DVRPC News: April 2013

DVRPC News: The Newsletter of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

Volume 34, Issue 10
April 2013


Join Us for a Discussion on the Future of Our Transportation System

Article 1 Whether you drive, walk, bike, or take the train, we all rely on our region's transportation network to get around Greater Philadelphia. We're at a crossroads though. Our region is growing. Its transportation infrastructure is aging. And currently there's a funding gap that will only hold us back. We need to work together to keep Greater Philadelphia moving forward.

Join us on May 21 for a discussion on the update of the Connections Long-Range Plan; the Plan is our vision for a future that provides multimodal transportation choices for everyone. The event will be held at The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. To RSVP, visit For more information, please contact Jane Meconi, Public Involvement Manager, at 215-592-1800 or


Don't Forget to Make your Choice, Use your Voice!

Article 2 By sharing your ideas on how to increase investments, you can help us find innovative ways to keep our transportation system safe, efficient, and productive, and our regional economy growing.

Take our fun quiz at Which Way Now?. There, you can get the facts about our region's transportation network, share this story with friends and colleagues, and play the Choices & Voices game, a web application that allows users to determine future development patterns and make transportation investments.


$5.3 Million Awarded to JARC Program

Article 3 To help provide access to jobs for low-income workers and reverse commuters, DVRPC has approved over $5.3 million in funding for the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program in southeastern Pennsylvania.

The JARC program is intended to help fund transportation services and supportive activities that facilitate access to jobs for welfare recipients, lower income persons, and reverse commuters. It supplements the region's public transportation system, such as expanding early morning and evening services and providing shuttles connecting transit stations to employment sites. The FY14 JARC program, which is allocated by a federal formula, provides $2,172,257 of FTA funds. PennDOT is anticipated to provide matching funds of $3,172,000 for a total southeastern Pennsylvania JARC program of $5,344,257. These resources will fund the 23 recommended Pennsylvania JARC projects through Fiscal Year 2014. The FY14 JARC funding round is a new one-year funding round – the final under the framework established by SAFETEA-LU.

As the region's designated metropolitan planning organization, DVRPC has prepared a Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (CHSTP), with regional demographic information, policies, and program priorities. The DVRPC Board approves regional project applicants for funding, based on the CHSTP Selection Committee's list of recommendations, which evaluates the consistency of proposed projects with the adopted regional CHSTP and the statewide PennDOT application objectives. Recommended projects are added to the regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), pending grant approvals.

For more information about CHSTP, visit


Watch for Upcoming Public Comment Periods

Article 4 As Fiscal Year 2013 comes to a close, DVRPC will need your input on important regional planning documents. Look for an opportunity to submit your comments through our website, beginning in late May.

DVRPC's long-range plan, Connections 2040, focuses on strengthening the linkages between land use, the environment, economic development, and the transportation system in our nine-county region.

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) document lists all projects that intend to use federal funds, along with non-federally funded projects that are regionally significant. Also included are all other state funded capital projects. The projects are multi-modal; that is, they include bicycle, pedestrian, freight-related projects, and innovative air quality projects, as well as the more traditional highway and public transit projects. The Draft FY 2014-2017 TIP for New Jersey covers Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties.

In conjunction with these documents, DVRPC will issue a Transportation Conformity finding. Transportation Conformity is the process that ensures that plans and programs receiving federal funding are consistent with the region's air quality goals.


Ozone Season Begins

Article 5 Spring is here! Yet along with the beautiful warm weather comes increased ground-level ozone. The Air Quality Partnership (AQP), a program of DVRPC, educates residents about the ill effects of ground-level ozone and provides air quality forecasts to the public. May 1 marks the start of the AQP's ozone season, which runs through September.

Currently, Greater Philadelphia does not meet the federal air quality standards for ground-level ozone. In the summer, sunlight and high temperatures "bake" pollutants emitted by motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, to form high levels of ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog.

High levels of ozone pose health risks for everyone, and large segments of the population are especially sensitive. Fortunately, ozone levels are being monitored and the public can be alerted when they reach dangerous levels.

The AQP provides summertime ground-level ozone forecasts and encourages actions to reduce air pollution, such as:

  • Take transit or rideshare.
  • Don't top off your gas tank. Spillage adds two tons of pollution to the air each day.
  • Refuel at the end of the day. Ozone levels are highest in mid- to late-afternoon.
  • Be sure to clean out your trunk, since an extra 100 pounds reduces gas mileage by up to 2% and wastes fuel.
  • Trip-link when possible. Combining errands with your daily commute will save time, money, and the environment.
  • Follow regular maintenance schedules for your car. A properly running vehicle emits less pollution and saves gas. Check your owner's manual and properly inflate your tires. Properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage up to 3.3 %. When changing your oil, use a manufacturer-recommended grade motor oil to improve fuel economy by 1-2%.

To sign up for air quality alerts, visit Daily air quality forecasts and helpful tips are also available on the website or by calling 1-800-872-7261.


New PhillyFreightFinder Application Now Live

Article 6 PhillyFreightFinder - the freight mapping and data platform for the Delaware Valley - highlights our region's extraordinary freight network, denoting major freight routes, such as highways, rivers and rail lines, and key hubs of employment and goods movement, including ports and freight centers. The application is interactive, allowing the viewer to explore over 350 individual features comprising twenty facility types, each complete with a series of standard data that allows for a comprehensive view of each facility's role in the goods movement system.

The application is intended as a valuable resource for experts in the fields of planning or logistics, municipal officials, and citizens interested in learning more about freight movement and facilities in the region. It can be used by local businesses, economic development agencies, and carriers as a marketing tool highlighting opportunities to leverage the existing freight network for new business activity within the region.

To view the interactive application visit:


DVRPC Serves as Local Host of National Conference

Article 7 DVRPC is proud to serve as the local host of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) 47th Annual Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for June 23 – 26 at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel. NARC is the umbrella organization representing metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional agencies such as DVRPC. The national conference will bring together approximately 400 top elected officials and staff management from regional agencies. DVRPC's role is to identify potential sponsors and assist with program development. A menu of sponsorship opportunities for the NARC conference is available here. Those who are interested in participating should contact Candace Snyder, DVRPC's Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at


Free APA Webinars

Article 8 DVRPC and its partner organizations offer free American Planning Association (APA) webinars at locations throughout the region. Upcoming webinars in June will cover pedestrian and bicycle planning, and planning law review.

Each of the programs has been approved by APA for 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits for American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) members. For more information about how to register and to view the full list of upcoming APA webinars, visit