for case studies, presentations or papers on CSS, images of design elements, events for the CSS calendar, or news articles. You can also use the discussion forums to discuss any issue pertaining to CSS, or any article, case study or report on the site.

To contribute to the site, visit the submission page. The top submissions will be featured in the next CSS newsletter.



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