Impact Fees –

This form can be used to input impact fees that are being used in municipalities. I am looking to collect all types of fees for Fire, School, Transportation, Water, Transit, Government buildings, etc.

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Getting Older – what happens to our transport needs as we age

Risk Management: Changing Demographics: Age

Long-term risk management starts by improving our consideration of future needs of users or factors which will impact our transportation system.

This post is a short exploration of some of the changing demands on our transport system based on aging:

Vermont has higher proportion of our resident population over the age of 55.

55andoverPopulation_state

With our Vermont population around 630,000 as of the 2010 census, we have a approximately 36% of our residents aged 50 and older. Nearly 10% of our residents are 70 and older, of which 4% are 80 and older.

vt_ageprofile

 

Age of Population: with increasing age. What do we experience on our transport needs? 

  • Shift from personal car trips (SOV trips) to Public Transport.
    • AARP brings up a number of issues being confronted by aging residents who no longer drive. Particularly around access to public transport:

      Compared to similar-age people who drive, 15 percent of those who don’t drive make fewer trips to the doctor, 59 percent make fewer trips to shop or eat out, and 65 percent make fewer trips to visit friends and family. (AARP survey)

  • Depending on age, less use of public transport (more shared rides, more mobility impaired transport options)
  • Less walking and cycling for transport? (perhaps some increase in use of walking and cycling for recreation?)
  • The need for safer roads (e.g. more room for driver error)? Night time driving issues? traffic signal timing for slower reaction times? Increasing crashes?
  • Non-driver safety at intersections/roadways. Clarity, proper timing for slower crossing times, improved traffic signal pedestrian timings for older users?
  • Rural vs. Urban differences in travel.

 

For many of these possible outcomes we can track the trends and find data and partners in such organizations as AARP which can help us identify the issues of an aging population on our transportation system (their transport page).

The AARP supports initiatives such as Complete Streets and other methods to improve the safety for all modes:

“To make roads safer for drivers, transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond, “AARP encourages policymakers to adopt ’complete streets’ policies and direct resources for low-cost, life-saving roadway improvements to accommodate the mobility needs of an aging population.  Making roads safer for older Americans will make them safer for everyone.”

 

Where do we go from here?

  • We need to identify whether this macro trend (higher proportion of aging population and overall higher absolute numbers of older residents) is happening,
  • the rate of change;
  • the magnitude of the change;
  • the location (whether some counties are at higher rates than others).
  • do we see any of the sub-trends I suggested occurring?

From this data we can start to balance the needs from this one group to the needs and challenges from other factors.

 

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Changing People Changing Transportation – 2040

The future is now –

Transport decisions today not only affect where people will live, but actually how people will live. The connections we make today and over the next few years will shape our cities for the next century. We need to have the vision and the creativity to build the transport system that will enable the society we want.

Moving goods and services is only a partial element of transports role within society. Enabling access to each other and to facilitate interaction is at the core of its purpose. Cities thrive on their basic structure which prioritises the significant access within a relatively small distance – enabling high capacity mobility through the modes of walking, cycling, subway, bus rapid transit, light rail, city bus, and heavy rail.

The demographics in New Zealand are common to that of much of the developed ‘North’ – becoming increasingly older and becoming increasingly centralised in a few key locations. These two effects provide similar solutions to urban planning when considering transportation. Both of these mega demographic trends support the provision of public transit and non-car driver modes of travel.

Combined with the other mega trend of increasing worldwide demand for liquid fuels points again to a move away from the private car as the predominate mode of transport and a shift to more energy efficient modes on a per person per kilometre travelled basis.

Understanding the direction in which transport solutions will eventually move enables the final stages of planning in our urbanised areas – how to maximise the use of the current and future infrastructure?  I suggest this takes two significant efforts. One – create the urban land use structure to support, demand, and utilise the future transport. This requires re-zoning, addressing NIBMY’s syndrome, and developing innovative and alternative land use and property ownership models. Two – using market based tools to charge users the true costs of using the transport infrastructure. This includes dedicated lanes and tolls for freight and high value transport and congestion charges for users of limited capacity, especially during peak periods of use.

This presentation focuses on the ways in which we can better deliver an urban fabric that we all can feel proud of – enabling a more socially equitable model of development that will take New Zealand’s cities forward in the 21st century.

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Managing Risk in our Transportation Assets – 2010 post

In this presentation I focus on how we need to start building in a better model for long-term risks for our transportation assets. This is the start of a long-term conversation on adaptation of our infrastructure and how to build more resilient options to meet our transport needs.

Adapt our Current Infrastructure to the Changing World

Design our Future Infrastructure to be:

  • Least damaging to the Climate
  • Improve overall resilience
  • Minimise future maintenance

Assess Life-Cycle Costs using Probabilistic approaches outlining assumptions on Risks and Uncertainties of inputs.

What we need:

  • Full-Throttle Ahead Developing Solutions to the Global Challenges coming NOW. We have recognised the need.
  • Limited Energy and Little $$$ to waste.
  • Develop appropriate infrastructure now for a more sustainable future

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Investigation of Effects of 2008 Oil Price Spike on NZ Road Contracts

This presentation is one I gave back in 2009 at the Roading Engineers of Asia and Australasia conference in Christchurch. It focuses on the NZ road market and how exposed the country is to fluctuations in price of oil on the cost of road paving contracts.

The country is partially insulated by being an oil exporting nation where the currency typically appreciates relative to the USD when the oil price increases.

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Sign On to the Urban Street Design Guide

The NACTO Urban Street Design Guide has been endorsed by over 23 leading US cities as a nationally consistent set of design principles to enhance walking, biking, and mobility in our urban areas.

NACTO is an association of 30 US cities formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. Members include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. Affiliate members of NACTOinclude Arlington (VA), Austin, Burlington (VT), Cambridge, Hoboken, Indianapolis, Louisville, Memphis, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Somerville (MA), and Ventura (CA).

The recent press release:

Transportation officials and/or mayors representing the following cities have signed letters of endorsement for the Urban Street Design Guide: Arlington, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Louisville, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Somerville, and Tacoma.

The endorsement campaign for the Urban Street Design Guide will run throughMay 1, 2014. Letters of endorsement and city council resolutions supporting the Guide are available on NACTO’s website at nacto.org/urban-street-design-guide-endorsement-campaign/. Cities, states and counties interested in endorsing the Guide should contact David Vega-Barachowitz, Director of the Designing Cities initiative, at david@nacto.org or 646.628.3337.

I encourage you to contact your department of public works or equivalent to sign on to this exciting grass roots urban led transformation of our streetscape to promote safer and more friendly streets.

 

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Bike corral makes it to Auckland

Glad that a Bike Corral finally made it to Auckland. This bike corral used concepts from US and Europe designs with local character panels from the Ponsonby District.

http://caa.org.nz/general-news/he-couldnt-wait/

It was a great project to be involved in during the initial phases.

 

photo 1 photo 2

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NACTO Street Design Guide

The much awaited street design guide is coming out is being unveiled this September. The NACTO series of guides, most recently known for its quality design guidance on cycling, provides a comprehensive and thoughtful review of the key concepts used in the design of active mode facilities.

The NACTO series are helpful to practitioners and to jurisdictions because of the wide number of inputs and comments they consider in the development of their guides.

Published by Island Press 
On September 23, 2013, at the Newseum in Washington D.C., NACTO will officially release its much anticipated Urban Street Design Guide. The Guide builds on the success of the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, giving jurisdictions around the nation a complete blueprint to design safer, more sustainable, and vibrant streetscapes and public spaces. Prior to the official release, NACTO will be previewing the Design Guide at the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals’ Professional Development Series in Boulder, CO (September 9-12, 2013). Pre-order the Urban Street Design Guide now.

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Cycle Count Data

List of cities who maintain a quality system for monitoring cycling. Add your city? Eventually can make a google map with the locations identified.

 

 

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Making Biking – Cycling Count

source: PBIC Image Library

When planners and engineers begin to assess the benefits of different ways to improve the transport network a primary input in all decisions will be the amount of information on the reasons why the improvement is necessary. The information on traditional traffic modes, of cars, buses, trains, freight vehicles are well documented and we have developed technology which tracks how many vehicles crossed intersections or other points on the network. Information on the two most sustainable modes – walking and biking – is often non-existent or extremely limited.

This post explores what is being done internationally on the concept of counting bicycle trips. Subsequent posts will explore how that data can be used to begin informing the process of infrastructure investment.

The nature of biking is that it is very flexible and provides quick access requiring about a 1/6 the space of a car to travel along footpaths, shared use paths, cycle tracks, cycleways, roadways, and just about anywhere else save for a stairs. This creates challenges in terms of counting users and understanding their behavior.

These challenges have resulted in a variety of measures being employed to assess the level of bicycle use in communities and around the nation.

At the very highest level of assessment is the national census. Most often countries do this   periodically ever few years.

  • Pros: The detail can be very helpful to practitioners because of the resolution of the data (often down to a typical city block) level as to how many people use cycle for their trips, where is their primary work destination, and demographic data.
  • Cons: When censuses are delayed they can affect the quality of data being used, especially when comparing trends over a long time. Census data is relatively slow to emerge and can become stale as some areas are changing quickly. Some regions do smaller sample census updates which can provide an updated account of the census data.

Short-Term Counts

The most common next level of bicycle count data being collected are short-term counts, often on the municipal or metropolitan level. There are numerous methodologies established, all trying to understand trends, patterns, and create a better snapshot of bicycle user behavior.

A USA demonstration project is underway, http://bikepeddocumentation.org/, which is starting a national (perhaps international) dialogue on short-term bicycle counts. The program is working with universities, organizations and agencies around the country. The National Documentation Project proposes the following objectives (from their site):

  • Establish a consistent national bicycle and pedestrian count and survey methodology, building on the ‘best practices’ from around the country, and publicize the availability of this free material for use by agencies and organizations on-line.
  • Establish a national database of bicycle and pedestrian count information generated by these consistent methods and practices.
  • Use the count and survey information to begin analysis on the correlations between various factors and bicycle and pedestrian activity. These factors may range from land use to demographics to type of new facility.
The program will work with cities and organizations which share their data. The program will collate the data and prepare reports for the partnering organizations.
Most municipalities post their bicycle statistics online, through summary reports, graphics, and presentations. A few of my selected ones include:

Automatic Counters

The newest and fastest growing component of the cycle count program is emerging from the use of automatic counters. Automatic counters are being deployed primarily in places with a high flow of bicyclists and in locations such as shared use paths which will likely capture the majority of users. The Eco-Counterfrom France has been the most widely used thus far to provide a reliable, electronic means to count cyclists continually.

source: http://www.eco-compteur.com/

  • Pros: continuous data can provide better understanding of the seasonal trends, the effects of rain, wind, snow, and other inclement weather. Effects of short-term closures and other infrastructure works can be immediately tracked. The on-going costs per hour of observation are negligible, considering the amount of data being collect.
  • Cons: capital costs can restrict wide deployment. The fixed observation zone may not detect all users of the facility or can’t prevent people from avoiding being counted. The observation is only a basic count and direction. No user data, helmet, age, or trip purpose data may be ascertained.
The Automatic counters can be used for short-term installations and have the same pros and cons as noted earlier.

 

Please send me your cities and sources of bicycle data. I will put a separate post online about keeping track of which city is doing what with their data.

 

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