Houston, we have a problem! Texas Woman Arrested for Warning Drivers About Speed Trap

June 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Read more on this story

An Infographic View of Auto Theft in the United States

June 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

via TopSpeed.com

Some quick facts:

  • In 2010, there were 737,000 vehicle thefts and only 56% of those vehicles were ever recovered.
  • The average loss per vehicle was $6,152. Not exactly a small number by anyone’s standards.
  • What’s worse is that, if you own a Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Toyota Camry, you are more likely to be a victim because these were the top three vehicles stolen in 2010.
  • The Ford Mustang made up a total of 9,116 instances of car theft in 2010, so we can only imagine how many of the top three vehicles were stolen during that time.

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Call for nominations: White House Champions of Change — Transportation Innovators

June 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the White House Office of Public Engagement will host a White House Champions of Change featuring Transportation Innovators on July 31. Transportation Innovators are individuals or organizations who have provided exemplary leadership in the growth and expansion of the transportation industry at the local, state or regional level.

Logo of the United States White House, especia...

Logo of the United States White House.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the country who are “Building an America to Last” with projects and initiatives that move their communities forward. Each week, the White House Office of Public Engagement hosts an event to honor those who are working to empower and inspire other members of their communities. A Transportation Innovation Champion’s work may entail:

  • Leading the implementation of viable transportation initiatives that promote and facilitate economic growth and job creation
  • Developing a comprehensive and holistic approach to livability to ensure that communities have access to a range of transportation options that are in proximity to housing and other community services
  • Building intermodal connectivity that reduces congestion and increases efficiencies
  • Developing and/or implementing transportation safety technologies or innovative transportation safety programs
  • Pioneering mobility management strategies for moving people and/or goods
  • Developing or implementing state of the art technologies that are critical to improving the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of transportation systems and services
  • Integrating strategies to eliminate significant barriers to ensure that transportation services and systems are accessible for all Americans
  • Establishing innovative strategies for addressing the unique transportation needs for individuals and families in rural America
  • Implementing environmentally friendly and sustainable transportation systems and services
  • Demonstrating effective strategies for strengthening the transportation career pathway

Please submit nominations using the attached form no later than July 3, 2012 toChampions@dot.gov. Note: You can also submit a nomination in a text document, but all of the questions and information requested in the attached nomination form must be included in your submission.

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U.S.DOT Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Transportation and Climate Change Newsletter – Winter/Spring 2012

June 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

Prepared by the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty @ Federal Highway Administration

Recent Events and Reports

FHWA‘s Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Pilots Completed. Five areas have completed vulnerability and risk assessments of their transportation infrastructure under FHWA’s pilot program to implement a draft framework for climate change vulnerability and risk assessment. Each area took a different approach and contributed significantly to the understanding of potential climate change impacts on their transportation assets, and to the body of knowledge of the transportation community as a whole. FHWA will use the experiences of the pilots to update the draft framework. A very brief description of each pilot:

  • WSDOT assessed the infrastructure it owns, including roads, rail, ferry facilities, and airports. They held workshops around the State, presenting information on climate projections and asking maintenance engineers and other employees with intimate familiarity with the assets, “What keeps you up at night?” to help identify current vulnerabilities that may be exacerbated in the future.
  • A New Jersey project was led by NJTPA and was supported by an interagency partnership, including the three New Jersey MPOs, NJDOT, NJ Transit, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and the NJ State Climatologist. The pilot closely followed the three steps of the Conceptual Risk Assessment Model in its analysis of the New Jersey Turnpike/I-95 corridor and the New Jersey Coast.
  • The Oahu MPO used an interagency, multidisciplinary two-day workshop to facilitate a climate change dialog and identify five key vulnerable assets for further study. The five assets were then assessed in more detail.
  • The University of Virginia developed a priority setting tool to assess how consideration of climate change and other factors may affect project prioritization in a transportation plan. They used the Hampton Roads region as a case study.
  • MTC, in partnership with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and others, led a study of a portion of the Bay, stretching from the Oakland Bay Bridge to the San Mateo Bridge (Alameda County). This study was focused on sea level rise. The project team developed asset risk profiles for a representative list of assets within the study area, including exposure to sea level rise, sensitivity to sea level rise (based on level of use, age, seismic retrofit status, maintenance cost, and liquefaction susceptibility).

For more information see FHWA’s pilots website which includes links to the individual pilot web pages where most of the final reports are posted. Also see recordings of two webinars on the pilots to hear about the projects directly from the project leads:

  • In FHWA Pilots Webinar I, Becky Lupes from FHWA gives an overview of the vulnerability and risk assessment framework, Jeff Perlman from NJTPA presents the results of the New Jersey study, and Carol Lee Roalkvam from WSDOT gives an overview of the WSDOT study.
  • In FHWA Pilots Webinar II, after Becky Lupes gives a very short introduction, Brenda Dix from MTC gives an overview of the San Francisco Bay study, Jim Lambert from the University of Virginia gives an overview of the Virginia Study, and Randolph Sykes from the Oahu MPO gives an overview of the Oahu study.

FHWA Releases GHG Strategy Analysis Tool. The Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy Analysis Tool (EERPAT) was developed to assist state transportation agencies with analyzing greenhouse gas reduction scenarios and alternatives. The Tool allows agencies to quickly assess policy interactions in hundreds of scenarios. The Tool uses GreenSTEP, developed by the Oregon State DOT, as its foundation, and is expected to have regular enhancements. FHWA will be conducting pilots of the tool in early 2012. DOTs interested in participating in the pilots should contact Diane Turchetta at 202-493-0158 or diane.turchetta@dot.gov.

FHWA’s Conditions and Performance Report Includes Chapter on Climate Change Adaptation. FHWA’s bi-annual “Report to Congress” for the first time includes a chapter on climate change adaptation. The chapter includes information on projected climate change impacts to highway transportation, steps for assessing adaptation needs, discussion of adaptation options, barriers to implementation of adaptation measures, and some current adaptation activities underway by USDOT, and state and local transportation agencies.

FHWA Newsletter Highlights use of ROW for Renewable Electricity Generation. The December issue of FHWA’s Success in Stewardship Newsletter, “Utilizing the Highway Right-of-Way to Generate Renewable Energy,” highlights DOT efforts in Oregon, Ohio, Massachusetts, and North Carolina to use highway rights-of-way for solar, wind, and biofuel generation.

FAA Issues NEPA GHG Guidance. On January 12, the Federal Aviation Administration issued interim guidance on considering greenhouse gas emissions in NEPA studies. The guidance calls for including an estimate of CO2 equivalent emissions if conducting an analysis of other air emissions or if computing and reporting on fuel burn in the NEPA document.

EPA Issues Draft Guidance on Using MOVES for Estimating State and Local On-Road GHG Emissions. The draft EPA guidance, “Using MOVES for Estimating State and Local Inventories of On-Road Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Consumption,” explains how to use the MOVES model to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from on road vehicles to create state or local inventories, or to estimate total energy consumption from the on-road sector. This document is posted on a new web pagethat also hosts other recent EPA publications about estimating emission reductions of both greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants from transportation efficiency strategies.

Army Corps of Engineers Issues Sea Level Rise Guidance. USACE’s “Engineering Circular 1165-2-212” provides guidance for accounting for projected future sea level rise across the project life-cycle for all Army Corps Civil Works activities. According to the Circular, local sea level rise is required to be considered in all Corps coastal activities. The circular includes some broad guidelines on how to develop and consider this information in alternatives selection for a project (pp.1-4), and also includes several appendices. One appendix is designed to help project sponsors estimate future trends in local sea level rise relevant to a specific project, while a second provides a decision-support flowchart for developing ranges of projected local sea level rise.

Report Identifies Climate Information and Assistance Needs. “Climate Adaptation & Transportation: Identifying Information and Assistance Needs” summarizes presentations and discussions from a NOAA workshop to investigate the transportation community’s needs for assistance from the climate science community, identifying the major findings and recommendations for addressing them. Workshop discussion focused on ways the climate science community can help meet transportation organizations’ needs for data, decision support tools, technical assistance, and other activities.  Attendees included representatives from the transportation and climate science fields in government, academia, consulting, and the nonprofit communities. The Center for Clean Air Policy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute led this study with funding from NOAA.

State and Local News

Florida Report Looks at Assessing Sea Level Rise on Transportation Infrastructure. A new report sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Development of a Methodology for the Assessment of Sea Level Rise Impacts on Florida’s Transportation Modes and Infrastructure,” provides recommendations on how to assess the impacts of Sea Level Rise (SLR) on transportation infrastructure in Florida. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) reviewed existing SLR forecasts, undertook an extensive inventory of the transportation network along the Florida coastline, and developed a methodology for identifying and assessing potentially vulnerable transportation infrastructure. The researchers applied this methodology and developed case studies for three locations in the state. The report provides recommendations to FDOT on building the impact of SLR into their planning, project development, and construction processes.

WSDOT Issues Updated Climate Change Guidance. WSDOT has issued updated guidance on considering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change effects in project evaluations. The guidance calls for no GHG, qualitative GHG, or quantitative GHG analysis based on the class of environmental review, and provides a recommended quantitative approach for the analysis and sample language. It also addresses how climate change effects could be considered by asking project teams to ask and answer the question: “how will my project be affected by climate change?” and provides the steps and resources to do this.

Washington State Issues Framework for Addressing Climate Change Challenges. In recognition of a projected $10 billion in costs from climate change by the end of the decade, Washington State has released an “Integrated Climate Change Response Strategy” that is intended to provide a broad framework for decision-makers to use in their day-to-day work to ensure that consideration of climate change impacts is given a high priority. The strategy, “Preparing for a Changing Climate: Washington State’s Integrated Climate Response Strategy,” was completed by the Department of Ecology in collaboration with other state agencies and released April 3. It lays out a variety of threats ranging from the risks posed by a projected spike in diseases found in warmer climates such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia to increased flooding brought on by more frequent extreme weather events.

The response plan suggests adaptive strategies such as public education to meet disease threats and floodplain restoration, with the goal of increasing water storage capacity to fend off floods. The report calls for reducing risk of damage to buildings, transportation systems, and other infrastructure by:

  • Identifying vulnerable areas and taking proactive steps to reduce risks to infrastructure;
  • avoiding climate risks when siting new infrastructure and planning for growth; and
  • enhancing capacity to prepare for more frequent and severe flooding, rising sea levels, wildfires, and changes in energy supply and demand.

The report noted WSDOT’s recent efforts to conduct a qualitative assessment and initial screening of state-owned transportation infrastructure vulnerable to climate impacts as part of FHWA’s pilot program. The results of that assessment will be used to help prepare for future conditions and incorporate climate information into decision-making.

New York State Creates Electric Vehicle Voucher Incentive Program – The FHWA New York Division approved $10 million of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds for the initial year of a statewide project entitled the “New York State Electric Vehicle Voucher Incentive Program.”  This program is intended to help the private companies, public entities, and non-profit entities operating vehicles within New York State to purchase new electric-battery powered medium and heavy-duty (Class 3-8) trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or more.  MPOs in all air quality nonattainment/maintenance areas of the State are being given the opportunity to endorse the statewide project on their Transportation Improvement Programs. If an MPO chooses not to endorse it, dealers in their area will not be eligible to participate.  It is estimated that this incentive program will provide vouchers for at least 450 vehicles in the first year, reducing greenhouse gases by an estimated 11,700 tons and saving about 1 million gallons of diesel fuel. This project was the result of cooperative discussions between the New York Division’s Planning, Environment, and Right of Way Section, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the New York City Department of Transportation. More information is available in a press releasefrom Governor Cuomo.

New York State Releases Climate Change Adaptation Report. In an effort to provide state decision makers with information on the state’s vulnerability to climate change and to assist in the development of adaptation strategies, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) produced “ClimAID: the Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in New York State.” The report contains a chapter on transportation infrastructure in the state, including a comprehensive description of the sector, the relevant climate hazards, and resulting vulnerabilities. The transportation chapter also outlines key adaptation strategies and important equity and environmental justice considerations.

Oregon’s TIGER III Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor Project Gets Major Boost. The Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor Connectivity Network Project in Oregon has been awarded an additional $1.34 million in TIGER III funding. The current project, originally funded with $2 million in TIGER II funding will install 22 DC fast charging stations at major destinations outside of Oregon’s metropolitan areas.  The project is anticipated to begin installation in April 2012, and be completed by December 2012. The additional TIGER III funding will allow expansion of the DC fast charging stations network as envisioned in the State’s original proposal.

NJTPA Hosts International Discussion on Climate Change Adaptation. On March 28, 2012, The North Jersey Transportation Authority (NJTPA) hosted the Symposium – Adapting to Climate Change: an International Discussion. As part of a tour of US transportation agencies, researchers from the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL) met with officials from NJTPA, NJ Transit, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Rutgers University, and others to exchange information on infrastructure resiliency and climate change adaptation activities. More information, including presentations and video recordings of the proceedings, is available on the NJTPA website.


FHWA and AMPO Webinar on Climate Change Planning for MPOs: Effective Implementation of Traffic Operations and Management. June 26, 2012, 2:00-3:30 Eastern time. How are MPOs building on existing transportation management and operations programs to meet climate change needs? For GHG reductions? For better emergency response to extreme weather (climate) events? This webinar is free and open to all, however registration is required. This is the last in a series of six webinars on climate change sponsored by FHWA and AMPO.

Portland State University Transportation Seminar Series Explores Modeling and Climate Change – For the Spring of 2012, Portland State University’s Center for Transportation Studies Seminar Series, traditionally covering a breadth of current transportation topics, will instead focus on the single theme of transportation modeling, specifically taking a policy oriented approach and examining climate change impacts. Speakers for the series of 8 to 10 seminars will include both public and private sector transportation professionals. The series is free and open to the public. Webcasts of each seminar will be available live and archived; see www.cts.pdx.edu/seminars/ for topics and scheduling details.

If you have any suggestions for inclusion in future issues of Transportation and Climate Change News, or if someone forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like to receive it directly in the future, please send your suggestions or request to Becky Lupes at Rebecca.Lupes@dot.gov or Heather Holsinger at Heather.Holsinger@dot.gov.

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Job Alert: Transportation Planner or Senior Transportation Planner / Project Manager – FourSquare ITP @ Rockville, MD

June 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning (Foursquare ITP) is looking for a qualified Transportation Planner or Senior Transportation Planner / Project Manager to contribute to, assist, lead, and/or manage teams on a diverse array of transportation projects for state and local governments, primarily in the Washington DC Metropolitan Region. Resumes are due this Friday, June 29.

Foursquare ITP

Position Description

In addition to work with state and local governments, this position will also be committed half-time to a transportation planning contract with the Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) division of the Department of Defense, providing subject matter expertise in planning and implementing transit and transportation demand management programs at the Pentagon and Mark Center. In addition to the WHS contract this position will potentially contribute to on-going efforts that include heavy rail station environmental analysis, TDM plan development, performance measurement, TIGER grant management, long-range transit analysis and planning, transit development plans, and transit capital and operations planning.

Depending on the level of experience of the selected candidate, the position will be designated as a Transportation Planner or Senior Transportation Planner / Project Manager (STP/PM).

The selected candidate will work as part of a team and will be responsible for research, analysis, report development, field work and meeting participation on a wide variety of transportation projects. The selected candidate will be involved in transit development plans, transportation needs assessments, station area plans, transit route planning, financial planning, and transit performance monitoring. The position will require research and data analysis utilizing a variety of sources, including transit ridership data, survey data, and existing plan information. It will require excellent communication skills, both written and oral.

If the selected candidate is a STP/PM, he or she will serve in two capacities depending on the project. As a project manager, the STP/PM will lead project teams of transportation planners to deliver high quality solutions to Foursquare ITP’s clients in a timely manner, within the scope and budget of the assignment. In addition to leading project teams, the STP/PM will conduct some of the work involved in the assignments as well as overseeing the quality of the work of the rest of the project team. The STP/PM will be responsible for the client relationship as well as the coordination with any prime consultants or sub-consultants with whom the project is being executed

In some cases, the PM/STP will serve in a senior transportation planner role, where he/she will accomplish project assignments under the direction of another PM. In this position the candidate will also be expected to contribute to business development including proposal writing and presentations.


5-15 years of relevant experience with a Masters in transportation planning, urban planning, or similar substitutable for some of those years. Topical area expertise in transit planning; transit program implementation; corridor-level multimodal planning; regional transportation planning; transit development plans; short and long-range transportation plans; transportation demand management (TDM); Environmental Impact Statements/Environmental Assessments; Land Use and Economic Development; and Strategic Planning. A strong working knowledge of the Washington Metropolitan area is required.

About Foursquare ITP

Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning is a transportation planning, design and policy analysis firm based in Rockville, Maryland. As a small firm, we are able to give our clients the personalized attention that they seek and deserve. Foursquare ITP focuses on projects that relate to sustainable transportation, primarily in the area of public transit. We offer our clients expertise in regional transportation planning and coordination, public transit planning, strategic planning, and transportation demand management. More information is available at www.foursquareitp.com

Foursquare ITP is a small, growing business and the successful applicant must be a motivated self-starter who is passionate about transportation planning, transit, and transportation demand management. He or she must also be flexible to meet client demands and a dynamic workflow. All qualified applicants must live in or be willing to move to the Washington DC metropolitan area, and must be available for work starting no later than August 6. Due to a rapid ramp up on the work for WHS, resumes will only be accepted through this Friday June 29.

Please send resumes or questions about the position to Lora Byala at lbyala@foursquareitp.com.


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Infograph: Take Public Transport; Make Life Simple and Green

June 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm

(Source: Credit Donkey)

Key messages in this infograph:

  • When you take public transportation, you are more likely to run other errands on your route, saving you time and money from additional trips with the car.
  •     Public transportation creates less congestion, saving money and the environment with shorter, less expensive trips for everyone.
  •     When used regularly, public transportation can reduce the need for some to have a second car (or a car at all). Imagine less debt, fewer car payments, less emissions, and less money spend on repairs and gas.
  •     Many transit agencies are now replacing old buses with hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell buses. This making public transit even greener, especially when connected to renewable sources such as solar.
Infographics: Public Transportation © CreditDonkey

Image Courtesy: Credit Donkey

Motorcycle Diaries: Part II (sans Che’) – Beautiful photo essay from a foreigner who rode 12,500kms through South America on his 150CC motorcycle

June 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

Imgur via Reddit

Awesome road trip story as narrated by Redditor rufflesdance… with NO GPS!  If you are an avid motorcyclist and harbor a desire down in the trenches of your mind, I sincerely recommend you to check out the comments section of his Reddit post where he has shared info. and answered tons of questions from fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. It was mindboggling how much he has learned and observed as he shared many little nuggets of wisdom from this road trip. If you have a hard time reading the detailed narrative underneath each of the photographs, click here. Drop a note in the comments section if you like this post.


Rare Sighting of Two Bald Eagles In the Middle of A Busy Washington, DC Traffic

June 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Imgur Via Reddit

Images below were posted by Redditor Kavorka2 who says that these images were taken from a friend’s Facebook page (says he snapped these amazing pictures while visiting DC..)

Job Alert: Supervisory Senior Transportation Specialist, GS-2101-15 – U.S. Dept. of Transportation @ Washington, DC

June 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) seeks a Supervisory Senior Transportation Specialist for the Office of Transportation Analysis within the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). BTS promotes coordinated collection, comparability, and quality standards of transportation data; and facilitates in the closing of important data gaps. Over the years of its existence, BTS established itself with a focus in three key areas, each mandated by legislation: 1) compiling, analyzing, and publishing a comprehensive set of transportation statistics; 2) making statistics readily accessible; and, 3) implementing a long term data collection program. This is a permanent position and it is based in Washington, D.C.

Under the leadership of the BTS Director, the successful candidate will direct the planning and initiation of a broad and significant range of programs to: 1) identify and address major issues in transportation; 2) identify data gaps and inconsistencies; 3) implement strategies to meet data gaps; and, 4) conduct cross-sectional and trend analyses that can be used to inform decision-making.

RITA is looking for an experienced manager who has experience in developing multi-faceted transportation statistics analysis programs and managing teams with diverse skill sets. The Office of Transportation Analysis has two principal programs — Freight Statistics Analysis and International Transportation Statistics. The Office compiles essential and continuing statistics and key indicators on the Nation’s transportation system to inform policy development and investment decision by DOT, Congress, federal, state, and local governments and the private sector. The Office conducts analysis and prepares special reports on strategic performance measures of all modes of transportation. The Office leads the preparation of several annual, monthly, and quarterly reports and data releases including those legislatively mandated for BTS.

If you know someone interested in this Washington, D.C., based position with relevant experience and a history of proven results please encourage them to apply under the attached vacancy announcement. We are looking for a diverse pool of qualified candidates.

The vacancy announcements can be found on:

ALL SOURCES: http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/319337200

MERIT PROMOTION: http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/319336300

Application deadline: Thursday, June 28, 2012

Changing Paradigms – Guardian’s Interactive World Map of CO2 Emissions Paints An Intersting Picture of Globalization Since 1980

June 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm

via Guardian UK

This awesome interactive data visualization by Guardian, UK show how much the emissions profile has changed and shifted over the past few decades.. One shocking statistic I learned from this graph below is that the total CO2 emissions of Equitorial Guinea, small country in Western Africa, have increased by a whopping 3,390% Yep. !!!! Check out: