Monday, January 7, 2019

March 29th first Deadline for Important Walking and Biking Funding: At the MPO

The Technical Advisory Committee for our local Metropolitan Planning Organization meets tomorrow the 8th, and they'll be in the weeds. Most of their topics are pretty technical this month, and there may not be much to say about it. But a couple of things might be worth a brief note.

These are important sources of funding
for walking and biking projects
There's an announcement of the preliminary schedule for administering Federal funds from three programs that are significant sources for walking and biking projects.

Pre-applications will be due March 29th and final applications on June 28th. If you have an important walking or biking project in your neighborhood, let your City Councilor know!
March 29th and June 28th are deadlines
Separately, there is a draft of the 2019-2020 Work Program and list of projects at the MPO, and in the discussion of traffic modeling, there's mention of "validation work."

On Traffic Modeling
Traffic modeling is a black box currently. We see the output only, and it is always a single number.

But there is a margin of error on all those projections, and we never know how accurate previous projections were.

The validation work should be more public. Conditions from 1980, 1990, and 2000 should be entered into the model and we should be able to see what they projected for 2010 and 2020, and what is the difference from actual measured traffic counts. Policy makers and the public should have a better sense for the uncertainty and precision on these projections.

Reputable forecasts have error bars and uncertainty
(Both charts from the 4th National Climate Assessment)

More error bars and uncertainty
It is an irony that the science of greenhouse gas emissions, which the MPO has denied and whose affects it has disparaged and dismissed, is far more scientific than the pseudo-science of traffic modeling and travel demand forecasting.

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 8th, at 1:30pm. SKATS is at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200, above Table Five 08.

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