Monday, April 9, 2018

At the MPO: New Round of Bonus Funds

About $3/4 million in additional Federal funding
The Technical Advisory Committee for our local Metropolitan Planning Organization (SKATS) meets Tuesday the 10th, and they're still talking a lot about the performance measures created by the latest Federal transportation bill. It's a lot of inside baseball and it has seemed like the more important thing was the spirit with which agencies approached them rather than the letter and detail of the measures and rules. Weak performance measures could be implemented assertively, and strong measures might be ignored or satisfied weakly and barely. Interpretive vigor has always seemed more important than letter of the law. Maybe this is wrong, but when "decrease reliance on the SOV" is a high-level policy goal for Salem (I'm switching a little in the example, from the MPO to City of Salem), that is all the direction that should be necessary. Instead, we have all kinds of half-hearted dodges that are meant to satisfy a very weak notion of "decreasing reliance on the SOV" instead of a strong interpretation and strong actions. So the politics of interpretation rather than the technical details of rule-writing have seemed to matter most.

Maybe when the latest round reaches the Policy Committee there will be more to say.

The most interesting thing on the TAC's agenda is an announcement of what looks to be about $3/4 million in unexpected, new funding.

It should be used to "decrease reliance on the SOV"! It should not be used on a capacity increase for drive alone trips. It should be used on capacity increase or safety improvement for walking, biking, or busing.

Meanwhile, and not on the agenda at all, the MPO has had a survey out on the high-level policy goals for the new 2019 Regional Transportation System Plan they are starting to write.

A simple, proposed addition to goal 7 in the RTSP
Our local chapter proposes some language to add to goal 7. Under this it is easy to nest things like Safe Routes to School, transportation demand management, walk/bike/bus things generally. If people were going to concentrate comment on one single issue, greenhouse gas emissions is an excellent candidate. No other advocacy has emerged around specific other revisions, and so it seems worthwhile to focus and unify on this. If you haven't already, tell SKATS to add "and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions" to goal 7 in the RTSP. The survey goes through April 16th.

Look for the historic sign
next to the entry
You can download the agenda and meeting packet here.

SKATS Technical Advisory Committee meets Tuesday the 10th, at 1:30pm. SKATS is at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200, above Andaluz Kitchen and Table Five 08.

No comments: