Photo by Kimberly Dean, DVRPC

DVRPC News: March 2021

Volume 42, Issue 9  |  March 2021

 

Announcing an Urban Agriculture Webinar Series

Girl at farmer's market

In partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration - Philadelphia, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions II and III, DVRPC is hosting a series of webinars aimed at charting paths within the emerging urban agriculture industry. The Intersection of Food and Local Economic Development series strives to implement goals and strategies outlined in the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Growing Greater Philadelphia. The series is hosted by DVRPC’s Regional Community and Economic Development Forum. 

Four webinars will be held on four consecutive Wednesdays from March 17 to April 7, 2021. Registration is required for each individual webinar. Visit the website for more information and to register. 

 

New ACS and Crash Data

Screenshot of Data Navigator

DVRPC’s Data Navigator now features updated crash data from 2019 provided by the state Departments of Transportation, as well as 2015-2019 American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The updated ACS data includes demographic, economic, housing, and social data for the nine-county DVRPC region. Data can be filtered down to the county and municipal levels.

 

New Electric Vehicle Resource for Local Governments

Electric vehicle charging

DVRPC’s new Electric Vehicle Resource Kit for Municipalities is designed to inform municipal managers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey what their communities should do to plan for and accommodate Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs). The resource kit includes eight sections that address key questions likely to be asked by municipalities about electric vehicles. These include: What are the basics of electric vehicles? Which vehicle should be replaced with a PEV first? How do we select and place PEV chargers? 

This is a dynamic online resource which will be updated and expanded based on new information, feedback from municipalities and businesses, changes in technology and the market, new laws, and other concerns that have not yet been identified. In order to maintain the most recent information possible, please contact Rob Graff at rgraff@dvrpc.org with feedback or suggestions.

 

DVRPC Receives 50 TDM Project Ideas

TOP logo

DVRPC recently received 50 different project ideas for the new Travel Options Program (TOP). Over the past two months, DVRPC solicited Expressions of Interest for creative and practical efforts that will reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles (driving alone) on the region’s roadways. The act or program of activities of reducing single-occupancy vehicles is known as Travel Demand Management (TDM). The 50 project ideas fell into three categories: marketing/education campaigns, capital projects, and operations. 

DVRPC staff are currently inviting a select number of eligible applicants to submit a longer project proposal with more details, including a timeline, budget, and an estimate for emissions reductions. The invitation-only application period runs through March 19, 2021. Projects and funding will be announced in late-April 2021. See the TOP website for details. 

 

Upcoming LTAP Classes

Person in wheelchair waiting to cross the street

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. Upcoming virtual classes include: 

FHWA Bikeway Selection Guide
March 10, 2021 (8:00 AM - 11:00 AM)

Work Zone Safety Awareness for Road Departments
March 12, 2021 (8:00 AM - 10:00 PM)

Compliance to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the Public Right-of-Way
March 24-25, 2021 (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM)

Visit Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation and PennDOT’s LTAP website to see additional courses and register. Please contact Linda McNeffer at lmcneffer@dvrpc.org if you have any questions.

 

Staff Profile - Jackie Davis, Assistant Manager, Office of Long-Range Planning

Jackie Davis

What did you want to be growing up? A cartoonist. I’ve had a passion for art from a young age. 

What was your first job? A referee for a youth soccer league. 

What did you study in college? I cycled through about seven majors before I settled on political science. 

How did you get into planning? I thought I would pursue law school, but discovered planning in my first job out of college working for a consulting company on residential energy efficiency programs. My supervisor’s degree was in planning, and the hands-on nature of the work motivated me to return to grad school. I enrolled in the University of Virginia’s program and concentrated in urban design and transportation.

How did you end up at DVRPC? I was working for a planning consulting firm in Charlottesville. My fiance (now husband) is from there, and we decided on Philadelphia as a good midpoint between our NY and VA families. I had experience with long range planning, so when the position opened up here, it was a perfect fit.

What are some of your responsibilities? We are federally required to update the LRP every four years and keep a 20 year outlook, and we are now in the last year of development for the 2050 plan. The planning process includes examining trends and forces, engaging the public and stakeholders to identify a regional vision and strategies for achieving it, and allocating transportation funding to specific projects for implementation. 

What are some highlights and challenges? It was fun to work with our Futures Group to come up with wildly disparate future scenarios and to create the Dispatches from Alternative Futures report, written in the form of news articles through the decades. Our greatest challenge is working with limited funding to meet expanding needs, and we try to meet that challenge with stakeholders by funding those projects that give the biggest bang for the buck.

Do you have a favorite part of the work? I love that I get to tap into all areas of planning and coordinate with every office at DVRPC, from Livable Communities to Safe Streets to Operations. They all support and get incorporated into the LRP.

What three words best describe you? Interested, organized, outdoorsy

Is there something colleagues don’t know about you? I love international travel, and have been to over 30 countries. My longest trip was a two and a half month backpacking trip through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. I stayed in a $2/night hostel and hope to this day that whatever crawled across my blanket was a gecko and not something worse! I almost made it to Antarctica while I was studying in Buenos Aires, getting as far south as the southern tip of Patagonia. 

Do you have a “fantasy” career, if you were not a planner? I would run altruistic businesses, solving big problems and putting impact over profit.

Have you developed any new habits during the pandemic? Meditating. I found an app I like and it’s become a nice way to start my day.

If you could be Queen of the Delaware Valley for a day, what would you declare? Free transit and cheesesteaks for all!

What’s the last book you read? The two on my nightstand are “In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World it Made,” and “Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death.” Appropriately morbid for 2020.

What trend are you looking forward to returning to when the pandemic is behind us? Enjoying new restaurants with friends. 

 

Elise TurnerAssociate Manager, Office of Communications and Engagement
Air Quality Partnership
COVID-19 Resources
Dispatches from Alternate Futures
DVRPC News

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