DVRPC News: May 2011
Volume 32, Issue 7
DVRPC to Hold Listening Session in Moorestown, New Jersey
DVRPC invites you to a listening session about regional economic development on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at the Moorestown Community House, 16 East Main Street, Moorestown, NJ. A light dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. and the evening's program will begin at 6:45 p.m.
This meeting is part of a series of listening sessions held around the region. The goal is to inform residents about DVRPC programs and public participation activities. These meetings also provide an opportunity for a continuing dialogue between the public and the Commission regarding the most important issues facing the region.
Patricia Elkis, Associate Director, DVRPC Comprehensive Planning Unit, and Michael Boyer, DVRPC Manager of Long-Range Planning, will present Making the Connection: Long-Range Planning and Economic Development, which highlights various topics, recommendations, and initiatives undertaken by the Commission.
Ms. Elkis will also present a recently completed study, The Economic Value of Protected Open Space. The study uses research to quantify the economic value of parks, preserved farms, and natural areas in terms of property value, ecosystem services, direct use and health benefits, and economic activity. While the study is Pennsylvania-focused, the findings have a larger impact by illustrating to all communities the value of open space in the region. There will also be discussion regarding the potential for conducting a similar study in New Jersey.
To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Jane Meconi, Public Involvement Manager, at 215-592-1800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over 150 Emergency Responders attend DVRPC Traffic Incident Management Conference
On May 10, over 150 police, fire, emergency medical services, towing, and other key personnel responsible for managing traffic incidents in the Greater Philadelphia region came together for an all-day conference at Citizens Bank Park.
Responder safety and quick clearance of traffic incidents on limited access highways was the focus of this conference. The event promoted the need for cooperation and a unified incident command structure so that responders can perform their jobs efficiently, and most importantly, safely.
Highlights of the day included a welcome by Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, lunch overlooking the playing field, and opportunities to network with colleagues. In the afternoon, a vehicle placement training demonstration took place outside the ballpark, where an instructor highlighted basic principles of emergency traffic control and scene management. The day concluded with a tour of Citizens Bank Park.
Residents Trade in Their Gas-Powered Lawn Mowers
On Saturday, May 7, 60 residents of southeastern Pennsylvania traded in their old, gasoline-powered lawn mowers for environmentally friendly, discounted electric or battery-powered mowers at an event in Springfield Township, Montgomery County. The event was hosted by the Air Quality Partnership (AQP), a program to reduce air pollution in Greater Philadelphia.
As a result of recycling these mowers, 5,340 pounds of greenhouse gases will be removed from our summertime air this year. Over 230 pounds of ozone-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides (smog-forming pollutants) will also be removed from the air we breathe.
The event also marked the start of the ozone season; and the 2011 Air Quality Excellence Awards, which went to Upper Merion Township and GlaxoSmithKline, were announced.
For more information about the Air Quality Partnership, or to sign up for alerts, visit www.airqualitypartnership.org. Daily air quality forecasts and helpful tips are also available on the website or by calling 1-800-872-7261.
New Grant Program Will Close Gaps in Regional Trail Network
In November 2010, the William Penn Foundation approved a $10 million grant to DVRPC to create a Regional Trails Network Re-Grant and Technical Assistance Program (Regional Trails Program) to complete priority gaps within Greater Philadelphia's multi-use trail network. The program will provide capital funding and technical support for implementing trails, raise the visibility of the region's trail system, leverage available funding, build capacity among regional partners, and increase innovation and collaboration among organizations representing diverse interests advancing multi-use trail projects. The Regional Trails Program will take place over three years. Eligible activities will include:
- Design and/or construction of multi-use trails that complete segments of, or close gaps in, the regional trails network;
- Technical assistance related to rights-of-way, project management, legal indemnification and trail stewardship; and
- Trail planning and feasibility studies.
The program will also conduct project management activities for projects funded for design and construction. Eligible grantees include government agencies and nonprofit organizations involved with trail planning, project management, and construction. DVRPC expects to announce a request for Letters of Interest (LOI) from potential project sponsors by the end of May. Updates and details about the grant program will be announced in this newsletter as they become available. For more information, contact Chris Linn, Manager, Office of Environmental Planning, at 215-238-2873 or email@example.com.
DVRPC Helping Local Governments with Energy Efficiency
DVRPC is one of 22 communities and government agencies from across the country to receive a Climate Showcase Communities grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With this funding, DVRPC will provide training and direct assistance to municipal governments in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties to develop and implement strategies to reduce energy use - and thus the associated greenhouse gas emissions - in their operations.
The Regional Circuit Rider for Energy Efficiency in Local Government Operations project will provide six distinct services to the 228 targeted municipalities, beginning with outreach on savings opportunities available in energy efficiency and conservation. DVRPC will also develop and deploy training, analytical tools, and outreach materials for the municipalities on the benefits and processes for managing energy use and improving energy efficiency in municipal buildings, outdoor lighting, vehicle fleets, and water and wastewater facilities.
DVRPC is carrying out this project in close coordination with each of the counties, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PECO Energy, and other regional partners. The project is already underway, and is expected to hold its initial workshops in the summer of 2011.
DVRPC will prepare case studies and monitor and report data to track outcomes and lessons learned from the project. For more information, contact Rob Graff, Manager, Office of Energy and Climate Change Initiatives, at 215-238-2826 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/index.html.
US 202 Section 300 Breaks Ground
Last month, DVRPC representatives joined with PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch and federal, state, and local officials to break ground on a project to widen more than six miles of Route 202. The roadway will be widened to three lanes in each direction from just south of the Swedesford Road Interchange in Tredyffrin Township to the US 30 (Exton Bypass) Interchange in East Whiteland Township, Chester County.
This improvement has been a priority of Chester County for over a decade, and when complete, it will reduce congestion, improve traffic flow, and enhance safety. DVRPC has been working with PennDOT and Chester County to advance the project. The Commission retained McCormick Taylor & Associates and provided administrative, technical, and public outreach services to successfully complete the project's environmental clearance step (Categorical Exclusion Evaluation approved in October 1999).
Construction will be ongoing through 2015. For more information and project updates, visit www.us202-300.com.