FHWA Air Quality, Sustainable Transportation and Resilience Team, also EDC: Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian

FHWA Headquarters Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Team

FHWA Headquarters Sustainable Transportation and Resilience Team

FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Team

Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian

Over the past few weeks we’ve highlighted the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program and how local or State agencies can implement its seven featured countermeasures. For our final article in this series, we will discuss lighting and where to install it to make a difference in pedestrian safety.

In 2018, 76 percent of pedestrian fatalities nationwide occurred in dark conditions. FHWA published a video storyboard that highlights four approaches to improve pedestrian visibility at night—improving overhead lighting, installing crosswalks with high-visibility crosswalk markings, enhancing visibility with Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons, and evaluating additional countermeasures like pedestrian refuge islands or other treatments. STEP also published a summary that links to several resources explaining why improving lighting for pedestrians is important. Lighting increases the visibility of pedestrians in a crosswalk and it may even encourage more pedestrians to use a crosswalk. STEP notes that overhead lighting, when used at intersections, can reduce all types of injury crashes by 27 percent.
Infographic depicting a streetlight illuminating a crosswalk. Text states, “Crosswalk visibility enhancements can reduce crashes by 23-48 percent.”

FHWA hosted a virtual pedestrian lighting scan tour with six Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in February of 2021. The scan tour explored conditions for improving overhead lighting for pedestrian safety and approaches agencies used to select sites and prioritize potential improvements. During the Scan Tour, Florida DOT (FDOT) shared their experiences with lighting placement. FDOT uses a data-driven method to create a funding plan allocating $100 million to retrofit over 2,500 signalized intersections throughout the State’s seven districts. As of 2020, 80 percent of the funding was spent with 350 intersections in the design phase; 1,050 intersections awaiting construction; and 750 intersections completed.

If you would like to learn more about how your agency can improve pedestrian lighting and safety with STEP, contact Becky Crowe with FHWA’s Office of Safety or Peter Eun with the FHWA Resource Center.

March/April 2021

Table of ContentsAlso available in PDF,

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/whats_new/

Announcements

FHWA Announces Round 5 of Alternative Fuel Corridor Designations

FHWA announced the fifth round of Alternative Fuel Corridor designations on April 22, 2021 in support of establishing a national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highway system corridors.

FHWA Releases Updated CMIP Tool

The FHWA released a new web-based tool called the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Processing Tool Version 2.1 (CMIP Tool) to help planners and designers access climate projections (developed using scientific models of Earth’s changing climate) and calculate temperature and precipitation variables for future time periods that can support analysis at the project and regional scales. The intent is to make highway infrastructure more resilient to a range of future climate scenarios (changes in temperature and precipitation) using this data.

FHWA Publishes Report on Funding EV Charging Infrastructure

FHWA published the report titled Federal Funding is Available for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure on the National Highway System on April 22, 2021.

FHWA Announces New Resource Center Air Quality Team Leader

FHWA welcomes its newest team leader for the Air Quality Team, Mike Roberts, of the Resource Center Environment, Air Quality and Realty Technical Service Team. Mike worked for the FHWA Resource Center as an Air Quality Specialist for the past 20 years. Mike is a nationally recognized expert in air quality and noise modeling training and project support, as well as the delivery of the Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit. In his new role he will lead the delivery of MOVES3, Climate Change, Air Quality Dispersion Modeling and Noise Modeling training and technical support.

FHWA Releases Updated Engineering Circular on Highways in the Coastal Environment

HEC-25, 3rd Edition, Highways in the Coastal Environment, is a comprehensive reference for transportation professionals for analyzing, planning, designing, and operating coastal highways. The manual includes: (1) discussion of Federal requirements and policies; (2) summaries of relevant coastal science, including climate change, sea level rise projections, and modeling tools; (3) common planning and design issues for coastal bridges and highways; and (4) methods for assessing the vulnerability of coastal highways to extreme events with future sea level rise, including potential adaptation strategies to improve resilience. The manual includes considerations of global sea level rise values to consider as part of an analysis: 2 feet minimum by 2100, and 4 feet by 2100 for critical or “high value” infrastructure. The manual provides insights on how to approach other higher and lower values possible using differing models and under differing levels of uncertainty.

President Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Released

On March 31, 2021 President Biden’s Infrastructure Plan was released. This plan focuses on rebuilding aging infrastructure, prioritizing clean infrastructure investments such as electrifying vehicle charging ports, modernizing public transit, passenger rail, freight rail, road, and bridges, and electric grid modernization, while working to address racial injustice, create jobs, and raise wages.

EPA Releases MOVES3 Patch

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) version 3.0.1 in March 2021, which fixes issues with processing an aggregation and includes scripts to assist with checking submissions for the 2020 National Emissions Inventory, see the Update Log for details on the update.

EPA Releases MOVES3 Overview Report

EPA released the Overview of EPA’s MOtor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES3) report which provides a high-level overview of MOVES3, a comparison between MOVES2014b and MOVES3, and references to additional information.

CEQ Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance Rescinded

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) rescinded its “Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” consistent with Executive Order 13990.

AMPO 2021 Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organization (AMPO) call for proposals for the Annual Conference on October 5-8, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona is open. The conference website contains guidelines on submitting a proposal as well as topics of particular interest. Note that there is a call for Transportation System Resiliency, Climate Change, and Transportation and Health topics.

Streetsmart Provides Resources for Considering Climate Change, Public Health and Equity in Transportation

Streetsmart developed an Evidence and Insight For Healthy Transportation tool. This platform provides strategies for transportation practitioners to make the case for healthy investments and prioritize plans and programs that meet community goals for increasing physical activity, walking, and bicycling; reducing vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions; and improving equity and inclusion.

Events

Webinar: Ending the Energy-Poverty Nexus: An Ethical Imperative for the Low-Carbon Energy Transition

4/30/2021 12:00-1:15 PM (MT) Join Clark Miller, a professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University for a talk on the relationship between energy systems, sustainable alternatives, and poverty.

Webinar: MOVES3 Information for Experienced MOVES Modelers

5/5/2021 2:00-4:00 PM (ET) Join EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality for a webinar on the differences between MOVES3 and MOVES2014b. This webinar has been designed for experienced MOVES modelers and will cover new MOVES3 features, improvements to the user interface, built-in MOVES tools, and resources. Join the MS Teams meeting on 5/5 via this link.

Training: MOVES3

5/10 – 5/13, 2021 FHWA’s Resource Center is conducting virtual training on EPA’s recently released MOVES3 mobile source emissions model. We will cover the functionality of the model, input requirements, output processing, and will address relevant EPA and FHWA guidance documents. The course also includes hands-on exercises that will demonstrate several realistic modeling scenarios applicable to GHG, conformity (regional and project-level), and NEPA analyses. The intended audience are those who use (or expect to use) MOVES or those who will be reviewing MOVES-based analyses. Contact Chris Dresser for addition details.

Webinar: FHWA CMIP Processing Tool 2.1: Using Future Climate Data for More Resilient Infrastructure Design

5/19/2021 1:30 – 3:30 PM (ET) This hands-on webinar on FHWA’s updated CMIP Processing Tool Version 2.1 will give a brief introduction to understanding and utilizing climate projections to inform infrastructure planning and design. Follow along in real-time while the speaker steps through the process of downloading data, inputting the data, and downloading variables and statistics. The webinar will end with a hydrologic analysis example of how data from the CMIP tool can be incorporated in the normal engineering workflow with minimal effort. Note that the May 5 occurrence of this webinar is full. Register for the May 19 webinar today!

Workshop: How We Move Matters

7/13-7/21/2021 11:30 AM – 5:30 PM (ET) The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is hosting a multi-day workshop called How We Move Matters. This workshop will explore environmental impacts from technology-enabled transportation services, existing research, and needed research on the anticipated environmental health challenges related to emerging transportation services.

Webinar: Transit impacts on Jobs, People, and Real Estate

Recording from 3/23/2021 A recording of a webinar hosted by National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NTIC) on how transit accessibility influences where people live and work, and tools for land use planning is available on the NTIC website.

Training Opportunities

FHWA Presentation on Detailed Project Listing Report (DPLR)

FHWA demonstrates how to use the DPLR to quality check CMAQ projects entered in the CMAQ Project Tracking System for CMAQ annual reporting purposes. A video, script, and slides for the DPLR presentation are available on the Annual Reporting website.

FHWA Resource Center Environment, Air Quality & Realty Team Training Activities

FHWA’s Resource Center Environment, Air Quality & Realty Team is available to offer MOVES and other trainings. Please contact Mike Claggett, at Michael.Claggett@dot.gov, for additional information or to discuss scheduling a training.

Additional Web-Based Transportation Conformity Training

Several web-based transportation conformity training opportunities are available on-demand from FHWA’s conformity training website (under “Web-based Training”). These training opportunities range in level of detail from a short 27-minute video providing a high-level basic overview of transportation conformity to a detailed set of 32 self-directed training modules.  Recordings of two webinars are available: basic transportation conformity overview (June 12, 2018, 70 minutes) and basic MOVES emissions model training (June 18, 2018, 42 minutes).

The target audience for these training materials are FHWA staff and State and local transportation partners (MPOs and State DOTs) who are either new to or would like a refresher training on the conformity process. For questions, please contact David Kall, at david.kall@dot.gov, or 202-366-6276.

CMAQ 101 Training

FHWA posted a 27-minute YouTube video on the CMAQ program. The video provides a basic introduction to the program, how CMAQ funds are distributed to States, and the types of projects eligible for the CMAQ program. The training is available via FHWA’s YouTube channel. For more information about the CMAQ program, please contact Mark Glaze at mark.glaze@dot.gov or (202) 366-4053.

FHWA NEPA Air Quality Analysis for Highway Projects

The FHWA Resource Center Environment, Air Quality & Realty Team periodically conducts a series of training sessions on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Air Quality Analysis for Highway Projects. The training includes sessions on project-level applications appropriate for managers and practitioners, as well as hands-on sessions intended for modelers. Please note this is not a general MOVES training course, but is focused on project-level applications. It is not intended to address regional applications, such as State Implementation Plan (SIP) emissions inventories or regional (plan and transportation improvement plan) conformity analyses. If you are interested in this training, please contact Michael Claggett at michael.claggett@dot.gov.

FHWA Web-Based Noise Training

FHWA has created a Traffic Noise Model (TNM) Playlist on its YouTube Channel and 4 new videos were added in December. These videos demonstrate how to install TNM, set up a project, and begin to conduct basic tasks in the software. The newly released videos cover how to input barriers, the barrier analysis tool, parallel barriers, and the input heights report. More videos will be posted throughout the year and each will be a short-format demonstration of 1 or 2 specific topics relating to using TNM. To access the playlist please visit the TNM Training page. For technical assistance with TNM please contact TNMHelp@dot.gov.

Air Quality Planning Web Course Available at No Cost

The National Highway Institute (NHI) Air Quality Planning web-based training series is designed for transportation practitioners. It includes four modules: Clean Air Act Overview (FHWA-NHI-142068), SIP and Transportation Control Measure (TCM) Requirements and Policies (FHWA-NHI-142069), SIP Development Process (FHWA-NHI-142070), and Transportation Conformity (FHWA-NHI-142071). All courses are free. For more information, visit the NHI website and search “Air Quality Planning,” or look for the specific course number. Please contact Karen Perritt at (202) 366-9066, or Karen.Perritt@dot.gov with any questions or comments.

Reminders

  • FHWA Released Research Project Report on “Evaluation of Methods for Modeling Vehicle Activity at Signalized Intersections for Air Quality Hot-Spot Analyses”. This report summarizes an evaluation undertaken to compare methods of representing vehicle activity at signalized intersections for use in project scale air quality analysis to advance the state of the practice for emissions and dispersion analysis at signalized intersections and improve the accuracy of pollutant concentration estimates. This final report includes information on data inputs, modeling, method comparison, results, and recommendations based on two intersections of Next Generation Simulation data in Los Angeles, CA, and covers both phases 1 and 2 of the subject project. The target audience is transportation agency technical staff undertaking project-level air quality analyses. The final report will be posted soon, and a factsheet is available to download. For more information, please contact David Kall (David.Kall@dot.gov or 202-366-6276).
  • CDC Foundation Published Videos on the Heath Impact in Five Years (HI-5) Initiative and Public Transportation Action Guide for Public Health Care Professionals. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation published three videos and a Public Transportation Action Guide for public health care professionals to support the CDC’s HI-5 initiative to improve population health and heath equity, expansion of public transportation systems intervention. The videos are posted in the Learn More: Public Transportation area on the right side of the CDC Foundation website and the Public Transportation Action Guide is linked under the Public Transportation Systems heading.

Past issues of the Air Quality and Sustainability Highlights are available on FHWA’s website: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/highlights/ or https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sustainability/newsletter/.

Please e-mail Victoria.Martinez@dot.gov with any suggestions for future issues.