2016–2020 TIP approved

TIP_2016cvrIn October, the MARC Board of Directors approved the 2016–2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is an important planning document that helps budget funds for significant transportation improvements across the region. It identifies significant projects that receive federal funds which will be implemented over the next three to five years. MARC updates the full TIP every two years. In between updates, the TIP is amended quarterly to allow for the addition of new project and changes to existing projects. Amendments may also occur on a special basis if necessary.

The 2016–2020 TIP was developed in compliance with MAP-21 regulations, the most recent legislation governing the federal transportation program. It contains:

  • A financial plan that accounts for inflation and includes system-level estimates of operation and maintenance costs and revenues.
  • An environmental justice analysis that examines transportation investments and impact on EJ communities.
  • Visualization techniques, maps and diagrams that help convey information.
  • An updated interactive, online map display of project locations and information.

Prior to its approval, the draft TIP document was made available for public review and comment. The next amendment to the new TIP is expected in December 2015.

The adopted TIP documents are available for review online at www.marc.org/20162020TIP.

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Kansas Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG) projects selected

This summer, MARC applied to the Kansas Department of Transportation for  Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG) funds awarded through a competitive process. KDOT received project applications from six regions across the state totaling approximately $500,000. KDOT selected three of MARC’s projects, listed below, for funding. All work on these projects will be completed during the 2016 calendar year.

The RideKC Data Insight Tool will create a dashboard of performance measures that will be housed on www.ridekc.org. This project proposal emphasized the expansion of public transportation as part of the strategic direction outlined in the Kansas City region’s metropolitan transportation plan (MTP), Transportation Outlook 2040. Through this project, the RideKC regional transit providers and partners will provide information to riders and the public, using transparency to build trust and confidence.

The Air Quality Project Evaluation Tool will develop a consistent method of evaluating air quality impacts across all project types for future rounds of funding. Consistent evaluation will allow for the setting of air quality targets and track performance over time. This project evaluation tool will serve as a model for other metropolitan planning organizations in Kansas and can be used to create consistent evaluation across projects in the State Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs) and MTPs.

I-35 Integrated Corridor Management will lead to better management of system performance, another policy goal of Transportation Outlook 2040. MARC will lead this effort, partnering with the Kansas City Scout and Operation Green Light programs and others, to develop advance incident scenarios. The additional coordination will help manage congestion on the busy corridors that run through Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and into the downtown Kansas City area. Development of this plan will run concurrent with KDOT’s ramp metering plans for the corridor in 2016.

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MARC’s Planning Sustainable Places program receives two statewide awards

As part of the Quad States American Planning Association (APA) conference held in October, MARC’s Planning Sustainable Places (PSP) program was honored with two awards: the Missouri chapter’s Outstanding Public Outreach, Program, Project, Tool, Community Initiative Award, and the Kansas chapter’s Pioneer Award for urban areas.

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The PSP program was recognized for its wide-reaching planning and implementation activities, which help local governments make progress toward the region’s long-range transportation and placemaking goals. The program provides grant funds for both planning and implementation activities, using a centers-and-corridors framework. This framework focuses development and redevelopment energy in existing activity centers — the places where people live, work, shop, gather, learn and play — and the transportation corridors that connect them.

Over the past three years, the PSP program has distributed more than $4.5 million in HUD Sustainable Communities and Surface Transportation Program funds to 31 projects across the bistate region. Recipients provide a minimum 20 percent funding match for each grant. MARC plans to solicit applications for the next round of PSP grants in May 2016. Approximately $1.2 million in surface transportation funds will be available on the Kansas side of the region (Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties) and $600,000 on the Missouri side (Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties).  More information about the program is available online at www.marc.org/psp.

The Kansas APA chapter also honored MARC’s long-time Government Innovations Forum Director, Dean Katerndahl, with its Sod Buster Award, which recognizes an individual who has advanced or promoted the cause of planning in the public arena. Katerndahl retired from MARC in June 2015. He was instrumental in launching MARC’s Creating Sustainable Places initiative, a groundbreaking regional effort that led to the creation of the PSP program.

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New ozone standard announced

CAAP-cvr2Federal law requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review air quality standards periodically to ensure that they reflect the latest scientific research for health and environmental protection. In September, EPA lowered the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. EPA’s announcement launches a multi-year process in which EPA and state air quality agencies will begin incorporating the new standard into their monitoring and planning work.

While the region experienced mild summer weather this year, three of the 2015 ozone readings would have been categorized as orange alert days — unhealthy for sensitive groups — under this stricter standard. EPA uses a three-year rolling average to determine whether a metro area is in attainment with the ozone standard or not. Early indications are that Kansas City’s 2015 ozone readings meet the new standard, while 2014 readings did not. Next summer’s ozone levels, as part of a 2014/2015/2016 average, will likely be used to determine whether the region is in attainment with the new standard.

The Kansas City region continues to employ voluntary strategies to reduce ozone-forming and greenhouse gas emissions.6 average, will likely be used to determine whether the region is in attainment with the new standard.

The participation in the EPA’s Ozone Advance program and implementation of MARC’s award-winning Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) both leverage local community actions to reduce ozone levels and pollutants.

Learn more about the Kansas City region’s air quality program at www.marc.org/airq.

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We want your feedback

comment bubblesThroughout the year, MARC seeks public comments on various transportation planning efforts. We are currently seeking feedback on the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). All comments will be documented and reviewed by MARC’s Total Transportation Policy Committee.

The UPWP is an annual planning document that promotes a regional approach to transportation planning in order to achieve Greater Kansas City’s transportation goals and objectives.

In short, the UPWP:

  • Details major transportation projects, with information about who will perform the work, project schedule, activity goals and project budget.
  • Documents the proposed spending of federal, state and local funds.
  • Compiles information from local governments, area transit providers and the state departments of transportation.

The UPWP is available online using this link: Draft 2016 Unified Planning Work Program

A summary of major transportation planning initiatives proposed in the Draft 2016 UPWP can be found on the transportation public input webpage.

Please submit your comments by Thursday, Nov. 5.

  • By mail:  Mid-America Regional Council,  600 Broadway, Suite 200,  Kansas City, MO 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By fax:  816-421-7758
  • By email: transportation@marc.org

Additional information about MARC’s transportation planning process can be found in A Guide to Transportation Decision-Making and our Public Participation Plan.

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We want your input!

Periodically, MARC seeks public comments on transportation planning efforts and major amendments to transportation plans. Our public input page provides details about how to submit your comments. All comments will be documented and reviewed by MARC’s Total Transportation Policy Committee.

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We are currently seeking public feedback on one transportation-related program:

Draft of the 2016–2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
(comments due by Thursday, Oct. 1)

The TIP is an important, short-term planning document that helps budget funds for significant transportation improvements in the region. It identifies significant projects that receive federal funds which will be implemented over the next three to five years. MARC updates the full TIP every two years. In between updates, the TIP is amended on a quarterly basis to allow for the addition of new projects and changes to existing projects.

The 2016–2020 TIP was developed in compliance with MAP-21 regulations, the most recent legislation governing the federal transportation program. It contains:

  • A financial plan that accounts for inflation and includes system-level estimates of operation and maintenance costs and revenues.
  • An environmental justice analysis that examines transportation investments and impact.
  • Visualization techniques, maps and diagrams that help convey information.
  • An updated interactive, online map display of project locations and information.

The draft 2016–2020 TIP document and project lists are available online at http://marc.org/Transportation/Plans-Studies/Transportation-Plans-and-Studies/TIP/2016%E2%80%932020-TIP.

Please submit your comments by Thursday, Oct. 1.

  • By mail:  Mid-America Regional Council,  600 Broadway, Suite 200,  Kansas City, MO 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By fax:  816-421-7758
  • By email: transportation@marc.org

Additional information about the MARC transportation planning process can be found in A Guide to Transportation Decision-Making and MARC’s Public Participation Plan.

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Count data now available online

counting_locationsOver the past four years, MARC has helped local communities measure non-motorized traffic by installing counting equipment and collecting bicycle and pedestrian data at more than 30 locations (shown on the adjacent map). The count data for each of these locations is publicly available through ArcGIS Online.

The Regional Counting Program was created in 2011 to help local governments and planners gain a better understanding of non-motorized use at transportation facilities within the eight-county transportation planning boundary. MARC loans counting equipment to local governments to help with automated bicycle and pedestrian counts. MARC used Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funding to purchase six automated counters for short-term, temporary counting.

To learn more about the Regional Counting Program, contact MARC Transportation Planner Stephen Lachky. For more regional maps, visit MARC’s Geographic Information Systems webpage.

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Regional Airport System Plan nears completion

banner-landcape Earlier this year, MARC began work with area aviation partners, regional stakeholders and a consultant team to develop the Kansas City Regional Aviation System Plan, which evaluates various aspects of public-use general aviation airports in the Kansas City region, documenting how businesses, residents and others in various communities use these airports

The plan will include strategies to enhance compatibility, sustainability and accessibility at 14 airports in nine counties.

Kansas airports
K34 — Gardner Municipal
OJC — Johnson County Executive
IXD — New Century AirCenter
FLV — Sherman Army Airfield
K81 — Miami County Regional

Missouri airports
LRY — Lawrence Smith Memorial
GPH — Midwest National Air Center
0N0 — Roosterville
3GV — East Kansas City (Grain Valley)
LXT — Lee’s Summit Municipal
MKC — Downtown Charles B. Wheeler
MCI — Kansas City International
06M — Noah’s Ark
3EX — Excelsior Springs Memorial

The planning team visited all of the study airports and reviewed existing facilities. The team also gathered input through a public survey and an open house at the MARC Conference Center. The plan will be completed later this year and will address these specific objectives:

  • Develop a system evaluation process that can be update in future planning cycles.
  • Highlight the uses and benefits associated with system airports.
  • Provide added value for study airports along with a customized implementation toolkit.
  • Strengthen MARC’s ability to serve as facilitator and communicator with airports.
  • Bridge regional airport priorities with Kansas and Missouri state system plans.

More information is available online.

Email: Jim Hubbell, jhubbell@marc.org

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Coming soon: 2016 Transportation Call for Projects

In early 2016, MARC will open a call for projects for the following transportation funding programs:

  • 2019–2020 Surface Transportation Program.
  • 2019–2020 Congestion Mitigation Air Quality.
  • 2019–2020 Transportation Alternatives Program.
  • 2015 FTA Section 5310 (Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities).

Work is underway to move this process forward, including an update of the online integrated application. Various transportation programming committees are refining their project selection processes for this upcoming round of funding. In October, the Total Transportation Policy Committee will review and make decisions on project selection criteria.

Jurisdictions in the region are encouraged to start thinking about projects they may plan to submit. The policy framework of Transportation Outlook 2040 may be used as a guide to identify projects that best support regional transportation system goals. If you have questions about the upcoming call for projects, we encourage you to contact us.

Email: Ron Achelpohl or  Marc Hansen

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RideKC Regional Transit Plan

Work is underway on the RideKC Regional Transit Plan, which will include two separate but related elements:

  • A  long-range planning resource for Greater Kansas City that will update the SmartMoves Regional Transit Vision.
  • A shorter-term plan to double the number of metro-area jobs that can be accessed by transit over the next 10 years.

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Planning partners include MARC, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Johnson County, Unified Government Transit, the city of Independence and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority.

Planning goals:

  • Develop strategies to double the number of jobs accessible by transit within 10 years.
  • Identify and prioritize corridors for new transit services.
  • Create guidelines for better connections between transit and other modes of travel.
  • Develop strategies to generate more transit-oriented development.
  • Create a funding strategy supported by the public.

A strong public transit system in the Kansas City region is essential to maintain a high quality of life and competitive regional economy. Together, these plans will guide transit investments into the future and reflect the needs and desires of the public.

Plan development began in July with and analysis of existing transit, population and employment patterns and land use. The analysis phase will continue through September. Next, the team will use the data to identify and prioritize corridors where transit improvements could have the greatest impact. Public input and engagement will be a critical part of the planning process, which will continue through Spring 2017.

Email: Karen Clawson, kclawson@marc.org, and Laura Machala, lmachala@marc.org

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