10/27/10

Biking Walking & Blogging: Recapping the 2010 meeting of Non-motorized Transportation Pilot communitiesBiking Walking & Blogging: Recapping the 2010 meeting of Non-motorized Transportation Pilot communities

 

 

Recapping the 2010 meeting of nonmotorized pilot communities
From Joan Pasiuk, Director, Bike Walk Twin Cities

From the initial launch of the Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) in 2005, the participating communities (Columbia, Missouri; Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Marin County, California, and Minneapolis, Minnesota) made a commitment to work not as isolated communities fulfilling a Congressional mandate, but as a collaborative program addressing local needs while building a strong base of shared knowledge.

 

In addition to monthly conference calls and periodic program presentations, the communities come together at an annual meeting. The fifth such meeting just concluded in Minneapolis and showed that the commitment to collaborative learning remains strong.

 

Attending the session -

  • Gabe Rousseau, Ph.D., FHWA Bicycle and PedestrianProgram Manager & Livability Team Leader - administering the program as the federal authority
  • Several staff of Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, US Department of Transportation - under contract to the pilots for coordination of measurement and under direction of FHWA to draft the final NTPP report
  • Arthur M. Wendel, MD, MPHCenters for Disease Control and Prevention,
    National Center for Environmental Health,
    Public Health and Built Environment Initiative* -- managing the health impact measures of NTPP
  • Several staff of Rails to Trails Conservancy - under contract to the pilots for communications support
  • Leadership of the four pilot communities

The theme was "telling our story" and the story uppermost on our minds was the report due to FHWA in March and released to Congress in September 2011. The report will not be "final" in any way, as all the communities have projects still in design or implementation, but it will be the accountability Congress stipulated for 2010.

 

Bike Walk Twin Cities, as the Minneapolis-area pilot is known, and all other pilots, will incorporate four years of tracked data (counts and intercept surveys), evaluations of specific projects, community-wide surveys, and qualitative aspects of the investments. All this methodology was reviewed at our October meeting. Additional exchange at this meeting included discussion of lessons learned that may be relevant at the federal level, opportunities for health and safety measurement/stories, and plans for future projects.

 

The pilots, with funds extended through continuing resolutions of SAFETEA-LU, remain committed to delivering quality investments with measured results. All pilot communities will continue data collection and analysis even after delivering the report to Congress, with community-wide data collection and reports planned for 2012 and 2014/15.

 

The annual meeting could not be complete without some fun and time spent on two wheels. Working group members took Nice Ride Minnesota bikes out for a tour of projects on a beautiful fall afternoon. With several capital projects open, and many more we pointed to, it was clear how the network in and around Minneapolis is being transformed by the $22 million invested by Bike Walk Twin Cities. All of these investments will be significantly supported with the education, outreach, and communications work in neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities.

 

There will be much more to report. The collective dedication of interdisciplinary professionals to best practices, innovation, a comprehensive approach, and measured results is one story worth telling.

 

To stay current on progress of all the pilot communities go to http://www.smartmobility.us/