DVRPC News: October 2017
Volume 39, Issue 4 | October 2017
Connections 2045 Long-Range Plan Adopted
The DVRPC Board adopted the Connections 2045 update to Greater Philadelphia's long-range plan on October 26, 2017. Connections 2045 establishes a vision for the growth and development of the region and serves as a blueprint for prioritizing transportation funding over the next 28 years. DVRPC is required by federal regulations to update the plan every four years, and this policy document enables our region to receive over a billion dollars annually in federal transportation funding. It was developed with the input and support from residents, regional planning partners, DVRPC's working committees, and stakeholder groups.
New to the Connections 2045 Plan is a focus on advancing equity and fostering diversity, and creating an integrated multimodal transportation network. The outreach identified some key strategies to achieving the vision, including enhanced education, regional cooperation, and governmental efficiency. It also considers how technological advancements are changing how we get around and are reshaping the region's economy. Visit www.dvrpc.org/Connections2045 to check out the vision and list of major regional projects, and to view the technical document. An abbreviated version of the Plan will be launched later this fall.
FY18 TIP for New Jersey Will Fund $2 Billion in Transportation Projects
At its October 26, 2017 meeting, the DVRPC Board adopted the FY 2018 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for New Jersey. It contains $2 billion worth of funding for 152 projects (99 highway and 53 transit) for phases to be advanced over the next four years (FY 2018 to 2021), and averaging $506 million per year.
The TIP was developed in cooperation with NJDOT, NJ Transit, DRPA/PATCO, and DVRPC's member counties and cities. To learn more and to view projects on a map, visit www.dvrpc.org/TIP/draft.
Changing Lanes Conference Highlights
DVRPC and WTS-Philadelphia held Changing Lanes -- a transportation conference on technology, trends, and change -- on October 18, 2017. Over 360 professionals including planners, engineers, and officials from the public and private sectors attended the conference. Mayor Kenney greeted attendees, discussing the City of Philadelphia's Vision Zero efforts. A highlight from the day included when the Powerhouse Panel surprised the audience with a 'Family Feud' style game to discuss the transportation industry and their careers. To view photos from the entire full day conference visit our Flickr page.
Thank you to the sponsors, for helping to make this event possible! Also check out #ChangingLanesPHL on Twitter for photos and highlights from the day. Proceeds from sponsorships will go to WTS-Philadelphia's scholarship program, which supports women pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, planning, and related fields.
Save the Date for Breaking Ground 2018: Transforming a Region Together
Save the Date for DVRPC's Municipal Conference. This year's conference, Breaking Ground 2018: Transforming a Region Together, will be held on March 22, 2018 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. It will highlight government efficiency and innovation. The keynote address will be given by Brian Elms of Denver Colorado's Peak Academy. Educational sessions will focus on implementing small changes at the local level. An AICP planner may be able to get up to 4.5 CM credits, pending approval.
Early bird registration rates are available until 2/22/18. For program and registration information, click here.
DVRPC's RideECO Program Surpasses $300 Million Dollars in Sales
RideECO, Greater Philadelphia's only nonprofit commuter benefit program, has reached the major milestone of over $300 million in sales. Administered by DVRPC since 1991, RideECO is an Easy Commute Option program that allows employers and commuters to save money by putting pre-tax dollars towards fares on public transportation and vanpools. Commuters can save nearly $1,000 every year by using pre-tax income to cover the costs of transit.
Currently over 500 companies and organizations participate in RideECO. DVRPC also administers a premium program, RideECO Select, to make administration of the program easier. Employers can order a prepaid commuter benefit card and transit fare materials in addition to vouchers. The premium program is ideal for larger employers or those with multiple locations.
Learn more about the benefits of RideECO, and try the interactive savings calculator, at www.RideECO.org.
November 13th-19th is National Traffic Incident Response Week
DVRPC is partnering with the US Federal Highway Administration, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, NJDOT, PennDOT, and our region's emergency responders between November 13th and 19th for National Traffic Incident Response Week. This week aims to increase awareness surrounding the dangers emergency responders face at traffic incidents on our roads.
Every year hundreds of emergency responders representing fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, towing, and transportation agencies are struck and either injured or killed by passing vehicles while responding. Ways to reduce this number include limiting distractions while driving, slowing down, and moving out of the lane closest to the responders. Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey passed "Move Over" laws, which require motorists to move over and change lanes to provide a safe distance for law enforcement officers or other responders on roadsides. Help us spread the word from November 13th to 19th during National Traffic Incident Response week! Visit National Traffic Incident Response Week for more information and outreach materials.
DVRPC Honored by GVF for Sustainability
On September 18, DVRPC was awarded the highest level Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Award by the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association. The Diamond Sustainability Award recognizes DVRPC's commitment to fostering commuting strategies that improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion for its employees and for the community at-large. DVRPC's employee transit benefit, sustainability plans, and trip reduction initiative are among the internal practices that earned this recognition.
The award also honors DVRPC's programs that support other companies in their efforts to achieve sustainability goals. Examples of such programs include RideECO, which provides tax breaks to businesses for transit ridership, and the Mobility Alternatives Program, which offers services like Emergency Ride Home to help organizations empower employees to make "greener" commuting choices. Click here to learn more about the other awardees.
Upcoming LTAP Courses in PA and NJ
The Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) provides technical information and expertise to help municipal governments use transportation funds more effectively, improve road maintenance, and increase roadway safety. An upcoming class on November 2 in Chester County will focus on pavement markings. Visit PennDOT's LTAP website to view course descriptions and to register.
There are several New Jersey LTAP courses in Lindenwold and Newark this fall. Topics include ADA Self Evaluation and Transition Plans for Public Rights-of-Way and more. Visit cait.rutgers.edu/cait/training for a list of all New Jersey workshops.
Staff Profile – Becky Maule, Senior Graphic Artist
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An actress or a rock star. Then I got into art, and thought I could go there too.
What was your first job?
At 16, I got an after school telemarketing job at a call center. The pay was really good, especially for a teenager. But I knew it wasn't for the long term plus I got too chatty about other things with people!
How did you get into your field?
I always liked the idea of making posters, or album covers for rock bands, so I took that idea and enrolled at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I first was going to enroll in interior design, but changed to graphic design when I realized that it was what I was doing in my spare time – I just hadn't realized that there was a name for it.
How did you end up at DVRPC?
I knew Kim Dean in college, and she mentioned the opening to me, so I came in for an interview. That was 15 years ago!
What's changed over time in graphic design?
Technology. Computers are much faster and have ridiculous space. Now, essentially having a computer in hand, with a cell phone, you can create designs on the fly.
What has been your favorite project?
DVRPC's 50th Anniversary Celebration, throughout 2015, that culminated in a dinner event. It was exciting and fun to plan for. We covered lots of aspects including coming up with the hashtag #OurRegionMyHome, a photo contest through social media, a commemorative booklet for the dinner, event photo booths with planning related props, and even "wear some flare" pins that represented different icons from our region and pop culture from last 50 years, like a Campbell's Soup can or record player.
What three words best describe you?
Creative, goofy, compassionate
Where is your favorite place in the region?
Center City. There's always something happening, and I love going around and enjoying the city's parks, especially Franklin Square, Sister Cities Park, Dilworth Plaza, and Washington Square.
If you could be Queen for a day, what would you declare?
That everybody take the day off and celebrate life. I would set up fun, free, events for people to enjoy and have a great day.
What is something that your colleagues don't know about you?
That I love everything Japanese. I especially love Japanese animation, and I go to anime conventions whenever I get the chance.
Where would we find you after hours?
Doing something with my daughter, like playing Pokemon Go around the city.